Religion, easy as pie

I think the titles works for me now. :wink: So, lets give it a fresh start.
Think I’ll sit on it a couple days, then see what it reads like before calling it a wrap.

I’ll bet if you stopped to think about it you’d agree that on a fundamental level the Abrahamic religions are all about self-centeredness, ours’ and God’s. These religions were declared on the basis of Faith in selected kernels of knowledge, supported by certitude, usually with empire building in mind and a hostility towards learning and outside teachers. All the while pretty much ignoring the sovereignty of our Earth’s biosphere, her other inhabitants and the reality of our evolutionary origins.

Think about it, within the Abrahamic tradition our planet’s life support system and its inhabitants never rise above things for us to exploit until we suck them dry, then we move.

Whereas to me, Earth, her creatures and biosphere, her Evolution, these are my touchstones with physical reality. It transcends all the thoughts that flow from my, or our collective, human mind.

I’ve noticed how most people seem to think, “God” comes down on us from on high, out there in the heavens, beyond our Earth and daily realities. Western philosophy was born out of such an intellectual legacy and still hasn’t broken free of those all too human ego-centric blinders.

I’ve come to understand God came from deep within us. “God” is the child of humanity’s developing mindscape.

As I’ve progressed in a life long enthusiasm for learning about my human body, people, Earth and Evolution, an alternative perspective on “God” has developed in my thoughts. A perspective that appreciates humans were born out of a long tradition of Life striving to advance.

Why, care if “why” remains a mystery? Isn’t dealing with yourself and today the real keystone to your life?

Thinking back on all I’ve learned about evolution, there’s no denying that the evidence reflects a pageant of evolution relentlessly striving towards improving Earth’s creatures. Manipulatory controls, moving, grasping - while simultaneously improving the sensing, information processing, along with command & control needed to successfully operate life’s increasingly complex bodies.

Of course, along the way many species found their niche and little further improvement was needed. If their particular environmental niche remained in place, they continued to prosper. That’s why many creature lineages plateaued. They’re doing fine where they are and contentment reigns.

This provided the foundation for a more complex network of creatures and interactions to evolve out of the previous plateau. Folds within folds of cumulative constructive adaptations along with networking, flowing down the cascade of time. Earth’s pyramid of interconnected webs of life are the result.

As my understanding has evolved into a deep appreciation for the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide, I’ve recognized that our sense of “God” comes from within ourselves, not some outside supernatural agency.

On a personal note, ironically recognizing this divide helped me validate “God” for myself with the recognition that our god’s come from within our own human mindscapes, products of our own creation, in search of something beyond our grasp.

I’ve come to think of “God” more as a manifestation of our own Egos. After all, if you really think on it, bet you’d have to agree that each individual person’s relationship with their “God” is the most personal and intimate relationship we possess, beyond and deeper than child, parent, lover, comrade.

God, that constant presence we’re always trying to please, or argue with, or listen to, or run away from, or if you are lucky, you might learn to relax and simply strive to get to know that ego/god within yourself, learn to ride it, rather than let it ride you. Don’t over do it, but don’t get lazy either, pay attention everyday, the years race by.

In short, I’ve come to understand that, “God” is a necessary component of how humans deal with an overwhelming world and a short, all too often, difficult and painful life.

With that background and 66 years worth of living and learning under my belt, I want to try my hand at some early questions: Why am I here? We live, we die, we’re gone. What’s the point of it all? Back in the day, I licked all those concerns with a simple concept that stands firm:

“Your life means as much or as little as you yourself want it to.”

I’ve found for many that’s not enough. Now with a deeper understanding of the god/religion question, a long ago youthful fancy has come back to mind. It’s a different sort of perspective on the “God” human relationship, one that starts with a mind experiment.
If a God there be, what would, what could that “God” actually know about the universe? “God” doesn’t have any senses or body with which to experience its own being. What’s a “God” without physical stuff to be a “God” of?

To me it made sense that “God" could only know its creation through the experience of the inhabitants of that creation. Starting right at the ‘big bang’ along side energy and the evolving complexity of interactions in a growing cosmos. Through the stuff of matter, “God” was finally be able to sense something of itself.

Blossoming through all the different stages of the cosmos from energy coalescing into matter, then atoms, molecules, dust, rocks, galaxies, stars, planets, exploding stars, more planets, and so on. Then our miraculous Earth with time and geology, then joined by biology and life. With creatures constantly striving for ever greater grasping/manipulatory abilities, plus the sensing and processes to do the best they could with the new hardware. Then time and folds within folds of cumulative harmonic change and improvements, relentlessly moving towards ever more complexity, allowing “God” new vista’s upon the experience of life on this miraculous Earth, then came us.

Think of it, with us humans “God” finally had a creature that could reflect back on the Cosmos of its own Creation with genuine introspection. What a trip that must have been to experience. (Infinity mirrors comes to mind)

Think of it next time you’re down, You Are The Eyes of the Universe. Or simply be grateful that you can appreciate the reality you are embedded within. One that’s more fascinating than any other creature that has every existed. You are the witness for your own life. Let it matter.

The beauty of this story is that it doesn’t demand a rejection of physical reality or any aspect of science. What’s it for? What’s religion for? I’m good with the acceptance of another psychological teddy bear for our mind and soul. Like a beautiful love song that of course we know isn’t true, yet we choose to identify with it and latch our emotions onto it for a fleeting moment, because it feels good.

The important part is that it belongs within the panorama of my Mindscape, which I can recognize as being different from this Physical Reality my body is embedded within and that I’m also trying to make more sense out of.

The Old One: Consciousness and the 14 billion Universe.

-----.

The Nature and Consciousness cannot be created randomly during

14 billion years - because the “Infinite monkey theorem” forbid

such random situation:

It means, there are two possibilities:

1 - the random development of Nature must take much more

time than 14 billion years

2 – during 14 billion years, Nature could develop only consciously.

Without inclusion the concept of consciousness in physics,

it is impossible to explain many key aspects of the physics of Nature.

If scientists are looking for “unified theory” in physics,

then consciousness should be included in the theory.

“The Universe is Conscious.”

/Hermeticism/

‘’In general, the universe seems to me to be nearer

to a great thought than to a great machine.’’

/ James Jeans /

‘’[T]he laws of quantum mechanics itself cannot be formulated …

without recourse to the concept of consciousness.’’

/Eugene Wigner, the Nobel Prize in 1963/

''The Old One doesn’t play dice with the world’’

/ Einstein’s reality /

It means, the God must create the world by mathematical and physical laws.

============.

Einstein was too full of himself. He didn’t get near enough acquainted with actual evolution, cause if he had, he’d have realize “playing dice” is exactly what “god” er Evolution is all about.

@ socrat44
The Nature and Consciousness cannot be created randomly

Natural laws and the accumulation of molecular complexity that eventually created creatures that evolved consciousness - were never “random” in the way you are thinking, so those arguments are null and void.

You enunciate what I see as another example of getting lost within our ever creative mindscape and believing emotions, rather than simply observing, learning and excepting the ever evolving creation around us.

Sorry,
To create universe by chance needs almost infinite time
(maybe, some trillion = one thousand billions 10^12 times)
Not the limited 14 billion years.
It means, the universe was created by the order – Consciously.

Doesn’t that seem mighty presumptuous? But then humans aren’t anything if not full of themselves.

Sure Tegmark’s quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, tells a just so story, that fills our brains with pride that we cracked the ultimate puzzle and that the answer can be expressed with one simple word: “mathematics”!

On the other hand, seems to me that although mathematics is an exquisite tool, and the key to human understand, it’s a typically human wild shot to assume that makes it The Thing In Itself.

If it’s one thing science has demonstrated to those who study her history - nature is consistently vastly more complex and interconnected than that human intellect is capable of anticipating. Yet most human’s refuse to be humbled.

Do you believe “order” and “consciously” are interchangeable words?

Also what happened to the ‘random’, when you are now invoking ‘order’?


And now I've seen you've interchanged "chance" for "randomness" - makes no difference.  The universe evolved following a series of constraints, which served to direct the direction that evolution took.

**Pure chance - blind randomness**, aren't part of the process that actually unfolded,  meaning appealing to it is a distraction and doesn't further our understanding.

(Well so much for blindly taking the bots suggestion. - I was trying to say, without the weird formatting)
[re. Aug 8, 8:28 AM - Post 4]

And now I’ve seen you’ve interchanged “chance” for “randomness” - makes no difference. The universe evolved following a series of constraints, which served to direct the direction that evolution took.

Pure chance - blind randomness aren’t part of the process.

Who says it wasn’t infinite time? No one actually knows what happened before the Big Bang. There could have been another “primordial soup” that exploded.

I think you are thinking about Earth and maybe it’s solar system too, not the universe. Also, there was no order- at least not in the way you are thinking there was.

The infinite Cosmic Vacuum (cosmic void, nothingness,
emptiness, aether, an absolute spacetime) is the home for:
1 - virtual particles
2 - billion and billion galaxies
3 - and everything else (black holes too)
4 – everything is born and dies in the cosmic vacuum
(this applies to the stars, planets, galaxies and black holes too)
-----------strong text

Did I mention there’s a part two that bookends this:

What about that soul?

What about me, myself, I? What about my afterlife? If no heaven, what about reincarnation?

I’ve come to see those concerns as a reflection of the intensity of our own human ego-centric outlook on everything, it’s the reason religions evolved and were needed to begin with, power and controlling masses of people by learning how to channel our fears and desires - while giving the masses a sense of security and grounding.

A good three decades back, around the time my unborn daughter was letting it be known she’d had it with being cooped up within her mom, my own thoughts were ranging far and wide and deep into time and past generations. One evening after feeling her kicking, a cosmic giggle of sorts hit me, a vision about the nature of the soul that inhabits our bodies.

Since I knew that energy can’t be created nor destroyed, only transformed, I had already wondered about what happens when we die and our sustaining biological spark of life flows away from our person leaving a corpse behind?

What would that experience look like to the dissipating soul being reabsorbed into the energy of Earth’s living biosphere? Energy melding into energy? Brilliant white seems as good a guess as any.

Yes, there are medical physiological biological mechanistic explanations for those observations. Fair enough, I don’t discount their validity in the least. While, your body belongs to you, it also belongs to Earth’s evolution and physical reality. This is about human poetry, it is ideas playing in the daydream zone. It’s about the human emotional need to make sense of the unfathomable and find value in living, this is the realm of our Human Mindscape. Individual and collective.

Mythologizing the mysteries of our existence, can be a beautiful thing - if taken with a grain of salt.

I think it’s mainly about respecting the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide and appreciating that our stories and even science are the products of our human minds and that our “mind” is the meta-physical reflection of the biological creature it belongs to. Our mind is the inside reflection of us, body and ‘soul’.

Wondering about our Souls?

About that soul, science provides some tantalizing spiritual/religious fodder, for example modern imaging of an egg, when a sperm fertilizes it, there’s a fantastic light show that accompanies the egg’s moment of fertilization. Micrographs reveal a surge of electrical energy engulfing the egg after fertilization, making the surface impenetrable to the millions of other sperm trying to do the same.

Add a little poetry and imagine the fertilized egg as a trinity union: egg, sperm, spark of the life force, energy, moving forward in time. That original spark of energy infuses the zygote, growing baby, child, aging adult, all the while absorbing the experiences of our day by days as we lived them. When you die, your spirit, soul, carries away your life force, the energetic echo of who you were, back into the pervading biosphere of Earth and the flow of Evolution.

We can add another cosmic twist. What if? What if a sliver of your soul’s energy happens to be racing along at the right time and place, for another egg, another sperm, at the right moment, a connection is made and your echo becomes the spark of this new being who will live its unique life that will create it’s own unique soul, and so on.

Side notes

Life goes on. Not in circles, think spirals. Our minds are a beautiful stage upon which to project many idea. Scientists such as Mark Solms and Antonio Damasio and many others have collectively achieved a recognition that our minds aren’t simply the product of our brains processing what comes through our senses. Our mind is literally the inside of our physical body, senses, brains interacting with the outside world. It’s a mind boggling thought at first, but it becomes ever more self-evidence with more information and homework.

I believe it’s possible to entertain natural human mythologizing while also embracing hard cord scientific understanding, only if one has developed a respectable understanding of and appreciation for the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide. Such a perspective also encourages a certain humility towards the human tendency towards overconfidence.

[quote=“socrat44, post:2, topic:8112”]
It means, there are two possibilities:

1 - the random development of Nature must take much more time than 14 billion years

You better familiarize yourself with the exponential function.

Again, you are anthropomorphizing.

There is no difference between conscious action (intent) and dynamic action (affinity).

The Universe is not conscious , in respect to motive and intent. The Universe is a dynamical geometry which is inherently causal to change. The rest is a matter of natural self-assembly and natural selection of best adapted patterns.

The Universe is not Conscious, but does process Data. The Universe is not Intelligent, but functions in a Quasi-Intelligent mathematical manner.

14 billion years is plenty of time for evolutionary processes. Are you aware that biochemistry already occurs in cosmic clouds? Read or listen to Robert Hazen. That will change your perspective in regards to evolutionary processes and abiogenesis.

Could you please state your source @socrat44

1 - The critical density for the Universe is approximately 10^-26 kg/m^3
This critical mass density is currently equal to 6^-27 kg/m^3
WMAP determined that the universe is flat, from which it follows that
the mean energy density in the universe is equal to the critical density
(within a 0.5% margin of error). This is equivalent to a mass density
of 9.9 x 10^-30 g/cm^3
A Universe (as a whole) with such critical density is said to be flat.

2 – All different masses of the Universe are in the Cosmic Vacuum

3 - The Cosmic Vacuum is homogeneous, isotropic, flat, smooth and
very cold and after one Cosmic horizon there is another Cosmic horizon
– similar one – . . . and so, and so . . . to infinity (∞)

4 - But in some local places of the Cosmic vacuum the gravity-masses
change the flat and smooth surface of the Universe

Buy 'em books and buy 'em books and all they do is eat the covers.

:neutral_face: . . . . . :sleeping:

I thought we’d be further along on this idea by now. Being born in 1960 was the cosmic joke of my life. I saw people questioning authority, walking away from church, and ending wars and I thought the arc of history was going to continue in that direction.

Now, my friends who eat organic food and hate corporations sound like the ladies on Monty Python (the ones played by men), idly complaining about something but it’s never clear exactly what it is and rarely doing anything.

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I’m not sure if Daniel Dennett ever followed up on his book, “Breaking the Spell”. He asks the question, if we know our gods are illusions, manifestations of our minds, then will all the utility of that illusion vanish? Personally, I’ve experimented with this and found it does not, but it takes a little work. Maybe it takes some cognitive dissonance that I’m not aware of, but, I don’t think it’s that much more complicated than going into a movie theatre, accepting the reality of that story for 2 hours, then letting it find it’s way into the recesses of my brain, until it’s hard to find where the story ends and “I” begin.
When I say “utility”, I’m talking about the tribalism, the belief in a better future, those things that got us through the brutal transition from animal instincts to whatever it is we are now.

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My problem with religion is that man is the center of all things and all that matters - its really hard when I look at this picture . I don’t know how you could look at this real image and say there is no life out there. You can’t even count the galaxies. It also represents a very tiny portion of the sky at night like looking at the night sky with a straw.

I agree. Modern Man may be a rare phenomenon but life itself must be abundant in the universe, and according to Robert Hazen who knows about these things, the earth is an ordinary planet with ordinary resources and if life can exist in abundance on earth, there is no reason to believe that the earth is the only planet with life.

It is one of the flaws of modern man, he holds himself as being created in the image of a God. The hubris of that notion is truly scary. It gives permission to humans to act like gods and not have to pay the price for unnatural practices.

And here we are , in the middle of the man caused 6th extinction event, asking ourselves: “what happened?”.

Man is what happened, and this version may well have been a mistake of nature.

Its actually a close up of another Hubble image that shows an enormous amount of galaxies.

bigbill112h
My problem with religion is that man is the center of all things and all that matters

Well, I believe in humility and I believe keeping perspective - still at the end of the day, we are the center of our universe. Heck I can trace my heritage back to the Big Bang, so in a curious way each of has a direct relationship with the center of the universe. That’s poetic and physical.