THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 865, March 27, 2016
The only reason somebody would avoid the Zero
Aggression Principle is that he's planning to
exercise a right he falsely imagines he has to
do something to you he wouldn't be able to do
in the presence of the Zero Aggression Principle.
A Modified Kalam Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
The nature of science is empirical. “Scientific materialism makes the epistemological assumption that the empirical method of science is the only reliable procedure for obtaining knowledge as well as the metaphysical assumption that physical stuff (i.e., matter and energy) is the ultimate reality of the universe.” (1) Religion, on the other hand, deals with questions that cannot readily be tested for truth using empirical devices. “Since religion, metaphysics, and even ethics refer to non-empirical or nonsensory realities, the statements within these disciplines are considered pseudo-statements with no cognitive meaning.” (2) While Ian Barbour has identified four ways in which to try and assign a relationship between religion and science (conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration), the divide detailed above is the most fundamental.
However, the assumptions of science have suffered as much trashing of their sacred cows as theology has. Logical positivism, the bedrock of scientific materialism, has collapsed under philosophical scrutiny. “Philosophers of science became increasingly aware that the interaction of theory and observation is much more subtle and complex than positivists ever imagined, thus threatening their pristine version of reality.” (3) What this sentence means is that the quantum realm has reared its strange and non-local head and turned the ideas of subjective/objective upside down. Particularly, physicists have discovered that the mere act of observing reality with a thesis to prove or disprove effects reality to conform to the nature of the question. To put it another way: the observer effects what is being observed. If this is the case, how objective can the “outside” universe really be?
Here‘s the conundrum: it seems fairly well demonstrated now that there can be no reality without an observer. “A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non- mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” (4)
What is it about observation that is so important? The physicist Max Planck answers, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” (5)
Researchers at the Australian National University recreated John Wheeler‘s delayed-choice experiment and “confirmed that reality doesn‘t exist until it is measured, at least on the atomic scale.” (6)
The Hermetic axiom of “As above, so below” seems appropriate here. The ancient Kabbalists and occultist consider man to be the universe in microcosm. (7) This mirrors the idea that the universe is a hologram — each piece contains the whole. (8)
Is man‘s consciousness therefore the source of the observable universe? I ask, has man‘s consciousness been on the scene since the beginning of the universe? Clearly, the answer is no. Therefore, if the physical universe of matter needs an observer to exist, who is the observer that is manifesting the material universe at the cosmic level? This posits the existence of a cosmic level consciousness— again, if there is a micro level consciousness, there must be a macro level consciousness as well. This seems self-evident and the possibility of a holographic universe mandates that this is the way it would be.
Now, with the facts at hand, I will construct a logical argument that could reconcile the great divide between science and religion.
IF, in order to have a given reality, there must be a given observer; THEN, in order to have a given material universe, there must be a given cosmic level observer. THEREFORE, the cosmic level observer MUST be God (if God is understood to be the First Source of all that can exist, will exist, or does exist).
The definition of God I use is based upon ideas generated by the Cosmological Argument in the philosophy of religion. Specifically, the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God. “In the case of the kalam cosmological argument, the distinction drawn between the universe and God is that the universe has a beginning in time. Everything that has a beginning in time, the kalam cosmological argument claims, has a cause of its existence. As the universe has a beginning in time, then, the argument concludes, the universe has a cause of its existence, and that cause is God.” (9)
The definition of God detailed above seems the most anyone can say that has any sort of meaning at all without descending into superstition and anthropomorphism. If there is a God, then God must, by definition, be the first source of all that exists. This statement is as far as I am willing to go when it comes to declaring what God “is”.
For to engage in the hair splitting that theologians do when defining God begins to very well limit a being that is suppose to be limitless. If God has limits then God isn‘t God. It‘s that simple.
God has also been described by various Christian Science and New Thought philosophers as “Infinite Mind.” This is exactly what is being posited here. Physics says material reality can‘t exist without consciousness and that man‘s consciousness clearly effects reality on our micro scale but what is behind the whole massive universe itself? If consciousness is the key to reality then the Big Reality must be the result of a Really Big Mind. Who could that mind be if not God?
I‘m not going to be so arrogant as to declare that this is the final outcome on the subject but it is looking more and more like God is going to be discovered by science and not religion after all. I believe the esoteric side of religion, the occult and the heretical, have informed the ideas of science in more ways than one. Quantum physics is starting to sound more like Kabbalistic mysticism with each passing day.
This idea of holograms and man being the microcosm would suggest then that the consciousness of God is the consciousness of man but on a very small scale. And if the infinitesimally small contains the information of the whole—then we very well could conclude that God is man and man is God but in a different way.
This is the next frontier. Man as God on the microcosmic level.
Sounds like something Aleister Crowley would have posited.
1, 2, & 3. Reason & Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion 5th Edition by Michael Peterson, William Hasker, Bruce Reichenbach, and David Basinger
4. The mental Universe by Richard Conn Henry
5. “Consciousness Creates Reality” – Physicists Admit The Universe Is Immaterial, Mental & Spiritual November 11, 2014 by Arjun Walia
7. Microcosm, in Encyclopaedia Britannica
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