The Window For Consciousness To Survive
“an unnecessary Deity”
This logical fallacy comes up way too often in debates.
First of all, it is not true; God is absolutely necessary in order to explain life on Earth.
Second, even if God were not necessary, even if, against all reason, life could have arisen and evolved all by itself, this doesn’t mean that it actually did so; it only means that it COULD have done so, not that it actually DID so.
What is the source of conscience?
I read (Gerald Schroeder) if my memory is correct he was an MIT physcisist and professor of Rabbinical studies Hebrew University Telaviv. The math requires a divine intervention! Please convince me that I am alone in this universe(a much preferred position).
Kelsey did not take on her last exposure. My mare isn’t settled!!!
What often surprises me is that few theists wake up and appreciate everything that exists is even more fascinating because it is the result of an explosion of randomness into absolute nothingness.
Some people seem settled by creating a logical fallacy claiming that the Universe is so improbable and complex it must require an even more complex Creator/Designer???
Riddle me this, I’ll play along and and entertain the ridiculous nonessential notion that a supreme being got out of bed one day and decided to design and create this universe especially for ourselves to be born into…. (ah cute.)
Just how many recursive loops of creator/designers are you going to run through as surely a highly improbable complex designer needs to be designed by another even more complex improbable designer and so on, etc, etc…
And for those that fight against simple logical reasoning, which fictional “God” are you referring to? Mars? Thor? Ik Onkar? Allah? Jehovah? Flying Spaghetti Monster? Tiānzhŭ?
Amusingly I wonder where all these fictional characters hang out, maybe they meet up once a week for board meetings to work on PR strategies and how too continue to fool the masses, also to discuss the need to get more females at the top table in these more “enlightened” times of equality at work…
I’m glad you mentioned Jordan Hall and John Vervaeke…I’m just catching up on this message thread and was gearing up to do so myself. John’s lecture series is a big commitment at 38 hours so far and counting, but has provided both grounding and inspiration for me this year as I’ve struggled within my own meaning crisis.
(Adam it looks like you’re getting very good at picking topics to generate a flurry of engagement!)
I believe we will collectively need to “go there” more often, more generously, with humility and curiosity.
Musk observes that we have “used up 90% of our available time” to make “survivable” human consciousness. But the rest of the effort required comes, not by blind evolution, but by planned, conscious human intelligent effort. Much faster. We’ve done the hard part.
There have been comments about competing for resources with other claims on a post-oil earth. But if we can create permanent manned colonies off earth, they will have access to abundant resources and energy, without having to haul it out of the earth’s gravity well.
it is not sufficient to build colonies on Mars. The threat is the Sun turning into a Red Giant star. If that happens, Mars is just as much toast as Earth.
I’m way out of my comfort zone in this debate, but have a question.
You mention “conscience” …..definition is “an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior”
okay….so …it is a “guide”. To me a guide is a force coming from outside of one’s being.. (If you don’t know where you are going …logically …..you can’t guide yourself)
My question is…..if this guide comes from outside of one’s being, where does it come from, if not from a superior intelligence?
I forget, did we get a resolution on the question, “do you believe we live in a completely mechanical universe?”
Or does the presence of consciousness as an observer – which appears to cause effects on said mechanical universe that we cannot currently explain – herald another force apart from strictly physical?
I mean, that study showed that people pray – presumably to the deity they believe in – and stuff happens. Is this because of deity doing the heavy lifting? Or because of some probability-altering force or energy generated by consciousness? Its one or the other, it would seem. Is there a third possibility?
If consciousness can alter probability at a distance…can we affect one another in other ways? Are we affecting one another without knowing it?
To me, these questions are more interesting than “designer of the Universe” questions, because they provide more utility in the here-and-now.
The way I see it, there is no way to separate the creative force in the universe from the universe itself. Otherwise, as New Life describes in post 44, if a creator creates the universe, this creator must be more complex than the universe itself and must itself have a creator and so on to infinity. Why can’t the rules that allow this amazingly complex universe evolve be just like the rules that govern simpler creative systems like certain computer programs, human beings, games, etc.? The rules of course, are contained within the system that they govern. They are not separate from it. If you insist on a creator, why not say that God is spread equally into every little bit of the universe (including us)?
To claim there is a separate creator feels a bit too much like the same dualistic thinking that gets us humans in trouble down here on Earth.
As for the statistical impossibility of evolution, do we really fully understand just how genetics works or have we only just begun to dig into the details (epigenetics for example)? Perhaps environmental stresses somehow interact with our genetic code to make adaptive mutations much more likely.
an explosion of randomness into absolute nothingness
I’m not sure I follow this. As far as I knew, it was an explosion of “randomness” into “somethingness”. This is where I have a hard time with a creation event. I simply can’t fathom the chaos and cataclysm of the Big Bang explosion producing order and organized complexity of an almost unfathomable degree. Personally, I can’t think of one example in history of an explosion producing order and organized complexity. Think of all the grenades, artillery rounds, bombs, missiles, etc. that have been detonated. Not one of them produced order. Even during the Battle of Verdun when more than 2 million were exploded in one day, nothing. Maybe the bigger the bang, the greater the chance of complexity? Nope, that doesn’t seem to work. H-bombs produce a LOT more disorganization than hand grenades. To get organized complexity, you need (1) energy AND (2) a plan, blueprint, or design. But I don’t see explosions producing the latter.
I know, it takes time. Given enough time, it should happen. Right? At least that’s what we’ve been told. Not a thousand years, not a million, but surely in a few billion years, stuff should start happening. It has to. Doesn’t it? What I can’t figure out though is why there has never been a random machine produced in all these billions of years. Given all the atoms and molecules vibrating around in the universe, don’t you think at least some would randomly come together and form, perhaps, a ’57 Chevy? I can see it now, tail fins sticking out of the geological strata in the Grand Canyon, exposed a particularly big rainfall and subsequent flood.
But no, no ’57 Chevy, or other car, or airplane, or refrigerator, or typewriter, or toaster, or even a ball point pen has ever appeared. Nothing, nada, nichts. So, if more chemically stable, non-organic compounds can’t randomly come together and form some simple machine, how can complex organic chemicals, highly vulnerable to deterioration and degradation upon exposure to a whole array of destabilizing factors (i.e. higher temperatures, oxygen, ultraviolet light, etc.) come together to form even a simple protein (which by the way, isn’t alive)? Putting together 400 amino acids in just the right sequence to form a single protein is an incredibly chance occurrence, even under controlled laboratory conditions, so much so that it would take multiple orders of magnitude beyond billions to have the slightest chance of occurring. I did the math many years ago and the number was beyond any I could name.
To even begin to form something as simple as the wall of an organelle in a cell, you have to produce a variety of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates of many different types and combinations. But a part of an organelle is still not an organelle and an organelle is still not a living thing. Then you have to have multiple organelles of different types (cell membrane, cytoplasm, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, nuclei, etc.) but even if they all formed simultaneously in one place at one time, you’d only have one cell. How do you move on to multi-celled organisms and then organisms with not only multiple cells but multiple organ systems? It’s beyond my simple brain to comprehend. But, given enough time, I’m sure it can just happen … randomly … even though we’ve never ever witnessed it … ever.
So we’ve never seen any single simple inorganic machine or device or any such thing form and any human made device is far less complex than even a single cell but we’re supposed to believe that that single cell just happened? That’s a stretch for me. And we haven’t even gotten into evolutionary theory and how many times that’s been rewritten. Natural selection, yes, it happens. Evolution though is a lot more complex issue. For example, where the heck did that platypus come from? I know. A duck, a beaver, and some venomous animal (for the poisonous spurs) ran at one another full blast and crash, their cells just merged and bang, Ornithorhynchus anatinus was the result. And that electrolocation system? Probably just a few random mutations from the hard bump on the head. All purely random. No plan or designer or creator needed.
But surely you and I, in combination with the rest of the human race, realize that a Creator has to be created as well. And where the heck is He when we need him most? Ah, but there’s a problem with that. Little old me and you are beings living in a 4 dimensional world of space and time … length, width, depth, and time. That time though is a tricky one. Is it linear or circular or spiral or toroidal or what? Interestingly, people who have have out-of-the-body near-death experiences (as well as mystics and sages throughout time) have expressed that time, on the other side, doesn’t work like time as we know it. In fact, there often is the claim that time doesn’t exist at all. It’s simply a fabrication of this state of consciousness and plane of existence. This is a tough one for us. We envision everything with a beginning, an existence, and an end. But what if there was no beginning or end in a trans-dimension world? Can you, as a 4 dimension being, envision a 5th dimensional world … or a 6th … or a 7th … and so on? I surely can’t. There are mathematical theories that describe such planes of existence but I wouldn’t purport to understand them. In fact, the ones who develop and write about them have frequently been proven wrong. The science is hardly clear and settled.
Would you grant that a being existing in just one dimensional level above you would be completely out of your perception? I would. Would you grant that such a being may have power and influence beyond what you can imagine. I would. Now think of multiple dimensional levels. Omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, etc. all become a piece of cake. It’s beyond conception. Oh yeah, those fictional characters, the angels and demons that people throughout history have witnessed (although the Flying Spaghetti Monster may be the result of mushroom consumption rather than an actual witnessing) might also be trans-dimensional beings but at lower levels in the dimensional hierarchy as compared to God at the very top.
But, of course, if one is logical and reasoned in their thinking, this all sounds like nonsense since it is only by logical thinking that we arrive at answers. And yet, see how many break-through inventions that changed the course of human history came about with purely logical thinking. Not too many. They did, however, often came to inventors in dreams, that state where one’s subconscious can access glimmers of trans-dimensional realms and reap an intuitive insight. Where’d that come from you say? Just pure random firing of neurons I guess. No plan, no order, no design. I don’t know about you but running my life that way wouldn’t work out very well for me. YMMV.