Friday, June 20, 2008

some thoughts on existence

Most of the following subject matter comes from an email that I sent youngbrother a while back, and felt that it would be a good first post for me. Any logical/ spiritual fallacies should be quickly pointed out please :)



An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.

– Essai philosophique sur les probabilit├ęs, Introduction. 1814



The absence of believe in God, or the concept that God is not real, is
atheism. In atheism the answer to life is knowing the world, and to
look around and observe it, and all the physical marvel it is.
Figuring out the world- you figure out the the meaning. But the
more science learns about the very fabric of the universe (continued
below) - the more frustrating it becomes because the answer is on the
tip of comprehension yet fails to grace us with its presence.

If science is the answer to everything around us, your still dealt
with the question of the meaning of life. Even if you know the answer
of "How" you still have the question of "Why"

I've read about existentialism. It states that the meaning of
our lives is the path we choose for it. I liked that concept. We walk
and talk and breath and every moment is a moment in time that we
create.

That might be acceptable but lets go into greater detail on the "how?"
A question is a question, how does this world work? What has science shown us so far?

While "The Why" is transient and changing (we've debated it since the
history of mankind), the "How question" has had great leaps of
understanding.

An early scientist who wished to solve the questions of life started
with Gravity. His name was Sir Issac Newton. He came up with a theory
of how the very simple thing of gravity works. Something moves because
of it's mass and it's attraction something else. This theory goes on
and more theory's are built on top of it.

Newton's laws started to have problems when confronted with relativity. Einstein attempted to correct this with his theory of General Relativity- which states that gravity is dictated by space time curvature rather than force.

Science builds on science. A scientist by the name of Alexander Friedmann took Einsteins general relativity theory and theorized that if all matter is constantly expanding, then all matter came from a single event. The Big Bang.

The Big bang has one main question surrounding it. Scientists have been able to trace time and matter to a central point, singularity. What happens then? Its a giant question mark in the theory, and one that religious can easily interpret.

We know so much and yet we are still stumbling with the basics.

My first notion on what singularity might be- was that it is God. Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end!

No one is implying it is, because you can't prove it. The ever
inquiring atheist scientific mind cannot accept that it is something
that can't be answered by means other than the answer of "God". We see
the scientific data and yet we continue to search. The answer to the
cosmos is so close! It's much like the computer in Hitchhikers Guide
to the Galaxy. It is charged with the question of "What is the
ultimate answer?" and after million of years of computing it replied
with "42". We are tantalized by the tree of knowledge but the more we
try to understand the universe, the more and more we find ourselves
trying to understand the question "What is God".

So more questions are asked, more things are observed. We learn new
exciting things and we hope that we find the answer (it appears so
close its frustrating). We find that certain things we swore were true
and followed every bit of reason and logic start to fall apart.

So more theories are made on existence, science plows forward and attempts to answer existence without God. I found a movie that summarizes some of the more recent and fascinating attempts to summarize existence. The move is called "Super String and M Theory- Origins of the Universe" [video link included- a highly recommended watch]

Some of the highlights of the movie:
String Theory: a still-developing mathematical approach to theoretical physics, whose original building blocks are one-dimensional extended objects called strings.
M Theory: M-theory would implement the notion that all of the different string theories are different special cases and/or different presentations of the same underlying theory (M-theory). Thus the concept of string theory is expanded. Unfortunately little is known about M-theory, but there is a great deal of interest in the concept from the theoretical physics community. Computations in M-theory and string theory in general are extremely complex, so concrete results are very difficult to produce. It may be some time before the full implications of these theories are known.

The movie mainly hits the point that maybe there are other universes out there. Parallel Universes that are almost identical to ours. When I was watching this movie I had an almost spiritual ecstasy come over me, the feeling that I had stumbled upon a thought that was huge.

The thought was that if reality is what we experience right now, that maybe when we die we simply enter a different reality with God. This different reality is Heaven. The reality we have right now is Earth.

That concept just blew my mind out. It made me really stop to question this reality so much, because it doesn't matter nearly as much as focusing on God.

I shifted from wanting to know what reality is, to wanting to know the very existence of God. It seems logical to me that if you wish to know what reality is, you have to know what God is. God is our reality, he is the very fabric of life.

Now lets step back for a moment and take a breather.

When I was doing research on the topics above, young brother recommended a movie to me called "What the #*@! do we know" [video link to full movie included]

The movie deals with the following:
* The universe is best seen as constructed from thought (or ideas) rather than from substance.
* "Empty space" is not empty.
* Beliefs about who one is and what is real form oneself and one's realities.

The movie had some notable criticism. Many serious scientists felt that the movie promoted pseudoscience. Some sections of the movie had very little scientific backing, and rightfully the critics had reason to to bring it up.

defined: Pseudosciences have been characterized by the use of vague,
exaggerated or untestable claims, over-reliance on confirmation rather
than refutation, lack of openness to testing by other experts, and a
lack of progress in theory development.)

But isn't some of this quantum stuff we have watched a bit magical as
well? The "M" theory standing for Magic or Madness? But the concept
that was the strongest for me in the movie was that the smallest bits
of matter we can detect appear and dissipate at will, depending on
when and how we look at them. Reality needs an observer to be stable.

The universe is amazing. Do you really think we will figure it out?
Doesn't that really tell you something about reality and the world
that we live in? Everything is so concrete when we examine it from a
rational view, but the more you try to learn about "whats real" the
more complicated it gets.

I guess I should wrap up this post. I wanted to bounce around on these varied and sometimes unrelated subjects to bring up some questions in your own head. The material may be wrong in places, but I know that when it was combined in my head it set up some very interesting thoughts on the nature of God. Knowing God is a goal of almost every religion, and it is a noble goal.

My next post I will try to bring this information another step forward when I share with you my thoughts and personal beliefs on the concept of Heaven. I briefly touched on this but I feel that the Bible is very vague on what happens to us when we die, and maybe it is deliberately vague because the concept is so unlike anything we can imagine. I have an idea, and I would love to share my concept in the next post.

Please- if you feel that any of the information I presented needs polish or additional information to either support or criticize do not hesitate. I'm not saying it right, I'm just presenting what has been in my thoughts :] But I do hope you enjoyed this random information.

//Josh

3 comments:

Joshua Burbrink said...

1 Corinthians 1 18-19

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Joshua Burbrink said...

http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/WITNESS_Humor_the_strongest_levee_i_06222008.html

I found this article today, and just wanted to pass it on. I would have to agree that we mid-westerns do love to crack jokes when faced with disasters and bad times. I remember when my hospital flooded, i overheard several of the environmental services crew asking how the hell they were supposed to get the trash taken care of when the basement was flooded.

I hope that when times become worst, we can remember to have a sense of humor about it all. I keep a key chain reminder with me all times. It's a circular piece of metal with "Laugh Dream Smile" stamped on one side, and the other "Believe Hope Love".

Good advice.

faithful forever said...

I am looking forward to your random thoughts about Heaven, Josh. I do not know if I will be able to keep my sense of humor through the trib, but I know for certain that He is going to be with us while we endure so we will be able to keep our courage because He will strengthen us.