Streams of Probability Waves
All men doubt the existence of G-d some of the time, and some men doubt the existence of G-d all of the time. There are exceptions, but they are irrelevant for most of us. These exceptions appear as oddities to us, a phantasm, their indefatigable faith as improbable to us as the Deity. Surely these men and women don’t really exist. They are ghosts moving in and out of our commitment to what we see, always there, but never really perceived. They have been called Tzadikim, Saints, Holy men, the Lamed Vav. We read of their stories and wonder of their veracity. We wonder of their Dark Nights, did they have them? Did they see them? Did fear ever enter their thinking…their being?
The mind of modern man traverses the great landscapes of human experience, its varieties and its similarities. Facts are known — there was once a religion that practiced human sacrifice — could that be? Where was G-d? Did he speak to these people? Are they real? Where are they now. Bones merely? Did he punish them for their ignorance?
A thought experiment is now conjured first introduced by Philosopher and mathematician David Berlinski. Take a man from the most wild of tribes, a collective progeny of the sacrificial cults, from the most primitive of societies, a head hunter perhaps; give him an education in particle physics and teach him English; present him before the BBC and he will dutifully wax metaphysical on the significance of the Higgs Boson for the Standard model of particle physics. The change in disposition is, if even calculable, exponential. This is where evolutionary psychology, the proposition that structures of human culture are merely expressions of evolutionary advantageous epiphenominalism, dies an excruciatingly painful death. There is no linear progression of human capability as is dictated by psychological evolutionary theory, but a leap, a breaking, a severing, flashes of bright light in the darkness of damp and uncomfortable caves, innate potential, not innate being.
Most of human life is an exercise in forgetting the fact that we shall one day die. What that means, we have no idea, primarily because we have so little understanding of what it means to exist. We are forever children, staring as we do through our telescopes and studiously scribbling our equations… what is dark matter? What is it that compels the electron to jump orbits? What is it that compels the electron to orbit at all? Probabilistic wave equations are an adequate description, but it is not an adequate answer. The laws of physics are as they are. Nothing necessitates them. Moses asked G-d at the burning bush, “Behold, I will come to the children of Israel and say to them, the G-d of your fathers has sent me to you, and they will say, ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say to them?” G-d replied to Moses: “I shall be who I shall be… Tell the children of Israel, I Shall Be (Eh-he-yeh) has sent me to you.”
These are eerie coincidences. That creation itself may be as it is because it is, is a revelation that is just as mysterious as the Creator’s name(note I am not implying pantheism). Stephen Hawking recently detailed his disbelief in a creator by appealing to the laws of reality. The laws of physics, he claims, are adequate to create the universe from nothing. That the laws of physics are something, if anything they are algorithmic and are informational, is a metaphysical and logical oversight that is common among physicists, one that induces the belief that they are necessary structures. But as Einstein once said, “Physicists make lousy philosophers.” Kurt Godel agreed.
Ontological materialism is as absurd a notion as to suggest that the universe is arguing with itself about its existence, as self appointed scientific priests pontificate on the idea that all their ideas and equations are merely a material function of the brain, the brain being a property of the universe and consciousness being a property of matter, that it has ideas, behaviors, tendencies, loves and dislikes. The universe may have these properties, but that would preclude materialism, and if it doesn’t have these things, then why does the mind not only have but experiences these things? These are questions not likely soon to be answered, if at all. Ask the lightbulb of a flashlight to illuminate its batteries and you get a sense of the problem. That these questions are elemental does not mean they have been answered. Science has nothing to say about them and it doesn’t even have the faculty to ask the questions. The idea that they have been answered is a promissory materialism that if correct would be improvable, and is thus a metaphysics. And so therefore a faith no more coherent than many of the pagan myths that preceded the civilizing influence of ethical monotheism.
So here we reside between two great mountain ranges of thought. One has its corollary purpose, the other, seen across the valley, has as its corollary nothing. Contrary to the claims of the atheists, faith is not easy, and its possible outcomes are not always calming. Both mountain ranges are equally terrifying to consider. This is our current paradigm. . . existence. I close with a kind thank you for reading