Searching For God
A true belief in God is unavoidable for a rational person. Such a
belief can be founded fully on acknowledged truths. Scientists generally accept the Big Bang theory. We have no way of personally verifying its truth. Science bases its theories on the laws of nature. These laws apply to the known cosmos. The law of gravity is probably true because precise mathematical logic supports it. The physical interactions predicted by those laws
have been stable across billions of years. Such consistent
relationships are axioms. An axiom is accepted without proof. Logical reasoning and consistency are the foundations of scientific truths.
Mind Knows More
On the other hand,, the statement "God is good" cannot be reasoned out logically. It is merely a feeling. It is a pattern recognized by some people. Actually, human pattern
recognition is more powerful than science in identifying the meanings
of concepts. People understand the differences between the word "grin"
and the word "smile." Science cannot define the difference. Does an absence of logical precision mean that smiles and grins do not exist? Are they not true? The mind comprehends more things than science. We must abandon the "logical precision" requirement for discovering truth. But, consistency is the basis for believing axioms. An idea could be true because it has been expressed consistently over thousands of years. The ideas in human language, which have appeared consistently across centuries contain truths. Such truths cannot be measured on the basis of precise definitions.
People have expressed some ideas, consistently across living history. The sounds used to make the words of common
objects and ideas are strikingly similar across the globe.
Researchers found that, in thousands of languages, basic concepts,
such as body parts, family relationships or aspects of the natural
world, there are common sounds. There are universally recognized
concepts in words and language. If consistency over time is proof,
then the human language provides proof that words can represent real world
relationships and concepts. Even if they lack precise definitions, such ideas can also be truths.
God Is Real
The words "good and evil
intentions" are as material as gravity and magnetism. They
describe social cause and effect relationships. Just as physical
laws control the known universe, good and evil forces also operate in
that universe. Is it an impossibility that there could be a God? That He has good
intentions? Or, that the laws of nature tend inexorably towards the collapse
of order in the universe? Just because these are vague ideas, do they lack serious consideration? Consistency of the expression of these ideas across history suggests that they could be true. Smiles and grins exist. God is a real world force.
There are events, which cannot be explained by science. The
human mind contains a hierarchy of pattern recognition systems.
While lower levels recognize objects and events, thoughts "emerge"
from a region called the claustrum. Thoughts are the final pattern
recognition firing patterns on a real time “screen,” perceived by
conscious awareness. While the impulses of one hundred billion
neurons power the nervous system, current research points to a single
organ, the claustrum, which acts as a “conductor,” which
coordinates the highest cortical levels of the system. Thoughts
"emerge into subjective experience" from the combinatorial
firing patterns on the claustrum "screen."
The Emergent Space
We are consciously aware of many things. Sensory perceptions,
the recognition and recall of significant events, the experience of
emotions, perception of the physical activities of the system and
perception of the results of mental search processes reach conscious
awareness. At the claustrum level, we have a "subjective awareness," which emerges as a "soul," who sees this page. Science has no explanations for the very personal experiences of this “ghost in the machine.” In the theory of complex systems, "emergence" is the effect, where new patterns arise out of myriad simple
interactions. New properties do emerge at higher levels of
complexity. Psychology emerges from biology and biology from
chemistry. The whole completely differs from the sum of its parts.
A Higher Intelligence
When neural impulses reach the claustrum, they emerge into
conscious thoughts. People interact with each other in the emergent
space ruled by the meanings of words. The laws of social conduct, as defined by
words, apply to this space. Immensely powerful intelligences could
also operate in this space. The consistent use of the word "God"
and "Evil" across history points to the human recognition of such intelligences in the emergent space. The theory of evolution suggests an unusually lucky "blind watchmaker." Acknowledgment of the
possibility of higher intelligences can sidestep this low probability reasoning.
Simplicity Of The Explanation
The flagellum is present in virtually all living
cells. It enables cells to move about. It is a self-assembling, irreducibly complex microscopic
rotary engine, that contains high technology parts. It has a rotor, a
stator, a propeller, a u-joint, and an engine. Its efficiency dwarfs
any motor produced by humans. Science explains that this
information-rich, integrated system is produced by an accidental
combination of molecules. Like suggesting that a gas turbine came together by accident. An acknowledgment, that a superior
intelligence assembled it, avoids the convoluted acrobatics demanded by science
to justify such miracles of creation.
The Olfactory Database
extracts its answers from an immense knowledge base. In 2004, a
Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery that the olfactory system
uses combinatorial codes to identify millions of smells. Those coded
memories are stored in the nervous system. This website suggests
that intuition, an algorithmic routine, identifies the context of
pertinent smells to decide the approach and avoidance behaviors of
animals. On an astronomically larger scale, the brain stores
knowledge of the patterns of light, sound, taste and smells as the
memories of past experiences. The brain reasons, plans and
solves problems by locating wise responses from this vast knowledge base. The brain is an intelligence.
An Infinite Database
A superior intelligence could have created life. Intelligence can be the dynamic process, which searches an available database and
locates wise responses to solve problems in the environment. An intelligence requires a vast database. If the
emergent space is time dimensioned, then its database contains the entire history of life experiences. Going back and forth in time, an intelligence in the emergent space can access such a database to design and assemble more efficient molecules. This avoids the need for "accidental combinations" as the explanation for the assembly of the brilliantly complex living systems. Such an intelligence could combine its experience of two different systems to build a new system. The evolution story records how fins developed into arms and feet. That is the transfer of an existing abstract design concept for propulsion to a new environment. It is less likely to be "lucky" new combinations of DNA molecules.
human intelligence is dependent on the structure of nerve cells, the
emergent space operates in the ideas world. Recent advances in quantum science suggest that material reality could be just probability functions. Is it impossible to
speculate that the behavior of every molecule in the cosmos is
controlled in this space? Is it difficult for a superior intelligence to
creatively influence probability in the random combinations of
molecules to assemble a replicating flagellum? Is it impossible that
the laws of nature could trigger earthquakes and famines? In truth, Good and evil coexist.
essence of the God experience is the conviction that a benevolent deity cares. Many believers gain insights, garnered from beyond their own stores of experience. Then, there are
miracles. The writer has direct experience, of a lady doctor
paralyzed in a wheelchair for years. At a healing session, she felt a change come
over her. The healer publicly announced that power had gone out from
him. Later in the night, the doctor got up from her bed and walked
alone to the toilet. She has walked ever since. There are
innumerable such stories. Science summarily dismisses such reports. Science trusts only physical laws. Should the experiences of thousands of
generations of humanity be ignored as mere fiction? Is it impossible
that a higher intelligence could decide to act, however erratically, to
bring about such events?
Win Or Lose
The believer feels his or her life
meets a divine purpose. God is perceived to be good. The obvious
corollary to that belief is that misfortunes come from the devil.
The occurrence of disasters does not change the nature of God. God
either saves believers from disaster, or grants them the strength to
withstand their troubles. The believer has peace of mind, while those who
lack faith, lack belief in any meaningful purpose in life and
anticipate disaster. This leads depressingly often to depression and suicides.
The human mind makes decisions in milliseconds through pattern
recognition of combinatorial codes. Antonio Damasio suggests that
the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) despatch "somatic
markers," which “bias the thoughts and decisions of
individuals.” Somatic markers add a sophisticated range of
feelings, which decide priorities for decision making in the nervous system. Socially relevant
experiences record those markers and control a person's beliefs. Negative life experiences result in a bitter view of life.
The belief system is largely managed by feelings. Constant
negative thoughts bring on depression. On the other hand, a continuous recounting of
one's blessings can build more positive feelings of gratitude to God
and increase the possibility of linking up to a very real God, who
exists in the emergent space. Across history, many great minds have
acknowledged the presence of God. Many, who acknowledge their own
weakness and seek divine advice, have received valuable insights and
peace of mind. Every day, somewhere in the world, a miracle happens
to witness His presence.
Convert Your VMPFC
A belief in God is not your choice. Your VMPFC makes that
decision. You can choose to fill it up with negative thoughts and be
increasingly convinced that there is no God. This leads often to depression and even suicide. Such setbacks have been
reported with unusual consistency and may even be a
truth. God can be a real force for good, who exists in the emergent
space. There is nothing impossible about that. If a happy life is
your choice, you can throw away thoughts that question the existence
of God and ask Him to guide you to still waters. A true belief in
God is unavoidable if you trust your own ability to recognize patterns and acknowledge a truth consistently uncovered by many across history.