Complete reality

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Look around you at the physical world, immediately the mind is bombarded by an array of objects, devices and patterns. Some things we associate with particular functions and purposes, for example the purpose of a cup is to hold a drink, the purpose of a bulb is to provide light to otherwise dark rooms. It is clear that we find many things in this world extremely useful in our everyday lives and tend to think of the device and its purpose as one in the same. However, this leads to a problem, for that cup, whose purpose, in my case, is to hold tea, has an infinity of other uses and possibilities some of which exceed its primary function in terms of efficiency and ingenuity whilst others will simply appear pointless and trivial. But what would happen to the cup if we started to use it for something else on a regular basis, that is, we alter its primary function.

Well, the purpose and nature of the cup would change to the human eye, we would most probably call it by a different name, if we used the cup as a device for catching small insects or flies we might, uncreatively, call it a bug catcher. The purpose, name and method of use the former ‘cup’ once possessed have been eradicated.

This, therefore, leads to the object being perceived differently by the mind, handled in a new fashion and referred to in contexts that would have seemed preposterous before. Everything that made the cup, a cup has vanished from existence. Yet it is still the same object, isn’t it? Well, whilst it is true that it possesses the same form and arrangement of molecules and atoms, it is perceived to be very different from the original cup we started out with. This is troubling since the human mind is, primarily, what defines things into existence. Without observation the cup is simply a seething mass of particles with only probable locations. Only when a cup is observed is it truly a cup and hence, once this definition is taken away, is it correct for us to assume that the object has in fact changed, despite undergoing no real physical transformation apart from how it is pictured in the mind.

Perhaps a question we should be asking ourselves is whether or not the mind truly adds some quality to reality when it is observed, and hence if there is some deep link between reality and the mind so fundamental that the two are almost interchangeable. Such a discovery could truly lead to great advancements in both science and philosophy.

Clumsy dogma

Many would use the process of evolution by natural selection as evidence against the existence of some grand designer of the universe. However, the mistake very commonly made by such people is that they assume this process to be, without a doubt, true and supported by hard science. But this is not the case and, although the evidence at this current stage in our history does indeed suggest that evolution is not something to be simply dismissed, it is most certainly not the entire story of how we came to ponder the possibilities of such things.

Allow me to propose an example, the human eye is often marvelled for its powers of sight and many theists would argue that this is undoubtable evidence of God’s creative genius in the world around us, yet evolution would suggest that can be explained purely by the mechanical processes of natural selection. Can this be so? Well, reader, it most certainly can. At least, if we follow the sequence of evolution in the reverse order to how it occurred. That is, watch as the eye becomes less and less sophisticated until it is nothing but a jumbled ball of photosensitive cells and then as it is reduced to only a minute cluster of these and then to nothing at all.

However, what if we follow the process in the logic order in which it came? If we do this we find that we cannot get past the very first roadblock, the introduction of photosensitive cells. In a moment I shall give an analogy which may clarify this but first, I hear several voices protest to the above the statement in outrage: “Of course you can clear this first hurdle, all that needs occur is a mutation in a pre-existing cell which will allow it to become photosensitive and the matter is resolved.” This sadly is not the case, firstly I might remind the reader that there are, as of yet, no known mutations beneficial to living organisms, the only ones we know of will damage us in some way or another. To refer to such a mutation requires, in my opinion at least, almost as much faith as the opposing theist might place in God. Secondly, the mere idea of a mutation occurring on one single cell, on one specific gene which affected the entire cell in such a dramatic way as to give it photosensitive properties is utterly absurd. Whilst there may indeed be such a process that we are ignorant of, there has been no such thing discovered yet, and I do not believe it likely that there ever will.

Now, as promised, on to the analogy. Let us take the problem ’10 – 4=?’, the answer, of course it ‘6’. Working with the left hand side of the equation it is possible to see that this is obviously the case. However, can we arrive so confidently at ’10 – 6’ by simply examining the number ‘6’. No, of course we cannot, for no detailed analysis, no matter how great will reveal the reverse of the problem by examining our starting point. It is the same with natural selection. There must, therefore be a system of nature which either works alongside natural selection or encompasses it into something greater. Call it what you like, God, a will or a mechanical process, but know that it must exist if we are to ever make sense of our origins.

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Out of error

Explanations as to the creation of the universe which are in current circulation in this modern age are, to say the least, unsatisfactory. How it is possible for something to be produced from nothing? Can there really be a being that exists by its own necessity without vigorous contradiction? Or how indeed can a sequence of events have no beginning but simply regress to infinity. It is clear that our best attempts to rationalise the fact that our universe exists have failed up to date. This, therefore begs the question, that with humanities greatest minds put to the task of solving this puzzle, is there a solution at all? “Well of course there is!” I hear you say, for it would be utterly prosperous to assume otherwise. However, we must remember that before the universe (as far as we know at least) there were no laws of physics, nor were there dimensions such as time and space. This could suggest that anything might be permitted to occur in such a “non-reality” as this. It is possible that this universe was produce by no laws, rules beings or any other thing for that matter. When we ask the question of why and how the universe came from nothing whatsoever, we might answer by saying “Well why should it not?” I shall admit that this is an unsatisfactory in terms of our desire to know and understand. But who knows what lies outside of the laws of our reality…

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Temptation

‘T was upon that dreadful eve,
that the sun did cease its airy path
‘cross starry heavens so high above.
A growing darkness, yet not black it was,
did lie illuminated upon
that band of night time gloom.
Was it I that, so noble in heart,
did stir the mighty beast
from the depths below,
and raise malevolence from that tempting tree,
a slivering form,
yet bound in infamy to that bloody lamb,
Him of the many sights, cunning and malicious in intent.
Upon the eve of war he stands,
and shrilly whispers in rasping voice:
Come and see…

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God’s choice

Many would suggest that the presence of evil in the world is real enough due to the many atrocities that occur day in and day out. Theologians and believers might state that this evil is a result of mans actions and that we need to be able to make our own decisions in the world in order for us to have and be able to exercise freewill.

However, this idea of freewill is vigorously weakened by the suggestion that God is omniscient. If this is the case, surely our choices are solely deterministic and preprogrammed due to the engineering of a creator since he designed our minds and knows the decisions we will make.

But is this really the case? For we have yet to mention God’s omnipotence. This provides a new approach to the situation. For omnipotence has been described as being all powerful and hence having the ability to do anything even if it lies outside of the conventions of logical reason. With this in mind, if God truly desired us to have freewill he could chose to not know certain happenings concerning the universe, including what occurs within each individual human mind and how each specific event concerning man will play out.

God not knowing something is not necessarily an indication of his lack of knowledge but, if he was both omniscient and omnipotent, it is merely a display of his power in that, although knowing everything, he can choose not to know certain things. It is therefore clear that God and freewill can only coexist if God possesses omniscience and omnipotence in order to commit what many would consider a logically absurdity. It therefore appears that religious views of morality are founded upon the requirement for the unreasonable and the preposterous.

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The Primed Template

In Aristotle’s metaphysics a being, with certain characteristics not dissimilar to God, is predicted to exist outside of our physical reality and hence also outside of space and time. This being is derived from the fact that the universe is in a constant state of change with everything in it moving from states of potentiality to actuality (a human is potentially a lions dinner). Aristotle gathered from this that there must be a thing, or substance, which was responsible for this constant movement but was not moved in itself. This he called the Prime (or First) Mover. However, the great philosopher then proceeded to add values and quantities to this being he had predicted the existence of. He began to tie in aspects such as morality in the form of omnibenevolence but was then forced to state that the Prime Mover thought only about itself since it could not intervene in the world as it is unchanging and hence cannot possess knowledge that would change it in anyway. The Prime Mover became, from what had originally been an insightful and astonishing theory for its time, a confused muddle of Godly qualities which do not in anyway follow logically from his first observations and deductions.

However, the first observations of an unmoved mover seem like an interesting (although strictly speculative) solution to the question of what sustains our reality and prevents it from simply not existing. We have now reached the point in our progression as a civilisation that we know of laws such as gravity and electromagnetism and believe them to be the reason for why we have a functioning universe at all. However it is common fact that these laws change in themselves, the Grand Unified force which existed just after the Big Bang combined at least the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces (if not gravity as well). So what, we must ask, keeps these changeable laws from simply ceasing to exist?They need not exist truly. Why simply do they not just stop?

A possible solution is that there exists a thing, substance or being outside of all such laws and that cannot be subject to any change whatsoever. This would explain how the universe continues to exist and why we are permitted an existence (although the task would remain of discovering how exactly there can be such an moved mover). We should not, however, give this being irrational attributes in order to make sense of it, this would lead to fallacy. Instead, it could be possible to use this basic idea as a template to base scientific observations around in order to assess both the credibility of such an idea and perhaps gain insights as to its nature. Reason, in many senses, can only take us so far in discovering the truth.

This approach to the Prime Mover also raises an interesting question. Since it lies outside of time and space it was (excuse the fallacy but there is no other way to express it) before the universe came into existence and hence was present at a point before the very laws of nature it was supposedly meant to support existed. So what becomes of it when there is no universe to support. A rather nice, although completely unjustifiable, hypothesis that I find myself wishing to be true is that this being has a circular existence. That is, it shifts between states of being completely unchangeable and supporting the laws of physics to being the very thing which started the universe off in the first place.

However, another interesting idea is that there is actually no such force holding the universe together and preventing total collapse. For what, I ask you, happens if a building is unsupported by any solid frame or structure? It simply collapses, not in on itself, like some theories of the universes final demise, but simply downwards and outwards. Is this not similar to our universes expansion. Driven by dark energy the universe is expanding at such a rate that scientists have predicted that in the future the universe will suffer heat death and space-time itself will collapse and cease to exist. Perhaps, with no Prime Mover, this is the eventual fate of our unsupported universe.

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Of treason

T’was amber sun with flaring rays
which brought sweet death to winter haze.
Yet gold of mind and gold delivered
is quick to fade when souls are bitter.
Of oak, of breeze of eager mind,
yet eager more for times gone by.
An eon lost, an eon gathered,
sheer waste to that which he hath shattered.
A glinting cell of rags and rust
doth shield that knight from hollow trust;
that weary wanderer, that desolate lust,
high now he treads on wind swept dust,
to reach that summit before that Death
and strike with venomous heart off narrow ledge.
For loss and duty, hate and sorrow,
do broken bones now climb.

A sultans pledge, a thief’s endeavour,
made mortal souls now bound forever.
Like gushing rapids of waters pure
should their fair melody now be enthralled.
Of Death, of life, of fallen mind,
should seal that fate which He did bind.
And of that woe which runs through veins
should final strike be dealt, upon that plain.
For that which comes of toil and love,
is thicker than his boiling blood.
But when with fire it doth now shatter,
a raging Dragon doth hear the clatter.

A fallen tree, a barren beach,
strung high above the waters reach.
And like fair Kingdom once of light,
doth broken bark now speak of night.
Of clouded summit and fools delight
should loyal troop now flee in fright.
No fool is he, no brave heart neither,
yet strives he up to where Death lingers.

One, now who the same as him,
doth stand to face his sovereign end.
Blades in hand at furies height
should two great men be devils light…

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