Can We Know God? How? We’re wrong about our universe being the one and only, the real thing — like Coke, once upon a time, or that we even know much about it. So…
By David Stone
All we have to do to hang onto belief, and we’re good at this, is ignore mountains of evidence to the contrary, but ignorance is balanced against feeling safe and more grounded in reality, isn’t it?
(Can We Know God? How? is a from Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness.)
It reminds me of studies showing that a surprisingly high percentage of scientists “believe in God,” suggesting one of the conventional deities.
Many also say they attend church services. But realistically, if all the people who say they go to church did, we’d have a construction boom like none other to meet the demand.
Looking for solutions, leaders on both sides of the science versus religion controversy have endorsed the suggestion that we recognize two separate domains, one using rational science, the other using less rational belief systems.
The argument is that these ways for looking at the world are too different. We should respect them as separate domains with different pathways to truth. That’s a stretch.
If we’re bumbling along in disassociated conscious realities, does calling them “domains” do anything more useful than just make it sound easier?
What do we gain, except peace, of course, and is peace worth the price of willful ignorance? Doesn’t that reinforce the inadequacies of both?
But the reality is that neither argument satisfies, and any merger requires too much sacrifice of one for the other.
With all we don’t know, you’d think we’d be more humble. We’d stop arguing for territory and get on with the merger.
Science as currently practiced has unacceptable limitations. It can’t allow for anything we’re unlikely to directly investigate, which leaves most of reality out.
God will never find a home in science. A supreme being of any kind would be too large, small and complicated.
Only belief is roomy enough for a God, but it must allow us to get cozy with eternal ignorance.
In the meantime, is it really all that important that, now or ever, we know everything?
When we turn away from any door because weakness waits behind it, we can be sure we will never catch a full glimmer of eternal light. You can’t get there from here if you open only the doors you’re sure about.
Sound footing is a trap of self-assurance. Any trail you wander, however enlightening, must be the wrong one.
Religion, generally, fears losing tenets. They stay, no matter what the evidence. So, while learning from the insights, we need to outgrow both science and faith as methods of understanding.
But we need to invent something else, some sort of practical search that’s versatile enough to leave every door open, honoring uncertainty and making corrections on the fly. But we invented science and religion. We can come up with something even more legitimate, maybe, if enough of us want to.
Poetic science? Scientific poets?
Only fools discount religions as sources of wisdom, even of facts.
Fact number one: faith seems to be universal.
Can We Know God Through Faith
Some claim that belief is encoded in our genes, that we have belief in the same way we have hunger and thirst. That satisfies efforts to discount it by making it an accident of nature, a flaw to be overcome. Another vestigial advantage that’s left its trace, like a tailbone.
Faith is too soft and indefinite along its edges to be considered in the same way as the evolution of skeletons or eyesight.
The best explanation may be that we adopt belief systems because we’re naturally alert to some greater reality than the one we observe directly or anything our philosophers and explorers have come up with.
Trouble comes when we try to secure ourselves by pinning whatever it is down with definitions, meanings and intentions. That’s adjusting truth to fit need out of hunger.
We put one God or another in charge, for example, when no God ever applied for the job. We say our deity has a universal plan, everything falling into place, just as it should. This silliness palms off responsibility.
We’d be better off not defining God anthropomorphically and accepted that there is something ineffable going on, something much bigger, smaller and more complex than we have tools to describe.
This would give us a clearer way to see what we can. We shouldn’t let ourselves be put off by sustained wonder. What’s the big deal about knowing everything right now, when we’re still so young, or ever?
A major flaw in the evolutionary engineering of the human psyche is a weakness for easy answers, even foolish ones. We don’t have the patience to let big questions float and buzz around us for long, at least not long enough to avoid answering them inadequately.
We prefer intellectual magic, a product about as satisfying as cotton candy is for nutrition.
Science resists its own discoveries, building roadblocks to intuitions we know we can’t investigate by going from fact to fact. Like crossing the stream, rock by rock, without getting our feet wet.
But admitting that we really don’t or can’t know the whole truth isn’t going to hurt anyone.
Or, heaven forbid, that we may never know it factually. Poor and premature judgment carries its own penalties. Passion multiplies the congestion.
We don’t know.
That’s the big one.
We’re walking through the woods like the first pioneers, and we not only don’t know where home is, we don’t even know if there is one. It’s the weakness of insisting we know or can know, of soaking wonder in cocksureness, that cripples us.