Saturday, November 26, 2005

O God, where at thou?

What is God? Does there exist an all powerful entity, who controls everything that happens? What came first - Man or God?

Well, look around you. Do you see anything in your immediate vicinity that seems to be divinely controlled? Does anything that you hear in the news seem to be a doing of a superbeing? Or is it just human activities influenced by the laws of nature acting the way they should act. Most so called "miracles" are either coincidences or flukes. Somewhere on the edges of a (0,1) range of mathematical probabilities for all possible occurrences. There can never be a 0 nor a perfect 1. Most of our everyday events lie in the middle of this range & so are not attributed as miracles.

So does this mean that there is no such thing as god, is there no superbeing influencing our lives? But as Carl Sagan has said "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

So if there exists a superbeing, what exactly does he do? Does he go about sowing seeds of life on different planets and then watches them grow into thinking beings? Or does he create universes as points in a hyperdimensional plane and allows them to wax & wane. Does this superbeing have his own theories of god? Are there multiple levels of superbeings, each god having his own god. If so, who's the ultimate god? And who created that ultimate god? Was it just chance, some random occurrence?

I like to think the inherent randomness in everything, the chaos, as superpowerful, as god. It is what creates all our miracles and all our mundane. It is what drives evolution, thus it is what drives life as we know it. It is what leaves questions unanswered, which compels us to think, which drives us to progress.

All said and done, I like to imagine some being on some planet far, far away searching for this own god, making theories no one of us can even imagine............

P.S. Comments, opinions, counterarguments welcome.


Sailesh Ganesh said...

You call it randomness, I call it consciousness. Again, from my viewpoint, things appear random because we see a degenerate view of the universe. If the universe indeed is a hologram, all points hold the same information over all the dimensions of the universe, including time. Which means that the change in time, while seemingly random in the 3D universe, is not random in its purest form. Something tells me you are not going to agree :P

Nikhil said...

Though I donot agree :), I acknowledge that your view is similar to mine in regards that it is something that cannot be proven or disproven by reason. So can be said of the myriad theories of life, universe & everything, most of which do not have an answer of 42 :D.

This is a problem which cannot be solved by definite reason (yet). Sadly this fact leads to pain & suffering to millions of people dogmatically divided about it.

Sanjit said...

"Somewhere on the edges of a (0,1) range of mathematical probabilities for all possible occurrences"

The tool of probability is used because ones knowledge of a certain phenomenon is incomplete. Infact if we believe in the model then there is a finite probability greater than zero that the coincidences and flukes are the doing of a single superman who governs all that goes on in this world. Similarly there is a probability that there is no God at all ;-)

Well yes, randomness can be the God. Fair enuf. After all, randomness is an effective description of phenomena that are not fully understood. As knowledge increases the phenomenon will become more deterministic.

I am not sure that we will achieve consciousness once all randomness in phenomena of "this universe" is understood. In other words if all the dimensions are visible. Maybe the spaces of consciousness and randomness are just different.

Nikhil said...

From what history has taught us, the total amount of unknown remains more or less constant. As we get to know more & more things, we also uncover many more things that we cannot explain.

"once all randomness in phenomena of "this universe" is understood." - So dont think this will happen anytime. Not for us, nor for our gods.

Kaumudi said...

Hmm. I tried to follow some of the arugments above. I certainly dont think we need to imagine holograms to explain the universe, but I'm just a biologist :)
I think the point is not whether the existence of God can be proven or disproven. The point is that in our attempts to solve the mysteries of the universe, we should look for the simplest possible answers, which dictates that we refrain from bringing in an intelligent designer until we have exhausted other logical explanations. Although it is tempting to bring in a superbeing to explain seemingly 'miraculous' phenomena, doing so doesnt put an end to the questions but opens up a whole avenue for further investigation. You brought this out well by actually asking some of these questions about the superbeing, like whether SHE has a God above her, etc. So, resorting to God as an explanation only shifts the focus of your questions.
By the way, Carl Sagan's words are really dear to me, and I quote them often when I get negative results in my experiments.
Also, I agree with Sanjit. As long as we are talking about probabilities, there is a finite possibility that the correct explanation is divine.