Bill Monroe

The mind of God

Most people of all ages believe in god, even atheists must have started life believing in god. There is no escape from god for all human beings and yet where the proof is that god actually exists? There is no acknowledged tangible proof of the existence of god but for a believer there is an overwhelming bias in trying to interpret everything we see around us as having a bearing on god’s existence. Most people would say you only have to look at our intricate design to realise that it couldn’t have come about by pure random processes as Darwin’s proclaimed. The reason being that most people don’t appreciate the enormous passage of time and the fact it is not just pure random processes but rather a selection process that recognises the potential of what has been stumbled upon selects it as an intermediate stage from which to seek further advantages. The selection criteria, which is termed natural selection is the result of nearly everything the universe has managed to achieve at any particular point in time. It includes all the large features of the universe such as the galaxies, the stars and the planets, right down to what kind of special environment they provide for the evolving micro-world of atoms and molecules, with their unique combinational properties. Stability of the environmental conditions over long periods of time is enough to produce the miracle of life, which is nothing more than the realisation of the enormous potential of matter under the enormous resources of space and time afforded by the evolving conditions at any specific point of time. Not everybody can accept this kind of logic because the quality of life is very different from the quality of non-life. This is the stumbling block in everybody’s mind and yet that can easily be shown to be easily accomplished as it is possible for a feedback mechanism to be stumbled upon by pure random processes that automatically gains an advantage over the environment by virtue of the nature of the inherent stabilising feedback process set in motion.

For humans and only humans, god exists firmly in our minds and that is a sure place to find him, though poetically speaking, I would rather think he lives in our hearts. It is what we need him for that point to his place in our lives. There is no doubt that the structure of our mind is very different from that of any other animal; this should not mean that we are in any way god’s favoured species that sets us apart from all other forms of life as most people like to think but it is due to one evolutionary trick by which our minds possess a significant degree of being able to see things from other people’s perspective as well as from our own perspective and therefore are able to account for other people’s points of view even if we ourselves don’t subscribe to their views. We can easily be intimidated by interjected thoughts that we sensed from others, which can make us far more vulnerable than any other self-centred animal could ever be. The overall coercive power that weighs heavily on our minds is something that can be advantageous in uniting us together for the benefit of any large group of people. There is no doubt that more than any other animal on the planet that we would easily unite together to defend anyone of us who could be in trouble by an outsider, be it a natural disaster, a wild beast or a perceived enemy, with a different set of beliefs.  So where did god come from? God is not a tangible entity as such but rather an idea we picked up from our immediate and local group, which we identify with. We go to such extremes of self-delusion to invent the necessary artefacts that prove god’s existence. In fact the more intelligent we are the more we are able to come up with convincing evidence for our beliefs. Einstein had to wrestle with god when he declared that god does not play dice in relation to the fuzzy quantum rules of the universe, which cast a shadow of uncertainty on everything including god; to him god was perfect, therefore the laws of nature should reflect his perfection, though in the end he had to concede defeat. Science has taught us not to fall in love with our own assumptions and accept that truth sometimes can be stranger than fiction. Our beliefs are only untested assumptions about nature that must be relinquished upon discovering a conflict with the laws of nature.

The collective power of the group has everything to do with our beliefs that may lack any tangible proof. Unless you are an outsider to your own group, you have no option for making personal judgments that contradict the group’s beliefs. Your adherence is regarded as the umbilical cord that can’t be severed, as it is unquestionably sacrosanct. However in some rare personal circumstances, some individuals may feel somewhat ostracised, become an escape goat or a punished victim to some inadvertent action they committed. This is the start of the severing of that cord, which would lead to the alienation process that leads to the stark realisation of the group’s flawed beliefs. It is usually those who are sufficiently disappointed or aloof, who are more likely to break away from the spell that blocked their imagination. Freed from their self-imposed restrictions they can easily adopt a different set of beliefs with a group they can tolerate or identify with, otherwise join a growing number of atheists, who prefer not to believe in anything that is intangible.

There is no doubt that despite our great scientific achievements that there are still a lot of mysteries that we don’t understand. This is why the believers feel that their perceived god is beyond scientific probing. We have no clear idea at the moment as to where the universe came from and why it suddenly decided to come out of the blue some 13.7 billion years ago? Admittedly this is a sore point for the scientists and the non-believers; however it does not give god any credence, having been stripped from the role of masterminding any of the events that led to the evolution of the universe, right down to our being here. The universe came with a set of laws that are responsible for everything that has happened so far. Even the idea of tweaking the parameters of the universe to allow life as we know it to flourish at least here on earth is uncalled for if evolution is allowed to carry on indefinitely to the pre-big-bang era, where random mutations and natural selection had a hand in giving us our lucky universe and deprived so many other universes of harbouring any life form as we know it. Clearly that is something we are not going to discover one day as we are imprisoned by our space and time bubble constraints but never the less, regardless of what is out there, we are the only life force that we could ever find anywhere in our universe no matter where we aim our telescopes. We have become a force to be reckoned with at least in our own galactic vicinity. God does not rule but we humans rule ok.

Whether we like it or not we are rulers of our own destiny; we are blessed with a collective mind that unites us when in trouble but unfortunately it has some side effects in making us too presumptuous to a degree that can lead us astray sometimes. Beliefs should not alienate us apart in holly wars and massacres as what is happening in so many parts of the world. Yes by all means let us have a god that we can evoke in our own hearts to promote brotherly love to all mankind. This shouldn’t be regarded as a naive idea in view of the fact that we possess a greater degree of aggression compared to most other animals, which is a like a double sided weapon, for when it is directed against the outside world it points to our superiority but when directed upon ourselves it points to our stupidity and short-sightedness. Internal disputes between individuals and groups are inevitable, we should resort to negotiations and arbitrations first before plundering on barbaric atrocities that always creates a never ending vicious circle of tit for tat. To be able to walk away from such a bad situation is always advantageous in the long run, though it can be very difficult for those who have lost a much loved person.

We often talk about the mind of god as the holy grail of absolute knowledge. In a way it is like describing an upper ceiling for all knowledge, regardless as to whether such entity as god actually holds this absolute knowledge or whether it is merely a theoretical limit imposed upon us, which we may or may not be able to attain. The one thing that is obvious is that despite our great ingenuity in discovering a great deal about the natural world, such upper limit of knowledge appears to be receding further away beyond our probing. We are at least absolutely sure that there are no real obstacles or unnatural barriers that could thwart our advance, for surely if god was a real entity then would he allow us to reach the same level of knowledge as him? It is clearly a non-sense type of scenario for us to be competing with an invisible entity that refrains from communicating directly with us. The only sensible conclusion is that the universe as a whole is advancing its quest for rebuilding the mind of god and in the process has embarked on a long saga of evolution that created us as its pawns to achieve its purpose, we are the universe’s budding mind and one day we would have discovered that we and the universe are the same thing.  Remains to be seen what we would be like when we have acquired the mind of god.