Monday, 13 September 2010

The "God did it" Problem

Let’s presume that an almighty being like god does indeed exist in a very similar but alternate reality that I can see and tell you about. God is a 'he' (not a 'she') here and this being created the alternate universe and everything in it, including humans. Not only does your god exist there but everyone in the other world knows of his existence without exception. The years roll on and humans get curious about the world and decide to start poking and prodding to see how things work. All the while they know that god exists and has made everything. Slowly the centuries wear on and the curiosity builds to a crescendo as the humans all want to know how the world works in minute detail. The inevitable questions that one asks today in our reality have always plagued these humans’ minds and begin to gnaw at their thoughts. They've gotten so far with ideas on how creatures and the heavens work. They're ideas see god in everything and answering every question, yet some humans are not happy with the actual application in everyday life of these conclusions. Their mathematical workings lack result, for if "god did it" then that answer works for every sum. The humans even struggle to perform medicine because if "god made the body" then there's no need to learn how to fix it, best just to pray to the god to help them out.

This is all unacceptable for the humans and a radical new idea emerges in a few minds: what if humans can figure out how god made everything? Wouldn't it give them more pleasure and worship when they know the extent of his grandeur? This spurred the humans on to break through the glass ceiling of their ignorance and quickly discover that the universe operated with natural laws, and such a lot of them, all complementing each other. Finally, with this growing knowledge, the humans were able to reach mathematical solutions naturally. They could perform surgeries and medicine because they knew how the body worked. Prayer and offloading to their god became unnecessary and even an optional choice as the knowledge grew. Soon, some of the humans began to see that the world appeared to work very well indeed without the need for the god to hold it all together. The math worked out perfectly, every time, without the once crucial "then a miracle occurs" idea forced into the place of the sum. These few humans did not see in their workings that the god had ceased to exist, on the contrary, they reformulated their view of god to not be crucial for the workings of the universe any more. God was still there of course, but now they could all see that saying "god did it" had never helped anyone and that trying to figure out how the world works had given them the most amazing technological and medical benefits their ancestors could only dream about.

What do you think of this story? Surely the humans in this tale reached "enlightenment" very similar to our own. This event was begun by humans who could see the benefit of figuring things out for themselves, not for selfish reasons mind, but to increase the quality of living for their fellow humans.

In the story, you should be able to see how my assertion that even gravity and physics can be shown to exist without god. When one moves on from saying "god did it" on questions of natural order, the possibilities are endless as we can see in the 21st Century. The future is not bleak for us in this reality because a few men were brave enough to ask: how did god do it? These men were believers, just like those in the tale: Newton, Planck, Linnaeus, Kepler, Bacon, Descartes, Boyle, Faraday, Mendel, Gray, Collins, and Miller etc. All of these people do not say "god did it" when they see a question in the world. All of them say "how did god do it" and all of them have tried to answer this question, to all of our benefit.

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