atheism/Philosophy
Atheism- War Against God - Philosophy

Atheism- War Against God

Posted by Aneela Shahzad on

Why do we believe! And what is the possibility of not believing? Have we enslaved ourselves unto a non-existing entity, in the encounter with our irrational fears, our ignorance and our inability to find logic in a complicated system? When we believe, are we living inside a false facade of self-hypothesized dogma that had been put together by superstitions of the olden folks and which is bound to fall the moment we will start questioning? Does belief stand upon truth, or does it stand precisely upon the grounds where truth is forbidden to enter; does God exist anywhere outside the realm of our imaginative idealism?

The conclusion of this essay will be that the question of belief will ultimately have to be answered without the help of the tools of science; for the tools of collecting data, possessed by humanity, are too crude to measure ultimately reality, as nor the ‘true nature of things’ nor reality as a whole is ready to submit itself to the mere meter-readings of crude man-made detectors, however sophisticated he might take them to be.

This essay will endeavor to prove that though the Atheist, baffled between false gods and logically-expired dogma - had made a quick run to the land of science, wishfully thinking that perhaps science is a world free of speculation, guess-work or hard-to-get-rid-of dogma, and that finally now he will be able to reside in a real, hard-fact world with no doubts and only surety; that all he will be believing to be true now, will be stuff proven by irrefutable experimentation and definite logic with no loop-holes. But alas to the misfortune of the Atheist! He has entered into a fool’s paradise; for the world of science is equally plagued with guess-work, imagination and dogmatic approach, just as much as the world of spirituality is and upon close inspection much of the hard-facts upon which the façade of science are built, turn out to be un-determinable and non-certain.

For those who keep their eyes rested upon the bulks of advancements of science in all walks of life, its innumerable theories, it enormous technological leaps and tons and tons of data uncomprehendable to the bare human mind, will always find themselves obliged and indebted to science, as they awe at the amazing progress it has brought to humanity; surely they would think, all this could not be achieved from falsehood; microscopes do not lie nor are ammeters biased. But what they completely set aside is the fact that all science is based on a certain set of assumptions that are falsifiable and that once we question them the whole scientific process may be seen as falling into shambles.

Such questions are taken up by those who want to know the nature and reality of science rather than the reality reached-to using science as a tool. They are philosophers who want to know if the knowledge gained by the methods of science is reliable and certain and if so to what extent? Does science encompass knowledge wholesomely or is it just a section of the whole knowable realm. As it turns out these basic assumptions, upon which science bases its activity can be summed up as follows:

For the scientific method to be taken as true the following will be taken as true and for granted

1) that there is an objective reality shared by all rational observers;

2) that this objective reality is governed by natural laws;

3) that these laws can be discovered by means of systematic observation and experimentation.  

If considered closely, one can see that in setting these assumptions, which are again, ‘assumptions’, science is not by any means negating the innumerable possibilities of existence and phenomenon that may reside beyond the ‘objective reality shared by all rational observers’, but only that it will be restricting itself in this limit, for its own reasons. But perhaps due to the dogmatic approach of most science-thinkers and their followers, it is strongly advocated that all things beyond that limit ‘do not exist at all’.

Surely all rational observers do share an objective reality, but they also share a bulk of other things because of being conscious thinkers, even when two conscious thinkers share a simple information like ‘2 balls on the table’, they are using a ‘number’ which is an abstraction of the imagination lacking an impersonation , the words ball and table that are incorporeal symbols that ‘represent’ objects of matter and some other articles of language that are used to relate two objects in relations relevant only to the ‘rational observer’ and not relevant to anything else in the world. So, to dogmatize that the rational observer shares an objective reality and nothing else worth mentioning is the beginning of the abuse of science.

That the ‘objective reality is governed by natural laws’ and is discoverable by ‘systematic observation and experimentation’ are also limitations of science but not necessarily limitations of the thought that generates the ideas we call science. Surely there can be non-objective reality that could also be governed by laws, and it might also be possible that ‘systematic observations’ may not be able to discover ‘all the truth’ of objective reality but rather only facets of that truth, facets that tend to change appearance in time – because the ‘truth’ of the object is a subjective appearance of the object.

Again the first assumption has some serious implications, it asks us to believe that any two observers are perceiving the object under observation in exactly the same way; generally speaking that is correct, like if a and b are observing the object placed on the table, they will both say it is an apple, but in reality there is no way of confirming if the perception of the object in both minds is exactly the same or not, although whatever the object of their perception they both will always unfailingly be calling it an apple.

Furthermore the assumption requires us to be ‘rational observers’ if our testimony upon the objective reality is to be approved. Again it is common observation that rationality is a variable term that may change from person to person, and as the possibilities of observing the same set of objects, and especially when theorizing processes, could be infinite, there always remains a chance that an observer that has come up with a different explanation, might be correct against the consensus of the rationality; this very approach traps us inside dogma, as whatever the first observers have testified to have seen, the rest are tempted to follow him, just like if an initial consensus has been built on Newton or Einstein, the inertia of the scientific mind will tend more towards preserving the prevailing dogma than towards discarding it, even though their doctrine may have been proven wrong in time.

 

The stubborn dogma that ‘whatever is not observable by the tools of our sense data simply does not exist’, i.e. unless and until we see a thing we are not to believe it exists, is perhaps a religious thought meant to dope the masses, because great scientific thinkers always find themselves at liberty with their imagination the instant observable facts fall short of the world they want to picture in their imagination. In fact great scientist are always ahead of observational facts and are presenting theories that they think ought to be true in the light of known facts, but made of proposals that are yet to be proved. Should we then not ask whether observation leads us into newer paradigms of knowledge or is it imaginations, or are they both in a race with both constantly gaining on each other?

Perhaps the first question we should try to answer is whether if truth comprises of only those concepts that instantiate in the physical world, and are therefore scientifically determinable OR are non-spatial things true too? Let’s observe the simplest concept regarding that of an ‘Atom’, the intent of giving this example is to prove that even ‘systematic observation and experimentation’ may lead us to the edge of observation, beyond which we might again face abstract reality that will throw the question of abstract existence back on us, reminding us that all our built-up of the enormous façade of science was nothing but a screen.

We all ‘believe’ that matter is made up of tiny particles called ‘atoms’. Most of the research in physics, chemistry, biology and other sciences depends on the concept of the atom; therefore it would not be wrong to assert the ‘atom’ as one of the basic concepts, upon which all sciences and technology is based. Yes, we can touch, see, hear and taste matter, but can we, or have we ever touched, seen, heard or tasted the atom? Whatever concept of an atom we hold in our minds, is that based on empirical knowledge or mere speculation or maybe pure inspiration - the tool whereby nature runs many of its processes.

As we turn back the pages of time, we find that the atom, in its origin as an idea, was deemed as an indivisible entity, by Democritus in 440bc and we believed him. In 1803ad, Dalton presented a theory saying that atoms cannot be subdivided, created, or destroyed and they combine in simple whole-number ratios, and we believed him. In 1887, Hertz experimentally demonstrated the photoelectric nature of light saying that it consists of tiny packets of energy exhibiting both wave and particle nature of the atom and we believed him. In 1897, J.J. Thompson discovered the electron as a divisible unit of the atom; in 1911, J. Perrin demonstrated the Brownian motion, verifying Einstein belief in the atomic nature of matter; in 1913 N Bohr presented the Bohr Atomic Model, saying that the electrons revolved around the nucleus in discrete orbits. In 1924 Broglie suggests that electrons may have wavelike properties in addition to their 'particle' properties, in 1927 Max Born interpreted the probabilistic nature of wave functions and in 1930 Dirac predicted the existence of antiparticles within the atoms.

All this is not meant to superimpose data upon the reader but to demonstrate the simple fact that in all this time the atom had never been seen, heard from or touched by any human, with or without the help of any instrument, but was the ‘imagined ideal’ that could answer for all happenings and (experimental) inquiries in a most sensible and logical way. The amazing thing is that though the experimental results lead to changed perception of this ‘imaginary existence’ each time, the new concept and the old concept were equally workable and believable in their own time. It seemed as if the concept of the atom was being fed to the human genre in a progressive evolution, by something we can call ‘nature’ for ease. Perhaps we could come to the thought, at the end of this essay, that nature, in some mysterious way, changes the probable state in which it will occur to us, in accordance with the changing idea that is detecting it.

When science entered the realm of Quantum Physics, it reached one edge of observational knowledge, where experiments have shown that the atom (or its components) exhibits strange behavior that cannot be accounted for by ‘law’. This is because the behavior of the atom cannot be predicted and that it has the ability to behave differently in different circumstances; circumstances that may not even be in its direct vicinity. The atom seems to be able to observe changes that may have happened in matter placed far away or in conditions within a system that the atom or a subatomic particle is not supposed to be able to observe - it is as if it has eyes or like it has telepathic contact faster than the speed of light.

Imagine atoms with concrete measurable parts that react with each other in discrete proportions, behaving like powerful building blocks constructing walls of nature that may be either traversable (gas) or impenetrable (solid) or flowing (liquid); an atom showing itself off to the microscope as a solid shape within matter and inviting man to make up laws and formulas that will predict its behavior to the extent that man would comfortably construct his edifices of technology upon it. Then imagine the same atom behaving, as per quantum physics, as made up of even tinier entities that do not exhibit any position in real time and space; that do not give up to laws that can predict their behavior; rather behave as phantoms that would do as they will; differently with different sets of apparatus; and coming into material existence only according to what the situation demands from them, else-while existing only in the imagination or some spirit form. Completely shunning the basic scientific assumption that all objective reality is governed by natural laws.

The truth is that experiments have now shown the atom and its composing units, more and more, as conscious bodies that reacts to the apparatus, like thinking, observing beings. How else would a lone electron, passing through one slit, know that the other slit is closed or not and how would an electron taken thousands of miles away from its twin, and know which property of its twin has been detected. In the new scenario, the particle will not show the same set of properties when observed by different instruments, but will decide how to react with each different set of detectors it come across; a reaction that could be opposite to prediction.

If we always believed in science upon the supposition that it was a knowledge based upon concrete substance that were one way or the other measurable to our five senses and because whatever parts of it were not measurable due to lack of sensitive tools were still fillable by way of logical conceptualization, which could be counter-tested later by designing more suitable experiments - then how will we believe on science now, if the very building blocks of science have turn out to be ‘not present anywhere but to become present at one of the suitable probabilities they choose, to the observer that is detecting them’. This means that ‘they will appear differently to different observers’, so that the chair you are sitting on is no more made of solid bricks of reliable atoms but of phantoms of atom that have chosen to appear this way to you and which may be appearing as something totally different to another observer, if they chose so.

Science that was so factual, as you could actually hold in your hands, in its advancements has brought us to the state when all solid things crumble down to something much thinner than air. So that now, we are again not sure what exactly we are sitting on, but have to choose to believe that it is a chair. The objective reality of the apple, when observed through the lens of quantum physics, turns out to be a probable state that the phantom of what comprised the apple, chooses to be shown as, to the human-eye-detector, when at the same time it is holding as many realities as there may be different observers in the universe; only before now, we did not know they existed and now we know that they probably do.

So if there are many worlds crossing our own, or should it be said that our world may be comprising of many dimensions we are yet unable to observe, then why are we to submit our belief altogether to the object, when we have detected from the same tools that much more exists that has to be perceived by way of the subject, just like we have always been perceiving the different concepts of the atom, which have all been proven incorrect or incomplete, yet we kept on believing in them, only because they answered our question. Just like the subatomic particle have shown that they live in a realm that can be seen as purely objective from one side and purely subjective from another side. In fact the quantum realm has opened for mankind a window that gives us a peep into innumerable possibilities that we might never be able to comprehend beyond certain limits, but we know now that surely they do exist.

And the mere existence of worlds beyond scientific observation prove that what we had previously counted as miracles, may be normal things in another realm and there seeping into our objective realm might have been by design and law and not necessarily by the breaking of law. That if our very own atom is a phantom that possesses a conscience, then the world of phantoms may just be as beautiful and complete as our objective world is, possibly it is more complex and law-bound, as it obeys and complies even when it has other ‘choice’. And if the smallest entity has a conscience, how can the biggest things like the stars and galaxies not have it and if the biggest things have it then who is their king-conscience that subdues them into a working, progressive system; what is the force that binds so much thinking matter into set patterns, patterns from which they never break away free, when thought gives them the option to.

Should we not come to the logical conclusion now that knowledge goes as far as the ‘idea’ takes it, when a new idea blinks in the mind, the sense of our observation is converted, and unto this uniquely new perspective of the observer’s idea nature opens up itself in a new dimension from its numerous possibilities? We have to conclude now that the ‘idea’, the ‘thought’, the ‘question’ is real, that whatever possesses an idea in our mind is real, and it is this idea that we look for in our objective surroundings. It is not the object that makes our idea but it is our idea that fits the object in the perception the way it has chosen to. Or is it a tug-of-war between the idea and the object that emerges in ever changing states as the experience between them evolves. That would mean, a reality that has a possibility to change every moment if we are thinking like that - Or that can be forever stagnant, if we are thinking like that.

And if we do come to such conclusion then it is simple enough to go just one step further and assert that the idea of a knowledgeable, personalized creative force is a question that has unfailingly existed through the history and geography of the human thought; it has been and is always the most asked question, the idea most sought in the objective surrounding of the perceiver and the essential element of human thought; therefore the most ‘real’ thing.

Coming back to our question; does God exists anywhere outside our thought? If the atom exists because it fits our idea, even though quantum physics has found it not to exist in the objective way, then God exists by the same logic; if without the atom our whole objective world will cease to exist, then without God it will too, rather it might never have been there in the first place.

If we are honest with science, we will see science submitting to an un-seeable greater force on every edge of its inquiry; it submits to God in the theory of evolution, it submits to God in the working of the DNA, it submits to God deep inside every single atom that make our world. But the Atheist will pose blind here, he will deliberately put on the cloak of dogma now, he will insist that there is nothing beyond science, so that science eventually becomes the false-god he is ready to bow down to. Even when science itself is begging the question - it is begging to us that it cannot explain all things beyond limited knowing - it begs to us that it takes its very initializing from the ‘idea’, which is ‘subjective’, which may be ‘inspired’, which cannot be measured; and the laws of which are as yet totally incomprehensible to us, for which reason we many times end up calling it hallucination and falsehood.

Again has the Atheist reached a world free of speculation, guess-work or hard-to-get-rid-of dogma; a real, hard-fact world ­­with no doubts and only surety; of stuff proven by irrefutable experimentation and definite logic with no loop-holes? Sorrily, he has not! his atom is still a guess-work, his theory of the universe is still speculation, his bounding himself in the limited objective experience is still a dogma, the chair he sits on is still not real, all his hard-facts have been phantomized and there is no surety; only belief – the belief that this objective world must be all that there is, that God must not exist, that he will not be raised again or questioned; just opposite to the belief of the believers, who say that there have to be more realms, God has to exist; we will be raised; justice will be completed. Only the belief of the Atheist is shrouded with skepticism and the belief of the believer is pure, whole-hearted and free of doubt and free of any such dogma that would limit him from reaching the ultimate horizon of the thought.