A journal of cognition, computation, cartoons and cooking; physics and phonotactics; academia, art, alcohol and angst.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Atheistic cosmology does not imply atheism

To conclude my two posts below, I will talk about theism and consciousness. If we don't have or don't need a first cause, is there still room for god?

Incidentally, god is not throwing dice to make quantum mechanics work. It is simply not "how it works" - true randomness is the rule, not the exception. There is a multiverse interpretation of quantum mechanics that would contradict me, but I think that's a bit of a cop-out.

Anyway, I make room for the possibility of god, since other people seem to know god so well. I call myself ignostic, meaning I recognize I have no concept of what god is as other people understand it.

What keeps me from pure atheism is my understanding (or lack thereof) of consciousness. There are certain philosophical problems with it: consciousness is wholly our own phenomenon, yet other people have it, and we can never know for sure if it's the same as ours; it is immutable, in that there is no meta-awareness of a change in awareness; and it appears to have a mostly-definite transition point between consciousness and unconsciousness, a phase transition if you will.

The first two points seem unlike anything we have encountered, and are suggestive of the need for a new physics or an impenetrable barrier for physics (which may leave room for a god). The third point gives me hope that we can crack consciousness with ordinary physics, because we have a clear indication of something measurable that interacts with it.

I have faith in physics and objective reality, but there's little that can be argued against me saying that I may be the only person with true consciousness, or that someone's reality of knowing god is fundamentally and possibly even measurably different from mine.

You might say I am an atheist who believes in (or is at least agnostic about) a god that only others know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh just wait till Great Cthulhu hears of this post, He will not take such a slight easily.

I'a! I'a! Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!! I'a k'nark Cthulhu!
Ia Ia Cthulhu! Ia Ia Azathoth! Ia Ia Yog Sothoth! Ia Ia Nyarlathotep! Ia Ia, Shub Niggurath! Ia Ia Odhra-guoa! Ia Ia Tasthogguoa! Ia Ia Hastur!

-Charlie (Cultist of his great sleeping lord)