Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry Message Board › On dogmatism ...
|A former member||
Let me preface this narrative by saying that I don’t know why I’m writing this, other than I’m a thinker, a mere mortal on this coil of life, with absolutely no answers as to why I exist at all, and that that tends to bother me. It could very well be the hand of god motivating me to peck out these keys at 4 am while my nagging insomnia allows me no peace.
I am an agnostic. I straddle the fence. In my humble opinion, the hardcore, raging atheist is no better than the dogmatic religious zealot who reflexively clings to his beliefs out of hollow and empty faith. There is plenty of uncertainty enough to go around for the debate to go either way.
Something to consider: we are all waves of energy resonating on the fabric of space! Does that sound like some new age hippie crap to you? Well then, let me explain further since I’m far from a new age hippie.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the particle-wave duality of light. Sometimes it acts like a particle, sometimes a wave. “What’s the difference?” you ask? Great question. Think about it like this. A particle is like a bee-bee coming out of a bee-bee gun. The energy is transferred across space with the particle – in this case, the bee-bee. Simple enough, right? Not as simple as you might think. Let’s continue.
Waves, at least traditional waves (sound, water) are energetic particles bouncing up against each other, transferring their energy from particle to particle in a sort of collective baton race. So even traditional waves are ultimately comprised of particles. Again, all seems intuitive to me.
Enter Young’s Experiment. You’ve probably heard it called “The Double Slit” experiment. This little experiment changed the way the world was perceived, and is still changing things to this day. It’s a little deep, but what you need to know is that when a traditional wave simultaneously strikes a partition with two vertical slits in it, two distinct waves travel out from the slits on the other side of the partition. Fairly intuitive. Those two waves interfere with each other, provided nothing prevents this, and what is called “an interference pattern” is established. The peaks of the two waves add where they coincide, as do the troughs, and, well … an interference pattern is the result. I’m too lazy to try to describe this in words, dear reader, so look at this picture. This is what you get with sound or water when it is passed through the double slit.
Light does this too. If you’ve taken a high school level physics class you probably knew that already. But what you may not already know, and where things deviate from the intuitive, is that particles demonstrate this very same interference pattern when directed towards the double-slit partition. Read that again, and understand the magnitude of what I’m telling you here. Particles demonstrate the same interference pattern as traditional waves (sound, water, and light) when subjected to Young’s double-slit experiment. By “particles” I am referring to things humans have thought to be like tiny bee-bees. Electrons, atoms, molecules … all have been shown to exhibit the wave-like interference pattern when subjected to Young’s experiment. This is like saying, when I fire a bee bee gun randomly at a partition with two vertical slits in it (one bee bee at a time), the bee bee occasionally passes through both slits at the same time and interferes with itself on the other side of the partition, establishing the same interference pattern as traditional waves. Not very intuitive at all. Crazy in fact. A single bee bee cannot pass through two different slits simultaneously (never-mind interfering with itself), at least in the traditional human notion of what a particle is.
And like I've said, this has been demonstrated with bigger particles as well, including atoms and molecules.
My point here is that all matter is actually wave energy resonating on the fabric of space. What’s the fabric of space? I don’t know. Does a fish know he’s swimming in water? Maybe the fabric of space is god. But what I do know (at least, what I think I know with some probabilistic certainty at this point in my human existence) is that we are all comprised of atoms that are almost entirely empty space (with only field forces in that space) that have particles as their constituent components that when fired at a double slit one at the time occasionally simultaneously pass through the slits and interfere with themselves on the other side, establishing a wave interference pattern.
You and I are waves of energy, resonating through this plane of existence, hovering away from other matter about an Angstrom off of it without ever coming into true physical contact with the matter around us. The atoms of your butt do not mingle with the atoms of the chair. You float just above the chair.
Now, tell me, how do waves of energy coagulate into sentient beings, coherent enough to question why they are here and what is the meaning of all this? Some of those waves conclude this reality is meaningless and that death is the end of it for them. Others conclude there must be some cosmic watchmaker that wound the clock. Me, I can only conclude that I don’t know.
I’m not dogmatic enough to ultimately take a side. I do detest the misery organized religion and mysticism heaps onto humankind. I don’t think god is Allah, Yaweh, or the Judeo-Christian god we’re so often told if he exists at all. He could only be rationally conceived as the conduit through which you and I are experiencing this reality. His purpose? Inconceivable. Is there a point to trying to figure out the inconceivable? Only a mental game to waste time waiting for death. Or as I have done here, attempted to entertain my fellow “waves”.
I hope you take no offense to this that I’ve written my fellow wave, and that these beams of light reach the essence of what is you (after having passed into your central nervous system through those light-perceiving portals we call “eyes”) in a good and peaceful condition.
Maybe I can get some sleep now.
Edited by User 5,225,010 on Nov 27, 2012 5:29 AM
Unfortunately, the discussion forum on SHL's Meetup group is not very active, but the Facebook side of our group is quite active. If you'd like to join over there (or maybe you already have), I think there would be quite a few people interested in having a discussion. https://www.facebook....