Saturday, May 05, 2007
Many (most?) scientists are irked by the idea of God, and some – Richard Dawkins – are absolutely livid at the thought of an “omnipotent psychopath” getting inordinate attention when that “omnipotent psychopath” only exists in the minds of those with faith, not evidence or facts that God (or a God) actually exists.
The reality with which humans are confronted does not, in the modern era, allow for a God. He (or It) hasn’t provided evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, that He (or It) exists.
Of course, Joseph Smith, the Mormon founder, and quasi-religious incidents (Lourdes, Fatima), seem to indicate that a divine entity is at work in the world, but let’s discount those rather unverifiable events and consider where God is now.
About 10,000 or 11,000 years ago, humans appeared, if one accepts their mythologies, to have had some kind of contact with entities they deemed as God, or gods.
The accounts are ubiquitous, so they can’t be dismissed out of hand. But that’s not our concern here.
Today, God does not exist, as far as anyone can tell. And that’s what boggles great minds (Einstein’s, Dawkin’s, et al.).
God, as we posit elsewhere here, may be the Universe, or an ineffability that is not accessible by the human mind.
God is not a presence that intrudes on human existence. Or does He (It)?
What if the presence of God is so subtle, subliminal, that mortal minds can’t immediately recognize that presence?
Believers jump at the chance to see God in nature and other prosaic elements of the human condition. Others see God as malicious (as evidenced by childhood cancers or genocidal efforts that are successful).
And still others see no God at all – atheists, and scientists, who need proof of divine being and find none.
Artists find God in the course their enterprises. Yet those artists are often subject to the whims of a psychopathic God: Beethoven’s deafness, Mozart’s early demise, Van Gogh’s dementia, Monet’s glaucoma, Joyce’s blindness, and so on.
Stephen Hawking, lambasted by God, debilitated by Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), edits “God Created the Integers” (from the Leopold Kronecker quote, “God created the integers. All the rest is the work of Man.”) so one assumes that Hawking, like Beethoven (in his Pastoral Symphony or magnum opus, Ode to Joy symphony), is being just as subtle as God on one hand, but not as malicious on the other.
God for Hawking, Beethoven, and every other genius, abides somewhere in the recesses of existence, working His magic (through them, via music, mathematics, painting, literature. poetry – as Graves indicates in “The White Goddess), but not visible in any tangible way.
But God is not real, for them; God is symbolic, a transcendent concoction, brought into being by man’s art, man’s ingenious minds. The God that artists note, and play to, is their exalted creativity, not a divine entity with a separate, exalted existence.
Some physicists intuit, as we write elsewhere, a consciousness behind the cosmos, physical laws, even quantum and string theory. But that consciousness is not available to them, or anyone else, so they work around it.
Yet, what if that ineffable Being is playing a game, with man, His (Its) creation? Or is oblivious to man altogether, unless piqued by man, as Melville suggests in Moby Dick?
That is, God’s reality is masked or subverted by His (Its) deliberate obfuscation, which the Gnostics attribute as the essence of god, the demi-urgos (demiurge, such as Yahweh in the Hebrew texts) but may really be the essence of the God who created the integers, the God above god.
That would be the game of God – a malicious game in some instances, but a game nonetheless.
How can one best a God who controls the rules of the game?
Artists acquiesce to that God (their own creation or the one they conceive as real).
Scientists (evolutionists, physicists, biologists, geologist, and the rest) eschew a God who doesn’t play fair, is malevolent, is dead, or never existed, at all – not in the infinite past and certainly not in the time-line of mankind.
But that is God’s game: a ruse to bring poor, mortal man up to the level of the Supreme Divinity by spurring man’s mind. The problem has been, and is, that man is not able, and has never been able, to fathom the underlying rules of God’s game, and when they get close, they are thwarted, as in the case of Hawking, by a ploy equivalent to that in the game Sorry!
No wonder Dawkins is irritated. Smart guys like him won’t play the game, and choose to expose the Fraud who perpetrated it.
We tend to think that such Bartleby-like aloofness is the smart way to go….