The Hand of G*D and Science

"The Discovery of the
Universe IS the discovery
of G*D."

The Evolution of the Concept of G*D

In the earliest thoughts of mankind, there was little understanding, all appeared as magically under the control of unseen beings. There was no distinction between magic and reality. Things appeared separate and unconnected. Human beings believed in, and depended on, many separate spirits. Because each human being was material and was living, so each material thing and perceived activity in the world was represented by a living spirit. This is called "animism" and is still practiced today.

As was stated in the introduction, "in the far distant past, ostensibly, facts were few and far between. They were not near enough together to be closely related. To relate them, one had to bridge long gaps with logic". This was the origin of religion. Some think religion and logic are antithetical, but reason begat religion. The most defining event of the development of religion started with the evolutionary threshold of literacy.

When something was written by those few who could write, it was an observation, or a thought, reflecting the thinking of individuals of the highest calibur at the time. And, to be saved, it had to be laboriously copied. If it was important enough to be copied, it was considered valuable. Everything was in relation to God. These observations and thoughts became God's Word.

This concept is strongly suggested in the prologue to The Gospel of John from the New Testament: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Interpreting this phrase, in John, is controversial among the biblical scholars. They probably would have given no thought about a reference to the evolutionary threshold of literacy. Philo of Alexandria, the Jewish philosopher of the early 1st century, frequently mentions the "lovgo" [the Word] (it appears over 1400 times in his writings), but he is clearly concerned with the Platonic distinction between this material world and the real, heavenly world of ideas. This could be a description of literature. The "lovgo", the original word used in John, originated previous to The Christ in the philosophy of the stoics, meaning it might refer to something other than to Jesus as is commonly portrayed. All this is amusing speculation. It is doubtful that any consideration of "the Word" as coming from an evolutionary event, or anywhere other than God, would have been imagined.

The Animists attributing elements of reality to spirits have authored very few books. By the time Mankind entered the evolutionary dawn of literacy, judging from the earliest writings, the spirits had become gods controlling great aspects of nature (heavens, earth, water, light, and dark), specific cities (the better the city, the better the god), and even private gods for individuals. These gods were collected in pantheons. The Sumerian Cuneiform writings (3,500 BC) have been translated (History Begins at Sumer, by Noah Kramer) to contain the seeds to many of the stories of Genesis. These were polytheistic times and the gods were called "dingir". The early Biblical writings reflect this heritage of polytheism: Gen1:26 'Then The Lord said, 'Let US make a man, in OUR image.' and, Gen3:22 'Then the Lord said, 'Now that the man has become as WE are, knowing good from bad..' these writings were so holy that these ideas were never purged. In the Old Testament, The Lord is often referred to in a plural form. Elohim is plural, adonay is plural. For example, you have King of kings, G-d of gods (which men worship). The Hebrew is elohay ha-elohim, elohay being a contraction of elohim shel ha-elohim, and translated G-d of gods. In the Creation story, G-d lived visibly in his creation. Adam hid from G-d. G-d was thus limited in his powers while humans had freewill. G-d punished Adam and Eve with death (of oblivion), among other things.

By the time of Moses, G-d had become invisible. He became fierce, jealous, and vengeful. He offered death to sinners. Unlike the Gods of the Egyptians, He offered no after-life. He now had a few, chosen people. By the time of Isaiah, He was proclaimed the only G-d of the world and was to be kept a secret by his chosen people. G-d had a personal relationship with humans where humans had freewill, and G-d was not aware of everything that transpired. There are numerous Biblical accounts where Moses reasoned with G-d and changed His mind, for instance.

By the time of The Christ, He became everyone's God, and offered eternal life, and forgiveness of sins. The relationship of humans to God was that of give and take in the spirit of freewill. Over time, God had become forgiving, loving and magnanimous. In Medieval times, God was often portrayed as a king. This concept faded after the Middle Ages. God was the greatest magician above the firmament who would intervene either to punish or rescue a wayward society.

Today there has evolved yet another concept of God: a concept of an Omnipotent (all powerful) and Omniscient (all knowing) God. This is due to a (more than ever) awareness of an overall interacting universe. However, this concept raises questions about humanity's free will, (theological) morality, and the basic nature of God in allowing bad things to happen now that He is "all responsible". These were not problems with previous concepts of God. Humans had free will and brought bad things upon themselves.

The weakness of the Omnipotent, Omniscient concept of God is that He is still anthropomorphized. Due to the occurrence of bad things, this "all responsible" God is cast in a bad light and called evil as if He could be judged like a mortal. There is a transition from God the spiritual entity to G*D the form of reality in its natural essence.

The Realistic Idealist equates G*D with Nature, and Reality

With the concept of G*D equated with nature and reality, the evolution of all theology that has come before, the social act of worship, and humankind's relationship to spiritualism all begin to fall into place as an evolving unity between humans and their environment. Then how did the first humans come to find and believe in God? To find god, one must have a definition of God in which one can believe. This causes confusion among believers who think they know the "true" or "real" definition of God when the definition of God continues to evolve over the centuries. Some people still believe in the oldest definitions. Most people have some mixture of many definitions. Eventually the believer only has to ask of the definition they ascribe suits their needs. The philosophical standpoint in regard to the nature of God could be: "do you think we can really comprehend what God is with our tiny little brains?" Could our understanding of God change with new revelations? It's just our ability to define "Him" evolving? G*D, even as nature, is so great that actually no human brain can conceive of It.

The recognition of G*D is important for strength of faith, humility, and the raising of children

The Realistic Idealist is not an anti-theist, but understands that humankind's relation to God has always reflected humankind's relation to the perceived environment and society of the time. Due to the strong association of anti-theism and atheism, Realistic Idealism is a "post-theistic" philosophy. Some might jump to the conclusion that this is elitist, and others might see it as some sort of evolutionary shortcoming, like the reduction of body hair. At one extreme it was believed God manipulated all worldly interactions without regard to the laws of conservation of mass, energy, momentum, and the laws of entropy and gravity. As we grew to understand Nature we came to realize that some things were mechanical and did not need a magic spirit to make them function. Our understanding through science has come so far that some mistake this for the death of God. However, to the Realistic Idealist, G*D, as nature, who is not magic, will clearly reveal his laws for us to study and to abide by if we seek them. It is our conceit that leads us to believe that if we ignore G*D's laws and get into trouble, that we may whine, and flatter God, and get God to forgive us. If we are free of such conceit, and have the humility to study, work hard, and honestly, take responsibility for our own mistakes, and promote a truthful education for all who can learn, then we will prevail over our social problems. Man has yet to fully accept God's laws in relation to himself.

The Realistic Idealist sees the possibility of congruence between Science and Religion,
for science is the continuing discovery of G*D and His laws

Man clings to myth
What humanity has really accepted for himself is still mythical. He has logically dreamed up the "rights of man", many of which have practically no regard for all the true evolutionary factors. For himself man has usurped G*D's laws and prescribed magic. Man has declared himself divine. It is little wonder that man has repeatedly failed in solving his most prevalent problems such as: ignorance, poverty, crime, and especially war.

In spite of all his vanity man will undoubtedly survive as long as any creature will survive on this Earth, but the quality of his life may be more in question. When resources are relatively abundant, much can be wasted without effect on the quality of life, but when the ratio of population to resources becomes greater, the effect of wastefulness cuts deeper into the prospects for a continued good quality of life. The question is: Has the time come for scientific human know-how to be a factor in successful human evolution, or shall we succumb to a belief that there is nothing better than we are and never will be.

Man as the center of the universe
Humanity has resented any implications that they are not at the center of things. Galileo was castigated for supporting and validating the Copernican theory stating that the Sun is at the center of our planetary system instead of our Earth. The very fact we are located very much off center may have saved us from extinction even before we got started on this Earth. Scientists have found suggestive evidence that many, or even all large galaxies, may undergo recurrent nuclear outbursts. The Milky Way, our galaxy, may spend a million of every hundred million years as an intensively radiating Seyfert galaxy. The resulting enhanced cosmic-ray activity, at repeated intervals, would be able to keep the galaxy sterile of life, except, of course, for Earthlings whose solar system is fortuitously placed at the protective distance of a spiral arm.

There could be a lesson in all this: We are not the reason for the universe. We are part of a very thin skin of a planet, and we should learn to live within it rather than believing that God will protect us no matter what we do. Rather than being the center, we are more like an infection of a remote particle of the universe. Rather than strutting as kings around whom the universe turns, we must accept our role in a limited environment, one that will not continuously expand to accommodate a continuously expanding population.

The newness of Science
In the experience of mankind, science is very new. Knowledge of human chemistries so sufficiently matured by about 1940 we could finally just begin to put aside witchcraft and apply science to our bodies and minds. As a physician educated during this transition, I have learned that our philosophy, as it affects our attitude toward life, can affect our health too. A good philosophy can promote good health, whereas a bad philosophy will afflict a person with poor health. This we will take as a scientific basis for ethics which will be discussed in several chapters following. Worse yet, our philosophy can affect the health and even life-span of our innocent children. In this respect there is a moral issue: Whether we have the right to afflict another person, especially our children, by our own misdirected attitudes. Such are the constraints that Nature places on our realms of thought. Furthermore, if our actions afflict our children's lives, their lives will in turn afflict the lives of our grandchildren, perhaps even further generations, and eventually our society may suffer as more and more people ignore their natural constraints. We will discuss some of these established relationships.

The dysfunction is between the Nature of God and the conceit of man.
Man has not quite become used to the idea that he is an animal.
He is a confused super-animal and desperately clings to a faith in magic.

The Science of Religion
As we look at the history of understanding we can find that as far back as three thousand years ago rational people tried to test the repeatability and reliability of religion. In their minds, proper magic results followed properly performed rituals. If the desired results did not follow a given ritual, the belief was that the ritual was not done correctly. We see instances where the rituals are described in great detail; down to the type of cloth the priests wore. Their belief was that God was in direct control of man's destiny. They did not understand that God's control worked through the laws of conservation, entropy, and gravity, for instance. They believed that God would protect good people who went through the proper ceremonies of allegiance to him. The early people understood that there were times when things went well with them and they tried to record the situation accurately. When things went wrong, they believed that it was because they had sinned against God. They went back and examined their memories and records, and tried to compare what was happening during good times and bad times. Sometimes the differences eluded them, therefore, they concluded that they were in some way sinners unbeknownst to themselves. Another possibility that occurred to them was that something in their ceremony was not done properly and that undermined God's confidence in their discipline and allegiance, therefore, they were being punished and trained. They tried to do their rites exactly alike each time, being critical of mistakes and omissions.

If the ancient religious writers would be asked if they believed in magic in the sense that they were ignoring the laws of Nature, they would have denied it. They thought their expectations were justified in reality. They never heard of the laws of conservation, entropy, and gravity, and to them events occurred according to God's will. It may be pointed out here that God's will is now understood to work through the laws of Nature. In other words God's will and the laws of Nature are equated.

Though God was the controller, they paradoxically felt that they could control God by proper ceremonial rites. They tried simple sacrifices. When that did not work, they spent more money, time, effort, incense, holy water, and gold. They even tried returning to rituals with human sacrifice, which entailed the eating of the flesh and blood of the sacrificed. When the results of those rites were found to be no more consistent with success than those which used animals and vegetables, they switched to those substitutes. It seems that only the wealthy could afford to sacrifice good food that way, and the less wealthy, who used only a little dab of bread and wine, were every bit as "favored in the sight of God". Thus, they all switched to the sacrificing of bread and wine which symbolized the flesh and blood of the former sacrifices.

As social structures evolved among real people, similar social structures in mythology were derived in the spirit world. Never have refinements in the spirit world come before those in the real world. Recently the hierarchy of Saints was reviewed and some of the Saints, such as Saint Christopher, lost their positions. These decisions are much more complex than in earlier times.

Beginning of dialectic materialism
All such things were recorded, studied, and thought about. Progress was made, religious enlightenment spread, and they were proud of it. As we now understand, the consistency was never perfect, no matter what they did. When all seemed to fail, some few people were discouraged enough to try to go it alone, denying that there was a God. Their thoughts were of dialectic materialism, but they still did not know about the laws of Nature, and their conclusions were as magic as ever, maybe, even more so.

The thrust of the argument in this book is to get away from a stagnation of faith in the unreal (or supernatural) and the placement of our faith in reality (or nature), and at the same time preserve our ideals. In the final analysis, the scientist is still a philosopher. There are still boundaries of the unknown. The purpose of Realistic Idealism is to suggest a philosophy that will not cripple our efforts to use science to our best advantage. There may be confusion, dilemma, and irony in acquiring this type of understanding. If you read on, you will pass the ruins of temples and cathedrals. On the way, a citadel of magic must be destroyed. Your armor of understanding must deflect magic arrows shot by creatures of a dream world. Yet, if you have true humility, you may unite with the spirit of Nature. Then your life may have a minimum of guilt; your heart may be filled with love; there may be better health; there may be more satisfaction in your work; and, there may be more freedom. The mystery of life will not be destroyed, but merely advanced to a more sophisticated state. The study of Nature is the discovery of God's laws.

Realistic idealism argues that reality can be consistent with idealism, and also with faith and hope. This requires a faith in science, reality, and a displacement of a dependence on magic to which the world is heir. Man has prayed, fought, and worked for control of himself and his environment. Yet, he has resisted, even stopped the spread of the knowledge that would give him that very capability. Reality and magic are antithetical. Man started as an animal. To an animal there is no understanding. To a great extent the world's concept of the universe is still magical in spite of all our Science.

Copyright©Alden Bacuzmo

Chapter 4. Logic: Dialectic Whatever