måndag 2 mars 2009

Atheists and the Creator God

The creator God isn't the only kind of God that atheists need to worry about. There is a sense in which the mind creates the universe.

Humans receive data from the physical world through the senses. It is a small subset of all the data that is potentially available. Mathematicians talk about multi-dimensional universes that we cannot even visualise.

The mind imposes an order on this data, in particular through the use of language. This is a kind of collective solipsism. The imposition of order on sensory data is an act of creation. The world we know is a product of mind.

The mind is also capable of apprehending something labelled "God". This act of apprehension may be no more than an odd internal phenomenon of the brain, or it may be associated with an external reality. Whatever the case, it needs to be explained. For example, when a Catholic receives holy communion, they will often report certain subjective experiences which religion gives an account of, using narrative and metaphor. These phenomena cannot be explained away by saying that they are just a particular way that the brain's neurons are firing at that moment, because such patterns on their own can have no meaning.

Associated with this is the experience of "conversion", which at a physical level might be identified with a restructuring of neural connections, but which has the consequence of transforming the individual's view of their self and the universe.

The most hard line atheist is obliged to give an account of this phenomenon, and a physical explanation of the process at a neurological level can only explain a part of the picture. From the religious perspective, on this model, the "Creator God" is operating from the inside. Theology and metaphysics then becomes a discipline to mediate and account for certain kinds of psychological phenomena.

1 kommentar:

Sergio sa...


Quite interesting post, friend.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor

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