Deep thoughts, by Michael Suede
The big bang is a requirement of atheism and creationism. Both postulate a beginning time. Both state that at one point there was nothing, and then suddenly there was something.
The very word “creationism” means something from nothing. – a big bang. Indeed, the big bang theory itself was first postulated by a Catholic priest, Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître.
Atheism, the belief that there is no god or eternal soul, is materialist in nature. If you fundamentally believe that consciousness arises strictly from matter, then you believe that matter must have existed before consciousness. Given that this is the case, then there must be a beginning point at which consciousness did not exist within the universe. Hence, a beginning to the universe – a big bang. While most atheists subscribe to big bang cosmology, the fact that the universe must have a beginning point from which consciousness evolved is inherently built into the ideology itself.
There is simply no avoiding the fact that both atheism and theist creationism fundamentally demand a “beginning” point of the universe. A point where time and matter first appear. Both claim that where we are today is a product of evolution from a specific beginning point. Both ignore the possibility of the universe simply not having a “beginning.”
Consider the philosophical implications of the nature of consciousness. There is no observable reason why sticking a bunch of neurons together should give rise to a conscious phenomenological experience. No matter how complex the brain may be, it is still made of matter. Since thoughts are clearly not made of matter, they are considered “emergent” properties. However, logic clearly disproves the possibility of strong emergence. Physicists who accept strong emergence are doing so on faith alone, which would clearly put them into the same category as theist adherents.
In order to describe the nature of consciousness as a fundamental entity of the universe in its own right, one must have a steady state universe that does not necessarily have to have a beginning. If consciousness is a fundamental entity of the universe in its own right, then by default the claim is made that consciousness must have existed at the same moment matter, and the space it occupies, came into existence.
Also consider that if consciousness is a fundamental entity of the universe, then there is no need to have a “god created” afterlife, since our consciousness would continue on in perpetuity without physical form. What that afterlife might be composed of would depend upon our own unique consciousness and the factors that compose it within the laws that govern conscious thought.
The only way to describe consciousness as something OTHER than a fundamental part of the universe is to postulate that the universe had some beginning; that at one point it was nothing, and then it suddenly became something.
There is no clear reason why matter left alone in the depths of space should ever organize itself into a conscious entity. We know that emergent properties are logically impossible. If emergent properties are logically impossible, it stands to reason that consciousness is a fundamental property, rather than an emergent one that arises from the chaotic interaction of matter.
The only way to avoid a “beginning” point is to say that consciousness and matter have always existed forever. The only possible way to avoid a “big bang” type scenario in any case is to claim that consciousness and matter are fundamental parts of the universe and that the universe has existed forever.
So, if I wanted to describe consciousness as originating from the random chemical reactions of the brain, I would necessarily have to make that claim within a framework that allowed for consciousness not to exist before matter came into being. And because of this, I would have to believe that either consciousness is destroyed upon death or that it must be supernatural of divine inspiration. There is no other alternative. I would also have to believe that the universe had a beginning point, from which time consciousness must have evolved.
Clearly the third obvious option is missing from those choices; that being, consciousness is simply a fundamental part of the universe that has existed forever and will exist forever; that our brains are simply receivers of an external conscious input.
Now, I want to poke a little deeper. One of my favorite questions that used to drive my mother insane is “Why?”
If we stipulate that there is no god and that consciousness is a fundamental part of the universe that has always existed and always will exist, then WHY does it exist? For what purpose and how did it come to be? Is it supernatural after all? I hate supernatural interpretations.
Ask yourself if consciousness could exist if consciousness was fundamentally evil. From our libertarian teachings, we know that evil is the destruction of resources. We know that evil is harm and destruction. Evil is necessarily a destructive force. So however consciousness was created, it must not have been an act of evil if it has always existed. The first act of creation for all times must necessarily be something that stems from good, for something can not be destroyed or harmed (an act of evil) before it has been created.
Good things come from people creating things for themselves or others. Good things come from people helping themselves or others. Now it may be that created goods are used for evil purposes, but the fundamental fact remains that good is fundamentally a creative force.
Is it logical to say that good must have existed before evil? And that if the universe and consciousness are infinite and eternal, then consciousness must stem from good? That only a good creative force could have created consciousness? That because love exists, we exist? That god (in other words, the first act of creation) is Love?
I don’t necessarily believe in a god, as a theist would describe god, but I do believe consciousness is a fundamental part of the universe and is a separate entity in its own right.
I feel this paper is a good way of demonstrating agnosticism. Since we know that emergent properties are logically impossible, and since we can demonstrate an alternative theory of consciousness, we can make the claim that a god is not necessary for an afterlife to exist, although a god is not necessarily precluded from existing. The paper also shows that both atheism and creationism adhere to fiat lux, another logical impossibility.
Here’s an article I wrote previously on this subject that provides some scientific information in regards to my logic.
Oh, and by the way… This view of the universe and consciousness is supported by the science of plasma cosmology.