If you are afraid of death, this article is for you. If you are grieving for the loss of a loved one, this article is for you. If you want to reconcile your belief in God with your scientific worldview, this article is for you. If you are a transhumanist who wants to believe in a transcendent reality, this article is for you.
God? Science? Spacetime? Spirituality? Aliens? Future technology? We will be going through it all.
God - an absolutely infinite, infinitely far, totally unknowable God - is impossible to be ruled out by science. [God is undecidable but plausible].
Perhaps you have been told that science has (or will soon have) all the answers, and religion is a fairy tale.
Not so. Current science is very far from having all the answers, but future science and technology will validate and realize all the promises of religion.
Future science and tech will permit playing with the building blocks of space, time, matter, energy, and life, in ways that we could only call magic and supernatural today.
Inconceivably advanced intelligences may be already be out there among the stars and our future technology could allow us to find them.
My message is that, if you want, you can hope to live again with your loved ones, without abandoning the scientific worldview. If you want, you can believe in the essential core of your religion without betraying science.
My family was nominally Catholic but when it became my choice at the age of 14 I stopped going to church, and considered religion as something that other people do. So I grew up mostly uninterested in traditional religion and unaffected by it. At the same time, since I can remember I have always been interested in spirituality and the foundations of reality.
My name is Jack Jay. I grew up reading a lot of science and science fiction. By all means my life consisted of being a privileged white male, my family is together, we never worried about finances, I am about 6 foot, healthy, and can eat anything I want and look fine. I should have been at my highest high, having a D1 offer to play Football, Scoring Perfect scores in math and science on my ACT and being named Scholar Athlete of The Year in school. In all senses of reality, I think if life is a video game, I selected easy mode. I don't bring this all up to brag, but to preface the fact that while everything on the outside was perfect, my long term questioning of the nature of reality was catching up to me. As the stress of picking a career and life path came forward, a deep depression started waning over me. Nothing was exciting, it all felt like vain, pointless work towards a pointless future that would pointlessly go into dust.
I recognize that there are a wide range of different ideas that can combat this way of thinking that I came to, by no means do I believe this thinking was correct either, I simply want to give you a candid story of how the beliefs I have continued to formulate and think on originally planted their seed deep into my brain.
These ideas were planted so deep that I have since forgotten the option of ignoring them. I can definitely see how ignorance is bliss. In a sense I feel like I have “red pilled” myself and cannot go back to functioning “normally”. And I am very glad that that's the case, why wouldn't I be, I can't change it. Normal does not lead to an interesting life. In the middle of a college fraternity party, in the middle of being (sorry for the graphic description) inside of a girl that anyone would consider a 10, my mind would shoot back into the thought of my timeline, the butterfly effect, and what that action I was taking was actually doing in the world. That action, as most actions are, was willed by a craving for more dopamine, backed up by my fraternity culture, and a vast majority of the male population.
My first realization that acted as a resilient shield toward my Nihilistic view on the world was a realization that my current thought and beliefs could very well be wrong. It was not that long ago that we attributed lightning to Zeus, sacrificed animals for rain, and thought the earth was flat.
On this same note, I would never fully deny that Zeus does create lightning, that sacrificing an animal doesn't bring rain, or that the earth was not flat. Of course, for this to be the case requires a lot of damning evidence to be wrong, and possibly a grand conspiracy to be underway to hide and give the illusion to all men. While there exists a reality in which this is the case, it is so unlikely to the point at which I choose to live on the assumption of a round earth.
On the same note of a peculiarly rare reality, this is the same argument that Simulation Theorists use to explain why we likely live in one. I most like to explain it as such. There exists a bag of an uncountable number of marbles. Each one of those marbles is an explanation for your current reality. One of those marbles is what your current belief of reality is. For some they have simply selected one marble and cannot fathom the existence or possibility of other realities being truth. Others may be open minded to the existence of all marbles. Some have just completely lost their marbles…
For anyone reading this now who only believes in a single or very small number of marbles, I want to bring into question, and have you think about why that set of marbles is the set you believe, and what merit it has over the other sets I will go over here too.
Materialist Science's view
Reality came into existence at a “Big Bang” 14.3 billion years ago, primordial soup randomly created the right ingredients to form a single celled organism. Moving from there into multicellular organisms evolving all the way to the meat suit you are inhabiting today. When you die you are dust, because your consciousness was created from the neurons in your brain.
Some viewpoints overlap others or accept others as possibilities. Some people stick to one theory and reject all others.
In reality, all possible realities are possible, and our beliefs are just ones that make more sense to us. This is the most open-minded one can get, and its what I choose to base my idealogy off of. Essentially, it comes down to not what we should do, but more so of what we shouldnt do. And through this process of elimination it reveals a life path that makes sense with actionable steps to move towards it. Something that, for me personally, was absolutely necessary to start optimizing my life and living with purpose, something that I craved.
One value I live by, since many religions promise their own afterlives and different actions needed for entry, is that if that God is good and I lived my life morally, with love, compassion, kindness, etc and that All Powerful All Knowing God could not understand my decision to not live strictly within one set of worships guidelines, then that god is not a god worth worshipping in the first place.
This gives a blanket need for good and love and compassion along the way and the same mindset that comes into question with most religions which would be is this “sin” really worth a chance at being in eternal hell verses eternal afterlife. Seems pretty obvious when you think about it like that, and that exact reason is why religion has been such a powerful tool in societies in decreasing crime and aligning people on a shared view, enforced by murder if not followed in some of these societies of course.
Religion for many people is now a loosely followed identifier such as a favorite sports team or where someone's from. Our ancestors constructed vast monuments for their deities, and we find it hard to go to an hour long air conditioned service once a week. I'm not trying to say its not an infinitely more distracting and dopamine filled world, but instead that any successful religion for the next generation is going to require massive faith and belief systems in moving towards success.
THIS IS THE PERFECT STARTING POINT
I have come to the belief that death is in fact an illusion, that consciousness will live on in some form, but alas, how that works is still unknown and a guessing game. In this case, we risk only the loss of our present reality, our present time, with our surrounding environment and qualia. My personal take on this is that this state, out of all possible states to be born into, is in the high upper echelon. In a sense, I believe present reality is closer to heaven than we could imagine, because of the belief that Heaven must be EARNED rather than GIVEN. Take into account where we are, how fast we are evolving, and predict yourself when HEAVEN by nature could be created in this reality? This of course is taking an idealist view of what Super Intelligent AI will bring, this stage is often referred to in science as “The Singularity”
The following are things created over the past 150 years.
AI & robotics
Sonar & radar
Radio & TV
Now imagine what the next 150 will bring.
Looking at the world through this lens, it’s become easy for me to understand that the only correct thing is to sacrifice my life towards the betterment and improvement of man on a global scale. Acting as an apex point in creating belief systems, digital systems, and physical systems which progress the whole.