I'm re-reading one of my favorite books on how to think about meaning / the universe, "Ideas Have Consequences". I'll do a review on it here in a few days, but the basic element is that how we live personally and even more importantly, as a society/culture, is defined by how we answer the question: "Is man the measure of all things, or are there "universals", "transcendentals" that provide the ultimate forms of our existence?".
The layman version of that is "God, yes or no"?
One of the questions that I have is if all people actually feel a shiver of extra awareness when they see the light hit the dog in the linked video, or if it is only some of us? Christians? Other? My belief is that it is universal and that some either deny or have managed to suppress / alter the natural "shiver of awareness" over the course of life to suppress that feeling or convert it to anger, hurt, derision, etc as they declare "it is just some trick", "it is an accident", etc.. They have "killed the shiver" and now it is a negative that makes them want to strike back and what they are convinced is "fake".
In song, my prayer for myself and those I love on this subject is well embodied in this song -- which I think hints at accepting and believing in the shiver -- if even some of them turned out to be "fake".
Naturally, it COULD all a be a big accident, and we no longer have to feel small beside the ocean -- the transcendent does not force belief, yet ignoring it can be exceedingly hard I think. Hard enough to turn hopeful loving people into insolent haters -- because maybe there was something about Gods purity that made them feel smaller than they wanted to.
Our days on this rock have a number of "light on the dog" or "stand beside the ocean" kinds of moments -- all clearly explainable by coincidence, random chance, good wine or a momentary chill maybe. Phenomena like humor, music, love, consciousness, etc are all "explainable" by "random selection" -- or just "accidental artifacts, side-effects" ... nothing to see here, move along. Don't give faith a chance -- but really, it is just THAT faith that links us to the eternal that "the other" is going to work hard to get you to deny.
Our very existence remains a matter of faith. That the universe that we live in is teleological (goal directed/has a purpose), is rational, predictable and can be understood by reason/experience are ALWAYS matters of faith! Those matters are not provable by experience -- induction can falsify, but it can never prove. We can ALWAYS deny -- 3 times, hundreds of times maybe, but no matter how angry that shiver may make some, does it ever really really go away?
Accepting the existence of God is called a "leap of faith". I personally find atheism, the ultimate faith in the non-existence of God to be a MUCH greater "LEAP of faith" since as Nietzsche explained when he lamented "God is dead", it is known by thinkers to be a lamentable decision. A leap and a tumble into the the abyss. No God, no center, no meaning, no purpose, no direction ... the faith of nullification. Indeed the HOPE of instant annihilation. But can even rejection really kill the shiver? I don't know, I certainly don't want to walk that dark path, but my sense tells me no -- the shiver will keep calling, keep trying to bring you home. At least I pray it does!
No doubt I will have to read the book discussed here, but the link is worth following for the "8 explanations of the universe" which I'll cover another time. The book is prompted by the fact that there are numerous features of our universe that must be "just so" (like the porridge in Goldilocks) ... some of those values are:
- N (ratio of strength of gravity to electromagnetism),
- Epsilon (force binding nucleons into nuclei),
- Omega (ratio of universe mass density to critical mass density),
- Cosmological Constant (starts being significant at 10 to -122),
- D (number of spatial dimensions in spacetime) ... etc
Our scientists believe many of these were "set" during the Big Bang, and were they set to tiny different values we would not exist. But ALL of them were set "just right". Again ... as the 8 ways to deal with that indicate, it COULD all be an accident ... in fact, the discovery of the precision of anthropic "setting" is one of the larger reasons that the "Multiverse Theory", where there are gigantic number of UNIVERSES -- like 10 to the 400 or so has gained consideration primarily because many scientists and atheists realized that something like that HAD to be true if their position of no God was to remain tenable.
Murdering the shiver can take a lot of ammo!
Do we all feel the "shiver of awareness"? I believe we do -- for Christ came for ALL. I believe we all have both the "shiver" and free will -- thus the opportunity to make THE choice of eternal significance in all things, those as mundane as a dog in a picture or as immense as the cosmos itself.
Still just a small thing next to the power of God.
'via Blog this'