Monotheism, etc.: Anthropic Principle
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Monotheism, etc.: Anthropic Principle

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What is the strong anthropic principle? The strong anthropic principle states that the universe must have conditions capable of supporting intelligent life. That this must be part of a plan by some more sophisticated being. It says that the universe is fine-tuned and explicitly catered for intelligent life. We will explore various theologies, including polytheism, monotheism, and simulation theory. I will offer my thoughts on each and leave it up to the audience to decide what, if any, of these they choose to believe.

Polytheism

Polytheism or paganism is the idea of many gods, each with a particular purpose. First, however, we should explore the reasons for gods of any kind. In life, we are often faced with reverses and problems that we can’t find a cause or an adequate explanation of their sudden appearance in our lives. Unable to define the reasons we seek an answer that gives us some measure of peace. So, instead of blaming nature or poor farming methods for a failed crop, polytheists would blame Ceres in Roman mythology or Demeter in Greek mythology for failed harvests, the gods of harvest. So if a crop failed, this presented an opportunity to implement social changes within these societies to curry favor with these gods. Superstition then provided a measure of balance to the often chaotic existence of the ancients. Polytheists copied gods from one culture to the next, renaming them to make them their own.

Religion’s primary purpose is to give meaning to nonsensical events or events that have a much more mundane explanation. Why blame yourself for failed love affairs, crops, war, or plagues when you can pass the buck on to a being that is wholly unassailable and indecipherable. Unfortunately, humans have a penchant for kicking the can down the road, valid throughout humankind’s history.

Monotheism

Monotheistic belief is the belief in one God. Modern man’s answer to polytheism. It borrows many aspects from paganism and incorporates it into a religion that has a slightly less schizophrenia-inspired selection of objects or ideas to worship. I can only touch on Christianity because my knowledge of the other’s is pretty limited, but it’s a fair assumption that all religions operate as a pyramid scheme. The higher you go up the ladder, the more money and power the people have until finally, you come to God, which isn’t defined by that deity but the people who consider themselves stewards of the flock. As described in the Christian Bible, God is all-knowing and vengeful, constantly punishing those who stray from the edicts the deity “man” laid out.

As laid out in the Bible, he would have to live outside time and space constraints for this God to exist. One thousand years from now for this deity would be much the same as one second from now. Yet, we are given an idea by Christian teachings that we have free will. If God knows all and isn’t subject to time or space, then this entity we call God knows everything that everyone will do before it creates them. We are also told that God will seek vengeance against humans who fail to adhere to God’s standards. If God knows everything we do before we are conceived, then should God not seek revenge against itself? God, as it presented in the Bible, can’t exist. Humans create anthropomorphisms of the beings they construct and mold them into their image so that they may use it to implement social controls on adherents to the word of men impersonating a God. God may well exist, but such a deity could never share so many human failings as the construct laid out in the Bible.

Simulation Theory

Simulation Theory dictates that our universe was fine-tuned, not by God, but by some intelligent and sophisticated advanced species. That the universe as we know it is simply a construct of this advanced alien lifeform. Science supports the idea that it would be theoretically possible to construct an artificial universe though this is presently well beyond our means. Our brains build our reality around us, creating solid objects out of swirling atoms and sub-atomic particles. The brain operates much like a program, and all the atoms and sub-atomic particles around us are like pixels on a television screen. We are integrated at some level with our environment. This leads many to believe that everything is a function of the program. The brain, however, forms patterns to make sense of all the sensory information it takes in through the senses. We could not function if we perceived reality in its rawest form. If we are part of a simulation, I don’t believe we could ever prove it, and perhaps if we did, then that simulation would be shut down and the affected memory erased, so in effect, we could never know.

Closing

All of these theories or ways of believing are important to someone out there. They could all be false. Perhaps one of them is true. To me, they smack of seeking to explain the unexplainable experiences of life with something that is itself unexplainable and entirely unprovable. We can’t prove a negative, so these ideas will persist, and people possess a deep desire to believe in something greater than themselves. I find myself wishing they might believe in bettering the future of humanity and not waiting on some external force to effect positive change in their lives. I hope that I gave you all something worthwhile to think about and that perhaps I provided you with a different perspective, a way to entertain these ideas on a better footing.

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About Post Author

James Borden

I'm a veteran of the U.S Army, with one deployment to Afghanistan. I will not pull punches in my articles and what you see is what you get.
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