Okay – this has been pending for a while now 🙂

wrote (intercut) :

I said  “Now, I think that this comes back to what I discussed in a previous  post. I said – if there is/are a God(s)/Goddess(es) but they don’t interfere in the physical world in a way we can measure then why worry about them?”

> This is a valid point. However, the question can be turned around – is the inability to measure this effect due to it being beyond
>  measurability? Or is it because our tools and the way that we approach measuring any effect are not sufficiently developed?

Again, I ask – does it matter? The point being perhaps not should we concern ourselves with things beyond the physical (it is interesting to muse on life after death) but that speculating on the nature of anything we can’t currently interact with (beyond ways of perhaps interacting with it in the future) seems pointless to me.

I said :  “We cannot comprehend what they do so, in essence, they could be doing anything and therefore their actions will be unknowable (and therefore  meaningless) to us. Does that make sense?”

> Yes it does. There is something else to consider though (and I hope that  this does not broaden the scope of the discussion too much)
> and that is the question of why was the Universe created the way that it was?

Three apt questions to ask at  this time might be “can we ever know?”, “why does there have to be a why” and (given some of the current cosmology thinking) “did the universe / multiverse ever have a beginning at all?”.

> The answer that I would put forward (that is not actually my original thought but discussed many, many centuries before) is that whilst the
> Creator could have created the Universe in an instant – the Divine instead chose to create it over a period of time ‘with ten utterances’ so
> that we could have some grasp of the Divine within creation and by extension hope to achieve some understanding of the Divine that
> transcends creation.

See, the problems I have with things similar to that are that not only is it an interpritation of something we probably can’t ever know anything about (the creation of the universe) but also that the ideas put forth have to have been transcribed by a man and therefore at the time he wrote them he has to either be human (and therefore fallable and could have got it all wrong) or somehow possessed by the Divine in a way that we, again, cannot prove.

I said :  “I’m glad we all agree. It is a very annoying and silly word. Like  ‘evil’ and even ‘truth’ it’s pretty much just shorthand for saying ”I can’t be bothered to discuss this any further'”

> I would disagree here and say that words such as “evil” and “truth” can  be defined within a particular belief system. I’ll not spell them out
> here as I think that they merit discussions of their own.

Indeed – in fact

is doing an extensive course on “evil” at the moment. I think ‘truth’ can be absolute in mathamatics and in some sciences (physics with a strong observational backing) but I think in most other things it is extremely relative.

I said:  “Okay, now I’m lost. Everything exists within nature (i.e. there is  nothing ‘supernatural’) but some things ‘transcend existence’? I think I  am lost in the semantics.”

> The fault lies in my lack of ability to explain this clearly. It is my belief that everything in existence is a part of the Divine. Not something
> created separate to the Divine, it is an integral part of the Divine in that they are one and the same. You, me, the computer that you
> are reading this on, the Milky Way; everything is a part of G-d.

If everything in the universe is part of the Devine and the universe contains nothing that is supernatural (by definition of the word) then unless the Divine contains something else beyond what is in the universe then the Divine cannot be “divine”, no?

> The Universe and everything in it is part of G-d and G-d is more than the  Universe. This is what I mean about the Divine transcending
> creation.

Ah, okay. The question is – how do you know that? What made you think that there was something that contains something that is more than everything? Now, does that one make sense?

> This raises the question, how do we relate to the part of G-d that is not  within the reality that we know?

I would say – “how do we know that this exists?”. That becomes a matter of faith and by faith in this context I don’t mean faith in the Divine but faith in the people who tell you that it exists and what it’s nature is. Why, when they present no hard evidence (to my mind) should we believe what they say?

> This is quite hard to do and there are few clues within our reality to understand this that the Divine has granted us to comprehend it better.
> Some terms that people have used in the past to grasp the infinite nature of the Divine are phrases such as “without end” and “no thing”.

Would you say it is possible to pry into those things using rational methods? If not – how can we related to them – prove that they even exist?

I said :  “That could certainly be true – however since we can only investigate and comprehend the real world (at least while we are alive) then whether or not it is part of some “reality superstructure” literally has no  useful meaning”

> If a person accepts that there is a creative force that brought reality  in to existence, it is not much further a leap of the imagination to
> believe that it was done so for a reason. Therefore I would argue that investigating the above has a meaning if we are trying to understand
> why  everything was created and what role each of us may have to play.

I would agree with that. The interesting part is accepting the “creative force”.

I said :   “Indeed – although I am personally extremely wary of “alternate mind states” as methods of investigating the physical world as they tend to be extremely subjective, hard to reproduce and pretty much impossible to tie  into anything external to their own experiments.”

> The mind is a wonderful thing and it is through meditation that we can grasp more of an understanding of the Divine. The point that I am
> trying to put forward here is that scientific research has become somewhat dogmatic in its approach to investigating things that the
> current “tool-set” (labs, computers etc) may not be particularly suited to finding out more about. I’m not proposing that science does away
> with its current approach, rather that scientist become a little more open-minded to other avenues of investigation that can be pursued
> with equal rigour.

The problem with this is that anything that is based on “the mind” is, by definition, subjective and therefore cannot be “pursued with equal rigour” until we can share our minds – then we really will be at a stage of Consensus Reality.

> That said –

is very much correct about one  thing. As you get to stuff like string theory and the more esoteric end
> of current science not only do the things that they are discussing more and more sound like faith rather than science but as they become
> less and less able to be measured in the physical world then – indeed – I would be as skeptical as the next person that they are making it
> all up..

The only reason why I am fractionally less skeptical about this is because the people who propose these things tend to have a background working on things that are provable and the new work they are doing is, by and large, put through a large process of scrutiny via peer review. That say – even so…

> I hope that this has not shaken your faith in science.

Not today. 🙂

said :

> Of course they’re making things up. They come up with possibilities that seem to explain observed phenomena, and then design
> experiments to see if they are right. The Higgs boson is the first example to come to mind,  probably because there has been a fair
> amount of media coverage as we get closer to the LHC turn-on date.

True, and now there’s all the stuff in the science press about Fermilab perhaps having found the Higgs and the Fermi designed magnets going wrong at the LHC… Sounds like a soap opera plot…

Anyway – what you describe above is, as you of course know, the scientific method. Put up a hypothesis, see if anyone can break it, repeat. However, string theory (especially in the book your gave me) does have any testable theories as yet so it becomes instead – put up a hypothesis, write a book about it, try to get paid, repeat… Not quite the same thing…