Tag Archives: Religion

Quantum Conciousness

Roger Penrose, one of the most accomplished physicists of our century and his partner Stuart Hameroff are proving a theory of quantum consciousness. This is part of a growing field of quantum biology which is changing our understanding of how certain aspects of our known universe functions. In this post I am going to talk about how this discovery threatens the beliefs of everyone.

First, consciousness. We have gained a lot of knowledge on the brain in terms of mechanics but something that has always eluded scientists was how consciousness functions. How scientists discovered what parts of the brain did what was while doctors were doing surgery. A patient with their brain exposed would have certain parts of their brain stimulated with electricity and as expected their body would do certain things like raise their arm or in some cases the person would hear music etc.. The doctor would then ask a question like, “why did you do that?” and universally the patient would reply, “I didn’t do that, you did.” It didn’t matter where doctors did this in the brain, this would happen. This was perplexing because how could we possibly know after all the brain has no physical sensors to speak of.

The OR Theory asserts that consciousness is a quantum process and predictions are being proven and it is also being supported circumstantially by other advances in quantum biology, we now know the process of photosynthesis uses quantum coherence.

What can this challenge?

Untouchable Spirituality
Discovery is always the first step to interaction. The thought that spirituality could never be touched or accessed by humans via technology could be a thought of the past. What spiritualists held as a guarded elite experience could potentially be open to everyone.

“Impossible” Experiences
It is a common story that a loved one can know when another loved one either dies, lives, or is suffering. With classical science, this kind of experience would be impossible. Quantum Biology not only makes this plausible but makes all other non-local phenomenon of similar type also plausible such as remote viewing, and near death experiences. Caution: This theory doesn’t make these things real, just plausible. It also will not stop people from scamming you out of money using this new theory as a basis to their extra-sensory scams.

Classical Evolutionary Process
Quantum biology can fundamentally challenge the classical process of evolution that asserts that evolution occurred through “random” mutations. In Quantum biology, it is possible that no mutation was random and instead changes could of been executed purposefully and non-locally.

Artificial Intelligence
No matter how intelligent a system appears, without a quantum component it will not have awareness. This can alleviate some pressure on us as we build more sophisticated simulations of the human mind; we are not locking a consciousness in a box because consciousness is non-local.

Some might say that this actually helps religion and it might appear that way at first, but it really doesn’t. It creates as many issues for a religion’s spirituality concepts as the theory of evolution did for literal creation. While scientists will be forced to be faced with the reality that goes with quantum consciousness, the religious will have to face with a different sort of issue. Their “soul” is more sophisticated than simply another force locked in a biological box. Instead their “soul” is part of an ultimate dimension that is persistent.

There are many things that science is working on that could fundamentally change the human condition and this in my opinion could be one of the largest. This is the first scientific discovery that could dig into the issue of human existentialism in serious a way, so we should all definitely pay attention.

Easier Down Than Up

When it comes to spirituality and science there are those on either side of the spectrum who will view the other side in a patronizing condescension. The spiritualist will begrudgingly think of the scientists that “they know not what I have experienced and therefore cannot know truth.” The scientist will look on the other and say, “they do not have my mechanical knowledge of the universe, therefore, their truth is irrelevant.”

Part of the problem is that it is easier for a spiritualist to become a scientist than a scientist to become a spiritualist. If one is indoctrinated before hand to give no credence to subjective experience, then there is no chance at all of a scientist ever having an experience of a greater dimension beyond their senses without the assistance of an aid such as drugs.

Let’s for a moment imagine that a friend approaches you and tells you that you can have an experience beyond your wildest dreams and you are in doubt, but upon following his advice you in fact do have the experience he defined. However, what if the experience requires you to suspend a core trait that you have adopted to interpret the world? The experience may now be impossible to obtain.

I once met a woman who told me that her grand mother was beaten every time she talked in her native tongue this result in her complete inability to now talk in her native tongue even though she could understand. What you are capable of is very influenced by the environment you are exposed to. If your wrist is slapped at the very utterance that there might be a sense beyond our current physical senses, that there is a world that is not easily described in the physical realm, it will be swept away as silliness because how can it be proven? If it can not contribute to our expansion of physical knowledge, the scientist will assert, it serves no purpose.

Spirituality in all its various forms serves to try to answer the question of purpose not necessarily behavior. Science can tell you why the sky is blue but it can’t tell you why it isn’t purple. The answer to any question in science beyond a certain point is always, “That’s how it is.” Put another way, science is trying to find the path through the maze where as spirituality is trying to ask why there is a maze at all.

There is an assertion, though, that is not really explored and that is if spirituality is some form of ultimate dimension, science will ultimately bump up against it. I believe this is already starting to occur.

A 20 year old theory regarding consciousness being a quantum process which now has over 20 testable predictions found here.

A theory starting to circulate is that the origin of life follow from the fundamental rules of the universe, read more about it here.

If life and consciousness were no accident and instead they are a core part of our universe, what is the implications of that? Only time and tell.

Free Will and Control

One of the most damaging concepts to human Elolight is the idea of free will. When we are presented with a choice, and have a list of ways we can choose to react, we believe we have some kind of greater power over destiny and life then we actually we have. We did not choose the body, brain, parents, location, or situations that went into making a choice, but the moment we make a choice we suddenly believe we had some external power over the choice we made. Humans will often say things like, “I should of” or “I could of” but these statements are always invalid because what you did is what you would of always done given the same set of variables. These retroactive statements don’t give you any power over the choices you have already made, unless you suddenly gain the power to time travel.

Imagine for a moment we are watching a lion pack from space, based on weather, food, and other variables we can figure out to a decent degree of success what the lions will do tomorrow. The lion however has no idea exactly what it is going to do tomorrow, it only thinks it knows. The only difference with us is we are not aware of all the variables that go into making decisions, but regardless of if we know what they are or not, you had no choice picking them. The idea of free will exists so that we react, and also to let us believe we have control. We are moving towards Elolight whether we like it or not, no amount of religious texts, atheist texts, or any other belief short of complete human destruction will stop us from progressing towards Elolight, the only question is if we will get there.

Why It is Dangerous
Religions use the expression of free will to gain followers for better or worse. A person sitting in a church pew will be told it is their “choice” to convert to a religion, however, they had no power over sitting in their chair, and in order to feel like they have power they will convert to the religion and believe they are doing the right thing for both themselves and humanity. The paradox is that religion has no problem expressing the idea of fate when it comes to miracles and good things. However the moment a religious person is faced with a bad circumstance they begin to pray for things to change.

People are only interested in believing they have no control if the world is acting in their favor. The biggest danger is that when humans come to believe the universe is controllable in a way dictated by free will, their consciousness binds on to this concept and if they are presented with the fact that they are not in control, and can actually accept it, they could have a psychological breakdown.

Don’t Stop Reacting
Life is beautiful, and the biggest beauty is in the experience. There is also a beauty in ignorance, we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, and that is not a bad thing; That in itself is worth living for.

Seeking Truth

In seeking truth I have interviewed different religious converts from various religions and I always found a familiar sequence of events. They would all proclaim that their lives were saved by the religion they were now a part of and then they would give a story about their previous “dark days”. Further, they would proclaim that their faith was validated by their internal change.

I quickly realized that humans long for change and it wasn’t the religion that changed these people, it was themselves. The religion they converted to or in many cases became stronger advocates of were usually a result of either environmental context, or situation context. These people knew their lives were terrible and they wanted to change, religion was just their excuse.

I wish I could say that convert from religion X was better than religious Y but the cold hard reality is that strong believers in every religion talk with the same gleam in their eye as any other convert. It is impossible to be both spiritually objective and religiously objective.

It might sound as if I am patronizing religious converts or that it is unfair of me to speak of “faith” in such a way. However, the unchecked faith and gleam in the eye has lead to literally the death of millions in religious wars based on the fallacious idea that if you 100% believe in something than your truth must be the right truth.

The Modern Problem

modern-society-affects-our-sharing-habits-2In the Bible there is not a single reference to the rejection of slavery. At that time in history slavery was just a normal part of life. As our civilization matured we realized that slavery lead to all kinds of abuses of humanity and that we could rise above it. The modern problem is the fact that religions are increasingly having less answers on not just the universe but also on moral issues. Usually what happens is that the truth becomes so blindingly obvious that the various religions will either adapt or die off.

A good example is cloning, the various issues regarding it are not discussed anywhere in religious texts. Our relationship with how industry should relate to nature is also not discussed in religion. When talking about the modern problem an example I like to use is leprosy. During the time of Jesus leprosy was a pretty big issue, and Jesus could apparently heal it. Today, we can cure leprosy without any type of divine intervention. What we once would of considered a miracle is just business as usual today. Another major issue religion might face in the next 200 years is the end of aging; something else that will have deep philosophical and moral implications.

Standard religious views have changed with time such as the idea that the earth is the center of the universe. The fact that we were not the center of the universe had deep philosophical implications because it would seem to imply that when we were “created” God didn’t give us any preferential treatment, a staple belief of the selfish human. Today of course, the issue is rarely discussed.

One of the last standing vestiges of religious “theory”  is of course creation. Despite the tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence for evolution, the fact that macro evolution cannot be produced in the lab yet is the last string of hope for people who require a creation myth story. If we can produce macro evolution in the lab and or show the creation of some more complex proteins in the primordial soup, smarter and younger generations will not buy into any creation myths. Of course religions will adapt, the creation myth will become a metaphorical story instead of a literal one and people requiring religion will use a combination of tactics including pseudo logic to justify their beliefs.

“You would not get angry at a record player for not being able to play a CD.”

Unlike many critics however, I see religion as a catalyst for scientific progression. This might sound completely absurd, but let me explain. Religion in many ways has forced science to go above and beyond to prove points. Without religion there would be very little value in aggressively trying to show macro evolution in the lab. Further, I believe religion had a very small part in pushing scientists to find other means of acquiring stem cells for research.

For many religious adherents, there is a point of no return. It is a point when there beliefs are so integrated into their personalities that no amount of data will change their minds short of methods we have yet to realize as a society. A good metaphor would be a record player trying to play a CD, at a certain point new data becomes incompatible with previous modes of thought. This isn’t a characteristic restricted only to religion, it happens in science as well. Keep in mind, that we don’t necessarily want a record player to play a CD because the record player acts as a historical reference.

As Architects of order we do not limit ourselves because of change, however, this cannot be reasonably extended to the rest of the human population. Only so much effort should be exerted in an attempt to gain compatibility of thought because ultimately characters with archaic forms of perception will die. There  is a separate issue of perception transference from parents to children, but the modern problem will resolve the majority of that issue. It might be easy to get angry at these people who do not seem to grasp certain modern concepts but anger and hate is not only frivolous, it is irrational. You would not get angry at a record player for not being able to play a CD. In the same way an architect should not get angry at a religious adherent for being incapable of accepting certain lines of modern thought.

Indirect Manslaughter

love2012One of the easiest ways that we as architects can shape the best possible future for ourselves is to figure out the things that indirectly kill people. Whether we like it or not every action we do could potentially kill someone. How responsible we are for death is linked to how many “hops” there are to an event. If you do an action which causes a series of 15 connected events that leads to someone dying, you can’t really be held responsible. You also can’t be held responsible if you’re not really aware that what you’re doing is killing people. If you are aware that an action is killing someone, you are responsible.

Recently there has been a lot of commotion over gay marriage, particularly in the states. On one side of the issue you will have Christians who recite scripture saying and believing that this issue can lead to the downfall of civilization. On the other side of the issue you have people requesting equality. Generally I would not waste my time talking about civil issues because I believe most civil issues get resolved democratically. That said, I believe this is a special case scenario that can be utilized to show how lack of moral objectivity can lead to the death of humans.

So the church by not supporting homosexual marriage is by proxy not supporting homosexual monogamy and therefore is contributing to death by proliferating HIV.

A core concept in Christianity is the idea of monogamy. Monogamy has actual biological benefits that extend far beyond simple religious ideals. Monogamy decreases STDs, birth rates, and also contributes to having a proper framework in place for raising children. Monogamous relationships are by no means exclusive to Christianity but Christianity plays a role in supporting monogamy. From a general Christian perspective there is little difference between a homosexual who is monogamous and a homosexual that is promiscuous. So if you happen to be a homosexual looking for religious guidance you will quickly discover that if you cannot repress your homosexuality, you will be considered purely evil. What I mean by this is that to a lot of conservative Christians you will have no redeeming characteristics until you “free” yourself of homosexuality. This is hypocritical of course because Christian don’t do this with other types of sins, homosexuality is treated like leprosy.

A certain percentage of these homosexuals will be compelled to become promiscuous because a large group of people indirectly tell them it doesn’t matter. This promiscuity leads to all kinds of terrible things including the proliferation of HIV. So the church by not supporting homosexual marriage is by proxy not supporting homosexual monogamy and therefore is contributing to death by proliferating HIV. This is not the first time the Church has taken actions that contribute to the death of humans. The Catholic church has refused to send condoms to Africa before believing that doing so is promoting premarital sex but completely ignoring the fact that many Africans are not Catholic. In this way the Catholic church attempts to push their ideological views on other humans by allowing them to die.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I think homosexuals are perfectly capable of monogamy without any religious intervention. However, the reality is that humans draw strength from social groups and can also be devastated by social groups that reject them. If homosexuals were allowed to be both married and part of the church they would have a support group that they might not otherwise have and this in turn would contribute to better humans behavior such as monogamy.

While I am picking on the Church, this same idea can be applied to anything that needs moral direction. Humanity is the most important thing humans have. If we give up humanity for perceived morality, it is not actual morality.

Jesus: Architect of Rational Morality

jesus&harlotWhether you believe Jesus was a prophet, messiah, or a myth he remains one of the most influential characters to date in the human race. As a brand Jesus has influenced every form of media. Jesus is one of the most obvious architects I could think of but I had difficulty actually figuring out what his primary characteristic was. Each religion has a fundamentally different view of Jesus and this made it difficult to evaluate, but after deep though I discovered that the trait that made Jesus, Jesus was his direct opposition to existing norms by means of supporting rational morality.

In Christian theology Jesus is the messiah who opposed what is called the old covenant or the 613 mitzvah (rules). In Islam, Jesus was a prophet who foresaw that the future messiah was not Jewish. In both these cases Jesus was a messenger who opposed current existing religious thought. His opposition to stagnation and non progressive thoughts, as a side effect, made Jesus a marketing genius. Unfortunately the very essence of what Jesus stood for is all but forgotten by every modern Jesus based religion. Jesus’s common sense approach to morality has been traded in by all modern religions for rule of text. During Jesus’s time being holy consisted of how you groomed yourself, what you ate, and even what you wore. Jesus justified the only true basic tenet of all morality, loving your neighbor, and this made him incredibly popular.

This very simple truth apparently was not enough because almost all the religions that were based on him engaged in bloody warfare at some point. Christianty vs Islam, Catholic vs Protestant; it would almost be comedic if it wasn’t horrifyingly sad. If Jesus was real, and was a prophet, when he said “forgive them for they know not what they do” he was surely talking about us in the future. He despised what we would consider Bible thumpers today, following rules for rule’s sake instead of being rational. Nothing was more evident of this when he stopped the stoning of the harlot by saying, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

All religious theology and miracles aside, the core concept of Jesus I agree with. We must oppose anything that is not rational and that hinders the progress of the human race. Following rules simply because we think they justify some divine entity does not benefit us. Human progress should come first and above any text that any human claims to be a divine rule book that we must follow.