Friday, April 1, 2011

The eternity of time and other musings


I am unhappy with a draft on “The conception of God” because a) It is still quite long; and b) It expects the reader to be devoid of certain prejudices/misconceptions, which, unfortunately is not the case. I have noticed this big mass of hereditary and social bias at the back of the heads of so many people, albeit only recently.  This apparently random post of mine is hence warranted, before the one on the conception of God. The below arguments do not prove/disprove the existence of God. They only discuss the conception.

The Eternity of Time

The universe has been in existence since eternity. The law of conservation of energy comes in handy here. Suppose the contrary, that an event A marked the start of the universe. The energy required for this event couldn’t have come out of nowhere. It is known and settled, once and for all, that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. The energy that manifests the event A must have been present in some or the other form previously. It is at once clear, that the event A exists in relation to a previous event; an event that occurred earlier in time than A; and had the energy required by A. Thus, A is not the starting point, as assumed. The Big bang or any other explanation for that matter is an explanation from a certain time period. It is an explanation only to a part of the problem and not the whole; hence they do not excite me much.  Any conception of God which goes contrary to this eternal nature of time doesn’t jibe with me.

Science and a couple of generic principles

One of the pillars on which science rests is ‘Repeatability’. Boyle had conducted experiments on a fixed mass of gas under Isothermal conditions. The conclusion derived is that the product of pressure and volume of this gas under such conditions is constant. What lends credibility to this assertion of his? It is the fact that we reach the same conclusions, if under similar conditions, we were to perform the experiment. It is this Repeatability. The same conclusion can be tested infinite number of times and it should pass every single time. Ditto with Biot Savart’s Law etc. Consider the mindset of a blind guy, who hears of the scientific fact called “The Sun” for the first time. The problem here is that he has no means to directly verify this. Argue as much as you may, it is well nigh impossible for a blind guy to have a direct perception of the sun. What cannot be repeated cannot and shouldn’t be a scientific fact. Perception is the starting point of all science. Because without perceptions, there can be no repetition. All this explanation is warranted by people’s misinterpretation of my previous post. Only that perception which can be had by one and all can classify for the conception of God.

The other aspect is that any scientific principle is the most perfect generalization possible. If Newton had cited gravitation as a principle exclusive to the falling of apples, then it wouldn’t have been a perfect generalization. The logic or the idea behind perfect generalization is simple. That which explains the whole also explains the parts, because the whole is but an addition of parts. But that which explains the parts, needn’t explain the whole. It is easier to understand with Venn diagrams (subsets and super sets). Based on this understanding, it is easy to see how futile the anthropomorphic idea of God- a human God who is pleased with some and displeased with others-is. A cow could similarly think of a cow God. The human God, so to speak, is susceptible to death- another irony of sorts. That conception which is the most perfect generalization can only be an ideal conception, if there is one.

That good and bad are not separate entities is another prerequisite towards a refined idea. This, a better understanding of perceptions and the conception shall come up in the next post. But, as an empirical example, food wastage is seen by most people as a ‘bad’ activity. But what is apparent wastage from the human view point is food to the bacteria and microbes. Sure, the food that we waste could have fed another human, but the microbes complete the chain. What is bad to humans is sustenance to the microbes! Our sense of good and bad are extremely narrow – imperfect generalizations. Other examples in this context. Ciao!