Here’s another short one from Dana Horton. In this one, there are potential arguments to be had over epiphenomenalism and whether mind can properly causally interact with matter or whether it is a byproduct of mechanistic, material processes:
Where Did We Come From?
(4 minute read; lifetime to contemplate)
This week let’s take up speculations on how things came to be in the first place.
The Explosion? The traditional scientific view is that the entire universe originated from the Big Bang. The stars, planets, and Uncle Fred then came into existence over time through a natural selection process. God is not necessary, nor desired, in this scenario. This is a logical approach to creation. But two questions persist:
● What was there before the Big Bang?
● And doesn’t the Second Law of Thermodynamics and entropy (in a closed system) imply that things get more disorganized as time goes on?
Were we created? To make this one work, we have to picture God as a separate being. At some point, he (God is usually a male persona in this scenario) decided to create the Universe. God then pours down favor on certain religious groups, allowing them to win wars and acquire lots of land. We know this because the “winners” usually get to write the histories and theological support that goes with it. This worldview has intuitive appeal. But it suffers from similar questions as the Big Bang:
● What was there before God?
● Where does God reside?
Were we emanated? This is an interesting term learned in ministerial school. It comes from the Latin term “emanare,” and has been around at least as long as my 8th grade Latin class with the Kaplan sisters.
Definition. Emanation means that which pours out from its source and has the same qualities as the source.
That is not very clear. You’re right. How about a couple of examples. Light emanates from the sun. A web emanates from the spider. And if we extend this to the current discussion, we emanate from the mind of God. It’s almost like we’re a hologram (think The Matrix), and we are all part of the whole.
We’re not sure this way of looking at creation is any more satisfying than the other two alternatives. We still don’t have a start time. And somewhere along the line the material to make the chair we are sitting on had to come from … the mind of God? That’s also not very satisfying.
But let’s give those materialistic scientists a few more years in quantum physics studies, and that mind/matter connection might not sound as absurd as it does today.
Practical application. None. The best we can come up with on the fly is that distinctions between science and theology are starting to blur as we discover that a) matter is not as solid as it appears and b) the mind really does have an impact on matter.
Question of the week. If there is any truth to the mind/matter connection, if everyone on Earth turned their back, would the moon cease to exist? We’ll take that up in a future post.
Dana Horton is from Ohio, United States and is currently (though not for much longer) working full time as Director of Energy Markets a large utility company. In August 2019, he earned his ministerial license through an organization called Centers for Spiritual Living based in Denver, Colorado. This is a New Thought organization following the principles of Ernest Holmes. He acted as interim minister at the Columbus Center for Spiritual Living and, after eight months, he decided to leave and has no interest in returning to a formal religious organization. But he enjoys investigating spiritual principles, how they originated, and how they might be applicable to everyday living. I also enjoy discovering the history of both the Old and New Testaments, and how it differs (greatly) from the traditional Christian interpretations.
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