Macleod Wayne - Logos Cosmotheism A rational religion

Author : Macleod Wayne
Title : Logos Cosmotheism A rational religion
Year : 2007

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With most aspects of our lives, when we wish to know whether a particular idea, belief or manner of thinking is correct, we generally take the trouble to search out factual support.! If the belief cannot be verified directly by our senses, for example the atomic structure of matter, people have not been content to merely wallow in speculation and have undertaken ingenious methods to test their hypotheses.! The rational method has been exceptionally beneficial, although we could still claim that sickness is caused by evil spirits because no one has ever seen germs make a person sick, and the evidence of their doing so is largely circumstantial. Given the vast benefits of the reasoning mind, which everyone acknowledges from daily experience, the wonder is that any other manner of thought could explain the more fundamental nature of our being, yet traditionally metaphysical explanations of Creation, good and evil, morality and natural phenomena continue to hold sway over large portions of civilization.! Among people who have lost traditional faith, ethics and morality have become relative, based on the needs of human beings in varying circumstances. ! Where the old metaphysical reasons for behavior are discredited, the humanization of ethics is most natural, for is not correct behavior instituted for the benefit of people in the first place?! We may heartily agree that it is, except when human behavior is justified by ‘happiness’ we must first decide if the causes of ‘happiness’ are always moral.! That people can live both happy and immoral lives appears evident, and the act of the martyr suffering for humanity challenges the modern philosophy: “If it is right for you, do it.” The purpose of this writing is to present a rational religion derived from nature. In the process we shall demonstrate that in matters which have fallen within the field of traditional religion there is no need to extend beyond this universe we know; show that the relativistic, liberal and humanistic outlook, which has largely supplanted traditional religion, can not only be false, it can be destructive; and present a rational basis for ethical behavior derived from simple observation and deduction.! By no means is meant to convey that the supernatural is impossible. As revealed by modern science, we live on the surface of reality, with so little known of our actual existence that dogmatic proclamations of any sort are foolish. All that is asked of the reader is recognition that our only means of proving anything is through reason based on observation, or by extrapolations of the probable, thereby suspecting imagined experiences impressed on the emotions as revelations of ‘truth’.! We live in a natural universe, with natural causes either for good or evil that require no supernatural explanation, and as inhabitants of this universe our common sense should tell us we are duty bound to believe only what is within our realm of experience.! The tragedy of traditional belief is that by a process of selection over millennia it has established the absolutes required for human society, while continuing to implement those absolutes on a supernatural causality.! When this supernatural causality is undermined in an enlightened era, the absolutes are unpinned.! Here we shall attempt to solve the problem of absolutes without traditional religion. If we take a glass of clear, still water and slowly insert a droplet of ink into the centre with an eyedropper, the ink initially hangs as a globule of color with a few streaks of tint slowly spreading outward.! The initial stage is one of concentration that needs for its appearance an outside agent, namely the person who deposits the ink.! In time the globule will disappear because the ink will disperse evenly throughout the water, leaving a completed mixture in the glass.! This end state needs no outside agent; it is the result of random action between the molecules of ink and water and can be predicted.! The resulting mixture requires no intelligent direction, being an unavoidable and natural action happening on its own in time.! This is an illustration of what we see occurring repeatedly in nature: the inevitable and natural trend toward dispersion, dissipation and randomization in time.! Other examples are equally evident: a house becomes untidy because that is its more probable state without a diligent housekeeper, and when a porcelain plate breaks, its pieces are testimony that nothing we see or touch today will perpetually be as we know it, given sufficient time.! A fence left to the random forces of wind and rain will eventually weather, and a machine without care will inevitably break down.! Encompassed under one postulate, “Murphy’s Law” has best given this natural trend expression: “If something can go wrong, it will.”! We shall give it a more rigorous definition in the Law of Regression: When change is inevitable without force or forces to impel or maintain, all order tends toward disorder.! This is purely a law of probability since with inevitable change in time there are an infinite number of states to enter, where the number of higher states is limited and therefore less likely entered unless directed. Closely associated with material randomization is energy disutility, known as entropy, which again is always expected in time.! Nothing is more fundamental in nature than the inexorable tendency of a high energy state to change to a state of lower energy.! The most common experience we have of this is a hot object cooling.! The controlled flow of energy to lower states is how we make use of energy, for example, the steam in a boiler to move a machine, or the discharge of a battery.! Even on the atomic scale, an excited electron will not remain in that state if it can fall to a lower quantum level and emit the energy difference as light.! There is nothing mysterious about energy dissipation; it is just another manifestation of the logic in nature for everything to take the path of least resistance, and to continue until equilibrium is reached. We can think of the amount of order in a physical state as being representative of the energy in that state, so a higher ordered state represents more energy than a lower ordered state.! Obviously, if we wanted any particular sequence of numbers drawn from, say, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, there would have to be an input of energy to obtain it, which is not true of any sequence drawn at random.! A higher ordered state therefore represents less randomness, i.e., one with less probability of occurrence purely by random forces, and since it requires energy to obtain its material realization is representative of an energy status. The higher the order the more energy is in its structure.! How should we understand the term “Creator” when applied to a mortal Universe that is inevitably running down? Should we discard it as having no meaning? Absolutely not, because regression can be reversed, only in very localized regions of space and time, although eventually all regions must succumb to their inevitable fate. The Earth is such a localized region. When all the conditions for life are considered their combined appearance seems improbable, except that the Universe is so vast all those conditions are bound to exist somewhere sometime. Then natural forces can operate to ratchet up complexity. This is the Creator: the Universe itself providing large numbers within which anything is possible. Inevitably somewhere sometime conditions will exist to produce life no matter how improbable. Such is the LOGOS: the understanding of a rational Universe. Although the inexorable tendency of existence is the decline into less ordered states, as everyone knows high states of order do exist, usually constructed while their systems are en route to equilibrium.! The ink blob does not immediately disperse evenly throughout the water but is moved by minute currents to form entertaining patterns, more complex than the initial ink blob.! Chaotic clouds of dust and gas spread throughout the universe contract into stars and solar systems where life can appear.! One of the first discoveries of spontaneous order was by Henri Benard in 1900, when a liquid heated in a dish portrayed a multitude of hexagonal patterns.! Such instances of spontaneous order fascinate mathematicians researching Chaos Theory.! Although when considering such examples material order is increased, they are open systems depending on an input of energy.! We should remember this when considering human examples. What we know as creation is the existence of ordered states, which means the expenditure of energy by nonrandom forces for its appearance, where nonrandom force means any force occurring in one direction more often than by chance occurrence.! Although on the scale of the Universe all forces are chaotic, taken on a local scale forces can be directional. An analogy would be a weather pattern, which over all is circular and the direction of its winds is therefore in all directions, but at a particular, localized time and place the wind is felt coming from only one direction. Since energy is absorbed in the procurement of higher ordered states, force is required for their realization, force being energy given direction.! Thus, wherever we find an existing order we can be assured of nonrandom force or forces making it possible, even giving its origin.! The occurrence of the initial glob of ink, for instance, could not be predicted without knowledge of the depositor’s intention.! The occurrence of a droplet of ink in a glass of water is highly improbable without some nonrandom force involved.! Consequently, we could never expect the resulting mixture to reverse itself and separate into pure water and a condensed globule.! If that should happen we would immediately suspect a nonrandom force acting, one perhaps dealing with ionization and an attracting electrode. It is argued that chaos is equally the cause of creation. The complexity of a snowflake is created by multiple, unpredictable combinations of temperature, humidity and impurities that a droplet of water encounters when falling!through the atmosphere. A jungle with its chaos of life is a less ordered place than a sterile desert, which changes little. Evolution is largely caused by changes in the environment, sometimes catastrophic ones, that are unpredictable and chaotic. Mutations, that give new characteristics, are completely random. All of this is correct, but we should note that in addition to the chaotic forces forming a snowflake there is surface tension on the droplet attempting to form it into a sphere. Nothing is more orderly than a sphere. Let us not confuse life with life’s activities, as in the exuberance of a jungle, which are indeed entropic. The balance of an ecosystem is exquisitely higher than that of a sterile desert. To evolve, life must experience natural selection, which is a force tending toward stable adaptation. Examples where energy added to a system produces chaos, not order, would include water as compared to the highly structured order of ice. !Compared to ice and crystals, liquid water is chaotic, but its energy is random. Molecular vibrations, that we know as heat, are in all directions.! Extracting random energy indeed gives higher order.! Disorganized energy gives disorganized results.! There are two ways that energy can be applied to existing order, let us say in the form of a house: by setting the house on fire or by adding a porch.! The first is a case of random energy added; the other is one of more creative use.! It is in the latter sense that the Law of Regression is denied.! On the social plane the same principle is found.! Crime requires energy, that is selfishly motivated and means disruption of the “public order”.! Another human analogy would be dancers on a floor.! Without music the couples simply stand.! If a foxtrot is played, without knowledge of ballroom dancing the couples bump each other in a state of chaos.! But if a rule is given, that they all should dance counterclockwise around the floor, then a state of order is achieved and one higher than when they were merely standing. For an understanding of creation in nature it is more correct to see creation resulting from the interplay between order and chaos, not of ordering forces alone. But we have no control over the forces of chaos, only our response to them, so in human terms of our daily lives to emphasize the chaos side of creation, although intellectually satisfying, is of little practical concern. Therefore in the remainder of this essay it is the ordering side of creation that will be emphasized.! Examples of ordering forces in nature are legion.! Atoms, molecules and crystals are held together by the interaction of repulsive and attractive electrical and nuclear forces.! The solar system is an ordered arrangement between gravitation and inertia, as are the galaxies.! The evolution of life into higher forms is torturous, made possible by natural selection where only the fittest survive and all else is exterminated.! To bring common elements together and form a new organic cell would be an impossibility ranging in the billions to one if there were no guiding forces involved.! The birth of a baby requires discomfort and effort on the part of the mother, and its proper rearing as a child requires much care.! It is evident that in fields of human endeavor, whether manufacture, social progress, thought or art, anything man-made is always accomplished only after a struggle, by people who were willing to accept the respective challenges.! All of these are examples of ordered states and their energy requirements. ...

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