An Open Letter to Materialists

Anyone who really knows me knows that I am a pretty spiritual person. But I am also a very scientifically-minded one, and don’t believe in extraordinary things easily, without investigation. My personal beliefs have been hard won, and it is only based on my personal experiences with what I like to think of as a Higher Power or Creative Intelligence that I believe as strongly as I do. I understand a lot of people don’t believe in something like that, and I don’t begrudge or think less of them, nor do I try to convince them that there is a higher power.

That being said, I have spent many, many hours of my life reading and learning about quantum physics, consciousness, the origin of life and intelligence, DNA – you know, light subjects like that lol. And a majority of those who claim to be scientists or scientifically-minded like to espouse their beliefs that there is no God, that it’s silly or even ignorant to believe in one, and tend to patronize or talk down to people who do believe in one. When asked “what or who created the big bang?” or “how do you explain the counter-intuitive behavior of particles at the quantum level?” or other hard to answer questions, they tend to fall back on the ‘many worlds’ hypothesis, which states that for every single interaction in the world, in the universe, an entirely new universe splits off for each different choice or option that could be made.

So if you are out car shopping, and can’t decide on what car to buy, there is a universe that splits off where you bought a Kia, one that splits off where you bought a Ford, one that splits off where you bought a Dodge, ad infinitum… and all of this so they can avoid a possible conclusion that the observer effect can suggest, that it is consciousness that is primary, and that matter is a resultant property of it – not the other way around. To some, this suggests that there is something more than material reality, some underlying force or Source of consciousness, and that Source is something some ancients called God, others called Brahman, still others called The Great Spirit, etc.

It is the old dualism vs materialism debate, and the materialists claim victory and think that dualists are silly, ignorant, or just haven’t learned enough to know the “truth.” But to this, I like to ask whatever happened to Occam’s Razor – the postulate that states for a number of different hypotheses provided to explain an observed behavior, the simplest one, with the least assumptions necessary is the most likely correct one? Is it really easier to believe that there are an infinite number of universes for every single possible outcome for any interaction? Or is it simpler to believe that there is some higher power or creative intelligence, some force that we do not completely understand that underlies or guides and shapes our reality?

I like the old analogy of a tornado rolling through a junkyard and after passing, a perfect 747 jet is sitting there, ready to fly into the air. That is rather the explanation that we are required to believe to avoid believing in God. Oh, but of course there are an infinite number of universes in which that tornado went through that junkyard, and we just HAPPEN to live in the one where it created the jumbo jet. Ok. What do we observe in our world? Do complex structures like airplanes, skyscrapers, particle colliders just arise out of random interactions? Do I believe that if we threw a bunch of steel and other materials down, in a billion years they would? No, I don’t, and that’s not what I observe. Complex systems in this world have creators, and as someone who creates them for a living, I have a special appreciation for them. And to be sure, I have argued against the materialists whenever possible. But you know what, I’m tired of arguing.

I believe what I believe based not only on silly superstitions, or what I’ve read, or what people have told me, but on my personal experiences and learning over my life. And I understand that is the case for every one of us – we each have our own individual experience, shaped by our beliefs, our aspirations, our environments, our interactions with the people in our lives, our mental health, our physical health, etc. There are just so many factors. And instead of trying to convince materialists, I pray for them, and give thanks for the belief I do have. Because I realize it is a gift. And I would much rather live my life, a life filled with both the knowledge and appreciation of scientific theories as well as the wonder and awe of belief in something greater, than one empty or devoid of that.

So to all those materialists out there, I say blessings to you. I will not try to dissuade you from your beliefs, nor will I look down on nor patronize you. And I ask the same courtesy of you : please don’t look down on or patronize me. Let us each be free to believe as we do, without supposition or assumptions about intelligence. Some pretty intelligent people have believed in God throughout mankind’s history, and just because we are so darned smart now, there’s no reason – no valid reason – to think that can’t still be the case.

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