On a good day, I might say that religion decorates falsehoods with God. On a bad day, I might quote Richard Dawkins. Still, God is a resonant idea with many of us. And I believe that is because there is a God. But religion adds a lot of stuff to the core idea of God. Lots of crazy, often bad, stuff.
I propose that we use science as the backdrop for discussing God. That is, take the truth as we know it and decorate it with a bit more, namely the notion of God. As science changes, so to should the myth change. Instead of God-given knowledge as purported in religions, we have human-discovered knowledge about the world and God.
As an example, in quantum mechanics, there is the wavefunction, a single object that governs all aspects of the world. In the specific theory of Bohmian mechanics1, the wavefunction guides the particles that constitute our existence.
An infinite, guiding hand, instantly aware of everything2? That sounds like God. So why not claim this scientific object as God?
But what of the lack of consciousness? Well, here is where the payoff is. There is no consciousness to start with. But overtime, the wavefunction and the universe evolve in such a way that there are indeed entities in it that are conscious. And remember, the wave function guides the particles. The particles have no back influence on the wavefunction. Thus, it seems to me, consciousness, whatever that is with its strange notion of self and choice, is in the wavefunction. Thus, I see our evolution into conscious beings as part of the evolving consciousness of God.
So rather than this image of a watch-maker winding up the universe and seeing where it goes, we have the image of this thing that slowly evolves into a conscious God. And we are the instruments of that appearance.
So what? Well, this idea can guide us. Think about it. If you get angry, God gets angry. Is that a good thing? I think not. The way we live, act, and feel, are all tied into the mind of God. Does it not seem reasonable to want to lead God into a good place of existence? We do that through being happy, forgiving, kind people.
All doctrines espouse such a way of life, including religions, spiritualists, and doctors. But they all tend to couch it in selfish terms: “It is a matter of eternity in heaven or in hell”; “Good things flow back to you”; “Your health and longevity are at stake”. All of these may be valid reasons, but they seem small-minded to me. Imagine this point of view: “Good actions lead to a good God.” Wow, that is power. Live the way you would want God to be. Do you want God to be smoking marijuana? Loafing on a couch watching TV? Being abusive? No. I think not. So don’t be that way either. Lead an interesting life, full of explorations, creativity, kindness. Be forgiving of others.
Do I believe in this? I think it is a wonderful notion. Why should we strive to be happy, kind, positive people? Because that is what God will become if we become that. If we succumb to anger and fear, so to does God follow.
But do I believe in this? I say that it is not a matter of belief. The facts are clear and science-based. What I have done is decorate the truth.
Other interpretations also work, such as many worlds and GRW, but my preference is Bohmian mechanics for its simplicity and personal appeal. Note that standard quantum mechanics lacks a description of reality as it discusses experimental results exclusively. This is the origin of Schrödinger’s cat ↩
Note that this somewhat contradicts relativity and that aspect is still being worked on. ↩