I feel weird writing this post, becuase for many years I was atheist. Back then I wouldn’t believe that I will go back to believing in God. But here I am – I’m believer. But not believer in personal God, who thinks, is torn by emotions, needs people to worship him and who judges every human action. Frankly I consider this kind of God as childisch construct of human mind.
In that sense I agree with atheism – this kind of God doesn’t exist. But it’s not only concept of God. It’s most popular, but there exist many more of them. I think many atheists don’t know that theist God (one descraibed above) is just one among many others. Pantheism for example is such belief and contrart yo theism, it doesn’t have many strong arguments against it.
Most famous proponent of pantheism was Albert Einstein. In his youth he read works by Baruch Spinoza, who devised philosophical system based on idea of pantheistic God. Einstein believed in Spinozas ideas, but approached them in more modern, scientific way. Here is quote by Einstein that confirm this view:
I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
And another quote:
This firm belief, a belief bound up with a deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God. In common parlance this may be described as “pantheistic”.
In order to explain thinking that led me to be pantheist, we have to go back couple of thousands years back. How people understood place of humans in the world? They believed that we live on flat surface, that doesn’t move and is located in the center of creation. This world was designed by supernatural being according to plan.
That view changed in XVI century, when polish thinker Nicolaus Copernicus postulated that Earth orbits the Sun. This was huge change in worldview. Earth wasn’t center of the Universe. It was just one more planet orbiting the Sun.
Next blow to the idea that humans occupy special place in the Universe came from realization, that stars we observe in the night sky are objects of same kind as the Sun. They are to orbited by planets. Our solar system is nothing special in the Universe.
Last development in that process was realization that our galaxy is no special. It is one of billions galaxies in our Universe. Last time I checked astronomers estimated number of galaxies in the Universe from two hundred billion to two trillion.
After galaxy, next step is to consider whole Universe. Is it only one object of it’s kind or one of many? I think all evidence suggests that we are not occupying some special place in the realm of existence. So it’s logical to assume that our Universe is one of large number of objects of same kind. That it’s part of some larger reality.
Many people, especially scientits, belive that our Universe is whole reality. That there is nothing else. Reason for that there is no direct data that would confirm existence of reality outside of Universe. I think they are making mistake of applying scientific approach to what is out of reach of perception and measurement. It’s realm of philosophy and one have to apply to it philosophical way of thinking. Because of that one shouldn’t reject existence of reality outside of Universe, just because there is no data to confirm it.
Our solar system is so big that we cannot comprehend it. But there is from 100 to 400 billion stars in our galaxy and there are from 200 billion to 2 trillion galaxies in our Universe. Reality that we can observe is unbelivably grand. But it’s small and unimportant part of something bigger.