The Higgs boson explains why particles have mass -- and in turn why we exist. Without the boson, the universe would have no physical matter, only energy.
The cosmological implications are hotly debated. Can God fit in a scientific story of creation?
The answer is "no" for Lawrence M. Krauss, an Arizona State University theoretical physicist. He argued in Newsweek that the Higgs boson discovery "posits a new story of our creation" independent of religious belief.
"With enough data, physics would make God obsolete, he said. "If we can describe the laws of nature back to the beginning of time without any supernatural shenanigans, it becomes clear that you don't need God."
What will be enough evidence for science to prove that there is no god?.
I had stated in another conversation about this that no matter what science proves, the religious will just say that it is still some divine intervention. God allowed us to see this etc. etc. instead of simply showing himself. Groan!.
"Alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra said in a YouTube video that the boson hints at a divine interconnectedness of all things.
"It only strengthens the notion that the universe comes out of a nothingness which is everything," he said."
At the end of the day, even a slap in the face does not wake people up. They ask us to prove the lack of existence of god, we give it to them in so many instances and yet they still choose to be delusional simply based on feelings rather than facts.
As usual with Huffington Post news stories, I always encourage you to read the comments as this is where most of the action happens.
How much proof is enough? For a strongly religious person, it appears there will never be enough. Personally, I had enough scientific proof a long time ago. For me, god has been disproven beyond any reasonable doubt. Way beyond.
A lot of people here keep saying we've disproved "God" with this and that. You know, Sam Harris once explained that he's an ignostic. Ignosticism aims to define the word "God" before any discussion or debate takes place. Although, no one has cared to define what they mean by "God," I have to assume when people type "God," of course, they're referring to the Abrahamic God or the God of those religions which have their basis in Islam, Christianity, Judiasm or Hebraism or what most people may refer to as "western religion." And that's fine... After all, generally, most English-speaking atheists reside in the U.S. or Europe where, by and large, the majority of religion practiced is some form of "western religion."
In my experience, most atheists I meet often couch their atheism towards western religion, and so when you hear most atheists use the word "God" without defining it, they almost always are referring to how God is thought about in western religion, and most (not all, but most) usually never have an idea of how "God" is thought about in eastern religion, which is practically antipodal in terms of how religion operates in contrast to the west. For instance, God in eastern religion is not imagined to be an entity, for starters, and that really boggles the mind of atheists instilled with concepts from western religion. Here's a brief example below of the eastern conception of "God" (listen out for the final Self), and I'll leave a more thorough example for anyone who has the leisure time or listens to this stuff at work, etc.
The way the divine is thought about in eastern religion is completely compatible with things like evolution, The Big Bang, etc. and physicists such as Brian Greene and Michio Kaku often use concepts in eastern religion in their analogies about String Theory or M-Theory. Well, anyway, I just thought I'd point that out, and if anyone is interested in comparative religion, I'd highly recommend this talk given by Alan Watts. It's a very good listen and is aimed towards a western audience that is more or less ignorant of eastern religion. And here's the link...
I agree with you here about how god is thought about it western religion. Without sounding agnostic, if there is indeed some kind of 'entity' controlling the universe, the earth and everything then how we have perceived it is ridiculous, the worshipping, rules and regulations etc. I do not know much at all about eastern religions but still find the concept of a god creating everything impossible.
I don't know much about eastern religions, but they sound just as made-up as the rest, so until I see good evidence that any are correct, I'm not going to waste any more of my time studying them.
That's rather sweeping. I don't know much of other eastern religions, but Shinto does... two, to begin with: Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto. It's very common for humans to have creation myths, not that it gives credence to any validity whatsoever. I highly doubt the average Japanese citizen actually believes in the creation myth from Shinto. However, most do think of it as an important part of their heritage, much the same way people do of the ancient Greek and Roman myths in the West.
The religions who take their creation myths seriously today will once join that of the ancient religions who leave myths for psychologists and anthropologists to nit-pick through aeons down the line.
It took me coming to Japan and seeing how they view religion to appreciate some aspects of the xian myth. The religion still frustrates me as well as the fundamentalism that spews forth from it, but it doesn't get to me like it used to.
Proof turns out to be a rather rare commodity in the world and appears to always depend on assumptions which themselves are unproved. I don't expect any proof of the existence or non-existence of God.
My own viewpoint is that religious statements have no cognitive meaning, in particular it is impossible to define the term god in any sensible way. The qualities usually attributed to God cannot be attributed to anything else we know and hence are themselves undefined or mere negations. In other words we don't know what omnipotent means in real terms and the same is true for other attributes.
I wonder if Chang pointed out that eastern religions do not have a place for a God as a metaphysical being that is a "creator of everything," because of Sandi's statement. It's common for people to have these sort of misconceptions about eastern religion. It may be because things like Buddhism and Christianity are both regarded as "religions," and since we have categorically labelled these things with this umbrella term "religion," then one may have the misconception that Buddhism must be something like Christianity since they are both regarded as a "religion," which is not the case at all, and I wonder if that's what Sandi had done.
Idaho Spud said, "They sound as made-up as the rest," which also seems to come from this misconception that "all religions are alike." That all religions are "made up." Eastern religion is very different in this aspect. It is not "made up" in the way religious language in western religion is often thought to be "made up." Allan mentioned "proof" and sort of succumbed to a theological noncognitivism, it seemed, in that words like omnipotent cannot be attributed to anything we know.
I don't know if anyone's ever heard of Perennial Philosophy or read Aldous Huxley's book on it, but I'm going to try and summarize that take, which I find very interesting and may shed light on some of these religious concepts. If you think about what Hinduism or Buddhism is, essentially, or the "goal" of the religion, so to speak, is ultimately a phenomenon in consciousness which they have given many names, i.e. samadhi, satori, nirvana, moksha, sunyata, etc. And the entire scripture of eastern religion consist of hymns or poems written by those who've had this experience or philosophical dialogue between either a disciple (someone seeking this phenomenon) and a guru (a teacher who has had this phenomenon occur) or multiple gurus.
So, you see, the point there is that they're not simply abstractions from the imagination or something that's made up in that way, the religious terms or attributes are words that were used to describe this peculiar phenomenon. This experience is, in a sense, a kind of "proof." However, it's not a "personal experience" as when a Christian says, "Oh, well, I feel God in my heart," the sort of comment which would prompt Matt Dillahunty to say, "Maybe you should go see a doctor." It's often described as an impersonal or transpersonal experience, because there's motifs within the experience that cannot be reduced to the individual. It's related more to what Jung called the "collective unconscious." It's a very powerful and colossal transformation of consciousness, and when you have it, you'll know without an iota of doubt that what you're experiencing is orders of magnitude different from your ordinary consciousness.
Now, what Perennial Philosophy is proposing, Perennial Philosophy of the sort that Aldous Huxley wrote so eloquently about and Alan Watts spoke so articulately about, is that this so-called experience that Hinduism and Buddhism is based on ultimately transcends the religion itself, because it is ultimately a phenomenon in consciousness that everyone has the potential for, and you don't necessarily have to be part of a religion to get it. Religion is a kind of by-product which follows when someone has this experience. More contemporarily, this experience has been referred to as "Cosmic Consciousness" by the author Richard M. Bucke who wrote extensively on this topic, "peak experience" by Abraham Maslow or "ego death" by those who've taken the entheogenic path to this experience. So, what Perennial Philosophy posits is that Christ (if he was a real person), Gautama, Mohammed, etc. were all regular human beings, just like you and I, who've all had this colossal experience of cosmic consciousness, and then each went on to become the founder of a religion.
And though Christianity isn't anything like Buddhism, Alan Watts made some interesting points about this, and I'll quote him below:
Now, let's suppose then that Jesus had such an experience, but you see, Jesus has a limitation. That he doesn't know of any religion other than those of the immediate near east. He might know something about Egyptian religion, a little bit maybe about Greek religion, but mostly about Hebrew. There is no evidence whatsoever that he knew anything about Indian or Chinese religion. - Alan Watts: Jesus and His Religion
That's a quote taken from Watts talk on Perennial Philosophy, which I'll link here. The point he was attempting to make is that since Christ was influenced by those religions and philosophies of the near east (the geographical area he may have roamed), he then has interpreted this experience through the filter of those various religions and philosophies. This may be why he'd refer to himself as the "holy son," since the religions of the near east were some form of monotheisms. Gautama, on the other hand, grew up in India where Hinduism was the presiding religion, and Hinduism more or less was cognizant of this phenomenon, and so Gautama was able to elucidate it and simplify Hinduism into Buddhism, which is basically Hinduism stripped of its essentials.
I do realize I said I was going to summarize Perennial Philosophy, but I don't think I could have been so succinct in explaining the essence of this position, but to say a little something about the nature of this experience... You often hear these obscure terms in religion such as omnisicience, omnipotent, agapé, etc., well low and behold, all these things suddenly become manifest in this experience, but before I get some people rolling their eyes, let me try and elaborate. Omniscience is often thought to be a kind of intellectual all-knowingness that is ascribed to a metaphysical entity of some sort, sort of like a super computer with all the answers. Well, it doesn't really work like that in this experience, it's instead a kind of omniscience through intuition. It's not as though you can be asked any question at the height of this experience, and be able to answer, because it's strictly and purely intuitive. There is also a powerful maternal-like love that could be equated to agapé, so on and so forth. This experience is often said to be "ineffable," nevertheless people like me attempt to describe it, but ultimately words pay no justice and to truly understand it, I believe it's necessary to experience it for yourself.
Now, I'm going to throw another wrinkle into this that will make all these fairly ambiguous things sound a little more plausible. Perhaps some people here are familiar with the work of Dr. Rick Strassman. Strassman believes that the neurological cause for these type of experiences may be a result of an induction of N,N-DMT in the conscious state of a individual. DMT is an abbreviation for N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that we all possess behind our eyebrows. It is speculated to be produced in the pineal gland which sits right in between the two hemispheres of the brain as the pineal gland contains all the necessary constituents to enzymatically produce DMT. DMT is also the most potent psychedelic compound known to exist in nature, even more powerful than LSD, psilocybin, salvia, peyote, etc. is DMT. DMT has been studied to spike during the REM stage of sleep which is when the heavy dreams are taking place. It's been speculated to be released during the near-death-experience which would account for the "white light" or the "I saw my life flash before my eyes" phenomena.
N,N-DMT, despite it occurring naturally in our brain, is schedule I illegal in most countries. DMT also occurs throughout most plants and mammals. Shamans in South America have been using a brew they call "ayahuasca" for thousands of years. It's the vine of one plant and the leaves of another. The vine contains an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) and the leaf contains a high conentration of N,N-DMT. Graham Hancock discusses it a bit here:
DMT cannot be taken orally, because there is enzymes in your gut that will break it down before it gets into your blood stream and passed the blood-brain barrier, however the MAOI can suppress these enzymes and cause the DMT to be orally active. Prior to the whole psychedelic era of the '60s and '70s, DMT was extracted in laboratories or basically through anyone's kitchen with a sufficient knowledge in chemistry, and smoked. The experience when smoked only last about 5-10 minutes and after about 30 seconds, you're propelled into a world of 100% hallucination, reality is entirely replaced for about 2 minutes, then you come down in the remaining of the 5 to 10 minutes none the worse for wear. It's a very profound experience, and when someone has it, when they're asked to describe it afterwards, they often reach for the most "profound" thing they know in order to describe it. So, if you're religious, you might say, "I saw God," if you're atheist, you may say,"I glimpsed a higher dimension," if you're a UFO nut, you might say, "I was abducted!" In either case, something transcendent, profound, and interconnected is felt by the individual. People often say in the experience, "It felt as though there was an omniscient presence" or "I felt a profound love like no other," but the point is, no one really comes back, "Oh, it's merely a hallucination. My brain was playing tricks on me!" That's basically the response you get from those you've never had this experience, let alone experienced "hallucination," so as Graham Hancock points out in that video, it's merely a prejudice to call it that when most people don't know what a hallucination truly is. This experience is not to be confused with what's seen on tv or in movies, pink elephants and prancing leprechauns. It's not at all like that. It's too profound of an experience, this is definitely not a recreational thing that's done for "fun." If you do not "come down" from this experience, you can be liable to commit suicide, it's that radical and terrifying. Terence McKenna was once asked, "Is DMT dangerous?" his response, "Only if you fear death by astonishment." However, if someone wants to denounce it as "hallucination," that's fine, however even if someone wants to believe it can be reduced to that, then I still believe that this should be looked at very closely and may demystify the mysteriousness of religion. And to truly put it to the test, try seeking this experience, I'll leave link below that describe typically what happens and some precautions.
Well, I realize this post is getting a little long now, so I'm going to have to close it somehow... I suppose it's worth mentioning that things like LSD and psilocybin (the psychoactive compound in psychedelic mushrooms) are related to DMT, and the entire reason why things like LSD and psilocybin have such a profound effect on your consciousness is because they're structurally related to neurotransmitters that are already inside you, and so it's not as though you're entering completely foreign neurotransmitters into your synapses. For instance, the full chemical name for psilocybin is O-phosphoryl-4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Notice the DMT molecule attached at the end there?
SO, basically, the implication is that Jesus, Siddartha, etc. may have had this experience. It may have happened naturally for Christ, while Gautama may have induced it through meditation. Strassman speculates in his book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" that the meditation synonymous with Zen or quietism may be a way for producing this natural induction of DMT in a conscious state. Well, if anyone's interested, I'll leave a couple of links below that pertain to all of these things I've mentioned here.
Sam Harris describes his experiences involving psychedelics:
Terence McKenna describes a typical "5 dried gram" experience involving psilocybin mushrooms. A dose he nicknamed the "heroic dose."
Now, here's some interesting ones that are definitely worth it. The very first two interviews here are not just entertaining, but educating concerning all that I've mentioned and more. Terence McKenna is interviewed by Art Bell.
You might find additional supporting evidence in the writings of the French author Romaine Rolland, who wrote the ten volume novel Jean-Christophe and won the Nobel prize for literature. Rolland described what he called the oceanic feeling in his correspondence with Freud and which he had distilled from his study of Eastern mysticism. Rolland considered it the fount of religious energy and viewed its experiencing as sufficient in itself to support the reality of religion absent any doctrinal content—which I take it to be the point you are making. Freud did not experience this feeling, but discusses it in The Future of An Illusion.
As an interesting aside, Freud argues somewhere that if a drug can induce an intense state of pleasurable sensation it could only be because the body itself produces substances which do the same. This was long before the discovery of dopamine, etc.
Yes, that link I left on my previous posts mentions briefly the "oceanic feeling," but Watts attributed to Freud. Now, I see that Freud simply popularized it. I was unaware of Rolland coining it. I'm going to look into his work now, thanks.
Yes, I don't believe Freud ever had this experience, it would have been interesting if he had, I think he would've taken his work in an entirely different direction and perhaps even psychedelics might be more legal in the psychiatric field than they are today. Jung, I believe, had a suspicion that there was something deeper to look for in eastern mysticism, and had even scheduled to visit with Sri Ramana Maharshi, a famous guru in India that lived during his time, but unfortunately Jung died before ever getting the opportunity.
You mentioned that Freud said that it must be that drugs can have this sort of effect on our consciousness, then it must be that we possess it as well. Are you familiar with DMT, if not by smoking it, but the existence of it?
Yes, you see, this position isn't necessarily arguing for a "God," it only points to a phenomenon in consciousness, and I believe that religion and all its conceptions are a kind of by-product of this experience. Now, of course, this experience does not account for all deities or even perhaps all religions, as some deities, I'd wager, were born out of the plenum of the imagination, but usually, they're quite trivial conceptions of a "God," as in some of the ones Dawkins likes to mention like the Great JuJu who lives on the mountain top or what-have-you, but the more profound notions of the divine, such as Brahman in Hinduism can definitely be attributed to this experience.
>>Are you familiar with DMT, if not by smoking it, but the existence of it?
No, I haven't used any psychedelics and don't know anything about them other than their existence.
Well, I was just curious. I was asking if you were familiar with DMT in particular, all other psychedelics aside. In a sense, we all use DMT, since it's a part of our normal neurochemistry, so we've all had a "psychedelic."
Strassman speculates in his book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" that DMT may be responsible for the hallucinatory nature of the dream. However, if you've ever listened to an account of someone describing the DMT experience when smoked or when taken in the form of ayahuasca, it vastly exceeds any dream you could ever conjure up. It's almost as though you're witness to the fountain of the dream energy itself, the source of all dreams.
Michio Kaku, the renowned astrophysicist, discusses and writes about String Theory so laymen such as myself can attempt to grasp the concept, however tenuously. He once compared the idea of "Brahman" in Hinduism to the "10 dimensional hyperspace" in String Theory. I'll quote Kaku on his notion of this "hyperspace," but expressed in religious lingo as he puts it: "God is cosmic music resonating in 10-dimensional hyperspace." - Michio Kaku
It's always 10 or 11 in which these M-Theorists or String Theorists place this theory on, but the point is, whether it's 10 or 11, but for purposes of this explanation, let's just say it's 10… Rob Bryanton at the 10thdim channel on YouTube put it like this, "Think of the 10-dimensional hyperspace as a 'place where all possibilities are contained'." So, what Kaku means by "cosmic music," as in music, you don't play all notes on your instrument at once, you select notes. Well, what String Theory is trying to say or my interpretation of it is that our reality right now is a partial sectioning (the selected notes) of this 10-dimensional hyperspace (all the potential notes) in just the same way a plane is a partial sectioning of a cone when it transects it. So, what's meant by the "all possibilities are contained" in that metaphor is that the potentiality is all "already there," in a sense. Now, isn't it interesting that this is exactly what the "Brahman" is in Hinduism. Brahman is described as being a timeless, unchanging, ultimate ground of being that lies behind the apparent multiplicity of the phenomenal world.
Perhaps all this sounds too familiar if you've read into the work of Romain Rolland. I stayed up last night reading all that I could find on Romain and his relationship with Freud, and even Freud's take on it. Freud tried pinning it on a "primitive ego-feeling." The Buddha once said all that's demanded from the devotee is nothing less than the extinction of the ego, perhaps Freud could not let that go.
The point of mentioning M-Theory was that it can be made synonymous with Romain mentioned, "The fountain of religion," because the fountain of religion would produce such concepts as God, the soul, the spirit, likewise the fountain of the dream would be the source of all dreams, no matter how wild or lucid they may be, and these things may be one and the same.