Subjective Fringes of Objective Reality
Music chords are well defined, hence possibility of orchestra or ensemble music where everyone plays the same notes on different instruments. Agreement on meaning of music chords represents objective reality. The fact that individual musicians differ in their ability to interpret music chords in course of playing musical instruments introduces subjective realities into objectivity of musical chords. When we declare “so and so” is a great saxophonist we are saying given the same chords, so and so does a much more beautiful interpretation of music chords than most other artists. Without the objective reality of commonality of meaning of musical chords, we would not have any means of comparing so and so’s personal interpretation with performance of other artists.
Consider the relation between Newton’s Law of Gravity and Einstein’s E=mc squared. Newton’s law of gravity is universal, holds everywhere on the surface of the earth. Regardless, the curvature of the earth, and the relative speed of the earth at a particular point on the earth’s surface (as generated by rotation of the earth on its axis) affects our mass, how much of resistance we generate to gravity. While Newton’s law of gravity is an objective reality, conditional on our specific location on the earth, the curvature of the earth at our location, and the relative speed of the earth, E=mc squared provides us with subjective realizations of Newton’s law of gravity. For different locations on the earth then, there is a subjective experience of the law of gravity. Without the law of gravity, however, it would be difficult to understand sources of differences in our subjective experiences of gravity.
Subjective interpretations or experiences have contextual meaning only within context of existence of some objective reality.
Consider our common existence. Our smallness relative to nature — mountains, whales, dolphins, elephants, the ocean etc. — makes us realize that in our current form, we did not create this world. This is objective reality. Our capacity to dominate nature in the sense of overcoming barriers posed by nature make us realize, however, that we have capacity for practical intellectualism, intellectualism which refuses to be cowed by our smallness vis-a-vis most of nature. Our capacity to transcend challenges of nature is objective reality. Different people take these objective realities and arrive at Deism, Theism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Pantheism etc. — all subjective interpretations of the objective reality that there is no way in our current form we created the universe in which we live.
Deism, Theism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Pantheism all are subjective responses to two objective truths — we are not creator of the universe in which we live, but we have capacity to transcend challenges posed by our natural environment.
Suppose you believe in the big bang theory of creation of the universe. You could be a Deist, Theist, Agnostic, Atheist, or Pantheist. The Deist or Theist believes the big bang was initiated by the Creator whom we commonly refer to as God. The Agnostic either is not sure how the big bang was initiated or believes in a Creator God who simultaneously is not a personal God. The Pantheist believes in God as some force behind the big bang such that nature is infused in its entirety with essence of God. All of these subjective responses to objective truth are internally consistent.
Relative to the big bang theory, Deism, Theism, Agnosticism, Pantheism all are internally consistent.
The Atheist implicitly or explicitly believes the big bang occurred by chance, yet created order that has existed largely unaltered for millions of years. We know for a fact that the order that obtains within our Galaxy — the Milky Way Galaxy — has remained unchanged for eons of time. We know our planet Earth has remained in its orbit around the sun, avoiding any meaningful deviations to left or right of its orbit — deviations that would destroy life on earth — for eons of time. It takes odes of faith to believe unmanaged chaos arising out of the big bang has capacity to create knife edge order that does not require any hands-on management (God does not exist, and we are not God hence no hands-on management) for continuation of its maintenance.
We know from nature that whenever chaos results in order, there always are active hands involved in production and maintenance of that order. But then if God emerges to provide order subsequent to the big bang, how is it He is able to manage chaos He was unable to prevent in the first place? And if He figured it out and imposed order on chaos He could not prevent, does He not then deserve to be recognized as God? When the Atheist says he or she does not care whether or not God exists, there is declaration he or she does not believe in meritocracy because if God is Creator or God achieved mastery of Creation, He deserves recognition. If He is Creator we owe our existence to Him. If He mastered creation by imposing order, we owe our existence to Him because absent Him the Earth would move away from its orbit and we either fry or freeze to death. Either way, it smacks of ingratitude and denigration of meritocracy to declare we do not care for a person to whom we owe our very existence.
Viewed within context of objective facts of nature, Atheism lacks internal consistency.
It is with this knowledge of facts of nature that Einstein must have arrived at his conclusion that whereas he does not believe in a personal God, the evidence in nature points to an intelligent mind behind existence of our universe. That was as far as Einstein would go in public. In his private life, who knows.
That Most Important of Consistencies
What value, however, is there in internally consistent beliefs if they do not translate into order and love in our common existence? Deists fight each other, fight Theists, Theists fight each other, fight Agnostics, Agnostics fight each other, fight Pantheists, Pantheists fight each other, fight Deists. And on and on it all goes.
When an Atheist does his or her best to love their fellow man, they subscribe to the most important recognition about existence of God, that we all are deserving of right to exist, right to pursue self actualization regardless of our race, color, gender, or beliefs. Consistency of beliefs relative to origin of life on earth has meaning only when it results in this most important of recognitions.
If we acknowledge existence of God (Deism, Theism, Pantheism, and variants of Agnosticism), then we all are created by the same God.
Internal consistency of Deism, Theism, Agnosticism, or Pantheism is meaningless if it does not produce that most important consistency of interpretation which is, we all are deserving of right to exist, right to pursue self actualization regardless of our race, color, gender, or beliefs.
Internal inconsistency of Atheism triumphs over consistency of other belief systems when it produces that most important of consistencies, which is we all are deserving of right to exist, right to pursue self actualization regardless of our race, color, gender, or beliefs.
But Atheism which produces that most important of consistencies produces also the sort of cognitive dissonance we observe in the world today, cognitive dissonance that tears apart the fabric of our minds. Never mind the fact that in the world we live in today, most people who profess to be Deists, Atheists, Agnostics, or Pantheists are in fact no more than Practical Atheists — people who recognize there must be a Creator but live as if a Creator does not exist.
The roots of cognitive dissonance? Belief that we are all here by chance and there is no purpose to human existence (Atheism) renders impossible production of the love necessary for support of rights to existence and self actualization in society. For the Practical Atheist living as if God does not exist, disconnection from life source of God renders difficult production of the same love.
If we are to reclaim our minds, invigorate our minds, we cannot afford to be practical atheists or atheists — our minds cannot manage cognitive dissonance implicit in these choices.
The evidence for cognitive dissonance in society? Most of America is on mind management drugs, children inclusive. With my working knowledge of Nigeria, I know that if the health care system in Nigeria were anywhere as good as it is in America, perhaps half of the Nigerian working population would be on Prozac. I see people fight each other within the same organization over nothing meaningful, tear an organization apart from the inside, damage sustainability of a company’s capacity to maintain comparative advantage over turf wars, and not care so long as they can continue to protect their salary or position — evidence of minds torn apart. When people are willing to destroy shareholder or enterprise value to maintain a salary, their minds are totally out of whack, period. The point is, the only reason most of the world appears less dependent on drugs than Americans is because health care systems are poor, mind management drugs are relatively expensive, and admitting you are on Prozac could get you fired by a boss who himself or herself has critical need of the same drug.
Deism, Theism, Agnosticism, or Pantheism that are combined with that most important of consistencies — belief in rights to existence and self actualization for all — has potential to help us reclaim our minds. Mind drugs only keep minds functional, they do nothing to reclaim minds.
Faith in Jesus Christ
Personally, I recommend faith in Jesus Christ. It is Deism and Theism, is tolerant of the Agnostic who wonders whether God really can be personal, believes nature does have life of God in it though is not God, and incorporates the belief we all are deserving of right to exist, right to pursue self actualization regardless of our race, color, gender, or beliefs. Consistent with our capacity to transcend nature, faith in Jesus Christ is about us more than it is about God. We all have access to the same resources yet how much of those resources become available to us depends on our motives and effort. There is no God ordained outcome here in the sense that God chooses a person no matter his or her actions, decisions, motives, character, and effort — whatever we attain to is a function of our motives, actions, decisions, character and efforts. No fate. Only faith that is willing to get its hands dirty and demonstrate its faith in its actions. Jesus chose Peter as leader of His Church, yet declared in His choices Peter did not have the intellectual preparation to be the person to engage with non-Jews for proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. But what Peter could do, help Jews become Christians, Paul lacked capacity to do. Two different people with different preparations. Two different paths based on their preparation. And then there is Apostle John who indisputably had the most profound revelation of person of Jesus Christ. A spiritual leader who did not become administrative leader of the Church. But without the Gospel According to John, Christianity could be accused of being Paul’s creation, not Jesus’ creation. In his Gospel According to John, the Apostle John makes us realize there is nothing taught by Paul that did not originate in Jesus Christ. John fits in exactly where he is needed most, in defense of interpretation of what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. Three lives, three different preparations, three different but complementary paths for achievement of a common purpose. No envy, no jealousy, everyone seeing exactly how they complemented each other. All of this created by Jesus’ love.
There is no partiality or hypocrisy in Jesus Christ. This is the essence of the reality that we all are deserving of right to exist, right to pursue self actualization regardless of our race, color, gender, or beliefs.
For the person who is sincere, faith in Jesus Christ creates one compass for living, leaving no room whatsoever for cognitive dissonance. The kicker? It is a partnership not a takeover.