I have always taken the position that I do not believe in mythical beings, including any conjured gods or supernatural spirits. This rules out the beliefs of religions. Furthermore, I think it is very clear that religions have spawned an incredible amount of toxic behavior throughout history and in the modern world from terrorism to sexual abuse of children – boys and girls, as well as women. It is all a horror. The perpetrators need to be prosecuted under the law, as well as being expelled from the church.
That said, in many societies, individuals have a right to freedom of beliefs if they obey the law. I only wish we could require all religions to advocate for reduced suffering and improved well being of all individuals, to decry hate speech and violence, and to update their religious texts to a modern interpretation and guidance.
My father attended religious seminary and had a career in the Protestant/Congregationalist churches including 15 years of ministry. After that he focused on psychotherapy practice and theory because his real aim was to help people. Interestingly, the closest either of us can imagine as a ‘god’ in a natural universe is some form of non-conscious emergent life-force-energy. I think that it may be possible to show that life-force-energy is an emergent process in NPQG. The drive to capture and burn energy. Nothing is better at burning energy than life. See Earth’s environment for proof. The drive to burn energy may not provide much meaning, but it may provide an explanation.
So far I have provided a brief overview of my experience and thoughts with respect to religion. However, when it comes to science, even Neoclassical Physics and Quantum Gravity (𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚) has some curious issues where the behavior has not yet been explained via reverse engineering or science.
There are two scientific phenomena that appeal to my senses of unnaturalness. First, the root cause of the behaviour in the physics delayed choice experiment, and entanglement in general, is still a leap of faith I am counting upon, per the advice of Dr. Lee Smolin. 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 is in good position to explain this phenomena because it has myriad potential causal mechanisms to investigate and supposedly pilot wave theories provide a path forward. It appears to me that 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 has energy based memory along with memory for all other conserved dimensions and quantities. While that memory may not be readable without destroying it, clearly it can bounce and ring for many orders of magnitude. I am pondering energy based harmonic wave series that are storable within particle cores and transferable in quanta between particle cores, and implemented by wave functions.
Besides that bouncing, decaying energy, I am open to the idea that while all known particles are limited by local speed of light, c, they may be able to pass some signal at faster than local c. After all, 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 allows for superluminal velocity of Planck plasma that intermittently emits from supermassive black holes and possibly other objects and events. Perhaps there are other ways to achieve superluminality through the spacetime æther. Let’s keep an open mind, and not rule it out a priori.
Second, at this point, I think it is possible that we may be in a simulation, even if it is limited to setting initial conditions. If we are in a simulation, we, you and me, are just as real, and the intelligent operator, Opie, is real too, not mythical. Opie established the initial conditions and may perturb the system at arbitrary absolute times. Even so, we have free will at every conscious moment. See Simulation, What is Possible? for additional insight into this fascinating subject.
What I believe or think, will NOT be relevant to the religiously and mythically impressionable, nor those that exploit them. Yes, exploit. We can now be clear about what is happening in nature given 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚. However, that won’t stop the charlatan narcissists. and unfortunately 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 is rich with science to spin mythical tales about. A unique Satan in every supermassive black hole! Ephemeral wraiths of hell in high energy collisions of neutron stars, black holes, and etc. And the jets, they must be tentacles of the demon! Oh my, heaven help us!
My primitive imagination will pale in comparison to those who attempt to adapt or design religions and mysticisms for the new understanding of nature. We can hope that old religions will fade even faster and new religions will be unpopular. However, even if established religions ooze towards adaptation, we should ask, as a matter of principle, that they update their existing texts to eliminate hate, violence, discrimination, and other human causes of suffering.
Let’s acknowledge a few more religious dualities. Besides the DOWN or IN into the depths of pressure and extreme temperature (hell), we also have the UP or OUT to the surface of the universe, if it is finite (unlikely IMO), that is (heaven). A universe surface would correspond to the cold and ethereal, on the precipice of fading away or decaying. Energy death, resurrection, and rebirth from the faintest particulate ashes and energy into new matter-energy destined to begin the grand loop again. There are some people for which mythical/religious stories are helpful. As long as they are not causing suffering for other individuals, I am ok with that, although dismayed for them because life can be so much better.
One of the hallmarks of Cultural Anthropology is that tribal history around the world includes creation myths.. This bleeds over into studies of human nature. Given that tribes speak of origins in caves, kivas, or even a Mother Tree – all show humans explaining their identities in terms of an Origin story. Microbiology showed the sperm and the egg which updated how babies originate. And GR-QM era physics has provided a scientific answer in regard to origin of the universe via one time inflationary Big Bang and expansion.Frank R. Morris
In NPQG there may be no origin story. The most parsimonious conception is that the Universe is infinite and that time in the past and future is infinite. Still even if you have an origin story, it is normal to ask what caused the origin? What was the source of all that energy and matter? It seems more harmonious to me to say everything is infinite. How would we ever know anyway?
When we consider the grand narratives of major religions with regards to god(s), demon(s), and life they all have dualities to matter-energy-æther recycling on galaxy and universe scales. It is ironic that in their denial of the mystical and religious, scientists missed an enormous clue.
J Mark Morris : San Diego : California
Amazon links to several books authored by my father, Frank R. Morris.