The Thesis-Writing Mammal Considers Albedo: Why I Believe

The Thesis-Writing Mammal Considers Albedo: Why I Believe

Maya Bohnhoff

As a believer who hangs out on atheist websites, I am repeatedly bemused by the assumption that I believe without evidence. So after some pondering of how to say this concisely, here—in broad strokes—is why I believe in the human soul and the God who seeks to educate it.

I believe because of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. And because of all the creatures that have evolved on this planet, we are the only ones who understand what evolution means. Of all the billions of lifeforms on this world, we are completely alone in our ecological niche. More to the point, we possess a type of intelligence that is qualitatively different from any other. There is no convincing, purely materialistic theory that even comes close to explaining why that is.

I believe because of Newton’s Third Law of Motion … and every other Law of physics or ethics that humans have created to explain what, in many cases, we cannot even sense or experience first hand. We are alone in that need to explain.

I believe because of words. Because we have invested sounds with meaning, then created symbols for those sounds and used those symbols to communicate. Words are ours, alone.

I believe because the things we use our created sounds, symbols, and words to express are largely non-natural. That is we do not use our words to comment only on what is accessible through the physical senses, but predominately on what is NOT accessible through the senses. We use them to ask “what if?” We use them to clothe such abstract ideas as theories, laws, morals, emotions, arguments for and against the existence of black holes, multi-verses, atoms … or God.

 In fact, I believe … that in the very act of refuting the existence of God, we prove it.

I believe because human beings are—in the literal sense of the word—super-natural. We, alone of all lifeforms on this planet, go where we have not physically evolved to go and do what we have not physically evolved to do. We fly without wings, dive without gills because we have reasoned out and invented ways to do this. We even go intellectually and imaginatively where we have not gone physically. In fact, I believe … that in the act of imagining what does not yet exist, we illustrate what the scriptures mean when they say God created us in His/Her image. (“…the part cannot possess perfections whereof the whole is deprived.”)

I believe because there is a sequence of Prophets (described in some scripture as the Word of God—interesting thought) reaching back into antiquity, who have consistently explained that we are the way we are because there is a God, that this God can be known in creation and in His/Her Emissaries, and that the knowledge of God is a critical piece of our discovery of ourselves and our universe.

I believe because these Prophets have said (in the words of Bahá’u’lláh): “He has known God who has known himself.” (See points 1 through 5, above.

I believe because of Occam’s Razor, which postulates that the best explanations of phenomena are the ones that do not needlessly multiply entities to explain them.

I believe because of albedo—the capacity of a body to reflect light. We learned upon observing that the surface of the moon was not generating light, but rather reflecting the light of the Sun, out of sight on the other side of the Earth. We often speak of the “human reflective capacity” in referring to the intellect and faculty for introspection.  It seems clear to me that this capacity is not reflecting what Richard Dawkins calls the “pitiless indifference” of nature, but light from some other source which—like the Sun reflecting upon the surface of the moon—is hidden by an obstruction.

The writings of my faith refer to God as “the Most Manifest of the manifest and the Most Hidden of the hidden.” I admit, I am continuously bemused that there is any question of God’s existence—He is hidden in plain sight.

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8 thoughts on “The Thesis-Writing Mammal Considers Albedo: Why I Believe

  1. I agree – and add that there are some experiences we have which escape explanation, leading us on. Members of every religion and no religion have them. They have them when they almost die and when they are just sitting in a chair. People see what they expect and sometimes what they don’t expect. Sometimes lives change. I like to say, my own words, that God doesn’t leave fingerprints but when that hand reaches out of the sky for you, you feel it. But here, here we have room to decide to see with our own eyes, make our own judgements, see what we take our hands to and not to.

  2. I like to look for words that I can associate with Baha’u’llah either in the works of others ar even certain words in the dictionary. Anyone who has read Mario Poe’s The Story Of Language’ will know that each word has a history I would like to give an example of a word that has a science and religion history.

    Congruence is defined by Webster, with the assistance of an institutionalized madman’ in two parts:(1) Harmony and (2) Geometry. Thought, which never ceases, conceives the concept of the harmony between science and religion also has two parts: (1) We do not have conscious control over the processing that occurs in our bodies. (2) Sophisticated brain processing takes place below awareness. An occasion where sophisticated brain processing takes place is meeting a bear on a forest trail: the heart beats faster (a chamber supplies electrical energy) , breath becomes rapid and we exhale loudly through the nose, concentration increases and we have a glympse of the future. This can be demonstrated without the bear. Select a difficult paragraph to read, inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose, concentrate on the sighing of the expelled air while reading the passage. Concentration can be broken by lowering the jaw as if to speak.

    Geometry (2 in the first sentence) is a branch of mathematics which is often called the language of science. In order to connect science with religion attention is directed toward certain termis such as planes, reflections and other allusion sused by Baha’u’llah My allusion is the tetrahedron, the regular pyramid of geometry Each of the ‘four ‘ faces of the tetrahedron (pyramids of Egypt) is an equilateral triangle. Each triangle has three points. (Webster : geometry is the property of a ‘plane’ as a solid figurethat makes it able to coincide with another plane or solid figure after a rigid transformation). Three equilaterial planes (the minimum number to form a pyramid has ‘9’ points and the hidden base points makes the foundation a total of twelve points The geometric planes of the Diamond , in the natural state, exibit tetrahedral symmetry. The Diamond when cut and polished brillently reflects from a central source,

    No, a poloygon is not a dead parrot.

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea that God should be an assumption in our picture of the universe. Your description of Occam’s razor gave me a thought, so I’ll run with it a bit and see what comes out the other end.

    If “God” can be invoked as a tool to explain something unexplained by something else, then “God” only works as long as it is the best explainer. It becomes a theory, a tool, like muffin pans in our kitchen. As soon as another theory does a better job, God gets sold on kijiji (your soul OBO!) and replaced with better muffin pans. Occam is only our friend for a short time.

    But, if this idea of God is seen as imparting meaning on our lives, perhaps it’s no longer in the realm of the theory. It’s not a muffin pan, or flour, or even the recipe, but it’s the idea that we are making a meal for friends. It gives us a reason to impart love in the muffins and make them better. It inspires us to discover ways to refine our cooking skills. It drives us.

    In that case, God eternally lies beyond the reach of science, because our idea of meaning evolves as we evolve. This ancient and eternal succession of Prophets serves to imbue humanity with insights into an every unfolding idea of God. In that sense, Occam is always our friend in a way.

  4. I think God may very well be eternally beyond the reach of science. But His evidences are (the muffin pans).

    I like your analogy: God is not a muffin pan or even a muffin recipe (scripture?). He is the idea of baking muffins for someone we love.

    1. Well, He is always greater than what we current think He is, but yes, the idea of baking for someone we love could be the most that we can current experience or understand of God.

      His evidences as the muffin pans? Ya, maybe that works. Hmm, but aren’t His evidences always up for interpretation? I mean, I can look at an unfortunate event and say “God is telling me I have to learn something here” or I can say “Bad luck”. Same event, different interpretation. Same muffin pan, different muffins(/meaning/inspiration for new recipe…?).

        1. Do we get to choose what kind of muffins we are used to make? If so, I choose my grandmas raisin carrot muffins. mmmmmmm

          1. Well, that’s actually the point of the exercise. Not only are the muffin pans the evidences of the Master Baker, but we get to choose what kind of muffins we make.

            I’m shooting for pumpkin spice—the kind that warm people up on cold evenings and make them think of home … in a good way.

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