Sunday, 18 April 2010

Taking the universe for granted, and other easy mistakes to make

It is natural enough that we take the existence of the universe for granted. But if we were to stand in a perspective from which we did not take it for granted in this way, what is it that we see?

The universe seduces us into taking it for granted by being fantastically detailed and mind-numbingly reproducibly consistent. It keeps on being just like it is. On and on. And it does so down to the most extraordinary level of detail. That bit of dirt on the paving stone at the corner of the street, just like it was yesterday. The level of detail is astonishing.

Reality/the universe manages to be taken for granted by being rigourously consistent, persistent, and extraordinarily detailed.

We could be forgiven for thinking that a creator, if there is any, has deliberately designed the universe from the design principle that the presence of any creator should disappear.

If there is a creator god, we might easily conclude that she has designed the universe in such a way as to encourage us not to believe in her (at least to the extent that it is rationally possible to not entertain at least a smiggen of curiosity regarding the transcendental, given the confronting mystery of being that we are moment by moment presented with).

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