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March 29, 2015


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Isn’t Appreciative Reader suggesting that “show me the proof” is the flip-side of the believer having found God or achieved satori? If a line of reasoning rebuts the believer and the believer’s encounter with the deity rebuts “show me the proof” are you both not shadow boxing? Put crudely, isn’t this the positivism of fools? I do not mean this as implying that the atheist and the evangelical are in any way equal; certitude being the sign of a closed mind, and far, far more prevalent among believers than non-believers..

“Show me the proof” should never be a substitute for inquiry. Explicit in inquiry is doubt; and those incapable of coping with doubt seek shelter, some in belief, some in “show me the proof.”

“Show me the proof” should never be a substitute for inquiry.

It isn't a "substitute for inquiry". It's what you say to people who talk about what they can't provide any evidence of.

Dear Brian:

Thanks for sharing "Appreciative Readers" essay. It's very fine!

You wrote:

"Meaning, this is just a shorthand way of saying, 'your faith-based belief needs to be transformed into a testable hypothesis that is amenable to a scientific approach of understanding reality.'


That's what Meditation is in the hands of a dedicated scientist.

And if those scientifically minded get any interesting results at all, and it is their passion, they persue it. They don't try to dismiss it.

The small results encourage them.

One hour a day isn't enough. What professional has accomplished anything in their field on that?

Who would dare claim to understand that science who gave it so little time?

It's a profession, full time, and like a passion, like true art that is all good science, it consumes the dedicated scientist.

Think of the myriad scientists who quit, who gave up because the results were very, very hard to generate. Because they gave up too soon.

They settled for poverty because everyone said that's their lot. And they believed that superstition, that religion of poverty.

A real scientist never asks questions outside the testable realm. "Does God really exist?" "Are these results from God?"

Who cares? Can't be known. Every testable definition of God is a human construction.

But there are things we commonly understand as human. And things beyond those, which we can know. Incredible things.

At some point the scientist has to leave all that conceptual masturbation. It's a distraction.

What they know is what they can test. That's all that they are interested in. Something is there. Something phenomenal. That alone is worthy of their dedicated effort.

So, the true scientist, and mystic, doesn't ask about God. They give all that up along the way.

They know that "God" at best is a human concept. Concepts are of no interest to them. Reality is their goal.

But they have something real and testable inside, and that interests them greatly. Through that, they find a remarkable connection to the creation, a connection that is beyond time and physical space. That find the creation is awake, conscious, and active! It is playful. It makes two particles that were completely separated act the same, just to disrupt the ordered set up of the particle physicist!

Even ten seconds of closing your eyes and quietly observing yields information. What is that?

Let's start there!

Let's find out!

Thanks. I found a better phrasing of my question in your post from 2011:

"Religious believers will seize upon this admission of science's inability to peek behind the curtain of why existence exists and exclaim, "God is the only answer!" To which I reply, "Wrong!"

"God, whether viewed as a personal or impersonal power, fills precisely the same role in theology as do the laws of physics in science."

I also agree with your observation: "My favorite part: "something and nothing may well be the same thing." The universe is just a form of nothing. Ooh! So Zen!"

That there is so much that we do not know is much more comforting than the pathetic admonitions of Evangelicals who, at every turn, attempt to remind me that my end has been foreordained by an an all-knowing deity who placed me on this predestined earth and who then try to tell me I have free will (thus wrapping the great enigma of existence into an enigma reason and logic cannot pierce).

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