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Q: Is there a god?
A: Good question. From the beginning of recorded history man has invented gods to represent the things that he cannot explain: Gods of the sun, the moon, the seas, and even war.
Science has progressed to a point that we have an understanding of the tides, the movements of the planets, and many other phenomena that beleaguered former men. The gods have fallen away as the magic of the universe has been revealed.
There remain some problems to be sorted out, however, the biggest being what exactly this universe is, how it came into being, and what is going to happen to it? Then again, we could say that time is only a perception – a frame of reference – and it is meaningless to talk about before the ‘Big Bang’.
And this actually goes right to a discussion about consciousness. What is consciousness? Self-awareness? Are all of the inputs to the brain in the form of senses depicting reality as it is? Models of survival-of-the-fittest and evolution have proven that if there is something out there that confers an advantage by us not being able to see it, or seeing it not for what it truly is, then our genetics would push us to that. So what we perceive is really only that which is advantageous for us to perceive, not what is.
But if we follow these breadcrumbs as far as possible how can we know that all that we perceive is not just encapsulated in our own minds? I am not so narcissistic as to say that you are all figments of my imagination, but where indeed does this leave us? Did, as some say, our ancestors have a bicameral mind where an inner monologue would take place? And what exactly are trance states? When we master the art of self-hypnosis and find ourselves in a mind palace where exactly is that?
There are long discussions we may have about these and deeper matters.
But let us not fall into solipsism or nihilism. Let us say that there are some things that are vastly too incomprehensible for our feeble minds. We can sit in awe of creation and call that God. I am convinced that there is something greater than our existence here on earth I have a theory, but that is for another day.
Q: Why do you use ‘man’ and ‘he’ in your philosophical writings? Can’t you come up with something gender neutral?
A: SCOAS does not do PC. We do not strive to be gender-neutral or gender-sensitive. In fact, we think that gender is rather important, and men and women are fundamentally different. When in comes to writing, however, using ‘man’ and ‘he’ and other such words is just a convenience. You may assume ‘man and/or woman’ when the term ‘man’ is used, as it has been used through thousands of years of literature. Don’t throw your mamby-pamby “paternalism” and “heteronormative” crap out around here. If your mind is too small to understand the standard use of language, or your ears are too delicate to hear harsh words, then go home to momma and cry yourself silly.