As I reflect on my continued departure from having a belief in God I’m trying to pinpoint some of the important factors that bring believers and skeptics to diverge where they do. So I’ve been contemplating the difference between human desire and human awareness? It’s always in my nature to want to take a stab at these things because I’ve realized just how much I can understand others through understanding myself.

My theory about human desire is that any sane mind wants to see justice done right. We all want to see love and forgiveness expressed in their purest forms. These things are near and dear to us because our ability to reflect upon the past and recognize our faults is without a doubt a strong one. The desire for an ultimate relevance in regards to these things has no doubt been the endeavor of every religion to help try and solve.

Considering the indifference of the natural world toward our painful struggle our desire to live out the ideal scenario only grows stronger. So what is this ideal scenario? Does it exist outside of ourselves? Outside of our struggle as a human race? I happen to think that our struggle to survive as a species has in fact enabled us to hone in on the highest expressions of morality that we can come to.

The endeavor of morality itself does not seem to rest on one set of assumptions about the world. It is in fact adaptive and malleable depending upon human context. It relates so very much to the various conditions that humans find themselves in. The reality of suffering, sickness, and death plagues us all and it seems to relate far more to environmental factors than some kind of human depravity or curse.

It is rather interesting after all that if we are to accept a universe that is finely tuned that apparently this existence is far less finely tuned than it once was. This is due to the alleged birth of original sin. Prior to this was a supposedly perfect world that experienced no death, sickness, and very little to perhaps no pain. Theologians and Apologists often assert that if the existing dynamics that run our universe in the present were somehow altered by just a fraction, well, we wouldn’t even exist!

Since those who advocate this view are obviously inconsistent with their terms I am going to remain more open minded about how conditions have in fact changed and fluctuated very much since the very first conceivable moment in time. Also, to our dismay death, sickness, and pain seem to play an intricate role in human and animal evolution. Overall, nature through this allegedly defective and less perfect process has actually created the most advanced set of life forms to date.

All of this is to conclude that a positive desire for some kind of resolution within our struggle as a species seems to bring many to place their trust in some form of religion. I must point out that this yearning and painful growth that is inherent to all really does nothing to illustrate the existence of any kind of actual supreme being. This is why we must now delve into this idea of awareness.

What are you truly aware of in this life my friends? I am extremely curious in this regard because as I evaluate the awareness that I thought I possessed in the past and compare it to those who claim to be aware of God in the present there seems to be a pattern. The pattern that I observe is one in which the supernatural world is vast yet immensely subtle. God is inconceivably powerful and present and yet His spirit is like the wind that blows where it wishes. The implication being that not all people seem to be in tune with this God’s divine revelation.

Many conservative and less charismatic religious types describe their communion with God as being significant during times of quiet prayer and reflection. It might be something as simple as a Bible verse that seems to directly speak to that person’s present emotional state. Sometimes it’s the wisdom and intervention of a like minded friend about how to work out interpersonal problems in one’s closest relationships. Do such instances really deserve the connotation as some kind of divine voice, wisdom, and intervention in one’s life?

Are not these things deeply woven into the fabric of what it means to be human, regardless of one’s religious affiliation? We thrive on patterns and certain ideas that resonate to the core of our being! Such things to me provide a reversal of evidence about what kind of knowledge people actually possess about the divine. The kind of knowledge that we possess is one that is passed on via religious tradition. This tradition is then married to our desire for relevance and resolution within the human struggle.

Our awareness (or lack thereof) of the divine on the other hand reveals an inherent agnosticism that everyone possesses. Such knowledge of God is not accessible to us because if it was there would be far more consensus in the world about what and who this being is. In the absence of accessible knowledge of the divine there is seemingly no end on how one could view and formulate their definition of the supernatural realm. We ought not to take such diversity of belief lightly.

2 thoughts on “Human Desire & Awareness

  1. Very well written without a single instance of philosophy-speak. The only thing that we can truly be certain of knowing is that we think, and therefore we somehow exist. We can be certain of no other thing. As children we learn about the world we are presented with and how it works. Empathy ensures that we like to see fairness and good outcomes, even for others. Of course, when you compare your feelings about those in Nepal recently you may feel no honest pity for them because their plight has not activated empathetic simulation of their condition.

    The reality is that all we know of the life of another is merely a story being told in the simulation of the world that runs in our brains, and in that simulation the same nerves that interpret pain signals from our body are active when we see others in pain. In a way, all that is input to our brain is as real as anything we experience via our nerves.

    The cut on your finger is not real, the sensation that you feel is merely electrical impulses sent to your brain to be input to the simulation. There the pain registers because your brain tells you that that set of signals causes pain and so other parts of your brain react to those signals in your brains simulation. It is theoretically possible to cause someone vast amounts of pain simply by inputting the right signals to the brain.

    The reality is that nothing is real. Every last bit of it is reduced to electrical signals and input to our brains for the simulation. The tight connection between our nerves and senses and our brain gives us the illusion that we are part of a world that is outside and bigger than that of our body.

    There is a confirmation bias at work. If we can appear to witness good things and justice happening for others, then in this world we seem connected to it must also be possible for us to experience both justice and goodness.

    When the rules we use to understand this impossibly unreal world are examined and compared to all the knowledge we have acquired in any way or form, our brains do the math to calculate outcomes of cause and effect scenarios. This is done in the simulation, or at least we are only self aware of the stuff that happens in the simulation. We stop being believers when we are forced by some knowledge to admit to ourselves that the math does not add up any more in consideration of gods and the supernatural. Then we use every tool available to square the problem to get the math to again work out right. Induction, deduction, anger, frustration, even fear. Then we eventually work out that if there is no god the math begins to work out again.

    Knowledge is what makes us different from the believers. Not simply possession of that knowledge but the willingness and ability to apply it to the simulation of the world that we run in our heads. Believers don’t want to learn about biology, physics etc. To do so would cause pain, actual pain. Rearranging the rules in our simulation activates those bits which register pain from our nerves. In our heads both a paper cut and changing the rules around register as pain. Pain is bad and to be avoided. When you stay on the straight and narrow path you avoid the pain. The road less travelled is the one laden with pain brought on by new knowledge.

    For me, this is where believers and non-believers part ways.

    Liked by 1 person

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