Elder Gottlieb was a little hesitant to bring out the final item. He didn’t want Avatar to quickly dismiss it or come up with a quick logical explanation for how he could not possibly know whether it was real or fiction. Elder Gottlieb was doubting himself but he did it anyway. He removed a blue paper-back book from his bag and held it clutched in two hands, as if he were afraid to let it go.
This book is not perfect. The writers of the book explain that they are imperfect; therefore, the book is not perfect. However, we believe that this book in my hands is the most accurate of all books on earth.
Avatar smirked a bit and replied, “There are millions of books on the earth in print, millions more in digital format, and hundreds of religious books that make a similar claim. It is quite arrogant to suggest that the book in your hands is the most accurate of all books on earth.”
We learn how to discern between truth and falsehood. Everyone has a sensitivity to discern between truth and falsehood, but like all skills you need to practice and develop this ability. Things that are true give me a feeling of peace and comfort and things that are false make me feel uncomfortable and sometimes cold, Elder Jäger explained.
That sounds like the effects of confirmation bias when you feel comfortable and cognitive dissonance when you feel uncomfortable.
It’s more than simply a feeling of peace. The feeling is combined with increased knowledge and insight. I get excited when I figure out something in my study of theoretical physics or mathematics, but understanding who I am and why I am here motivates me to help and teach others.
Motivation is an interesting human concept. What motivates an omnipotent God who knows all and can do anything?
I believe that we already answered that question but I will answer it again with the answer that God gave to Moses.
“The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine. And as the earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works neither my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”Mose 1:38-39
Is that a challenge for an omnipotent God? Can’t he just say the word and make man immortal and give him eternal life? That shouldn’t be a challenge for an omnipotent God.
He could have made it happen by simply doing it, but that is not the plan that was selected.
There were plans presented? Why would an omnipotent God need options? And are you saying that God picked the more complex plan? Why would an omnipotent God pick complexity over simplicity?
God didn’t make the choice. His children were given the option to choose. Some chose the first plan, about a twenty-seven percent; while everyone else chose the second plan.
One of his children presented a plan that seemed simple using a model of complete control, that would have forced all of God’s children to do his will. With all of his children perfectly obedient, they could return to his presence and have eternal life. That was the simpler plan which was about complete control.
That sounds like a form of slavery or dictatorship. Persuasion through fear and absolute control never works out well.
Yes, so the first Son, presented a different plan. In his plan, a new world would be created that would provide a place for Gods’ children to be tested and tried. We would forget about our home that we would have to leave. Everyone was given a small starter GPS to guide them back. Nearly everyone would find their way back, regardless of the map that they selected. Everyone would find happiness, and a few would find the long, strait, and narrow path back into the presence of the Father.
Avatar sat up in his chair, looking a bit agitated. But look at what has happened to this world. As you mentioned earlier, most people are arrogant, proud, and self-centered. People are only motivated by lust and greed, that leads to killing, lying, and harming others in senseless ways. Wouldn’t all of this lead to no one returning back God? If this is all a test, everyone seems to be failing. You would need an infinite amount of energy to fix an infinite set of failures.
Something infinite was exactly what was needed to make the plan work. An infinite atonement or reconciliation for everything bad ever done across all space and time. The first Son offered to take upon him an infinite amount of suffering and pain in a way that we as humans cannot comprehend. We only know that it was infinite which was the only value that would make the plan work.
As if he didn’t quite understand what Elder Gottlieb had just said, or he simply didn’t care, Avatar again shifted to another question about the creation.
In the words that you read Mr. Jäger, you said; “And as the earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come”.
That’s correct, and there is no end to his works or his words.
Avatar again closed his eyes and this time with his eyes closed he recited a series of questions, as if they were rhetorical questions.
And man, as well as women, are his greatest work and his glory? This earth shall pass away as well as everything we see in our observable universe, and another shall come? A man and woman shall again be placed upon a new earth, in a new universe created from the debris from the previous universe? Our universe is recycled debris.
At least the physical objects that we see are reorganized debris from prior creations. However, our spiritual form, is older than the creation of this world and this universe. God cautioned and taught Abraham and Moses to focus on the earth in which they stood and now I understand why. Contemplating the vastness of the universe, our eternal existence, the continual destruction and reorganization of worlds like ours, is mentally exhausting and distracts from what is important.
It is good fun though, isn’t it?
Indeed it is, Avatar.
The debris that makes up the universe consists of two things, the smallest particles that make up all matter and probability. “Probability is omnipotent and omnipresent.”
While it may be true that probability, or chance, may be present everywhere; there is a counterbalance. Remember, there is opposition in all things.
What can counterbalance probability?
There are two things that counterbalance probability. They are faith and action. We must have faith and then we need to act on that faith. May I tell a new story that illustrates this principle?
There was a family, long ago, who were asked to build a set of unique ships that were completely enclosed like a submarine that floats on the water. God had given them instructions how to build these unique vessels but left something out, maybe intentionally.
Why would an omniscient God leave something out?
If God provides everything, then we cannot learn. They had no light source. The man was concerned for his family that they would be at sea for days, weeks, and maybe months in complete darkness. The steps he took to solve this problem are very instructive.
He started by finding some unique rocks. He polished them until they were almost luminescent. He then took the rocks to a high mountain, set them down and asked if God himself would touch them and give them light. He had the faith of a child that God himself would make this so. He then saw a hand extend through something like a curtain or veil, and then he saw that same hand touch each rock and illuminate them.
So he made a choice to not let probability alone determine the fate of his family. He took actions. He decided to act rather than be acted upon by probability.
I think that’s right. Not acting is a decision to allow probability or chance to act upon oneself. When one chooses to act with faith that his actions will yield results, that person chooses to not give in to chance alone. We can choose to act, or we can allow the puppeteer of probability to pull our strings.
That is an interesting story from your religious text. I do find it interesting that the story uses light as the center of the story. Most stories like this only speak of visions of God, angels, or spirits. Your story is unique because God himself is interacting with the physical world to address a practical problem. Why would an all-knowing omniscient God descend below everything to make some physical rocks glow?
What happened next is more important than making rocks glow. God appeared to the man in the form of a man. He explained that he was the Son of God and that sometime in the future, he would take upon him a physical body and walk upon the physical Earth.
So for you God looks like a man, and came to Earth to become a man with desires, needs, and emotions like a human being, while still possessing infinite power?
“I reject this complicated notion of a fixed reality. Our language and our minds are too limited to deal with anything but a fixed reality, regardless of whether such a thing exists.Adams (2013)
Whether such a thing exists? You seem to be referring to the debate in quantum mechanics that began with Einstein insisting that quantum mechanics could not explain everything. He didn’t like the idea that the moon only existed when he was looking at it. It made him uncomfortable.
Albert had his own delusions that may have clouded his judgement and restricted his ability to fully comprehend the principles of quantum physics and probability. He believed in a God. He found a metaphor that comforted him. When quantum mechanics came along, he experienced a type of cognitive dissonance that made him uncomfortable.
So you believe that it is better to be continually uncertain about things, as was Heisenberg; as compared to Einstein who seemed to always be searching for the missing variable with great enthusiasm, certain that the answer was right in front of him?
Einstein wanted to understand the true nature of reality. Heisenberg and others concluded that we cannot know the true nature of reality. Everything is uncertain. We look around, adjust our perceptions, and stop looking when we find something that makes us feel comfortable. For Einstein it was looking at the moon, confident that it was there, making Albert feel comfortable.
From our sacred books, we read two stories; one about Abraham and other about Moses. I have shared parts of those stories already. In both stories, God showed Abraham and Moses the universe and then, in both events, reminded them that they need to focus on what’s happening here on earth. God gave them insight into the mysteries of the universe, while at the same time grounding them to what was important.
Some physicists have pointed out that we cannot understand fully the universe by trying to observe is. As soon as we try and measure the universe it moves. I know why the Lord instructed Abraham how we measure time on this earth by looking at the moon, the sun, and the stars. I think the quantum physicists are missing the point.
And what is the point, Mr. Gottlieb?
The moon, the sun, and the stars give us perspective, direction, and position. We look to them, they exist and then we know exactly where and when we are. Moses provided us with a very interesting metaphor of the snake wrapped around a pole, now used as the symbol in our medical professions. He asked the Israelites to look at the symbol. All they had to do was look at it and they would be healed. After Moses was shown the vastness of the universe, two things happened. (glancing over at Elder Jäger who had his scriptures open).
Moses fell to the ground and laid there for several hours, unable to get up. When he regained his strength he said, “Now for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.” He learned about the nature of the universe, the true nature of God, and also his true nature. It was overwhelming. The Lord again showed him more and Moses asked, “Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them.” He wanted to understand everything about the universe and all of God’s creations.
And what was the answer to his request?
“For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me. And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you.”Moses
He told him more, but the point is that he wanted Moses to understand who did what and when on this earth. Moses needed to get his bearings before he could move forward.
So should scientists and students of science stop asking questions about the mysteries of the universe like, “Where did all the energy come from and how did it become so organized?”GD Should we just accept that everything was done for God’s purpose as Moses was told in you story? And are you suggesting that Einstein was correct, despite all of the research that followed on quantum mechanics and probability theory?
Throughout history, there have been a few people who have seen things in a way that no one else could see things. Einstein, apparently saw something that others did not. He tried to explain to Born and others that something about quantum physics was “an incomplete and indirect description of reality.”
Or Einstein was wrong and Born, and many others, were right. The universe is nothing more than fine matter and probability.
You are trying to lead us down a logical path to somehow prove that probability is the governing principle of the universe, rather than faith and God’s plan for his children. You think that what we believe is one of many delusions. I have studied out in my mind both the concepts of theoretical physics and what we refer to as God’s eternal plan of happiness. In my mind, science and religion do not conflict. In fact, they support and compliment each other.
You cannot fully understand quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, nor the mind and actions of an omnipotent and omniscient God. Einstein spent the second half of his life trying to reconcile these things with no success. And you arrogantly suggest that you have reconciled them?