The Technium

God, the Superposition

I find any version about the origins of the cosmos to be implausible and unsatisfactory. 

The modern scientific view is that the universe began without any creator, it just sort of emerged from nothing by itself. Or it was hatched from a prior universe. Or perhaps the rules of the universe created themselves and then myriad multiverses running on those rules compete to evolve the best universe to birth consciousness. Or the cosmos could be some grand simulation running on computers somewhere, created once upon a time. What made the simulation?

Alternatively, God made the universe (or the simulation). God started it with a big bang and is letting it unfold in its glories. But then the origins of God are likewise unsatisfactory. Even allowing its origins to be outside of time – time being something that is created – the story does not make sense. What was “before” God, if there was no such thing as time before? Maybe nothing has an origin and everything always was. If there is no such thing as an origin —then what is the source of the immense scale and brilliance of everything in the universe?  

No matter where we start, we end up with the same illogical notion that there was something that always was, before time, and that everything we understand to be vast and huge and deep was self created from nothing in some way. God, not-God, both are riddled with the same unsatisfying paradoxes. 

My current definition of God is: that which is absolutely self-created, with no antecedents, no dependencies, no priors. Might be the universe itself, or might be a personality in the sky. I like to think of God – the self-created core of the cosmos – as a superposition. A superposition is a concept in quantum physics which states that light can be both a wave and a particle, both off and on, present or absent at the same time. A cat can be both dead and alive, and you only notice the difference once you observe it. God/not-God is true at once, and the superposition is only settled once you choose which one to see. 

But the paradox of the origin of our universe is only the beginning. The things that we believe are most important in this reality, such as consciousness, free will, and life – all defy common logic. This is not a matter of insufficient knowledge. It is that they don’t make sense because their causation is circular. The more we know about the fundamental structure of the universe, and our minds, and our consciousness, the clearer it is that these things strangely loop back upon themselves like a snake swallowing its tail. Self-causation is illogical because causation itself is illogical.  What happened before there was time? What is before the before? What is bigger: something or nothing? How can free will exist in a lawful universe? These are inherent riddles resting upon paradoxes. 

This kind of self-causing paradox is not merely inescapable; it is essential. This superposition of beginning/no-beginning, nothing/something, freewill/determinism, God/not-God is the essence of all being; it is paradox itself that generates the unlikely arrangements of all that we consider real and good. You can’t have consciousness without circular self referencing. You can’t have life without recursive feedback loops. You can’t have God without paradoxical self-creation. Anything important, once unraveled, will be resting on a paradox. And without the paradox of superposition, there would be only nothing, instead of nothing and something. There is a necessary paradox at the core of reality.

We have been taught to reject the paradoxical as a disqualification. It is possible that these kinds of paradoxes arise only in our limited human brains trained on superficial logic; perhaps smarter agents won’t be bothered with riddles. Or it might be that these riddles are never erased by any kind mind, and are just something you get used to, something that you expect, and work with. I lean to the latter in absence of any other evidence, and I am learning to embrace the necessary paradoxes that are inherent in intelligences (whether natural or artificial), life (whether natural or artificial), and creations (whether natural or artificial).

As to God/not-God: personally, I choose to see God since it makes a much better story.


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