From the time I have been a small child, I have rejected the notion of Jesus and God. At times during my young life, I did accept some of the teachings – such as how to treat others, the Golden Rule, the Good Samaritan, etc. But I have been a devout atheist since maybe around 13.
Unlike many 13 year olds you knew, I struggled trying to understand where we came from. I found it “lazy” that people just assumed there was this deity making everything happen. I didn’t like the fact that someone was controlling the strings – and we must believe in this deity or perish. To me, church felt like a cult. It made me feel uncomfortable being there because I was some sort of infidel. I did not believe in God. So parading me out there every week being dressed up? It drove me further away from the church.
Getting back to the 13 year old – I remember in 7th grade study hall trying to understand how you could drive a car to the speed of light. I didn’t have the math at that point in my life to understand acceleration, but I understood the complexity of the numbers. I also felt that as you went faster, you become heavier, which required more energy to push you forward. At that time, I also didn’t understand the vacuum of space.
However, unlike many 13 year olds, I had a father who was big time into quantum physics and was reading books by Hawking. He had many other books, and he would go on about the quark and other particles. I also loved talking about it with him over games of chess. He was an avid beer drinker and my best friend, and he’d crack a beer, light up a smoke, and we’d talk for hours about black holes, the twin paradox, how light is both a wave and a particle. And the Big Bang. And this is where things get dicey.
The Big Bang
Essentially, the theory is that everything from our universe came from something the size of a pinhead. That the explosion was so big like 15 billion years ago – and the universe is constantly expanding. This, is as opposed to Genesis, which essentially states Geppetto got out his puppet and in a few days created our world and all we know.
To me, the science of everything was mesmerizing. It was all theory, but these were accomplished men using incredibly complex math – as opposed to men etching thoughts into a stone tablet, barely graduated from cuneiform. I figured I wanted to follow the likes of Newton…not Abraham.
But this all got me trying to contemplate everything. And something of interest happened. I stumbled upon string theory and the multiverse about a decade or so before I knew that some big brains came up with this as well. About 10 years ago, I also came up with the Higgs Boson prior to me even having an idea this was a thing FORTY years before I “invented it”. I have the facebook ramblings to prove it lol. My point is rational people can, when thinking clearly, logically project what could be out there rather than a big old man in a white robe with a gray beard and wispy, furrowed eyebrows.
I didn’t like Christianity telling me I had to believe in their puppet master or I would go to Hell. I also didn’t appreciate them telling me I should fear this guy. And to understand God was too complex. Right. Said the guy with the stone tablet selling snake oil.
Don’t mistake my cynicism here for being an asshole of sorts – I just really didn’t get the God squad. What I DID appreciate about them was how their teachings told people to treat each other. I respected religion in the means that it was a structure setup by ancient men to create functioning societies. Religion DOES solve a lot of societal issues. But to me, I didn’t like being ordered to believe in something. I think you might find that trait in a lot of agnostic or atheist people today.
To me, I spent years trying to understand where we came from. I felt that there must be concrete answers. Science will eventually explain all. And then you realized this shit happened 15 or so billion years ago, and all of the best brains in the world are shooting fucking darts at a board just like me. They have math, of course, but you have the likes of Newton who kinda sorta invented calculus in a few months because he understood some crazy shit. I’m not Newton. But I can tell you I believe there are a lot of people out there who probably grasp some crazy concepts without having the math to put it to paper. To us, this math is pictures in our brains we can’t communicate with others. Some of you went through 10 years of calc/physics and can put a bunch of squiggly lines on paper. And while your math is elegant and beautiful, all you have is a bunch of theories that half of scientists approve of, the other half debunk.
Which leads me back to an early discovery when I was younger. Everything seems to be a part of something. electrons are going around a nucleus. Atoms combine for elements. Elements make compounds…….worlds revolved around stars. Stars revolve around galaxies, probably with a black hole at the center of most….galaxies are part of the universe. What is the universe part of?
Ohh….so this is where you stop? Why?
Because the edge of our universe, as Einstein put, was comprised of “space time”. I did a report on this in 7th grade English class, and my fellow students looked at me like the moron I was. I didn’t truly grasp a lot of this, but it interested me! The thoughts are we can’t travel outside of the universe – that if an object or light hit the edge of the universe, that it would bend around it, like as if you were inside a balloon. That it wasn’t a perfect bubble…but that’s about the end of that thought. Even Einstein thought the universe was it.
When I was young, I wondered, “what if there were other universes?”. Could we be part of 200 billion universes that revolve around a super-super-super massive black hole, which was part of an even bigger mega-verse with hundreds of billions of systems in it? This just made me feel pretty insignificant, that my life may stretch to 80 or 90 years – but in comparison to the megaverse – it would look as if time stopped during my lifespan. Just as if you lived inside the nucleus of an atom – you would potentially live an entire life and die before .0000000000000001 of a trillionth of a second would pass. To the person inside this nucleus, time in the bigger sense appears to not move. To the “bigger sense”, things move so quickly you cannot comprehend the speed.
Time is relative, indeed.
So getting back to this multiverse, when I was in 8th grade or so, I learned about absolute zero. To me, THIS was the border of our universe. If there is no energy with light…then there is a lot of movement….and absolute zero can take place. So rather than the border of our universe as some picket fence or rubber balloon material…the edge of our universe fades over a far greater distance than we can imagine. And off far beyond that is another universe. These universes do move, and occasionally, they break apart, collapse, or collide. For me…the evidence was when I saw something that showed that many billions of years ago, the earth and the moon collided – which left the moon rocky and orbiting us. The same could have been the big bang. What if two universes collided? What happened, if, at the center of these universes were mega black holes – and when the universes collided, these black holes collided and rather than stabilizing one universe, two of them imploded the universes…to then create the big bang? Rather than all mass being the size of a pin head, I felt like all of the mass was being collapsed down to remove all space between electrons and nuclei.
When you compress all atoms and remove all space, there is an acceleration inward. And when that last bit of material hits this giant blob (first of all, imagine the heat you can roast marshmallows on), at that point it starts expanding like stars about to go supernova. And BOOM. The core of this thing does disrupt time itself – which is why all of their math is screwy at this point in our universe. Remember, time is relative – around mass. The greater the mass, the slower time appears to be. What is time like around two mega black holes that have absorbed all energy of two universes? If you are observing from above, it might LOOK as if it’s stopped time. But it’s relative. It reality, the explosions happening outward from the center are at an incredible rate – and as the explosions are happening, atoms are getting back to their normal size, with the nuclear forces normalizing the atom sizes. It’s exploding outward. But the BOOM happens in the mega sense when the forces holding the blob together are overrun by the forces pushing out.
And there is why the math at the beginning is squirrely.
After so many years of being a staunch atheist, and coming up with a very comfortable narrative of where the universe came from….I felt kind of smart. I mean, sure, I don’t understand one lick of the math going into this, but this reality makes sense to me.
About a year ago…I had some time to re-examine some of my thoughts on this. While my theory to me seemed “complete”, I had heard of a new theory now that we are in a simulation. Stupid, right?
Well…..get your fucking popcorn out. Shit’s about to get real.
About 20 years ago, I watched a movie called “the 13th floor”. If you haven’t seen it, please do so. It’s a MUST for anyone who likes science fiction.
The movie follows a protagonist who is a scientist. He is building a computer simulated universe that he and his friends can visit. They plug in to this thing, and voila! They are inside of a computer universe. You can do anything there. Long story short, the characters inside the simulation eventually realize they are a simulation and want to get out. Great. The irony is then that the protagonist, in OUR reality, then realizes WE are all in a simulation. So…the people who are being simulated created a simulated universe for themselves without ever realizing they were a simulation.
Just like in The Matrix, there are levels of simulation, some prominent people today start to come out and say we are in a simulation.
So….putting my science hat on, I wanted to give it a shake.
I took my existing theory of how our universe came to be…you know, megaverses and all, and then I sort of realized something.
*WHERE DID IT ALL COME FROM*
Where did the stuff come from in these universes? The Big Bang theory sort of ignores that by saying everything came from a pinhead or the like – but it doesn’t address the time before that. Was there a great collapse of the universe rather than a collision? Does the universe expand/collapse every 30 billion years or so and breathe like a lung?
The question of “where did it all come from” has haunted me this past year.
As a staunch atheist, I don’t buy into the furrowed brow benevolent old man judging you at the gates.
But I cannot discount a creator of some sort.
Could we indeed be characters inside of someone’s Sims game? Could our conscience be scientific programming and our diversity be a function of randomizing programming to understand social experimentation?
Do the church people have it right? Have I been wrong all along?
Is church more of a place to give thanks to whoever the creator is? What about the rules of the religion? Is it game code that is meant to control that group? Is it structure that artificial intelligence created to make their tribes stronger than their competition?
I don’t have the answers – but I have questions that make me want to re-investigate the concept of religion again. I don’t believe Jesus was some form of David Copperfield and became Zombie Jesus. Could someone have tried to deliver an early form of societal rules which were in direct competition of the other set of societal rules by being kind to others and he was crucified for it? That’s likely. Should I worship these entities? No.
But should I give thanks to them? Perhaps? Are they simply allowing my code to exist in their game of sorts? Do they even know I exist, or am I an electron of sorts in their system which has no meaning?
None of this makes sense, but if you really think about it –
Whoever the creator is that created that stuff…is essentially known as God in whatever religion you pick.
The myths/lessons that go along with these religions were invented by man. And the rules were invented by man. And thus the rules are infallible.
If you pray to your God, ok. But don’t take everything written about your God literally. Take lessons from your religion to make your life wonderful, while you have it. Try to treat others as good as possible. Exploit opportunities presented to you to increase your potential for happiness in life. Maybe next time I come back as a butterfly. Or a fly on a donkey’s ass in a hot, smelly summer. Or an amoeba.
While I’m in this form. In this life. I’m going to live it, and give thanks to whoever/whatever made my shell/husk…and try to live it as long as I can. Because after all…
I could be a blip. An electron. Errant code. In seconds, I could be blipped out of existence. And what evidence of me will there be I ever existed in 2,000 years?
None. Time will make us all a blip. All of us will be erased someday in a factory reset.
Smile. Make others feel good about themselves. Make your Sim character the best it can be. We will never find the answers to what happened 15 billion years ago, but we also shouldn’t slaughter each other in the name of a deity. Or make others not feel welcome because you don’t have the exact same views on your deity. Or make rules that hurt people who make mistakes. We are, after all, errant code.
Build each other up. Be kind. Maximize your high score.