God Exists…

This is going to be a very provocative statement and many people who know me may be shocked to hear this but, God exists. At least, that is, he exists just as much as any abstract human conception can be said to exist like love or anguish.

Does love exist? Well, yes, insofar as we can say I have this idea of what love is, I can feel it’s effects in my chest and I can form a conceptual idea of it and so it must exist. But what is love really? Love is a series of chemical interactions within the brain that affect our disposition towards another agent (I say agent because you could subjectively say you love your dog, your job or your car as well as your wife/husband/partner etc…) Likewise with anguish or any other human construction, most especially God.

The really salient point is, since love is something which exists only alongside sufficiently complex neurochemistry, if we imagine a world where there exists no such brain complex enough to form that conception, love disappears out of existence. So it is with God also. God exists only as far as there is a brain complex enough to imagine it and without that it vanishes in a puff of logic, as Douglas Adams so elegantly put it.

Ok, you concede, so God is really just a construction of the human mind, but it’s effects are real just like those of love. Gravity is just a human conception too, but it has real world effects, you would argue. Well, here you fall foul of your own logic because God’s effects vanish once the complex brain ceases to be. Gravity, on the other hand, continues to exist and have real world effects with or without that brain, in fact without a single brain of any kind in the entire universe gravity would continue to be a fact. There would be no conception of it, granted, but that does not affect it’s existence in the way that love would cease to exist the moment there were no brains complex enough to conceive it.

Go back to the formation of the Solar System when there was no life in the universe (as far as we can reasonably posit) and ask the question: did love exist? Did ethics exist? Did communism exist? All these complex conceptions that come into being with a sufficiently complex neural structure are ways for that neural structure to model the information it takes in from the world around it into discrete and manageable structures. An animal’s brain, once it reaches a certain stage of development, allows it to process the information it’s receiving to make the determination that the lever it has just pulled and the piece of food it gains access to a few seconds later are linked and so a model of the world can be formed where pulling a lever can result in access to food. Likewise humans can conceptualise the evolved neurochemical responses to compatible mates and offspring as model of the world where we “love” those agents.

However, it must be pointed out that not all of these models of the world are correct, or indeed, even useful. Similarly not all the models of the world around us that could exist are conceivable by human brains. Mathematics proves to us that Relativity is a fact of the universe just like Gravity, however a coherent model of this reality eludes most human brains as it is not a model that can easily be formed by human neural physiology and so our innate understanding of the universe as conforming to Middle World rules would be incorrect. That understanding, as evidenced by our existence at this point in our evolutionary development, was indeed useful to our ancestors and their ancestors, but we can now see that while those models were useful, they were incorrect.

As a model of the world, love is a rather useful one, accurately representing the neurological effects of our brain chemistry where our family is concerned. As a model of the world, however, God is a thoroughly useless and detrimental one. Part of the hardware in our brains that helps us to form these often-times intricate models of the world consists of a sophisticated pattern recognition system however it is not foolproof. Just see any visual illusion on the internet to see just how this system can fail to accurately represent the world. In the case of God, our pattern-seeking hardware tries to find patterns not just visually but also conceptually and in attributing cause and agents to events in our middle world. This part of our evolved hardware made it entirely useful for us to assign an agent to events around us because if we attributed the snap of twigs nearby to a possible predator and we either fled or were made alert by this perceived-pattern we would have been given a much better chance of survival had their indeed been a predator nearby. Quite often, however, there is no predator.

Humans like to attribute seemingly miraculous events to an agent and since we have no ready explanation on hand, God, or some tribal approximation of it, has sufficed for many thousands of years of human civilisation. This is, however, no longer true. We have adequate and thoroughly documented explanations for the rising and setting of the Sun, the development of life on this planet, the origin of the universe, electromagnetism, the cause of disease and illness and many other things that our imperfect hardware would falsely model to be consistent with the God model.

So, yes, controversial as it may sound, God exists, however it only exists as a solely human conception and can be winked out of existence either by the death of the brain or by a concentrated dose of reality. To add insult to injury, not only is God’s existence entirely dependent on human misunderstanding of the world, as a model of the world God is inherently faulty, distracting, detrimental and useless especially in this modern world where we are able to move past the often-times imperfect programming of our brains to see the reality of the universe around us and act accordingly.



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