“It is not what things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists” (Ludwig Wittgenstein) which I would expand to: “the truly mystical fact is that God—alias Self-aware Being—exists, and after that the existence of the world is comparatively unremarkable, a matter of course.” (On Having No Head, Douglas E. Harding, 1961, p. 104)
The Logic Divinity Connection:
That a person can be religiously neutral is a false belief, or, put another way, that secular society represents the base norm while religious beliefs are, essentially, an unnecessary and troublesome add-on, is, for me, a myth.
God, for me, is a combination of logic, structure, emotion, and freedom. Beliefs, both religious and secular, make sense, may be valid; but, these beliefs (all of them) must be held accountable to the rules of non-contradiction and consistency. I agree with Bertrand Russell here, the logician/philosopher once said: “there are no numbers; numbers and mathematical laws are simply a shorthand for logic.” Therefore, self-consistent reality—both religious and secular, is simply a shorthand for logic—a logic based in structure, emotion, and freedom.
Arthur Eddington, the astronomer/scientist who was the first to confirm Einstein’s Theory of Relativity probably said it best when he wrote:
“If you want to fill a vessel you must first make it hollow. Our present conception of the physical world is hollow enough to hold almost anything, hollow enough to hold ‘that which asks the question,’ hollow enough to hold ‘the scheme of symbols connected by mathematical equations that describes the basis of all phenomena.’” He also said, however, “If ever the physicist solves the problem of the living body, he should no longer be tempted to point to his result and say ‘That’s you.’ He should say rather ‘That is the aggregation of symbols which stands for you in my description and explanation of those of your properties which I can observe and measure. If you claim a deeper insight into your own nature by which you can interpret these symbols—a more intimate knowledge of the reality which I can only deal with by symbolism—you can rest assured that I have no rival interpretation to propose. The skeleton is the contribution of physics to the solution of the Problem of Experience; from the clothing of the skeleton it (physics) stands aloof.” (Quantum Questions, Ken Wilber, p. 194)
One’s worldview then may be reduced to three questions (here are the questions with my own personal answer attached):
What is divine?….Divinity is structure (b~b~bb), freedom/liberation, emotion/love, and affirmation/wholeness.
How does the divine relate to everything?….through structure (b~b~bb), life/death, and self-consciousness/affirmed physical events, i.e., science.
How should human beings relate to the divine?….not an easy answer, but here’s what I have said elsewhere: we struggle to become educated and, in the process, obtain reasonable beliefs that endure. However, when faced with blatant evidence to the contrary our beliefs may change (ought/need to change). In the absence of contradictions though, we choose to believe emotionally fulfilling beliefs.
Here are the reasons why I find my worldview emotionally satisfying. Oh, and by the way, this is also my reasoning for why some values are not culturally relative:
Religion and science are brought into harmony; that is, they may be equally reverenced without conflict. 2) Because human self-awareness, life, and the physical-chemical processes that support life, are embedded in divine extensive connection, humans are born with the potential to right the wrongs caused by “ignorance based injustices.” 3) The values used to judge right from wrong follow from the extensive connection process; that is, values used to judge right from wrong are life affirming and freedom affirming values. In other words, in terms of quality of life, within the prevailing economic realities, no person should be denied the basic necessities of life; and further, sufficient freedoms (within the limits of reasonable expectation) should be in place to allow for meaningful self-expression (the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution are a good place to start). As long as these two conditions are satisfied, market competition, within prevailing economic realities, should be permitted. Anything less than this—the minimum standard of living for all human beings, — is an ignorance based injustice. 4) And finally, in regards to a religious afterlife: death is not the end, but things like being rewarded with virgins, talks with Jesus, eternal bliss etc., are spurious and misplaced expectations! Bottom line, ecological stewardship–preserving “quality of life” for future generations and a “live and let live attitude” extended to all human beings,–are the first and last commandments to which we must pledge allegiance—thus answering the question (for all practical concerns): What Is Divine!