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I've searched over the internet but I've found no satisfactory answer so far , How might science (Particularly theoretical physics) be able to approach god? If we make the assumption that a super-intelligent force that created the whole universe exists, then that is a big assumption. What are the consequences? In fact, many people believe in what's called 'the simulation hypothesis', that's the universe is a huge computer simulation. So I have the following questions:

What types of evidence (both theoretical and experimental) could prove that god exist?

If god does exist, does it mean that there are other laws of physics that exist outside and independent of our universe and a new level of understanding ?

Is it reasonable to claim that science will ultimately make all aspects of the universe clear, leaving no room for divine influence? I don't understand why many prominent scientists believe this because, It's very possible that there's limitation to human ability to comprehend things and theists claim that god created the laws of physics as we know it's like discovering all the rules of chess and learning as chess strategies as we can by observation and experimentation but this doesn't enable us to make conclusions about facts that are independent of those chess rules, right ?

EDIT : What I mean by the types of evidence is something that can be reached by experiment or purely theoretical thought that is used in mathematics and inspired by our knowledge of theoretical physics . For example, In string theory, is it possible that certain intelligent agents (things that can make rational decision making) can form spontaneously? (Think of Boltzman's brains for example ). That's what I mean.

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    What do you mean by "what are the types of evidence"? Do you mean what evidence actually exists, or do you mean to ask what sort of qualities any evidence for one or more gods would have to have? – Niel de Beaudrap Aug 2 '13 at 12:34
  • I once heard that science has found 10th planet. Does it means that if science has found 10th planet then only that 10th planet can exist? 10th planet (and could be many more) was already there. Science could found it after so many years as it get knowledge by experiments. Now, How science can judge GOD? – NullPointer Aug 2 '13 at 13:08
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    @NullVoid - Arguments by incredulity are not particularly compelling. – Rex Kerr Aug 2 '13 at 16:50
  • The need of ultimate philosophical grounding in a god is based on an abstractive fallacy. There are incoherence in an argument whose conclusion is that we need justification in believing everything, but not in a god. Holding that anything can, in principle, be doubted is only meaningful within an framework where some pragmatic rules and norms are not open to question. Some rules and norms are necessary for the very possibility of intersubjectively valid criticism but rules and norms aren't a god all benevolent to worship. – Annotations Aug 7 '13 at 15:54
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    The question is ill-posed if you don't provide a clear definition of god. Lacking that, no rigorous answer is possible. – JohnS Aug 10 '13 at 5:16

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There is far too much hand-wringing associated with this topic. It's really very simple, if you're not too afraid to do it: you use exactly the same methods as you do for any other subtle yet nonrandom effects.

If your religion makes no predictions at all--not even about biases in outcomes, let alone specific events!--then the answer is easy: it's an unnecessary hypothesis, reject it. No further attention necessary.

If your religion does make some predictions, then you test it. For example, if Dionysus is supposed to make grapes sweeter on Tuesdays, you go measure the sugar content and the reported sweetness of grapes on Tuesday. You then chase down any other causal factors (grapes that ripened over the weekend can't all be picked on Monday, so those from Tuesday are the ripest) and make sure they don't explain what's going on. And, if these things keep coming up in the affirmative, then your Dionysus theory seems to have explanatory power and you accept that part of it consistent with experiment and speculate that other parts of the religion may also be true (assuming that there is good reason to believe that whichever factors led to the truthfulness of the part you've tested also apply to the part that wasn't).

And that's it. You can test claims about religion as well as you can test claims about anything else, which is to say if there isn't actually any claim at all about anything you can possibly sense or measure or experience, you can't test it. And if there is a claim, you can. (The experiments may be hard to set up, admittedly, but there are lots of difficult experiments.)

This whole non-overlapping magisteria business is so unsupportable I'm surprised it even got off the ground. Everyone should just have said, "Hey, Steve, that's just batty--maybe you want to think this through a bit more?" Non-overlapping magisteria makes about as much sense as saying that logic and politics are entirely distinct realms of existence and have nothing to do with each other. Maybe politicians would like logic to stay away, but when they make truth-claims and try to reason, logic has something to say. If they don't make truth-claims or try to reason, everything they say is pretty empty. Likewise, if religions make statements about what will happen, science has something to say.

(And religions do make such statements, and science does say things, and religions don't fare too well, and it's always tempting to shoot the messenger instead of doing some soul-searching.)

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    Non-overlapping Magisteria is a political dodge - the scientifically inclined get to say "We're not talking about God and we're not letting him into Science Class because NOM," the religious get to say "I don't have to scientifically prove a DAMN THING and can take it all on faith!" As such, it is useful to both theists who don't want public disproof of their claims and scientists who don't want to be part of that controversy. So it stays. In politics. For useful epistemology, I suggest disregarding it entirely. – medivh Aug 3 '13 at 16:43
  • I like this answer, but you may want to consider another case, which IMO matches a common situation better. Suppose the religion in question makes several predictions, all of which are experimentally verifiable to be true. Later most of those predictions find other explanations, slowly, one by one, in the spirit of your Tuesday's grapes unpicked on Monday. The number of explained away predictions steadily grows, but not have yet covered all the religious statements, most, but not all. Would then the religioun be reasonably acceptable hypothesis? – Michael Nov 23 '13 at 0:13
  • @Michael - This boils down to: how much does the picture change depending on history? I would say logically that the answer is: very little. You can use history to warn yourself about present errors in your reasoning. But otherwise just because someone decided 1500 years ago that such-and-so was good evidence doesn't mean you should any more if 100 years ago it was realized it wasn't. (Of course, since culture is history dependent, you may--as we have!--find a disparity between what culture endorses and what the wise of the present think is true.) – Rex Kerr Nov 23 '13 at 0:51
  • -1 Because of confrontational assertions in particular in the section about "non-overlapping magisteria" and "doing some soul-searching" at the end. – Frank Hubeny Feb 11 '18 at 17:08
  • @FrankHubeny - The confrontational approach seemed appropriate given the unwarranted rhetoric about the inapplicability of science in this area. But you are free of course to object to the style. – Rex Kerr Mar 29 '18 at 0:28
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I don't see how science can begin to approach this question of God. Its a theological or philosophical question. Its only a naive conceptions of religion that science can debunk.

To suppose science has the answer for everything, is to make the same mistake when people thought that theology has the answer for everything. One must make a judgement, as well as understand different kinds of knowledge are possible, when we interpret knowledge in the broadest possible way.

Consider, for example, both Islamic & Christian theology place Allah or God outside time and space. Since science investigates phenomena in time & space - including theoretical physics - how can science discover the truth of that statement? Its simply outside of its judgement.

Can there be a proof of God? Is it a claim amenable to proof? No religion talks about 'proof' - this is a form of evidence imported from mathematics. Buddhism for example talks about meditation & enlightenment; Christianity on conversion and belief.

If god does exist, does it mean that there are other laws of physics that exist outside and independent of our universe and a new level of understanding ?

Since the laws of physics presupposes space & time, we have no way of knowing. It is outside of all possible empirical experience. There could be ,yes. But one may does not need a God to posit this - one reason why the multiverse is possible. But one should state that this is not empirical science but speculative philosophy with a heavy dose of mathematical physics.

Is it reasonable to claim that science will ultimately make clear all aspects of the universe leaving no room for divine influence ?

No. Al-Ghazali for example said Allah was necessary to guarantee causality. Spinoza said that God was immanent in the world, or rather the world was immanent in him. Kant places the origin of causality within us. In other words the point is arguable.

I don't understand why many prominent scientists believe this because, It's very possible that there's limitation to human ability to comprehend things and theists claim that god created the laws of physics as we know it's like discovering all the rules of chess and learning as chess strategies as we can by observation and experimentation but this doesn't enable us to make conclusions about facts that are independent of those chess rules, right ?

The key word here is 'believe'. It is as much a matter of faith that one is a physicalist or a theist. They are both positions of belief. One should be careful in interpreting this, it is not facts that are subject to belief, but their interpretation.

There are prominent scientists who admit human limitations, Verlinde of entropic gravity fame, said as much in an interview. Freeman Dyson in this article says:

Opinions vary widely concerning the proper limits of science. For me...science is about facts that can be tested and mysteries that can be explored, and... philosophy is about ideas that can be imagined and stories that can be told. I put narrow limits on science, but I recognize other sources of human wisdom going beyond science. Other sources of wisdom are literature, art, history, religion, and philosophy...

He puts narrow limits on science because science is the domain of facts. Human beings do not live in the world of facts. Chairs, tables and atoms live in the world of facts. We live in a different world.

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What are the types of evidence (both theoretical and experimental) that can prove that god exist? Is it reasonable to claim that science will ultimately make clear all aspects of the universe leaving no room for divine influence? It's very possible that there's limitation to human ability to comprehend things.

Before you know how someone can prove a concept like a God you need a proper description of a God's nature. If a God is something beyond proper description with any of the concepts or properties that we can employ, a being that defies comprehension, it cannot be clear to even the believer what he believes, or whether his pious belief has any content at all. There has been no unanimity in human conceptions of the divine. There is little evidence of common consent here. On what possible grounds can it be asserted that these seemingly radically different concepts are, at bottom, the same concept? If there is a same concept, what it would take for an idea of the divine not to share in that same concept? Religious people say many things about their Absolute that by their own account, are strictly unsayable. Here the questions are of conceivability, illogicalities, illusive conceptions, not of credibility, such as the creation of time-space`s universe by an external agency outside time-space. There is no evidence that a religious faith that rejects reason would also serve us while seeking truth. If faith is the only way to know the truth of a God, how are we to know which God to have faith in?

To a proof to be a scientific proof of a God it must cohere with our other beliefs, the scientific theories. It would be necessary that a God hypothesis would not be superfluous to explain and understand better the workings the world we observe. The God hypothesis may be challenged if it make no contribution to the predictive success of actual science. Since there are many ontologically incompatible yet empirically equivalent Gods, some ‘principle of privilege’ is required if we are to think that a God that we can have under consideration is the true God. How we can know that none of the other possible God's we have not considered until now is not better than the best that we have now? Obsolete Gods, which no longer have active adherents, are evidence that God's revelations are not so eternal.

Is the God you want to prove a necessary God? Of all possible proves, a deduction is the strategy that we would expect to be successful were there a necessary God. As there isn't a valid deduction of any non logical existence, we can conclude that there is no necessary God. The principle of sufficient reason states that nothing is without reason, but why are there any contingent truths? On the one hand, contingent truths cannot be explained by any contingent truth because the explanation would be circular. On the other hand, contingents truths cannot be explained by a necessary truth because a necessary truth can only imply other necessary truths, not contingent truths. Therefore the principle of sufficient reason impose an impossible explanatory demand, explain the existence of contingent truths without using either contingent or necessary truths. The principle of sufficient reason is absurd. Why is there something rather than nothing? This question imposes an illogical nonsense explanatory demand, deduce the existence of something without using any existential premises.

Sensible people don’t believe in elves, fairies. Science wouldn't get very far if they took every such mere ‘‘logical’’ possibility equally seriously. We do not have a priori disproof that many things do not exist, yet it is reasonable and justified to believe that they do not: flying pink unicorns are not real, there is no Santa Claus, so on. None of these achieve the level of deductive proof. Believing that something does not exist is reasonable even though no logical impossibility is manifest. Believing that something exist or even being agnostic about their existence on the basis of their mere possibility would not be justified. The gods the Hindu pantheon are at one, evidentially and logically, with the tooth fairy. What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically untestable claims. My or your inability to invalidate the existence of Zeus or an Hindu God or your imagination, is not at all the same thing as proving it true. A religion rejects other religions precisely because they are faith-based, there is no evidence for them. One can't prove that a god doesn't exist, but science makes gods and elves unnecessary.

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What are the types of evidence (both theoretical and experimental ) that can prove that god exist ?

At the onset of asking such a question we are faced with a few factors that will greatly influence the conclusion. First of I would just like to reiterate that the question of God's existence is not a scientific question. Science does not aim to answer such questions. Now this off course does not imply the questions is unimportant or that scientist cannot have a view or a opinion. It just tells us we should take of our science glasses and don our philosophy glasses. This fact is rather distorted in the public by the new atheism incessant claims that science is to be the sole arbiter of all knowledge.

To ask what scientific evidence their is for God's existence is akin to asking what biological evidence their is for the claim that the Nazi's invaded Poland in 1939? It is not a biological claim it is a historical claim. It needs the Historical method to discern its truth.

In the same way the question of does a God(s) exist is a not a scientific question. I cannot give a scientific answer for anything that is not a scientific proposition. I can give a philosophical argument for the truth of a deities existence. It is after all a philosophical question.

Take this age old argument for God's existence.

(1) The Universe has a beginning. (2) What has a beginning needs a cause as explanation for its existence. (3) The universe thus has a cause.

We should not invoke a infinite regress of causes.

Whatever this first cause is it needs to be able to exist before the universe does.

It needs to be powerful to be able to will this universe into being

It needs to be eternal (Where the universe is not) to be able to to create this universe.

Before you know it you have yourself something resembling a God.

Is it reasonable to claim that science will ultimately make clear all aspects of the universe leaving no room for divine influence ?

Whether universe is caused or uncaused and / or what the charistics should be of this cause if their is indeed one is a question that is by definition not within the limits of science to answer.

  • Genesis is as straightforward of a scientific claim as you can get. Also, the Matrix (i.e. digital simulation) and an appropriate eternal field with appropriate fluctuations also satisfy the constraints of your question unless you go, "But what created that?" and when I say, "What created God?" you reply, "Nuh uh! Because I call my thing God, you can't ask that question!" – Rex Kerr Aug 2 '13 at 16:48
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    Why reinvent the wheel? If the 'digital simulation' is a new religion in the making, why not simply call it that? Why kill off God, if you are only going to resurrect him again? Isn't the 'Matrix' full of religous imagery? Neo as the Christ-figure redeeming the world, the foretold 'messiah', Morpheus as his St John...the list of allusions goes on and on. – Mozibur Ullah Aug 2 '13 at 22:57
  • @MoziburUllah: I think you misunderstood Rex Kerr: He's not saying "Let's replace religion with the matrix," he's saying that if you proposed The Matrix as an explanation for things, that would be considered a claim which you'd need evidence for and the fact that God slips by untested is a sign of bias; he is refuting Neil's first claim "question of God's existence is not a scientific question." – medivh Aug 3 '13 at 16:47
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I would like to give a different sort of answer based on Gnostic experience and knowledge of God existence.

Let's think of the term "existence" as we are wondering about the existence of God and how we can have evidence of it. There are different manners to apprehend the meaning of term "existence". To introduce what I mean, let pose the following question: does Love and Mercy exist? Whatever is your answer, it is difficult to apprehend, because they are related to Humanity and to the existence of Humans. In dinosaurs period (65M years ago), did Love and Mercy exist? Have they been there forever? Can you rationally prove that Love and Mercy exist (or don't)? The question sound strange, I agree ... Can we have evidence of the existence of Love and Mercy, in our actual time and 65M years ago? Can we have evidence of their eternal existence? In Gnostic terms, the question of God's existence is similar to Love and Mercy existence, it is similar to the existence of Knowledge itself. Love and Mercy exist in our heart, and perceived with our hearts, not with our rational brain. In Gnostic terms, God existence (or the knowledge of God existence) can only be fully perceived with our hearts. In a strange manner, God can exist only because we, Humans, exist (like Love and Knowledge). In Gnostic terms, God is the Truth about everything, is the complete knowledge of the universe, including physical and natural laws that we are discovering using our rational brain. God is Love, Mercy, Compassion and the ultimate Knowledge of everything (including rational knowledge).

“I was a hidden treasure, and I created Humans to let them know Me”, more on the path of the heart at http://www.ibnarabisociety.org.

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Physics can never approach anything metaphysical, and non-religious God(s), higher powers, mind-matter duality, are all metaphysical topics.

Empirical science, while providing practical understanding and being able to test practical claims in principle, can ultimately explain nothing.

People, including physicists, have this notion that science is explaining 'more and more', and thus the 'gap' for God is smaller and smaller. In a practical sense, it is explaining more and more; in the ultimate sense, is is not.

All science can do, is to explain one thing in terms of another, and at the end of the line, you are either left with a futile infinite regression, or a dead-end explanation that simply says "things are the way they are because they are the way they are"

Let me illustrate:

Take the approach used in one of the most common criticisms against duality (i.e. mind-matter duality), that there must be some sort of "mechanism" by which they interact. This mentality is common when approach science, by believing that everything can ultimately be explained in terms of the "laws of physics".

One might ask "why do electrons and protons behave the way they do"? Magic? Nope, says the scientists. It's "because of the properties and behavior of the more elementary particles". Well, why do those elementary particles behave the way they do? Magic? Nope, says the scientist. Because of so-and-so fundamental forces and interactions. Well, why does component A interact with force B in a certain way? Magic?

If you insist on a "deeper explanation" every time, you are left with an infinite regression, which has ultimately only explained one thing in in terms of another.

If you suppose the physicists' wet dream of a "theory of everything", you have reached a dead end. Maybe the theory talks about the most elementary particles and forces, and says they behave a certain way. Why? If you've reached the ultimate theory, the answer is, in more words or less "just because" or "they just do". You have ultimately explained nothing. There are no "deeper properties" or "deeper interactions" of a physical sort, else you haven't reached this theory of everything.

The metaphysical questions like asking does the fact that all seemingly unconscious matter follows a certain behavior, everywhere, always, suggest a source of will? can never be answered by science.

Such questions aren't merely academic, because they have to do with the very fact that we are alive and conscious -- the different aspects of which are among the most meaningful questions to many.

  • +1 Although I don't like the description of theories of everything as wet dreams, I think you have described the limitations of science. Science depends on an objective approach to reality which removes subjectivity. However, science might provide hints about metaphysical reality. Whatever the metaphysical reality, it should be able to produce the kinds of results one observes scientifically. – Frank Hubeny Feb 11 '18 at 17:25
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The only "evidence" is by induction.

The Law of the Eternal states that anything that can exist, will, given eternity. Posit: YHVH is the continuously-emanating singularity that we know as the Big Bang. As it is a singularity, it, perforce, incorporates other gods or demi-gods encountered within the Hebrew calendar (including the Christian one).

Couple this with the actual first-hand reports and observation from the Jewish Orthodoxy, then you have sufficient evidence by induction.

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Basically science is not a suitable tool for deciding about God. deciding about God can be done only using reasoning (philosophical method).

It is like to say: how I can go to moon from earth using a motorcycle? I do not accept existence of moon until I can go there using my own tool. (this is only a simplified example)

The answer is that you should change your tool. Why some people insist to accept everything only if it is accepted by scientific method? why not reasoning method? perhaps it is a conspiracy in our society.

Using the Kalam cosmological argument can be a good reasoning for deciding about God. it has critiques based on physics. but any critique is not true and valid.

usually scientists relate everything to laws of physics but the question is why our universe behave according to laws (regardless of if scientists observe and describe them or not)?

  • Please, please review the difference between legislated laws and scientific laws. The laws of physics are summaries of our observations of how the universe behaves; they descriptive as opposed to prescriptive. To ask why the universe is described by the laws of physics is to ask why it behaves as itself. – David H Aug 9 '13 at 8:20
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    @DavidH yes. but I mean laws of Nature regardless of if scientists observe and describe them or not. if scientists do not describe laws of nature, those laws still exist and govern the nature. laws of physics has two meaning:1- what scientists described. 2:laws that govern the nature. – Battle of Karbala Aug 11 '13 at 10:48
  • @DavidH Aren't two of the more fundamental questions in philosophy precisely (1) why the universe behaves the way it does and (2) if there was anything that preceded the universe as we know it? – John Slegers May 11 '15 at 16:12
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Before I post my actual questions, I d like to state my humble opinion that, all these questions that are raised about god is because we dont know where to look or what to look for evidence. The problem lies in the definition of god, as the user Mozibur Ullah said above, there are many different point of views and none can be categorically rejected with strong arguments. For example I may be in favor of pantheism but I cannot be sure if I am right in what i believe, after all its more like a dogma - belief. Personally I believe that sciences is just a vessel that will reveal the true face of god, even if it is something that we do not like or something that we already knew from the first day of our recorded history.

What are the types of evidence (both theoretical and experimental ) that can prove that god exist ?

Regarding the concept of human's common sense, the man who developed the midst of his senses, equated with scientific logic. Nowadays, modern scientific thought differentiates more and more of "common human reason". Example The concept of matter, which for the theory of relativity is no longer invariant complex molecules of Newton, but the buildup of an energy supply... whatever that is until today perceive as tangible and personalized material for modern course not despite a false construct of our senses. We see our environment not as it actually is, but as our senses allow us to perceive.

Example: human senses, as we all know, are imperfect. The eye is one incomplete radiation collector... and therefore can not perceive objects' small areas or radiation outside the minimal range of visible wavelengths, and thus a range of objects or events remain invisible for humans... However, if the vision sensor we had infinite possibilities, the image that we would have for the world around us would be different. So, such as structured our senses can not be, is the irrefutable criterion of truth of universal forms and phenomena. We do not perceive the universe as it is in reality, but as it has the ability to perceive our brain midst of unending human sense. I believe that the same applies to our perception about god.

If god does exist, does it mean that there are other laws of physics that exist outside and independent of our universe and a new level of understanding ?

First of all, the main limitations of science is a result of things that science considers as data - ie the axioms used as a basis for further research. When using an axiom, you start on soft ground. And the fact that we can not prove the axioms upon which everything ensures that the entire theory can not ultimately be proven.

Modern theoretical physicist accepts the existence of a universal supersensuous space that (other conditions) acknowledge and theological thought. As for the problem of whether or not God, Natural Sciences declared incompetent, since the scope of science is reaches to the time it detects the beginning of the universe, hence until the marginal event of the "Big Bang" or whatever you named in the future. Before this moment, everything that we know is within the remit of theology, not only as a human activity, but mostly as revelational beliefs and not as scientific arguments of proven God.

Keep in mind that there are not only the exact sciences. Sciences known as physics and mathematics are known more properly as "exact sciences" ("exakten Wissenschaft"). The actual difference in the physics and astronomy of anthropology is to use experimental data rather than systematic thinking. Apart from the exact sciences, there are many other scientific fields. These other scientific fields are based on the "logical and structured analysis of an issue" and include areas such as anthropology, linguistics, law, psychology etc. The most negative impact of the domination of science in modern times is the transfer of interest from these other equally important areas. Fortunately most people begin to make the mistake in this and recent years have seen a renewed interest in these more "human" sciences.

In addition, sciences such as physics, biology and chemistry have failed to provide explanations for many things that we experience in our daily lives. Some of these include:

  • There is no scientific theory that requires "causality" (that everything that happens has a prior cause). As for the scientists, events could happen and their causes have existed before them.
  • There is no scientific theory that requires "time flows forward" as we feel. As for the scientists, the "arrow of time" can run backwards with ease to their theories. Some scientists today have tried to explain that some scientific theories (such as thermodynamics) really require the arrow of time going forward, but without much success.
  • No scientific theory does not explain human goodness, human altruism. The theory of evolution - regardless of how this theory explains many things about the evolution of species - can not explain why one may endanger his life to save a complete stranger

To conclude, this question you made here could take days of arguing and debating. What we need to keep in our minds is that we must use science carefully and to always keep in mind their limitations. People are more than electrons and protons, and this requires the simultaneous use of other modes of thought - not only observation and induction. There are other ways to help in the search for the truth. The belief-dogma in a thing can only be potentially dangerous. Considering that there is only the "scientific" way of thinking we can eliminate the spirit, morality, altruism, and even human himself from the world. Many human values are not understood by science. Remember, balance in all things, even in philosophy and "scientism" could prove very useful.

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The more complex a question is, the more likely the very question is likely to be flawed. In order to reach an answer, the question must be revised for accuracy. I respect you for asking such a question, and I think you're on the right path, but a couple of issues should be addressed before starting.

How might science (Particularly theoretical physics) be able to approach god?

Science cannot approach anything, it is merely a tool used by humans (not always properly) to understand something. I would suggest changing the question to "How might one use science to explore God?"

If we make the assumption that a super-intelligent force that created the whole universe exists, then that is a big assumption.

Is that the assumption you want to make? Unless you specifically want to start from there, I would suggest not assuming that such force needs to be super-intelligent, and to further revise the question.

Many people believe in what's called 'the simulation hypothesis', that's the universe is a huge computer simulation.

I'm always amazed at how people can be satisfied with that. It is no different than saying that life on Earth came from a meteorite with life on it, or that aliens created life on Earth. None of those "answers" answer anything at all, they just pass the ball to someone else. To them I ask: "where did the meteorite life/alien life/computer simulation come from?" I would not be surprised if after hours of conversation they concluded that the universe is a computer simulation that aliens programmed, and life on their alien planet originated from a meteorite which had life on it... from a destroyed planet that used to have life on it... which other aliens had created and who came from another meteorite. If you ask them what came first, the chicken or the egg; they might say that the chicken did... which came from an egg... which came from a chicken, you see... and they would go on and on forever without actually answering anything.

If god does exist, does it mean that there are other laws of physics that exist outside and independent of our universe and a new level of understanding ?

There is another large problem here, there could be (and most certainly are) laws of physics that we do not understand and exists right here all around us. And certainly there could be localized regional laws of physics within our same universe that we have not observed or understood yet. So then, there could be laws outside of our universe; but none of these things have a cause-and-effect relationship. Whether God exists is also not related to these aspects of your question, and one does not depend on the other. As for a new level of understanding, that depends whether you think there are levels of understanding or it is all the same level on a gradient. I am very interested in continuing this discussion, once you improve on the question!

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Some theories by definition cannot be ruled out. It depends on if you believe reality exists independently of your consciousness. Even if reality exists outside your mind, it's impossible to say that there's isn't some intelligent force behind the universe's design. The argument also largely depends on your definition of "god". I think that in any manifestation of reality/existence that there are aspects that fundamentally lack reason/cause. At the very basic most level are components that simply just are. If you consider god to be the answer for that which cannot have an answer, then "god" has to exist on some level.

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If god(s) manifest in reality, the affects of those manifestations can be scientifically measured, studied, and be attributed.

If god(s) do not manifest in reality, then they are scientifically indistinguishable from god(s) that do not exist at all.

I cannot think of any religions promoting a deity having no impact upon reality, so for the majority of religions god(s) should be scientifically measurable, testable, and verifiable. The Bible actually includes instructions on doing just this... just turns out research is largely negative.

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Atheism and Animistic Pantheism as equally valid descriptions of reality, different from one another only at the superficial level of semantics. As such, Atheism and Animistic Pantheism can be used interchangeably and should be treated as the same.

If we want to use science to understand / reach the divine, we should first learn to translate the semantics of Atheistic naturalism to the semantics of Animistic Pantheism.

An Atheistic perspective on Consciousness

We know from evolutionary biology that multi-celled organisms evolved from single-celled organisms. It is unclear to what degree single-celled organisms gave up their autonomy to be able to act as a single organism and it is reasonable to suggest that our individual cells have maintained some degree of autonomy (consciousness) that we are totally unaware of.

A lot of human behavior is associated with subconscious processes in the prefrontal cortex that psycho-analysts refer to as the super-ego. This super-ego reflects the internalization of cultural rules in the form of memes. Such memes often influence human behavior in ways individuals barely realize and can be considered a form of collective consciousness.

A group of humans that is connected by means of memes can act as a single conscious organism, much like a cell of our body can act as a single conscious organism. This and many other factoids directly imply that consciousness is not so much a product of our brains but rather a product of complexity and connectivity.

From that perspective, the concept of consciousness can both be reduced to the molecular level and expanded to the universe as a whole, with the universe as a very complex holographic quantum computer

The relationship with Animism

In Hinduism, death is understood as the collapse of the Ātman (individual consciousness) and its dissolution into many different other components that make up the Brahman (universal consciousness).

If you look consider the Trimurti (the Hindu triniti), one can clearly see them as anthropomorphic representations of nature (Vishnu) and its two fundamental opposite forces: emergence (Brahma) and entropy (Vishnu). Similarly, many other Devas (Gods) are mere anthropomorphic representations of lesser natural phenomena.

The same applies to the Kami of Shinto religion or equivalents in other "polytheistic" religions. One could easily argue that all "polytheistic" religions are really Animistic religions, which are perfectly compatible with the Atheistic framework depending on how one defines concepts like "Consciousness" or "Soul".

Pantheism and Shamanism as forms of Animism

Pantheism is a simplified version of animism, which removes all "Gods" from the picture except Vishnu (nature). Advaita Vedanta is a form of Hinduism that belongs to this category. Many other religions (eg. Germanic paganism) have a Pantheistic variation, although these advanced forms of religion are rarely known beyond a small esoteric circle of initiates. The Traditionalist School is a school of philosophers from the early 20th century that attempted to explore these esoteric religions and discover a perennial philosophy running throughout all religions. Like Animism, Pantheism is also perfectly compatible with Atheism, again depending on how one defines concepts like "Consciousness" or "Soul".

Shamanism is a variation of animism that involves the notion that the chemical modification of one's consciousness provides access to higher knowledge that is otherwise filtered from our perception. Shamanic practices do not require a belief in any "Gods" and are not uncommon among Atheist intellectuals, especially since the popularization of LSD and Mescaline in the '60s. Aldous HuxleyErnst JüngerAlexander ShulginTimothy Leary  and Terence McKenna are among the more prominent shamans in Western culture, although not all of them would use the term "shamanism" in reference to their chemically induced self-exploratory consciousness expanding sessions.

The Pantheistic "God" concept from the Atheist's perspective

The Atheistic naturalistic position of the universe as a very complex quantum computer is pretty much the same as the Pantheistic position of the universe as one highly advanced mind. The differences between Atheist naturalism and Pantheism are really more a matter of different semantics and different cultural bias than a difference in concept.

If one considers the notion that the clock ticks of a computer and awareness are basicly of the same nature (which is a perfectly reasonable consideration), the following statements would mean the exact same thing :

  • The universe is God. By being a part of God, all matter and living beings are essentially divine. Time is our perception of his thinking process. God's thinking processes comprise of all our thinking processes and all other processes of the universe combined. Our awareness is a tiny fraction of divine awareness.

  • The universe is a giant computer. By being operating systems somewhat autonomicly operating a part of that computer, all living beings are components of the same computer. Time is our perception of the giant computer sequentially processing information. The computer's sequential processing comprises of all our thinking processes and all other processes in the universe combined. Our awareness is but a tiny fraction of the universe's operating system.

So if time = awareness = clock ticks, I can't distinguish between those two statements. Conceptually they mean exactly the same.

The disconnect between Atheists and Theists largely stems from using very different semantical contexts to really describe the same perspective. If we were to adjust our semantics more to each other, many of us might see more similarities than they ever held possible.

  • Please see meta.philosophy.stackexchange.com/q/2885/2953. – Keelan May 11 '15 at 18:38
  • @Keelan What is wrong with this answer? How is my answer not appropriate for the question asked? What should I have added or left out? What makes the other answers better? You totally lost me, here.... – John Slegers May 11 '15 at 18:48
  • I am not saying anything about the quality of your answer. Please follow the link and if you want to discuss the points there, comment / answer there. – Keelan May 11 '15 at 19:41

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