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Discussion 2 to Meditation 106
Replacement Theory

by Kaye Madison

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If one were to go the lengths to provide some sort of logic reasoning for the existence or (lack thereof) of God, it would revolve around a more general argument which follows on from Mediation 106.

It is conceivable to assume that (possibly) the concept of divine or supreme beings developed out of a necessity to explain unknown phenomena. This is a logical premise, if one examines the pattern of religion and science throughout the ages. Like Mediation 106 says, natural phenomena have been attributed to God/s by many Ancients in circumstances where science cannot provide an explanation. With the passing of time less is attributed to supreme beings and more is explained by science. However, there comes a point at which things can not be explained further. What Leah Wuensch has suggested is that in accordance with the pattern of history, things we know now to be unexplained phenomena will in time become a part of science.

The suggestion has is roots in observational logic, but nothing so concrete as to make an assumption. What is does touch on however, is an interesting point that was a prominent theme of “Angels and Demons” (-Dan Brown).

The idea was some sort of Replacement Theory.  As science explains away most of the mysteries in life, there is less and less need for a supernatural cause. Back at our earliest point in history, there were people who had Gods for everything: love, anger, war, peace, the sun and the moon, etc. At the other end of the scale, our present point in time, there is a scientific explanation for nearly everything. The time between these two points is a gradual transition of replacement. But, as I said earlier, there comes a point at which we cannot further explain things. Like when a child incessantly asks “why?” after every answer you provide. The phenomena of lightning, for instance, may be explained at one time as an act of anger by a god. It may eventually be discovered to be something which causes a shock to be delivered. Later it may be established that electricity is caused by a difference in charge, therefore a natural conclusion to storm activity.

However it can go further than that. What causes electricity? Why do atoms become charged? Since I have no real expert knowledge of science I cannot say for sure if these are already answerable questions. But if a proficient scientist were to answer them, I could always present an unknowable, simply by employing the child’s tactic. Why? If I am given a reason or a cause, I’ll simply ask for the causes’ cause.

Why do atoms exist at all? What is gravity? (A ongoing debate) Why is space, space? Why did some complex molecules at one stage become self-replicating? (One of many theories as to the beginning of life) Why is the sky blue? Why are we bipedal, instead of scaly creatures with six limbs?

I realise some of these questions have scientific answers or theories available, but one can always ask why, why, why... In the end we come to a stage where we are trying to explain the big bang, or the existence of matter, or the reason for complex biological life, or the nuances of evolution. For those things, there is no current explanation. What is the explanation for our universe?

I can accept, as an agnostic, the logic of believing in God, if one accepts the Replacement Theory. There is still a phenomena in this universe that we cannot explain, and that phenomena is us. Life, matter, energy- why is it here? As an agnostic I categorize those things as unknowables. And, as I predict that an answer to those questions will not be explainable by science, I also accept that there will always be a precedent for God.

In the book, “Angels and Demons”, the characters had discovered a way to create matter out of pure energy. On a theological level the scientist responsible believed he could prove the existence of God and science as one. But on that level it can be asked, “where did the pure energy come from?”

Humanity, it seems, is not content to accept ambiguity. Except for those few who throw their hands up, shrug and declare themselves Agnostic.