What I Believe

I’m an agnostic. No superstitions. No spooks. I think there’s one world. No evidence for minds apart from brains. The form of theism that seems vaguely plausible to me is simple deism. I think it’s logically possible that there is a ground of being that ends all regressions (a Being at the beginning of beings).

I have no idea whether this “Thing” is conscious or lacking in consciousness, but if it exists it somehow grounds the possibility for physical law, time, space, mind, and energy-matter. It breathes fire into the equations. I simply don’t know what to call it; I don’t know that it even exists.

Perhaps I should get a puja table and light a candle to this unknown God, for the cosmos is beautiful on many levels, but empirically that’s as far as I can get with religion. I call myself an agnostic for this reason. I don’t know if the Hindus are right, contemplating their way to the One (Atman), or the atheist Buddhists are right, contemplating their way to the Zero (Anatman, no-self). It’s math at the end: a one (being) or a zero (emptiness).

All information, curiously, is ones and zeroes. Not even the cosmos, it seems, can make up its mind about God. The poet Wallace Stevens calls God “the palm at the end of the mind.” I’m not smart enough to know what the end at the end of the end is, but I can give it a name as a place marker, so I’ll call God the “Metazeroone.” It whispers a singular taunt to me, the only thing it tells me about itself: “Anything you can do, I can do meta.” (That, by the way, is Daniel Dennett’s boast to his fellow philosophers.)

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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One Response to What I Believe

  1. colinhutton says:

    “It” poses no questions, provides no answers, makes no threats and makes no promises. And it probably wont be discovered at Cern. 🙂

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