Archive | June, 2022

Magenta

19 Jun

“Now, Moses is very fine illustration of little-known fact that men of faith and men of science, by contradicting each other, always manage to arrive at same conclusion.” – King Mongkut of Siam, The King and I, Rogers and Hammerstein, 1951.  

As I observed in True Christianity, the Christian religion is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile with observation and reason. The two problems I pointed out are as follows. First is the problem of how anything as wise and sophisticated as an angel would resolve to turn against God. Second is the problem of reconciling a well-meaning God with a people who were led by the nose for millennia and then led astray just at the moment their long-awaited messiah appeared. I discussed both of those problems at length. However, I am coming to realize that the biggest problem with the Christian religion has to do with what might be called “doctrinal drift”.

It is clear that the first Christians (and many Christians to date) believed in salvation by both works and faith. They also believed that salvation comes upon physical baptism. However, modern evangelical Christians believe in salvation by faith alone and that baptism is not essential because it is a “work”. It is not a big leap from that stage to suppose that belief itself is a work, but such a supposition would be the end of the church. If the beliefs of Christians are to be regarded as “truths” in the sense of mathematical truths and historical truths, how could this happen? What does it mean to “know” something is true if that knowledge has no stability? The Pythagorean Theorem means precisely what it did when it was first discovered (c. 2000 BC) and everywhere in the world that it was discovered. Similarly, the circumference of a circle, when divided by the diameter, has always been precisely the constant pi. Truths do not drift. They stay the same. Therefore, it cannot be the case that Christians believe in “truth”. This does not preclude the possibility, which I suspect, that they are moving toward truth.

The simple fact is that Christianity is drifting. It may be moving toward some immutable principle, but it is not moored to any immutable principle. Christianity is actually a reinterpretation of the much older religion described in the Old Testament. Sometime around the life of Caesar Augustus the beliefs of some Jews drifted very quickly from the original doctrine and gave us the first elements of Christianity. The earliest Christians might have called their new interpretation of Biblical revelation “True Judaism”. For all I know, some of them did. Nevertheless, their new interpretation of the old doctrine came to be known as Christianity.

When I revised Christianity in my essay of three months ago, I called my revision True Christianity. However, I will shortly present a new name.

Before I do that, I want to pick up on another thread of human endeavor: science. Lately, science has been in something of a quandary. It is gradually being realized that the likelihood of a universe like ours existing that can support complex structures like life is improbable to an extreme. In the field of exobiology, it has been realized that the formation of the original nucleotides that make reproduction possible was so improbable that it was unlikely to occur in a universe of this size. When all of this is added up, one cannot help but wonder if we are seeing this in the wrong way. A Christian would certainly say that we are. Perhaps they are at least partially correct.

None of the statistical problems with science come close to the difficulty of accounting for a phenomenon like consciousness, a phenomenon that seems like it should not exist in any universe. There is just no good reason why an essentially mechanical process would have this seemingly magical property of “looking at itself”.

Scientists who do not want to grapple with the problems presented in the last two paragraphs simply argue “anthropomorphism”. If we weren’t here and weren’t conscious, we wouldn’t be seeing all of this. That is not a very satisfying answer. I often equate it to someone discovering a 1000 gallon pot filled to the brim with refined gold in their backyard and declaring, “Well, after all, if it wasn’t there I wouldn’t have found it.” Scientists who are willing to try just a bit harder suggest things like that our universe is just one sample of a much larger selection…a multiverse. To me, that is very much like the aforementioned discoverer of the pot of gold declaring, “I’ll bet there are 1000 gallon pots of gold buried all over these parts!”

For all I know, the scientists who argue anthropomorphism and multiverses are correct. I just don’t think so.

Eventually, religious folk and materialist scientists will all be forced to reconcile their differences. As with the quote that I led with, they must arrive at the same conclusion. When all of these people come together they will ultimately form one coherent and completely consistent philosophy. I have decided to call this philosophy “Magenta”. Therefore, True Christianity and the scientific theory of everything (TOE) must ultimately converge to Magenta.

Here is why I have chosen this name. The visible spectrum consists of colors that range from red to violet:

When some of these colors are mixed (additively), they produce other colors that are already in the spectrum or they produce white. For example, the colors red and green combine to produce yellow. However, there is one combination of colors that produce a result that is nowhere in the spectrum. When the colors red and blue are mixed, they produce an extra-spectral color: magenta. No rainbow ever seen contains the color magenta. It just isn’t there. In actuality, the color magenta exists only in our minds. There is no unique electromagnetic wavelength that corresponds to magenta.

If we think of a spectrum being bent around so that the colors at one end connect with colors at the other end, the place where the two ends meet is typically presented as magenta:

This is not quite consistent with the results of additively mixing colors, but it is close enough. Violet, not blue, is actually at one extreme of the spectrum. However, when red is mixed with extra blue, the color violet is produced, so the color wheel result is isomorphic, if a bit distorted.

We can think of the color magenta being, in a sense, the result of “coming full circle”. I have often felt that this extra-spectral color that exists only in our minds is something of clue from God. It is a kind of model for what must ultimately occur with the human endeavors of religion and science. Eventually, religion and science must come full circle and meet to form something that is not plainly obvious to either. Therefore, I call the result of faith and science coming full circle and converging “Magenta”.

True Christianity and the completion of science are both aspects of Magenta.

One may ask why I have not included other religions like Islam and Buddhism in this discussion. At the risk of offending a large portion of the world, I suspect that those religions are on the wrong track. Neither one accompanied the enlightenment ideas that ultimately led to the industrial revolution and universal human suffrage. Whatever the industrial revolution and universal suffrage required, those religions just didn’t seem to have it. In any case, it hardly matters. All religion and all science must ultimately converge to Magenta, regardless of their origin or progress.

The true theory of everything that humanity is striving for and will ultimately uncover, I have decided to call Magenta. A subscriber to this creed is therefore called a “Magentan”. I am a Magentan.

Someday, all members of humanity may be called Magentans. I just added this word to my spelling dictionary.

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The Nose Shows

19 Jun