Faith and Knowledge

1. A short journey through faith and knowledge.

So far, the impression may prevail that the concept of knowledge is more attributable to the natural sciences and the term faith rather to the religions. Is this really the case? Or, until now, we perhaps do have a false impression in this respect? In order to investigate this, I try to pick up various topics points and I also try to investigate what religion and science respectively express it.

Let’s start with the natural sciences. In science we do have only models. We have models of particles which never have been seen from a human being. No one has ever seen an electron or a proton or a neutron or a particle of light or a subatomic particle. We do not have only one cosmic model, we do have many models with different numbers of dimensions. From all these models, no single model is really consistent. Likewise, the actual number of dimensions is unclear. We still have no universal formula that could explain everything.

If a theory is not consistent, it will not necessarily tell the truth. In this case, it does not necessarily have to do with knowledge, but with faith.

If we ask the question, what came first, was first the matter there or the spirit, the science can’t make a clear statement. Came first the chicken or the egg? In addition, it is conceivable from a scientific point of view that everything could be an illusion and the world therefore would be a pure imagination. This idea was expressed from the renowned physicist Stephen W. Hawking in at least one of his books.

Steven W. Hawking telling about ‘time’.

If the formula of physics contains imaginary time, it describes an imaginary world. Therefore, from a positivist viewpoint, the physical sciences till now can’t really say whether the material world is a real or an imaginary world. So, the statement that this world is a real world we have to send (condemn) in the strict sense to the realm of faith. This world can be real, but from a scientific viewpoint it mustn’t necessarily be real.

Similarly, the sciences cannot really answer the following question. The world we perceive, why does it exists as it exists? The science simply tries to explain how something works, but not why something works. That’s not at all. There are a number of logical inconsistencies or unresolved issues, which the sciences till now do not really have clearly clarified.

  1. From a reasonable point of view, it really seems absurd to say, that the universe emerged from nothing. Our logical reason would say: “from nothing comes nothing”.
  2. Assuming that the material world emerged out of nothing, the energy of the universe must be equal zero at any time. In 1964, two physicists, named Val Fitch and James Cronin, noted, that in the formation of about one billion of the matter-antimatter pairs, an excess of one particle of matter is observed. This observation confirms the asymmetry of the universe. In addition to the visible matter it is also discovered dark matter and dark energy, in which now the percentages of this three parts are as follows: visible matter: about 4%, dark (invisible) matter approximately 23% and dark (invisible) energy about 73%. Now, we know almost nothing about what dark matter and dark energy are. We know even less about that part of the dark energy which would must have negative energy, to get the energetic amount zero for the universe.
  3. From quantum physics point of view we must postulate, that all things are connected. The scientists can observe, that the whole thing is in every small particles and each path of a quantum particle have to do with the paths of all quantum particles. On the other hand, we also can observe, that all things are separated by the space and time. In consequence we have to postulate, that there neither is an absolute connection nor an absolute separation of things.
  4. The speed of light seems to have a special curiosity, for which the General Theory of Relativity has not really a clear position. So, at the speed of light the “lengths contraction” or “Lorentz contraction” is zero and the “time dilation” is infinite. Speed now is defined as the ratio of length to time. Thus, the calculation yields at the speed of light: zero / infinity = zero. Thus, the light cannot really move. In addition, at the speed of light the inner clock of light stops running. If the clock stands still, we cannot define speed. So, at the speed of light we really cannot define the speed of light.
  5. The General Theory of Relativity has another absurdity. It predicts the beginning of the universe at time zero. But at the time zero the universe has a singularity, at which all the laws of physics brake down. So the General Theory of Relativity includes a state of universe, where it breaks down itself.
  6. According to the theory of quantum electrodynamics the virtual photons are responsible for the interaction of the building blocks of matter. The virtual photons are regarded as so-called messenger particles (= exchange particles). Without these particles the interactions of elementary particles aren’t possible. That means, they have fundamental properties in the interactions of the elementary particles. But how should these particles can have a fundamental function in the real world, if, from a scientific point of view, they are no real entities? Is it an oxymoron, isn’t it?

The inconsistence described in point 5 will be solved, if we allow to say, that we’re living in an imaginary world.

“In real time, the universe has a beginning and an end at singularities that form a boundary to space-time and at which the laws of science break down. But in imaginary time, there are no singularities or boundaries.”

                  Stephen W. Hawking in: a brief history of time

The inconsistence described in point 6 will be solved by the postulation, that the so called imaginary time is more basic than the so called real time (see first citation above). In particular, the question of really or imaginary about this world is not yet cleared.

“However, from a positivist viewpoint, one can’t ask “which is reality – brane or bubble”. They are both mathematical models that describe the observations. One is free to use whichever model is most convenient.”

                             Stephen W. Hawking in: the universe in a nutshell

The other inconsistences as described above will be solved in the course of this investigation. Till now, if we have all these points raised in mind, it is not so far-fetched to say, that science is nothing more than a faith community. Nothing the science takes as given, is really clearly proven. At least, we have to find a model which is not only convenient but also logical.

Let’s now talk about religion. In most religions apparently there is someone speaking as a God. This God is claiming that he is real, he knows everything and he is the creator of all things. He also claims that we are his children. Now there are some people who say, they have made an experience of God. But many other people never have had such an experience. Therefore, up to this point we neither can deny nor affirm whether God is real or not. That leaves this statement at least openly.

Now, no one has ever seen this God. Does this mean that this statement is purely a matter of faith? Not necessarily. Provided that God would be the reality, there is always the possibility to say, that the only reason why we do not see this God is, that we are in a dream and do of course not see in a dream the reality. If God is real and we are dreaming, we really cannot prove that God, at least not directly.

When asked, whether the matter came first or the Spirit, God would say that spirit came first and that matter only is a creation of spirit. This can currently not be proved directly. But the question of why finds an explanation at least on Religious or Spiritual Science. Accordingly, this world would be a world of dreams, of experiences, of game of separation or of game of creativity.

A dream deceives us by its very nature another reality which is extremely different to the true reality. Accordingly, we may also use the term deception in connection with a dream. So in the Eastern religions, there is the statement, that we’re living in a world of dreams, of deceit and illusion (Maya). This world representation would also be represented by the Spiritual Sciences. According to the citation of Stephen W. Hawking this world representation cannot be really excluded.

If we take all these points together, we come as well to the statement that also Religions in the strict sense do not really have anything to do with knowledge, but with faith.

In summary it can be said that the sciences as well as religions are faith communities, but both have the motive to get to know. Both disciplines have the potential to knowledge. Or we can say that they are at best springboard to knowledge.

If we transfer religion and science to the synthesis, maybe we can even come to a clear conclusion about the world in question: “Is it real or imaginary?”. This attempt I dared, and I would like to present it you in the following discourse.

2. Basic considerations.

One of the basic questions is whether the world we live in and perceive is the only world, or if there is more than that. Another question is, what is the basis for the world and for our lives. Answering these questions also leads to questions such as: ‘Who are we?’, ‘Where do we come from?’ and / or ‘where are we going to?’ I try to find out exactly these questions in my book and on my website.

To our perception. We perceive a world in 3 spatial dimensions. If we add time due to the changes in time, we have 4 dimensions. The physicists speak of the fact that we live in a 4-dimensional space-time, which results from the knowledge of general relativity theory (GRT). So after the older model of physics we live in a 4-dimensional space-time, which is flat and almost spherical. Here, we can imagine a sphere, whereas the space-time is the spherical surface. And we are living on the ball surface. Inside the sphere is nothing. Because inside the sphere is nothing according to these ideas, there would be nothing else but the material world, except perhaps fancies and fantasies.

Side note: With the flatness of space-time one or the other may have problems of imagination. Let us consider that we are talking about a multi-dimensional sphere, which has more than three dimensions and is therefore beyond our imagination. When a small child paints a house, it paints the house in two dimensions, that is, flat. However, we have the three-dimensionality of the house in mind. It is similar with the concept formation of things that go beyond the 3 dimensions. We have only inadequate words available for this. In a way, we can compare these inadequate words to the painting of a small child who draws something three-dimensional flat (two-dimensional) because it cannot do otherwise.

On one side, the surface of the sphere is 4-dimensional. On the other hand, if we hear the word ‘surface’, we think, that ist 2-dimensional. This does not fit together. However, because we are talking about surface, we have to agree that this surface must be flat, even if this surface is 4-dimensional. The inadequacy of language makes it difficult to put things in a proper light. Nonetheless, I try to make things understandable through appropriate choice of words and explanation.

In the meantime, physics has reached a level of knowledge that makes necessary even more dimensions than just the 4 dimensions of our space-time. This means that we do not live in a mere 4-dimensional world, but in an even higher-dimensional world that may have 5 or even 11 dimensions. Regardless of how many dimensions it may be, there is also energy in these additional dimensions. Because we cannot perceive this energy sensually or cannot determine it physically, we can count it as metaphysical. So already on the basis of this new requirement of physics (requirement of additional dimensions) the foundation for the existence of metaphysics has been laid.

According to the new model of physics, what is on the surface (brane) is now a projection, whereas the inside of the bladder is the actual event. So, the material world would now be not more as a superficial part of a spherical world of higher dimensions. This means that the number of dimensions of the visible world is always less than the number of dimensions of the total world.

We can compare this to an infinitely large egg whose shell is infinitely thin. This shell has only a very small share of the entire egg here. Matter would be represented by the egg shell and the metaphysical by the inside of the egg (protein and yolk). This means, that the material world would have now a very small share of the total world. Correspondingly, the balance of power is similar and the material world would be something like the drop to the sea. In this metaphor, the drop would represent the material world, and the sea the total world.

–> Justification of the Metaphysical