Wednesday, June 29, 2016

There's Something There - Part 7

There was this very nice British teacher at an international school I worked at once near Geneva where he taught a class called Theory of Knowledge (TOK) - I spend most of my lecturing time in TOK settings all over the planet - and he was talking about faith one day.

"Little green men?! Flying?!
He said that faith was like this: you could believe in little green men flying around the room, or anything at all, really, and that would take faith, but clearly zero intelligence, so faith was believing in ridiculous things and was clearly for stupid people.

In the nicest possible way.

And, he said, since you can't offer him any tangible evidence that there in fact might be little green men flying around the room (apparently desperately looking for little green flying women)(I added that part just now.), then he is under no obligation or compulsion to believe anything except that you are a raving lunatic.

And so, faith is ridiculous. And for stupid and/or crazy people. Faith is just a short hop from insanity. I added that last part, too. But it's true. And thus religion is ridiculous, since there's nothing that is actually true about it, and if you are religious, then you are ridiculous.

Aliens having tea. Or maybe coffee. With aliens,
it's hard to know.
In the nicest possible way. Because he was British and very nice about it all. Then we had tea.

Actually, because he was very nice, he then let me talk about faith to his 3 classes. And, because he was very nice and kinda impressed, he invited me back thrice annually for the next thrice years. The Brits say "thrice" a lot. I don't know why.

Here's what I said.

"No little green droppings here.
What, I'm some kind of slob?!"
First, believing in little green men, or in anything, would be crazy without at least some evidence. Something that is true. A fact or two. Little green droppings scattered around the room, for example.

I'm not even going to mention that a lot of very smart, generally skeptical-about-religion-and-a-lot-of-them-actual-atheists scientists believe wholeheartedly in the Multiverse and/or String Theory and/or Loop Quantum Gravity and that the universe might be a hologram and/or a computer simulation and that there really really just have to be aliens out there somewhere, and a bunch of other sciency sounding things ...

Without any evidence whatsoever. No evidence. Not a single dingle fact. Little green men. That's what we're talking about. Little green men. And women, too, I suppose. Without any facts, you can believe in whatever you want. Right?

Anyway. Sorry for the tangent. Pay no attention to the tangent.

So. If you're gonna have faith in something, there needs to be a fact or two.

And so, there are some actual facts. Buddha lived, was a real person. Confucius, too. Mohammed. And his wife. Wives. Moses, real guy. David. And his wife. Wives. Jesus. Peter, Paul and Mary. The Bible ones, not the folk singers. OK, the folk singers were real, too.

All of these folks lived, did things, had lives, left records (with apologies to Peter, Paul and Mary), are part of history.

So for example, let's take the one that is common to many faiths, including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. And Hinduism. LDS. JWs. Not Scientology. That's whackiness without facts, little-green-men-ism, bonkers, nutso. Christian Scientism, though. Some others.

So for example, let's, in what is an obvious attempt by me to take the conversation in the way I'd like it to go, take Isa. Yeshua. Joshua. Jesus. A rose by any other name yadda yadda yadda.

So here's the thing. Isa/Yeshua/Jesus was a real guy.

Clearly a bizarre cult of epic weirdness.
Or a sorority. Hard to tell.
Born. Raised. Lived. Said stuff. Did stuff. Had a big impact. Had to have, since Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (and its denominations and occasionally weird off-shoots and strange detours and often cultic bizarrenesses and not nearly rare enough white supremicists) all have had to deal with him, each in their own way, each different from the others. But believe him or not, none are saying he was just a myth.

That's just history. That's not religion. He was a real guy with a real history. You don't need faith for that. That's just a fact.

He also died. Everybody did, so that's not unusual.

Before that, history tells us that he was arrested as a rabble-rouser (governments hate rabble-rousers), tried, convicted, executed, entombed.

That's history. 

And his body was never found.

That's history.

What happened to it, is where faith begins. Where religion starts.

So faith is about facts, about evidence, but necessarily incomplete evidence. And the faith parts tend to be what science would call "supernatural", that is, not part of nature, outside of the laws of science.

Now there's evidence about what happened after the body disappeared, but it's evidence just from Christians. So it's biased. It was a supernatural event for which Christians claim to have real evidence from real people.

And you get to believe it, or not. That's faith.

Do you get the whole story? Hardly ever.

But that's also true in science.

For example. How many stars do you suppose are in the galaxy?

Maybe you've been told. It's somewhere between one hundred and three hundred billion.

How many stars can you actually you yourself with your eyes see at night, if you could count all the ones that are visible by the naked eye from earth on a really dark night?

Here's the number. 9110. Nine thousand one hundred and ten stars.

Not 9111. Just 9110.

In 1888, we thought there were just 6188 stars. So we're getting closer.

Now I've never counted stars at all, so I'm taking both numbers on faith in the people who tell me things about stars. The funny thing is, we don't really know how many stars are in the Milky Way, but we do know how many we can actually see at night. 9110. We know there are craploads more stars than that in the Milky Way, but not how many more.

And that's just our galaxy. Wanna know how many galaxies there are?

Somewhere between 100 billion and a trillion. So that's plus or minus 900 billion.

Wanna know how much bigger the actual universe is than the part that we can see with our actual eyes? OK, that's not right. We can only see 9110 stars with our actual eyes, and no galaxies, not really.

So we can't even see the part of the universe that we think we know about, much less the part that we will never be able to see and will never have any idea how big it is.

Scientists tell us that their experiments tell them that we'll never know. And they tell us things that their experiments tell them we do know.

It's a miracle.
Plus, bacon is a sign that God exists and loves us madly.
 And we take it on faith.

And then when they discover that, oops, they didn't quite get that right, but this time we've done a much better job, we take that on faith.

Lots of it doesn't make any sense really to us or to them. Space-time bending and warping. Particles everywhere all at once. Black Holes. Big Bang. Quantum Entanglement. Quantum Tunneling. Quantum Everything. None of it makes sense, it all seems quite miraculous, the math works, the experiments work, but it's all so so so so weird!

But they have faith in the math and the experiments. Ultimately, they have faith that the universe makes sense, that they can figure out a lot of things, that there is order and structure and math that describes it all.

They even talk about math being a kind of miracle.

So the universe as it actually is is weird, bizarre, counter-intuitive, almost nonsensical. But our evidence plus our experience plus our faith tells us that it's ok to believe in science and nature and the universe, even though it's not really here at all, except for maybe ...


Now, where scientists and skeptics and atheists take religious folk to task is over things like miracles and supernatural stuff. And honestly, religious folk are prone to seeing miracles in every parking space. Every time something good happens, whee! It's a miracle!

'Course, for the non-believers, every time something bad happens, it's God-is-a-total-jerk time. Or he would be, if he existed.

So we should talk about that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

There's Something There - Part 6

Evidence plus experience plus faith plus revelation equals something that might be a lot like God.

We talked about evidence. We talked about revelation.


Oh, btw, I should mention in passing that you get to decide which way the evidence points (as we have said) and you get to decide whether or not any particular revelation is in fact a revelation, and which one you like and which ones you don't like.

That seems to be built into the system. You get to decide. Now, whether or not that's a Free Will thing is something else you get to decide, unless you don't believe in Free Will, in which case, well, you don't have a choice about anything. Not only is the universe and everything in it an elaborate illusion, so is Free Will.

What THAT means is that you probably shouldn't feel too cocky about what you believe. Don't get the Big Head. If there's no Free Will, then really, getting all impressed with yourself is just silly.

Of course, if there is Free Will, then chances are good that's evidence that the Big Guy really exists.

In which case, getting all impressed with yourself is also just silly, since the Big Guy is, um, a lot Bigger a Guy than you are. Just sayin'.

It's also possible that the Big Guy exists even if Free Will does not.

Of course, if Free Will does not exist, then neither does love, and we're kinda bettin' on love.

(I should say that this week, science doesn't believe in Free Will. But it kinda goes back and forth on that.)(Evidence keeps changing.)(Darn that evidence.)

And btw, if you perchance don't believe in free will or gods or God, and you think religious people are idiots, well, frankly,

THAT makes no sense at all. More on that later.

And now we're back to talking about experience.

Let's go back to revelation for a minute.

There are lots of potential revelations in history to consider. Every religion seems to have one or two or several.

Islam's got one. Judaism's got a baker's dozen (I didn't actually count, so we're just approximating on that one.) Christianity has all of those plus, you know, the whole Jesus thing. The Latter Day Saints got one, in addition to whatever they pick and choose from other places. JWs got some, but they mostly overlap with Judaism and Christianity. Nearly everyone with a substance abuse issue has got a few. All the cults do. Without a revelation, well, what a crappy cult.

So how are you supposed to figure out 1) which one is the real one? and/or 2) are ANY of them a real one?

Yeah. That's a good question.

I have a close friend named Josie who if she's reading this right now is going WTH?! but I won't use her last name, so only I and she and all of our mutual friends will know. (BTW, in WTH, the H is Heck.)(It's a concession.)(Remember, "crapload" is our official limit.)(If you want to put a different, alternative letter of your own creative choosing in there, well, if there's Free Will, go right ahead, and if there's not, then you can't help it anyway, so go right ahead.)

Anyway. Short version. In high school (a very long time ago) she fell in love with another friend named Jeff (who's right now going WTH?! Sorry, dude. It was some significant fraction of a century ago, and it was kinda sweet.)

Josie was, and remains as far as I know, an atheist.

But she told me at the time that the love she felt for Jeff caused her to say, this is so powerful and incredible and uncontrollable that she could understand how God might exist.

I think she got over it. Sorry, Jeff.

But 1) since the universe is only and always formed of interactions and 2) the highest form of interaction is (we are saying) love, then 3) the experience of love might be that experience, the revelation that aims us in the direction of God.

Now love might just be biochemical and a evolutionary response to the need to procreate and keep the species going and Free Will might not exist and it's not really love it's just urges, but

I don't think so.

Those things might be true, but to say that's all that love is ... reductive.

It might be instinctive (whatever THAT means) and evolutionarily derivative and all of that, but 

It's more.

You know it and I know it.

Yes, love is biochemical. So what? So are we all.

But Complexity Theory tells us that there's a tipping point (derived from Chaos Theory) wherein something ...

Happens ...

And something magical emerges from the mix that is far more than just biochemistry.

Yes, procreation, yes, keeping the species going, sure.

But love is vastly more than just biochemistry or an evolutionary imperative.

Love is profoundly, magically, mysteriously, wondrously built into the fabric of existence, the ultimate form of interaction in a universe that is defined from smallest to largest, from the least to the greatest, from the most transient to the most persistent, from the quantum smallness to the relativistic vastness of time and space, from the relationship between particle and observer to the relationship between space-time and matter by


Ultimately, interaction is experience. Everything that interacts enters into an experience with the focus of the interaction, and reality emerges and is defined by that experience. It is Quantum and Relativistic and Newtonian. It is transcendent.

Wow. That was a bit much. Let's rephrase that.

It takes two to tango.

That is, it is the interaction between two dancers that creates the dance. Without the interaction, no tango. Without two dancers, no tango. Without the tango, no dancing, no dancers.

And no experience.

If God does not exist, then there's no interaction, no experience. Just delusion. 

But if God exists, and if he is interacting with the universe, and if he is a God of love, then it is possible to interact with that God and experience love.

It may inevitable.

And it will be different for everyone, unique to each person, but somehow universal all at the same time.

Unique. And universal.

That's what love is.

And the love that we all feel for, I don't know, cat videos on YouTube, or, more seriously, the people whom we each love, just might be that space-time-centric, Newtonian, Quantum, Relativistic, Chaotic and Complex interaction that points us to, I don't know,

The actual real moment when the 5th dimension (or whatever) touched the 4 dimensions that we inhabit and 

Divine love became tangible.

But that would take some faith. So maybe we should talk about it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

There's Something There - Part 5

Now when religious folk start going on and on about revelations, the revelations always seem to come with rules.

And those rules seem to be weirdly focused on what women are supposed to wear.
Seriously. Don't wear this.

Plus, what we are or are not supposed to eat.

And a lot of other stuff that seems to be about what to do and when to do it, or what not to do and when not to do it.

And then we use these rules to make up other rules about who's in, and who's out.

Who belongs to our little group, and who does not.

And don't eat unicorns.
As though the God of the universe is sitting up there in his 5th dimensional whatever it is spending all of his time being really irritated about us not wearing the right clothing or not getting the right haircuts or not eating food that has been prepared in the exact and precise way that for some reason he made up for no reason at all (eat cows! and chickens! don't eat pigs! or goats! or lobsters! and what the heck is kale?!?! I didn't make that! It's not for eating! Where did that awful stuff come from?!?!) and playing Game of Thrones with us (OK, Protestants and Catholics - 1, 2, 3, kill each other!)(OK, Sunnis and Shiites - 1, 2, 3, kill each other! And when you finish that, kill all the Jews, even though I like them a lot! And
all the westerners. I'm not sure why, but what the heck!), and then sending down songs that all kinda sound alike, and then giving all

kinds of strange stage directions (You people, raise your hands and sway back and forth and close your eyes and make weird noises! And play with snakes! (Really? Snakes?) And you guys, pray the same prayer five times a day forever and smack your heads on the ground and NO WOMEN cause they can be distracting sorry about the all-caps. And you, over there, I never ever ever want to see the bottoms of your feet, because have you seen what's all over the ground? Gross! And you other guys never cut your hair, and you other other guys cut all your hair off. And
See. Distracting.
ladies, frankly, you are totally distracting all the time, what was I thinking? 
and you folks, if I catch you celebrating birthdays or anything else, for that matter, it’s all over for you, and you other folks, happy happy happy and no medicine or doctors or pain meds or stitches or nothing), and on and on and on ...

Seriously? That's what God does? No wonder science thinks religious folk are idiots. They kinda are.

But it's kinda science's fault. Because science told us that in order to be smart, we had to have rules. 

So we still think it's all about the rules.

OK, that's not really fair for science.

Humans seem to have this compulsion to come up with rules. Always have.

But it's really about the Interaction.

The rules come from the interaction.

Because the interaction is about relationships.

And good relationships need good rules.

Just like a working universe needs good rules.

Not to restrict the universe from doing things.

But to cause, to allow, to enable the universe to interact well.

So if there was going to be a real revelation from the real God, then that revelation was really going to be about relationships.

Because that's how we interact.

First, an interaction between God and humans.

And second, an interaction between humans and, uh, other humans.

Now watch this. It's going to get dangerous.

It's also going to be some math.

Interaction = relationship. That's first. That's from science.


The highest form of relationship = love.

I just made that up, but I think it works.

Interaction, as I ponder it, has two forms.

Attractive and repulsive. 

Gravity is an attractive interaction, where by the warping of space-time, objects in a gravitational field (which has infinite reach, btw) seem to be attracted to the center of the field, the center of the massive object. Dark Energy seems to be repulsive - massive objects are repelled from each other. Dark Matter, like regular matter, is attractive via gravity. The Strong Force creates a field via the gluon that attracts quarks together, and protons and neutrons together. Electro-magnetism is both attractive and repulsive. The Weak Force binds subatomic particles together into more complex elements under tremendous heat and pressure (which sounds like love to me).

Quantum mechanics by its very nature is interaction between particles, communicating, changing each other in instantaneous and seemingly magical but ultimately entirely natural ways. But because it's Quantum and has to make life difficult, it's neither attractive nor repulsive. It is, however, purely interactive. Again, the poetry of QM is like a love song. 

That might be a stretch. But really, the quantum world needs us as observers, and we need it because we are made of it. It is as interactive as interactive gets in a seriously interactive sort of way.

Human relationships are attractive and repulsive. We like each other, we dislike each other. We are attracted to or repelled by each other.

There is love, and there is hate.

So I will arbitrarily and randomly assigned values to those. Hate is generally the worst.

Love is usually the best.

And love, at its purest, is sacrificial. Parent for child. Lover for beloved. Patriots for country. Superhero for humanity and the earth. Lassie for Timmy.

We are told that there is no greater love than for one human to give his or her life for another.

If you have ever truly loved, then you know the rich profundity of sacrificial love.

And thus, the interactional God who created the universe, who for some bizarre and inexplicable reason seeks an interaction with his creation, with his pathetic little otherwise pointless humans, and wants somehow to interact with us in a way that feels very much like love.

So third, highest form of love = sacrifice of life.

Now, go find a revelation that looks like that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

There's Something There - Part 4

So we think that science is all about the rules, and we think that religion is all about the rules, but

Science is turning out to be all about the interactions, and so

Religion might be all about the interactions, too.

Not the rules.

Here's what the rules do in science. Oddly enough, they inhibit understanding.

Well, for the most part, they help us understand, but there're those critical places where they don't help anymore.

The Quantum places. The places where folks like the eminent John Wheeler says, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics. And the even eminenter Richard Feynman, who said that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

We can do the math and make the predictions and they always come out right and they're never wrong, but

We don't understand anything about it at all.

Frankly, even relativity doesn't lend itself to understanding, either. 

Here's a bit from Roger Penrose:

"Quantum reality is strange in many ways. Individual quantum particles can, at one time, be in two different places - or three, or four, or spread out throughout some region, perhaps wiggling around like a wave. 

"Indeed, the 'reality' that quantum theory seems to be telling us to

believe in is so far removed from what we are used to that many quantum theorists would tell us to abandon the very notion of reality when considering phenomena at the scale of particles, atoms or even molecules.

"This seems rather hard to take, especially when we are also told that quantum behaviour rules all phenomena, and that even large-scale objects, being built from quantum ingredients, are themselves subject to the same quantum rules.

"Where does quantum non-reality leave off and the physical reality that we actually seem to experience begin to take over?

"Present-day quantum theory has no satisfactory answer to this question.

"My own viewpoint concerning this - and there are many other viewpoints - is that present-day quantum theory is not quite right, and that as the objects under consideration get more massive then the principles of Einstein's general relativity begin to clash with those of quantum mechanics, and a notion of reality that is more in accordance with our experiences will begin to emerge.

"The reader should be warned, however: quantum mechanics as it stands has no accepted observational evidence against it, and all such modifications remain speculative.

"Moreover, even general relativity, involving as it does the idea of a curved space-time, itself diverges from the notions of reality we are used to.

"Whether we look at the universe at the quantum scale or across the vast distances over which the effects of general relativity become clear, then, the common-sense reality of chairs, tables and other material things would seem to dissolve away, to be replaced by a deeper reality inhabiting the world of mathematics."

Reality as science has discovered it is really nothing like the reality that we really think reality really is. Really.

And it gets worse, of course. From Quanta Magazine:

On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them — whether we are conscious humans or inanimate measuring devices. 

Experiment after experiment has shown — defying common sense — that if we assume that the particles that make up ordinary objects have an objective, observer-independent existence, we get the wrong answers. 

The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space. As the physicist John Wheeler put it, “Useful as it is under ordinary circumstances to say that the world exists ‘out there’ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld.”

And now you want to complain about God. That is, God the way that you think you understand God.

And you don't even understand chairs. 

Which aren't there, anyway, unless you are there to sit on them. Apparently, and not quite completely metaphorically.

So you might say, evidence for God has to look like the kind of evidence that you're used to seeing. You want real evidence, not quantum relativistic evidence.

Of course, the only real evidence is quantum relativistic evidence, and the "real" evidence that you want is, from your perspective, delusional. That is, Newtonian and "real" only as a tiny splinter bit of the illusion created by quantum relativistic evidence.

But, OK. Let's play that game.

If science is ultimately and finally and completely about the interactions (which is our theory at this point),

And if God exists (which is our theory at this point) ...

then God, who clearly put the whole science schtick together (that's just if a=b and b=c, then a=c) ...

might have a certain commitment to and/or interest in and/or a participatory role to play in ...


Since there doesn't seem to be anything at all but interactions in the universe.

When you're naked and running away from a lion,
catching up with the lion seems like a bad idea.
Unless you're running away from whatever the lion is running
away from. In which case ... run faster.
And thus, a revelation seems to be in order.

Because a revelation is an interaction, and interactions are all that there are.

So that would be ... evidence. If there was in fact an interaction that we might say could possibly be in some sense maybe perhaps a revelation.

But you don't want a quantum revelation, like, say, the need for an observer outside of space and time to make an observation and collapse the wave function of the Singularity into Big Bang and hence into the universe itself.

And you may want proof. I should write that as "proof". You are tempted to demand "proof".

If you'll review previous posts, you might find somewhere that you never ever in science (or religion or on TV crime shows) get "proof". 

You get "evidence". "Proof" does not exist. Anywhere at any time. Ever. The only way you can actually use the word "proof" in a sentence is to say you never get any.

Everything that we think might be proven might be unproven when new evidence comes along.

As new evidence tends to do.

In fact, you can get something from nothing.
Sorry, Big Bang haters. It's a Quantum thing.
So there is no proof of Big Bang. There is only evidence. It's pretty impressive evidence, but you never know. Science didn't use to believe in Big Bang because how ridiculous is THAT! The universe had a starting point. That's absurd. Everybody knows it.

There you go. Everybody, which is to say, everybody in science, and I mean everybody, all the scientists were wrong.

And so there never will be any proof that God does or does not exist. Evidence, maybe. Proof? Never.

Unless he, like, shows up. That would do it.

But since he has not, then clearly 1) he does not exist at all or 2) he's got another idea.

And that plan might be all about evidence, and experience, and revelation, and finally, faith.

The plan might be all about faith.

Maybe. If there is a God. And a plan.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

There's Something There - Part 3


That is, the only way for you to find God is ...

For God to find you.

And how, do you suppose, would he do that?

By interacting with the universe.

Didn't see that coming, didja?

I just read this amaaaazing article on the brain on, so here's some bits of it:

"A few cognitive scientists – notably Anthony Chemero of the University of Cincinnati, the author of Radical Embodied Cognitive Science (2009) – now completely reject the view that the human brain works like a computer.

"The mainstream view is that we, like computers, make sense of the world by performing computations on mental representations of it, but Chemero and others describe another way of understanding intelligent behaviour – as a direct interaction between organisms and their world.

"... if we had the ability to take a snapshot of all of the brain’s 86 billion neurons and then to simulate the state of those neurons in a computer, that vast pattern would mean nothing outside the body of the brain that produced it ... Whereas computers do store exact copies of data – copies that can persist unchanged for long periods of time, even if the power has been turned off – the brain maintains our intellect only as long as it remains alive. There is no on-off switch. Either the brain keeps functioning, or we disappear.

"What’s more, as the neurobiologist Steven Rose pointed out in The Future of the Brain (2005), a snapshot of the brain’s current state might also be meaningless unless we knew the entire life history of that brain’s owner – perhaps even about the social context in which he or she was raised."

Which is to say (I'm back, btw. This is me now.) that each of our brains exists as a direct interaction with the life we have each lived, each brain unique as each life is unique.

Pardon me for a second. I'm going to make that really really large so that you don't miss it.

Direct interaction

Here's what humans do that is so cute. We look for the rules and regulations that make everything happen, and say to ourselves, wow, that's why everything happens.

Rules. Regulations. Laws of physics.

Here's what's curious about that.

Science has decided that religion is ridiculous.

But both science and religion make the same mistake.

Religion ... looks for rules for behavior. Human behavior.

Science ... looks for rules of behavior. Human behavior, ultimately, along with the behavior of everything else in the universe.

Neural circuits in the brain. Looks very much like a fractal.
Science finds its rules in the patterns of mathematics, and then in the patterns of everything. Or vice versa. Sometimes the math tells us what is happening (the Special and General Theories, Quantum Mechanics), sometimes we figure out the math so we can describe what is happening (Newton's Calculus).

But once we had the rules figured out, well, dang it, they stopped making sense about 116 years ago, in 1900, when Quantum Mechanics came on the scene, and then again in 1905 and 1915 when Special and General Relativity arrived, and then in 1961 Chaos Theory didn't help at all, and when Complexity Theory started to mess with Evolution later in the 1960s, well, that was not a happy moment.

The Rules, the Laws of Physics, sort of stopped helping us understand the way things worked. Instead, they didn't help at all.

Religion kinda has the same problem.

But it's kinda the same problem because it's kinda the same source.


We want things to make sense.

So. Let's say some guy comes along. Let's call him Isa. Or Joshua. Or Yeshua. Pick your language base.

And he says, alright, jerks, stop being jerks. Start being nice.

And the whole God thing? You really should pay attention.

So what do religious people do?

Instead of just, you know, being nice, they ask, what does it really mean to be nice? I mean, do we have to be nice to everybody? Or can we pick and choose?

And what does being nice really mean?

So then they made up some rules.

And before long, the religions all became to be about following the rules instead of, you know, being nice.

Buddhism does this. So does Hinduism. Judaism. Shintoism. Jainism. Islam. Paganism. Satanism. Witchcraft. Animism. All the -isms do it.

Christianity, too.

Not an -ism grammatically, but still an -ism. And it does it, too.

Somehow they all start with the interaction between God (or gods)(or no gods)(depending) and humans, and then, somehow, along the way,

They all become about the rules.

And here is what science is telling religion.

It's not about the rules.

It's about the interaction.

If the universe is all about interaction,

Then reality is all about interaction,

And the rules of nature come from interaction between particles and forces, and energy and mass and space-time, and observation and reality,

Then, well, religion ...

Is all about interaction. The interaction between us, and God.

So now we gotta figure out what the heck that means.