Rational Religion

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Defining Your Interface


Maybe the most troubling mental hurdle for most people who think about reality is defining the interface.


Where does the human mind (the Alpha Individual human mind; the thinker's) end and the objective Universe begin?


This is the source of all the serious arguments between science and religion.   (The silly ones are more numerous, but ignorable.  Religious fundamentalism and superstitions of all sorts are a social force; not an intellectual one.)


If, as is demonstrably true, one's central nervous system - mediated of course by one's hormonal cocktail - is the final arbiter of everything one understands and believes to be true about the Universe,  how can one ever trust that the whole thing isn't a construct?


Your brain runs on glucose and oxygen.  It produces electrochemical impulses and is ruled by them.  Somewhere in it is a mysterious process we call "memory" which we continually update and add to as more information enters the system.


If it were actually this simple, our confusion would be less. 


In the first place the whole thing runs in an environment influenced by a chemical bath of enzymes, hormones and trace nutrients which fluctuates wildly from hour to hour; even minute to minute.   This variable stew affects how well we process the new information we receive and how we integrate it into what we already "know."


And how do we know we can trust what we "learn" in the first place?


Where does it come from?  It is real information or is it misinformation?   Is it evidence or part of somebody else's agenda?


Or does it originate entirely within our own wetware?  Have we made the whole thing up?


"Making it up" is what we do best.


Of course, if you think about this too much, it can paralyze you.


You won't be able to think at all.


The difference between information and misinformation is often a matter of time and place.  Figuring in the human component makes most of the difference. 


There is very probably an independent body of fact, but we are not sure of the parameters. 


For most information, the best we can do is cite proofs, according to presently available techniques and formulae. 


For instance, if our calculus and physics enable us to shoot a rocket to a distant heavenly body, with only minor in-course corrections; and to do this consistently; then our calculus and physics would seem to be valid.


The trick is to train yourself to be suspicious of everything, but trust your powers of observation and integration to do a preliminary readout.  Then evaluate and compare it with your most trustworthy data banks from past experience. 


This won't keep you from living in a world of pure illusion.  But it will keep your universe consistent, and enable you to function about as well as if the whole thing were objectively real.