Alan Keyes
October 30, 2017
CERN physicists' failure to discern why we're here at all
'What is the truth of being beyond our understanding?'
By Alan Keyes

    Despite the organization's $1.24 billion annual budget for 2017, the physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, are being forced to admit failure in their latest effort to explain why any of us are here.

    Indeed, why there's even a "here" here at all.

    "The universe should not actually exist," said Christian Smorra, a physicist at CERN's Baryon-Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment (BASE) collaboration.
[The WND article quoted above inspired the following train of thought, which I share with a caveat: If you're inclined to take a break from the rather surly affairs that presently dominate the news of our day, this train of thought involves a short excursion you may find refreshing. You may even find it relevant to the main cause of America's crisis. In any case, the convenient thing about catching a train of thought is that you can hop off whenever you like.]

What sustains existence, by being beyond existence in any way, shape, or form whatsoever, so that utterly different ways of being remain in existence, however
self- or mutually annihilating they appear to be? Empirical science has advanced in ways previously beyond comprehension on the assumption that, whatever appears to be the case, being in and of itself remains unaffected. This was the assumption that led Immanuel Kant to undertake his critique of reason. The aim of that critique was to secure the possibility of human knowledge beyond the limits of any presently given moment of human understanding, by acknowledging that this knowledge exists only for ways of being limited by a rule that takes for granted the terms of being, in that moment, which make its way of being-in-that-moment, possible.

Our knowledge is therefore not the knowledge of what simply is. It is the knowledge of what appears to us to exist (to-be-here-or-there) on account of the terms given by being itself as such, at any given time. These terms may vary from moment to moment, from time to time, even from universe to universe. But their given-ness invariably remains – which is to say, the assumption that being-in-itself-as-such, which, within the given terms of existence for the moment, remains beyond our comprehension, nonetheless comprehends, within itself, the way of being that accounts for the way things appear to be at that, and every other, moment of existence.

From the subjective viewpoint of our human understanding, this is a way of restating the paradox of empirical study. Empirical observation depends on the existence of things as they appear to be on account of our faculty of observation. But that faculty operates according to a rule that appears to be at work in what we observe, even though the being itself that constitutes and enforces the rule never comes under direct observation. Therefore, in terms of our understanding at any given moment, we appear to exist as and in the context of some virtual reality, produced and driven by a being whose existence we can infer, and must take for granted, but never encounter as an object of our experience, except in the sense of being, ourselves, that observer.

At least for human beings, the sense that we are the observer is partly verified by our experience as humans. In the world of our existence, we produce effects that are the result of our thinking and actions. But since we do so by using existing objects, we are limited, in effect, by the prior rule that governs their existence, apart from our activity. By understanding things in terms dictated by that rule, we can expand the scope of our production. We may even see the result as evidence of our "creativity," as it is akin to the act of creation we infer from the existence of all things. But, in truth, we know it to be a poor relative of the creativity manifested in the world as a whole.

Our creations depend on manipulating the objects of our perception. But we always do so in terms that overlook the contingency of our own existence, our own understanding of those objects. By taking careful account of the regulations that govern the universe as it appears to be, we can change its appearance in this way or that. But the very regulations we observe point to and involve us with the limits that make our understanding possible, even as they limit its scope. On account of this paradoxical nature of our understanding, our knowledge advances only so long as we acknowledge and take account of the truth of being, beyond our understanding, that makes it possible.

What is the truth of being beyond our understanding? By whatever name we call it, we confess the presence of God. God is the one in whom matter and anti-matter resolve to co-exist, being at once created and destroyed: infinitely diverse, mutually contradictory, yet and still identical, in a way, in appearance. Our scientific method (empirical way of knowing) deals adequately with what exists. But our sense of being includes a way of being beyond all existence, being so informed that existence may be assumed and taken for granted; being made real because it always remains the being-in-itself-as-such from which existence derives all meaning.

So many words to say what the Scripture puts simply, introducing us to Christ.
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)

    ...being already in the form of God...emptied himself...being in the likeness of men...in human form...he humbled himself.... (Philippians 2:6, 7, 8)
What are our words, but expressions of the way things appear in our understanding? What is God's Word, but the expression, for our sake, of the way things are in His? Taking God as He is, in and of Himself, He is Being, being itself as such. In creation, isn't the universe itself the cross on which God's being is, as it were, crucified, for the sake of all existing things? Isn't it the place where God's perfection – which itself is without boundary or limitation – takes boundaries and limitations upon itself, so as to imprint, in the perfection of His being, the finite forms by which He distinguishes the appearance, one from another, of all existing things?

Since God's being is without bounds, the finite existence of things will nonetheless offer infinite possibilities for the expansion of empirical knowledge – in all imaginable forms, but also in forms we cannot now imagine. This should intrigue those who have faith in Christ's promise of eternal life, for it implies that, in all that time, boredom will be the only thing unthinkable, for those who revel in the knowledge of God.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at LoyalToLiberty.com and his commentary at WND.com and BarbWire.com.

© Alan Keyes

 

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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – one featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)

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