Thinking Word — concatenation- \kon-kat-n-ey-shuh-n\ Click for pronunciation -noun: a series of interconnected or interdependent things or events; something linked together in a series or chain. (Also see usage in blog below)
Dr. Wysong's Blog - HOLY BOOKS AND PI COUNTING
Some people spend their entire lives attempting to decipher holy books. If the Creator of the universe did indeed write such a book, it would be worthy of our utmost attention. But most people hold this belief merely because it is what they were told, not because they have proven it to themselves. For some, the only proof necessary is that the book itself claims to be the word of God.
Some, however, do search for such proofs. One purported proof is prophecy. But that is not an easy task, nor does it consist of self-evident facts. In the case of the Bible, one must be skilled in the quiddities of not only English, but ancient Aramaic and Hebrew (the original languages used in writing the texts) plus have the ability to discern which translation, of the dozens available, to use. It is also necessary to have the wherewithal to know which books are to be included in the Bible, since there are many that have been left out, and many that are included make no claim to even being inspired.
Nevertheless, hundreds of prophecies have been extracted from the Bible and other holy books using a concatenation of symbols, types and antitypes, historical references, and exegetical subtleties. Many such prophecies have forecasted an end of the world. Many of those ends have come and gone. Those that lie yet in the future have a profound impact on the lives of millions of people.
Some see prophecies as proof of God and of the veracity of a holy book by which they attempt to guide their life. Others spend their lives proselytizing, go to war, or perform terrorism in an attempt to convert the world to their beliefs. They do this to garner God's favor and in order to be on the right side when the prophesied end comes (arguably a rather self serving "ethic"). How we think, what we believe, and who we are following other than our own consciences, has a lot to do with the misery we visit on planet Earth.
In Solving The Big Questions As If Thinking Matters a complete analysis of religion, holy books, and ends of the world is given using something that is rarely implemented in this matter: reason, evidence, and open mindedness. I will not attempt to repeat all that here, but do want to make the point about how people should not be so sure about things they have never really proven nor have direct evidence for, and then let their conclusions guide their lives.
If you have been following along in these blogs, you know I think there is plenty of evidence–scientific, empirical, rational–for an intelligent cause to the universe. The proofs are there in plain site. No holy book is necessary to tell us there is something much greater than matter and natural law at play in the universe. Nor is one necessary to tell us what we can glean from honestly listening to our own consciences.
Furthermore, every feat (miracle) that supposedly proves a holy book to be written by God is a feat humans have been proven to be capable of. As documented in Solving The Big Questions, this includes mind reading, out of body travel, clairvoyance (prophecy), materializations, healings, and the like. In other words, if one rests the case of proving God wrote a particular book on such events, then people today who perform such feats could be considered God too.
Let me give an example. You remember from geometry how the number pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. It is 3.1415... Note the ellipsis (...), meaning the number does not end with 5. It goes on forever. Setting aside the interesting question of how a circle that is definite can be defined by a number that is indefinite, how many numbers could you remember for pi? Certainly 10, like in a phone number. But how about 20, 50, 100? Stretching it, right? How about 22,514 numbers for pi? Impossible it would seem. Some could conclude that a person capable of such a feat was like God. What they wrote would be "inspired."
In the video below, Daniel Tammet is shown reciting pi out to this number, taking five hours and nine minutes to do so. That’s a real time, real life "miracle" you can see right in the here and now. No need for an archeologist or ancient language scholar to parse words written thousands of years ago.
Many such extraordinary abilities of humans are detailed in The The Big Questions. Understanding that spectacular events are not restricted to holy books, but are occurring right now all over the world, broadens our mind and makes us less anxious to attribute to God that which is human and set out on a jihad, crusade, or get feeling too smug about our own holiness because we think we have gained some esoteric holy book understanding.
The world set before us is not only more fantastic than we imagine, it is more fantastic than we even can imagine. Keeping our minds open is the means by which we can edge closer to the answers to the big questions. This is the only means we have to get near to truth and reality, and truth and reality is the only real God there can be.