On the Chinese Communist Party's Trampling on Freedom of Belief Under the Banner of "Atheism" - Part II
3. Can Atheism Deny Theism?
3.1 What is the so-called Popular Science?
As stated by CCP propaganda, theism was mankind's world outlook during the uncivilized age. It believes that people of that era were unable to find a scientific explanation for some natural phenomena. Therefore, people believed such phenomena to be instructions from the heaven or gods. As a result, a concept of ghosts and immortals was formed, which allowed a theory of "superstition" to be developed.
The CCP equates "theism" with "ignorance" or "witches and sorcerers" and portrayed disciples of such practices as people who were deceived. Holding this assumption, the tool of "popular science" has become the CCP's most effective weapon in rooting out "theism" after it came to power in China. The CCP was propagating "popular science" to put an end to "theism."
Actually in a typical society (Note: Mainland China under the Chinese Communist rule is far below the norm of a typical modern society), "popular science" is not the science discussed in cutting edge scientific circles. It is actually more like a societal activity in which people are introduced to general scientific concepts. "Popular science" is generally only talked about at a superficial and practical level. It is usually a far cry from the newest discoveries on the cutting edge and new frontiers of science. It doesn't present the latest data discovered by scientists. In truth, such data would shock society, and ultimately allow for a fundamental breakthrough in understanding different dimensions, life and the universe.
We also need to understand that among a number of the world's nations, one finds some archaic habits and customs, as well as some curios and/or fabricated wild tales on the phenomenon of ghosts and spirits. Some might use the appearance of the low-level spirits or ghosts to swindle people. However, many of the phenomena discussed by theists cannot be mentioned in the same breath as these low-level spirits. As a result of the CCP's long-term widespread propaganda, Chinese people now confuse low-level spirits with Buddhas, Daos and gods.
The belief in gods, upright religions and upright ways talked about in China's past referred to the belief in enlightened beings, including Lao Zi, Shakyamuni, and Jesus. They had descended to the mortal world to spread the righteous law and save sentient beings. It also referred to the promise that if one practices the wisdom disseminated in the Bible and Buddhist scriptures, left behind by gods and buddhas, one would reach enlightenment and eventual return to one's origins. The CCP labeled the righteous belief of mankind toward gods as a so-called feudalist superstition of the people living in backward areas of the country. Such manipulation is a sign of the deceitfulness of the CCP.
It is just like what is assumed in a scientific study. History has ample examples where there was fraud, plagiarism, deception and even murder. However, such actions cannot be used to root out "science." It is similar to what the CCP has done in recent years. It brought together some "people who lack any personal initiative" or people who are just there to make the numbers needed to carry out a negative propaganda against Falun Gong. However, it forgot that such "examples" could in no way represent the mainstream of tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners, still less Falun Gong itself.
Conceptually speaking, we cannot confuse cultivation practice with theism. The theists agree up to a point in the existence of "gods." Those who practice cultivation, however, not only believe in the existence of gods, but also improve their moral standard and put into practice, in thought and action, the teachings of gods. There are fundamental differences between those who practice cultivation, and theists that study a topic from the theoretical or academic point of view.
The personal understanding and action of any one particular theist cannot be used as a basis for negating all of theism, even less the basis for negating the "belief in gods." A priest who has his own understanding of the world can only represent his own understanding, which was formed in the environment and under the influence of modern science. His understanding cannot be equated with the understanding of gods. If a scientist proves a priest to be in the wrong, he only proves the priest to be wrong, not the belief in gods itself.
If we talk from a higher perspective, a "religion" also cannot be equated with gods. When a religion does something in the extreme or its believers have committed a crime, it comes from the respective believers' human understanding, formed by their environment, and cannot be used to negate gods. Even though people have committed a crime in the name of gods, or even though they claim gods asked them to commit some crime, the belief in gods is not responsible for the crime. On the contrary, if what they have done offended the teachings of upright ways or religions, it only confirms the preciousness of the teachings of gods and the corruption of modern "religion."
In the fabricated lies and slanders used in persecuting Falun Gong, the CCP focused on demonizing Falun Gong's belief in gods. They have suppressed upright religions and ways' beliefs in gods. The CCP propaganda talked extensively about the adverse effect of ignorant and backward "superstition," as well as "witches and sorcerers," which have no relationship with Falun Gong. This is absolutely not the real underlying connotation of "belief in gods."
"Popular science" is shallow but it is not a bad thing. However, if one uses the practice of one voice to monopolize the media, and assigns "popular science" to accomplish some political task, then that "popular science" is not science, it is simply dirty politics.
3.2 Does the universe have a boundary?
Atheism has a much greater burden of proof than theism. Why do I say this? When theism wants to prove atheism wrong, it only needs to find one piece of counterevidence. That is to say, it needs to find the existence of a god in the vast universe. Atheism would then be proven wrong. If atheism tries to prove that theism is wrong, it would be very difficult. It would have to make sure that there is no god in all of the universe(s). Only in this way could atheism prove that theism is in the wrong. Therefore, whenever there is a new scientific discovery, the atheists exhibit a greater degree of anxiety than the theists, because in every new discovery, atheism must negate the possibility of the existence of gods if it is to survive. However, theism does not use human science to prove anything.
A fundamental question exists with regard to atheism. Does the universe have a boundary? Most atheists believe that there is no boundary. This is because if they admit there is a boundary, then what would be beyond this boundary? Isn't there still the universe? So it still should be included in the universe. Therefore, there should be no boundary. Then a problem arises. The atheist must search all the dimensions in the universe and prove that there is no god. Only in this way can atheism disprove theism. If they propose that the universe has no boundary, then how could it be possible to search all dimensions? How to carry out the search and what method to be employed would all depend on the level of science that exists at that point in time! As science continues to develop, new search methods will constantly become discovered. Wouldn't they need to search the areas that had already been searched again?
This has become an atheist paradox. Some atheists later on suggested that the universe has an edge. Stephen Hawking, a famous English theoretical physicist, put forward a hypothesis, which combined the general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics to analyze an extremely simplified pattern of the universe. Based on this theory, he came to the conclusion that the universe has an edge but no boundary. It is like a ball. This theory has been extended to state that there was no beginning of the universe. In other words, from that way of understanding things, there was no beginning of life, and therefore, no need for a god to exist.
Professor Hawking's theory was only one of the numerous hypotheses regarding the beginning of the universe. He also wrote a popular science piece titled "A Brief History of Time" that stated his viewpoints on the universe. In 2002 when Professor Hawking visited Beijing, Jiang Zemin met with him. The Chinese official media gave enormous publicity to him. Professor Hawking's implicit atheist viewpoint is in line with CCP ideology, so China was set off on a "Hawking craze."
Professor Hawking was described by many modern day people as a scientific genius. However, the basic fact is that there existed many theories on the origin of the universe. Hawking's theory was only one hypothesis. During the "Hawking craze" some people mistook his theory for a final scientific conclusion, as if his theories of the "universe having an edge" and the "non-existence of god" had been proven conclusively. Professor Hawking said that even though he discovered how the the universe started, he had to admit, "I still don't know why it wanted to start." "Why it wanted to start" was the question Newton, Einstein and many other scientists pondered and were unable to resolve. People have called it a "god's topic," which is to say that this subject has exceeded the capacity of the human mind and science to fathom.
In recent years, the Big Bang theory has become a hot research subject. It is rumored that researchers have reached a point three seconds before the big bang. Does this mean that after studying these three seconds, everything would be just fine? Maybe we might discover an even larger universe. According to the Buddha school's ways of understanding, before the Big Bang, the universe had existed many times already. The universe human beings study today is only a very tiny universe. Such universes are countless. The small universes gathered together make a larger universe, layer upon layer. There are also different combinations of horizontal layers as well. The entire colossal firmament is immense and its complexity is beyond imagination. Universes of a particular layer have their own rules of motion, and the universes of every layer have their own forms of life.
We all know the expression "sky" or "heaven." But where is the sky? When we look up at the blue sky above our head, isn't it the sky? From the human perspective, the Moon is in the sky. However, if you look at the Earth from the Moon, isn't Earth in the sky? Therefore, the sky the human beings talk about is really still earth. The Buddha school contends that the real sky or "heavens" are in the microcosm. The molecular system is one layer of the heavens, atoms are another layer of the heavens and electrons are another layer. The more microcosmic the particle size, the larger the area of that particular world.
From such a point of view, human study of the universe is too insignificant to even be of value.
Interestingly enough, at present the models of the universe, as viewed by scientists who are exploring the secrets of the universe, have some similarities with the understanding of the Buddha school. No wonder some people wanted to study the mysterious oriental culture for inspiration in exploring the universe.
"Would you believe if I tell you that when you are reading this article, another you is doing the same thing? That you who is actually not you, also lives on a planet called the Earth where there are mountains, clouds, fertile land and cities that spread all over the land. The Solar system where that Earth is located has also 8 planets. That person lives in the exact same environment as you. Maybe he or she puts down this magazine while you are still reading it."
This is not superstition. It was published as a cover story on discussing multiple universes in issue No. 7 of the 2003 "Scientific American."
The article also says, in the history of science, with the expansion of the physical border, some abstract concepts that once belonged to metaphysics, for example, that the Earth is round, the existence of invisible electromagnetic waves, the slackening of time, curved space and black holes, etc., all exist. All these have already been included in the category of physics. During these years, the concept of multiple universes began to make its appearance in this detailed list.
The American scientific community didn't crack down on this kind of research, falsely labeling it as superstition to serve the political establishment. However, the CCP has done so. The CCP has followed a path just the opposite of the U.S.
3.3 Can we use a human mindset to think of the affairs of gods?
When pious believers say, "God is almighty," atheists raise their eyebrows and think, "Can the almighty God fashion a stone that he himself cannot move?"
The Russian atheist scholar mentioned in the preface of this article held a similar thought. If god exists, why doesn't he show his divine power? Ask him to demonstrate his powers for us! Don't gods have great abilities? Why not hand out retribution if earned? I insulted you, so I deserve retribution! Why doesn't it work this way?
There are even some atheists who are all in favor of studying the scriptures. They try to figure out the meaning of words and expressions. They would then home in on any contradiction, be amused at the absurdness of this particular contradiction and find what is being said without merit. Then they find a way for defamatory remarks and to mock the god or the buddha.
These atheists have a reason to be intoxicated by their own arrogant cleverness. They are convinced that when confronted with this "indisputable" logic, theists would feel embarrassed and come to their senses. However, what confounds the atheists is that despite the century long discussion contradicting theist beliefs, the belief in divine beings still exists among people. To those who believe, it is as if the criticism made by those "of superior thought" among the atheists has no logical foundation and is nonexistent.
As a matter of fact, atheist logic truly is nonexistent. Using human reasoning about matters of gods comes down to challenging gods. In the eye of theists, such logic is illogical.
As the soul of everything, man can manufacture a lot of "robots." But, in a world of "robots" there may be one day discussions of whether there are human beings. Those "robots," which do not believe in the existence of human beings, would say, I invite "people" to come forward. Why have they not come forward? No matter how "robots" dispute among each other, no matter how those "robots" that do not believe in the existence of "human beings" challenge and humiliate "robots" who believe in the existence of "human beings," we all know "robots" are really products created and manufactured by human beings. "Robots" may understand the nuts and bolts of how a robot is created, and be able to manufacture new "robots," but they will not gain a deep understanding as to why "robots" exist.
We could actually argue that the relationship between people and divine beings, and the relationship between "robot" and "people," are very much similar as far as the creation of life is concerned. If people want to understand matters of gods, they must try to put themselves in the position of a god.
3.4 When the occurrence of something conforms to the principles of the human realm, does it mean it does not manifest the will of gods?
Development of science enables people to understand things that they originally did not understand and gives people an explanation that suits human reasoning to a greater extent. This process, if explained by the words from atheism, is the process of constantly "doing away with superstitions." The atheist educational system of the CCP has pushed it to the point of denying the existence of gods and their teachings on morality.
This brings to mind a story from the past: Chinese people have always said, "Doing good deeds is met with good rewards." An ancient story goes as follows. During the Warring States Period there was a King of the Chu, called Hui. One day when he ate a pickled vegetable, he found a leech in it. If he picked it up and removed the leech, the cook would be put to death. Taking pity on the cook, he did not utter a word, but swallowed it with the vegetable. When having a bowel movement in the evening, King Hui of Chu not only expelled the leech, but also found that his stomachache had been healed.
There are levels within the law. Students learn calculus in high school all the way to university, but it talks about different things and has a process of moving from the concrete to the more abstract. However, we can't negate the validity of high-level understandings simply with a discovery at the low level.
Let's talk about "Doing good deeds is met with good rewards." The Buddha school says that doing good deeds can accumulate "de" (virtue). "De" is a kind of white substance, built up outside the human body. Talking about it in scientific terminology, it forms an energy field. This field is able to protect people to turn their ill luck into good. How does it make sure to let people turn their ill luck into good luck? Each time there must be a process that will fit within human thinking. To theism, when gods want to do something in the human world, they will certainly make use of the principles of the human world, because this layer of the human world is created by gods and is the manifestation of the wisdom of gods. How could people negate the will of gods when they discover the principles that gods follow to do things in the human world?
There are many examples of atheists negating theism by finding a principle in the human world. A lot of theories on molecules, genes, etc. have appeared in the theory of evolution. Even if these theories can offer some explanations for evolution, have we considered the possibility that molecules, genes, etc, are themselves tools used by gods for doing things in the human world?
Let's make an analogy with this little story about "robots." Let's assume that they were to hear a certain bell ringing every day. The ignorant robots of the early days would attribute it to "people" doing mischief. Gradually, some clever robots discovered how this ringing sound was produced. Reasoning for the world of robots came into existence. It turned out that there was something called a clock, which would produce the ringing sound at noon because of its mechanical ability to move the gears. After the robots discovered the secret of the bell ringing, they would no longer believe that men were doing mischief. This can be regarded as a low level reasoning. It is just like the men discovering the secret of thunder. After the discovery, they no longer believed that "the gods" produce thunder. However, if the robots want to take one step forward, they will use the discovery of the bell ringing sound to deny the existence of man. This, of course, has already gone too far. This is because that bell was really designed, produced and put there by man.
3.5 When something is "not capable of being confirmed to exist," does it mean that "it certainly does not exist?"
On February 26, 2004, the Curator of the Chinese Science and Technology Museum Wang Yusheng wrote an article in the "Report on Current Events," on behalf of the Propaganda Ministry of the CCP Central Committee, "As of today, there is no evidence that proves the existence of ghosts and gods. Therefore, theism theory is wide of the mark, is a delusion by mankind and turned the world outlook from clear and verifiable choices."
The existence of gods is a difficult topic to prove. Mankind has argued about it for thousands of years. However, in the view of Curator Wang, it became a very simple question, which could be resolved easily: Why is "theism" wrong? Because no evidence of the existence of gods was found.
Goldbach's Conjecture [announced in 1742 that "Every odd number greater than 5 can be written as the sum of three primes"] has never been proven. Can one assert that Goldbach's Conjecture is wrong? At the time when Curator Wang adhered closely to CCP's mass criticism he omitted to consider other "models" that CCP could utilize in favor of theism. He also did not follow the principles of the scientific method in coming to his conclusion.
Curator Wang's blunder is not based on the rightness or wrongness of his conclusion, but on his logic in interpreting the questions.
Curator Wang is not a "true" scholar. His article targeted Falun Gong. His words served as a theoretical endorsement for the persecution of Falun Gong and the genocide perpetrated by Jiang Zemin and his regime. His words are in reality another political mission by the Propaganda Ministry of the CCP Central Committee. This has by far exceeded the scope of academic research. His "logical mistake" can't be regarded as pure academic dispute, but as a lethal weapon.
(To Be Continued)