Essay – Schönheit und Naturgesetze (2009)

Ich möchte die Gelegenheit des öffentlichen Auslagerns meiner Textarbeit endlich nutzen. Beginnend möchte ich daher 3 Essays aus 2008/2009 in meinen Blog stellen. Alle 3 Essays sind philosophische Essays und sind im Kontext des Bundeswettbewerbs Philosophischer Essay entstanden.

Die beiden anderen Essays findet Ihr hier:

“Ranten gegen Popper” – 5. Dezember 2008

“Vom Scheitern” – 29. November 2009 

Der folgende Text ist ein Essay den ich am 12. Februar 2009 in der zweiten Runde des Bundeswettbewerbs Philosophischer Essay geschrieben habe. Letzten Endes wurde er mit dem 4. Platz ausgezeichnet und ich bin immer noch ziemlich stolz auf das. was ich in diesen morgendlichen 4 Stunden damals zustande gebracht habe. Ich hatte mich dabei für ein Zitat von Carl von Weizäcker entschieden, in dem er seine Zerissenheit zwischen der Schönheit des Universums und ein em damit einhergehenden Gottesbeweis und dessen Entzauberung durch die physikalischen Naturgesetze illustrierte. Ich habe in diesem Essay versucht, eine Brücke dazwischen zu schlagen. Mit der Hilfe von Schrödingers Katze, unsterblichen Affen und dem Pale Blue Dot.

Rechtschreibfehler und Grammatikfehler seien verziehen. Damals war ich noch in der 12. Klasse. 😉

“God was somehow present in the ineffable beauty of the star-filled-sky. However, I knew at the same time that the stars were just balls of gas, consisting of atoms that were merely complying with the laws of physics. The gulf separating these truths cannot be insurmountable. But how can it be bridged? ”

– Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker

Is it futile to establish a connection between the existence of a creator who planned the universe, and the apparent arbitrariness of the universe evoked by unseen laws of nature? Von Weizsäcker was proposing at the year of twelve that it is no futile attempt, but also a seemingly impossible task given that the thought they contradicted each other, but at the same time considered the two of them to be absolutely true. Thus, he concluded, God and physics had to coexist, but he was unsure how. In the following, I will try to “bridge” “the gulf separating these truths.”

I. Little Carl

But before that, a clarification of Little Carl’s truths has to commence. The first truth is the truth of God’s existence. How is he so firm about this fundamental question? “The sky at night is so beautiful that it can only count towards the existence of a creator”, he would promptly answer, giving a teleological argument. In fact, the night-sky of our planet was always described as having connections to or being creative achievement of God(s). Odin tore out his eye which became the moon afterwards, for example, thus the moon instantly became a divine watcher in the sky. When opposed to modern theories and knowledge regarding the moon, it quickly becomes invalid, de-mystified by science.

This de-mystification is also Carl’s second truth and the cause of his conflict: Science, namely the same science which turned Odin’s Eye into a cold, dusted ball with no life at all. This science is transforming the beauty of the sky into the balls of gas’ lights, which are in turn composed of atoms. Science is thus exposing the laws of nature and stripping away all transcendental notions. The church deemed such activities heretic. As opposed to Weizsäcker, they argued dogmatically, but the premise is still identical.

The moment everything we perceive is explained scientifically, one may argue that at the first glance, the truth of Sensuality and Rationality inhabit a different domain of thought and occupy contrary positions. This can be visualized by a certain thought-experiment.

II. A Cat and a Pale Blue Dot. And what Carl could learn from them.

From a theoretical point of view, he held both truths to be self-evident. But when he began to question the truthfulness, he approached “Schroedinger’s Cat in a Box”.

The thought experiment of “Schroedinger’s Cat” is pointing out that, among possible realities, all of them can coexist as long as we are not actively influencing them. The moment we decide to do so and start to observer will result in only one reality prevailing. As paradoxical Weizsäcker’s conflict of Rationality and Sensuality appears, it could be called akin to Schroedinger’s paradox of the half-death and half-living cat. An unsolvable problem? This is the core of the dilemma.

The task of this essay will be the negation of the Cat in the Box.
But how do we vanquish a paradox?

In accordance of achieving it, we will now accompany Little Carl on a spontaneous field trip.

Our first stop is roughly 3000 light-years away, amid the Eta-Carina-Nebula. In essence a birthplace of stars. When Carl would see it, he surely would call it an exemplar example for the beauty created by God in the sky.
“How could such a gorgeous ocean of colours not be made with a clear intent?!”

Then we arrive 6 billion kilometers far from earth, somewhere in the vicinity of the solar system. From this place, if I may call it so, a picture was taken in the early 90’s of the last century called “Family Portrait”. It was proposed by the astronomer Carl Sagan and succeeded in taking a picture of almost every planet of the solar system, also Earth. “From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest” he wrote after seeing Earth’s part now called Pale Blue Dot. As the name implied, it showed Earth surrounded by the space’s darkness, blue and one-quarter pixel big. Little Carl would be astonished: “Where is God in this picture? Why is Earth without beauty?”

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. But it is not only a subjective term – It is also depending on the circumstances of the observation. As these two examples point out, the concept of a clearly planned environment is not by any means related to the observer. From different viewpoints, statements can be made. But Carl made a logical error when he developed the basic assumption that one perceiving subject, namely himself, could see God’s signature ion the sky from one particular point of view. From another viewpoint, this could possibly probe different.

We will now welcome him into a fictional room of infinite mass, filled with an infinite number of apes, sitting in front of infinite typewriters, with, you guessed right, infinite time and life-span at their deposal. This will be the Cat’s requiem and salvation. Another thought-experiment.

III. The Infinite Room of Monkeys.

Although I now criticized him, there is still no ultimate justification of why he should abandon the Cat. The Room of Monkeys is thus used to cut the connection of planning and beauty. Since it is possible that during this infinite time, one of the monkeys accidentally writes “Hamlet”, we can also safely conclude that the animal did not have anything in his mind while playing with the typewriter. Still, Hamlet is a highly regarded piece of drama, and the conducted deconstruction by the readers will yield appropriate interpretations like the original. When a computer is “writing” (in fact he is just lining words into a row) a poem using a certain programme, there is still a point in interpreting.

It is true that God’s existence is heavily attacked by this power of randomness. But, as it is also pointed out by the Room of Monkeys, there does not have to be a connection of Rationality and Sentimentality. They are no polar opposites.

And Schroedinger’s Cat is rendered impossible to use, since the coexistence is assured. God and Science – Harmony attained.

Jan Schnorrenberg – Humboldt-Gymnasium Solingen (11. Februar 2009 – 8:20 – 12:20)

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