Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writer's Block: Richard C. Johnson

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM

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Local author Richard C. Johnson examines religion, God and human consciousness in Religion: The Failed Narrative: Clashing Religious Doctrine and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism. (55 pages, $11.95 on Amazon)

He writes, "I discuss religion and science in parallel as worldviews and grand narratives. I am seeking discussion about why we should continue to rely so heavily on religion for direction when it doesn't provide reliable answers to some of our most vexing social and environmental problems."

Book synopsis (by the author):

Adam Carley, an information scientist, published a proposed mechanism for consciousness in a l994 article appearing in Free Inquiry. The article, “What is Consciousness,” in effect summarizes work done to date by Dennett, Minsky and others — but extends this work by offering a workable model. Consciousness is presented as a sensation — baffling, yet integral to social interaction. Using the hologram (visual, empty image) as a metaphor, I extend this idea to a mechanism for God, proposing that the supernatural is but an artifact of consciousness. I suggest that the image of the self, as well as an elusive God, are aptly represented as holograms.

I set out to prove the hologram mechanism by looking at conflict. In science, we arrive at workable theories by factoring away contradiction. Conflict is an indication that a hypothesis is probably wrong. In religion, virtually no claim is viable because the God hypothesis is incorrect (he’s just a hologram rather than a force in the physical world). The pandemic conflict associated with religion indicates that it is a failed narrative. Science, on the other hand, presents a credible narrative because it is essentially conflict free.

Religion: The Failed Narrative explains how God arises (hologram) and why the story religion tells (conflict) needs to be disregarded if we are to survive as a viable species. Additional chapters discuss the failure of interfaith dialogue and why Christians and Muslims need to get to the root of their differences through honest discussion which, in the end, will ask them to examine and eventually discard their faith.

Dan Barker, co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has referred to my book as a “call for a saner, safer world, free from religious conflict.”


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Author bio (from the author):

I was brought up as a Protestant and later converted to Catholicism after I married. I was interested in science at an early age becoming a research chemist on completing a Ph.D. I see the world in terms of science that is successfully describing nature with its narrative. I don’t accept religion as a separate realm; rather as a part of our physical world, religion also must follow orderly rules to be ultimately credible. Here, religion fails.

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