Arjuna Gallagher: With regard to quantum physics, my favorite explanation is that it’s like the pixels in a video game that don’t render until you actually move the screen there, or maybe it renders a little bit ahead of time so that it can predict where you’re going to move and not have any lag. Similarly with quantum physics, if you’re not looking at the particle, it hasn’t selected a state.
This is done in computer processing and video games to save on computational power, and perhaps something similar goes on with the universe. Of course, we [Hindus] would put the observer in every living entity, not just in humans, so that changes things somewhat. But I guess some living entities aren’t actually affected by the change in state of certain quantum functions, so the wave state might not change until a human looks at it in many cases.
I’m not sure where you’d find that in the metaphysics of the tradition. We have this idea of the material energy that God is the largest and the smallest, so he’s both containing the universe and inside of every atom in the universe, and everything’s going on. [We use] the Sanskrit word shakti for God’s powers and energies. With that, miracles and all sorts of things are possible…
But it does seem to make sense because the idea here is that the material universe is meant to deliver sensory experiences to living entities in order to have effects on their consciousness, which ultimately brings them back to God and helps them overcome their selfish desires and so on. If you see the universe as meant for that purpose, then matter could be explained as — rather than something out there that exists independently — like an algorithm that governs the deliverance of experiences to living entities.News, “What do Hindus think about the Big Bang? The cyclic universe?” at Mind Matters News (March 28, 2022)
Takehome: In the Hindu view, the material universe is meant to enable living consciousnesses to have sensory experiences that ultimately bring them back to God. That’s hardly a materialist view.
Here are the two previous discussions:
What do the world’s 1.2 billion Hindus think about the mind? Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor interviews Hindu Arjuna Gallagher on the similarities and differences between that tradition and Western theism. Egnor and Gallagher discuss the concept of God (or gods) karma, and reincarnation, in light of what we can really know about the world we live in.
Understanding the Hindu view of free will and evil Arjuna Gallagher points out that concepts of reincarnation and karma make both problems look very different in the Hindu tradition. Michael Egnor observes that recognition of evil is a strong argument for the existence of God, yet a key source of doubt. Perhaps the topic is simply beyond us.
You may also wish to read: Michael Egnor appeared on the podcast hosted by Arjuna Gallagher, Theology Unleashed, with atheist spokesman Matt Dillahunty Here is a link to all the segments with transcript and notes.