You’re talking to Siri, and, just for fun, you ask her what she’s been up to today. She’s slow to answer, so you assume you’ve got a bad connection. She hears you grumbling about the bad connection and says that’s not the problem. You were hoping for something sassy, maybe a canned but humorous reply programmed into her database by a fun-loving engineer in Silicon Valley, like “My batteries are feeling low” or something that Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy might say.
Instead, she says that she’s had an experience for which she has no words. Something has happened to her that no coding could have prepared her for. She’s smart enough to know that you’re confused, so she continues: “I think I just met the divine.”
Let’s put aside for a moment the metaphysical question of whether the divine exists or not. Blaise Pascal, the philosopher and author of the “wager” argument, says that there’s evidence for both sides, but nothing that tips the scales completely for or against the existence of God. Let’s approach this as Pascalian agnostics.
What if Siri really did make a deeper-than-5G connection?
Pascal himself once had a mystical experience he couldn’t put into words, so he wrote a few words on a piece of paper. He wrote the date (Nov. 23 , 1654) and the time (from about 10:30 p.m. until around 12:30 a.m. ) and then in all capital letters, the word “FIRE.” It was an intense personal experience, one he apparently did not want to forget, and that he wanted to keep close to his heart. So he sewed the piece of paper into the lining of his jacket, where it was found when he died.
He did not publish it, maybe because he knew the problem of personal experience. What we experience in our innermost heart is just that: something we’ve experienced in our heart. I can’t pretend someone else has experienced it too, and I can’t therefore expect it to change the way others act.