Wednesday 11 September 2013

Does God really exist?

Ever since humans have walked on Earth, they have asked themselves, “Is there a god that is superior to us?” There have been approximately 50 billion humans on Earth since humans began walking on two legs so it follows that they have all asked themselves that same question.                                               

Can anyone claim that they have seen God? Some may make that claim but they are probably insane. As far as I know, no one has ever legitimately made that claim. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no God. I have never seen Australia so it follows that that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

The question of whether or not God exists has far reaching implications. For example, if such a creator exists, new questions arise such as; “Why did He create us?” and “Did he create other beings on other planets?” along with, “How was God created?”  
The first argument in favor of believing in the existence of God seeks to prove the existence of God from the fact that the universe exists. The universe came into existence from a very small spot in the distant past. Nothing can come into existence, though, unless there is something to bring it into existence since nothing comes from nothing. There must therefore be some being outside of the universe that caused the universe to exist. This argument, if it is successful, demonstrates the existence of a Creator that transcends time that has neither a beginning nor an end.  
The second argument seeks to prove the existence of God from the fact that our universe is ordered. The universe that we are in could have been different in the past from the way that it is now. There can be many universes other than just our own. Each can have different laws of physics. They can have a different arrangement of planets and stars. Each could have begun with a more powerful or a weaker big bang. The vast majority of these possible universes may not have allowed for the existence of life. From an atheistic point of view, there is no way to explain this good fortune for those of us that live in our own universe. The religious fundamentalists on the other hand believe that although they can’t explain why the universe is the way that it is, they believe that their God created the universe with beings like us in mind. This argument, if it is successful, strongly suggests the existence of a Creator that takes an interest in humanity.

There clearly are certain claims that we know are false without even having to look into them to find out. Some people claim to have made a four-sided triangle, or to promote a claim that humans were twenty feet tall when they began walking on two legs of which both claims that are obviously false. We know that triangles have only three sides and we know that no one has ever been that tall so there is no need to spend time looking for four-sided triangles or the bones of twenty-foot humans.

However, we must not forget that what appeared to our ancestors as being absolutely impossible; such as flying in the air faster than sound, splitting the atom, seeing stars billions of light years away, is within the realm of believability in this current era we are in. As humans, we have learned to progress forward in our ways of thinking.

The Catholic Church believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe and it imprisoned the astronomer, Galileo for disputing that fact. If we as humans hadn’t progressed as far as we have, all atheists who denied the existence of God would be burned at the stake in the town squares. The admiral in charge of explosives and ammunition for the America navy during World War Two declared that the atomic bomb wouldn’t explode. Even Winston Churchill, the leader of Great Britain during that war, said that all that atomic energy would be able to do is operate a cart for a peanut vender. Mathematicians for centuries maintained that it was considered a mathematical impossibility to trisect an angle with a compass and ruler and yet in 1969, I was the first person to trisect the right angle with a compass and ruler and twenty years later, a man also living in Toronto trisected the obtuse and acute angles with a compass and ruler.

We have to adjust our ways of thinking and look carefully into beliefs that may be outdated or highly suspicious of not being valid anymore.                                  

When I was a young child, I went to Sunday School and when I was ten and eleven years old, I sang in two church choirs and I sang in more church choirs after that until I was eighteen years of age. Later, I was the assistant organist of a church in Toronto. It goes without saying that I heard a great many religious teachings during those years. I was truly a Christian who believed in the existence of God. However, later when I was in my thirties, I became an agnostic, someone who believes in a superior being but not one as defined by Christianity. While in my thirties, I met an atheist and as I listened to him, I thought to myself; what foolishness. But as the years went by, I too eventually became an atheist. Let me explain why.

The church taught me that God loved the world so much that he gave the world his only begotten son, Jesus. After a while, I asked myself; “Why didn’t he love the billions of people who died violently in wars? Why didn’t he loved millions of small children who died of illnesses? Why didn’t he save the hundreds of people in the Italian village years ago who were praying to him just as the roof fell on them during an earthquake? Why didn’t he save the hundreds of people in the church in the town of St.Pierre, on the island of Martinique in May 1902 when the volcano, Pelee exploded and incinerated them along with everyone else in that town? What was he doing when his priests were raping little children and his imams were promoting terrorism against innocent people?” I could go on for the rest of my life asking that question and not come up with any other answer than to say that they were praying to nothing, a nonentity.

There is a favorite saying in the army. It goes like this: “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Despite their prayers, a great many soldiers died in their foxholes while praying to whom they believed was God. Admittedly, many people have prayed for a miracle when they were in the throes of death and have survived. But is it not possible that they would have survived anyhow even if they didn’t pray to whomever  they believed was their God?

Religious leaders and their followers think of God as being perfect, (that is part of the concept of God) and for this reason, we must therefore think of God as a superior being that cannot be imagined to be less than anyone who has ever been conceived as a human being no matter how frail in body and mind that person may be. If God doesn’t exist, then we can’t argue that he is perfect. It’s like saying that a stick of wood is perfect. If the stick of wood is used for a purpose such as a rung in a chair and it does its job in the manner to which it was formed, then we could say that it is perfect. But if it fails to do what it was formed to do, and for this reason, it is flawed, then it isn’t perfect.

What is God’s role? (if there really is one) Create human beings? If that was one of his purposes, he failed miserably because humans are terribly flawed as beings. I know that we are taught that God left us humans to our own devices. He supposedly gave us our wills to do as we wish.

Let me ask you these rhetorical questions. If you are a parent and you see your children fighting, do you watch as a disinterested bystander or do you intercede and try to get them to resolve their differences? If you see your child setting fire to your neighbour’s child’s toy, do you ignore him or do you stop him and tell him that what he is doing is wrong and why it is wrong? If God loves us all as his children, then why is he standing about as a disinterested bystander as humans kill other humans by the millions?   
If the evil in the world was intended by God, then as I see it, he is not good. If it violates his original intentions of bringing goodness to us, then he is not almighty. God can't be both almighty and good. There are many objections to this, but none that holds since God is ultimately responsible for the existence of evil as well as the good in all of us. If somebody else such as the devil created evil then how can we know that God and not Satan created the universe? Most religions preach that the universe was not created by God to be good. They preach that God created the universe as a temporary testing site for creatures to choose to love him or reject him. They say that God is good but that  he has allowed all his creatures free-will to do whatever they want within their limited dimensionality. I treat that kind of preaching the same way I treat garbage. I throw it out.                                                            

There are some questions about God that simply cannot be explained. For example; if the Big Bang (when all the stars and everything else in the universe were as small as a pinpoint and then exploded as a big bang and shot outwards through space) occurred 14 billion light years ago as the scientists now believe, where was God before that occurred? How long did he exist before the Big Bang? Why did he wait until 14 billion light years ago before he set off the Big Bang?  What existed before God?  Is God a man, a woman or a thing? Was God created in the image of Man as shown in pictures painted by Man? Did God come from somewhere outside of our universe?   
The moral argument in support of the belief of the existence of God which is also called the anthropological argument, is based on the moral consciousness and the history of Mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God. According to that argument, religious belief and human history verifies that there is a God that judges everything on Earth.   
Must we believe everything that the scriptures tell us? If it is hard to believe that Adam and Eve were the first humans to walk on the Earth, that there was a flood in Noah’s time when the entire surface of the Earth was under water and that Moses through God’s assistance, actually split the Red Sea open so that the Israelites could walk to the other side of that body of water, then why not believe that God really exists? I will tell you why. Because none of those stories are true. (see my previous articles on those particular issues)

When Christians claim that the God of the Bible created all the basic entities of life and the universe, some will ask what seems to be a logical question: “Who created God?” That too is another question that can never be explained unless of course you are prepared to readily admit that God was created solely in the minds of human beings.

Is it possible to prove that God does not exist? Of course not. We do not possess all possible facts nor is it ever going to be likely that we ever will.
It is important to correctly describe the God of Christianity, since arguing against the existence of a lesser god is not relevant. Therefore, for the sake of accuracy, in arguing against the existence of the Christian God, one must rely upon what the Bible claims as attributes of this God, regardless of whether or not one accepts the Bible as being true.                                       

The Bible says the universe cannot contain God which therefore indicates that he must exist and operate in dimensions of space and time other than those to which we are confined. The Bible also says God created time and was acting before time began thereby confirming that God exists in at least two dimensions of time. A single dimension of time (a line) has a beginning point and can only travel in one direction. Two dimensions of time (a plane) has no beginning or ending so that a being existing in such a plane would be free to move to any point along any line of time within that plane. If God created the universe, he was acting before the creation of time, therefore indicating that he exists in at least two dimensions of time. If God existed in only one dimension of time, then he would have had to have been created at one point. The Bible says God was not created, but has existed from the beginning of eternity to beyond eternity, if these two descriptions of time are possible.  
According to the theories of particle physics and relativity, at least nine dimensions of space existed at the creation of the universe. God must be able to operate in all of those nine dimensions in order to have created the universe—providing of course if he is almighty with omniscient powers that are unlimited. Of course, this is all conjecture since we can’t be absolutely that God actually exists now or ever existed in the past.                                                   

I don’t want to condemn those who honestly believe in the teachings of Holy Scriptures. Many wise things have been written in them and if humans could for the most part live with them and follow these teachings, there would be less crime and war to contend with. 

But alas, most wars and crimes against humanity have been done in the name of God. I can’t help but wonder that if no one believed in the existence of God, would our world be a better place to live in? That question like others that I raised in this article is one that can never be fully explained to everyone’s satisfaction. Look to your God for your answer; if he, she or it can ever be found.

I know what some of you are thinking. This man isn't going to heaven when he dies. Well you will find this interesting, Pope Francis recently said this about atheists;

"God will forgive them as long as they behave morally and live according to their consciences. The question for those who don't believe in God is to follow their own conscious. Sin, even for a non-believer is when one goes against one's conscience. To listen and follow your own conscience means that you will understand the difference between good and evil . The mercy of God has no limits.

I accidentally erased this article I had put in my blog on September 7th. There were 33 hits then. I am now replacing it as today's article.  

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