Monday, January 11, 2016

A Lighthearted Discussion on the Necessity of a Divine Creator - Part One

Why do intelligent people believe in God?

It is the belief of this believer that belief in God is an intrinsic feature within every human, and that that belief is either bolstered or weakened by circumstances and information throughout one’s life, until that individual becomes convinced to believe one way or the other. So, all of the subjective reasons that a person might list for believing or not believing are merely the strengthening, or else the weakening of a belief which has been there since that person began living.

Scriptural support for this belief is derived both from my understanding of who God is and what He is like, and from the whole counsel of the Word of God, but is primarily rooted in this one amazing revelation, found in Ecclesiastes 3:11.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

What does it mean to “set eternity in the hearts of men (meaning, all people)?” It’s not all that difficult to figure out. This means that God has given every human an instinctual belief, anchored to the heart (figuratively), not the mind, in eternity. Every person begins life with a desire to persist after we leave this mortal coil. It’s not that we all necessarily want to live forever in the same way which we currently do, but that we long for an improved and everlasting existence.

This belief in eternity is intricately tied to a belief in an eternal being, for without an infinite, uncaused cause, there is no explanation for finite beings coming into existence with an intrinsic belief in the eternal.

I could honestly write all day about the theological and scriptural reasons I believe the way I do, but I actually wanted to speak more about the intellectual and logical reasons to believe in God rather than why I believe all people intrinsically do believe in God. Before I jump into that, it is worth noting that there have been quite a few studies at the university level – Oxford, to name one – which have shown that a belief in God/gods and the afterlife is not learned, but rather that humanity seems to be wired or programmed for such belief.

Again, this is not the purpose for me writing today, so I’ll leave this subject for another time. My goal here and now is to simply enumerate some of the reasons why belief in God is more reasonable than not. However . . . I have gone on for a bit too long already with my introduction, so I think I’ll pick a short one, and then do a few more in subsequent blog posts on this subject.

I will be utilizing logic, personal knowledge, and a healthy dose of Ockham’s Razor in my reasoning. To begin, I’ll pose my primary question which will get the ball rolling, and then it’s all downhill:

  • Where did the universe come from?

Before we attempt to answer that question, let’s ask ourselves several more:

  • What is nothing?
  • What is something?
  • What do we understand about explosions?
  • What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
  • Is an infinite regress actually possible?

We could probably go on and on with questions like these, but I’m not trying to write a book, here. This is just one layman pouring his thoughts into the internet, with the hope that someone will find some illumination within the words.

Alright, so nothing, I think we can all agree, is the complete absence of anything at all. It is literally ‘no-thing.’ Now, I shouldn’t have to try too hard to convince you, good reader, that we have never observed something arising from nothing. In fact, we have never observed ‘nothing.’ Everywhere we look there is something. Even if you can’t see it with your naked eyes – and why aren’t your eyes dressed? – there is something there.

Also, empty space itself is not nothing. See, again nothing is no-thing. Empty space is something, so it cannot be nothing. That’s the Law of Non-contradiction working for us there.

I ask you, as an intellectual mind inhabiting a human meat suit, if we don’t ever observe something coming from nothing – a thing, be it a star or a butterfly or a dental hygienist or a jar of peanut butter, popping into existence, then what could possibly convince a thinking person, even a barely-thinking-person, that EVERYTHING popped into existence?

It didn’t pop into existence; you say? It exploded into existence!

Right, well I don’t want to insult your intellect by responding this way, but we have never observed anything ‘exploding’ into existence either. We have never observed nothing explode at all. Nothing, in fact, cannot explode… because, well, it’s nothing. Nothing can do nothing because nothing is no-thing. It does not exist. 

Nothing is what rocks dream about. (Aristotle said that, sucka!)

The running ‘theory’ (read: wild speculation), however, is that nothing didn’t explode; it is that something, namely ‘swirling gases’ in the form of what is known as the ‘singularity,’ popped into existence, then that exploded, so really we’re right back to square one. But listen, for the sake of argument I’ll just work from the stance that maybe, juuuuuust maybe, one time, a long, long time ago, nothing exploded.

And that is where we will pick up next time.

Until then, peace, love, and a third thing.

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