God…To Be Or Not To Be
As John Lennon once sang… “Imagine…” Imagine there were no Holy Books. Imagine, no Bibles. Imagine, no Old Testament. Imagine, no New Testament, no Talmud, no Torah, no Koran and no other books that man claims God wrote through the inspired penmanship of man. What then??? Is there a God or isn’t there a God???
Without a single reference to a single Holy Book, how would the conversation, “does God exist”???… proceed??? Does God exist or not exist??? Is God a fairy tale or a reality??? Was God made up to control the masses??? Was God made up to control the keys to the ebb and the flow of earthly kingdoms??? How do we humans sort out one “belief”… there is a God, from the other (atheist) “belief”… there is no God??? Translated, how do we humans decide which of the two mutually exclusive “beliefs” to accept???… knowing full well that neither belief is provable beyond a reasonable doubt???
I approach these questions with no preferred answer, with no “confirmation bias” directing me toward one answer over another answer and without any attempt to direct the conversation to any pre-conceived result that I want to see. I have no pre-existing need for a God to exist or not exist. I am not a missionary trying to convert anyone. I am not a “born again,” evangelical proposing to dominate other belief systems with mine. I am just one human being, starting a conversation and asking the rhetorical question… “What’s it all about, Alfie”??? (1966 film starring Michael Caine with title song, Alfie, written by Burt Bacharach and sung by Dionne Warwick). “What’s it all about, Alfie”??? When you sort it out, what’s it all about… Alfie???
DILEMMA # ONE… GOD OR NO GOD… EITHER POSITION IS JUST A “BELIEF”…
One day, mankind stood up on two legs, and, for the first time, looked out toward the horizon and then scanned the heavens above and silently asked in a primitive, long lost language… who started all this??? The answer for us modern humans (living in our present state of ignorance) is???… the “Big Bang” of course. As the scientists of today concur, the “Big Bang” started all that we see and all that we don’t see (but that we know is there through the application of mathematics, physics, astronomy, logic, deductive reasoning and interpretation of high-powered telescopes). The unwavering consensus among scientists???… the Big Bang started it all, over 13 billion years ago. But, that’s only a half answer. Searching for a full answer requires us to ask… “who lit the match”???
We must realize, upfront, that any attempt to answer the question of “who lit the match” will necessarily leave us in the midst of two, mutually exclusive, unprovable “beliefs” and leave us with a choice to accept one “unprovable belief”… God exists… or, alternatively, accept the other (atheistic) “unprovable belief”… God does not exist. Our search begins by seeking help from the inherited gifts of our evolutionary birthright… our evolutionary “telescopic mind,” our evolutionary inheritance of logic and deductive reasoning which we employ to look at and weigh the “probabilities” and see whether… it is more probable than not that God exists???… or more probable than not that God doesn’t exist???
TAKING A LOOK AT PROBABILITIES...
On one side of the argument, we have theoretical belief #1… no God i.e. the “Big Bang” started out of a complete void of “nothingness” with the instrumentality of “nobody” and expanded into an ever-expanding universe of “everything” eventually producing us “highly intelligent” forms of life on planet earth (and, perhaps, other intelligent life, on other similarly situated “goldilocks” planets). That “out of nothingness” Big Bang which became everything by the way of the instrumentality of “nobody”… is a theoretical belief that defies any sense of human logic, deductive reasoning or rational belief— although apparently famed scientist, Stephen Hawking, accepted this (“there is no God”) “belief.” But, remember Hawking is human, he doesn’t know anything more than the rest of us about the philosophical (metaphysical) question of God and Hawking has previously admitted to at least one huge scientific mistake in his past i.e. that everything swallowed up by a black hole must be lost forever. Also remember, science “believes” black holes exist, but black holes cannot be seen and astronomers and physicists have yet to scientifically prove that black holes exist. Ditto for “dark matter” and “dark energy” which (according to science theory) predominates in quantity well beyond the visible matter and visible energy of the Universe.
So, do you believe (as the atheist Hawking did… and remember “believe” is the operative word)… repeat, do you “believe” that the Big Bang started out of nothing, with no instrumentality lighting the match and proceeded to us humans of planet earth and everything else in the ever-expanding Universe (or everything else that may exist in parallel Universes… if they even exist)??? Hard to logically accept that premise of catapulting from the nothingness before the Big Bang to the everything-ness after the “Big Bang”… through the instrumentality of nothing.
On the other side of the argument, there is theoretical belief #2… the Supreme Being theory. The Supreme Being theory, although not subject to scientific proof either, is a hell of a lot more plausible, logical and believable than the (opposite) theory that one day 13 billion years ago, “nothing” started the Big Bang and that “nothingness” turned into an ever-expanding Universe of “everything”… through the instrumentality of “nobody.” As I say, a Supreme Being lighting the match, seems to fit the “probabilities” more logically and deductively than the opposite probability and “belief” that “nobody” or nothing lit the match.
So, in my present ignorance (and in the present state of scientific ignorance in 2018 A.D.), which “belief” (and, again, the operative word is “belief”)… repeat, which “belief” is sounder, more logical, more plausible and “more likely than not”???… the one belief that says out of “nothingness” through the instrumentality of nobody came “everything” (the ever-expanding universe and intelligent life)??? Or, do you gravitate toward the other belief that says a Supreme Being existed before the “Big Bang” and that Supreme Being lit the match to the “Big Bang”??? While you figure out which of the two mutually exclusive beliefs you choose to “believe” in, let’s consider a follow-up question re who is this Supreme Being???… a man, a woman, a Dali Lama, a black hole, gravity, a magnetic force, an energy force, a gravitational force, a quasar (the second most brilliant light in the universe), love (the brightest light in the Universe), etc. That is the next question to logically take a stab at.
DILEMMA # TWO… WHO IS THIS SUPREME BEING???
Starting with the “more likely than not” premise that a Supreme Being lit the match for the Big Bang, the question now becomes who or what is this Supreme Being??? What kind of Supreme Being??? By definition, a Supreme Being (who lit the match for the “Big Bang” that led to the creation of the Universe and mankind)… repeat, by definition, that Supreme Being must have what human beings have i.e. intellect, emotion, feelings, personalty, etc… or the Supreme Being wouldn’t be “Supreme” and capable of lighting a match on a cosmic scale that led to you and me… intelligent, emotional, feeling human beings with diverse personalities. Translated, if we humans have attributes that God lacks (emotions, feelings, personality, etc) then that (lacking) God by the very definition of “Supreme” would not (and could not) be the Supreme Being.
BOTTOM LINE… THE VOTE ON THE PROBABILITIES…
The bottom line… Does God exist??? Apparently, nobody can prove the existence (or the non-existence of God) one way or the other… even though Einstein spent hours on his death bed unsuccessfully trying to prove the existence of God, mathematically. But, the exercise of human logic and deductive reasoning seem to support a “belief” in the existence of a God or the Supreme Being… and that logic and deductive reasoning appears to me to be sounder, more logical, more plausible, more believable and more acceptable than the contrary (atheistic) “belief” against the existence of God. And, having spent a life time as a Trial Lawyer, I say with confidence that… if a Jury were impaneled to determine whether God exists, I think the Jury (although not capable of giving a definitive answer) would have to conclude that the logical proofs show that it is “more likely than not” that there is a God. That doesn’t mean there is, but it does mean the evidence for the existence of God is stronger than the evidence against the existence of God. So be it.
Maybe the very struggle I have described is brought about because, by definition, we humans with finite minds cannot bridge the logical gap between the infinite mind of God and the finite mind of us humans. Example. I tried to explain this conversation to my dog Shadow this morning, but she just looked at me with a blank stare… kind of like us trying to bridge the gap between our finite minds and the infinite mind of a Supreme Being.
This piece about the existence of God may not be the “tightest” piece I ever wrote, but it is one of the more interesting ones. Okay, I have reached the outer limits of my own logic, deductive reasoning, analysis and communication ability and I am spent. Come over here Shadow dog and tell me about your world of simplicity… eat, sleep, get petted and, everyone once and awhile, outside to the bathroom… never having to foresee and accept your own mortality or having to draft a will or a trust leaving behind your unused dog biscuits for your puppies.