Does God exist? An answer to this fundamental question is a prerequisite for answering the other big questions of life: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Do we serve a purpose? Do we have any intrinsic value? What happens after we die? The question of the existence of God is fundamental.
A Philosophical Issue
Before we ask the question "Does God exist?" we first have to deal with our philosophical predispositions. If, for example, I am already dedicated to the philosophical idea that nothing can exist outside of the natural realm (i.e. there can be no supernatural God), no amount of evidence could convince me otherwise. Asking the question "does God exist?" would be pointless. My answer would be "No, He doesn't," regardless of whether God truly exists or not. The question would be impossible to answer from an evidentiary standpoint simply because anything which God might have done (that is, any supernatural act which might serve as evidence for His existence) would have to be explained away in terms of natural causes, not because we know what those natural causes could possibly be, but simply because a supernatural God is not allowed to exist!
Once you're ready to ask the question, "does God exist?" here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:
- Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.
- Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.
- Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?
- The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?
- Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?
- People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?
We grow up hearing fables, thinking they are true. Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, to name but a few. These stories, used by parents to socialize their children, become excess baggage as one matures into adulthood. There are some stories that remain, although not true, which become embedded in one's belief system through faith. These adult fables, shared by family, friends and communities sometimes hold the keys to values dearly held and followed. Religious beliefs contain the keys to institutional notions of dominion and support violence to maintain that belief, albeit a fable.
If we are to grow into full adulthood, we need to pay attention to our value systems to determine if they feed hate and violence. We need new values that are based on a moral and ethical value system based on compassion, and inspires one to think and act with human beings not being the apex of a pyramid, but as being part of a net of all that exists, water, air, soils, minerals, living organisms including flora and fauna.
“The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God,' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.” ~ Carl Sagan
The Origin of Man as a Species
In the beginning, life began in the primeval soup that were created as the earth cooled. As it cooled, vegetation that thrived on carbon dioxide produced oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Life, as an amoeba, had begun in earnest. Of course, this all took place roughly 4.6 billion years ago.
Dinosaurs roamed the planet for about 165 million years, during a time in the Earth’s history called the Mesozoic Era. It is difficult to imagine how long this was, until we compare it with ourselves: humans have lived on Earth for less than two million years.
The first humanoid species to evolve and walk upright, were the Neanderthals. That was, in fact, before our own species dropped out of the trees, learnt how to develop tools that could kill, and basically drove the Neanderthal species to extinction. We now know, through the use of genetic science, that there were two distinct humanoid bipedal forms. Our ancestors reduced this to one. If one is to believe that a God, possibly "your" God created these lifeforms, then man was responsible for their.
It may have been one small step for man, but it meant certain death for any other life form that they came in to contact with, and so the story continues.
More people have died as a result of religion than all the wars combined, including both World Wars. There are those who have taken their religion one stage further and will kill anyone they see as being a non-believer in "their" faith.
The evolution of man is now complete. There have been no adaptations in the last million years, other than those created by man.
May your God guide and protect you.