I’m so lost and directionless the only thing I can find with any substance to use as a starting point is that most famous of phrases ‘Let there be light’…
There are only 2 tools I have available to help me find a reasonable answer to this question.
- Empirical evidence (knowledge through experience), i.e. 1 + 1 = 2
- Logical reasoning (the most likely answer) i.e. 1 + ? = 2
Every human that has ever lived can be roughly divided into those that believe in a god/s, higher entity, first mover, and those who don’t.
As far as ‘I know’, not a single person throughout the course of recorded history has provided a shred of evidence that can be scientifically verified as proof that god either exists or doesn’t.
If humanity is not (at present) able to either categorically prove or disprove god’s existence the next thing to look at is why so many people believe there is a god in the first place.
Faith: all you need to do is look at the symmetry and construction of the universe around you to see that there must be an (as of yet) unseen force guiding everything in creation.
Science: the symmetry and construction of the universe is quite simply the natural result of billions of years of evolution.
Faith: it’s impossible for me to explain but I can ‘feel’ and ‘see’ the hand of the creator in every aspect of my life.
Science: cultural anthropology has shown that all societies have a ‘fundamental need’ to create a reason why we are here resulting in the ‘man made’ creation of the many different, and often conflicting ‘supreme entity’ and ‘creation’ stories.
Faith: the thought that death really is the end, and the ‘essence’ of everything that comprises ‘me’ as an individual ceases to exists is simply too terrible to accept, for if this is true, there is no point to ‘anything’.
Science: simply wanting something to be true is not enough no matter how many people believe it, there must be some form of evidence which at the very least, points towards the ‘possible’ existence of a guiding intelligence.
In search of god
Using questions and answers it first appears to be ‘Faith vs Science’. If looked at closely however it becomes obvious that science isn’t denying the existence of god at all, it is simply doing what it’s designed to do, and looking for evidence and answers that will ultimately empower all of humanity.
So if science is in the process of looking for god (as would appear to be the case now) how is it possible to ‘know’ the ‘unknown’ ?
As an invisible but all powerful force surrounding us gravity is a good ‘simplistic’ example for us to use, particularly since gravity isn’t an ‘invention’ but a ‘discovery’ only made possible when Sir Isaac Newton gave us the tools needed to first find, then study it in 1666. Before this time of course, even though the average person had no concept that gravity was a ‘definable force’, everyone was aware of an ‘all powerful something’ keeping everything on the ground. It was ‘unseen’ but most definitely ‘there’ as an inescapable part of the natural order of things. So if we replace the word ‘gravity’ with ‘atoms’, ‘quantum mechanics’, or ‘god’ we can see that science is constantly taking a ‘leap of faith’ and working from the assumption ‘there is no smoke without fire’.
Following this line of reasoning we can see that humanity is at a stage of development where we can finally look past the blind unquestioning faith created in an age when most people thought the world was flat, and for the first time, wholeheartedly look at the question ‘is there a god’ without the shackles of religious dogma seeking to hinder, or stop us in our search for the truth as we are all ‘ultimately ‘born to do.
Using this extremely simplistic reasoning I can only conclude that the scales of belief are slowly balancing towards god and accept that the answers (if any), are to be found in the far distant future. The only thing I do know with any certainty is that my own death will (hopefully) provide me with the opportunity necessary to verify either way who is right and who is wrong long before science gets there…
A question of relevance…?
So here I am, no closer to knowing the answer to the ‘big question’ than I was than when I first started. But here, contained within the un-refutable truth that we quite simply ‘don’t know’ and more than likely ‘won’t know’, I have found a signpost pointing to a ‘path’ that has far greater relevance and impact to ‘me’, in my world, right here, right now than the ‘path’ I have currently reached the end of…
‘As the ‘god’ question is for all intents and purposes unanswerable, exactly how much time should I spend thinking about, and preparing for something that will really only have any effect on me once my mortal time here is gone?’
…and for the first time I find myself at a juncture where both Faith and Science agree (albeit from opposite sides of the fence), that belief in god is a lot like having an insurance policy for the afterlife, with the payments being regular worship, the occasional donation and most importantly, a commitment the ‘enlightened’ have to make to follow the ‘faiths’ rules and be a ‘good person’, with the added incentive ‘clause’ being exclusion from heaven if they don’t.
However, religion hasn’t cornered the market in ‘good people’ by any stretch of the imagination, and if a person is quite simply ‘good’ using the innate sense of right and wrong that we are all born with to guide us, wouldn’t this be enough to gain entry into a ‘heavenly’ like afterlife without having to make a commitment to just ‘one’ religion? Imagine spending a lifetime worshipping Jesus only to find out that Ra was in charge…
So, if I now follow this ‘path’ and it ‘actually helps me’ to live as a good, happy, useful member of society, the ‘god’ question (although still important) has nowhere near as much importance to ‘me’ as the question “what makes me happy?”