Archive for April 2011

Does God Exist

Does God Exist

By

Jose de Carvalho

What can I add to probably the most of magnanimous of life’s questions: does God exist? From a reasoning point of view, probably nothing. This is one of those subjects that has been discussed and researched to death!  Academically I could forward papers discussing the different theories under several sub-disciplines starting with the much debated definition of what and who is God? Nevertheless I do not believe this to be valuable.

Shortly after his 50th birthday, Einstein was interviewed by George Sylvester. George asked Einstein if he was an atheist, to which Einstein said:

 “I am not an atheist”. He contended that the problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written the books, but he does not understand the languages in which they are written and he does not know what they are about. All he knows is that somebody must have written them. The child dimly suspects the mysterious order in the arrangement of the books, but he does not know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human beings towards God. We see the universe marvellously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws.”

Einstein ended where most conversations between atheists and believers end up namely ‘creation versus evolution’:  What then is the most acceptable and satisfactory explanation for the creation of matter from nothing (first cause)? Some accept that at this level there is a possibility of a Creator (God of the gaps). Neutral learned individuals agree with Einstein, admitting that this is not a question that the scientists can answer; the question is for philosophers or theologians. The basic question of the creation of matter/energy from absolutely nothing is not an area that can be scientifically explored neither is the existence (or otherwise) of God. Actually it seems this is a matter of forensic science as we cannot adequately recreate the birth of the universe or the formation of first life in a laboratory. Therefore we collect observable evidence in our world and apply our forensic investigation skills to analyse its collective meaning. In the end, we all need to collect and examine the evidence for ourselves. It’s a personal investigative decision for each and every one of us. The existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. This is why the Bible says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him. If God so desired He could simply appear and prove that He exists, but if He did that there would be no need for faith. Jesus clarified “because you have seen me you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen yet believed” (Paraphrased).

If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence will be rationalised or explained away. It is like those that refuse to believe that people have walked on the moon; no amount of information is going to change their thinking. Television footage, press releases, reports, photographs of astronauts walking on the moon, interviews with the astronauts, moon rocks, dust, etc…all the evidence is worthless, because the conspiracy theorist has already concluded that NASA has not gone to the moon. I must respectfully admit that the same way I perceive those that claim that going to the moon was a hoax, is a same way that I perceive those that claim that there is no God.

“There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see!”

At one time in my life, I was totally and firmly convinced that there was no such thing as a God and that anybody believing in God was silly, superstitious and following traditions. I felt that believers in God were uneducated, merely following things that really made no sense. You now may be wondering how it would be possible for a person coming out of this background to become a strong believer in God; devoting his life to studying the Holy Bible; believing it to be God’s inerrant, literal and verbally inspired Word, fully authoritative and sufficient for life, godliness and preparation for the afterlife. It is my belief, substantiated by Scripture, that God reveals Himself to each one of us; be it through natural revelation or special revelation.  The way we respond to the revelations either evokes God to draw nearer to us or not. In my case when God revealed Himself to me, I responded positively, resulting in further revelations, which eventually lead to a personal relationship with Him.

Arguments for God are often made by unlikely individuals and evident by their complete reversal in attitude towards God and radical changes in life style. For example: Extra Biblical commentary confirmed by Scripture describes Paul of Tarsus as a brutal persecutor of the early Church that became a pillar of the Christian Church after his personal encounter with God and subsequent  conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts ).

I contend that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated; therefore certainty to His existence is only evident in people’s inner experiences. Therefore evidence to God’s existence relies on the experiences and testimony of these witnesses. I argue that it is a valid principle of rationality that one should accept their testimony unless there are strong reasons for not doing so.

“How do we know that the wind is blowing? The leaves are moved by it!

Details of my experiences and conversion as a personal testimony are available on the home page. At this junction be aware that it does not conform to popular culture, it presents a monotheistic concept of God, a God that is personal and perfectly benevolent.

Jose