I respect your right to believe whatever you choose to believe but also know that your belief is a ‘choice’ you make with a degree of faith.
I say it is a choice because none of us can rely on conclusive scientific evidence to prove the existence or the non-existence of God and therefore the atheist, like the theist, must need faith to believe that his scientific theories explain our existence despite the many missing gaps.
In the past I have quoted many inspiring phrases from Albert Einstein. I am aware that he was not exactly a believer in a personal God but I also know that he was too intelligent to claim that there was no God. At best you could say he was an agnostic. Last night I became involved in a blog on my friend’s page who was defending his opinion on same sex marriage. It was a very sensitive topic and a heated debate ensued. I have never shied away from a good discussion particularly when it came to religion.
I guess you could say I am a believer but I have a skeptical mind. My heart and my mind get involved in a struggle that seems to yield no winners. They are both tenacious and neither is willing to surrender to the other. I would love to be able to say like some of my faithful friends, that I know of a truth beyond a shadow of doubt, as I once did, but now I can’t help but be honest with myself and with you that there are many things about religion that I do not fully comprehend. I acknowledge that it may not be necessary to understand everything and that some things are best left alone until such a time as we have the capacity to know them. I don’t understand how an engine works but I drive a car. I don’t understand how a computer works but I use it every day. I don’t know how the sun moves or anything about the great cosmos but I enjoy the sunshine on my face and love to gaze at the stars at night. I believe that just because we don’t know something or don’t understand how it works, does not mean that it does not exist or that it is not a significant influence in our lives.
No matter how much my rational mind tries to explain God away it cannot. There is too much evidence in my heart. Scientists don’t deal with things of the heart nor of the spirit. They say we are just made up of a bunch of electrical charges and chemical reactions and that our consciousness is a result of these. A long time ago my cousin was trying to convince me that there was no such thing as the ‘self’. I was very young and naieve back then but I thought about it and I said to him that I knew he was wrong. When he asked me why, I said “because I think”. Back then I did not even know about René Descartes famous phrase “I think therefore I am” and I had never encountered skepticism nor was I prepared to give a proper response. It was a raw, unrehearsed and honest opinion that came out after just a moment’s thought. I refused then to believe that the vastness of the human spirit could be explained away by science as just a bunch of chemical reactions. Back then I believed in God undoubtedly. My faithful and believing mother had passed on that faith to me and science was not my concern back then.
There comes a time in our lives, when we are equipped with knowledge when we might wonder about the conflicting evidences – that of science and that of the spirit. Both compelling and both equally indispensable. Are they really that conflicting though? To me it seems that they are opposite sides of the same coin. Each with a different face but made of the same substance. My Mormon faith teaches me that God is intelligence and intelligence is eternal and that matter is without beginning nor end. My human mind cannot fully embrace that understanding but I know that once upon a time scientific thought presented the atom as the smallest particle in existence – an elementary particle. The actual word “atom” is derived from the Greek word atomos which means ‘that which cannot be cut’. Then science discovered that atoms can indeed be cut. I am certainly not a quantum physicist and my understanding is very limited but from what I can see science does not know everything. Very far from it. Now we talk about quarks and Higgins boson – the stuff the universe is made from – the smallest or most fundamental particle in existence? The heavens are never-ending. The scriptures tell us that God’s creations are without limit – science tells us of the limitless universes – two sides of the same coin. If you dig deep enough into religion you find science and if you dig deep enough into science you find God. There is no beginning and there is no end. Just because things end as we know them does not mean they end. Like particles our spirits are never-ending. We are made from intelligence which is why we so desperately seek it. We are made of the same stuff as God. Men don’t create God because they need to, men need God because He is in them.
To end this post I would just like to refer to Albert Einstein again. He did not believe in a personal God because he could not fathom the thought of God allowing the suffering that is on the earth. Again my Mormon faith has taught me that suffering is a fundamental and necessary part of existence and without it there can be no joy, no happiness, no choosing. There must be bad for us to appreciate good. There must be evil for us to choose right. Opposition in all things – for every action an equal and opposite reaction. Sounds very similar don’t you think? One comes from God and the other comes from science? The truth I am convinced comes from the same source. I believe that God is the greatest scientist of all and all knowledge on this earth is a result of inspiration that flows from him. For he is intelligence. Maybe it is ‘religion’ that scientists despise because religions on the earth have perverted the way of light. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not religion – it is pure light – knowledge – intelligence – whatever you may call it it is beautiful. Albert Einstein did not question the existence of Jesus Christ – in fact he greatly admired him. I think what Einstein rejected was religion – or the interpretation of religion that was accessible to him in his time.
Einstein said the following:
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”
“I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. 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 those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”
So my dear friends you now know my true dilemma. I have one foot in two boats and I am hoping they will keep sailing the same direction because if they don’t I will have to take my foot out of one. I cannot abandon either one. I believe they should be one boat but they aren’t at the moment and for good reason apparently. We must exercise faith to prove our obedience to God. Obedience – there’s a word not very many people like today. But do not even the planets abide by a law? Is there not a law of physics? Is there not an earthly law that we must obey to remain free? Then why can’t we accept that we must obey God to have joy? Because some of us are prideful, stubborn and stiff-necked. Because we refuse to give up our ways that are contrary to His laws. As my friend Jon said on his blog, we choose what we want and if God does not approve then we don’t want His way.