Meet Howard. Howard doesn’t think about God all that much, but then again why should he? Well, on the other hand, he and his friends do talk about “God” every day. Like last week when Howard majorly bit it on his skateboard, he said, “god …@%#&!” And yesterday, when his friend Morgan forgot about the pop-quiz, he begged “God” to make him pass. Even Jessica came up to Howard this morning and said, “Oh my god! Your hair looks sooo coool!” When someone asked him if he believed that God exists, all he could think to say was …“God … yeah whatever!”
Perhaps you have wondered if it’s possible to know if God really does exist …
So let’s talk about it.
A Jeopardy Game of Knowledge
I’ll take, “Knowledge” for $200 Alex:
Let’s say that a large circle represents all knowledge. Even if you were the national “Jeopardy” champion you could still only draw a tiny circle to represent your knowledge.
Is it possible that God may exist outside your circle of knowledge?
Yes Maybe No
Oh yeah … um … you would actually have to know everything to respond “No.”
Write down some ways you find meaning in life:
What gives these things meaning?
If our existence is the result of random combinations of molecules in an ultimately impersonal universe, then things we value like love, honesty, equality, world peace or whatever are really no better than hatred, treachery and war. Yet we live as if these things do matter!
“Okay, so maybe God exists … but I want some scientific proof!”
We can use the scientific method to answer many important questions like “Does smoking cause lung cancer?” But some knowledge lies outside the scope of scientific inquiry. For example, how do we know …
- how many championships the Bulls have won? (historical knowledge)
- if cheating is wrong? (moral knowledge)
- if Allison likes alternative music? (personal knowledge)
To find out if God exists, let’s approach it like we would in a court of law.
A Discussion on Evidence
Think back to the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Since 100 percent proof of his guilt was not obtainable (100 percent proof rarely is), what are some of the things the jury looked at to determine whether O.J. was innocent or guilty? Why was it important for the prosecution to have many pieces of “evidence”?
So is there any evidence for the existence of God?
Consider the “If Proposition”: If anything now exists, something must be eternal, or else something eternal must have emerged from nothing. Whoa!
In other words … Why does anything exist at all?
A Look at the Universe
We have four alternatives when looking at the universe.
1. The universe is an illusion. 2. The universe has always existed (it’s eternal). 3. The universe emerged from nothing. 4. The universe was created by an eternal being.
Quick Facts about the Universe
- Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is uniformly expanding (kind of like a ripple in water).
- The basic laws of science prove that nothing produces nothing.
- If you drink cyanide, you will die.
- According to the second law of thermodynamics, the world is breaking down from a state of order to disorder (like your bedroom).
People look both ways before crossing the street.
Draw Your Conclusions
Think about what we know about the universe and determine which one of the four alternatives is most likely to be true. How did you come to your conclusion? Write your response below.
Is God personal or impersonal?
Write down some qualities that would describe something or someone (like your best friend) that are personal? How do these contrast with something or someone (like your pet rock) that are impersonal?
- Personal –
- Impersonal –
A personal computer is a complex machine full of thousands of tiny electronic parts that all work together. It takes a brilliant team of people to engineer and design it. Yet a computer is nothing compared to the complexity of the world around us! Everywhere we look we see order and symmetry. It seems as if the universe wasn’t just created, but designed.
When was the last time you were treated unfairly? How did you like it? In nearly all cultures, qualities like honesty, wisdom, courage and fairness are considered virtues. How does this point to a personal creator?
An impersonal God without the ability to think, feel or choose would be incapable of creating someone with the ability to think, feel and choose.
The evidence clearly points to an eternal, personal and ethical God as the only sufficient cause of the universe, order and design within the universe and the personality of man.
Information gathered from “I’m Glad You Asked,” Boa & Moody