BY THE WAY, ABOUT GOD . . .

An article setting forth proof of the existence of God, and attempting a reconciliation of Science and Religion.

By Cristo Rey

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Does God exist?

      The purpose of this article is to attempt to answer this question using information about it already arrived at by Science, Philosophy, Theology, and Religion.

      Science and Religion have uniquely stood at opposite, warring corners of a common intellectual arena of inquiry about this subject (Book review: Why Science Does Not Disprove God. By Amir D. Aczel).

Does God exist?

      God represents an entity with such attributes and powers which inspire or require Man's worship of Him, and to whom Man entrusts his worldly-life affairs. He is an incorporeal eternal principle who is accessible for a one-way or two-way communication with His believing, yielding, and worshiping subjects. He is the creator of the whole reality relevant to them, and the most important requirement for worshiping Him is the faith of His subjects in His existence; It is for this reason that an early attempt must be made by believers to confirm or reaffirm His existence, to strengthen their faith.

      We know that textbooks of Biology begin with the implied premise that Nature created everything (the Universe, Earth, Life, and Us). We also know that the Bible, as a "textbook" on God, begins with the powerful and forcefully assertive premise that God created everything (the Universe, Earth, Life, and Us). Logically, we know that if A=C and B=C, then A=B. That is to say, if Nature is the creator of everything and God is the creator of everything, then Nature and God are one and the same entity, as two separate and independent entities could not have created the same, indivisible, identical "everything," . . . therefore, Nature = God. We must logically settle for God as the preferred Source, because Nature is supposedly a Force without Consciousness.

     We all start out by knowing well that we do not know "what or who" created the Universe, Earth, Life, and us. We all also know very well that there might never be any way possible for us to know what or who created everything that exists.

     We, nevertheless, speculate about the matter, and first decide by unanimous decision that "something" had to have created everything that exists. We arrive at that conclusion merely by "backtracking" to The First Cause, using the law of "cause and effect" that we have already verified determines everything at any one point in time and place in the entire Universe.

     Those who refuse to accompany us in this speculation are indeed lacking in the full expression of the consciousness and awareness characteristic of our species (Homo sapiens), and are content to just "sit on the fence," or pasture as cattle do. Those individuals merely exist, and just adjust to events much like any of the lower species do, in spite of their "intellectual" rationalizations.

     Arriving at the point of First Cause, . . . we all part company.

     Some of us conclude that the stuff (substance) of the Universe "appeared" just prior to its creation (Big Bang), and that the Universe, more or less, "created" itself from that substance, by obeying instructions (laws) which happened to also have first appeared just then. We offer no rational explanation for what if anything existed before the Big Bang, and what or who brought the original stuff into existence. We call ourselves "scientists" . . .

     Others of us conclude that the stuff (substance) which "banged" at the Big Bang, always has existed, and is in effect, God. When asked how we "know" this, we respond, because He revealed Himself to us, and told us. We call ourselves "The People of God" . . .

     In the meantime, the "fence sitters" go out to pasture . . .

     The Word of God in the Bible tells us that in the beginning there was ONLY God (Jn 1:1-3), so to us believers, whatever physical substance physicists or astrophysicists demonstrate for us was present at the beginning, that physical substance WAS God. That is to say, that substance was the mind and body of God. God is the only un-created entity, being, or thing in existence, so that substance must have always existed in one form or another.

     We then infer, that existing, alone, like that, for all eternity past, He must have gotten very lonely. After all, an eternity is a very long time . . .

     As if we had to ask, but He tells us, anyway, that He Created the Universe, Earth, Life, and us for His pleasure . . . and we wink at each other, understanding fully well what He means by that, because we all have known what only children, without siblings or friends do to pass their lonely childhoods . . . they invent playmates, places, things, and situations. In a very real sense, everything that exists might just be in the "mind" of God, it just seems so darn real to us though . . .

     "But, just one moment!," the scientists and fence sitters tell us. You have just endowed God with Human qualities!!! . . . How can the "Creator," the God-over-all, be just like a human being?, you are anthropomorphizing!!! (that is ascribing human characteristics to God; See Anthropomorphism)

     "Well, you see," we tell them, "it is not that way at all!," God is the one who made us in His image (Gn 1:26), not that we invented God in our image, so we know that He is kind of like us, except probably more powerful, knowledgeable, and wiser . . . and, remember, He also is eternal. We know all of that because he revealed it to us.

     "How?," the scientists and fence sitters ask, in unison.

     "Well, you see," we tell them, because after God created the Universe, Earth, Life, and us, He took-up residence or set-up His "Throne" somewhere in the Heavens, you know, where the Stars and Galaxies are at . . . and He has a form that prevents us from having direct contact with Him, we cannot speak with Him in audible form, and even if we saw Him through telescopes, we would not even know it was Him . . . you see, we do not know what He looks like. But, He had created in us the capacity of occasionally reaching the psychological, emotional, and intellectual frame or state of mind in which we imagine His Presence in our minds. It is kind of like what happens when you are separated from someone you love very much, sometimes you imagine like they are just right there with you, in your mind . . . Whenever that happens, we are able to see things in a clearer and sharper focus, we feel it is with His help. And sometimes we can figure things out better during those times. We call those states of mind, spiritual states, and feel as if "His Spirit" had just visited our minds. Since He is God, "The Creator," and "Holy," we call that spirit, the "Holy Spirit" or the "Spirit of God." We kind of feel that He intended to communicate with us that way.

     "It kind of sounds like you are making it all up yourselves!" the scientists and fence sitters say, in unison.

     "Not really!" we say, because lets face it, to really understand it, to believe in Him, you have to open your heart, to see Him just exactly as He reveals Himself . . . otherwise, what is there? . . . some stuff that appeared out of nowhere? . . . as you "scientists" say? . . . or nothing at all? . . . as you "fence sitters" suspect?

     When we look at how beautiful the Universe is, when we see and feel the tenderness in a flowery meadow, when we feel the gentleness of the Sun's light on our faces, when we see the newness in a baby's eyes, when we feel the breathing in our chests, and the soft thumping of our hearts . . . we can well imagine the "Mind" that must have Created all of that . . . and we know it was not the stuff that appeared out of nowhere, or the nothingness . . . we do not need to debate it any longer . . . because then we know . . . He has placed those things for us to know Him, and get a pretty good idea of what He is like . . .

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.
" (Ps 19:1)

     What we are doing then is decoding specific things or happenings in our environment as signs and symbols (Semiotics: The difference between signs and symbols) with specific messages for us, intended on the part of God by the use of them, in this case, of His existence, and of His nature or qualities.

     We then need to examine the nature of signs and symbols, and of our ability of decoding them (Semiotics: The difference between signs and symbols), to better understand the method used here in proving the existence of God:

     For example, if three people enter an otherwise empty room, and find in the middle of it a small basket with a note in it, a note saying "please place some money in here, I am starving," and we then ask the three people to give their explanations for what they found, we might get three different explanations: One of the people will say that obviously a human being, who was, or still is starving, left the small basket with the note in it, hoping to get some money to buy food (People of God). A second individual, will disagree, and say that all you can conclude is that there is a basket there with a note in it, indeed a note saying what the note says, but nothing else, one cannot or should not attempt to read anymore than that into it (Scientist). The third individual, sitting on a fence again, will just say that we cannot even be sure that the wind might have placed first the basket, and then the note, from elsewhere, within the basket in the room (Atheist Fence Sitter).

     Although any one of them might be correct, the author is willing to bet that ONLY the first individual will place some money in the basket.

     We know we can be warned of the impending approach of Winter by the changes in the signs in our environment during the Fall of the year (changes in the color of leaves, and falling of the leaves). We can alternatively interpret or decode those changes as a recurring sign from God of the intended message that Winter is coming, and that we better prepare for it. Equally well, the changes in the signs during the Spring of the year we decode as a recurrent signal from God of the impending approach of Summer. We are constantly, second by second, decoding signs and symbols in our environment, in ourselves, and with time and practice we learn their intended meaning for us. We use this decoding method to "know" when we should eat, eliminate (urinate and defecate), have sex, work, sleep, and rest, by reading the signs, in these cases in the form of the feelings of the need to carry them out.

     We are then able to "know" God by decoding the signs and symbols that He uses to communicate with us. God then has set up a "communication circuit," or as a better term, an "informational loop" with us, sorting, arranging, and organizing all of the Creation for these purposes. We then say that the Universe as a whole, everything that exists and happens, is the expressed "Word of God," the messages destined for us which are essential for our benefit, delight, and survival (what Religion calls "salvation," that is to avoid a premature death).

     Without scientific proof, or reinforcement, we can observe that our bodies are coordinated with the rest of the phenomena in the Universe. For example, we possess temperature detectors (receptors) in our skin, to fairly accuretly detect temperature changes in the space outside our bodies. Thus, there is a coordinated and ordered system of existence to extremely effectively inform us about the environment we exist in, and an "Unconscious Nature" could not have possibly have created such an ordered and coordinated system, ONLY a conscious entity as a conscious "CREATOR," could have pre-planned such commensurate coordination, the physical existence of mechanisms for temperature changes in the environment, BUT also the provision of receptors in our bodies to fairly accurately detect such changes, and adjust our behavior accordingly.

     Moreover, further proof of the NEED for an ordered and coordinated system of our existence is our being able "to see". Had we been created without eyes to see, we would exist in TOTAL DARKNESS and would not have become aware of the existence of the Universe or our physical environment. We would not even be able to KNOW that anything else existed, or its relationship to us. This is the very darkness in the mind of the Atheist Fence Sitter. At least the Scientist can see what exists, although decided not to assign any meaning to any of it. The main difference between European scientists and American scientists is that European scientists express the logical meaning and relationship obviously evident in all of their physical findings (for example, Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution), while American scientists do not.

     The problem with Atheists, is that they do not possess any reasoned, rational, or scientific evidence to back their claim that "God probably does not exist," or even simple explanations that justify their negative view. When asked, "what proof do you have that God probably does not exist?," they merely gag, as if vomiting, or clamp-up, revealing to be totally rationally devoid of a rationale for their lack of belief in God. They are indeed, in a belief system based on their totally "blind" faith in it, something they constantly accuse believers in God to be . . . However, believers in God can readily and literally offer MILLIONS of effective intellectual arguments to buttress their belief in God, WHILE THE ATHEISTS DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE INTELLECTUAL ARGUMENT TO BUTTRESS THEIR NEGATIVE BELIEFS . . . They hold their negative view, without any intellectual foundation, just as a matter of "blind faith" on their part.

     What is an "informational loop"?

     The existence of a sender and a message sent, and a receiver and a message received and comprehended, is an "informational loop."

     The existence of an "informational loop" requires consciousness in both, the sender of messages, and in the receiver of messages.

     In the case of God, He has placed messages in the form of signs and symbols for us to decode, it is in their decoding that we get to know Him and His qualities; This by His choice of signs and symbols, and by their particular arrangement. We obtain, derive, or deduce our ideas of what God is like by using as our guide His Creation of these signs and symbols as evidence.

     We know Nature could not be the source of the messages, this we know because Nature, as conceived, is an unconscious Entity or Force, incapable of consciously conceiving meaningful signs and symbols. The communication cannot be one-sided, in that we are reading meaning into otherwise unconscious, meaningless creations of Nature; Because that would imply that, haphazardly, there appeared in Nature a conscious form of life (us) with a unique "need" for consciousness and ability to decode signs and symbols in order to survive as living beings, without the required reciprocal and appropriate consciousness in Nature to ensure the adequate provision of the meaningful messages for that form of life to survive. Given those circumstances, that form of life would not survive to any adequate length of time at all, and moreover, most other forms of life in existence are not conscious, consciousness not being required for their existence and survival.

      There is no absolute need for living beings to be conscious of each other's existence to reproduce themselves, and thus successfully perpetuate life; Unconscious single cells (Amoeba) do it all the time. Even sexual reproduction does not require consciousness. Sexual reproduction with full, and even greater variation than obtainable at present can be had with females acquiring sperm seeded by anonymous males into a common environment; The females need not be conscious or aware of the existence of males in their environment. It happens just this way with some fish and amphibians all the time. Consciousness is clearly then not designed or required for the mutual awareness and recognition among the created in order for life to exist or reproduce and perpetuate itself.

      The need for reproduction in every living being is because the original conditions when life was created in the Universe and the Earth cannot be re-created again constantly, the Universe changes or evolves and never more can return to its original physical state in which life was created. The work to maintain life or living beings rests in the hands of our constant reproduction. For Nature, we ONLY EXIST to reproduce and maintain and continue the life on this planet and the Universe. Even if we do not reproduce, at least we can serve God and Nature in our actions to ensure the survival of the children of others (such as teachers, doctors and caregivers of children of others). If we do not serve God in this way, He terminates our existence in a short period of time (removes our "Salvation," as Religion asserts) . . .

     Natural Selection could not favor consciousness in just one form of life without carefully arranging the rest of the life and environment so as not to confuse and overwhelm the conscious form of life with meaninglessness in the rest of the life and environment in which that conscious form of life had to survive, and moreover that meaninglessness in the rest of Nature would instantly jeopardize the survival of the conscious form of life. In short, the survival and perpetuation of a conscious form of life would require a careful pre-arrangement and pre-organization of the whole system of life, and non-living environment, adequately from the beginning, to ensure the survival of the specific conscious form of life yet to appear, and that can only be carried out by a conscious entity or force itself, something which Nature is supposedly not. This is especially very critical at the first appearance of the conscious form of life and before it had developed a suitable information processing capability to sort things out and thereby "help" or contribute in its own survival, as both, the consciousness and the necessary degree of information processing capability cannot appear simultaneously. Moreover, the information processing capability cannot possibly appear first, such capability is not possible without consciousness. We also know that without consciousness people perish easily and quickly, as in the case of an irreversible "Coma," in which a person depends entirely on others who are still conscious and aware for his/her survival. . .

     To put it in another way, the legitimate question can be asked "is it possible for a conscious form of life to survive to any adequate length of time at all in an environment that had been created as totally meaningless to it?" We already have that answer. Human beings, otherwise fully conscious, but suffering from extremes of brain damage, mental retardation, or totally deprived of the capacity to extract information meaningful to their survival from their environment as in Alzheimer's Disease, cannot survive to any adequate length of time at all. The survival of a conscious form of life in the Universe requires the millisecond by millisecond careful care of an equally conscious "Creator," . . . an "unconscious" Nature cannot possibly fulfill that role . . . How can an unconscious entity (Nature) be aware of what is happening with us? That is nonsense and a contradiction.

     In short, the conscious life, us, did not have to adapt to a chaotic and meaningless Universe for our survival, something which is a contradiction, but thanks to God, an ordered and meaningful Universe was created by Him to ensure our effectively sane and rational survival (salvation), prior to His creation of us.

     Some would argue that we just find or make meaning out of a haphazard Universe, a contradiction. Others, that we just merely find meaning in the Universe, but if we do, it is then because there is meaningfulness in the Universe, and if there is, then who put it there?, . . . an unconscious Nature?

     We are then forced to accept the evidence of our own consciousness, and of our ability to decode signs and symbols, as proof of the existence of a conscious Creator, that is, God.

     Only a conscious Creator could have ensured that the necessary order and organization was established in the Universe, in careful groundwork development, to serve as meaningful messages in the form of signs and symbols for the survival of the anticipated conscious form of life, and prior to His introduction of the conscious form of life, us, into that Universe.

"And in the morning,
It will be foul weather to day:
for the sky is red and lowring.
O ye hypocrites,
ye can discern the face of the sky;
but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Mt 16:3)

Conclusions

      All existent External Reality appears to have been created by the one, true God as presented to us in the Bible, as His Word uniquely attests to, and exclusively explains with forceful finality the reason for the existence of everything known and perceived (the Universe and us) . . .

      His conscious, willful, and purposeful creation of all that is (exists), for his pleasure (delight and entertainment)!!!

      Nature has been or represents a convenient, intellectually-liberating basic premise of Science, a fear-lessening one which has allowed scientists to study, analyze, dissect, and probe what we call "God" without intellectual reservations or emotional fears. Out of reverence, one would not dare study how God is put together, or how His mind works!!! Although actually, there are no specifically-stated Divine prohibitions on such activity, hence Philosophy and Theology have been possible.

      The First Commandment does indeed prohibit the deification, secular or otherwise, of an "Unconscious Nature," such activity has led to much confusion (Babel) and consternation for Man . . .

      The Bible does state that God imaged His own complex creative emotional capabilities in us, and indeed we are the only other observable instance of the possession of them in the present Universe. Why have we been ignoring all of these data? Unless Science can come up with a "Conscious Nature," we must logically settle for God as the preferred creative Source of all the present External Reality we have chosen to call "the Universe." If Science should bring us face to face with such a conscious, motivation-laden Nature then we would know that we would be in the presence of Him!!!

      Must we stand in awe of a complex sculpture in a museum, all the while totally ignoring out of disbelief the tapping on our shoulder and authorship assertions of its creator, and leave with the idea that such a complex creation could not have been the product of a conscious entity? We know and are thoroughly familiar with, and in acceptance of, the physical reality of the Creation, i.e. the Universe, and need only to accept the inescapable conclusion that this complex act of creation required the conscious motivation and guidance of the unique entity we named "God."

      The practical conclusion from this article is that all of the accumulated human knowledge from the disciplines of Science, Philosophy, Theology, and Religion are true, valid, real, and reconcilable. Perhaps the reconciliation of the accumulated knowledge from these divergent disciplines will help to heal the present wounds, and dismal prospects of our existence.

Food for thought

      The reconciliation of Science and Religion on these subjects recognizes the scientifically-derived concept of "Natural Selection," as equivalent to the "Judgment or Will of God." It is God who decides which genetic characteristics of His creation survive to perpetuity. Mankind is becoming highly capable of creating unique and novel forms of life, and will most probably do so in the not-to-distant future. However, after Mankind seeds this life into the Reality out there, it is God who will decide if it survives or not. Natural Selection, or that is to say, the Judgment of God, will determine its survival. If God does not find it suitable or is not pleased with it, it will most surely not survive to perpetuity. Mankind will just have to go back to the laboratory and try again with required modifications. If God should approve of it, it will most surely survive and multiply to its perpetuity. That is how God "talks" and interacts with us, loud and clear!!! God does not disapprove of such activity, provided it has constructive or aesthetic purposes. Indeed, He made us capable of it for that very purpose, to add to His creation and help in the management of the Universe (Gn 2:15), for our own benefit, delight, and survival (salvation).

      There are very few if any contradictions between the Word of God (Bible) and the accumulated (and accumulating) scientific knowledge of Mankind where they deal with the same issues; And each for the most part has specialized in their respective areas of interest, Science on the physical and the Bible on the spiritual, complementing and completing our knowledge of God.

      I encourage the reader to study both, and compare and contrast. It is a worthwhile and absolutely exciting pursuit!!!



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Updated: 8/7/15

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