Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Why I believe in God

[...] Does the fact that the universe ticks beautifully indicate a God? Perhaps not. But the mathematics, the physics, is very beautiful. Perhaps it only seems so to us.

But then why do we comprehend some of what it does? Why can we second-guess the universe? Why does it seem orderly?

Because, Prof Dawkins would say, we, being human, order it thus, of course. And we do so with our innate mad notions.

But human beings seem sometimes to have several other mad notions at odds with the other life we see around us: co-operation, compassion, compromise; an occasional readiness not to kill, rape and enslave which seem absent from every other species that we know of. Not that we never do; only that we often don’t. And no other creatures seem to. What makes us different?

The readiness to sympathise and at the same time rationalise is not contingent upon religious belief. But a belief in God is the most frequent mainspring for it in all of human history.

Equally, the failure of Paley’s argument from design applies to Dawkin’s modified notion of Darwinian blind design.

We are still left with the fundamental questions: why should there be anything rather than nothing? What caused the Big Bang? Why, uniquely (so far as we know), can people think, and love, and imagine a life beyond the material?

Is there, ought there to be, a point to any of this – by which I mean for every meson and gluon in the billions of galaxies, numberless beyond imagination?

Has consciousness any significance?

If your answer is “No”: All right. There you are. Dolly back. Fade to black.

If you think that there may be a reason why there is something rather than nothing, and that it is conceivable that what you think and do matters, we can continue. Read more
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