by Sam H
One of the most intriguing questions of our time is whether or not God, an omnipotent and omniscient being exists. Examining this statement in a rational way requires that one starts neither assuming that God exists nor that God does not exist.
Rationality also dictates that we must assume if the statement were true, there would necessarily be a set of observable characteristics, which through science would be able to be measure and identified. We would then need to prove that these observable characteristics can indeed be attributed to the existence of God. If possible then logically one would be able to conclude that God does indeed exist. In order to do this accurately, some method must be decided upon which would allow the best description of reality.
Religion has often been used to attempt to describe reality accurately but can it really be used to accurately describe objective reality? Religion, unfortunately, has no use in the physical world in describing reality since one cannot make reliably accurate predictions and give valid explanations of the world around us. If one were to look at science however, it seems to be a more dependable, reliable method to describe the world around us. Science has been used to explain the construction of our world and the solar system to a very accurate degree along with countless other explanations of this world which have proven themselves to be accurate. Therefore, it seems most logical that since no other method can offer this, science would be the most reasonable system in analyzing whether or not God exists.
Some claim however, that science cannot prove anything definitely and therefore is invalid. Through highly advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc., man has achieved things never before dreamed of and has an unprecedented understanding of the world around him/her. It seems science has proven itself over time to be an affective method through accomplishment made under its usage, even though it, a human invention, is flawed. Consequently, science can only be used to indicate whether or not it is logical to believe in the existence of God; not much unlike science determining whether or not it is logical to believe in gravity. However, a problem arises. If we use this method to analyze the statement that Gravity exists one might be able to see the problems that occur. First of all, we do not fully comprehend the way that gravity works in this universe. On the other hand, we do know that the effects which we then attribute to gravity and can be observed and are consistent. This means that we can make very accurate predictions as to the effects of gravity and how it will affect the observable world around us. Since we do not fully comprehend gravity we cannot make any definite conclusions as to how it works, but what we can say is that there is strong evidence to suggest that gravity, as we understand it, works in this way and therefore it exists. Therefore, if God does indeed exist, even though we may not comprehend the how's and why's of everything, we should still be able to test this belief and make accurate predictions on how this god would affect the universe. Lets examine the God question in this light. If in fact God does exist, by definition "he" would be incomprehensible to us given the limitless capabilities "he" would be entitled to. Therefore, no one EVER can make any definite statements about the existence of God, but only the examine the effects that he might have on our universe, and determine if these effects have no other explanation.
The next logical step is to determine the effects that God has which can be observed through empirical science. Most people at this point in time seem to attribute ALL effects in our universe to God (such as gravity, physics, etc. etc. etc.). We might then be able to label all effects, using this analysis, as the "effect of god," much like we would say the effect of gravity. Following current western theology, god tends to be the first cause of everything, but does not necessarily cause all events. "He" does, as it is claimed, have power over all events that take place and can manipulate them as "he" sees fit, so essentially anything with god would be possible.
After determining these observable characteristics necessary to indicate a god, we must find a way to attribute them to God. This, however, is the difficult part. All effects in the universe must have a cause and now we must try to attribute them to this "god" whom we have no conventional way of measuring or testing ourselves (remember now that we are thinking through this rationally and are not assuming the existence nor the non-existence of god). So, among all the complexity, all the "beauty", among all that makes up our universe, what exactly points towards the existence of a god in the sense that many have now become to think of? Nothing. There is not one piece of evidence linking creation to God. Why? Simply because god is not consistent. If we were able to link these effects to God, even though we don't understand how he might work or function, we would still have to be able to determine what the outcome of the "effect of god" would be. Basically, we need to use the same type of reasoning as used in the theory of gravity. As reasoned above, consistency is essential in determining whether or not these effects are in fact being caused by God (the reason being that if there was not consistence other explanations would arise). When testing to see if gravity is causing an event, we can control nearly all other events or variables in order to rule out alternative explanations. Can we do this for the "effect of god"? I believe we cannot. The reason being is that if we conducted a controlled experiment and all other variables besides god were eliminated, the consequence would obviously result in no effect attributable to god being able to be detected. Therefore we would never be able to make any accurate predictions as to the courses of god's actions and thus be unable to conclude that God exists through the evidences of his effects on this universe. To conclude, we can never prove that god does not exist nor can we prove he does with absolute certainty. Since something that does not exist, provides no evidence, this does not mean that the object in fact does exist, so we must focus on determining whether it is logical to believe that a God exists. In order to determine the validity of this we must come up with a set of observable characteristics that could be attributed to God. Then we must understand that since we do not fully understand what God would be, we cannot say anything definite about "his" existence, and therefore must rely upon attributing those sets of characteristics, or the effect of god, to the idea we have now developed and many have come to believe is god. When we then find this absolutely impossible to do, since God is never consistent in his apparent effects and making it completely impossible to test empirically, the results indicate that since the desired "effect of god" cannot not be measured or examined that there is in fact no effect. And since god therefore has no observable effect, logically it is impossible to conclude that God exists.