God Essay, Research Paper
INTPHILDecember 10, 1999
DOES GOD EXIST?
If you take a look up out in the sky on a seemingly clear night, try and ask yourself how the stars, the moon and everything else came to be. Again the question of existence takes over your mind the same way it did everyone else’s years ago. How did the world begin? What was the cause? Who was the cause?
A couple of weeks ago, I had the most interesting conversation with my brother. Actually, it was more like a provoked conversation to help me begin this paper. I asked him, “Do you believe that there is a God? A God who is said to be creator of all things, the one responsible for life and everything that happens to it? A being so mighty and great?” Of course, like he and any other catholic would say, “yes!” From there I was anxious to begin an argument based on what I had learned from the previous topics in my philosophy class on the existence of God. I asked him how one can attach himself to such belief based on what others say, what he has heard and from a holy book that was said to have come from God but dictated by man? How could he put all reason of existence behind nothing he has experienced on his own but only what others claim they have? Then a light shined on me. I was expecting him to give me reasons that questioned my faith. Instead, he casually turned and threw a question back at me. “Do you believe that there is such a thing as one million dollars?” I hesitantly answered, “yes,” knowing what he was coming to. And then he asked me if I have ever seen one million dollars? I replied, “no”. From there I saw his point.
“What we believe has nothing to do with whether God exists.”
I was never raised with a solid basis of Christian influence. In fact, I was never made to attend Sunday school where I would be taught the whole essence of my religion. I did though, go to mass every Sunday with my family, only to find it very funny how I did not really know or understand anything about the religion. I did not base my belief on God because of books and conditioned teachings because I was never exposed to any. In truth, I do not base it on anything at all. I don’t need to listen to proofs formulated by scientists and philosophers such as St. Thomas Aquinas and his Five Cosmological proofs. I do not need to hear the story on how it was said that Jesus Christ saved us all, or about Moses and the Ten Commandments. I don’t know why but I just do. Don?t get me wrong, I have not closed my mind on this belief about God. I have learned that it is not good to attach our self to anything and close all doors on other possible ideas.
“Being able to shift points of view is one of the main skills philosophy has to offer, not so much for the purposes of changing our views, but for the purpose of freeing ourselves from attachment of our own point of view so that we can really see and understand other’s points of view.”
This is where the role of your philosophy class came into place. It was more so to enable me to understand the other side and take on another perspective in hope that I will learn more about the ideals that I believe in.
So why is it that philosophy teachers should be limited and restricted in accordance to the institution? Why is it that they are treated as a threat to Christianity and the teachings of religious schools? When in reality, all that these teachers are doing is allowing their students to grow by understanding something at all angles and allowing them to think for themselves. “?but they cannot harm nor destroy God, if there is a God.” I took this line right out of the reading for it gave such a big impact. A line that should be posted, for all religious believers who are appalled when an atheist speaks his/her mind, to see. Why are these people so threatened? Can’t their faith withstand the striking? Or is it not strong enough?
When I heard your lectures, read your readings and read my own selected reading, I came to see the other side of my belief. I saw how a non-believer in Christ would stand by his belief. The only reason why we are so fixated on believing that there is a God is because we use this belief to explain the unexplainable. We use them as reasons on why things happen and sometimes put blame on the bad things that happen to make them more easier to accept. According to people, God is the source and the moral center of society and that if there was no God society will fall apart. The system is kept in order by the Divine Theory on what is considered right or wrong. Without it, there would be a clash of ideas and total chaos would occur.
If there really was a God, than it means that God created the universe and like an author, controls everything that happens in the story. He was able to take the time to carefully plan out the world and write the script. He knows what will happen and the outcome of each event. God is able to actualize this world from the many other worlds he could have come up with. Why is it though, that despite the fact that God knows the outcome of each event still chose to comply with the world we live in now. For example, according to Kolak in the book, “In Search of God”, if God knew that Adam was going to eat the apple that would condemn the rest of the world to punishment, why didn?t he make it so that Adam decides not to eat the apple? If God has control over all of this than why would he choose a world which he did not approve of?
Perhaps, God chose the things that happened to argue that he wanted to teach the people because like everyone always says, “God works in mysterious ways”. So why is it that God, to work in such mysterious ways, have to cause so much sufferings? Where was God when thousands of people would die every year because of natural disasters and diseases? Where is God when innocent people are victims of suffering slow and painful deaths?
When I was exposed to Zen Buddhism, I was intrigued by its peacefulness. It was probably the most out of the six points that struck me the most. The one that I would love to further explore and investigate. It is like being in the center of all beings and prevails over all religions. The thought of freeing the mind from all obstacles and divisions to simply live at peace and not question why things are the way they are seems fascinating. Perhaps, later on, I will.
I have opened my mind to all insights and took in consideration the possible reasons that would draw me away from my belief. Though the question if God really does exist has nothing to do with what I believe. I have come to realize that throughout the years I have believed in him without any sufficient basis or knowledge of the religion and I still will continue on believing despite the arguments that I have been exposed to. Whether or not he exists, does not matter to me. He can either exist or not exist and yet I will still believe. I believe that there is such a thing as one million dollars. Though, I have not experienced it, I do believe that there is.
“To see is not to believe.”
The next time you ask yourself how the world began? What caused it? And who caused it? Don?t strive to look for empirical evidences to determine if a God really does exist. If you do so, it will be a never-ending search without an answer. Instead, choose a path that will pave for you a direction in life. Whether or not God does exist, I choose to believe not because of reasonable justification but because with this belief, it gives us something to look forward to even in the worst situations. Society is given a sense of hope that life will become better for all.