God Essay, Research Paper
?…god is dead and no one cares
drowning in his own hypocrisy
and if there is a hell I will see you there
burning with your god in humility…?
?Trent Reznor, from Heresy
Does God exist? As you can see above, even the most vile human beings acknowledge him. But trying to argue for or against the idea that God exists is much more difficult than believing that he exists or even acknowledging that there is a ?higher power?. Even Charles Darwin?the British naturalist who developed the theory of evolution and natural selection in his book The Origin of Species?seems to get confused with the argument. In his piece ?Religious Belief,? he fumbles with two distinct incongruencies. The first is that there must be some explanation for the benefits and happiness of life and these must come from an inherently good being who has become known over the years as ?God? in our culture. The second is that if God is truly a good being, and he created the earth and all of its inhabitants, then there must be some explanation do for all the pain and suffering in life. The only escape from insanity in regard to this matter of God?s existence is not to commit at all. Because after reviewing this reading, it is clear that the two arguments mesh into a spastic predicament that is all too confusing for sane men to comprehend.
However, both of these elements?good and evil?contribute to life?s balance. Many events in life evoke indeterminent emotional response. There is no better summation of happiness in this world than the gleam on the faces of the parents of a newborn child. Darwin argues that ?If all the individuals of any species were habitually to suffer to an extreme degree they would neglect to propagate their kind…? and ?all sentient beings have formed so as to enjoy, as a general rule, happiness.?(page 67) With these impressions in mind, it is hard to cling to the claim that God as a completely good being does not exist. When an atheist looks in the mirror and sees the miracle of life, how is it possible that he can reject God? Grand scenes like the Grand Canyon under a perfect blue sky could not have just evolved. It is obvious that God exists.
In contrast, if God is completely good and he created the world, then what is the explanation for the presence of evil? If the result of reproduction of human beings is one form of ultimate happiness then how can child abuse be explained for example? In Dave Pelzer?s best-seller A Child Called ?It?, the author documents the torment he endured experiencing one of the worst child abuse cases ever recorded in California history. He thought that not only did his mother hate him, but God must have hated him too. How could God allow something like this to happen in his world that he created if he is all good? Darwin notes, ?That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Some have attempted to explain this in reference to man by imagining that it serves for his moral improvement.?(page 67) This idea applies to humans like Dave Pelzer, who ended up becoming an extremely productive member of the United States Air Force and a successful author. However, Darwin also brings up the idea that there are thousands of other species that suffer greatly in life and do not improve their morals. Would God allow evil to flourish to the extent that we see it just for moral improvement? Perhaps he does not exist.
At this point there is strong evidence in arguments for and against the existence of God. This is one of the few arguments that appears to be never-ending. It is an infinite loop. Darwin says that he connected his belief in God with ?the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elate the mind,?(page 67) but concludes this idea by saying that these grand feelings can be brought about by other things, like music for instance, and can hardly be a part of the argument for the existence of God. This is an example of the web that one gets caught in when trying to participate in this argument. Darwin?s views are very logical and acceptable, but because he is participating in this argument, he is confusing.
Darwin?s essay brings in two sides of the story concerning the existence of God. He first asks, ?How can the generally beneficent arrangement of the world be accounted for??(page 67) and suggests that happiness prevails because there is a purely good God. He counters this argument with the suggestion that there are millions of suffering creatures that achieve no moral improvement due to their suffering and there is no explanation for this evil. The idea that the only reason suffering exists for human beings is for their moral improvement is less believable because of this. These points bring about an argument that has no finale. So Darwin is right in his conclusion, ?I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.?(page 68)