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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trivializing the God Hypothesis

In your life, where do you see the "fickle finger of fate" or the "holy hand of God"? How do you know the difference? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 702).

There is a strong predilection based on my everyday life to think that everything must have a cause. All throughout the day my manipulation of things within the environment that impinge upon me reinforce this predilection. I put water on the stove, turn on the burner, and eventually the water boils. I feel dirty, so take a shower and feel clean. Thus most everything that I observe in my daily life has this cause-effect relationship. I am hungry, so I eat and am full. I can presume also that on a biochemical level beyond my knowledge or understanding also cause and effect relationships are going on following a meal. Therefore I have a very strong predilection to assume that most everything has a cause. This strong belief has lent itself to assumptions of cause-and-effect when it is really no more than an association of one event with another. This leads to false conclusions about cause-and-effect and, in extreme cases, the belief in superstition and magic. It also is possible to rely on the God hypothesis – any occurrence for which I have no ready explanation I can attribute to the acts of God. As a believer myself it can appear threatening to my faith to mention God, magic, and superstition in the same paragraph. Is my faith no more than an attributing to God phenomena not otherwise readily explainable? This of course would make for a shrinking God since as more and more causes are eventually discovered in the natural world the need for God becomes less and less.

The reason that my faith is not shaken by the latest explanations of cause-and-effect is that I believe humanity has a purpose set by God. It is not interesting to me to speculate on whether God was the ultimate cause of my dropping a glass of water and breaking it this morning. This trivializes God. Foundationally religion is about fully vetting the nature and disciplines of love. There is a deep conviction that eternal principles of love do not reside merely within the glands of Homo sapiens, but in the divinity of the Godhead. I share with many others the firm conviction that it is unwise and dangerously arrogant (whatever the facts of the case) to fancy otherwise. My belief is that if humanity were totally to disappear from the universe, God and the principles and disciplines of love would continue to reign eternally.

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