Tuesday, 18 November, 2003
Does God exist?
Continuing my rambling discussion of religion that I started here on October 28...
From my previous entries you might get the idea that I don't believe in God, a Creator, or whatever name you wish to attach to The Divine. Whereas it's true that I don't believe in the type of being that's revered by any of the religions of which I am aware, I do believe in a Creator. But I have no proof to back up that belief. I recognize the possibility that this Earth, the life on it, and the vastness of the universe is all just the result of a huge explosion and random chance. I choose to believe, however, that there is a plan that was set in motion by The Creator, identity unknown. Call it a hypothesis based on observation.
What observations? There appears to be an Order to things. The Sun rises and sets in a predictable pattern for clearly explainable reasons. Movements of other planetary bodies are similarly explainable. Volcanoes and earthquakes, which not so many years ago were "explained" away as the wrath of gods, also are (partially) understood. Our knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, and even chaotic systems like weather continue to reveal that these "mysteries" are actually quite understandable and subject to logical rules. We don't know all of the rules, but I believe that we know enough of the rules to say with some confidence that these are not just random events. Given that, it seems highly unlikely to me that all of these logically consistent systems of rules could be the result of random chance. I accept the possibility, but deny the probability.
Besides, I'm smart enough not to try proving a negative. In one of my first computer science classes way back when, an instructor said that the statement "This program has no bugs" was, for all but the most trivial programs, impossible to prove. Proving that there is no God would be similarly impossible.