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Does god exist?

4/10/2009

By: Nabeeha Aleem

IslamiCity* -

Does God exist? Throughout the ages people have been pondering this question which has resulted in various theologies that affirm that there must be a creator. On the other hand there are people who answer this question in the negative and are commonly described as Atheists.

 

There are various reasons that atheists reject the concept of god. For many it could be due to questioning the core beliefs of their religion, a negative experience in their religion or a traumatic event resulting in a deep personal loss. In its purest form atheists are people who are not satisfied with answers that religions provide to questions like; "Why am I here?" "What's the meaning of life?" and "Where did I come from?".

 

I would like to present the following ideas which are based on reasoning and a conscious belief that God does exist.

 

According to atheist belief "matter is self-existing and not created." If matter had a beginning and yet was not created, one must logically maintain that without any force, energy or intelligence, matter come into existence. But this belief can not be supported with what science has discovered so far about the creation of the universe, with the inception of the "Big Bang". This fact should be enough to sway the answer to, "Does God exist?" in to the positive.

 

But let's continue with some earthly reasoning. If we look at a painting we know that it is a mix of different colors that the artist has planned out on a particular canvas. The artist uses a specific type of material whether it is charcoal, watercolors or pencil to create a certain design that can only be created with that material. Let's agree that the painting did not spontaneously appear from a chemical reaction in the air. The artist either made or bought all of his materials and then planned to use them to create a painting. It can then also be said that it is highly unlikely that another person could replicate the painting with each detail exactly in place.

 

I would like to then mention that the universe also did not spontaneously form but that there was a creator, who had a plan. He used specific materials to create the universe along with the stars and planets. One major fact is that the universe exists and functions in an orderly manner with specific laws that govern it. An example could be about how all eight planets revolve around our sun in a consistent manner and that this order has survived for millions of years. This harmony points to a creator of order and a being who knows everything in all its relations and characteristics, one who can put everything in order. Can we really say that the universe is accidental? Can we attribute the existence of man and the whole world to mere chance? I think not.

If we look around us, there are many things which are living. These living things are made up of nonliving things such as atoms and molecules. Even though living things are made up of all these atoms, there is nothing that makes up the conscious. Living things are not just physical systems; they have a rich range of expression that is more than just electrical charges in the brain. This consciousness allows humans to live with a rich mental state, while allowing all other living things to at least be aware of their surroundings. It is the aspect of conscience, which allows for humans to distinguish between right and wrong. Humans are the only beings that are able to do this. But where does this come from? How is it possible that a mixture of nonliving atoms and molecules are able to produce a living thing? The infinite complexities of life points to a creator who brings nonliving material into being.

 

Natural selection, often presented as the poster child for "no god", cannot explain where consciousness comes from. The process of natural selection is based on the survival behaviors that the organism performs. The consciousness that we humans have is not necessary for behavior. Behavior is the only trait necessary for survival. An organism that looks human can exist without the consciousness that we posses. Consciousness does not increase our chance of survival and evolution cannot explain where consciousness comes from.

 

A common question that is put forth to reject the concept of God is, why does God allow suffering. God is omnipotent (infinite in power), omniscient (has unlimited knowledge) and omni-benevolent (has unlimited compassion). He is able to perform outside of our capabilities and that being omniscient and omni-benevolent would not contradict each other. If you ask yourself why has a God, who is all-good, let evil and suffering into our world? God is omniscient and knows all things, which as limited beings, there would be some things we cannot understand. We would not understand all the reasons for the existence of evil. But you can ask yourself, without evil, can there be good? The existence of evil provides a channel for people to do good. If there was no suffering than what would compassion be used for?

 

Self-sacrifice is another virtue that only happens when people depend on each other and need help from others. If each of us were able to be self-sufficient, and there was no suffering then good would not be possible. A lot of the evil in the world exists because people are the cause of it. God could have created us as either beings with free will or a pre-programmed will. God chose to give us free will, but people are abusing this right and cause a lot of the suffering in this world. There could be a million reasons why God let's suffering happen, and maybe we just can't see what God's intentions are.

 

Ultimately the answer to "Does god exist?" can be based on our finite understanding of our universe or a primordial urge to submit to a creator who knows the infinite.

 

Nabeeha Aleem is a sophomore at Santa Monica College in California.

 

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