The biggest question in life: is there a God? Does God exist, or is God something that humans need to create to give their life meaning and purpose?
Is there a God? This is the single greatest question of all, since all other questions will be directly affected by this answer. The questions that we ask about God are endless. Let’s put specific religions and denominations aside. If there is one single God, and He is the Creator of our universe, then we all will seek a way to learn what He wants. Let’s also be honest and acknowledge that God is neither a he nor a she, since He is spiritual in nature.
Did God create us for a specific purpose? And if so, what is that purpose? Most Theologians believe that He seeks to establish a relationship with us. There appears to be no other reason for our existence.
But perhaps God is an omnipotent artist, Who created each of us, and the universe, with no real goal in mind. Perhaps we are merely playthings to Him – toys to be put away when He is done using us. How can any of us know for sure?
Is God good and just? The amount of cruelty in both human beings and nature weakens the argument for a good God. If there is justice in the material world, it is difficult to find. And who doesn’t wonder exactly where God is? Does He exist outside of the universe, or is He a part of it? As an amateur astronomer, I have gazed at the night sky all my life wondering if perhaps the magnificent universe I witnessed might not be God Himself.
Perhaps God does not exist at all. If so, then what we have left is the material universe. But, how did that come into existence? What natural conditions of nature brought an entire universe into creation? Cosmologists attempt to answer this question. But let’s be honest, the best they can do is hypothesize. Definitive proof remains elusive.
Without God, from where do we develop our moral code of conduct? What compels some of us to act any different than the animals? Throughout history, human atrocities have been virtually animalistic in nature. Whether it was the ancient Assyrians, Nazi Germany, or the contemporary ISIS, human actions are astonishingly barbaric. The difference is that we can reflect upon such horrors, and acknowledge their evil nature; animals do not.
Critics argue that mankind invented the world’s religions in an attempt to create an answer to the question of God’s existence. And they may have a point.
Virtually every ancient culture that I ever studied believed not only that God existed, but that He favored their particular culture. During times of prosperity, bountiful harvests, or victory in war, people believed that God was rewarding them. During times of economic depression, crop failure, or natural calamity, cultures assumed that God was punishing them. Because of this belief, most cultures developed religious morals, laws, and rituals. These codes of conduct were an attempt to please God, and earn His favor.
Whether or not God has favorites, there appears to be a yearning in the human mind and heart to seek a greater power, and purpose for our existence. Is that yearning merely human emotions? Or is it God’s attempt to reveal Himself to us?
It is improbable that any of us will learn the answer to the question of God’s existence during our lives. I can also add with great confidence that no scientific research will ever prove or disprove His existence. The answer to this – the ultimate question – is something that will probably be acquired upon our death. Until then, it comes down to a matter of faith.
Previous article: I Remember a Time When . . .