An Open Letter to Our World:
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT
GOD DOES NOT EVEN EXIST?
I am excited to be able to use this space on the Internet as a place in which we can join together to ignite a worldwide exploration of some of the most revolutionary theological ideas to come along in a long time.
The ideas I intend to use this space for in the immediate future are the ideas found in GOD’S MESSAGE TO THE WORLD: You’ve Got Me All Wrong. I believe this new book (published just four months ago by Rainbow Ridge Books) places before our species some of the most important “What if” questions that could be contemplated by contemporary society.
The questions are important because they invite us to ponder some of the most self-damaging ideas about God ever embraced by our species. For example, after the idea that God is to be feared, I believe that the second most damaging notion that some humans hold about God is the thought that God might not even exist.
Why this is damaging is that it stops all atheists and many agnostics from using God’s power, even as the whole of humanity seeks to work collaboratively to create the life we all say we want for everyone on this planet.
If you see a sign on your front door from the city that the electricity is off in your house, you will not bother turning on a lamp, having concluded that there’s no point in doing so. You will then be in the dark. The power that’s flowing will be useless to you because you do not believe that it is flowing. You will not even test it, because you’ve been told by someone in authority that the power is out.
It is estimated that right now over 10 percent of the world population thinks that the power is out. That’s roughly the number of people who categorize themselves as non-religious, with 2 percent actually declaring atheism. And of the vast majority who say that they do believe in God, an enormous number nevertheless have occasional—and sometimes lifelong—doubts about whether the God in whom they believe actually exists.
Now comes The Great What If . . .
What if it is true, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God exists?
Would it make a difference? Does it matter? In the overall scheme of things, would it have any significant impact in our planetary experience?
Yes. If the entire world believed without question that a Higher Power exists, out of which life on the earth emerged, it would create a universally accepted context, a sacred or theological basis, for humanity’s collective formulation of fundamental values.
Right now the values guiding the behavior of our species are not collective or uniform. They are scattered all over the place.
One person may believe that abandoning one’s religion should be punishable by death, while another person may believe that the person who put another person to death for abandoning a religion should be put to death—to use a glaring example brought up by the news account in Chapter 2.
One person may believe that the purpose of life is to live in such a way as to please God and get to heaven, while another person may believe that the purpose of life has nothing to do with pleasing God, even as a third person may believe that there is not even a God to please.
One person may believe that all souls who do not believe in the One True Religion are going to hell, while another person may believe that all souls who seek God with a desire pure and true will avoid going to hell, even as a third person may believe that there is not even a hell to go to, much less a God to send people there.
One person may believe good and evil are defined by God, while another person may believe that God does not view the actions, choices, and decisions of human beings in these terms, even as a third person may believe that there is no Deity at all to apply such labels to human behaviors.
One person may believe that killing people as a punishment for certain crimes, or even as a means of “defending the faith,” is in accordance with God’s Law, while another person may believe that killing people for any reason is not in any way in harmony with God’s Law, even as a third person may believe that there is no such thing as God’s Law, much less a God to announce it.
Without a common belief in the existence of a Deity and a shared understanding of what is true about and for that Deity, we can’t even agree on a reason for living, the purpose of our existence, the experience—if any—that follows death, and the basis for life’s largest decisions (both as an individual and as a society).
I believe that God has been telling us from the very beginning, and I observe that it is becoming more clear to us every day, that the portions of humanity’s Ancient Cultural Story which instill doubt about whether or not there even is a Higher Power in the universe is plainly and simply inaccurate.
It is okay now to remove this ancient teaching from our current story, and to stop telling this to ourselves and to our children.
Make no mistake about it.
While there are those who feel that science and spirituality are the antithesis of each other, the greatest scientific mind of our time, Albert Einstein, said: “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”
It has been said that when he was asked by David Ben-Gurion (the primary founder and the first prime minister of Israel) whether he believed in God, Einstein—who, of course, uncovered and proposed a world-changing formula about energy and mass—agreed that there must be something behind the energy.
It might be worth, then, highlighting this: Make no mistake about it. God exists.
Albert Einstein also said, “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.”
Is this something upon which we can agree? God was not made in the image and likeness of Man.
Who or what, then, is God?
Here is an analogy that may help us answer this ancient question.
As humanity has moved more deeply into the twenty-first century, medical science has learned more and more about what it has called “stem cells.” These are described as undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells, and can divide to produce more cells of a specialized kind.
If harvested from a human body before they differentiate, they can be “coaxed” in a laboratory into adopting the specialized identity of any cell in the human body. This means that they can regenerate any portion of virtually any organ of the body—from brain cells to lung tissue to heart muscle to the follicles of hair on your head. This has led to a whole new branch of medicine emerging under the loose heading of nanobiotechnology.
The point of bringing all this up here?
If “nature” can do all of this within the vastly limited framework of a single human body, what could one drop of the Primal Force or the Essential Essence do within the unlimited framework of the cosmos?
Are human stem cells showing us something on the micro level that tells us something about life on a macro scale? Could God be, in a sense, the stem cell of the universe, able to differentiate in any one of countless ways?
Consider this: Cosmologists are now telling us that our universe may be—and probably is—just one of an infinite number of such manifestations. In other words, as unfathomably large as we have assumed our universe to be, it may be merely a spec in a universe of universes.
Or, to put it another way, we may live not in a universe, but in a multiverse.
This would make our earth an infinitesimal dot in a solar system that is an infinitesimal dot in a galaxy that is an infinitesimal dot in a quadrant of the cosmos that is an infinitesimal dot in a universe that is an infinitesimal dot in a multiverse that is infinite.
Can we continue to doubt that there is “something” behind, or undergirding, or having given birth to, this magnificent multiverse? Would it not be more logical to assume and conclude that some cause exists behind the effects of the physical realm? And would it be so totally senseless to call this First Cause: “God”?
It is interesting to note that science reports evidence of an extraordinary intelligence present in all of life at the cellular, and even the sub-molecular, level. Life seems to know what it’s doing, and to be doing it deliberately, methodically, consistently, and predictably. Even inconsistency can be predicted! (see Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.)
And then there is the relatively recent understanding of what is known in quantum physics as the observer effect. This states that “nothing that is observed is unaffected by the observer.”
What this adds up to is that there are three elements in the “system” that we call “life”: intelligence, design, and power. It is difficult to look closely at any aspect of life as we observe it—either at the micro level of the sub-molecular world or the macro level of the cosmos—without conceding that the manifestations of physicality are simply too sophisticatedly complex, too tightly interlocked, intermixed, and interwoven, too marvelously and massively intricate and interactive, to have been the result of random chance.
It seems clear that the presence of life’s patterns is neither “accidental” nor “incidental” in the process of life itself, but that the intelligence and power evidenced in the patterns is the force behind that process. Indeed, the Source and the Creator of it.