Thursday, September 22, 2016

Physicists, Philosophers, and Me

Recently I purchased the movie “The Theory of Everything,” the story of the famous physicist, Stephen Hawking.  I had not seen it when it was in the theaters, so I was pleased when I happened upon it at my local Shopko store.  I watched it not once, but twice, in the last few days.  I had purchased and read Hawking’s book “A Brief History of Time” a few years ago.  At present, I am reading the book “There is a God” by former atheist Antony Flew.  So I think you know what is on my mind this morning!

It amazes me how physicists and philosophers seem to always be trying to prove, or disprove, the existence of God.  They are continuously seeking physical evidence (when it is right under their noses), or considering this or that theory (which seem to be mostly pure speculation).  It seems to me that they work too hard at it!  In the movie, the Hawking character states that he is working toward finding that one mathematical equation that proves God’s existence one way or the other.  A mathematical equation!!  That seems rather cute at best.  I like to think of God, who profoundly loves us without limit, is up there in heaven smiling down on us with the evidences and speculations that are uncovered, delighted when his people are on the right track while annoyed when they conclude that he does not exist. 

To Hawking’s credit, he concludes his book “A Brief History of Time” with the following (speaking of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist):  “If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.”  So, while he has atheistic tendencies, he leaves God’s existence as a rather open question.  He was 46 years old when the book was published.  He is now 72 years old.  I understand that his more recent pronouncement is his conclusion that God does not exist.  So God is annoyed and so am I!

While I have not yet finished the Flew book, I have found some tidbits there that give me hope.  For example, he quotes a historian of philosophy, Frederick Copleston:  “I do not think that it can be justifiably demanded of the human mind that it should be able to pin down God like a butterfly in a showcase.”  Amen to that!  I prefer to just look outside, or go for a hike in the mountains, or go to the edge of the Grand Canyon, or go to a botanical garden, or watch (with my camera) as a butterfly sucks the nectar from a flower, or to just lie in the tall grass on a warm summer night, to look up at the stars and imagine what is out there.  And, while I’m doing that, I prefer to imagine the human body with all its intricacies:  the brain, the eye, the ear, with light and sound and all that we have here on earth. 

A mathematical equation?  Speculation about the laws of physics and what might be?  No.  God exists all right.  The theory that makes the most sense to me is the theory that God revealed Himself to us through Christianity and Sacred Scripture.  I think that Man would do well to accept that as truth and live life accordingly.

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