Why God Cannot “Exist”
The Grand Design, the newly published book by famed English Cambridge University scientist Stephen Hawking, is stirring debate about the existence of God.
On Friday evening, Hawking appeared on Larry King Live, along with other panelists such as Deepak Chopra.
Hawking states in his new book that God is unnecessary for the universe to have come into existence.
So, what about the question of whether God exists?
A kindergarten teacher would occasionally walk around to see each child’s artwork while they drew. When she came to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher replied, “But no one knows what God looks like.”
Without even looking up from her drawing, the girl responded, “They will in a minute.”
The story highlights the problem with the word God. Mention this word, and immediately most minds conjure up some kind of image, whether a person or a force.
I think the greatest barrier to attaining an understanding of God is the very concept “God.”
I suggest God is mostly a figment of our imaginations.
As Rich Jeni remarked on the question of going to war over religion, “You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend.”
Aristotle said that in the quest for truth, it’s necessary to give up what is dearest to us.
People have given up wealth, friends, family, country, life itself in search of God. Yet perhaps what we really have to give up in order to experience God are our beliefs about God.
It seems to me that every word, every image used for God is a distortion more than a description.
Probably most people in Christendom and the Moslem world think of God as a being. Well, I can no longer believe in a being called God. Does that make me an “atheist?”
From the point of view of many who do think God is a being, I suppose it does!
Yet as Martin Buber, the Jewish philosopher, remarked, “The atheist staring from his attic window is often nearer to God than the believer caught up in his own false image of God.”
The 20th century theologian Paul Tillich explained that God cannot exist. Shocking?
Think what it means for something to exist. The meaning of the “ex” part of the word “exist” can be seen from our word exit. It means “out.”
To exist means to stand out as a distinct entity.
We exist. The world exists. The house we live in exists. The chair we sit on exists. All of these things stand out as identifiable entities.
But just because they do exist, they are necessarily finite.
Anything that exists cannot by definition be God, if by the term God we mean the source of everything that does exist.
The infinite source of all can manifest itself in the things that exist; but to be infinite, this source cannot itself exist. It cannot stand out as identifiable.
What all of this is saying is that to think of the infinite in any kind of finite way at all is like taking an ordinary thermometer with which you would check for the flu and trying to measure the temperature at the center of the sun.
People want to be able to imagine God so that God seems real. But by trying to make God seem real and somehow closer to us, we deny ourselves the one access to God that is available.
Though we cannot point to God, Jesus insists, along with the great Eastern spiritual traditions, that we can know God. But God cannot be known by reason, only byrealization.
We invite you to check out David’s daily author blog –http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.
David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving–A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors. He writes The Compassionate Eye daily, together with his daily author blog The Sunday Blog, at www.namastepublishing.com
Deepak Chopra, author of over 50 books, talks about his latest, The Third Jesus, in which he provides an answer to this question that is both a challenge to current systems of belief and a fresh perspective on what Jesus can teach us all, regardless of our religious background. There is not one Jesus, Chopra writes, but three.
Video Rating: 4 / 5
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