Hobling Around the Issues: Is God Real?

Before I really get into this topic, I should say that I believe there are highly intelligent people on both sides of this issue. Of course, the people who read this blog, are the most intelligent in the world, so let’s comment accordingly and with respect.

Also, this issue could have many extensions. For example: If he is real, what is the amount of interaction God has with man, different aspects of his personality, the best ways to serve, worship, ignore, or whatever else with him, what form he takes, if he is a she, etc. I think you get my point. We are not going to get into all that.

For the purposes of this post, I am defining God as the #1 definition in the Merriam Webster dictionary:

1. capitalized: the supreme or ultimate reality: as a: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b: Christian Science: the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind

This post will focus only on my belief as to whether or not that Being exists.

In a word: yes. Okay, lets all go clap our hands and sing praise songs now. Just kidding about the praise songs, but that does hint at the fact that although I do believe in God, I am not a fan of religion. Let’s not get sidetracked though.

Alright Hobbler, you believe in God, but why?

In his book, The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard presents a basic premise about spirituality that I believe must be understood before the concept of God can be expounded upon. It is a little technical, but bear with me:

” I am a spiritual being who currently has a physical body. I occupy my body and its environs by my consciousness of it and by my capacity to will and to act with and through it. I occupy body and its proximate space, but I am not localizable in it or around it. You cannot find me or any of my thoughts, feelings, or character traits in any part of my body. Even I cannot. If you wish to find me, the last thing you should do is open my body to take a look-or even examine it closely with a microscope or other physical instruments.”
 
He goes on to talk about how: “in Moscow for many years there was a scientific institute where the brains of great Communists-leaders, scientists, and artists – were preserved and slices taken to be analyzed under the microscope. Technicians hoped to find the secret of great Communist personalities right there in their brains. Of course, they found nothing of personal greatness there. “They were looking in the wrong place and in a wrong way.”
 
“Roughly speaking, God relates to space as we do to our body. He occupies and overflows it but cannot be localized in it. Every point in it is accessible to his consciousness and will, and his manifest presence can be focused in any location as he sees fit…every physical object and every natural law is a manifestation of God’s willing…This does not have to be taken in the sense that he is every second consciously choosing, for example, that this electron should be circling that neutron or that this pillar should be supporting that house. No doubt he could do that if he wished. But it is true in the same sense that the arrangement of the furniture in your apartment is a manifestation of your will. It is as you have provided for and want it to be, though you are not always thinking of that arrangement and “willing” it. It is also a continuing revelation of you to all who know you well.”¹
 

Sorry so long of a quote, but it really describes quite well the basic belief that I have regarding how God exists. I also believe that God makes himself evident in his creations. The Bible states – The heavens declare the glory of God…” (Psalms 19:1) All creations (nature, animals, humans, etc.) demonstrate the fingerprint of an awesome Creator.

If you do not believe or care about the Bible, let me put it this way:

Someone once said – “How is it that a brown cow eats green grass, which turns into white milk, then yellow butter, which is eaten by a man who grows red hair and has blue eyes?” …”If it is so simple, make your millions by inventing a machine that turns grass into milk. Call it a “Lawn-Mooer”.

How can strawberries grow next to garlic, and yet both derive their own unique tastes from the same soil and water? How can the thin layer of skin on your head send out a special hair? It has been formulated in your genes to send out a certain type of hair for the head, hair different from that which grows on the arm, or on the eyelids or the eyebrows. Imagine if you had eyebrows or eyelashes that grew to the length of the hair on your head.²

I could give many more examples, but don’t take my word for it…

Arthur H Compton, winner of Nobel Prize in Physics – “Science is the glimpse of God’s purpose in nature. The very existence of the amazing world of the atom and radiation points to a purposeful creation, to the idea that there is a God and an intelligent purpose back of everything…An orderly universe testifies to the greatest statement ever uttered: “In the beginning, God…”
 
Johann Kepler – Johann Kepler was a German mathematician and astronomer who discovered that the Earth and planets travel about the sun in elliptical orbits. He gave three fundamental laws of planetary motion. He also did important work in optics and geometry. – “The chief aim of all investigation of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God.”
 
Sir Isaac Newton – “All material things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid particles above mentioned, variously associated in the first creation by the counsel of an intelligent Agent. For it became Him who created them to set them in order. And if He did so, it’s unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of a chaos by the mere laws of nature.” 
 
Albert Einstein – “Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith.”
 
Sir John Fredrick Herschel, an English astronomer who discovered over 500 stars, stated: “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths that come from on High and are contained in the Sacred Writings.”
 
His father, Sir William Herschel, also a renowned astronomer, insisted, “The undevout astronomer must be mad.”
 
Matthew Maury, is considered the father of oceanography. He noticed the expression “paths of the sea” in Psalm 8:8. “If God said there are paths in the sea,” Maury said, “I am going to find them.” We are indebted to his discovery of the warm and cold continental currents. His book on oceanography remains a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities.
 
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
 

I could definitely go on about this subject, but this post is already getting a little long for my tastes, and I would love to get some feedback on some of your positions on this issue. So, here is your chance for a quick poll, and please free to leave me any additional comments. If you would like to discuss this issue in more depth, just let me know, and we will figure out a way to chat, email, or something else. Thanks!

 
 
 
 ¹. The Divine Conspiracy, D. Willard, 1997
2. The Evidence Bible, R. Comfort, 2003
Advertisements

39 thoughts on “Hobling Around the Issues: Is God Real?

  1. As the first to comment on this particular post, Hobbler. I will keep my response short and simple.
    I do not criticize any who has a belief in anything as they see fit. I like to converse about such things, so long as said individual is not cramming it down my throat.

    That aside, I believe in a higher being, but not necessarily the Christian-named God depicted in the paintings and bible. I do not need to go into details to argue about it. I am more spiritual than religious. So, I believe in things as they make sense to me and I can believe them until someone can prove me otherwise; which I am also open to.

    I do not disagree with other’s beliefs of God and his/her existence. However, I strongly believe my own version and it would take quite a lot to change what I believe 🙂

    Great post!

    • Let the discussion begin! I completely understand what you mean. That is one of the reasons I don’t like religion much. In my opinion, more people have been turned away from God by religion than by any other means. Many “religious” people seem to feel the need to either “convert” people to their own way of thinking, or to “defend” God or their idea of who he is.

      If God is the God defined in the dictionary I quoted, he certainly does not need any of us to defend him. If he does, he is not God. I do think that is okay to tell others why you believe in Him or why you don’t, but to feel like no one else can think any different doesn’t make sense to me. If God wanted us all to be robots, he could have easily made us robots. If he needs us to rescue him from all the big, bad people out there who disagree with us, he is sure not someone we should worship.

      As far as the “converting” that some try to do, if you can ever “convert” someone, (my opinion here again) it is not real. God is really the only one who can change people’s hearts, and if someone just “decides” to believe in God…well, is that real belief? If I decide that I am a supermodel, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m not. I think it is good if you really do believe in something that you tell others why you believe. Especially if it is something that could have a large effect on their lives. If I really believed that I knew what caused my MS, it would be irresponsible of me to never let anyone know; but to beat everyone over the head with my belief or to think others are less intelligent, not as good as me, or any other thing would be wrong, and would probably cause more harm than good.

        • Thanks…it really is kind of sad too. It doesn’t help much that a lot of “Christians” are not willing to have intelligent discussions about God. So many people believe, but although they want everyone to know that they believe, they really aren’t willing to hear why people don’t. Fear plays a big part in it too. I’m willing to admit that I don’t know it all about God, and there are some things that I think I will never truly understand. That to me, is not a bad thing. If you could truly understand everything about God, then he is not big enough to satisfy me. If more people were willing to admit that they don’t know everything and that sometimes people present very well thought out arguments against his existence, there would not be such a “preachy” view of believers. It’s kind of funny, but when I think about the things that I don’t understand about God I always think of pi …you know from math. I wonder if God showed us that mathmatical concept as an example of things that we will never truly understand.

  2. Despite the fact that I am an aspiring member of the Temple of the Jedi Order, I don’t think I have a good answer for this one. All I can say is that Someone has saved me from dying in a fiery car crash more than once. But I don’t think it’s the same Someone who supposedly opposes gay marriage and birth control pills.

    • Two fiery car crashes! Yeah, I think Someone is looking out for you. We should have no worries jumping out of a plane. As far as the other stuff, I think that when God looks at man he sees a lot of hurt and a lot of pain. I think he wants those of us who believe in Him to put their own feelings aside and love. If you are ever meant to “speak your personal belief” to others, it had better be with love. I’m pretty sure that God can better figure out what others need than we can.

    • I nearly fell off my chair at that last line. That is great. I have heard most of the arguments for and against God’s existence, but I’ve never heard it put precisely that way before and I find it truly amusing.

      I also have someone or something guarding me from the life-threatening events of my life. But, I’m getting no help at all on the mental aspect of life! 🙂

      • I don’t think that any of us have had much help in the mental aspect. 😉 I certainly have not, but honestly, you seem to be quite a well-adjusted person, which is more than I can say about the rest of the world.

        • Kind words from a mother with more life experience than most people at all. Four children will give you that experience. 🙂

          But to someone who has barely graduated, those words mean a lot. The fact that I come across so well-articulated as to cause you to think that way about me, is impressive to me. Thank you for it.

          • You’re welcome. Yes, having children introduces you to a whole new vocabulary. Suddenly you are babbling with an infant, and just wait till they get a little older. You’ll be explaining to your 5 year old that words having to do with certain bodily functions are “potty” words and not appropriate dinner conversation. You won’t know whether to be proud or roll your eyes when your 2nd grader knows how to spell every potty word in the dictionary, and don’t even get me started on the “raising teenagers” drama.

            Then there’s the added element of being a wife, step-mom (two oldest kids), disabled, etc. Yes, I’ve had a little experience; but I think that regardless of your experiences, it is what you do with them that matters. The great thing about writing, especially blogging, is that each of us can bring our unique life to a common platform that shows how every individual is part of a beautiful symphony.

  3. I think there is some sort of higher being. I don’t know that I believe it has all the power we attribute to it.
    As far as the scientist quotes, look at the discoveries in the otehr direction, quantum physics. There really is a lot more variability in the experimental evidence, pointing to a certain degree of randomness.
    I also think that us trying to understand the being, if it exists, is something like an amoeba contemplating a whale. How could a one celled organism understand that?

    Great topic though!

    • I love your thoughts here, El Guapo. Your analogy of science makes an interesting point. A lot of people use science as their defense against God’s existence. But, you just reminded us all that science isn’t even completely understood.

      Pot and Kettle, yes?

      • Well, for myself, as an unconvinced, I always think back to those things that were once attributed to the gods before they were understood, like lightning and volcanoes…

        • There are definitely some things that we have discovered a lot about. The great thing is, there is always more to discover. Someone once said that it (our universe and beyond) really seems like it’s overkill. Everything from the distance away from the sun, to molecular data seems to be so perfect for the earth…if even one thing was off, life wouldn’t exist.

          Whether or not you believe in God, I think we can all agree that life, the world, our solar system and beyond is pretty amazing.

    • Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this comment, I kind of lost it in the others.

      As far as the power thing goes…if God doesn’t have absolute power, I don’t know if he is big enough to be worshipped. I do think that people often attribute things to Him, good and bad, that are a result of their, or someone else’s behavior. Just because God is capable of doing something, that doesn’t mean He is always doing it. I’m capable of writing a book, but I’m not doing that right now, you know?

      The randomness thing is wonderful in my opinion. I would be so bored if everything in life was predictable. I know you don’t really believe in God, but if you would, consider the possibility that God allows some randomness so that we are continually reminded of the fact that we don’t understand and can’t predict everything.

      The other point you made about us trying to understand God is a very good point. I think that God gives us clues to discover things about him, but the basic idea of an eternal, all powerful, all knowing Being; is something that our human minds can never fully comprehend.

  4. Well-written post, Hobbler! I really don’t know how I feel about the whole” Does God exist or not?” thing, but I’m glad you wrote this post and gave me something to think about!

  5. 1) Yes, without a doubt.
    2) Get your own dirt.
    (similar to the cow premise. If you want to see something amazing outside of human gestation, try getting chickens………)

    Here’s the thing: church is not a reflection of God. Organized religion is not a reflection of God. There are entirely TOO many “Sunday worshipers” who think they meet the “requirements” for going to heaven, yet have not accepted and truly believe in Christ. Folks have to understand the source of the parts of the Bible that talk about worshipping in places; understand the time and where the early church was at in its development.

    I, personally, have heard the voice of God. I have known people who have heard His voice, too, just as plainly as someone talking to them (which has not been my experience). I have been infused with the Holy Spirit and have words not of my own mind come out of my mouth (no, I wasn’t speaking in tongues, either) that I’ve been told have made a difference to some. And, in fact, the one time that stands out to me was saying the only thing my now hubby would accept hearing, although we were not in the same physical space.

    The key to all of this is really to understand His ways are not our ways; we’re not *supposed* to understand it all. We’re supposed to have faith. Faith is, of course, nebulous to folks, since it can’t be “seen” or otherwise quantified.

    You said you didn’t want to get into a conversation about interaction with people, but I’ll throw this out: it’s all about relationship. In the same way that we all each have different kinds of relationships with other humans, so too, I believe, is the nature of our relationship with God; each and every one of us.

    And the guardian angle thing? That’s real, too. If you’ve ever done something really stupid dangerous or been in a situation where you listened to your gut- that’s divine intervention.

    I’m up for email discussion. 🙂

    • Wow! Sounds like you have had some amazing experiences! I agree whole heartedly with your thoughts on religion as well. Since I broke my hip, I haven’t gone to church much at all, but like you said, it’s all about the relationship. It seems like I am right where he wants me now. As far as guardian angels go; I think that a lot of people believe that someone or something is watching out for them even if they don’t know what that “thing” is: some of the other commenters on this post have mentioned those kinds of experiences. It is exciting to me to see how others feel on this issue. I like your chicken comment too…the whole egg process is quite a miracle to me.

    • You have inspired me. Despite the fact that I call the “power” something besides “God”, I have heard that voice you speak of. I have spoken things to people that I never thought before and yes, DID make a difference in their lives.

      It is refreshing AND relieving to know that someone else is aware and has experienced the things you have. I frequently worry that I am a fluke. And most people ignore me because of my personal belief system.

      • 🙂 That’s God. 😀 I’d say you might still be a fluke, because people don’t often pay attention to it- I think we have to make a point to listen. And then, of course, acting on it. Know anyone who ignored that voice with not-so-good results? That can range from anything small to real life-threatening stuff.

        Another thing I know about is heaven….. heaven is real, too. If you’ve ever been at the death of someone who is a believer, there can be things that happen that will leave you with no doubt……… and even the skeptics in the room saw and heard the same things. It wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t a delusion. Now, when you’ve seen that more than a single time, even skeptics can’t argue with there being something going on.

        Just sayin’. 🙂

        And then there are people that I know that “regularly hear God” in their dreams…….. that may be a difference in terminology (because the subconscious mind is a powerful thing), but you’ll not convince them of that. Had a friend who just last week got an answer to something major she had been in deep, consistent prayer about- and the voice was something she heard out loud. 😯

        • I had a dream once that, (this is not blasphemous, it just is what happened) resulted in a group of women “speed-dating” Jesus. If you want to know more, I can definitely explain, but it would probably take a whole post.

            • The funniest part was that it ended up being one of the most amazing things. Several women were crying and I think all of us who participated were pretty affected by it…at least for a while. I’ll write about it sometime, either here or in an email. Just remind me though, my brain’s not what it used to be.

      • I wish that no one would ever be ignored or rebuked because of their beliefs. You might not agree with someone, but our differences are much too interesting to be ignored.

  6. It would take way too long to describe what happened to me this last July; got kidnapped and apparently given psychotropics by a guy who was formerly CIA connected; lost 35 pounds in about ten days; perhaps an old MKULTRA; perhaps perhaps . . . something happened. That’s the best that can be explained – and I ‘died’ about eight times (inside) – losing EVERYTHING – even words; my ‘self’ – my ‘being’ or self and communing with what I take as at least my version of god – which embraces everything.

    Happier than happy; didn’t care about ‘me’ anymore; love and forgiveness … really really hard to explain. I wrote some posts on it; can’t even begin to put this sort of stuff or what I felt in words for there ARE none. In a way I knew what it *felt* like to be god: I had no sense of time or name; though I knew what one to give; there was a synchronicity of things going on – it continued when I got back – a lot of amazing things happened ‘over there’ and when I got back here. Even my wife was amazed – I was fixed and healed of my child abuse issues in some ways (the shame of the abuse was gone). But my doctor’s wife lied to get me put me in the insane asylum when I came back. (and NO – I wasn’t going around proclaiming I was god or anything like that – I was just being too damned happy for society to bear – to giving in attitude and forgiveness – and went to my doc to get some physical injuries checked out – and when they asked how I got the injuries and I told them – well, they had me 1013’d. Go figure. People sometimes (sighing). Trying to do something good and they damaged me again.

    But I had to reconcile ALL the religions, ALL my science training and knowledge – meshing Hindu & Christian & Muslim and Ba’al and Morlock and more – along with a high level of scientific training (especially in the physics area; that’s helped a lot in this sort of thing). And make it all come out where 1 equals 1. (In my own kind of way). And it did.

    So I got religion. Of my own kind. And it embraces all of the religions of mankind -while recognizing that they got it wrong some of the time – influenced by the hand of man some of the time, of course (after all, who WROTE those books of religion) . . .

    But I won’t get into it on your blog. It’s a pretty simple yet complex subject which tends to get people polarized. And I shook a man’s (a preacher’s) religion one time – as well as putting my own dad (he’s a born again – a long time ago) – religion to the test (he could not deny something I said). And I found I hurt them (the preacher I cared about; my dad I do not) – by mucking with their belief system. And I swore never to do it again.

    Anyway: a classic question asked a lot of times by every human being over the past few thousands of years: is He or isn’t He? And as you’ll learn as you get older (and as a friend of mine once said):
    “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe in something.” – because, in the end, it’s gonna make you a lot happier all your life long.

    • Ah Jeff, we could probably talk for a long time. If you would like to email me, or if you want to share more on my blog, feel free to. I am not scared of my beliefs being challenged…I have questioned them plenty myself, and I figure that although I may never know everything about God, if someone has a story that might shake my belief, then maybe either my belief isn’t strong enough, or I might believe wrong, so it would be good for me to know the truth.

      You might not care much about the Bible, but I want to let you know that your story sounds a lot like Joseph’s (the old testament one). He was abused (though not in the same way) by his family members, then he was lied about by another guy’s wife (although that lie was different too). You got locked in a mental place because of that lie, and he got locked up in jail because of the lie that was told about him. There are more similarities, so if you want to check it out, start in Genesis 37 (he was born in Genesis 30, but chapter 37 starts really going into his story, and the “lied about” thing is a few chapters later.

      One of the major lessons to be learned from Joseph is that there are a lot of people who do horrible things, but God can use those for good. I think your blog is a testament to that. You are helping so many people just by sharing your story. Not that what has happened to you is good…but you are not letting it control the rest of your life. I’m sure your abuser would rather you just shut up and spend your life hiding from the world.

    • Sounds simple enough…it gets more complicated as life gets painful, or devastating. One of the best things about God is that even though life might not be good all the time, God is, and he can work it out for good if you love him and let him. I think it’s important for people to know that just because God allows certain things to happen, it doesn’t mean he caused it.

      When I think of life not always being good, I think of child abuse in general; and Job, Tamar, Hannah, etc. from the Bible. Job and Hannah kind of worked out in the end, but sometimes we don’t understand some really horrible things that happen to us or someone we know. I think that although life isn’t always good here on earth, the pain can make us long for Heaven more than those who have no pain. I hope that makes sense.

Comments are closed.