Does God exist?
I can’t prove he doesn’t or that he does. And why should I be the one to cut the Gordian Knot when atheists and theists have been at it for centuries without much progress?
I was raised a Greek Orthodox Christian, attended a Roman Catholic girls' school and going to church was pretty much a part of my upbringing. I was bred on God. Surprisingly enough, every time I find myself in turbulence, I just instinctively pray. (Admittedly, I also knock on wood to avoid tempting fate). Naturally my heart wishes to believe the truth of what I was raised on, but my bothersome brain keeps getting in the way.
Maybe I reject God because, growing up, I felt a little like a convict at mass on Sundays. It was positively stifling. Not to mention my mother’s pokes every so often when my mind drifted. And I even got booted off to Christian camp. What an ordeal that was! As everyone chimed “Oh, Lord, Jesus Christ have mercy on us” in a drone again and again and again through to dawn, there was a heathen in me that could not keep from comparing this constant back and forth chanting to symptoms displayed by those suffering from obsession neurosis. The group leaders would give me happy smiles as though they’d just popped Prozac and I’d smile back and think to myself, “Don’t think I haven’t figured out that this sleep and food deprivation is just part of your brainwashing techniques.” (I even managed to sneak in D. H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” to counter all the indoctrination).
Not that I should have minded the catechism. Had it worked, it would have ended this inner struggle I have. How soothing it would be to just KNOW there’s a God and put an end to the confusion.
Friends who are believers state that they feel certainty of God's existence because they can admire the majesty of a sunset and feel one with nature. While I agree that sunsets and starry skies are most certainly spectacular and that we are indeed part of nature, I don’t think that this proves God.
Then there is that little voice within. Some even claim to have conversations with the One. There’s even a passage in the Bible where the Creator says, “I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts.” (Jer. 31:33).
But how can we be sure that these are the Laws of the Creator and not just projections of messages our parents gave us when we were kids? Had we grown up in cultures where it was considered good to destroy deformed babies as soon as they are born or lived in a culture that encouraged us to partake in orgies then I don’t think we’d feel guilt when encountering what are considered “atrocities” according to our current values. And how can we be certain that our values are any better than anyone elses?
It would appear though, judging from history, that people have this innate need to believe in a Creator. Perhaps we are genetically hardwired for belief. That would explain the numbers of believers. But inventing a God and wishing the truth of this does not necessarily prove anything.
That aside, it is hard to refute the possibility of some Intelligence, some Order when there is too much mathematical precision in this complex universe to render its existence just another random event. Perhaps science and maths hold the answers. Who knows, perhaps there may be some vestige of God revealed in years to come.
For the time being though, all religion has to offer is an airiness of God.
* Michelangelo’s famous Sistine Chapel fresco depicting the hand of God reaching to Adam really shows how I feel. Like the hands almost, but not quite, touching, I, too, feel that there is this unattainable ecstacy hovering just beyond the grasp of my consciousness. But how can I satiate my need for the Divine when my reasoning gets the better of me?