In Search of God
IN SEARCH OF GOD
- A Most Evident Mystery 04
- Does God Exist? 06
- Man Does Not Stand Alone 23
- God—A Source of Conviction 27
- God-Oriented Life 31
- The Concept of Accountability 37
What one is most convinced of is his or her own existence. Despite this, in purely scientific terms, everyone is a mystery. For man is not what he physically appears to be, but consists of what he calls I, and the I is not observable.
That is why when the philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) wanted to give proof of his own existence, he did not say: “I consist of a body that is observable, therefore I exist.” Instead he had to say: “I think, therefore I exist.”
Man undoubtedly has an observable existence. We all know that man exists. But, in fact, this man’s existence is at the level of “I” and the cognisance of I is at the level of perception or comprehension, and not at the level of observation.
Exactly the same is true of God. It is, as if, God is a Greater I. God, at the level of His creation, is directly observable. But God at the level of His Being is not directly observable by man. We shall
A Most Evident Mystery
have to believe in God on the basis of the same logical principle which Descartes employed to know himself, and on which all men and women believe in their own existence.
Everyone who believes in his own existence is logically compelled to say, “I exist, therefore, God exists.”
I can comprehend God, therefore God exists. The truth is that God’s being comprehensible is an undeniable proof of His existence. If we deny God, we shall have to deny our own selves.
Since we cannot countenance our own denial, we cannot countenance God’s denial either. Everyone who believes in his own existence is logically compelled to say, “I exist, therefore, God exists.”
Does god exist? My answer to this question is in the affirmative. Based on my study and my experience, I can say with full conviction that God exists.
There is no doubt about it. When I say that God exists, I say this in the scientific sense and not in the popular sense.
People generally believe that they are in a position to prove or disprove anything. But this is not the scientific position.
According to modern science, you cannot prove or disprove anything, You can only arrive at a probability, rather than a certainty.
If there is sufficient data to show that this or that thing probably exists, then one can make the statement that this or that thing exists.
The present question of whether God exists itself raises another question. Studies in anthropology, that is, the science of man, have established that the concept of God is ingrained in human nature. Belief in God runs in our blood.
Does God Exist?
Every man and woman is a born believer. Everyone undergoes this experience at one point of time or the other.
Especially in times of helplessness and in crisis, we discover that there is a Supreme Being. Every man and woman has experienced this natural fact at least once in his or her life.
Belief in God runs in our blood. Every man and woman is a born believer. Especially in times of helplessness and in crisis, we discover that there is a Supreme Being.
Then why this question? If the concept of God is present in our flesh and blood, why does one question the existence of God?
The reason is very simple. People want to know whether there is a rational basis to their inner belief, whether there is some scientific proof in favour of their inner feelings.
I must emphasise that there is certainly a scientific basis for belief in the existence of God. But people generally fail to discover it for the simple reason that they try to apply a criterion which they wrongly believe to be scientific.
They want a proof in terms of observation, whereas this is neither the scientific method nor the criterion by which to judge. If you apply the right criterion, you will find that God is a proven fact.
Here I recall an incident which took place in 1965, when I was living in Lucknow. I happened to meet a gentleman, who was a Doctor of Philosophy and a great admirer of Bertrand Russell.
Of course, he was an atheist. During our conversation about God he asked: “What criterion do you have to prove the existence of God?” I replied: “The same criterion which you have for proving the existence of anything else.” The dialogue ended there. There was no question and no answer after this.
Why did this learned man fall silent? The reason is very simple and well known. My answer was to him a kind of reminder.
I reminded him of the fact that we are living in a world where inferential argument is as applicable to the concept of God as to any other concept.
In our modern times scientific knowledge has increased to an unbelievable extent. But, according to the Encyclopaedia of Ignorance, “increase in knowledge has only increased our ignorance.”
One scientist has rightly said: “We know more and more about less and less.” Now it is an established fact that science gives us but a partial knowledge of reality.
Human knowledge has two different phases— the pre-Einstein period and the post-Einstein period. In the pre-Einstein period, knowledge was confined to the macro or material world, which was observable and measurable.
So, it was generally held that everything, which has a real existence, should also be observable. Anything which could not be observed had no real existence.
This meant that only the seen world was real and what was unseen was unreal, or some kind of fiction.
This concept created the theory which is generally called logical positivism. It means that the only valid logical argument is one which is demonstrable in material terms, otherwise it is simply a baseless claim, and not a valid argument.
But, in the post-Einstein period, in the early years of the 20th century, when the atom was split, the whole situation changed. After the splitting of the atom, matter as a solid substance, disappeared. It was replaced by the micro world, beyond the atomic world, where everything was reduced to unseen waves, neither measurable nor observable.
After this revolution in knowledge, logical or rational argument also changed drastically. This changing situation compelled the philosophers and the scientists to revise logical criteria. It has now become an accepted fact that inferential argument is as valid as direct argument.
In the post-Einstein era, it was discovered that even so-called observable matter was unobservable. Now everything was waves, and waves were not observable.
Present-day science includes so many things, like electrons, the law of gravity, x-rays, etc., all of which are non-material in nature.
They cannot be observed, but every scientist believes in their existence, for the simple reason that, although we cannot see these things directly, we can see their effect. For example, a falling apple, in the case of gravity, and a photograph, in the case of x-rays.
We believe in the existence of all these things, not by observation but by their result; in other words, by way of indirect knowledge.
This change in human knowledge also changed the theory of logic. Now it is well established in science that inferential argument is as valid as direct argument. (For de man Knowledge, by Bertrand Russell)