The Concept of God
THE CONCEPT OF GOD
The author says: In 1965 in Lucknow, I met a university Professor, a Doctor of Philosophy, who had turned atheist.
The subject of our conversation was the existence of God, during which he asked: “What criterion do you have to prove the existence of God.”
I replied that I had a valid criterion and that it was exactly the same as is employed in science to prove any natural fact.
Bertrand Russell has aptly said there are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge of things and knowledge of truths. So far as the “things” are concerned it is possible to apply direct argument to them.
But inferential arguments alone can be applied to prove “truths,” as relating to the laws of nature.
Inferential arguments are held to be valid in science, that is, to admit the existence of some “reality” on the basis of the existence of things.
On the basis of this reality, Bertrand Russell has acknowledged that the “argument from design” brought forward by religious people is a valid argument, according to science.
The argument from design sets out to prove the existence of a designer from the existence of design.
By the first half of the twentieth century people used to debate over the existence of God. But by the end of the twentieth century this is no longer considered a debatable topic.
Now in academic circles the existence of God is held to be a fact. Particularly after the Big Bang theory, this matter has been almost settled.
Now we are right, scientifically, in saying that the choice for us is not between the universe with God and the universe without God.
Rather the real choice is between the universe with God or no universe at all.
Since, from the scientific viewpoint, we are not in a position to opt for no universe at all, we are compelled to choose the universe with God.
As regards the scientific evidence on the existence of God, perhaps the first notable account was that prepared by Sir James Jeans, titled The Mysterious Universe, published in 1930.
Many important books have subsequently come out on this topic, which describe how all the fields of the science of the universe point to the existence of God.
Here I would like to refer to a very valuable book on this subject, consisting of forty articles written by qualified western scientists.
It is titled The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, and is edited by John Clover Monsma.1
The truth is that both revealed and scientific knowledge equally prove that there is a God of this universe. And that God is only one.
Not believing in God is as illogical as believing in many gods. In this present world man is given freedom for the purpose of being tested. Everyone is free to say what he wants to and to believe in anything of his own free will. But so far as reason is concerned the only rational concept is that of one God. Everything else is irrational. No valid argument exists in its favour.
Once a group of young men in an Indian town were discussing whether God existed or not. Even after a long debate the matter could not be settled.
Finally, they agreed to refer the matter to a certain pious Muslim scholar of the same town, who came there at their invitation.
He stood among the youth and simply recited this verse from the Qur’an:
“Is there any doubt about God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth?” (14:10)
The result was miraculous. The youths were left speechless. They found this argument from the Qur’an so convincing that they needed no further arguments to believe in God.
How did it happen that assertion alone was sufficient to bring them to belief?
It is because God is self-subsisting. He needs no proofs for His existence. The reason for God being self-evident is twofold.
Firstly, the existence of the universe itself is a proof of the existence of God. Secondly, man’s existence in itself is a proof of God’s existence. Therefore, man believes in God, because he is bound to believe in Him. His inner nature speaks for God.
Hence, most often, a simple assertion about the existence of God suffices for a man with an unbiased mentality to believe in God.
One cannot afford to deny God, as that would be tantamount to a denial of one’s own nature.
At the same time, in the external world man sees clear evidence of God in nature all around him, day in and day out. God is so evident that any denial of God becomes artificial.
That is why those who apparently reject God, also come to believe in God, when confronted with their own utter helplessness. (31:32;10:22)