Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why God?

I feel that at this point in my blog's lifetime, I should write an apology. By that I don't mean that I am going to say that I am sorry for the things I have written. Instead, what I mean by an apology is a defense of my beliefs and opinions, much like Plato's famous dialogue. The first belief I will defend (and the subject of this post) will be the existence of God, something that I hope will enlighten believers and unbelievers alike.

But first, a disclaimer: by God I do not (yet) mean the God of Mormon doctrine, body and all. A defense of that concept will hopefully come later. Instead, I mean God in the most general sense: a conscious entity from which all things derive their being (in one way or another).

To begin, let me ask you a question: does anything ever last? The inevitable answer that I have come to again and again is "no". Everything, whether it is a nation, a work of art, or even a human life will be ultimately extinguished, meaning that there is absolutely nothing you can do to ensure the immortality of you or anyone you love. You will die and be forgotten, and there is nothing you can do about it.

But there's more. Have you ever thought about how enormous the universe is? One article says that it is 28 billion light-years across (for perspective, a light-year is about 5 trillion miles). And in all that space, how much of it will you see in your lifetime? The cold, hard truth is that you as an individual will only experience a tiny fraction of one percent of this enormous place we live in. What's more, even the world close by is as inaccessible, as you will never live in the body of another, think another's thoughts, or see through another's another's eyes. This makes me exclaim: what a huge waste of space! You will only ever be you, and that you will only ever see one grain of sand on that beach we call the universe.

This infinite world tells me that I will never partake of it, as I am only a finite speck. When confronted with this limitedness, you'd think the only reasonable response would be hopelessness. But I have another way. To the whole universe, I scream "NO". I simply refuse to believe that it could be so poorly designed, and I insist that it must be run some other way. In order for the universe to be worth living in at all, there must be something that connects us to the infinite. This thing is God, and without it suicide is the only rational option.

The majestic truth at the heart of the idea of God is that I come from him, as everything that I am, along with everything else in the universe, derives its being from my magnificent creator. This means that my essence, who I ultimately am, is shared with all other things. I am a branch on the tree of which God is the trunk, a river which flows into a divine ocean. God is the promise that I am connected with the entirety of being, that I can take part in the infinite. Ultimately, in a universe without God, I am nothing; in one with God, I am everything.

I believe in God because the only universe worth living in includes him. Some may say this is wishful thinking, and they may be right. However, I don't think that this is a problem. Call me ignorant if you want, but I would rather be happy and deluded than hopeless and right.

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