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In a recent discussion about Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion on my Facebook page, someone posed the Chicken and Egg argument against the existence of God: that is, the God “theorem” just kicks the causal relationship further down the road because then we have to explain what created God.
This is certainly true if you conceive of God as being the same sort of being we are and therefore subject to the same natural laws.
Krishna hints at a more complex relationship and reality than that when He says:
All the visible universe comes from my invisible Being. All beings have their rest in me, but I have not My rest in them, And in truth they rest not in Me. Consider my sacred mystery: I am the source of all beings, I support them all, but I rest not in them. — Bhagavad Gita 9:4
As a writer of fiction, I find this concept comprehensible because of the relationship that exists between me and my creations. I am in my books, but I am not in my books. I create the laws that operate in my books, and yet I am not bound by those laws. The characters in my books may look human and act human and sound human, but they are only reflections of humanity.
So, from my point of view, to cavil at the existence of God because we can’t imagine what sort of being He might be (having only ourselves as a point of reference) would be very much like my characters being unable to imagine that there is a writer who conceived of them and put them into a book. They might theorize my existence and, if they looked carefully at themselves, they would see my reflection in them, but they would not see me.
I think this is what our relationship with God is like — we can’t see God any more than we can stare directly into the sun, but we can see His reflection. The Baha’i writings put it this way:
Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that Most Great Light. …To a supreme degree is this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such distinction. — Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p 177
Later in the same verse, Baha’u’llah says:
“He hath known God who hath known himself.”
Look at it logically: if we suppose that there is no essence or element or being behind the existence of the universe that is NOT intrinsically different than what is IN the universe, then no matter what you posit caused this or that, you’re doomed to an infinite regression of chickens and eggs.
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For myself, that is one of the reasons I like being creative; it allows me to GLIMPSE into what it is like to be a "Creator" ;)
I can then explore that analogy of being part ...of Creation with a new perspective...
Thanks for a great article!
He is also bothered ...because the question of God is scientifically undecidable. In epistemological terms, the proposition "There is a God" is not falsifiable: there is no experiment you can devise or perform that will prove it false. By the same token, you can't prove it true. You can only believe, or not believe. I choose to believe, on aesthetic grounds as much as any other.
Dawkins does not believe, which is fine. But for some reason he has decided to be the atheist's equivalent of the Jehovah's Witness type who goes from door to door preaching how you must accept Jesus because _he_ believes. Dawkins does not believe, so for him, it is necessary that we also not believe. Well, to quote Elda Innsmith, "Fine for him."
Chris Hitchens has said that his atheism is "a Protestant atheism." Which begs the question, which human conception of God he is rejecting.