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Click here to read Part 1: I Believe God Exists
Those without a belief in God argue that humans come from nature – that no God exists, just a wondrously capable natural system that has provided the perfect matrix for the development and sustenance of human life.
However, when we study nature we see that all things exist within the constraints of their central tendencies. From the atom to the molecule to the cell to the animal to the sun, each of the elements of nature accords to its prescribed pattern without any statistically meaningful deviation:
Nature is subjected to an absolute organization, to determined laws, to a complete order and a finished design, from which it will never depart… For instance, the nature of fire is to burn; it burns without will or intelligence. The nature of water is fluidity; it flows without will or intelligence. The nature of the sun is radiance; it shines without will or intelligence. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp 1-2.
Only one exception to this binding arrangement exists: the human being. We manifest both will and intellect, and we quite regularly transcend the natural laws that govern our existence on earth:
One of the things which has appeared in the world of existence, and which is one of the requirements of Nature, is human life. Considered from this point of view man is the branch; nature is the root. Then can the will and the intelligence, and the perfections which exist in the branch, be absent in the root? – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp 3-4
If nature created us, how can a system that lacks our capabilities be our essence and author?
The extraordinary exactitude of the dynamic complexity that precipitated the natural laws which order our world boggles the mind. We have will and intellect, but can we say we have a thorough or even accurate understanding of our world? No one who has watched another succumb to a virus or an accident, despite the best efforts of the best minds, can subscribe to the illusion of human control, much less claim to fully understand the wonder of the world around us:
Now, when you behold in existence such organizations, arrangements and laws, can you say that all these are the effect of Nature, though Nature has neither intelligence nor perception? If not, it becomes evident that this Nature, which has neither perception nor intelligence, is in the grasp of Almighty God, Who is the Ruler of the world of Nature; whatever He wishes, He causes Nature to manifest. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp 3-4.
We who stand at the apex of understanding in the natural world cannot entirely understand ourselves, much less the world that sustains us. That realization gives us grounds to admit the possibility of an unknown Creator. The great physicist Albert Einstein, when asked if he believed in a Supreme Being, famously used this homely analogy to answer: “When I see a piece of toast, I know somewhere there is a toaster.”
Baha’is believe God is an unknown essence to his creation:
To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtle, the All-Perceiving. – Gleanings From the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 346.
God, as our author and essence, transcends human evaluation. The fact that no one can offer a conclusive proof of the existence or non-existence of God is in itself a particularly elegant proof. Whatever arguments we use, in the final analysis, are creations of our own minds, incapable of completely knowing God. We can, however, elect to believe and act in accordance with what we understand to come from God.
This choice – the conscious selection of faith in the absence of conclusive proof – remains our greatest test as individual human beings.
Didst thou behold immortal sovereignty, thou wouldst strive to pass from this fleeting world. But to conceal the one from thee and to reveal the other is a mystery which none but the pure in heart can comprehend. – The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah, p. 3
Nevertheless once we make the choice to act on a belief that a seed once planted will bear fruit in the future we have attained the power and blessings of the Kingdom of God in this world and the next. In conclusion consider the passages from the New Testament and the Baha’i Writings.
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
“As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessing be. This is the balance. This is the balance. This is the balance.” Baha’i Writings.