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If I can’t see God, He must not exist
- God was invented?
- Conditional statements
- Created vs Creator
- Everybody worships something
- 4% Universe
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If I can’t see God, He must not exist
Gary Aris: So our tagline– our tagline is, Finally Alive Radio where Psychology meets Theology. But the last couple of shows we’ve been a little bit more on the theological side, and we’re going to do that again. We haven’t forgotten about the psychological side; we are going to get to that. But we’re still getting some feedback with questions, and I got to be honest with you, it’s pretty exciting, and I’m enjoying answering the questions; I hope you are too. You can ask your own question, and you can send your question to me by emailing me. If your question is good enough it’s going on the air; I will answer it even if it takes the entire show. So send me your questions right now. If you want you can actually call and leave me a message.
So let’s get to a question here. Here’s one by the letters M and T, MT. It says, “Dear Pastor and Counselor Gary Aris, I carefully listened to your response from last week’s show. I was amazed by the theological and philosophical assessments, and appreciate your way of interpreting the Old and New Testaments.” Well, thank you. “But”, here we go, “Whoever invented the word God, ‘God’ must have done it to sow the seeds of spiritual belief in the hearts of the people, which were wisely crafted by the ideology of theologians and philosophers.” Well, I’m going to pause there. I’m not done with reading the question yet, but let me just respond here. Well, we have an issue here because there weren’t theologians in the days of Abraham. And as for philosophers– I mean technically philosophy’s only been around about 2500 years, and we’re talking about something that spans all the way back to about 6000 years at least. So we already have an issue here because our timing is off. The statement thus far, whoever invented the word God being theologians or philosophers, well, we’re already off there. So let’s make a note of that. But the rest a question says, “So my question is, how can you say God exists if there is no visible or touchable body that anyone dead or alive has seen?” This is actually a classic question. I think it’s the question of the ages. Valid question, I’ve never seen God. How is it possible that a God I’ve never seen, exists? Okay. I think this is an important question. And I believe a lot of people have asked it and I don’t think we’ve got a sufficient answer. So what I’m going to attempt to do, for the rest of the show, is answer this question. But I’m going to answer it from five different perspectives. I will answer the first one from a philosophical point of view. The second one from a theological. The third one from the psychological. The fourth one from a historical and the fifth one, and the final one, will be a scientific answer.
So let’s answer this philosophically. What I’m going to do is I’m going to take your question and put it into a philosophical form. The philosophical form I want to use is what they call conditional statements; better known as If-Then statements. Something random. If I eat too much, then my stomach will hurt. Or, if the sky has been blue every day, then the sky will be blue tomorrow also. We’re taking a philosophical way of doing this so let’s go to apply your question into that. And the way I would put it is, “If I can’t see God then He must not exist.” Now my question is going to be this, can I prove out that If-Then statement by plugging in a different antecedent, which is the beginning part, the if part? Let’s try it. If I can’t see the person who put together my car that I drive, then that person doesn’t exist; that sounds silly? Let’s keep going with it though. If I can’t see air, then air doesn’t exist. We’re getting sillier, aren’t we? How about another one. If I can’t see gravity, then gravity doesn’t exist. Don’t they all sound silly?
So some If-Then statements are not going to be accurate. So all because we’re making the If-Then statement doesn’t necessarily mean it’s accurate, which leads me to the theological point. I brought up air; I brought up gravity; now why would you say these would be silly arguments if I told you I can’t see air so it mustn’t exist, you’d laugh at me. Why? Because you’re not supposed to see air. It’s a gas or gases. What about gravity? Yes, gravity isn’t something that you’re supposed to see, but you can experience it. So this is where philosophy and the theology will have a point where it intertwines. In Romans 1:18, it says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of the people who suppress the truth by their wickedness since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them; for since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power, and Divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that people are without excuse, for although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened although they claimed to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds, and animals, and reptiles.” Verse 25. says that they exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised. Amen.
Those verses in Romans 1, answer a lot of these questions. Why did I bring up air earlier and why did I bring up gravity? Those two are invisible. Those two are things that you cannot hold or grasp in your hand. But you accept it. The exact same way you prove air exists and gravity exists is the exact same way you prove God exists. I can’t hold the air in my hand but I know it exists. How? Because I see what air does. It has, just like, verse 26, invisible qualities. What about gravity? That’s even worse. That’s nothing to grab. Quite honestly, the only way you can prove it, is by the effects of it. God is the same way. You see it; you see the effects of God and where did you get the idea that God had a human body? You see, this is a misconception. It’s easy for us to dismiss air because it’s a gas. So for me to say, “Well, I can’t see air like I see a person.” Well, obviously you can’t, it’s not a person. You’re talking about a whole different realm. God is exact same thing. You can’t minimize God to be seen. If God is attainable then, he is not worthy to be called God. That’s what makes God, God. He is unattainable, He is omniscient, He is beyond what you can grasp. But you see His effects from the creation of the world; even science hasn’t explained that but we’ll get to that in a minute, to the explanation of why life exists. You see if God has invisible qualities and he has eternal power, and has a Divine nature that’s not going to be something you can grasp in this natural world? You’re mixing natural with supernatural. Two different worlds.
Moses, it tells us in the Old Testament that he got to see the back side of God. Imagine, he got to see the back side of God just walking past him and the guy comes back down off the mountain; came back with a face that radiated. Now, I’m going to speak theoretically. If it is radiated, I wonder if that’s radiation and there’s only so much radiation that human beings can handle. So if he’s radiating, there’s only so much the flesh can actually experience looking at the Divine. Being in the presence of the Divine would kill the flesh, it’s two different worlds. But we know He’s there. How? By His actions; by the movements just like the wind moves the tree leaves. I can’t see the wind but then I can see its effects. God is the same way. You see his effects. But to see him, it would kill you; you would literally die. I mean think about the only time– the only other time, it talks about someone seeing God is Adam and Eve. It said Adam used to walk with God in the cool of the day. That’s in Genesis. Now, how could Adam, see God? Well, you have to realize this was before Adam and Eve sinned. So before Adam and Eve sinned they were in a state of perfection. After the sin, sin nature is born. After the sin nature is now born, we can no longer be in the presence of God because now we have this giant chasm between us because of that sin. So yes, are there people who have seen him? Yes, Adam and Eve maybe their kids and Moses got a quick glimpse through a crack of a rock. It’s all he got. But to stand in his presence it would kill you. Psychologically speaking, I’ll share some experiences. In counseling sessions, hands down, who may get out successfully, and typically in record time, are the ones who are believers in God, in Jesus. It doesn’t matter if they’re Christian or Catholic. For some reason if they believe in God and Jesus and they’re practicing, meaning they go to church, they actually practice what they believe in, sometimes they’re healed, in literally one or two or three sessions. It’s unheard of; it’s ridiculous but something about these believers, I haven’t seen it with anybody else. It doesn’t make anybody else bad but it’s just an observation.
Those who suffer from alcohol, there are these groups-AA or Alcoholics Anonymous that to this day the twelve steps that AA utilizes has been the best support system for alcoholics ever, ever. It’s almost 100 years old. Now, why do I mention that? AA was actually started in a Christian circle with Christian values. There’s twelve steps to AA. The first step is to admit you’re powerless over alcohol, but the second step is to believe in God. It’s changed today to believe in a higher power to make it more acceptable to other people but that was the original step two; to believe in God. Even though they’ve changed it to believing in a higher power why would you put anything spiritual into this, into a recovery system because even life has proven that you need God. You see we all worship something. Everybody on this planet worships something. If it’s not God, it’s something or someone. Some people worship other people. Some people worship celebrities. Some people worship money. Some people worship men or women. Some people worship their work. Everybody worships something. But as I’ve said, many a times, on this show. Every direction will take you nowhere, from friendships to social status to money to being a celebrity, it’s all vanity. But God, when we worship God there is an eternal value, there is something to look forward to. Believing in God allows us to have hope even after this life has past. When we talk about God or, in our case, Jesus as Christians, there isn’t any other religion, historically speaking, that comes close to Christianity. Every other religion, historically, is either forced upon you; there are rules and regulations, and there are things you must do or else you will not get the prize at the end. Christianity isn’t like that. So how do you explain if you’re free to walk away, why hasn’t everyone in history walked away from this particular religion?
If you read the book, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, it is an amazing book. They even have an updated version with some newer examples. John Foxe, back in the 1500s, took an account of any Christian story or writings and just simply collected it and put it all together and published it. He talks about the disciples. He talks about people who followed even later and all the suffering that these people went through, all to uphold the name of Jesus and not to deny this name. We have to understand from the Bible and other historical books there have been a plethora of people, of nations who have tried to bury the story of Jesus and Christianity itself. With all those efforts, plus the issue of free will, it still exists. Speaking of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Let’s talk about a couple of those guys. One of the disciples, John, he was actually the one who wrote the book of revelation. He was cooked, literally cooked in oil. How we take oil we throw a piece of chicken or something in there, yes. He was thrown in oil. All these people had to do was deny Jesus, that’s all they had to do. Why didn’t John deny Him? Peter, same thing. All he had to do was say, this whole Jesus thing is fake. There’s nothing in it for him. If it was a lie, why didn’t he just give up? You have to realize, psychologically, if it’s a lie, you know, I was just kidding, sorry my life is more important than that. Why, why didn’t Peter just give it up and say, “Yes. Yes. Yes. I was just kidding; sorry guys I take it all back.” Why didn’t he do that? Instead, they took Peter to crucify him and get this; Peter says, “If you’re going to crucify me, crucify me upside down. I don’t deserve to be crucified like my Lord.” He makes requests on how he wants to die but he will not deny Jesus. They’re either clinically insane or there’s something real about the story and you can go down the list. Why won’t believers in Jesus just deny it, if it’s fake? Nobody would give up for something that wasn’t real. You have to understand, the disciples didn’t make money at this, there was no money involved. Okay so, what was there to gain? They had nothing to gain but they knew the truth. They saw with their own eyes; they saw Christ with their own eyes. People try to say, “Oh, the Bible’s been disproven.” What has been disproven? Look at historical books, it lines right up with the Bible. I don’t know where they get this crazy idea, I’ve looked at it myself. You look at history and you look at the Bible it lines right up. What’s funny is, on top of that, they find archaeological facts that whatever happened in the Bible is real. So I think there is an agenda out there to just claim that, “All of this is all fake, I’m a scientist. That’s all. It doesn’t exist.” Where, where is it? Where is this proof? I haven’t seen it yet. Why don’t they just deny this God? They can’t, because it must be real. Look, we’ve had 2000 years at least since Christ was crucified to just bury this Christianity thing and throw it all away. Why in 2000 years, hasn’t it happened? I believe there’s something supernatural about that. Again, I’m explaining these are facts. You cannot deny that.
A man by the name of Richard Panek, P-A-N-E-K. He wrote a book called, The 4 Percent Universe. What he talks about in that book, just like the title tells you, he learned that only 4%, 4% of the universe has been discovered. He said all the stars, planets and galaxies that can be seen today make up just 4% of the universe. The other 96% is made up of stuff astronomers can’t see, detect or even comprehend. Panek says, “It’s unknown for now and possibly forever.” Here’s a person who isn’t a Christian or– there’s nothing up my sleeve here. And he’s discovered that 96% of the known universe hasn’t been touched? Another study said that our solar system had only been explored by Voyager, you’ll have to write this one down, had only been explored 0.00000000000000000000000000000001. That’s less than one percent. But let’s, for the benefit of the doubt, let’s just go with the 4%. Are you telling me that all because we haven’t physically seen God, God doesn’t exist? Well my thought back to you is, “Are you only examining 4% of the universe? What about the other 96% percent? What guarantee do you have that there isn’t a God in that 96%?” If you ask me that’s very faulty horrible, horrible science. And also, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, the US Department of Commerce, their website says and I quote, “For all of our reliance on the ocean, 95% of this realm remains unexplored, unseen by human eyes.” So forget space for a second. Our own ocean on our own earth has only been explored and seen by human eyes by 5%? I hope you will reevaluate what you’re thinking here. Because you’ve made a detrimental decision to believe a 5%, and a possible 4% when it comes to the universe. See, this is what amazes me about people who want to go and quote science and, look, I’m not against science. I appreciate science but science has limitations. I don’t even think science is the issue. I know they use the word science but I don’t believe that is the case for a lot of people. They want to hide behind the word science and that’s a great wall of protection, but I don’t think that’s the case. Really, because we’ve seen it time and time again, and I’m not going to get into right now, but even when something wasn’t scientifically proven it, it is quoted and then they put the word well science said so or so and so says so and therefore, it must be true. David Berlinski received his PhD in philosophy from Princeton University and was later a post-doctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University, all liberal universities, okay, so nothing up our sleeve here.
Dr. Berlinski has authored works on Systems Analysis, Differential Topology, Theoretical Biology, Analytic Philosophy and the Philosophy of Mathematics. He has also taught philosophy, mathematics, and English at such universities as, Stanford, Rutgers, the City University of New York, and the Université de Paris. In addition, he has held research fellowships at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, and the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques in France. Okay. So this guy, I think, qualifies on whatever he is about to say is going to be pretty powerful. I want to read you a quote from David Berlinski. This is what he says in his book, The Devil’s Delusion. And I quote, “Has anyone provided proof of Gods inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it’s here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided we with the understanding of what is good, what is right, what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ballpark. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.”. I just quoted Dr. David Berlinski who has gone to liberal schools and has a liberal education. He even admits that there is an agenda. Science is no longer about science but rather about an agenda and I agree. Some religious people, the past, present and I know the future, will have their own agendas. I understand that and I will even agree to that but you have to answer for your people, for your science, for your professors, for your PhD’s who have an agenda that is against God. Quite honestly, the definition of science is something you can see, therefore, prove out. If you cannot see God because it’s metaphysical then they have zero authority to speak on the subject of God or that particularly metaphysical branch. They have no authority at all.