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God or not




The question here is: should we believe in God? I posted elsewhere that you cannot really prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. Even in mathematics, the most rigorous proof of anything in science, we begin with some assumptions. Descartes, in his famous meditation, argues that for us to believe our experience of reality is actually real, that it is not just a trick played by an evil demon, the ultimate assumption is that God exists. Otherwise, we cannot even believe that our lives are real. I mentioned two other writers - Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn - who also argued, in different ways, that science itself is not true beyond doubt. So, I don't propose to prove that God exists. The evidence is there, the arguments are there. It's not beyond doubt and you don't have to believe it if you don't want to. It's like being a sailor. You can use science to navigate the waters or you can use your instinct and experience. You don't need science to learn how to drive a car. You don't have to believe.

So, why do I believe in God and in Jesus Christ? If you read up on self help and psychology, you'll find lots of help and advice that do not mention God nor require you to believe in God to achieve self-fulfilment. Buddhists achieve Nirvana without the concept of God. So, why believe? Well, the first part is how similar the Buddhist experience of meditation is to prayer (not the kind of prayer that we generally think of, where you get down on your knees and recite a prayer or talk to God through prayer, but the quiet contemplative spending time with God that I've described). Although the kind of praying I've described is not being taught (as far as I know) in Christian circles, if you go beyond the rituals of both, especially if you compare the practices of Hinduism, Chinese monks, indeed everywhere meditation is practiced, you find the same thing - slow down to the point of calm (stillness) and you will find the answers to your questions.

Now, the ritual itself is a paradox. Don't think and you'll find the answer. Isn't thinking how you find the answer? So, it seems to me that the answer is not coming from you but from someone else. It can be argued that by calming your mind, you are actually thinking better and more clearly. Like how a swimmer actually swims best when he is not struggling and learning to swim. Maybe. There are other explanations, like it's in your DNA. That somehow, our DNA is a repository of everything that happened in its evolution. It seems to me that, if by stilling my mind, I will know my purpose in life and that I will gain wisdom and understanding about life and the universe, that wisdom and understanding is more likely to come from God than from me. The process seems to me to be a two way communication between a lesser being and a greater being than a single being talking to himself.

The second reason is this. So far, everything I've said seems to align with what Jesus said. Jesus said to come to God as if He's your father. He said not to worry and leave everything to God. Seek and you shall find. And indeed, the process I've described is as easy as anything. Slow down, be still, and He's there. And that's what everyone is advising us to do whenever we're troubled. Slow down, calm down, you'll work it out. Or it'll work itself out. If you do that, not only will you be more collected, your life will be better, you will feel motivated to do more, you'll be happier and healthier. Don't rush, slow down, and it will all come to you. Seems magical to me.

So, you can do any other way or you can do it the Christian way. The Christian way makes more sense to me.



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