“Is there a God?”, “Was he an ‘invented’ by humanity”, “If he exists, what is he like?”
To play ‘devil’s advocate’ (pun intended) riddle me this:
If you knew the answer what, if anything, would you change about yourself?
So you’re looking for the answer to the “God Question”, huh? Lucky for you, the answer is readily available in the place you least suspect.
The answer is in you, friend.
Here’s the deal. No individual can make someone believe or disbelieve in God, unless the individual is built in such a way that he or she needs a “keystone” to put it all together. In that case, the right words at the right time just may change everything about the individual’s existence.
I’d say if you are at that point, I’d be happy to discuss if you reach out, as I was one myself! Alas, most individuals who “need the keystone to put the pillars together” do not realize they needed the keystone until it is firmly in place, linking the pillars together, and reinforcing each pillar in the process. Said another way – most needing a keystone do not know they need a keystone, so I will temper my enthusiasm for a surge of comments or emails on the topic.
In the interim, what I CAN help an individual understand in their quest for THE answer, is how to break down the question at hand.
Why do YOU believe or disbelieve in God?
Explore the ‘questions behind the question’ for yourself friends.
There are infinite reasons that an individual does not believe in a God, and I already get feedback about my blog having “inspirational content” but being “too wordy”, so any attempt to try to speak to each of us via one blog post would be as fruitless as Adam & Eve wished the garden was.
So instead I will use the combination of generalities (to help an individual dig deeper on their search for the answer) and experience (for credibility purposes).
Where does disbelief stem from?
I was born with a gift and a curse. I’ve always been extremely right brained (creative/etc.), and extremely left brained (logic/etc.). Think of the left and right brain as the two pillars that need a keystone to completely ‘connect the dots’. My right brained helped me be a strong ‘creative writer’ at an early age – my left brain was the reason my parents called me “Doubting Thomas”… I was creative enough to ASK the question – and logical enough to challenge it in a meaningful, and for believers, disconcerting way.
As I grew up – I slowly neglected my creative side and more wholly and fully embraced the logic/scientific side. After all, that is what’s “in” in society these post-enlightenment days! If I can back up my worldviews, opinions, and approaches – and ground them in a world we call “fact”, than those worldviews, opinions, & approaches will be more widely accepted.
I never completely lost my ‘right brain’ – but I absolutely prioritized my ‘left’. Very few individuals could “beat me in an argument”, because it was grounded in the socially accepted ‘truth’ of science & logic. As time went on I did, however, become better at “choosing my battles” somewhat altruistically (meaning, I would not ‘debate’ for the sake of debating, or for the sake of emotion, but either just try to “understand where I am wrong” or “enlighten an individual on why my understanding may resonate with them”).
At least a couple times a year, someone that “knows” me, is surprised when I give them my personal answer to the very profound question of “does God exist?” So in order to speak to as many people as I can in one…..simple….blog post. Let me use myself as the example, reinforcing the fact that, I was (and still am) the ultimate “Doubting Thomas” (which is indeed my namesake by no coincidence).
Do I believe in God?
If asked 20 years ago, my answer would have been concise.
….based on the way I was raised. It is a “yes/no” question after all, my answer would have been “yes”, because my mom and dad said it was so.
If I was asked 10 years ago, my answer would have been ambiguous.
…based on social impact of our generation, college can seed enough doubt and the social desire to fit in, to shift from “yes” to, “yes, maybe, I think”
If I was asked 5 years ago, my answer would have been long-winded.
…at my peak of “left brained-ness”, I would have said “yes, but God is not what you think it is.” Then I would expound on many of the “rational” counter-arguments than atheists raise today — never giving a direct answer myself, but rather, creating a circular reference of confusion in the head of the very individual that raised the question.
If asked 2 years ago, my answer would have been genuine.
…after my initial “clicks” 2009, I went through a rapid stage of pendulum swinging (‘omg, the government is not our friends’, ‘omg what are we doing to the environment’, ‘omg, I’m using an acronym for God a lot lately, what does THAT mean?’)
My answer to the “God Question”…
…came when I finally combined the right & left brain. The “clicks” were painful to the degree it shattered everything I thought I knew and “trusted’ about life — but like the calcium deposits of a healed broken bone, my understanding had come back stronger than ever before.
I was able to FINALLY take the BEST of the “5 year ago super-logical me” and combine it with the “faith of a child listening to his parents me”.
So… How do Science & Faith – the right and left brain – converge?
Again, ask yourself the questions. What is the source of your doubt? Keep asking questions until you boil it down COMPLETELY. We often try to find answers to questions we do not fully understand… We go down rabbit holes without even conceptualizing where they may end up. We “seek” without even knowing what we’re hoping to “find”.
THE MORE DETAILED QUESTIONS ARE THE ANSWER!
As (self-proclaimed)-‘rational’ creatures – we nonetheless have a tendency to leave our higher-level unanswered questions at just that, unanswered.
ANYTIME you do not have an IMMEDIATE answer to a question, break it down further. If you keep asking long enough, you will get down to a SIMPLE “yes/no”, “true/false”, “1/0”.
Friends, since I cannot give one overarching answer to a question that needs to be CUSTOMIZED for each soul to process, I can only give you a series of algorithms, err, I mean second-tier/deeper questions to process.
- How do you define God?
- What would “prove” God’s existence to you?
- Do you base your understand of God based on what others say he is, or describe him as?
- Is your issue with the premise of the ‘physical description’ of God being a “Father”, often portrayed with a long gray beard?
- Are you one of the “open minded” individuals that have potentially chained themselves to their open-mindedness, by rejecting nearly ALL of what the “masses” (pun intended as usual J) believe in?
- Do you question because you seek the answer, or because you need the question?
- Do you question the integrity of the man-made/man-maintained institutions of organized religion?
- Do you need a scientific explanation to prove God?
- Are those scientific explanations any less “man-made” than the institutions you may have previously doubted?
- Can you change your awareness and perception and definition of what God is? Could he be the “whole” of the parts from which you are an important piece of? Could he be classified as the “impetus” from which all things in the our tree of existence stem from? Could he be the aggregation of life from an individual, to a society, to a species, to a history, to an ecosystem, to a universe, into an infinite macrocosm beyond our comprehension?
- Could you be a cell in the body of something greater; and could that something greater be a cell in a body of something greater; and could it go on infinitely in a world without space and time?
- And/or could he simply…just…be…?
The question behind the question is important.
Interested in my answer to the question? If asked anywhere between 6 months ago to now…