Why I Believe in God

The world is cold and hard. There is no mercy in nature. The planet shakes and buildings fall, huge waves wash all away. Fires destroy without will or care. When the rain stops, everything dies. Death is the rule in life. Hunters choose the young, the weak, the helpless. The big cats kill whatever they can. Crocodiles spare no creature, they are not merciful, they are cunning, and serve no being except their own appetites.

All fight to survive, and kill what they must. When a killer whale tosses the sea lion into the air, and then kills and eats it, that is how the world works, the killer whale is a complex chemical system, as is the sea lion. They are collections of molecules that through millions of years of natural selection have managed through a blind process to assemble into creatures that suffer, die, eat, and survive, to no particular purpose except to produce more of their own kind. Evolution has through its own mechanisms produced the sharks with their teeth, the eagles with its talons and eyes, the rabbits and mice with their fear and cunning to escape.

This is the world. Not good, not bad, just real. Who survives wins.

We are also survivors, and winners. We also kill, hunt, hurt, and do what we must. We fight our rivals to eat, mate, live. We feel anger and fear. We make weapons, and we learn how to do all that we must do better than any other creature has ever done. We have prospered. The world has become ours. We fear no cat, no bear, no lion. Not any more. We are supreme in the world of nature. We have won.

We no longer fear the lion, but we fear each other. We gather in groups to chase and kill other groups that threaten us. We kill the children of our enemies, we rape the women of those we vanquish, we make slaves of those we conquer. We seek and take control, and then we do whatever it takes to keep control of others. We invent ways to eat without hunting, We build cities and monuments. We force suffering on others to improve our lives beyond any natural expectation.

There is no mercy, all are in competition with all. We make friends for the sake of our own benefit. We extend mercy when we can profit by it. There is no limit to the misery we can impose on others. This is not evil, this is nature. We are not evil, we are not good. We are what we are, winners, survivors. Some are foolishly bothered by what we call evil, not realizing that there is no evil in the world of nature. There is only reality which is the result of complex chemical reactions. Nothing more.

That is where I started from. That is the background of my picture of the world. A chemical world, where E = mc^2, and the rest follows. I was surprised when folks complained: “Man is cruel, there is no sympathy for the downtrodden”. Of course man is cruel, cruelty can be useful, and the downtrodden are losers.

Our goal is to be the best, so that our genes will go on and on. We don’t know this, of course, but it is built into our instincts by the same selection process that produced the wings of birds and the antennae of bugs. There is no purpose, no meaning, no judge, no reason, no soul, no self, no community, no consciousness. All of those are illusions.

For a very long time, I believed only in what I have written above. I don’t believe any of that any more. And that is why I believe in God.

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6 Responses to Why I Believe in God

  1. I think it was Tolstoy (I could be wrong, but he makes sense) who said that, “There is a vast territory between *God* and *no God*.”

    That’s a big space between those last two paragraphs! 😉

  2. Yup. That was intentional.

    • Anton Chekhov, lifted from his diary of 1897… “An enormously vast field lies between ‘God exists’ and ‘there is no God.’ The truly wise man traverses it with great difficulty.”
      As one seemingly pathologically unable to make Kierkegaard’s leap, I should have recognized the sentiment. I wrote an honest response to this post, if you care to read it. It might not be what you expect.

      Good wishes to you, Sy. Truly.

      • Kumi, I would love to read it. Where can I find it? As for the gap, I fully agree. I did in fact traverse it with great difficulty and taking a very long time. That in fact is the subject of my book, and the reason I wrote it.

    • It’s presently the first article on my main, active page on WP (“Lightness Traveling”). You’ll note a Chekhov quote.

      I periodically skirt the edges of Chekhov’s field. Obviously, “this” emerges from something we can’t understand, if even comprehend. And there seems to be some underlying unity to the interval of complexity that describes our universe.

      Of course, the easy response is that we simply “are”… fixed patterns in a block universe, self-hallucinating a personal will and purpose. But while I’ve come to suspect that may be true, it may also be a red herring. See a sunset, feel the wind, look into a mirror and ponder how such *experience* emerges from the mere statistical mechanics of a few ordered electrical impulses. So I have room for “God”, at the very least in qualia… that which gives the mere ripples in the fabric of existence such profound meaning.

  3. dgilmanjm says:

    I used to be agnostic, not atheist (yes there is a significant difference). I started to believe in God because the scientific evidences indicates that life, the planet I live on and the entire universe did not come about purely by natural causes.

    I used to believe the so called “Evolution Theory” until I saw things that contradicted it.

    Why does evil exist? Simply because God granted us free will. For it to truly be free will, He must not interfere with or prevent bad decisions. Also, He did not make the universe illogical in that nothing bad will happen if one makes bad decisions.

    Science by itself does not identify who that God is, but then science does not identify the artisan of any artifact. You need other evidence. For me, it was that I read in the Bible things that were not discovered to be true until thousands of years after it was written. Some of it was not discovered to be true until the 20th century.

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