Is there a God? Steve Colbert put it succinctly, “Jahweh or NoWay.”There are only two possible answers to this question, so you have a fifty/fifty chance of getting it right.
Jahweh – There is a God
The universe and life as we know it was created in some manner by an all-powerful being we call God. God has always existed and is outside and inside of time, and will always exist. Everything in the universe or beyond the universe exists because of God. Some believe this God may have a family of gods, possibly including powerful, evil enemies.
No Way – There is no God
The universe or energy has always existed with no beginning. This “force” has always existed. It is evolving and is the force that triggered all we see. We don’t know if it will continue to exist forever, but since it had no creator, seemingly, it will exist in some form forever. Our conscious existence will probably end at our death, and we will be absorbed into the force which is the universe.
The world’s religions fall into these two groups. Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that the universe and all life in it was created by a God who always existed. Humans were created in the image of this God. Animism holds that there is a Creator and many sub-gods and goddesses.
Hindus and Buddhists may seem to fit this category, because they believe there are many gods. But the underlying concept of Hinduism and Buddhism holds that we humans are on a path to becoming a “drop of water in the ocean of the universe.” Indeed, the goal of meditation is to lose a sense of self.
This release, called moksha, is ultimate salvation. The individual is absorbed in the ultimate, Brahman, in the same manner that a stream or a river (a metaphor for the individual atman) is absorbed into the ocean (Brahman). http://www.patheos.com/Library/Hinduism/Beliefs/Afterlife-and-Salvation.html
So who is right? Are we individuals created by God, or are we temporary characters evolved from the universe whose highest goal is to be reabsorbed. Is there any evidence for a creator?
The complexity of the universe hints of an infinitely complex first cause. We don’t know how atoms combined to form matter. We are still trying to figure out what “junk” DNA does. How did time begin? Will it end? Some scientists humbly admit they don’t have all the answers: others are not so humble.
A couple of scientists were talking to God one day. They said, “God, we can create life. We don’t need you anymore.”
God said, “Wonderful! Let’s see you do it.”
The scientists leaned down and picked up some dirt.
That is when God interrupted them and said, “Get your own dirt.”
This is not a debate about evolution. The big question is who or what produced the particles that resulted in life? Jocobo Konigsburg, a physicist who is a Fermilab spokesman says, “My mother calls me all the time and asks, ‘Have you found God yet?’” Parade Magazine, July 16, 2009 p. 5 If the Fermilab physicists find the Higgs boson particle, sometimes called the “God particle” we may have a clue how the “big bang” formed matter. But we will still have no clue who or what created the Higgs boson particle.
The most complex life form we know of – humans – are individuals with intelligence, creativity, power, and moral sensitivity. All of us, in every culture, have a sense of fairness. Perhaps most significantly, we bond with others and love them. Do you aspire to have all that is YOU absorbed into the “ocean” that is the universe? Some of us might feel that is akin to having our souls burned on a funeral pyre – not our highest goal. Why, after all, did we evolve to this level only to be reabsorbed into the ocean?
Richard Dawkins writes, “Indeed, evolution is probably the greatest show in the entire universe.” Dawkins, Richard .“Man vs. God”, The Wall Street Journal, Sat-Sun, Sept, 12-13, 2009 Of course evolution is “the greatest show in the universe.” But the bigger question is, “Who or what was the producer of this amazing show?”