Why Believe in God?
Part 2 - Best Minds' View
by Ernest O'Neill
You may wonder, why do some of the greatest minds in our world NOT believe in God? It's because of this third misconception. A lot of us think we are asking, not the question -- Is there a God? - but -- Is there a being that I must obey? Of course, we don't want to have anybody that we have to obey, so we answer "No". That's what causes many of the most intelligent men and women in our world to deny the existence of God. It's amazing, but they do.
They deny the existence of God not on intellectual reasons at all, but because they know the consequences that would follow once they admit that there is a God. And the consequences are, that they would have to obey that God.
Now, you may say, "No, no -- I have biology professors that are absolutely clear of that kind of foolish, childish, emotional prejudice." Well let me read to you from one of the coldest intellectuals in our generation. That was Aldous Huxley, of the famous Huxley family. Here is his own statement, which is really an unbelievable admission, for an intellect of his stature. "I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning, consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption." Once you assume that the world has no meaning or assume that there is no God because you don't want there to be a God, anybody can find reasons to back that up.
"The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics." That's amazing for Huxley to say. "The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. For myself ... the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation ..., sexual... [and] and political.
So, be very wise and alert when you find some intellectuals denying the existence of God. Don't be naïve and think, if they've tackled the question honestly and answer no, then why shouldn't I? They have not tackled the question honestly. If a man like Huxley with his stature admits that he denies meaning in the world and denies the existence of God because he wants to be free to do what he wants in his life, then any intellectual is capable of the same mistake and the same wrong approach to the question.
What do some of the "giants" say in answer to the question? What do intellectual giants like Darwin and Einstein say in answer to the question "Is there a God"? We have our thoughts, but are we in line with those who have brilliant minds? Here is Einstein's own statement, "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior Spirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds, that deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God." (Einstein's quote is one quoted by Paul Little in his book, "Know Why You Believe").
Probably no man has understood the complexity or the beauty and the order of our world, as Einstein has. And yet he says himself, "Of one thing I am absolutely certain. This carefully designed universe is the result of the activity of a mind that is far superior to any of ours and it's that mind that I regard as God."
What about Darwin? A lot of us think of his "Origin of the Species" for what it is -- an incredible book and an incredible breakthrough in thinking. Yet, we automatically say, "Well, of course Darwin destroyed any idea of God that we ever had." Darwin ends his book "The Origin of the Species" like this.
"There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one." (Creator is a capital "C". It's no idea of an élan vital or an impersonal force. It's a capital "C".) "...having being originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one. And whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from some simpler beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being evolved." Of course Darwin saw the theory of evolution just as that, a theory; a hypothesis of the way the thing might have developed after the Creator created. And whether you and I are arguing for evolution or not, we ought to see that Darwin, who is regarded as the father of evolution, wrote that sentence, "There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one."
In fact it doesn't matter how far back you go. If you go to 400 B.C. and go with Plato and Socrates, you'll find them absolutely certain that there is a God, with no doubt in their minds at all. You go further back to 4000 B.C. in Mesopotamia, and you will find that people are talking in the same terms. They are talking of a God who is real and personal. Here's one of the most ancient engravings we have, "A man must truly proclaim the greatness of his God, and a young man must wholeheartedly obey the command of his God." That's from 4000 B.C.
So, throughout the world's history, in whatever place you go, among whatever people you travel, there has always been this unquestioned assumption that there is a God, there is a supreme being. And not only an unquestioned assumption that there is such a being but there has gone along with it a worship and respect of that being. Among every tribe and every nation, among all peoples there has been a general unquestioned assumption that there is a God who created the universe.
TO BE CONTINUED