Oh my God!
To my six Blogline subscribers and possibly other RSS users - This post does not read correctly under Bloglines. I suggest you open the post directlyA few weeks ago, on Yahoo TFSG, there was an ongoing debate about the existence of God. Of course, there was no consensus. As the debate unfolded, I felt that I lacked the proper vocabulary to participate in the debate. I could have made the effort to follow, but I prefer to do independent reading first to understand the philosophical and metaphysical (whatever that &^%$ word means) issues they were talking about.
It reminded me much of LY's attempt to participate in a thread about evolution and Cosmology in another blog. He simply lacked the underlying concepts to debate in any meaningful way.
Nevertheless, I do have an intuitive opinion about God. After seeing what I believed to be a draw in the TFSG, I don't see why my uneducated position is any less valid.
There's nothing in being a frum skeptic that forces one to drop belief in God.
Up until about a year ago, I was absolutely certain, there was a God (Deist or possibly even Theist). How could there not be, Right? Well, guess what. I was chatting with this fella at work, and his atheistic position came out. I asked him flat out, how could there not be a God? Where did we come from? Who started Evolution? Who started anything?
And he asked me a simple question. "Well, Who created God?"
And in the space of 1 second flat I develed serious doubts.
It's such an obvious question, but one that as a Frum Skeptic Jew, I never permitted myself to ask. After all, Shlosha Devorim......
A Frum Yid just does not delve into the matter. In order to have Torah, there must be a God. Case closed. And that un-questioning attitude did not change in me.
What I notice now, is sometimes the proofs are intertwined. Agree to religion, well of course there's a God. Concede to a God, and then you have the issue of purpose -"Why did God put us here?".
So, what do I know or believe?
Evolution - Probably true, even if there is a God. It's no contradiction. Originally, even though I knew enough about computers and code, I still could not for the life of me understand, how mutations in DNA translated into changes in the body. But then I found out about Ribosomes and RNA, etc. It was eye opening. I learned about genetics, selection, balanced polymorphism and other concepts. And after a fair amoount of reading, it becomes very convincing. It explains so much and is the underpinnings of medical research, molecular biology and I'm sure many other scientific endeavors such as Geology.
But it's still difficult for me to fathom one species mutating into another. And life itself? That really boggles the mind, not only where does it come from, but where does it go? When you stop breathing because of lack of oxygen, why can't you be resuscitated 2 hours later? I'm sure there is a biological explanation, the cells die, then the brain dies, etc. But the whole concept is just a mystery. Where did the world come from? The energy that make up the big bang, etc. I could go on and on about sunsets, emotions, music, bla bla blah. But I'll spare you. The world SEEMS to be teeming with purpose and design. (Anthropic principal?).
I also learnt that there definitely is a God; it's called a God of the Gaps.
People tend to create a God when something is not understood.
Recently, I read "The Language of God". This is an informative book by a scientist with impeccable credentials. The author is Francis Collins who is Geneticist and the head of the Human Genome Project. In it he attempts to prove God. In addition to his attempt at proving God, the book is a great recap or many other scientific books that I've read. However, in my opinion, he fails in his main purpose. His basic argument rests on the so called "Moral Factor". I did not find it convincing at all. Other than the "moral factor" he simply lapses into some Christian Dogma. (See what I mean? Belief in religion compels him to believe in a God).
So is there a God? I don't know. Will I try to learn more about it? Probably. Will there be a definitive answer? I'm sure there won't be.
But I sure hope there is a God.
"Shlo Neegoh L'rik V'lo Nelaid Labehala".
I do not like the idea of spinning my skeptic wheels for nothing. I sure hope there is a God that can account for seemingly random accidents, violence and tsunamis.
Yes, I know about Tectonic plates, determinism, and all that Jazz; but for me, there must be a God.
And I'm perfectly content with that.
That is - until someone asks me "Who created God?"