How I see the universe and how I (don’t) see God (at all).
A week or two ago, I stumbled across a post somewhere on some blog that featured a TED video of a pastor/minister/priest/somethingorother giving a talk about how God can let terrible tragedy happen.
I won’t go into my honest surprise at seeing God being the topic of a TED video. I wasn’t about to watch the thing, but I did glance over a bit of what the guy who posted the video had to say. As with all believers, I’m puzzled as to why people have this seemingly impossible-to-deny desire to believe in a supreme being. The video was apparently about how silly it is that most believers agree that God is infinite and yet they’ve also decided that God is “this” or “that.” Yes, it is silly. But what about the part where you accept that God is infinite right along the idea that God can ever be comprehended or understood in the first place? Why even bother trying to comprehend him if you know the human brain can never fully do it? And since He is just so far above you, why do you even bother believing at all? What’s the point?
I left some of that in a comment on the already commented upon post (most of the comments were from believers). And I did get a response from the original poster explaining that we should try to understand God so we can understand existence, understand how we understand and understand how we relate to each other.
Being careful to only slightly stretch my own 3 Rules of Internet Arguing, I decided to leave one more comment. Here it is:
I guess I just don’t see much to *understand*. I mean, I read the science, I understand how certain conditions lined up and allowed me to exist. Understanding existence in this way tells me that life is incredibly fragile. Seeing how lifeless the universe appears to be, suggests how incredibly special and unique we are. It also tells me that it is we who bring meaning to the universe—that without us, existence would just be a bunch of planets, asteroids, stars and space dust. Without us, no one would be able to attribute meaning to any of it. So, that makes human life invaluable.
So, to me, when someone I know dies or gets cancer or stubs his toe, I understand this as the way the universe works. I don’t really see a need to describe it in terms of God. I don’t see evidence of God. I actually see evidence of a lack of God.
But I’ll shut up now. I know how useful it is for you believers to hear from a non-believer (not at all).
To me, there can’t really be meaning without anyone around the comprehend that meaning. If meaning was so important to God, you’d think that He’d create a universe teaming with life forms—plenty of people to understand the meaning He has created.
Instead, we are the only ones. We are the only ones who see the patterns. We see star systems and galaxies and shapes and beauty. We bring the meaning. Not God.
We see the stunning mechanics of the universe, while the universe itself, sees nothing.
And that’s OK with me.