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Living Inside the Paradox of Reality

by dcarr on March 24th, 2014

“The most inexplicable aspect of existence is its very explicability.”–Albert Einstein

“The kingdom of God will not come by your careful observation, nor will people say it is here or it is there. The kingdom of God is within you.” –Jesus (Luke 17: 20-21)

“What am I harmed by being a Christian? At worst, I will have lived a good life, at best, I will be in Heaven for Eternity. It seems a prudent bet.” Paraphrasing of Blaise Pascal’s Wager

Universal Design? A Master Craftsman in the sky who knew us before we were born, and created all the incredible complexity we see and can’t see. He/She designed all the complexity of the cosmos, and the astonishing puzzles of beyond microscopically small quantum space. Even more absurd, the notion that the Craftsman lives outside time, and can see all events, past, present, and future, for whom no cause and effect exists. We can no more understand our Creator than a power lawn mower can understand us.

To which respectable thinkers from Bertrand Russell to Gillette Penn to modern philosopher Erik Wielenberg cry “poppycock!” or “wishful thinking” or “children’s fables.” Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say to God, if, after his death, he came before Him. Russell unblinkingly responded: “Why did you go to such lengths to hide your existence?” War, death, famine, abuse, torture, cruelty, sorrow, suicide, incurable childhood illness–nice work, God? Dan Barker, author of Godless, one of the current U.S. leaders of the atheist movement, and uniquely positioned as a former minister, plainly holds great bitterness at being misled into originally believing a God existed, and that Jesus was a real historical person.

Can we blame them? As one wag commented: “If God did not exist, we would have to event Him.” Did we? The idea of a personal God who knows each of us, loves each of us, wants a relationship with each of us 6 billion people on the planet, and all the other people on all the other planets on all the other millions of galaxies seems a bit much to handle. Does the word “absurd” seem like too much of a stretch?

And yet.

Let’s allow the scales to fall from our eyes and declare God dead. Nothing exists but the beauty of scientific empirical fact. Science tells us the Universe began about 15.3 billion years ago, e.g. a “beginning” occurred. Of course, science as recently as the 1950’s said that no beginning ever began, the Universe just “was.” That fact remain scientific “gospel” until the discovery of irrefutable scientific evidence of a “Big Bang” was picked up in the 1960’s by scientific equipment. Science and scientific “fact” evolve.

Science today, even our beloved atheist Stephen Hawking, fails to explain how very large objects appear to operate under a different set of physical rules than very small objects. Try as they might, no “Grand Unification Theory” explains this paradox.

Likewise, while Darwinism correctly remains scientific fact, and predicts the evolution of species, thus rendering the Old Testament of the Bible metaphorical at best, it fails to explain how inanimate matter becomes animate matter. How charged amino acids become some type of self-contained animate life. And once “evolved” in that fashion, why do the lower forms of life remain un-evolved right beside the evolved life? If we came from one cell organisms, why are there still one cell organisms?

Why does science accept as fact the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, that according to quantum mechanics, one out of a billion times you should be able to walk through a solid wall? It also remains a fact that matter can exist and not exist at the same time, and this is now being harnessed to create a new generation of supercomputers, using this quantum pulse of existence/non-existence.

Could it be that we remain at the beginning of knowledge? Perhaps scientific fact will lead us back to a Creator/God truly beyond imagining. Does this require more wild imagination than that needed to believe in 14 dimensions to reality, instead of the mere three dimensions plus time, that we humans perceive. Current scientific theory says there are 14 dimensions. How about the current conclusion that more than one universe exists? Indeed, it is argued that the paradox of the poisoning of Schrader’s Cat proves that the aforementioned quantum pulse reflects matter coming from and going to another universe, one of many multi-verses.

Regrettably, my intelligence leaves me unauthorized by the educational institutions to be paid to ponder such notions on a full time basis. We all will continue to let the really smart people be paid to think such big thoughts. But I’m not sure I feel any more comfortable believing in the scientific thought set forth above, and as to which I am admonished to “believe.” Am I any less compelled to shout: “poppycock,” “wishful thinking,” “children’s fables”?

So where do we find ourselves? Living a paradox. Neither path feels comfortable, nor complete, nor utterly satiating.

Consider this further absurdity. In the great Roman Empire, two thousand years ago, trouble-makers got crucified, and that took care of that. Spartacus, the leader of the great slave revolt, was crucified, as were his followers. (It took a lot of effort to defeat Spartacus. At one point, the Roman general was so angry at the repeated defeats at the hands of the Spartacus-led slaves, he pulled out every 10th soldier and had them executed. Our word “decimated” arises from that ancient incident. But I digress.) No great religion, or any religion, arose from brave Spartacus and his crucifixion. Of course, he did rate one fantastic MGM color movie. However, I know of a humble carpenter, in a miserable backwater of the Roman Empire, crucified about 30 A.D. who not only got more than one movie made about him, but inspired an entire religion that today boasts (and this is the only boast permitted by said religion) followers of God and Jesus of over one billion people all over the world. Science, logic, and reason tell us something special, even more special than Spartacus, happened.

Jesus’ pure teaching of love (“love those who hate you; pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44) of thought (“be shrewd as a snake; innocent as a dove” Matthew 10:16-20), of fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) continue to confound cynics and inspire extraordinary acts of betterment. (Time to let go of the Crusades, atheists, you only get to throw that at the Christians for 800 or so years; the statute of limitations has run.)

Offered for your consideration: we live inside the greatest paradox ever known. Accept apparently mad, fantastical, scientific theories, that end only in death, or take a chance on a humble carpenter, be his hands and feet in this three dimensional existence, deliver as much love as you can give to a fallen, awful world, and see if you find his Kingdom inside of you.

Game for a wager?

Copyright 2014–David J. Carr

From → Christianity, General

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