Such a lofty question for me to even attempt to answer. I guess no blog related to Philosophy would be complete without a post like this. In truth, though, I never planned to write on this subject, and in this instance I doubt I will even draw many conclusions. The idea was brought to me by being posted as the question of the month on Philosophy Now, an online magazine I recently found.
So to start, I suppose in order to discuss if there is a God, we need to define exactly what a God is, and discuss the implications of each definition.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. (John 4:8)
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. (John 4:16)
Okay, well this seems really arbitrary, especially coming from the bible. It is a very nice concept though. If you believe that God is Love, and you assert that love exists then, God must exist. This is not a terrible concept as, if taken out of the context of Christianity, it can set a nice utopian set of guidelines for us to all live by. The problem lies in the inherent imperfections that lie within our very nature. We do not love everyone, and if we do not love everyone then we do not love God. Are humans even capable of Love in its truest sense? Love being another impossible to define word, I am not sure we are. Within everyone who loves someone else is there an utter lack of selfish desire and carnal instinct at play?
Next, lets take the most commonly perceived ideals of what God is. I am going to totally ignore the above quotes from the bible because most people do not think of God as being love. He is an all powerful being. An overlord who demands you live within a set of rules or be doomed to eternal damnation. This pretty much takes care of the three major religions. Christianity (Catholicism), Judaism, Islamic (Muslim). These all believe in, and worship, the same almighty God (Abrahamic Religions). They just disagree on who the voice of God, his prophet, is.
So to not discriminate on the small details about each of the three major religions, they all essentially worship God as an almighty being. I think this is what most people think of when asked “Is there a God?” and if that was indeed the question, my answer would simply be No.
One is a loving God – the Gentle Jesus of the hymns on Sunday; the second a personal God who answers our prayers and intervenes in our lives; the third an all-knowing, all-powerful God capable of great miracles; and finally the God of the deists – one who detonated the “hot big bang, retired, and was never heard from again.”
In all of these cases I must again admit that I do not believe in this type of God. Being a man of science I tend to not believe in an all powerful designer or creator, period. I can definitely admit that there are many wonders in our universe that cannot be explained, yet. I also admit that many mysterious things happen in our world that are not easy to grasp. I am a moral person, and I might even be slightly spiritual. I believe in the Golden Rule, and I consider myself loving. When I say spiritual however, I am more recognizing that there are ways of life one can follow to lead a better life, which are not affiliated to a religion and do not recognize the existence of one omnipotent God.
So is there any other way we can define God?
Maybe, in fact, you could probably get a thousand different answers from a thousand different people about what God is, and if he exists.
My personal view is that there is not one. I am not basing this belief on lack of proof, or being some sort of emo self-loathing bastard. I simply do not feel in my heart, or my mind, that a supreme being exists. If someone offered me more insight as to why there is a God, or isn’t, I am open-minded enough to take all things into consideration.
To ask what is before time is to ask what is three miles north of the north pole. There is no north of the north pole, and there is no before the Big Bang. A prerequisite to being a creator is existing before something.