Among his varied other writing interests, Richard Parr aspires to creating interesting and inspiring stories about life.
Logical Verses Relational
0 + 0 = 0
0 x 0 = 0
The purest of all sciences, math, tells me that nothing comes from nothing.
Therefore, for something to be, there must have always been something that was.
The universe is. Therefore, it cannot, logically, have come from nothing.
What, then, is the something it came from?
It cannot be of this universe, for that is a contradiction. A material thing cannot pre-exist itself.
Also, the universe cannot be eternal, for evidence is everywhere that it had a beginning and is getting older, winding down like a mechanical clock (in response to this very truth the big-bang theory was thought up). Implying, then, that there was a time it was fully wound up and new.
But what existed before the universe’s beginning? Before it arrived in all its newness?
Was it a mind (thinking) or matter (non-thinking), not of this universe?
Mind or Matter
The universe encompasses incredible complexity and all the hallmarks of, what appears to be, intelligent arrangement.
Therefore what pre-existed the universe cannot have been matter.
Whose is this Mind?
What are some of the things I can deduce regarding a creative mind who dwells beyond this material abode and who is able to produce such a place as this universe?
Beyond the obviousness that they are immensely powerful and able to order things on a magnitude I cannot fathom, can I deduce much else?
Such a being is definitely beyond me, their thoughts not my thoughts, their ways not my ways. After all, they are not of this universe.
That being so, I might also conclude this being(s) is above me (as any inventor is above the invented); my very existence the result of their knowledge, ability and will, completely outside anything I could do for myself.
However, thinking more deeply, what else could I deduce?
Although they are not of this universe, they authored it; it would seem logical then that something of their being could be seen within it.
They love beauty (for it surrounds me), and they have given me the ability to appreciate it too; they have purpose (it too is seen in all life; I and all mankind are very purposeful beings by-and-large); Also, I, my body, mind and soul, are a product of their ability and will, and therefore —possibly— even a [dim] reflection of themselves... but let me not race ahead.
- Moore Perspective: The Most Powerful Argument Against God?
Do “bad things” necessarily disprove the existence of a supreme causal entity beyond our universe?
Why areThere Bad Things in the Creation?
What of the "bad" things of this universe, what can I deduce from them? (Remembering the maker(s) also gave me an appreciation of what is good as opposed to bad.)
After all, the cosmos is winding down; dying. The world is a violent place. I hurt. Bad things happen and people and other creatures suffer horribly, everything eventually dying. Why?
Why would such a powerful being of such ability and supreme will, allow this?
Having asked that, I must also ask: why wouldn’t they? And also, does the fact that ‘bad happens’ take away from what has already been considered. That is: does my incomprehension, my questions of why, my accusations and rants of unfairness really have any bearing on the existence of a being beyond my universe ...is my ignorance so powerful that I can justify using it to banish the maker(s) as if they never existed?
I observe these bad things, I wonder why, but is it logical to conclude that ‘bad things’ existing denote that a maker does not?
Is it possible that there is a problem in this universe I have difficulty perceiving? Maybe I am the problem, or part of it? Maybe there is a reason for the ‘bad’ in this universe that has its roots outside this universe...
Maybe there is a purpose to the ‘bad’ that I am not seeing. Maybe the ‘bad’ has a solution I am not looking for, or not willing to accept. Maybe the reason is not my concern.
And then again, maybe there are things I can’t know the reason for... unless I am told... after all, I am only a made being, not an omniscient maker.
Hmm... Is it a feasible suggestion that maybe They have done that very thing... told us... Communicated with this universe? Have they reached through and left an explanation?
Have we been told? Or are we just Here, with no possibility of knowing why?
I have arrived at this point using only what seems logical to me.
But can I go further on such reasoning, or have I hit a wall that requires something more, something different; something deeper maybe?
If there is a maker, as logic (mine at least) seems to suggest, and if the maker has made it possible for me to understand why I am here, as we might hope they have, will that same logic that brought me to this point be enough to determine what they have to say, what they want?
I have my doubts that logic by itself is enough. You see, my logic is limited to what I can induce, deduce and infer from this universe; and is weighted heavily by my experiences. Such a limited view surely makes an imperfect platform from which to determine divine will, for if their dwelling place is unfathomable to me, how much more so their will and purposes. As is written;
Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than the heavens—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave—what can you know?
The divine aside, even the thoughts of my fellow man are a mystery beyond logic in most cases. For example, I can use logic to determine that my wife has performed activities around the house. I see the clean kitchen, the made bed, and the wet shower floor, I can hear the washing machine spin and the music playing. Yet no amount of applied logic can make me sure of what she is thinking, how she feels, what she wants... unless , that is, she communicates her thoughts and feelings to me; writes me a note, whispers in my ear, etc.
But then we have moved from logical explanations, to relational experiences. I then know because she made me know, not because I deduced it.
Maybe, then, the maker is the same. Maybe it is also relationship, and not just logic, through which we can understand God & what he has to say.
Seeking, Believing, Knowing
This may fly in the face of many who will not believe in God while difficult questions remain unanswered (difficult to them at least); for example: if there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world.
Ironically, maybe he will only answer if they first believe and seek him.
This is the same rule my wife applies to our relationship
In actively pursuing a relationship with her, I come to understand her world - the why's, what's and How's. I would be a fool to demand she first reveal everything to me before I move toward her.
Relationships, I have come to believe, are the only way to discovering deeper truths. Logic will only get one so far, in any relationship.
The one who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.
— The Bible
Where to begin
So, where would one begin in establishing this relationship with the divine?
As creatures without any true sense of who God is, let alone where to find Him, but with a budding appreciation of his awesome power, it makes sense to start from a position of humble petition.
But, as one of the wisest of men once said;
"Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on the earth, so let your words be few..."
I am dumbfounded at times. To speak with the Creator... it goes without saying that we should be humble. It also goes without saying that we need his help if we are to have a relationship with him; for we first need to find him.
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth... he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything; because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else... he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
— The Bible - Acts 17:24-27
A Reader's Digest version of why I am a Christian.
Sadly it is all too easy to insulate ourselves from God (I speak personally, but believe I am not alone). Like autistic children, their world a cocoon of introverted perceptions, so we also can become isolated from the divine; self-secluded and devoid of spirituality. Pretending contentment with the world as we see it -or using our discontent as excuse in rejecting the divine further- we limit our perceptions only to what we can see; yet without higher wisdom we are helpless but to see delusion.
The Maker reaches out, but we pull away like the autistic child that screams when touched by a relatives hand... "He shall not touch me"... and, as relationships design demands, He cannot touch them. Except, maybe, to shake the ground they’re on, their world. Though they will likely interpret that as yet another reason not to believe.
However, a few do accept his touch, even step toward him, hesitant, confused, unsure; and yet knowing. Knowing that here is one who holds the truth; truth to set them free.
For thousands of years faith has been a difficult medicine to swallow, but a natural inclination of all mankind nonetheless. Yet many in our enlightened age are now ridiculing it as a childish notion grounded in superstition; illogical and unscientific.
Oddly, we may believe the universe is endless, we may believe the stars are innumerable, we may believe any number of incredible but "scientific” things (we may even believe that some advanced alien power manufactured us); but a supernatural Being... Bah, superstition!
Yet, something calls to man, beckoning him from somewhere unseen, aching for him to see beyond the veil of his own short-sighted vision; a veil that comes in many devices, even masquerading today in the halo of science.
Click here for Part 2. Relative to Relationships >>
© 2010 Richard Parr
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on December 04, 2017:
@William Kovacic ~ Thank you. Glad to have you here late or otherwise. Unfortunately in our 'can't believe it until its scientifically validated' western society, the obviousness of Gods existence has been buried under layers of skeptical education and the lie that truth can't be known. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on December 04, 2017:
I know I'm getting here late, but what a blessing! You clearly and logically take us through it. And faith will take us the rest of the way. Thank you.
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on April 09, 2015:
@Michael-Milec ~ thank you for your blessing, and for leaving such positive feedback. God bless and protect you also.
Michael-Milec on April 08, 2015:
Glory to the Spirit of all wisdom for leading me to your clear , sagacious and powerful advanced lesson of finding and meeting the Creator of all universe, the God our heavenly Father.
Voting up , beautiful and interesting.
May the Lord bless and protect you.
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on January 24, 2012:
@liftandsoar ~ glad to have you here; the more the merrier I say. I look forward to reading your hub.
Frank P. Crane from Richmond, VA on January 23, 2012:
Love the way you think, parrster. Found you by using the link tool as I was writing my latest hub, Persuasive Christians. You say it better than I. Mind if I follow you? Promise I won't get in your way!
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on September 30, 2011:
@Stessily ~ thank you so much for your thought provoking comment and the depth of feeling shared. I find that God frequently uses other people to put our faith back in him.
Life surely is a bumpy journey with so much unforeseen menace. Yet I am reminded of the wise words: that God has not promised us an earthly home in a land of no storms, only a home that no storm can overcome. The challenge is to rest in him during them.
Really appreciate you Stessily. God bless
stessily on September 30, 2011:
parrster: I respect your questions and the path which you take towards understanding. You are honest and sincere and generous in sharing your path.
I feel that your thoughts about starting and continuing a relationship in order to effect some kind of understanding have so much truth in them.
I have argued with God all of my life about certain losses, such as my father’s death in my 10th year of life, and that sadness has intervened between God and me, even though I know that my father would be saddened to know this. In my sadness and confusion I undercut any fullness in my relationship with God through disrespect and hard-heartedness. It was through a Muslim friend that I realized my disrespectful outlook. I made a comment about there being a few things which God needs to explain to me; Faten (her name means “Charming”) said nothing but there was a tinge of sadness in her eyes. I remembered that unexpressed sadness afterwards and I thought of what I know about her life, of her disappointments, the loss of her mother and father, the loss of two babies, her separation from her siblings and friends and country, versus her incredible love of life no matter what, of her faith which she expresses through kindness to everyone no matter what, and through surrender by facing Mecca five times every day. I saw my disrespect. I did not arrive there through logic; I arrived through a heart which opened and probably had been opening for a long time.
As you observe, logic only takes one so far, but no further.
That day was my road to Damascus. It was a long time in the making. What I learned from that wonderful twist in the road was that the fear (respect, awe) “of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10) and that “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:6). In other words, evince respect towards the relationship and be open to the gifts of understanding, which are beyond the daily ways of learning.
Kind regards, Stessily
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on August 29, 2011:
@Cagsil ~ It always makes me smile (in a sad sort of way) that atheists are so quick to deny the supernatural while at the same time attributing supernatural traits to the material universe.
God has always been supernatural, outside of nature, the first uncaused, eternal, all powerful, all knowing not natural being.
The atheist argues, "No, you can't say that! You can't have something disobeying natural laws."
However, ask an honest atheist whether natural causes that are in place now were in place at the singularity of the Big Bang, and they'll say something like Hawkins did: "All natural law would break down at the big bang."
So, we have the atheistic community now endowing nature with supernatural ability.
In refute of an eternal God they argue, "God is an effect and therefore must also have a cause." And yet, Cagsil, you are telling me it's logical and scientific to accept that matter is the uncaused first cause.
Atheists argue that "If God made everything, then who made God?"
Yet, again, Cagsil, I am to accept that matter made everything, but nothing made matter.
The very arguments you use to refute a Supernatural Mind, you ignore to support a supernatural material universe.
And that's scientific!?!
Mary Parr on August 04, 2011:
I'm a bit late catching up with your hub, but it certainly got those little grey cells working. It all makes sense to me :)
Raymond D Choiniere from USA on August 03, 2011:
Hey Parrster, I find your logic flawed. The Universe itself has a physical nature, which must have come from something, you yourself said. The big bang theory doesn't work on something coming from nothing. It works on the Universe coming from something that is completely unmeasurable, which makes it appear as if it comes from nothing. And, as for your statements on the Universe having a beginning and an end, it does. It recycles itself on the Grand Cycle. What was in place before the Universe existed, is easily known, as another Universe, which ended it's own Grand Cycle. One Universe creates other Universes and the key to get them started or Black/White Holes. Black holes exist and when the Grand Cycle ends, all energy and matter will collapse into the Black holes, upon which will collapse in on itself. Thus, turning to a White hole and then begin the Grand Cycle again. I'm sorry, No God required.
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on April 17, 2011:
@Matt ~ Yo Bro, nice surprise to have you pop by. Looking forward to catching up with you later in the week.
Matt on April 17, 2011:
That's some quality writing.
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on November 07, 2010:
@ aguasilver ~ thanks my friend, appreciate your comment and frenzied button tapping :)
John Harper from Malaga, Spain on November 07, 2010:
Excellent, I have upped it and pushed every button available, and will bookmark it as well, this is one that dear old Bezzlejuice, or whatever he's called in the forums, needs to read, for it is impeccable logic with a fine conclusion.
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on November 05, 2010:
Thanks toyboyclip, appreciate you stopping by.
toyboyclip from India on November 04, 2010:
frogyfish from Central United States of America on March 20, 2010:
Coo-ool beginning - never thought of it in mathlike terms...
And great questioning thoughts. Enjoyed your hub!
I am bookmarking you to follow your stories gradually!
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on March 19, 2010:
The story is there for when you are ready and able. I enjoy reading your hubs, thanks for commenting.
Micky Dee on March 19, 2010:
You think therefore you are. You question, therefore you are. One and one make one. When one and one make one this is not math but- love!
I may start at the beginning for Terror's Child. I've missed so much. I hope it doesn't hurt too much. I've filled the memory banks to capacity with duties as a fireman and MT. This is after Nam and "stuff". Will try.
Great hub Sir!
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on March 11, 2010:
Thanks for the feedback Pamela99.
Yes, free choice... I have a love/hate relationship with my free choice :)
For me the challenge is to trust that even the bad choices of my life God can rework to my good.
My book, Terror's Child, looks at how God may even use suffering to bring us into a closer relationship with him.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 11, 2010:
This a very interesting hub with a lot to think about. God gave us free will and sometimes the bad things that happen to us are a result of our choices. Plus, sometimes the thing we perceive as bad ends up opening a new door in our life that wouldn't have happened if we had not had the bad experience. I like your analogy with your wife. Great hub!
Richard Parr (author) from Australia on March 10, 2010:
Thanks UlrikeGrace. In the following parts, I will share thoughts on what having a relationship entails... so much to do, so little time :)
UlrikeGrace from Canada on March 10, 2010:
Parrster...wonderful...I love the logic that brought me to a point where my logic would not bring me fulfillment but only my relationship and communication with God will. Logic will only get me so far...my love and relationship with my Lord is the ONLY thing that will get me to the finish line. Thank you for this hub...it's great...