“Where did God come from?”
People toss this question out there like it’s the Ace of Spades– like it’s some sort of trump card against Christianity, proving their alternative beliefs are more logical than “that horrific children’s story” found in the Bible.
I guess I can’t really blame anyone. With so much information out there, it’s hard not to think we’re on the cusp of explaining every mystery away with science. Some seem to have read just enough one-sided headlines and memes to think we already have explained it away. Information is everywhere and yet no one seems to really be interested in actually studying anything that can challenge or potentially confirm their worldview. A nine-minute YouTube video is pushing it, so forget about a full documentary or an entire book. On top of that, seeking something out intentionally sounds too much like a project from work or school, so we basically have to stumble across it or have a friend send it to us directly. We can hunt down the best deal on Amazon or Etsy, no problem, though. We’ll read reviews for a solid hour before finally buying that $40 blender. Hunting down the best answer to our eternally-impactful questions is apparently still best left to apathetic chance (pardon the sarcasm).
This has become the great irony of our culture, in my opinion. We’re obsessed with science, and yet we are horrible scientists.
The scientific method goes like this:
- Form a hypothesis
- Test the hypothesis and observe the results
- Modify the hypothesis based on our findings and continue testing
Science says this is the way to come to trustworthy conclusions. It’s how we learn things. But when it comes to our own beliefs, we seem to lose interest somewhere between forming our personal hypothesis and testing it out to see if it actually measures up against reality.
Forming a hypothesis is incredibly easy. We can do that in the shower or over a lunch break with absolutely zero knowledge or awareness of anything that’s ever been discovered or provided before us. Despite science being entirely built on the value of knowing what has already been discovered and tested, and despite being more equipped than any other generation to find and use such information for our own benefit, none of that apparently matters anymore.
Admittedly, testing our hypothesis takes a bit of work and commitment. It means reading some books and articles (from multiple perspectives) and tracking down new questions that come out in the process. It’s not enough to stick with sound bites from speakers we know we already agree with– or want to, at least.
But we don’t like doing that. It’s too time-consuming, unsettling, uncertain… something. And yet, science must have the answer, even though so few believe the scientific method is reliable enough to apply to our own beliefs.
We are, without a doubt, the worst scientists in the history of the world.
If we want to know truth–truth that is unaffected by other theories– there can be no threat to considering any and every opposing perspective. Freedom to consider and learn more from the testing of our hypothesis against others is how we gain more confidence in what we believe. It’s how we gain a greater ability to relate to and respectfully converse with others who disagree.
There’s this growing mass of people who grin as they drop these ultimate questions like “Where did God come from?” into the conversation as some sort of proof that every theory which includes any form of supernaturalism is misinformed and ill-advised. But here’s what no one likes to admit: regardless of what we believe, and whether we like it or not, every belief system must answer some kind of ultimate question that really doesn’t have an answer our brains can comprehend. Whether our theory goes back to matter and evolution, or recyclable positive energy, it all has a beginning we can’t explain.
If we’re all the product of evolution, where did matter come from? We’ve proven there once was nothing. Science has inconveniently confirmed matter cannot create or cause itself. Every action, in fact, must have a cause. So what caused dust to start breathing?
It might sound innocent enough to say life is all about bringing positive energy to the world, but it also completely ignores where matter came from. And forgetting for a moment that this theory has no historic or scientific context whatsoever, what is it exactly that’s powering the universe’s positive and negative energies? Does this Energy Source or Universe have a mind or the capacity to be known? Because if it does, isn’t this theory just a way to recreate God into something we can manipulate and don’t have to answer to?
The truth is, if you claim to exist, you must explain how you know that to be true, and why people should consider your profound ideas to have something to do with truth. This is more difficult than you might think, since without God, truth is baseless, morality is a chemical reaction that no one can be held accountable for, and the concept of inherent value is an inexplicable illusion. The great irony in all of it is that it’s only with the existence of a Creator God who provides consciousness, value, and purpose that anyone can try to claim their rebellious ideas are universally true and profound in the first place.
Not one theory of origin or higher power can supply an answer to their ultimate question that allows us to measure or understand it. And so deists are inevitably left with the only “logical answer” to this question that is honest enough to follow.
God, who is beyond nature (super-natural) and therefore outside of what science can observe or measure. God, who is outside of time because time began with and is inseparable from matter. God, who therefore has no beginning that can be explained by the numbers or brains He created.
So then the real question becomes, “Which religion’s god is the true God?” And if you find yourself wanting to affirm all of them as equally true, I’m glad to hear you’re open to considering more than just what you were raised to think, but Aristotle’s law of noncontradiction says you’ve got a lot more testing to do.