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Eyes wide open

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Voltaire once argued the existence of God using the example of a watch. He argued that there must be a God because he couldnt imagine a watch without a watchmaker. Now, Im sure that there are a million and one counter-arguements to his reasoning but let’s consider it for a minute. An argument that one could pose back to Voltaire were he standing where you are could be ‘why then do we have so many religions – all which can’t bear each other?’ Or maybe you would ask why noone can interpret with absolute certainity scriptures from sacred books such as the Holy Bible which do not later get proven otherwise. Whichever line of argument you choose to uphold, it still boils down to attempting to understand the spirtual with the physical.

I was reading a book recently and the author put it in a way that I liked. He said that no matter how well made the watch is, it could never comprehend the watchmaker. The problem arises when we as humans attempt to do just that. Now I know you might not believe in God or even in the supernatural. Whatever your beliefs however, leave it at the door a second and let’s reason together.

There are many different arguments for the existence of God or lack there is of. A prudent athetist once said that people believed and clung to religion simply because they are scared of their own annihilation. I’m offended by this statement not only because I have a faith and belief by which I live my life, but because I am also a logical free-thinking human being who would not be put into a box. Apart from my personal feelings and opinions of this statement, it is also false. Now, let’s not go off on a tangent here. Let’s stick to the matter at hand.

We are all human beings here – I hope! We move, think, feel. We reason; we cry; we laugh; we love; we hate. Above all, we live. Well, anyone in the medical field would tell you, a human being is a very complex entity. We are so wonderfully put together; we couldn’t have happened out of nothing. Let’s now put God in the mix. Attempting to explain why we could only have been made by God and why things happen the way they do would only be doing the very thing my previous argument pointed out. That would be the watch attempting to comprehend the watchmaker.

The book’s argument, from my understanding, claims that when we, as humans, claim to be able to understand ‘God’ is the very moment when everything breaks down. That’s when we get religions that are so far apart from one another and yet claim to be seeking the same God. I argee with this line of reasoning. I’ve seen it played out so many times. ‘My god is better than your god’. This brings out intense hatred between the people involved and in some cases, its more severe. There is a very thin line (in some cases, its invisible) and people often cross it while the other person is left defiant and unconvinced. There’s always an argument to disprove what you believe to be fact which just means that we are all left right where we started!

For every argument in favour of God’s existence, there are several more whose sole mission is to disprove what has been ‘proven’. So why then do people still try? Why are there so many people out there who want nothing more than to understand why they are on this earth, looking the way they do, born into the family they were born into and searching for the reason why they have been created? An argument raised was that if God does in fact exists, then he is unknowable. I in turn ask, then what is the point of his existence?!?

Christians believe in a God that you can get to know and communicate with. A God that wants to have a relationship with you and to my knowledge, this is the only religion that claims this. I agree that when we create human institutions to represent God, they have to be flawed. I also agree that in some ways, we could never fully comprehend our maker. But I totally disagree, that if there is a God and I believe there is one, it must mean that I am either afraid of my own annihilation or that this God is unknowable.

We’ve all probably heard this saying at least one in our life time. ‘If you don’t know the use of something, you would abuse it.’ I know I’ve heard it a million times. So let’s bring it into the discussion. Voltaire says that every watch must have a watchmaker. Here are some of my thoughts to the statement. What is the use of the watchmaker other than making the watch? For me, its use is to tell me what the watch is to be used for so I don’t in turn abuse the watch. Let me explain – if you do not know that a shoe is made for walking, you might in turn attempt to use it as a hammer. Doing this would constititute abuse as you are not using it for its intended purpose.

It’s the same for humans. No argument in the world that is contrary to one saying God exists can tell you why you are who you are. It can not explain why we humans are made the way we are. Every part of us is complex and genius. We are the world’s first and finest masterpiece. An atom or an explosion somewhere could not have caused me. I also know I damn well sure did not come from no ape (by the way, where did the apes come from?!). ‘To know your purpose, you must know your maker’ – To know your maker, you must first of all acknowledge that you have a maker!

I’m going to leave you with one thought, if nothing else. Ellen Glasgow once said ‘borrowed illusions are better than none’. Regardless of what you believe, be real with yourself for just one moment. As Marcel Proust said ‘the voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes!’ – Are your eyes wide open or are you walking blind?! I grew up with a father that encouraged me to challenge everything. To fully enjoy your journey in this life, you must be ready to make some hard choices and be true to yourself the whole way – but to be true to one’s self, one must know its self! As Jane Austen so wisely wrote: ‘where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?’

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