Archive for the ‘9. God & Religion’ Category

CREATIONISM vs. EVOLUTION vs. INTELLIGENT DESIGN vs. NO GOD

I believe three of the four sides are right: the Bible, Evolution, and Creationism!   For the religious, if God is capable of doing anything, then why could he not simply create the world through natural means…through evolution?  For the secular, how do you know that God is not behind the creation of the universe and all of the life in it, using natural methods such as evolution (“Intelligent Design”)?  I see no contradiction.

I believe that Christians and Orthodox Jews  might say that Moses explains in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible that God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day.  The Bible did not specify the length of  a “day”.  So a day could be 2 billion years and seven of those days could be 14 billion years, which is about the age of the universe.  Moreover, when Moses wrote Genesis, no one back then would have understood anything as complicated as evolution.

For believers in evolution, how can you know that there is no God?   I have a Trilobite fossil that’s from the Ordovician Geologic period which was about 400 million-years-ago.  Moreover, dinosaur bones have been dated, using radioactive “half-lives,” as being about 60-million-years-old.  There’s simply too much fossil evidence that supports some form of evolution.  However, the universe is unimaginably vast and the human body alone so unbelievably complex…could these things evolved without an “intelligent design” by (you name it) God, Allah, a Supreme Being, etc?  I think it is more likely that there is God and that some interpretation of the Biblical story of creation, if you specify that God used natural means, is probably true.  There is no contradiction.  Incidentally, it’s now known that birds evolved from dinosaurs, which I think shows that God has a sense of humor.

Aside from the objective reality of whether God exists or does not exist, the idea of God is positive and uplifting and helps people get through the inevitable crises in their lives.  Moreover, God and religion are the foundation upon which ethics and morals stand.  Even for those that do not believe in God, the foundation of whatever ethics and morals they have, ultimately came from a religious family predecessor.

Anyone interested in exploring religion to discover one that is right for him or her should read M. Scott Peck, M.D.’s books on The Road Less Traveled.

All Services

HOW I KNOW GOD EXISTS

On a Sunday morning I thought it timely to say a few words about the Creator and explain how I know, not simply believe, that there is a God.  This question, plus the question concerning the existence of Heaven and Hell , become increasingly more important as we get older.  Since I’m old enough to be dead and have one foot in the grave, I thought I would pay my respects to the Big Guy/Gal/Spirit.

However, since my Blog  emphasizes ”Independent Thought,’  I decided to make the case for God with no references to any of the World’s Religions or their Holy books.   Here goes…

I have many religious beliefs, some of which may not fit into any one religion, but they are beliefs, not certainty.  But I do know one thing for sure,  that there is a God.  He or she or it may be called by many different names but so what,  it’s trivial,  though I acknowledge that some religions make a big deal of it.

How do I know there’s a God?  The unbelievable vastness and complexity of the universe alone convinces me, but you may need more than that.  I’ll explain how I personally know that God exists.  The following  are my additional reasons, each one of which by itself doesn’t make the case alone so one needs to consider them all taken together:

1. In the late 80’s, 90’s, and until about 2005 I lived on top of a 9000′ mountain in the Colorado Rockies with my wife and cat.  I received a letter in the mail one Saturday requesting a donation of $500 to help the community pave the dirt road I lived on.  I wanted to do my part, especially since my property values would increase a lot if the road were paved,  but I couldn’t afford it.  So I continued opening up my other mail, one of which contained a check for $520 from some investment I had made.  The amount and the timing were perfect but, of course, just a coincidence.

2.  Ten years later, I made a monumental blunder with my checking account, and somehow found my checkbook $1,900 short.  Two days later, in Monday’s mail, there was a check for a little over $1900 from some investment, another perfect amount as well as perfect timing.  Twice bailed out?  Probably just another really lucky coincidence.

3. I took care of stray/homeless and even feral cats…with food, water, and medical care as part of the nationwide “Trap, Neuter, Return” program.  One Saturday a homeless pitch-black and friendly “Bombay” cat, with a little stub of a tail (later I named him “Bobby-Tail” because of his bobbed tail) came by my yard with a bad foot, trying to walk but limping very badly.  I brought him in and took him to my veterinarian, who found a cut on his foot and treated him.  The cost was $91, which I paid but couldn’t really afford right then.  Two days later I received a check in the mail for just over $91 for some refund from something.  The amount and timing was perfect!  A third coincidence?

On these three occasions plus two more the amounts and timing were perfect.  All times the money I needed was not for my personal use and was totally unexpected.  I began getting scared…and after some thought  I became convinced that they weren’t coincidences at all.  However, a really frightening incident that was the “slam-dunk” for me concerning the existence of God happened back in 1968 and 69.  I even wrote a “first-person” article about it for Reader’s Digest but it was not published.  The weird but true tale follows:

4. I’ll skip the preliminaries;  afterall, the “Amazing Kreskin” has said that Quija boards only worked as a result of the unconscious mind that was actually moving the Ouija board pointer that spells out words as it goes from letter to letter and pauses between words.  Easy enough to test…I had the two board users face aside so they couldn’t see the board.   As I asked it questions,  the pointer continued to move and answer them until my girlfriend, Maria, became so frightened by Quija’s answers,  she refused to work the board anymore.  Here’s my exchanges with Quija lumped together:

“Quija, are you a man or a woman?”  “SPIRIT”

“Quija, are you a good spirit or a bad spirit? “GOOD”

“Ouija, where do you get your power from?”  “SATAN”

“Ouija, everyone knows that Satan is evil, therefore how can you be good?  “GOODBYE”

“Ouija, when were you born?”  “I AM”

“Ouija, why do you talk to people?”  “PEOPLE NEED ME”

“Ouija, why do people need you?”  “TO MAKE THEM SUFFER”

“Ouija, I feel very sorry for you, how can I help you?”  “GIVE ME YOUR SOUL AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE ETERNAL POWERS OF EVIL”

I placed a set of Rosary beads onto the Quija board and asked: “Ouija, do you like me?”  “YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF THE SPIRIT WHO CAN CAUSE  SUFFERING BEYOND REALIZATION”

One year later I had a large brain tumor removed and was fighting for my life.  Half of my face became paralyzed and numb as a result of the surgical removal of the tumor and my equilibrium and emotional state became really bad to the extent that my first wife, Maria, in a fit of rage at something stupid I had said/done, pushed me out of our apartment 5 weeks after my brain tumor surgery, and subsequently divorced me.  Since then I’ve had another few dozen surgeries.  I would say that I experienced “suffering beyond realization.”  With only 1/2 of my face working normally, deaf in my left ear, and barely able to walk straight, I no longer fool around with Quija boards. The point of my story on Quija is that,  if  in fact evil really does exist, then it follows that a good spirit (God) also exists.  You be the judge… (but I would not fool around with a Ouija Board since many cases of alleged possession started out with a Ouija Board).

I know in God  from my aforementioned experiences as well as the vastness of the universe.  I do have many more religious beliefs based on the world’s religions’  Holy Books.  However, many of my beliefs I consider details; the main thing is that, for me, there is no question that God does indeed exist.

SON OF HAMAS

I just finished reading a fascinating book by a fascinating and courageous person: Mosab Hassan Yousef.  Mr. Yousef gave up so much that he held dear to follow the beliefs of his new religion, Christianity.  His devotion to Christ led him to helping people, all people: Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc.  His father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was one of seven Palestinians that created Hamas in 1986, but Mr. Yousef was a principled and honorable man, unlike many of the other Hamas leaders and led me to conclude that he is mostly responsible for his son also being a principled and honorable young man.

Christianity opened young Mosab’s mind to compassion and forgiveness and enabled him to take a second look at the Israelis, whom he was taught to hate by the culture he was raised in.  At some point he thought that he could save many lives on all sides of the Palistinian-Israeli conflict by working with Israel’s Intelligence service, the Shin Bet.  In fact, he did save many innocent lives, including his father’s.

In the epilogue, postscript and afterwards, Mosab ends the book by telling about his encounters in America, which I found to be very interesting because by the end of the book I cared about what happened to him.

The book forced me to rethink Hamas and its true intentions: political power or a genuine concern for Palistinians?  It also gave me a better appreciation on how being raised in a culture where hatred is celebrated, and think about how fortunate I am for being born and raised in America.  If you are interested in the Middle East, care about the people who live there, and want to understand what is happening there, this book should help.

Recent Posts