Humans are funny, aren’t we? We tend to have an overinflated sense of self. Given a scrap of knowledge we believe ourselves omniscient. Only today while at work I thought I would come home and write out my feelings and thoughts on the existence or non-existence of God. I would look deep into my soul, peer into the deepest depths of me, and discover from that whether or not there was a deity.
It’s hard to get much more arrogant than that, isn’t it? It seemed like a plausible thing at the time, after all I was only intending to be honest with myself and my reasons for wanting or not wanting to believe. But implicit in that thought was the idea that God, The Creator of all that was, is or shall ever be, would cease to exist if should I decide that I had insufficient reasons to believe in him. Or that if I chose belief that it would be the confirmation He needed to keep his job, as though He needed my reference on His resume.
But people seem to have a bias towards knowing and understanding God. And those who do not believe in the existence of one seem to think since the position is left open that they have dibs on it. Humility, that’s what we need, believers and atheists alike.
But humility is not a natural inclination. We are not born humble but as gods to ourselves. We are the center of our universe as children and it is only through hard lessons that we grow out of such an assumption. We learn by stages that we must take into account the feelings of others, not just our own. We get fairly decent at it after a while, accumulating friends along the way. What is harder for us to relinquish than the conviction that ours are the only feelings that matter, is the idea that ours are the only perceptions that matter. We, all of us, believe we are right. Sure, we give lip service to the idea that people can see things from a different perspective, but we know we’re right. The music we listen to really is the best, our favorite movie is really the best movie ever made. And lastly, our morals are really the right ones. Everybody else, no matter how good they are, are somewhat lacking morally because they lack our perfect understanding. If I believe in God, then I somehow get the notion God has granted me His sacred understanding. And if I don’t believe in God, hey, I’m even smarter than Him.
That’s the weird thing, though. Humans have this tendency to want to stand tip-toe on a stack of old books in order to reach up and peer through God’s eyes. Atheist and believer, we all want to stare through that telescope and we all believe we can. And the attempt is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s wonderful that we try to see beyond our limited point of view. It’s only a bad thing when we start believing that we can do so to any great degree. It’s only bad when we forget that we are just mortal men, with senses and intellect so tiny compared to the universe that we are nothing. That’s where humility comes in, the realization of how tiny we are as well as the realization of the harm that we can do when we think ourselves as something larger.
But to get back to my original question: does God exist? Well, I decided, but I don’t want to say. I want to keep Him guessing.