Wednesday, 18 June 2014

From Science to Jesus - Part II: Science and God

In the last part all I did was confirm that there is a supernatural presence that we cannot explain here on Earth, and that it likely is the reason for our origin.  I did little to explain why it had to be the God of the Bible.

It is tempting for some to attribute our existence and supernatural phenomenon to highly evolved aliens - perhaps to a potential within ourselves as highly evolved creatures.  After all, this is easier to grasp than an infinite God existing far above the plain of our existence.

So which is it?  God?  Aliens?  Us?  A combination?

Because those who know that God exists and who He is are already convinced of the matter, let me come at this problem from the point of view of the unconvinced.

Survival of the Smartest

In the past evolution changed our physical traits.  Now, the process of evolution is of a different sort - we are evolving in what we understand about the universe.  Throughout history (with some interesting potential exceptions, admittedly), the more technologically advanced the nation, the more it prospered.  Evolution (although some would be hesitant to now use this word) stopped favouring the physically strong and started towards the mentally strong.

I'm not saying that the Europeans were better than the aboriginals they conquered in the America's, or that they had a better understanding of the way that life should be lived (my belief in God stops me from this approach to racism far easier than my scientific mind does), but they had overall more of a mastery and knowledge of the physical nature of this planet, granting them a huge military advantage that allowed them to thrive where ever they chose to go.

With this in mind, let us say that we approached two different advanced life forms.  Who would we say had the better handle on the way the universe worked (the "truth"):  the smarter, more powerful of the two, correct?  "Powerful" not being limited to military strength, but power in the aliens ability to persevere through time and use their resources to accomplish whatever it is they want to do.  Truth, from an evolution (and "scientific") standpoint, is held by the beings who triumph above all other beings.

I once had a friend say that perhaps the correct "religion" was held by an ancient group of people who are extinct, and now we are forever lost.  I cannot prove or disprove the validity of this claim, but from a practical sense we must live as though the truth is something we can get closer to, just as we must live as though logic is the tool we must use to gain knowledge, or else there is very little point in anything we choose to do in life.  Perhaps I am wrong in my current line of logic in that the smarter, more powerful (again, not necessarily in the military sense) beings must always be "right," but from a practical standpoint it would be very difficult for the average person to believe otherwise, for the implications would be a holding on to "primitive" points of view and a failure to advance in scientific knowledge.

Battle of the Super-Beings

In Part I, I showed scientifically how there must be a supernatural power of some sort in play here on Earth.  I just recently explained that from a scientific point of view, the one who has the truth is the one that triumphs over other sentient beings.

It at this point that the scientist may lose interest, as I am about to bring forth evidence from a non-scientific source:  The Holy Bible.  I hope that at least up to this point we could be in agreement.
For now however, I want to bring forth the Bible.  There are many historical documents out there, depicting how the whole of human history played out, but I am not familiar with them as much as I am the Bible, and so I will be referring to it for examples.

Truth and accuracy in historical events were not always recorded in the same way as it is today.  In our modern newspapers, we value an unbiased representation of current events.  The further in the past we go, the more we will find that literature does not hold as tightly to an unbiased viewpoint.  Going even further back we see that it is not uncommon for mythology to intertwine with actual events in depicting what happened.   Looking even further back to the earliest history recorded - such as the accounts of the origin of the world - we are tempted to wonder if there is any real-life to be found among the recorded mythology.

However, in our quest to learn about our history, we have no choice but to consult these historical pieces of literature, despite their apparent faults, for they were written a long time ago and give us a better understanding of what went on than what we would know otherwise.

Throughout history, one deity survives when others do not.  Not many people believe Zeus is real anymore, but many people hold on to the belief of a single God, the God of the Bible.

Perhaps it would be hard to back up an absolutely global flood, but it looks to me to me that it's hard to deny that a great flood happened.  The origin of the world according to Cree legends includes a great flood.  I'm sure if we searched other historical records, we would see other depictions of huge floods.  In the Old Testament, God shows his sovereignty when only people who followed him survived the great flood.

Fast forward to the time Abraham (when, according to some biblical scholars, the genre of literature that the bible was written in first depicted mostly historical events rather than fables) when God showed his sovereignty by destroying two evil cities:  Sodom and Gomorrah.

After this we get to my favourite part.  The Bible depicts the Israelites as being slaves in Egypt.  Here, there is a showdown between the power of the Hebrew God and the power of the Egyptian gods.  The power of the Egyptian gods were apparently real enough, as they could mimic Moses' staff being turned into snakes by creating snakes of their own.  However, the snake from Moses' staff eats up the other snakes.

God's sovereignty over the other deities/supernatural powers only continued from there when he performed plagues on the Egyptians, showing that he was the true ruler over what the Egyptians initially believed their own gods were in charge of.

Perhaps a less spectacular but more verifiable feat of God showing his supremacy on Earth was when he took the small band of Israelites and fought on their side to help them overcome many nations greater than they were to take hold of the promised land.

How is it verifiable?  Well, these Israelites were barely mentioned in ancient Egyptian writings (in my mind, partially due to the bias ancient documents reportedly have, but I'll let the scholars battle on that point), showing that they were once not exceptionally large or significant.  Later on in historical documents outside of the bible the kings of Israel are mentioned, but one only has to look at a modern day map to see the nation of Israel as a real, surviving nation.  One only has to pay attention to the news and their history class to see how a nation which fought off extinction an ugly number of times is still a prominent player in current events.

God showed his prominence not just over space but also time when He repeatedly made predictions through his prophets that would eventually come true.

Which Being Wins?

If the most advanced beings are closest to the truth, and the supernatural really does exist like I showed in Part I, it falls to us to fit our beliefs, at least about the supernatural, according to the supernatural being that has proven itself right and powerful throughout history and into the present.  I would challenge anyone to come up with a better example of this than the Christian God.

God may be real, but how about the whole Jesus thing?  Continue on to the next part for the conclusion of this three part blog series.

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