PostHeaderIcon God Is The Answer

On numerous occasions, while driving the highways of the deep South, I have encountered billboards proclaiming in very large script: ”God Is The Answer”.

Most times, my internal response was something smart-ass clever such as “fine, but what was the question?”.

Then, one day it struck me that these signs are absolutely accurate. God Is The Answer… to the questions that have no other answer.

The wiser folks among us, when asked a question to which they do not know the correct answer, or, better yet, a question to which, within the current scope of human knowledge, no answer is knowable, will respond simply “I don’t know”.

But, those of us who are less wise, especially those of us who are uncomfortable with our lack of wisdom, are usually reluctant to admit such lack of knowledge. So, far too many of us answer the unanswerable with “God”.

For instance, the question of how our universe came to be, and even more important, how we came to inhabit our universe, has only one truly correct answer: “we don’t have a clue”. But the majority of Americans (indeed, a majority of the people on Earth) will not give this accurate answer. Instead, they will respond “God” (or the equivalent name in whatever form of superstition they practice). God did it, God caused it, God made it. (At least this last also explains Obama’s recent claim as well as explaining the universe.)

I readily admit that I do not understand this compulsion to have an answer to every mystery in the universe, even if one must be made up. I am quite comfortable with the fact that I don’t know everything – or even know very much if forced to admit it. (This is not an offhanded attempt to imply that I have wisdom.) I am also pretty sure that I don’t even want to know everything.

I am quite content to live in a universe that contains wonder and mysteries. However, I cannot make myself the least bit content with the idea of a universe that is not firmly grounded in reality – whether or not I fully comprehend that reality.

I am actually quite uncomfortable of the very notion of a universe whose basic laws can be altered at the whim of some mystical force, unless I talk nice to it (and about it), flagellate myself before it, or otherwise act like some moronic slave.

I have often speculated that this fear of the unknown, ergo, the need to have an answer for everything, is driven by the development of reason in humanity. We have developed our ability to reason to the point where we clearly understand the inevitability of our own deaths. Yet, for some reason, most of us cannot accept that reality. So, we readily accept the most obviously impossible ideas in our constant attempts to somehow get around that reality.

Many believe that we don’t actually die – that this “thing” (soul?) inside us lives on without need of a body or of the physical and chemical processes that allow us to live. I have always wondered, if that could possibly be true, why bother with a body to begin with?

Others among us believe that we do die but that the essence of us (soul again?) gets reincarnated into another living thing. Given the nature of the universe to recycle and reuse, this has some plausibility at some level. However, I fail to see what good it does me whether I was born of all new material or whether I contain some recycled bits.

I find it totally simple to realize that when I die, I will be dead. That the processes that animate me will cease and that the physical matter of which I am composed will decompose into their basic forms. I also find this notion totally acceptable. So the universe will be denied my continuing rants – so what?

In a word, life is so much simpler, and more enjoyable, when one does not need to know all the answers. Even the default answer.

Think about it.

Troy L Robinson

8 Responses to “God Is The Answer”

  • Daedalus says:

    Troy stated:

    I have often speculated that this fear of the unknown, ergo, the need to have an answer for everything, is driven by the development of reason in humanity. We have developed our ability to reason to the point where we clearly understand the inevitability of our own deaths. Yet, for some reason, most of us cannot accept that reality. So, we readily accept the most obviously impossible ideas in our constant attempts to somehow get around that reality.

    I have speculated too. If one looks at life forms in general, they all seem to have a basic ethos. They all have some form of sensing their environment then reacting to it in a manner that has been life furthering in their normal environment. Our particular species is oriented to survive or enhance its life by seeking out and integrating the material of its senses into a conceptual framework which it then uses to guide its actions. In other words we seek knowledge to further our happiness. The problem you mentioned occurs when the knowledge seeking hit’s a “don’t know” dead end. This can cause much discomfort in the human system because the feeling of happiness flees in the face of lack of knowledge required for appropriate actions for living. I think almost everyone plugs the “God” or “Mysticism” solution to the feeling of discomfort, this “solution” derived from their societal environment. This restores their sense of equilibrium and happiness, but now, not based on reality. This irrational behavior becomes automated from repetition and actuates subconscious behavior. If you discuss the fallacy of this behavior with folks who follow this path, expect fireworks for you are attacking their fundamental means of dealing with the world and maintaining their happiness — held subconsciously. They will go to inordinate lengths (intellectually and sometimes physically) to preserve the modus operandi. Myself, I came to accept a long time ago that I was not going to know the answers to all questions (I wrestled with the concept of infinity as a seven year old ) . My modus operandi is to simply say I presently do not have any or enough knowledge to deal with topics of this nature and just to leave them in an intellectual “pending” file. For example I do not know how existence came to be and in fact I am not even sure it is a valid question. But this does not leave me with any feeling of uneasiness since I don’t perceive it a threat to my existence or happiness.

    • Troy says:

      Dae,
      I don’t take issue with anything you said.. Yet, I still do not understand how so many people can find comfort in “answers” that simple common sense should tell them cannot be true.

      Yet another item for me to file under “I don’t know”.

      Troy

  • It’s because they weren’t seeking the answers, they were seeking the comfort.

    If you’ve ever tried to explain current global economics to an optimist, you’ve seen this in action.

    God was invented by parents telling their children not to worry.

  • daedalus says:

    The problem with religion is once the irrational feedback is used for one intellectual owie, it becomes easier to use it for others. “Well its just God’s will” Where do rights come from “God of course.” This type of action evades the one choice man has, “to think or not to think.” (Compliments of Ayn Rand.)

    • Troy says:

      Some years ago, a NASA scientist, responding to a question regarding possible life on other planets, famously said “there is no evidence of intelligent life in our solar system”. I once thought that he misspoke — I get less sure every day.

      Troy

  • Troy says:

    Exclusive: Democrats Drop ‘God’ From Party Platform

    http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/archive/2012/09/04/democrats-drop-god-from-party-platform.aspx

    Evidently there are some who seem not to believe God Is The Answer. I would consider that progress except that these same people seem to think that Obama Is The Answer. That could be true — it all depends on the question. For instance, this would be a true statement if the question was “how can we best destroy America?”. Or, perhaps, “who is the worst president in the history of our Republic?”.

    BTW, If Jerusalem is not the capitol of Israel does that mean we have to move our embassy? Also, since the Zionists have so much trouble getting along with their Arab neighbors -AND- since we keep coming up empty in our attempts to civilize Afghanistan, why not simply sell the current land occupied by Israel to the Arabs and move the Zionists to the land currently occupied by the Afghans? It is a crappy country but they have really pretty dogs.

    Troy

  • Unfortunately, coming up with economic solutions to religious disputes doesn’t seem to work.

    Convince them that God has decided to move the holy land, and you’ll be on to something.

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