Rich Mitchell’s inspirational commentary, The Left is Scared to Death of Religion, brings into focus the continuing attacks by the secular leftists on God and those who believe in God. These attacks took on a new twist recently when acclaimed British theoretical physicist and cosmologist Dr. Stephen Hawking entered the fray – proclaiming that God does not exist. From his teenage years in which he became a devoted fan of the atheist philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell to his recent pronouncement that God doesn’t exist, Hawking has been steadfast in his opposition to the possibility that God is real. Attacks upon religion from Hawking are dangerous in that people may be swayed by his prominence in the field of science – not taking into account that he is far from being an authority on God.
I beg to differ with Hawking’s contention. Unlike Hawking, I am no scientist. However, my father is a scientist and a professor emeritus of mathematics. Now 90 years old, my father is also a man of deep faith. He taught me from my youth that there is no conflict between true religion and true science. The defense of religion I present here is a melding of my own insights and my father’s teachings. Knowing Dad as I do, I’d put him up against Hawking any day of the week.
An Appeal to Authority
Logic is a sterile science. It creates nothing new. However, it is useful for evaluating arguments from other disciplines. There are many fallacious arguments which have been identified by logic – basically arguments that don’t hold water. One form of a logical fallacy is the Appeal to Authority. In the matter of Hawking versus God, this fallacy takes the following form:
Hawking claims to be an authority on the subject of religion.
Hawking makes the claim that God does not exist, which is a claim concerning religion.
Therefore, God does not exist.
Hawking’s only problem with his pronouncement concerning the existence of God is that he is not an authority on the subject of religion. It is a common error to believe that just because a person is an authority in one subject area (theoretical physics/cosmology) means that he is an expert in another area (religion). This simply is not true. Hawking is no more an expert in the subject of religion than I am in the subject area of brain surgery. So don’t ask me to remove your brain tumors and don’t rely on the atheistic Hawking for the final word on the question of God’s existence.
Survival of the Fittest
The secular left would have us believe that the race of men evolved, rather than accept the Christian point of view that God brought forth life on this planet. The secular evolutionists love to quote Herbert Spencer and Charles Darwin on the subject of Survival of the Fittest, or natural selection. Natural selection, as defined by Spencer, is “the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.” Darwin intended for Natural Selection to be used as a metaphor for “better adapted for immediate, local environment”, instead of the common inference of “in the best physical shape.”
Let’s suppose there exists a physical specimen that is not “better adapted” for the “immediate, local environment.” I can’t think of a better example than Hawking himself. Now let’s introduce a factor the secular left does not take into account, or, as Al Gore would say – an inconvenient truth. What secular science does not take into account is the fact that mankind exhibits the capacity to love one another. Love, compassion, empathy, philanthropy, and selfless service fly in the face of Natural Selection. Unable to provide for even the most basic of his own needs required for survival, Hawking would no longer be with us unless someone, or probably multiple some ones, had not loved him and provided for his needs through countless acts of human kindness. By all rights, specimens in his condition should have died off long ago. However, there are people throughout the world in similar dire straits to Hawking. These disabled, disadvantaged, and in many cases, barely breathing or even nearly brain dead people are still alive. Some of these people actually reproduce, passing on genetic traits that should be naturally deselected according to the theories of Spencer and Darwin. And why aren’t they deselected out? It’s simple, really – because someone loves them. And somewhere, in the deep recesses of my mind lurks the thought that, just perhaps, love has a religious origin.
The Scientific Method
A common argument we hear from the secular left is that science is more intellectually rigorous than religion. Science, they claim, allows for a thorough and dispassionate examination of the facts, while religion is more akin to voodoo science. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both religion and science are based on foundational principles. In the case of religion the first principle is faith. Let’s examine science and discover the first principle of science.
When preparing to perform a scientific experiment, the scientist formulates a set of axioms. These axioms are merely propositions that have not been proved (this is a key point). Upon closer examination the scientist may make the determination that the axioms are not sufficient. Therefore, he breaks them down into more basic elements. In essence, he is going in the negative direction. This process continues, breaking down the axioms into ever more granular pieces, again, and again, and yet again.
But if the scientist ever wants to be able to perform his experiment (move in the positive direction), at some point he has to first stop moving in the negative direction. Now comes the dirty little secret of science, something the secularists would rather you not know. What’s the secret? In order to stop moving in the negative direction the scientist has to accept his axioms on faith! So, despite the protestations of the secular left, the First Principle of Science is exactly the same as the First Principle of Religion – Faith!
The Spiritual Laws of Motion
Sir Isaac Newton gave us the three Laws of Motion. Here in the physical world, I would classify them as temporal laws – laws pertaining to this mortal existence in which we find ourselves. But God is a spiritual being. I contend that to God, all things are spiritual in nature… “For we know that the law is spiritual…” (Romans 7: 14). So a lifetime of examining the physical laws of the universe has given Hawking knowledge of God’s physical laws – but Hawking has missed the point that these physical laws have their spiritual equivalents. Let’s examine the spiritual laws of motion:
An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an external force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Do you recall that famous picture of Jesus Christ – the one where he is knocking at the door?
For the benefit of our progressive friends, the symbolism is that Christ is knocking on the door of our heart. If you look closely at the painting you will notice there is no door knob or door handle on Christ’s side of the door. You see, Christ doesn’t force the door open. That choice belongs to us. He knocks, he begs, he pleads, he cajoles, but he never forces. He is an external force acting upon us – we who are at rest. But, despite the fact that the act of knocking constitutes an external stimulus to our souls, the decision to open the door remains with us. Christ provides the external stimulus, but we provide the resulting action.
Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated) the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object).
Another way of saying this is that there are things that act, and things that are acted upon. Or, put yet another way, we can be proactive or reactive. We have the choice of how we respond to an external force. Forces are variable, for example, the spirit of God can whisper to our souls, or, like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, the experience can be something much more dramatic. Likewise, having come into contact with an external stimulus, our response may be of any degree ranging from minuscule to great. The choice is ours. The external force is variable, and so is our response.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
We live in a world of opposites. For every Ronald Reagan there is a Barack Obama. Or, getting back to the religious symbolism, God can stretch forth his hand from Heaven and grasp our hands. But, in accordance to the laws of motion, if God were to forcibly pull us into Heaven, what would be the effect on God? That’s right; he would be pulled out of Heaven. And that’s not going to happen. That’s why you see Christ knocking on the doors of our hearts. He doesn’t force. The spiritual motion has to come from within us. Variable external forces are exerted against our souls, but it is our choice in what direction and to what extent, our resultant spiritual motion will be. The same is true of negative forces, hence my mention of Barack Obama. Obama uses his rhetorical skill to exert external force against the citizens of The United States of America. But his rhetoric doesn’t determine our response. That choice is up to us. And the majority of the citizenry of the United States have chosen action in an opposite reaction to Obama. Just look at the polls!
This short treatise on spiritual motion has been preparatory in nature. Keep reading to get the full effect.
Performing a Scientific Religious Experiment
I actually agree with the secular left on one point. There is a need for a scientific experiment that will determine the existence of God. Fortunately, we have one. God, in his wisdom, foresaw the day in which the secular left would deny his existence and demand proof that He lives. So he gave us an experiment to perform. He even gave us the axiom upon which this experiment is to be based. The experiment is found in the New Testament in James 1: 5. The axiom is presented one verse later in James 1: 6. And one verse later than that, God tells us that those of us who do not perform the experiment correctly will not get the result they are seeking. Let’s take it one verse at a time:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
It is a very simple experiment. All we have to do is pray, and in the course of our supplications, ask God if he exists, if he is real. We have been given a promise. Perform the experiment and the results will be provided – every time. Just do it.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Like all properly prepared scientific experiments, there is an axiom. In this case, the axiom is faith – the First Principle of both religion and science. Given that secularists put their trust in science, they should readily agree to this axiom. After all, faith is merely the First Principle of Science. However, in reality, we all know that the secular left can’t even be lead kicking and screaming into a condition of faith. God has a habit of not forcing people to believe in Him. He allows us free choice, free will, free agency. The choice is ours. The secular leftists are proud people, which is an insurmountable obstacle in getting to know God – “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). There is no escaping the condition (axiom) upon which the experiment must be performed. If you don’t exhibit true, sincere faith in God, you will not succeed in conducting a successful experiment. There are no short cuts. There are no workarounds.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Quite simply, those that do not follow the condition upon which this experiment is based – the axiom – will not receive the desired result. The problem for the leftists is that they want to see the results (a sign) without being required to first follow the instructions (have faith). The leftists demand that God do things their way. Here’s one more inconvenient truth – the secular left isn’t allowed to dictate terms to God. It’s the other way around. Humility goes a long way in this type of experiment.
It is necessary to perform the experiment in order to obtain the result – but it is not sufficient. The axiom must also be applied. At that point compliance to the conditions of the experiment becomes sufficient. That is just the way it is – an inconvenient truth.
Getting to Know the Truth of the Matter
So, Professor Hawking, do you sincerely want to know the truth about whether God exists? You can know the truth if you really want to. But the spiritual motion has to come from within you. Nobody is going to force you into a relationship with your God. It’s your choice. It won’t be easy. It doesn’t come without effort. You will be buffeted by the godless and statist doctrines of Marx and Lenin on the one hand; and the knocking on the door of your heart, on the other. It is your choice in which direction you are going to move, and how much you move, and how fast you move. It is all up to you.
It is going to take courage to perform the experiment, Professor Hawking. The proper application of the axiom will require you to drop your secular, atheist mantra and replace it with faith in God – before you can even perform the experiment. And once you have developed the faith, you are then going to have to conduct the experiment. It will most likely require you to find yourself a place where you can be alone – away from the godless buffetings of negative external forces. Then you will have to humble yourself and ask God for the answer to the eternal question – Do you exist?
If you really desire to know the truth, it can be obtained. It won’t be easy. It means abandoning your progressive tenet of faith in science as the ultimate authority. You will have to become like those whom you despise – those whom have already performed the experiment – people of all denominations who have agreed to apply the axiom. They have the answer. Are you brave enough to honestly seek it yourself? The stakes are high – your eternity depends on the answer. And eternity is going to last a lot longer than the Obama Administration. Think about it.
If you discover for yourself that God exists, then your whole secular leftist, Marxist, Leninist, progressive, scientific, Hopey Changey, statist existence goes down the tubes. And then you will be faced with an entirely new dilemma – will you be true to the faith, knowledge, and truth you have just acquired? You think believers in God are weak? Think again, those exhibiting faith are the strongest people on earth.
Knowing science as you do, Professor Hawking, you understand the calculus that the concept of infinity is real. And you understand the concept that some infinities are subsets of other infinities. If you are ready to explore the infinite to the nth degree, perform the experiment. It will change your life.