Have you ever tried to tell an animal or a plant about your views on God or the existence of some intelligent being or force ‘out’ (or ‘in’) there? No, I thought not. Neither have I. However, the thought about trying to has crossed my mind. I suppose what keeps me from trying is that if I eventually did do so it might clarify to me and many others what I’d always feared about my own stability of mind. Clint Eastwood talked to the trees and look what …. well, it was his choice wasn’t it? …. anyway, that’s history. Another reason why I have not tried is that I have this other view that animals and plants don’t or even can’t think about these types of things. Now where did I get that idea from? Nevertheless that’s a view I have. Strange isn’t it?
I’m sure most of us have had an interaction with another person or other persons about our ideas on God and all that this might mean to us. Whatever side of the answer you’re on I’m sure it’s happened, probably quite often. As much as these types of conversations can get very heated and leave most involved greatly frustrated it seems to be something all of us do. Even if we don’t speak about it we tend to think about it. Sometimes I have been kept from speaking to other people of my views on God for fear of being seen as somewhat strange (and again, I’m not in search of further clarification in that specific arena). What does make it easier to speak to other humans about my ideas on God however is that I have this view that humans can think about the existence of God and that in fact it is a very deep and often turbulent issue. I also have this view that humans can do a uniquely extraordinary thing – we can even think about our thinking. Further more I believe we can even fine tune our thinking to embrace very complex and elaborate conceptual ideas and constructs that can even appear to others to be not even of this world we live in. The science fiction industry is clear evidence that reveals the amazing nature of this uniquely human aptitude. Now where did I get that idea from? Nevertheless that’s a view I have. Strange isn’t it?
We might not be able to prove or even know that there’s a God out there but someday we may clearly figure the problem out for ourselves. In the mean time we can still think there is a God out there and that we’re just trying to get closer and closer to a clearer understanding, even proof of …. or not.
A theory is attractive, beautiful, and profound when it is made simple and when it can be expressed concisely. Either side of the answer to whether there is a God we all tend to get very complicated in our approaches and the cleverer we get the more confusing it seems to become.
A lot of the answers we now have from science were collected through experimentation and intelligent calculations of probabilities. An alarming amount of the time these wonderful discoveries that developed into laws and ‘facts’ came about by chance. Things crossed peoples paths and certain minds were attracted to problems and challenges. Sometimes great discoveries were literally stumbled on.
The way I see this in very simple terms is that a lot of questions were asked and people took a lot of risks by going where others had not yet gone or were even afraid to go. Some of the greatest ideas were discovered when people went to places that were clearly labelled ‘wrong’, ‘forbidden’, even ‘madness’.
To me, alongside the tremendous risk there’s a lot of playfulness in this process. There is also a lot of freedom and wonder. We would never have achieved what we have if some had not crossed these ‘forbidden’ borders.
The trouble with science and technology advancing so rapidly is that there are more and more ‘answers’ available than ever before. We have a lot more understanding. We have a lot more tighter ideas about things. We have become more precise and accurate and this is good. However, there is a down side to this precision – it tends to close down a whole lot of questions even before they are asked.
On both sides of the answer let’s keep playing. Let’s keep taking risks. Let’s keep asking daring and bold questions. Let’s keep on going beyond the set borders.
Who knows what inquisitiveness, playfulness, chance and probability might allow us to discover?