I was reading a blog recently entitled Refuting 5 False Theories About Jesus. It was Christian apologetics at its finest. I couldn’t have disagreed with it more. The part that quickly caught my attention was one of the so-called false theories called “Jesus The Failed Prophet.” I’ll try and break it down for you.
The author traces the “failed prophet” theory to German scholar Albert Schweitzer, and correctly so. However, Schweitzer wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill scholar. First of all it’s important to note that Schweitzer was a Christian theologian. He was the author of The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle and his book The Quest for the Historical Jesus is considered a seminal work of biblical scholarship. Schweitzer was also a world-famous missionary in Africa and he was awarded the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life.”
Aside: Schweitzer’s background is extremely relevant in that a reader, especially a young reader, of Refuting 5 False Theories About Jesus might otherwise think that Schweitzer was just another scholar who might easily be dismissed. Keep in mind, the blogger apparently taught theology at the high school level.
The author then accuses Schweitzer of cherry-picking the evidence. Well, the term cherry-picking, as it applies to biblical scholarship, was coined because it applies specifically to Christian apologetics. If you are defending the Bible as the unerring Word of God, you obviously can’t cherry-pick. The Bible has to be spot on, every time. However, if one is simply pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible, then cherry-picking does not apply since the only question is whether or not the Bible can be considered the unerring Word of God.
Aside: Christian apologists never seem to understand the point that it’s okay to believe in something and have faith in that belief system, but it is intellectually dishonest to say that the Bible is the infallible Word of God when it contains so many inconsistencies.
Next, the author tries to refute certain biblical passages that Schweitzer cites, passages which clearly state that Jesus was returning in the lifetime of the disciples. He focuses on Matthew 24:36 to try to prove that Jesus confessed ignorance as to the timing of his return. That’s somewhat true, although woefully incomplete. Just prior to Matthew 24:36, in Matthew 24:34, Jesus actually says that the end of the world will occur in the lifetime of the disciples. C.S. Lewis, a Christian apologist himself, said of this passage, “It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” Actually, it’s more than embarrassing for Christianity because Schweitzer, a Christian theologian himself, felt compelled to take the skeleton out of the closet, so to speak.
So, Jesus didn’t profess complete ignorance as the author said. Rather, Jesus gave a timeline for the end of the world (“this generation”), just not the exact day and hour. Jesus goes on to say that, since the exact hour is not known, everyone should be alert for his coming (Matthew 24:42) and to be ready for his coming (Matthew 24:44). In other words, the final hour is at hand.
Then, the author makes what is, to me, an astonishing admission. He says that certain critics “mistakenly suppose that first-century Jewish apocalyptic language…must have been intended literally.” This was in reference to the aforementioned passage in Matthew 24. So, according to the author, this Bible passage is not intended to be taken literally! He admits that the Bible can’t be completely read in a literal fashion. I’m still speechless, although Christian apologist Paul Copan pretty much admitted the very same thing (see my recent post Was it Genocide? Was it God?).
To a get a more complete picture, though, let’s more fully review what the Bible reveals about Jesus’ return. Here’s some of the more pertinent Bible passages:
- “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:30)
- “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.” (Luke 21:32)
- “ For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)
- “Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Matthew 23:36)
- “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”(Matthew 10:23) Note: This was spoken by Jesus to his disciples.
Comment: So Mark and Luke confirm the passage in Matthew 24:34, whereby the End of Days will occur during the lifetime of the current generation. The other passages also confirm that Jesus wlll return in the lifetime of the disciples (the current generation).
- “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)
- “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
- “And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place. And behold, I am coming soon.'” (Revelation 22: 6,7)
- “And he said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near…Behold, I am coming soon….'” (Revelation 22:10,12)
- “He (Christ) was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you.” (1 Peter 1:20)
- “The end of all things is at hand.…” (1 Peter 4:7)
- ” He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
- “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)
- “This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none… For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29,31)
- “You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (James 5:8,9)
Comment: So, it’s plainly obvious to most anyone other than a Christian apologist that these passages refer to something that will occur very soon, as opposed to two thousand years later.
- ” Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28)
- Luke 9:27 and Mark 9:1 confirm the passage in Matthew 16:28, whereby some of those standing before Jesus will not taste death until they have seen the arrival of the kingdom.
- “ For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
Comment: The above passages indicate that some of the people of that generation will yet be alive when Jesus returns. In other words, the End of Days will occur during the current generation.
- “They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.'” (2 Peter 3:4)
Comment: Obviously, in early Christianity, there was a lot of questions about the fact that Jesus did not return as promised.
The apocalyptic vision of Jesus and his followers is replete throughout the New Testament – from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to Peter to Revelation to Paul. The focal point of their apocalyptic vision was that this would all occur in their lifetime, as it clearly says in the Bible itself. They were preaching the End of Days and they expected it to happen very soon. Albert Schweitzer, in The Quest for the Historical Jesus, states that Jesus was preparing his followers for the imminent end of the world. As Jesus, himself, says in Mark 1:15, “The time has come…The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Their message was that the faithful would be saved from the coming apocalypse. Without this promise of salvation, the message would have mostly fallen on deaf ears. People want to know that they are going to be saved – in their lifetime. Who would ever follow a messiah if they knew that he would leave and not return for at least two thousand years to finally make good on his promise. No one, of course.
In early Christianity, there was no Bible and few people, if any, ever read the scriptures (since the masses were illiterate). Further, there was disagreement even within the Christian community as to what was acceptable dogma; for example, see Luke 1:1-4 and Paul’s writings (2 Corinthians 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-9). It was the 4th century church that finally decided the fate and direction of Christianity and as a result early Christianity luminaries like Origen, one of the first Christian theologians, and church father Clement of Alexandria were declared heretics by the Church. So, interestingly enough, if Origen and Clement were alive today, Christian apologists would have to be arguing these issues with them as well. Now that would be downright embarrassing, wouldn’t it?
“Jesus of Nazareth was an apocalyptic prophet who anticipated the imminent end of the age and who warned his Jewish compatriots to repent in view of the cosmic crisis that was soon to come. God, Jesus proclaimed, would intervene in the course of history to overthrow the forces of evil, sending from heaven a divine-like figure called the Son of Man in a cataclysmic act of judgment. This Son of Man would bring a new order to this world, a utopian kingdom to replace the evil empire that oppresses God’s people. And this was to occur within Jesus’ generation.”
– Bart Ehrman, biblical scholar and theologian
Although not a scientist, I still occasionally opine on things scientific… without ever using any sort of scientific method. Oddly enough, science sometimes does the very same thing, itself. That’s how we got theories like the flat earth, the sun rotates around the earth…and the current poster child, The Big Bang Theory.
Some say that there’s a number of glaring scientific deficiencies in astronomical theories. Not being a scientist, though, it’s not something for me to expound on. I work on logic, with lots of intuition liberally applied.
How did we get here?
It has been my observation that scientists sometimes violate their own rules. That is, they simply fail to observe (and measure). So, just how is it possible that something so basic to the scientific process is so completely ignored? Well, Robert Lanza, a scientist himself, offered up an explanation of sorts, “We have failed to protect science against speculative extensions of nature, continuing to assign physical and mathematical properties to hypothetical entities beyond what is observable in nature.”
Speculative extensions of nature and hypothetical entities, those are big words. What exactly did he mean by that? Speculative extension of nature has to do with the fact that science has pushed beyond what’s observable in nature. When that happens, you can no longer observe…so they speculate and hypothesize instead…and then pass it off as valid scientific theory. So, today, cosmological theories dealing with such things as black holes, singularities and dark matter, are just that – theories, and speculative theories to boot. None of them are based on observation and so none of them have followed the scientific method.
Aside: Einstein, himself, published a scientific paper saying that the existence of black holes would violate his Theory of Relativity. Other scientists have since concurred that gravitational collapse is impossible.
Even scientific geniuses like Einstein recognized the struggle to find certainty in their own work. As Einstein stated, “The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe.” In other words, the fundamental laws of nature are beyond man’s ability to comprehend them. Yet, it didn’t keep Einstein from trying (The Theory of Relativity, for example).
By definition, theoretical science produces theories, not proof. Part of the problem is that these theories are generally based on mathematics and their formulae exist only on chalkboards, rather than being based on experiments performed in the laboratory as one might expect. Worse, these very formulae use fudge factors like eternity, dark matter or Einstein’s infamous “cosmological constant.” Einstein, himself, referred to the problem with math, as follows: “As far as mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
So, what we wind up with is theories in search of some relevant facts. This is exactly backwards when compared to the proper process of scientific inquiry. Accordingly, even the scientists working on these theories often decry the state of affairs. For example, with respect to singularities, Professor Andrew Strominger of Harvard University, said that, “A singularity is when we don’t know what to do. What’s so embarrassing about singularities is that we can’t predict what’s going to come out of it.” That’s because scientists can’t even say for certain what a singularity is. I mean they believe that it exists because its part of their formulae, but no one has ever observed a singularity. As for The Big Bang Theory, Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago, stated, “If inflation is the dynamite behind the Big Bang, we’re still looking for the match.” In other words, as Prof. Strominger admitted, there are a lot of things that scientists don’t understand, and yet, strangely, they still describe them in a very precise way. That explains Richard Dawkins statement to a recent TED conference that now he has proof that evolutionary theory is correct. The implication is that he must not have been certain in the past even though he said that he was.
Aside: Of course, since the Big Bang had a match there must also have been a match lighter. So science has developed some new, exotic theories to try and explain away the problem (see below).
The theory of everything
So, now that you understand a little bit of the process as to how science works, let’s tackle what Einstein and Stephen Hawking spent their whole careers searching for (in vain) – the Theory of Everything. Again, I’m not a scientist so I come from a totally different point of view. For me, such a theory can only be valid if it explains the basis of life. After all, a theory of everything, by definition, must explain how life operates and where it came from.
Back in the nineteenth century, world-renown microbiologist Louis Pasteur helped develop the Law of Biogenesis. Today, Pasteur has been relegated by many to the dustbin of science, although his theory is as valid today as it was then. What’s so important about his work is that Pasteur proved that it was not possible for life to have evolved from a bunch of dead chemicals (read: primordial soup). Life could only come from life. Even George Wald, an ardent evolutionist, eventually admitted that it had been scientifically proven that spontaneous generation of a living organism was impossible.
So, any theory which deals with the origins of the universe (e.g. The Big Bang Theory) has to allow for the evolution of life, especially that of man. Needless to say, The Big Bang Theory does not provide such an explanation. Darwin, you understand, simply said that we evolved, randomly mutated as it were. Richard Dawkins expounded on Darwin’s theory saying that,”… life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA….”
So, for Dawkins, DNA is superior to man, and why not. DNA is a miracle. There are trillions of cells in our body each encoded with DNA instructions on how to operate and grow our bodies. Bill Gates has said that, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.” More importantly, the work of Russian molecular biologist Pjotr Gariaiev, who was part of The Human Genome Project, has shown that DNA is self-organizing, self- directing and self-replicating. Further, neuroscientist David Eagleman duly noted that the brain’s neural circuitry uses algorithms undreamt of in modern science. So our bodies are operated by a “living” biological system whose programming is far more advanced than any supercomputer. So, in one sense, Dawkins is right in that the level of sophistication of DNA virtually makes it a life-form unto itself.
Aside: Yet, Dawkins never explained who created DNA. Inexplicably, science has been unable to identify the origins of DNA or the intelligence behind it. Up until recently, most scientists even said that DNA was 90% junk – in other words, useless.
All of which brings us to consciousness, which is the nothing short of the trade secret of cosmology. Physicist Max Planck said, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. We cannot get behind consciousness. ” Yet, cosmologists usually eschew research on consciousness. Why? That’s a big question but, for starters, consciousness infers Intelligent Design which is totally incompatible with evolutionary theory. Then, there’s all the sacred cows in cosmology which would have to be jettisoned (along perhaps with peoples’ careers). I, for one, wouldn’t lose any sleep over it, but I sincerely doubt that the scientific community would ever allow such a thing to occur.
The end of science
So, what we’re stuck with are a bunch of theories that have never been observed, let alone proven. For example in his much-discussed book, The End of Science, John Horgan talked about the limitations of science as it goes into areas that are unobservable (e.g. what lies beyond space and time). In order to remain relevant, science seems to feel obliged to try and go further back – back beyond The Big Bang. Otherwise, what we would all be left with is the incredible miracle of the universe instantaneously appearing out of nothing, and from nowhere. Oddly enough, the only people who might believe such a miracle would be the creationists, because that’s what they said that God did.
Accordingly, we now have a bunch of new theories that attempt to explain that while The Big Bang really was the beginning of our universe, it was not the very beginning of life. Life apparently came from other worlds (the Multiverse). However, if true, that only changes the question of how our universe was created to a question of how the Multiverse was originally created. Since that question will most assuredly never be answered, it will make it possible for anyone, indeed everyone, to espouse their favorite theory. Since science will presumably not address the issue of life having to be created by life, it might even lead some people to posit that DNA might be some artificial form of intelligence, and that it created itself! Are you listening R.D.?
As shocking as that may seem, what’s more shocking is that Dawkins has actually admitted that DNA might have been the result of an “intelligent designer.” Really, he said that? Yes, in an interview with Ben Stein. Check it out for yourself on YouTube. It sort of harkens back to the Directed Panspermia theory of Francis Crick who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the molecular structure of DNA.
My conclusion is that the objections to Intelligent Design by scientists are usually based on ideology, rather than science. As I’ve always said there are many different disciplines in science but really just two kinds of scientists – those that believe in a Creator and those that don’t. Accordingly, science has developed a series of cosmological theories that I believe really have only one point – that the universe does not have an intelligent designer. Unfortunately, for some, DNA cannot be explained away in the usual fashion. Genetics is moving so fast that it’s beginning to eclipse science in other disciplines, like cosmology and biology, with respect to the origins of man.
So that’s my take on everything from the Big Bang to the human genome. Like I said, my thinking is not scientific – but maybe that’s a good thing. After all, what would children’s books say if there was no Big Bang Theory. I might have to read a fairy tale to my kids entitled Once Upon a Bang-less Night.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
– Max Planck, physicist
Most every day I read a blog about the evil in the world, the battle in the heavens against Lucifer, the Second Coming etc. etc. etc. Personally, it’s tiresome to continually listen to that type of dialogue. However, the topic does deserve some comment. So here goes.
Religions generally espouse an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God because it’s what sells in church on Sunday. People want to hear that someone other than themselves (like,say, the devil) is responsible for the evil in the world. They want to hear that God is great and will prevail in the end (Armageddon). As one Christian website proudly stated, “Some day God will ultimately and finally overcome evil entirely.”
Aside: I guess this omnipotent God must currently be struggling to prevail against Satan. That’s why they used words like “ultimately”, “finally” and “entirely.”
There are two basic concepts that most religious people don’t know, have forgotten about or find it convenient to just disregard, as follows:
We exist in a free will universe.
If you believe in God, then you have to believe that God gave you free will. Without free will, you would simply be just a form of AI created by God. In a free will universe, God’s gift to you is life. By definition, then, he can’t interfere. That is, free will and intervention by God are incompatible concepts. So, quit expecting God to save you. We all need to accept personal responsibility for the ills in the world.
Aside: Okay, some of you probably don’t believe in free will, which is no doubt attributable to a deterministic bent. The point is that we don’t even know what consciousness is so how can one say for certain that free will doesn’t exist? Truth be told, you don’t believe in God anyway – now do you?
God created everything
Of course, that’s true, a lot of you will say. Silly me, I forgot to add that, by definition then, he also created evil. How so? Well, he created man didn’t he? Didn’t he also create the serpent (see Genesis 3:1)? You do believe that God is omniscient, don’t you? Put simply, an omniscient God that created everything knew that he was creating evil, and did so intentionally. Yes, intentionally.
I didn’t say that the creation of evil was necessarily a bad thing, though. In a dualistic world such as what we exist in, good cannot exist without evil. So, who’s to say that evil isn’t really a necessity of Creation. In other words, how would you know what good is without also experiencing evil?
So, the common factor that free will and evil share….is God. That is, if you believe in God then it’s only logical to believe that God created both free will and evil. Under those circumstances, why be so quick to judge and complain about the evil in the world. Rather, why not do something about it. Be the change that you want to see in the world, rather than expecting God to come down here and take you on a magic carpet ride. If everyone in the world would save one person, we could save everyone on the planet. So, start by saving just one person – save yourself. I think even atheists could agree with that!
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him….”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Based on the reaction to my last post, I still feel that way too many people don’t understand the difference between “the meaning of my life” and “the purpose of my life.” They frequently use words like purpose, meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction interchangeably. So, let’s start with some definitions:
According to Merriam-Webster, purpose is:
- the reason why something is done or used : the aim or intention of something
- the feeling of being determined to do, or achieve, something
- the aim or goal of a person : what a person is trying to do, become, etc.
One example of a purpose of one’s life is to feed the homeless. Another example would be to express oneself artistically so as to feel fulfilled and satisfied.
With respect to meaning, Wikipedia offers different flavors of the word “meaning” but the one being discussed here is as follows:
- The meaning of life, a notion concerning the nature of human existence
In order to clarify things a bit, perhaps, a few more quotes might be in order:
- “Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning.”
– Henry Miller
- “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
– Joseph Campbell
- “Everything matters not in spite of the end of you and all that you love, but because of it. Everything is all you’ve got…and after Everything is nothing. So you were wise to welcome Everything, the good and the bad alike, and cling to it all. Gather it in. Seek the meaning in sorrow and don’t ever turn away, not once, from here until the end. Because it is all the same, it is all unfathomable, and it is all infinitely preferable to the one dreadful alternative.”
– Ron Currie Jr., Everything Matters!
For those of you who are religious, I offer you this quote from King Solomon in the Bible: “Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The reason for what King Solomon said is that God created us for that which is beyond what we can experience (and understand) in our lives. Thus, the attempt by religion to comprehend the incomprehensible.
Going back to Wikipedia, the key element in the meaning of life has to do with the nature of our existence. For example, how did humanity originate and is there a reason why a species like ours exists? Do we have a place in the cosmos?
In that regard, I would offer up the following thoughts:
- What is the nature of reality? I would say that we don’t know. Even Einstein would agree that man cannot grasp the universe. Therefore, if you can’t say what reality is, how can you answer such a question as what is the meaning of life?
- Any definition of the meaning of life has to start with an assumption with respect to the existence of God. Whether you believe in a Creator, or not, totally colors your perception of life – and, therefore, its ultimate meaning.
Perhaps, this extra commentary helps clarify this matter.. or perhaps not. I didn’t mean to muddy up the water…or, then again, maybe I did. Yes, life has meaning…or maybe it doesn’t. In any event, as Ron Currie Jr. said, some meaning is way more preferable to a life of no meaning. That’s why everything matters.
I hear the same question from nearly everyone, deists and atheists alike. That is, what gives my life meaning? Everyone wants to know, since without that understanding living often seems futile. So, let me take a whack at it.
Animals, like say a zebra, have no purpose in life, other than possibly to sustain the feeding cycle for other animals. Neither are they even aware of the universe around them. Man alone, who is uniquely endowed with consciousness, ponders the question. After all, it takes consciousness to even ask the question.
Some people think that if they dedicate themselves to some cause, like making the world a better place, that this will give their life meaning. Props to you if you are one of those people but mere existence is ultimately meaningless, even if it leads to a better species. That is, towards what end does a species exist? To merely survive, even to thrive and to feel good about being alive? So having a purpose in life is one thing, but to have a life with meaning is altogether another thing.
That brings us back to the original question that people keep asking, even those of you who are “making a difference.” What is there about this question that is so elusive? Why do people from all walks of life keep searching for the answer?
To seek an answer to that question, let’s first start with Darwin. Evolutionary theory states that we are the by-product of natural selection of the fittest. So, according to evolutionary theory, then, we must be without plan or purpose, produced by random errors which are referred to as mutations. Darwin’s answer to the question why are we here is this: We are here simply because we evolved. Richard Dawkins further amplified Darwin’s theory. He stated that, “Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life…life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA…life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”
Aside: Of course, Dawkins never stated where DNA came from and exactly who designed it. We’re talking about trillions of cells in our body each encoded with instructions on how to operate and grow our bodies. The neural circuitry in our brains, alone, uses algorithms undreamt of in modern science, way beyond the capabilities of the most sophisticated supercomputer.
Scientific theory states that all the matter in the universe and all the laws of nature came into existence in a split second – out of nothing. As Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago, put it, “If inflation is the dynamite behind the Big Bang, we’re still looking for the match.” Ah, the match that sparked the universe. So, since our universe had a beginning, it had to have had a cause (the match), and in that case a match lighter.
We are made up of atoms and since those atoms dissolve into the nothingness of the quantum world (according to the likes of Albert Einstein), what gives them any meaning? We can intellectualize all we want that we are real and that, being real, life must have meaning but the truth is that it’s the source of atoms that gives substance to our reality. Therefore, any meaning attached to our reality is predicated on that very same source.
I’ve compiled some thoughts on this matter from diverse fields of endeavor. Of course, I got to select them so I won’t apologize if they may seem slanted.
From the field of psychology:
“The decisive question is: Are we related to the infinite or not? The quest for the cosmic connection is a fundamental requirement of the self, thus the development of myths and religion”. – Carl Jung
From the field of science:
“Life is the most mysterious of all the wonders of creation because atoms have been assembled in such a way so that they can ponder their own existence.” – Astrophysicist Martin Rees
“Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time….” – Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe
From the field of religion:
“If there is no God, then all abstractions are chemical epiphenomena, like swamp gas over fetid water. This means that we have no reason for assigning truth and falsity to the chemical fizz we call reasoning or right and wrong to the irrational reaction we call morality….”
– Douglas Wilson
From the field of philosophy:
“To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
The source in question that I referred to above is beyond space and time, as obviously there was nothing in the instant before the Big Bang. Therefore, no one can say with any degree of certainty what “the source” actually is. Deists can’t prove that it is God and atheists can’t prove that it isn’t. One thing that we do know, though, is that there is such a source – something or someone so powerful that it created the universe out of nothing. Something caused the universe to come into being and that something, being incredibly intelligent as it would have had to have been, had awareness (unless it was a form of AI) and therefore a reason for its actions. That reason, whatever it is, is the meaning that our lives have.
I said at the beginning that I would take a stab at this issue. It was only just a stab. However, I only left out one detail. I’ll let you fill in the blank.
“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”