By Ernest O’Neill
Where do you think life came from? Perhaps you reply that you haven’t aclue. But there do seem to be some clues. If summer came one year in Januaryand the next year in July, if some people fell off Australia while othersmanaged to stay on, then one would be tempted to say the whole universeresulted from chance. But instead of this kind of chaos we are surrounded by aworld of so much order and design that one of our greatest geniuses, Einstein,said that his religion “consists of a humble admiration of the illimitableSpirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive withour frail and feeble minds.”
Many of us admit that there must be a first cause but we hesitate to goas far as Einstein when he refers to the first cause as HE. Why can allexistence not be attributed to an impersonal force of some kind? One of theobvious reasons is that you cannot imagine a dog making a man: a lesser form oflife cannot make a greater form of life. Human life is superior in itsanalytical and reasoning powers to inanimate life so it is logical to assumethat the probable cause of the universe is at least as personal as we are.
If this were the case it would also help to explain the existence ofconscience and the sense of moral obligation that is felt universally by ushuman beings. Wherever you travel you find that even the most uneducated andprimitive tribes think it’s wrong to be cowardly or to double-cross yourfriends. Even though we find it easier to hate than to love, to lose our temperthan to keep it, to be selfish than to be unselfish, yet we persist in feelingguilty and continue to feel that we ought to be loving, even-tempered andunselfish. It’s difficult to explain such a strong sense of moral obligationunless it comes from outside this selfish, squabbling, assertive human race. Onthe other hand, if there is a personal being greater than ourselves with higherstandards than we live by, then this mysterious feeling of ‘I ought” may comefrom that Supreme Being.
So there is circumstantial evidence to support the intuitive belief in acreator that men have had for centuries. Wherever anthropologists research thebeginnings of the human race they find that man has always believed in theexistence of a supreme being. Not only does every corner of the earth yield itsstore of temples for worship but it also is filled with all kinds ofsacrificial altars where man expressed his sense of guilt. Though these factsof design and personality and conscience are not proofs that a Supreme Beingexists, they are strong circumstantial evidence for the reasonableness ofbelieving in such a Supreme Being.
Is there any empirical evidence for believing that there is a personalCreator behind this universe? Let’s examine this question in the nextarticle.