In the beginning, God…

That the Universe has a beginning and everything created has a creator except the one uncreated God is the fundamental view of the cosmos that I carry. I further believe that this ultimate reality of the universe coming into being from non-being is outside our experiences of the natural realm.

For us people of faith, God has been the pivot of our moral compass and will remain so. The reverence paves way for distinguishing the good and the evil and attainment of wisdom that is consequent of being attuned to the hereafter.

When we talk of God and science, the theory of evolution invariably figures in the discussion. Yes, we do consider it seriously just like any other body of knowledge has to be, but then recognize its gaps and understand our own belief system better in terms of what its postulates.

The limitations of science

Science has limitations in that it confines to the natural realm. There are a whole gamut of things ranging from conscience to symbolic thinking concerning us that we deal with outside its boundaries. There have been alternative conceptions of physics and matter and over the years the cultural and historical milieu of a society has fashioned the scientific and technical knowledge there. Since science is a product of the human experience, it usually has a reductionist scope of considering only matter in motion.

On the other hand, I admire science for its rigor in following the scientific method based on hypothesis, experiment and proof, and its reliance on the principles of verifiability, repeatability, and falsifiability. I also admire the extraordinary scientific discoveries, their far-reaching impact on human life and capacity to solve a lot of human problems. And then there are many scientists who have belief in God and consider themselves religious.[1]

The only kind of defense

I have friends who have accepted non-religious beliefs. Some are atheists and some practice Buddhism. Many don’t believe in the non-existence of God, rather they have difficulty in the absolute that there is a God. I get along well with all of them and indirectly they strengthen my belief system. For, falsifiability is an important criterion in science. As Prof. Tabish Khair argues, “there can be an atheistic defense of the concept (not existence, which cannot be proved) of God and it is the only kind of defense of God that is rationally possible. “[2]

What gets my goat sometimes is the faint whiff of attitude I perceive that somehow we people of faith are not smart. To them, here is the answer in a lighter vein:
‘A belief in God is in any case more profitable than unbelief, because if truth is on the side of the “ungodlies” the believer loses nothing but his life when he leaves the world, whereas if God exists he gains all eternity (glory everlasting). Therefore, one should believe in God, for this is dictated very simply by the existential tactic of weighing one’s chances in the pursuit of optimal success.’ [3]

In the final analysis, I’d say that my religious beliefs are true based on spiritual methods though they are yet to be proved by scientific methods. I have trust and acceptance of science but that in no way hinders my belief and faith in God. I am pretty much at ease with the dualism of a scientific mind and a religious soul coexisting in me.

[2] Is an Atheistic Defence of God Possible? by Tabish Khair, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 51, Issue №14, 02 Apr, 2016.
[3] “No Serviam”, by Stanislaw Lem, chapter 19 of the book The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul, composed and arranged by Douglas Hostadter and Daniel Dennett.

Mahboob Hussain is a software development professional, avid reader, husband, and father of two charming kids.
Mahboob Hussain is a software development professional, avid reader, husband, and father of two charming kids.

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