On the existence and nonexistence of gods

I will begin my writing at the end- It is ignorant to believe that there is no such thing as god; it is ignorant to believe that there is for certain a god. Let’s begin.

I grew up in a Lutheran household in the Midwestern United States in the early 1990’s. Most of my free time was spent at the church. I was in cub scouts at the church, I went to preschool at the church, I went to church at the church. While we most certainly seemed religious, there was very little religiosity at home. We didn’t pray before every meal or before bed. It seemed my own parents had not quite decided on what god’s role in our upbringing should be.

At any early age I was learning to swim. I plunged into the deep end of the pool and realized I could not swim. Gasping for air I broke the surface and ran to my mother. I remember asking her- what happens when you die? Is it just darkness forever? Heavy stuff for a child. She assured me that there was a wonderful place I could go- where all of my loved ones would be, and that death is nothing to be afraid of.

In middle school I was certain of Christianity’s Jesus and God. Surely these beacons of love and light would guide us home? I went to a hip and happening church where they sang Christian Rock songs. there was a separate church for older folks and one for us hip youngsters. I wore a cross necklace around my neck. I remembered being so certain.

Sometime between 7th grade and 8th grade I changed my mind. I chose to be Agnostic. Not because I had any good reason to, but because I didn’t want to be an Atheist and didn’t want to be a Christian. I suppose it was my rebellious phase- of which I didn’t really have much of one. I rebelled in thought rather than action.

As I matured in high school and beyond, I came to respect many other cultural traditions and religious practices. I learned to despise tradition for the sake of tradition- but to respect it nonetheless for those which it held meaning for. I remember getting upset when people said Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. I remember talking with my Christian friend and always trying to prove him wrong.


What need did I have to prove him wrong? What possible goal could I have in mind in setting out to destroy the most beautiful thing in the entire multiverse? When someone says “God bless you”, they are asking their most powerful Creator to bless YOU. Even if you are not a believer- that’s extremely kind.

As I grew older and to present day, I realized that those that practice religion do not do so out of ignorance or fear of punishment, they do so out of necessity. The alternative is to banish all spirituality from the soul. Something which I could not come to terms with.

So now I will lay myself bare; now you hear the heathen’s tale.

I cannot ascertain anything of gods- whether that be their presence or elsewise. Gods are necessarily greater than I. Gods are infinite; I am finite. Gods are atemporal; I am very temporal. Gods are perfect; I am quite imperfect. Gods are not limited by form or shape or color or language- Gods are necessarily limitless in all forms.

Therefore, we cannot ascertain the true existence or nonexistence of god. To know as much would make me a god myself. I will admit that this view may be extremely agnostic and perhaps broad.

There is but one way in which we as mere mortals can come to comprehend the infinite awesomeness of god- divine intervention. Do we not know the effect of gravity without knowing its true source? So too could be the effect of god. There are those that have felt god, have felt the true awesomeness. For those I am envious- let it be known I envy the religious person who believes with all their heart and soul in a divine creator- for then maybe life wouldn’t always be so lonely.

But alas, even if we did feel the warm embrace of god- which god would we attribute it to? Is it the Christian god? Not necessarily. And this is the crux of my belief on gods.

Because we are flawed and not anywhere near the awesomeness of gods- we are also without the language of the gods. The intents of gods cannot be put into human language- for gods are necessarily greater than anything we could ever create.

An effect [humanity] can never be greater than its cause [god]. Even if gods communicated their truths to us, it would never be complete- always bound by the constraints of human language; by the constraints of human understanding.

The argument has been made that there must be a divine creator. We are in the perfect time and place in space- not too hot and not too cold. This argument is persuasive at first, but I do have a counterargument.

Consider the present moment. Think of all the time that came before you; think of all the time that will come after you. What do you notice? It’s infinite. Unlike the death of the Universe due to expansion- there is no death of time. It-as we know it- is unlimited and continues long after anything else is or before anything was.

Now imagine a cosmic coin flip. A coin is flipped since the start of time. Constantly flipping. What are the odds that given an infinite amount of time the coin lands on any one outcome at least once? It’s 100%. Even the rarest outcome, given an infinite amount of time because certain. Therefore, this argument that a creator is necessary because we are in the right time in space is not strong enough. But do not fret about your existence- because in a beautiful way this means even without a god- YOU are necessary.

Yes, we are necessary. We were random chance, but we had to happen eventually. Or even more odd- we are necessarily going to happen again- and have most likely already occurred. When time is unlimited- we become unlimited.

So, what do we do? Do we continue searching for god? Do we attempt to ascertain the infinite? It is my opinion that we let the question be our muse. That we ponder the question of god, knowing very well that it is unknown unless god makes clear their intentions- which we may misunderstand anyway.

What of dogma then? What of religion? Do we cast aside all the teachings of religion? No- religion is valuable. The true tenants of the World’s dominant religions are very persuasive. The teachings of Jesus are amazing. If more people were like Jesus, the world would be a better place- even if he was not the Son of God and more the Son of Man. The great Buddha growing from the depths of a dirty pond to become a beautiful Lotus.

It is of my opinion that there is probably not a god, but that there is no way for me to know for certain. I will remain Agnostic. It is ignorant to say that one can know for certain that there is necessarily a divine creator, just as it is ignorant to say that one can know for certain that there is not- unless one has received divine intervention.

If gods are not real- the very ideal set by such a creator is still just as potent. We should strive to learn as much as we can about the world and each other. We should attempt to ease the suffering of animals- human and non-human. We should attempt to ascertain what a god’s intentions would be- even if they do not exist. We should live in harmony with ourselves and others. We should make peace with the fact that there are things outside the scope of human understanding and focus our studies inward to better understand ourselves.