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Was God invented or discovered ?


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Was God invented or discovered ?

Dr Gurbakhsh Singh, USA

The two institutions of science and religion have played a major role in directing the life of human beings. As the two have different approaches to the human knowledge, they often clash with each other. To begin with, religion ruled the thought of man. As science advanced, its achievements, particularly in the field of creation and cosmology, shook the very roots of many religious beliefs. Even the faith in God was challenged.

Most religions hold that God has no beginning, He is the ever existing Lord. He made all the creation we know, and the one we may know in future. Some people, on the other hand, argue that God does not really exist, and has only been invented by shrewd persons to serve their selfish interests. There is a third view as well; it suggests that the institution of God is essential and that if He is not there, it is necessary to invent (assume, create) one. Otherwise, our social structure will crumble and animal culture will prevail. For, only belief in God as Father of the entire humanity, can provide the basis for true morality and ethics.

Modern youth exposed to science nurture doubt regarding the existence of God, and question the religious practices of their faith. I wish to share one such experience with the readers. In a Sikh youth camp held in Vancouver, BC, Canada, for teaching principles of the Sikh faith, a student asked me, “Why have we to believe in God and why are we required to follow rituals of the faith ? One should be free to do what one likes or what makes one happy.â€

I was caught unaware. I did not expect such a question from a teenage son of the parents very much committed to the Sikh faith. After some thought, a simple practical method to answer the question occurred to me. There were two burly students also attending the camp. I asked them, “Would you like to have his (the boy’s) pants ?†Quick came the reply, “Yes, certainly.†I continued, “O.K. Then go ahead, and help yourself.†This startled the boy, and he exclaimed, “No ! No! These are my pants.†I repeated my suggestion to the students, “Do not listen to him. You like his pants, you should take them.†The boy objected even more vehemently, “This is unfair, wrong. Why should they take my pants ?†It was time for me to remind him of his statement, “Did you not say that one should do what one likes ? They like to have your pants.â€

Our debate led us to the conclusion, “One should not take what belongs to others.†I asked the boy to write it on the board.

That day we swapped our roles. I acted as a learner and started asking questions, while the trainees responded. We ended up writing many more sentences on the board. For example: ‘Do not tell lies to fool others; do not bully or torture the weak and helpless; help the needy; speak truth; etc.

As a teacher of the group, I concluded, “Well friends! What you decided means that we should be good to each other and behave as members of one big family. In other words, you agree that to create a peaceful and happy society we should behave as if all humans are children of the same father. Wise men have named Him God. Let me assure you God has not been assumed. He is there and there is a scientific proof of that.â€

The boys immediately questioned, “How can you give a scientific proof when everyone says that God is beyond the field of science ?†I answered : “As students of science, you accept that new findings become a fact if more than three or four scientists independently obtain the same results. More than half a dozen spiritual scientists (prophets), independently of one another and living in different parts of the world in very different cultures, have reported that there is One Almighty Lord who created the world. Why not accept their independent findings, their intuitive experiences, as a scientific fact ?

“According to your arguments, because we cannot observe Him and cannot react with Him, there is no God. Dear youth! There are, however, many other facts, which we accepted without being able to verify them by our own physical senses. We have to believe our scientists and geographers.

“Newton observed that there is a force in our dead earth, which attracts everything towards itself. We call it gravity and you all know about it. We cannot verify it by our physical senses (eye, ear, touch etc.). I tried to explain gravity to an illiterate 70 year old man in 1940. He found it difficult to believe that gravity (force) exists but it was not put into the earth by anyone, that it does not grow old or get sick, that it will never die and that it has no shape, form or colour. The old man could not imagine the existence of such a thing. However, you all know it and understand it. All these charactistics belong to God as well and you also find it impossible to believe in Him.

“Let us accept the word of the spiritual scientists that there is a spiritual Force which Generates, Operates and Destroys (in short, GOD) the creation. Believing in Him is essential to maintain social, moral and ethical discipline of our society. We should accept Him even if we cannot observe Him or describe Him to a lay person in words as in the case of gravity.

“Another such concept, which you cannot explain to a layman, is already being used by you in your mathematics class. We name this number ‘infinity’. We have a symbol for it because we cannot write it in the digit form. This number is bigger than the biggest number we can imagine. Without this number we cannot work out many mathematical equations. For example, ‘one’ or any other positive real number divided by zero is equal to infinity. There are some other facts of science also which we cannot perceive through physical senses. Have any of you seen a gene or an electron ? How can you explain to a layman that all the food, grains, fruits, vegetables, trees, and all vegetation are produced by soil, water, air and sun. You know that the energy of the sun helps water and carbon dioxide to chemically react, synthesizing simple carbohydrates (sugars). From sugar, other more complex organic compounds are built.

“Please believe me, we are lay men in the spiritual field. We should, therefore, accept the findings of the spiritual scientists. There have been many holy people who experienced mystic communication with God. About two dozen of them have shared their experience with us through their hymns that form a part of Guru Granth Sahib and which we sing in gurdwaras everyday.

“About the existence of God, let us agree to assume that He is there. I can assure you that as your experience grows, you will find more and more evidence to confirm this assumption. In the pursiut of science also, we assume a hypothesis to be confirmed with subsequent observations.â€

Perfect calm and seriousness in the class, attentive listening faces and no more questions, assured me that the youth felt convinced. They agreed that even though they cannot verify by themselves the existence of God, it is all right to believe in Him and benefit from the belief of oneness of humanity. It will help people to live in peace and happiness like a vast family of the Almighty Father.

Before ending this discussion, the outcome of a second dialogue on God must also be mentioned. In another youth camp, it was observed that religion has split humanity and is often the cause of conflicts and wars all over the world. The discussions in that camp concluded that jealousy and ego of the believers of a faith (the claim that only their faith is true, other faiths are false, that only the Name given by them for God is correct, and that their rituals alone are the path to realize the Truth, etc.) is the actual cause of conflicts and wars. In fact, belief in one common God (Father-Mother of humanity), regardless of name or names assigned to Him, should help us to realise the brotherhood of humanity and this is the only path for the people to live in peace and happiness

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