Richard Dawkins is challenging the idea that a Deistic God created the universe and set it in motion and then keeps aloof. In other words, according to him we believe in an absentee God who seems to be indifferent to what is happening in the world. But if He in fact does create individual souls ‘off and on’, then he should face the problem of evil that exists in the created universe in the form of sorrows and sufferings, injustice, exploitation, birth-based deformities. Why should there be any birth-based differences that make some more privileged than others?
Besides, aggressive atheists who deny the existence of God do so because believers have been committing horrible acts of commission and omission in the name of religious creeds and God. Despite this, it is said that the so-called all-powerful, all-good, and all knowing God remains silent. Therefore, God’s silence is equated with God’s non-existence by materialists and atheists.
Howeveer, the wonderful structure of the universe and of the things and beings in the universe does seem to suggest the existence of a Grand Design, which needs explanation. Can it be due to matter and motion? Though human reason is capable of understanding a lot, it points to the existence of Universal Consciousness or Cosmic Intelligence, and this, say nay-sayers, is more faith than fact.
The theistic world view gives cosmic support to the believers. After all, the question of all questions is whether the universe is friendly or inimical to life in general and human life in particular. Long before the ‘Sun’ in the solar system was seen as the friend of humans. So the believer bowed before the Sun and said, “Aum Mitrya Namah” – O Lord, I bow to you, our friend. Darwin’s theory of biological evolution is a grand hypothesis to explain the origin of species on this planet. He never claimed that he could explain the ‘arrival of life to evolve in favour of the fittest’ in the world. How did the rudimentary amoebas evolve; out of nothing? Biologists aver the principle ‘life begets life’. Can they reduce biology to physics? Can they accept biology as a branch of physics? The usual and answer to this is ‘no’. Moreover, physics itself is becoming a science of the minute following the discovery that atoms can be split! The concept of God is not a stupid idea. It cannot be done away with so cursorily. It was the agnostic H Spencer who applied the concept of evolution to the evolution of the cosmos. Later philosophers formulated different ideas of evolution, as did S Alexander in the idea of Emergent Evolution, H Bergson in the concept of Creative Evolution.
The tiny logic and intellect of man should not be elevated to the status of God or the Cosmic Intelligence; perhaps its role in human affairs ought not to be dismissed or underestimated. Such a stand has its own limitations. German philosopher Kant refuted the traditional rational argument addressed in support of belief in God. Yet he formulated the Moral Argument. For belief in the existence of God – and morality are special to human beings. Unless we accept the moral in the universe it is very difficult to make the universe morally intelligible. The discussion cannot be left in the hands of priests and pundits. Education in humanities will help believers liberate religion from the clutches of the priestly class. For aren’t modern liberation theologians willing to learn from Karl Marx to solve the issue of hunger and injustice?
Courtesy: Speaking Tree