National Commentary

A Primary Evidence Of God’s Existence

nfbentonpicHaving asserted in this column last week the “substantiality” of God over notions nothing more than mental constructs, now comes my effort at defining the meaning of “God.” To what does that refer?

Every person who has ever lived has been challenged in one way or another to come to grips with this question. The mere fact of existing as a living, thinking being mandates an answer to the question of the source or cause of this existing, which for each person is experienced from the standpoint of an ultimate subjectivity. Everyone is an “I” to himself or herself, an astonishing reality, in fact, that can be downright terrifying.
No one living can step out of this “I” experience, as much as they may try to deny it or to dismiss it. In a world filled with amazing and astonishing facts, events and information, increasingly bombarding the senses with efforts at capturing interest for any number of reasons, there is nothing more stunning and fascinating than the individual’s experience of his or her sense of “I.”

Consider when that sense first arises in an new-born infant. It may be when, barely able to focus, the young child catches an image of the movement of her own hands moving in front of her face, and the discovery that she controls the movement of those hands. Such might be the birth of self-consciousness in an individual.

When it comes to the source of this experience, and what derives from it over a lifetime, I have concluded that there is no way that something incapable of knowing or experiencing this same thing can be responsible for it.

There is no way that it can be derived from a physical process of inanimate, non-living, non-conscious objects or forces interacting in a totally random and chance way. The notion of some random leap from a state of an inanimate object to a self-conscious sense of “I” is wilder and more preposterous than the craziest science fiction unless one of two factors is involved: 1. an outside intervention suddenly causes the leap at some point in the unfolding of creation, or 2. a notion of this “I” self-consciousness is embedded in the very substance of creation that gradually emerges and develops.

In either case, the source of the “I” that we all experience so subjectively must be equal to or greater than, but in no way less than, the “I” of that we all experience.

There is no “God particle,” there is no derivative of the universe from a solitary “big bang,” because there is no accounting whatsoever for how we have come, as included components of this universe, to experience the “I” of our self-conscious as a derivative of those.

So, while what we call God is most likely not a person in our sense, God must be personal, most likely on some level way beyond our comprehension. As God’s creation, we are not so estranged and disassociated from our creator as for our consciousness to have no association, connection or compatibility whatsoever with its source.

While I perceive that all the major world religions address the effort at defining and appreciating this connection, it seems to me that in terms of Christianity, centering on the person of Jesus of Nazareth as the channel, the vehicle, the making for that connection, makes perfect sense. It unifies creator with creation, both as persons. That notion was the essence of the founding of the faith.

Usurpers and false prophets have for eons stepped in to claim themselves as this channel, this connection to ultimate truth, and to demand obedience for that reason. Such pretenders always call upon persons to subordinate the “I’s” of their self-consciousness to the will of someone else, usually themselves.

In reality, the connection of the “I” of what we call God to the “I” of the person is acutely personal in the person’s experience. Jesus of Nazareth, in his Sermon on the Mount, calls listeners to ignore all the other voices, and to center on and emulate the life-giving connection to their compassionate creator.