Does God exist?

Published on 23 Aug 2016
Dandelion Credit Priscilla Westra via Unsplash

If anything starts to exist, we always assume that there must be some explanation for its coming to be, and we need to consider what kind of explanation might be adequate. All our sciences work on those assumptions, which have in general served us well. 

Since we believe we have scientific evidence that all the energy/matter in the universe came into existence rather more than 13 billion years ago, we are faced with one of two difficult alternatives.  The first is to say that we should not even think of trying to ask how such an event came about.  The second is to say that we should accept that here we must be faced with an explanation which totally transcends our grasp.

The first alternative seems intellectually dishonest; and the second forces us to accept that while there must be an explanation for such a staggering event, our grasp pf that explanation will inevitably be less than adequate. But at least we should surely say that, mysterious as our universe is, it has a sheer beauty and an immense intellectual attractiveness which we can appreciate even if we can grasp these things no more than in outline.

So we can say that it is not at all unreasonable to believe that the prime creator of our universe is both powerful and wondrous beyond our full comprehension; along with many of the attributes of God.

But perhaps we should also admit that our understanding of what God is like nonetheless falls far short of the mysterious reality we feel bound to recognise.

Gerard J Hughes SJ