Sunday, July 18, 2010

The "Ultimate Question"

What is this life really? The whole notion of where we come from, where we are going. The Ultimate Question as posed in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy leaves one asking. What is the answer? There are many given answers through many outlets. Whether it is religion, science, or just a personal perception, there always seems to lack a certain finality to it all.

Religion poses that the reason we are here is to bring glory to God, to be beacons of light in a world full of darkness. While to me this seems like a pretty good answer, what about the rest of the universe? There are an infinte number of stars, atoms, galaxies, solar systems and, in all honesty, other forms of life in the universe. Why then are we put here for the sole purpose of glorifying God? With all of the infinite combinations of both living and unliving things placed throughout the ever expanding universe are we the ones that are bestowed the task of glorifying God? I've seen a butterfly flapping its wings on a slow motion video that proves to me that there is a God more than any person alive today has in my lifetime. Just the thought of how much there really is out there is phenominal.

Science offers another side to the answer. Nothing. Science seems to be of the notion that all life on earth is just a trillion things going right all at once. We just happen to be the exact distance from a sun that is just the right size to keep life alive on a planet that has just enough water and an atmosphere with just enough oxygen and another long list of things that make life on our planet possible. The notion that all matter came from a single infinitely dense atom nearly 14 billion years ago that suddenly exploded seems far fetched. However, the ever expanding knowledge that seems to spew out of the scientific community seems to continually prove this theory. The one thing I love is in a book I'm reading about Einstein's trials to find an equation to explain everything in the universe. It talks about how the more that Einstein learned about the universe, the more religious he became.

That brings me to the third, and certainly not the last, notion about answering the "ultimate question." The combination of the previous two. The idea that Einstein becoming more religious the more he learned about the universe seems to make the most sense to me. Another great scientist, Stephen Hawkings, said "If we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God."

There is also the Deist view that God is merely a clockmaker. That he created the universe and placed people within it and just let go. That God is just siting back in an armchair somewhere watching the world unfurl. This to me is the hardest of all theories to believe. In my short existance here on earth, I believe that I am a shining example that God must exist and must be involved here on earth. The fact that I am alive is proof enough to me that God must be involved here on earth. No one is that lucky. Seriously though, that is no joke.

While I do believe that species evolve and that there is enough scientific evidence to prove the theory of evolution, at least within the animal world, I also believe that God must have created the universe. Science goes so far back as the Big Bang, it cannot go further than that. What existed before the Big Bang? What created that infinitely dense piece of matter from which the universe exploded? I was just thinking about these questions tonight and thought I would bring it up to you all.

So what do you think? Wholey (Holy) Devine? Purely Scientific? Both? Clockmaker Theory? Or do you have a theory your own? What do you all think?

Moreover. What do you think is a better "Ultimate Question"? Why we are here seems vague to me. What would be a better question?

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