Tuesday, September 23, 2014

God: She is Just a Story

A high school classmate who embraces Judaism recently wrote me that he is still undecided about whether G_d exists. M, a friend at the temple here, claims he doesn’t believe in G_d, but sees himself as a Jew through and through.

I asked a Catholic colleague, who has a PhD in Philosophy, whether she’d still believe in G_d if I could prove that he/she didn’t exist. “Of course I would,” she said. “Why?” I said. “Because I’ve experienced him,” she replied.

I can imagine that we could experience many things that our bodily senses might not perceive. Love is one of those things. Being depressed is another. Perhaps there is some chemical change in our body when we are in love or depressed, but perhaps too, those changes could occur when we aren’t in love or depressed. In any case, all that is verified is that a change has occurred, not that love, depression, or G_d exists.

I believe that if we took apart every molecule in the universe we wouldn't find love nor depression nor G_d. Nor do I know people who believe this. If we were hunters or fisherman, we’d come back empty handed. And many believe that does not matter.

When we say, “I don’t know if I believe in….,” what are we really saying? How can you not believe in a belief? You construct a story that shapes our conception of life. What is there to not believe? It is a story. Just a story. And for some, a life-changing story. But still, just a story. 

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