The picture of life and the universe, which takes shape in our minds on accepting religion is a very beautiful and gladdening one. This, in itself, establishes the truth of religion and the falsity of anti-religious theories. It conforms to the noble ideas of man in the very same way, as the material universe is echoed in mathematical formulae. On the contrary, the picture of reality which forms inconsonance with an anti-religious philosophy is completely out of step with the human mind. On this point, J.W.N. Sullivan has made a very pertinent quotation from Bertrand Russell:
That man is the product of such causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noon-day brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. And that the whole temple of man’s achievement mustinevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins. All these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.
This extract sums up the irreligious, materialistic school of thought. According to such thinking, our prospects in life are darkened by gloom and despair. The materialistic interpretation of life also dispenses with any definite criterion for the judgement of good and evil. It justifies the dropping of bombs on human beings, the use of flamethrowers and chemical warfare, to name but a few of the scourges of modern times. This is not considered outrageous, tyrannical or bestially aggressive. After all, human beings have to die one way or another. Religious thought, by contrast, affords a glowing ray of hope, giving to both life and death a joyous and meaningful radiance. In this way it fulfills our psychological needs. When a scientist propounds a theory, which is found to conform to mathematical formula, he is convinced that what he has discovered is a reality. Similarly, when religious concepts find a harmonious echo in the human psyche, this is a proof that this was the reality which human nature was in search of. It gives us such a sense of fulfillment that we are left with no real grounds for denying its truth. To quote the words of Earl Chester Rex, an American mathematician:
I use the accepted principle in science which governs the choice between two or more conflicting theories. According to this principle, the theory which explains all the pertinent facts in the simplest way is adopted.
This same principle was used, long ago, to decide between the Ptolemaic, or earthcentered theory and the Copernican theory which claims that the sun is the center of the solar system. The Ptolemaic theory was so involved and so much more complicated than the Copernican that the earth-centered idea was discarded.
I admit that this argument would not be regarded as foolproof by many. The concept of God and religion will never fit into the narrow frame of their materialistic minds. Yet their dissatisfaction is not really due to any lack of sound reasoning behind religion—of that I am satisfied. No, the actual reason for their disaffection is that their prejudiced minds are not prepared to accept religious reasoning. Sir James Jeans, at the end of his book, Mysterious Universe correctly remarked: ‘Our modern minds have a sort of bias in favour of the materialistic explanation of the facts’ (p. 189).
In his book, Witness, Whittacker Chambers tells of how he was watching his little daughter one day, when he found that he had unconsciously become aware of the shape of her ear. He thought to himself how impossible it was that such delicate convolutions could have come about by chance.
They could have been created only by premeditated design. But he pushed this thought out of his agnostic mind, because he realized that the next step in logical sequence would have to be: design presupposes God—a thesis he was not yet ready to accept. With reference to this incident, Thomas David Park, a research chemist, formerly Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Stanford Research Institute, writes: ‘I have known many scientists among my professors and research colleagues, who have similar thoughts about observed facts in chemistry and physics.
‘Scientists’ of the ‘Modern’ age are agreed upon the theory of evolution. This concept is becoming dominant in all scientific fields. An enchanting idol of spontaneous evolution has been set up in place of God. If the truth were told, the very dogma of organic evolution, from which all of the evolutionary concepts have been borrowed, is nothing but a hypothesis without any evidence. But this is not all. Some scientists have openly confessed that if they believe in the concept of evolution, it is simply because they can find no other alternative. Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955) said in 1953 that evolution was unproved and unprovable and that we believed in it only because the only alternative was special creation and that was unthinkable.
Scientists are thus agreed upon the validity of the evolution theory simply because, if they discard it, they will be left with no option but to believe in the concept of God.
I confess that it is beyond my power to satisfy those scholars whose bias, in favour of materialistic reasoning is so strong that they are unable to keep their minds open to self-evident facts. There is a particular reason for the bias, about which George Herbert Blount, an American physicist has this to say:
Conviction of the reasonableness of theism and the tenuousness of atheism usually in itself does not cause a man to accept practical theism. There seems to be an almost innate suspicion that the recognition of Deity will somehow rob one of freedom. To the Scholar, who cherishes intellectual liberty, any thought of abridged freedom is especially dreadful.
In much the same vein, the concept of prophethood has been described by Julian Huxley as an ‘intolerable demonstration of superiority’. That is, the acceptance of someone as a prophet implies his elevation to such a high status that his word becomes the word of God, giving him, in consequence, the right to impose his will on the people, the right to make people accept his word as law. But then that is what it means to be a prophet, and when man is the creature and not the Creator, he is in the position of being the humble slave of God, and not God, how can this situation be changed or avoided simply on the basis of concepts which are the result of ignorance or wishful thinking?
Cressy Morrison asks with reason in his book, Man Does not Stand Alone, ‘How much must man advance before he fully realises the existence of a Supreme Intelligence, grasps His goodness that we exist, assumes his full part in destiny and strives to live up to the highest code he is capable of understanding without attempting to analyse God’s motive, or describe His attributes?’
Things are as they are. We cannot change the hard reality: we simply have to acknowledge it, accept it, bow to it. Now, if we are not to adopt an ostrichlike attitude, our best course is to believe in actuality, rather than deny it. By denying the truth, it is man who loses. His denial of the truth in no way alters, harms, or diminishes it. The truth is the truth.
THE LIMIT OF SCIENCE
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
AGE OF IGNORANCE
THE HISTORY OF RELIGION
“THE HISTORY OF RELIGION – Based on the example of DEMOCRACY SySTEM”
THE EVOLUTIONARY METHOD