My grandson Phaedrus does not buy the ĎGodí thing. His younger brother expresses no opinion but probably has one. Itís Phaedrus who enjoys intellectual jousting.
Phaedrus is a professed atheist, as I was at his age, which is eighteen. I was very convincing back then, and so is he. He will be happy to change his mind if and when he is shown convincing evidence, however he doesnít expect that to happen.
Six months or so ago, before she got tuckered out with the weirdness of it all, and apparently with me, I had a spirited exchange on the God issue with an internet correspondent. She cited, as does Phaedrus, both the historical record and the apparent lack of karmic justice in everyday life.
Probably itís always been difficult to make a case for God, at least since the dawn of the industrial age. The Gutenberg Press brought literacy, roads and cities, a middle class, and the Age of Reason. An age of reason is always going to be tough on God.
Reason, however useful itís been for the past four or five hundred years, has its own limitations, a stark fact being proved every day now by quantum mechanics. Every system is forced to conceive of reality through its own assumptions.
I donít feel qualified to explain God, and anyhow I donít know that itís possible to do so.
But this being the Christmas season, marked in America by consumer goods and seasonal affective disorder, a little speculation seems to be in order.
Iíve experienced a few things, sixty-four years along the road, which had the appearance of the utterly impossible. Some of them one could say were explicable as coincidences, and a few were flat-out visions ĖĖ assisted in some instances, itís true, by judicious use of psychotropic materials ĖĖ but they shared a single clear image, which was that God, or Something, was winking at me.
It doesnít explain anything, I realize that. I have no answers for Phaedrusí questions and observations, especially these days. Name your injustice or horror story, there are plenty to go around, and if God exists then what does that say about Him/Her/It?
So, is everything random? That cannot be true. Even random has to start somewhere and where did all of this start, and with what? Anyhow, even given my seriously limited intelligence, itís obvious to me that there is an interconnection among all things. Just like some old guy beating rocks together several thousand years ago, I locate meaning in the world which is available to me.
I think that thereís an organizing principle underneath it all, a structure more complex and interesting than the Council on Foreign Relations or the Bohemian Club. For me, God is a handy word for it, short and easy to spell.