By Asif Merchant, New Age Islam
September 12, 2013
In this, very interesting and thought-provoking article there is a common belief expressed that something cannot come out of nothing. This is a fallacy - A very simple example is given below:
Nothing, or 0 = 123456 - 123456
Each 123456 is something, and if the vision is limited to only the first without considering the second, we could be impressed by the magnitude of the 123456, and deny that it could have come out of nothing.
In the universe, apart from matter, there also exists a corresponding antimatter. This is material composed of antiparticles, which have the same mass as particles of ordinary matter, but have opposite charge. When matter and antimatter meet, they annihilate each other.
The creation of the Universe by the Big Bang probably resulted in a parallel anti-Universe, equivalent to this one, but with all particles having opposite charge.
The mathematics involved in explaining this is mind boggling. In spite of this, we try in simple words to suggest that all this is the Creation of a Being whose nature can be known. We go on to maintain that this entity is good, all-seeing, perfect, dispenser of Divine Justice, etc. while all the time we behave as if the purpose of all creation is having human beings living on the planet Earth.
I doubt if any words can define the ‘Source of All Creation’.
If we think about it, we cannot help noticing that ideas of ‘The Creator’ are earth-centric. In many cases, it is community-centric, or very often, even self-centric. “My own God. How can he refuse to help me. Why did God allow this to happen to me when I have served him so well” etc. The Universe has no place in such beliefs. The most common object of worship is some sort of Municipal God whose jurisdiction is limited to a particular community, or country or even a family. Apart from a passing mention in the holy books, the Universe does not figure anywhere in our understanding of Creation.
According to this article, Descartes reasons that since the idea of God cannot have come from experience, it must have been placed in the mind by God. In real life, we are bombarded with the idea of a God who will help us in trouble and who needs to be worshipped from early childhood. The idea of God being infinite and perfect comes much later to those who try to investigate the nature of God. Far from being perfect, to most people, God is a bribe able entity who will fulfil our desires provided we give an appropriate gift.
When we think about the Creation of the Universe, an Entity is postulated which is the source of the Creation. Many call this Entity, God, and ascribe a personality and even a Gender to it. Looking at the perfection of Creation, the elegant Laws of Physics, and the other Sciences, we hypothesise that the Creator must be perfect. Since the size of the Creator is unimaginable, we say the Creator is infinite. Even in this, we should remember that these are judgements made by imperfect human beings.
In addition to these properties of God, there are others which are there purely by faith. God is said to be good, just, caring, etc. There is no reason why this should be so. Most likely these beliefs have grown from a fear that this may not be true.
The Abrahamic religions insist that there can be only one God. Others are somewhat flexible in this matter. When the actual nature of the Creator is unknown, surely it is meaningless to ascribe a number. Looking at a Boondi Laddoo, we see that though it is one unique Boondi Laddoo, nevertheless, it is made up of a large number of Boondis. Is it wrong to focus on the Boondis ? Is there any special merit in asserting aggressively that there is only one Boondi Laddoo and nothing further needs to be said?
We are trying to prove the existence of ‘The Origin of All Existence’. Surely it is an impossible task. No wonder it all comes down to faith in the final reckoning.
Asif Merchant is an independent thinker, based near Panchgani, Maharashtra, India He writes an occasional column for New Age Islam.