Why Should They Believe?
WHAT kind of reasoning leads one to a belief in the existence of God? The Bible gives us a guide. It says: “[God’s] invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made.”—Rom. 1:20.
Considering the “things made”—the creation itself—has led many to a realization that there must be something or someone behind it all. Einstein, whose theories have influenced so much of modern scientific thought, said: “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe—a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”
Look at Yourself
The Bible says: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; and of the work of his hands the expanse is telling.” (Ps. 19:1) And how eloquently they do so!
However, we do not have to view the vast starry heavens to see demonstrations of God’s power and qualities. Just consider yourself.
Look at your hands. Are they holding the magazine that you are reading? If so, no doubt your arm is bent so as to keep the magazine at the right distance from your eyes. Each finger is exerting just enough pressure to prevent the magazine from falling, but not so much that you tear the paper. Did you think all of this out before you started to read? Of course not. Your body organized the whole thing for you, with just a minimum of decision-making by you.
Although your body is comparatively at rest, what are your eyes doing? They are automatically focusing on successive words or groups of words. The visual impressions are being changed in the back of your eyes to electrical impulses. These are being carried to your brain. If you are concentrating, the brain is storing up information for future use and comparing new material with what was received previously.
Meanwhile, without your giving a thought to it, your heart is busily pumping, sending blood on its complicated journey through your body. That blood is carrying essential substances to places where these are needed, then carrying waste products to locations where these can be expelled from the body.
Additionally, the movement of the diaphragm is filling your lungs with oxygen, then squeezing them to get rid of the carbon dioxide.
If you have eaten recently, your food is now being digested, without your conscious direction. The food is either being mixed with acids in your stomach to break it down to its basic constituents or being squeezed by a complicated muscular action known as “peristalsis” through your intestines, allowing the nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
There is much other activity going on too. Your bone marrow is making replacement blood cells. Your skin is manufacturing new parts to replace the worn-out surface cells. Your toenails, fingernails and hair are growing. Glands are manufacturing complicated substances to keep your body chemistry balanced. All of this is happening right at this moment even when your body is apparently resting!
The technology of our bodily mechanisms is incredibly more advanced than anything man has been able to accomplish in this space age. Is it logical to view such a masterpiece as the product of mere chance?
The theory of evolution says that mankind is a product of the working of natural laws, but it does not explain who the “lawmaker” is. In effect, it says that we made ourselves. But is it not more logical—more according to the way we know things really happen—to follow the reasoning of the Bible writer who proclaimed: “In a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made”? And: “Know that Jehovah is God. It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves”?—Ps. 139:14; 100:3.
Let’s Face Reality
Because of the materialistic trend of thinking in the West, many persons feel uneasy about admitting that there is a God and acknowledging a spiritual answer to the question: “Where did we come from?” One freethinker stated: “We can be sensible and rational only when we express ourselves in terms of and within the realm of present knowledge.” But is that really so?
There are many things that scientists know exist but are unable to explain. Such things as the human mind, our conscience, our instinct for worship—they all certainly exist. But science cannot explain them in terms of “present knowledge.” What about life itself? What is this powerful “life energy” that differentiates living things from the nonliving? Scientists cannot say. Yet it is a part of our everyday experience. In fact, it is so common that we tend to forget how truly miraculous life itself really is.
The familiar law of cause and effect states that every effect must have a cause. There must have been a “cause” for the wonderfully delicate machinery that makes up the human body. Today we are in a better position than any previous generation to see how wise that first “cause” must have been. Yet even more, there must have been a “cause,” a Producer, of such things as the human mind, the human conscience and of life itself. Really, these things can never be satisfactorily explained except in the way that the Bible does. Addressing the God he worshiped, a Bible writer said: “With you is the source of life.” (Ps. 36:9) There is no basis in our “present knowledge” for coming to any other conclusion.
Why, Then, Do Bad Things Happen?
While considering the above arguments, one Filipino atheist raised the following problem: “To some extent there is order, wonder and beauty in nature. But this is only one half of the picture. The other half is terrible chaos.” Then, after explaining what he means by “chaos”—such things as natural disasters, pestilences and the like—he goes on to say: “A religious person gazes lovingly at the order in nature that strengthens his religion, but looks away from the chaos that weakens such creed.”
Do you do that? Or could it be that the atheist is looking away from the “order, wonder and beauty in nature” that weaken his creed of disbelief?
For example, in complaining about pestilences, he is telling only part of the story. He fails to mention the wonderful healing power of our bodies, which itself testifies to the existence of a Maker with wonderful powers. On one occasion, Napoleon’s surgeon-general was thanked by the emperor for healing so many of his soldiers. The surgeon’s answer, according to one version, was: “I tended them, God healed them.”
Besides, does man have a moral right to question God’s existence because of the diseases and other problems that exist? Is it not true that man’s misrule, his wars, crime, dishonesty, and so forth, cause most of these problems? How many pestilences—such as heart disease or cancer—are largely a result of the environment and living habits that man himself has developed? How many other diseases could be controlled but for the fact that a huge proportion of the human race lives in poverty and squalor?
Nevertheless, it is true that not all of man’s problems are directly his own fault. Why does God allow them to happen? Do they prove He does not exist?
An illustration may help us to see this point more clearly. On an island off the west coast of Ireland, there is a place known as the Abandoned Village. It is a small village where nobody lives anymore. As may be imagined, the houses are in a bad state. The roofs are off. The doors are gone. In many cases, walls have collapsed.
In view of the ruinous state of the village, would you say that it is unlikely that anybody designed and built the houses there? Or, would you rather instinctively agree with the Bible’s statement: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone”—yes, even a house now ruined? (Heb. 3:4) Despite the neglected state of those houses, we know they were built by someone. We know, too, that their present condition is not necessarily the fault of the builder. There are ways of preventing houses from deteriorating. But the owners abandoned them. Hence, they are now in ruins.
The situation of mankind is similar. The Bible tells us that man was created perfect by his Maker. He was given a responsibility to subdue the earth and fill it with his children. (Gen. 1:28) Success in this would depend on following the instructions of his Maker. If he had followed these instructions, there would have been no “chaos,” no lives lost because of natural disasters or pestilences in the subdued earth. However, man rejected the guidance of his Creator; so now the human “house” is undeniably in a bad state of repair.
God gave mankind free will to choose his own course. God does not force humans to be obedient. Nevertheless, throughout the long centuries of human misrule, He has been seeking out those who are willing to use their free will to serve him. The Bible explains that those who refuse to acknowledge God’s right to rule his own creation will soon be destroyed. Their lives will be forfeited because they reject the Source of life. But those who appreciatively conform their lives to God’s requirements will have the joy of seeing the earth transformed into a global paradise under a heavenly government of God. They will enjoy all the blessings of which man’s imperfections and misrule have deprived them.—Rev. 21:3-5.
Therefore, it is very important for everyone to get to know about God now. It is enlightening to know how some have been helped to do that.
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WHO DESIGNED THE HUMAN BODY?
BRAIN: A living computer so complex that best man-made models are toys by comparison. Memory and learning capacity estimated at a billion times more than used in present human lifetime.
EYE: A fully automatic, self-focusing, nonblurring, color motion-picture camera that takes instant three-dimensional pictures needing no laboratory development.
HEART: A pump far more efficient than any machine of any kind devised by man. Pumps 1,500 gallons (5,700 L) or more daily, doing enough work to lift your body 500 feet (150 m) straight up.
LIVER: An extremely complicated and versatile chemical laboratory with more than 500 functions, including storage and release of blood, vitamins, minerals and nutrients as needed. Manufactures over 1,000 different enzymes to promote chemical conversions.
BONES: A structural frame weighing only 20 pounds (9 kg), yet strong as iron girders—superbly rigged and balanced to anchor muscles and to shield vital organs.
NERVOUS SYSTEM: A massive communications network that receives and/or acts on 100,000,000 sensations a second through electrochemical impulses. Reaches every square millimeter of skin, every muscle, blood vessel bone and organ.
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Even a house in ruins was “constructed by someone”