The Other I

March 6, 2011

The problem of evil isn’t the biggest problem for faith

Filed under: Uncategorized — theotheri @ 5:24 pm

Many people do not believe in a loving God who has remained involved in creation because of what is called the problem of evil.  How can a loving, all powerful God possibly willingly permit so much innocent undeserved suffering that we see around us every day?

But I think there may be an even bigger problem for faith.  And that is the end of the universe.  One of the most respectable theories among scientists is that eventually – albeit trillions of years, but eventually and in real time – the universe will burn out and run down and return to smaller and smaller particles that eventually settle into absolute quiescence.

It might be a long time away, but it’s difficult to imagine this as a future one might look forward to.  This view doesn’t even save the existence of the very atoms of which I am made and which have been recycling through time for more than 13 billion years.

Okay, the caveats:  this is only a theory.  Science doesn’t know the future of the universe for sure.  Not all scientists agree on what is going to happen, and no scientist would argue it’s a dead cert.

And maybe there are other universes that will coalescence or supersede this one.  String theory suggests that there are.

But nonetheless, this is a serious theory about the future of the universe with a good deal of evidence to suggest that it may indeed be an valid prediction.

I said this is a problem for Faith, but I don’t think I want to put it quite that way.  For me, faith is trusting in the value of existence, in the belief that however indiscernible it may sometimes appear, to exist is good.

No, I go further than that.  I don’t say I understand it.  But I believe that to be alive is simply marvellous.  Getting up every morning, brushing my teeth, pouring my cup of coffee may seem pretty humdrum, pretty boring, not worth very much.  But actually, I think it is incredible.    Dealing with pain and disappointment and death sometimes feels tragic.  And in those times it faith is harder.  Sometimes faith doesn’t even seem sensible or rational.

And yet in the face of it all, we still have this drive to be, to live, we do the most amazing things to overcome the obstacles in order to continue to live and enrich our lives.

So in a way, I suppose the proposed end of the universe isn’t any bigger a challenge to faith than all of the other seemingly terrible things that seem to negate the sheer value of being here at all.

I couldn’t argue the case logically or using so much as a scrap of scientific evidence.

But I think simply to exist is a spectacular, fantastic wonder.  I hope I will always have the strength to hold onto this single strand of what I call faith that remains with me.

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