Can we logically prove God’s existence – Backward and forward reasoning
[Youth program at Bhakti House for University of North Florida students, Jacksonville, USA]
Transcription of Summary :
I talked about how proof itself is a term which has different meanings in different contexts. Now we cannot have mathematical proof for everything, and proof of our own existence… we cannot do it in mathematical terms. Our physical being we can say, but our consciousness, our emotions, they cannot be mathematically proven.
So, I talked about how science comes up with certain knowledge. Does it prove? So, there is three methods, Reduction which is used in mathematics, Induction which in most of operational science, means the way things operate right now, and there is abduction or inference to this explanation that is used when science goes to the historical events. So, it is like the ‘Who Done It?’ crime fiction novel or a mystery novel where you are trying to find … So, we eliminate, we come to conclusion to the best explanation. Who committed the murder? So, from the perspective of the way we see nature, I talked about how… if God is seen as the explanation for the unexplainable, then we may see that God and science are in conflict. The more science explains God becomes redundant, but if we see God as a more foundational level of explanation… God is not the explanation for the unexplainable, He is the explanation for explainability, He is the explanation for the explainability of the universe.
So, science has discovered equations, laws, by which nature functions, but why do these laws exists at all? And why do these laws in mathematical form are comprehensible by the human being?
If we consider unguided natural processes as having led to the development of the natural world and development of the human brain, then the precise mathematical correlation between them seems to be unreasonable as usually we may say that the unreasonable effectiveness of Maths in Natural Sciences… So, Einstein said, ‘The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.’ So, this correlation between the two… not just the complexity of the natural world out there, or the complexity of the human brain but the correlation between the two… that asks for an explanation. So, Chance is actually not an explanation, it is simply an admission of a cause that we don’t know.
Parallel Universes… it is simply piling upon assumptions. First of all the very existence of parallel universes and the existence of conditions within them which make the condition here less probable; all that is an assumption. Now if we consider an overseeing intelligence… like a child is taught vocabulary and then those letters are written in the black board. So, that could be… similarly our brain is evolved in a particular way to think and nature is evolved in a particular way; both of them have happened by an overseeing intelligence, and I talked about how there is so much precision in the way things have emerged in the Universe. Like a ball thrown from a well… it just falls on the cell, not inside, not outside, or dice falls six, not just once but hundred times. So, that…if we consider… so, this is from the backward reasoning… inference to most explanations we say….we can say that God is a reasonable explanation, but if we go forward reasoning starting with axioms then atheism… from either nothing to everything, or something insentient to everything, it requires an unreasonable amount of leaps of faith.
So, actually atheism itself requires a lot of faith to explain how the world came about, but if you start…4.10 the axiom, then we start with the overseeing intelligence and then we see the world as we evolved, as it exists… we can explain the orderliness of the world, and what about its disorderliness? I didn’t go into the specifics of the problem of evil, but I said that the very fact that we consider evil as objectionable, the very fact that we assume that good things should happen to good people, that means that we are assuming the existence of a law.
From natures perspective it is simply insentient. So, nature has no free will, it has no intension. So, the very conception that good and evil is there presumes that there is some basis by which we are deciding good and evil. So, it presumes the existence of free will, just like Newton was perplexed, was conflicted rather that if science would explain everything that would mean that people could not be attributed… could not be held as responsible for their actions. The Nazis could not be held responsible for the holocaust, but all our relationships and all our system of justice will collapse if we assume that people were not responsible for their actions. So, science does explain in a phenomenal way and the specific process that it explains… they are open to investigation, but the point is, ‘Why do these processes work?’ Natures laws are not themselves causal agents. They are explanation of correlation between cause and effect, after the causes act.
So, scientific and the spiritual explanation are not necessarily contradictory, they can be complementary, like say why is a car moving? There is a mechanical explanation and there is a personal explanation, or why is a billiards ball going to a particular hole? That is because the ball hit at a particular angle or because of an expert player hit the ball, both are parallel explanations.
So, science and God can both actually work together, and that is why a little of science can take us away from God, but emerging in science can bring us back to God.
Thank You very much.
(Transcription by Sadananda Krishnaprema Prabhu)