No word is more enigmatic than the word why. It is also the only word which entitles an element of subjectivity when responding to it. The most difficult questions a person can ask will typically contain the word why.
Why am I here?
Why is their pain and suffering?
Why is the sky blue?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do people hate?
Why do people get cancer?
Why is life so difficult sometimes?
I think you get my point. The fact is some questions will always either go unanswered or have answers that are unclear and only cause more questions. In order to answer the “why” questions it takes more then knowing the “whats” and “hows”. The word why, above all other words, is evidence of the need and importance of the gift of Reason. It baffles the mind that any doctrine of faith would consider Reason to be a bad thing and rely solely on blind faith. Would our Creator actually give us the gift of reasoned intelligence with the intention that we would suspend its use in order to believe He exists?
The belief in a Creator does not require a fabulous system of magic or dogmatic doctrines and creeds. One only needs to observe the perfection in the design of the universe and the awesome power of nature to know that some unexplainable force started it all and keeps it all going. This creative and perpetual force may be personal or impersonal and it could be gracious or tyrannical but, we as mere specks of the collective whole are not capable of understanding it. Furthermore, the idea that the only people capable of understanding and interpreting this source of all things with absolute and infallible authority are a few individuals from a small part of this planet that died thousands of years ago and had very little knowledge of the cosmos and the workings of nature, is not a rational approach to this complex enigma.
So if it is impossible to comprehend how do we know?
Contemplating the universe, the whole system of Creation, in this point of light, we shall discover, that all that which is called natural philosophy is properly a divine study. It is the study of God through his works. It is the best study, by which we can arrive at a knowledge of his existence, and the only one by which we can gain a glimpse of his perfection.
Do we want to contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of the Creation. Do we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible WHOLE is governed. Do we want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his mercy? We see it in his not withholding that abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what GOD is? Search not written or printed books, but the Scripture called the ‘Creation.’
It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the author. – Thomas Paine
The idea that nature and science conflict with religion only shows that the doctrine of faith that conflicts with these discoveries are outdated. Man does not write the laws of nature and science – we merely uncover them and it is by their study and an observation of their perfection that we can become closer to discovering the most sublime truths.
© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light