God and the Universe have quite a lot in common. There is ambiguity about both their beginnings, their nature and their definition. A quick look:
- This universe is thought to have a finite beginning 13.8 billion years ago. But that depends on your definition of “universe”. If you maintain that “universe” refers to this bubble of space/time and does not exclude other universes, either contemporaneous or precedent, then that the universe is 13.8 billion years old is correct (is so far as it is the best answer we have to explain the evidence). However, if you define the universe as “everything” and thus includes any other possible bubbles of space/time, then you have a problem: our investigations are limited to this bubble of space/time so we cannot know the age of the universe.
- God is thought to be eternal and uncaused. God is meant to be historically eternal. One of the main defences of this is that existing eternally is logically impossible, therefore the universe could not have existed forever, therefore it must have been caused by something which has existed eternally. The very reason we believe God exists eternally undermines the conclusion that God exists eternally.
- The universe is indifferent. It operates by rules that are immutable. They do not change out of sympathy and there are no exception for the sake of justice. The universe is also amoral and non-intelligent; it has no mechanism by which to acknowledge, care for or redirect itself with regard to suffering or morality.
- God is immutable, but loving. It does have the power to change out of sympathy and make exception for the sake of justice. God is moral and intelligent; It has mechanisms by which It can acknowledge, are for or redirect the universe with regard to suffering or morality.
- The universe is not redirected with regard to suffering or morality.
- The universe is immense, subjectively beautiful and consists of vastly more things than you can know.
- God is supposed to be immensely powerful and objectively great in all ways, but is basically comprehensible to humans (with the exception of when evidence contradictions a definition of God, then it’s all a convenient mystery).
In terms of content, here, God is much more worthy of our admiration. But, look more closely. We observe things consistent with the universe. We observe very little that is consistent with God. God involves contorted reasoning and a large amount of wilful ignorance to the suffering of life. The universe is more deserving of our admiration because it is knowable reality. God, real or not, does not care enough to make Its existent evident and is indistinguishable from fiction. Reality will always be more deserving of admiration than fiction.
Also, nature is true to the indifference of the universe. It is not true to the asserted morality and caring nature of a God. Truth is also deserving of admiration.
(Challenge to another blogger: a post entitled “God, the convenient mystery”)
Interesting footnote: notice my word choice: “admiration”. It’s not worship. Worship wouldn’t be the wrong word, but it’s so steeped in religious connotation that at least one person would make efforts to misunderstand it. And that person would be disingenuous.
Inspired by this. The author asks why a necessarily created entity (what many religious people believe the universe is) is less less impressive than an entity that does not need to be created (which apparently describes God).