Last night, after a wonderful day together, Linda and I sat in the hot tub on the deck of our B&B that overlooks Lake Huron. Above us was a perfectly dark, clear sky studded with stars.
For me, this was a numinous moment. Being with the love of my life and an overwhelming sense of the presence of God.
The German philosopher Martin Heidegger asked, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” When I first heard this years ago in an undergraduate philosophy class it became one of life’s guiding questions for me. The atheist Richard Dawkins calls it “Einsteinian wonder.” I believe it is the heavens reflecting the glory of God.
Some ask, “Why doesn’t God give us a sign that he exists?” He has. The creation announces the existence of God. But what if you are a scientist – doesn’t that change things? It all depends on your prethematic noetic paradigm. Scientists who are theists are blown away by the creation. (By the way, for an atheist, there’s no “creation,” since “creation” implies a “Creator.”) It was precisely their belief in a Creator that caused and still causes many scientists to study the creation because such study reveals, as biologist Francis Collins says, “the fingerprint of God.” (Note: the “data” of science gets interpreted by a philosophical framework that is itself essentially non-scientific; i.e., theism or atheism.)
Paul, in Romans 1:20, writes: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” The reason there is “something” rather than “nothing” is that God caused it to be.
Heidegger’s question is so basic and yet so profound in its philosophical implications. There could be “nothing.” Instead, “something” (i.e. the universe) does exist. Putting logic aside for the moment there is something viscerally compelling about that. Hence God.