Thinking of grand issues

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

I know God exists.

There’s no groundless guesswork, no blind faith supporting that statement, just certain knowledge.

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I know because I proved it…to myself.

Several years ago I questioned the idea of a supreme intelligence and decided that unless I could logically deduce a proof for such, then there was no longer a need to even believe in one.

Once I began concentrating on the question, the evidence became apparent to me. To use a phrase of the 20th-century philosopher/novelist Ayn (rhymes with pine) Rand, &uot;Existence exists.&uot;

Barring any misquoting or misconstruing that’s the best way I can summarize for you the proof. Using my senses and, most importantly, my mind, I see that reality cannot ultimately be denied. To borrow again from that great thinker, let me say that I might be able to deny reality, but not the consequences of denying reality.

For example, I can choose to ignore utility bills, but when the power, heat source and telephone service in my home are cut off because I did not pay, then I have no choice but to deal with that reality.

I won’t dig my heels in arrogance and refuse discussion on the matter. Should someone clearly explain that I arrived at my proof incorrectly, then it’s back to the drawing board and rethinking the matter. Your thoughts on this and any other column I write are most welcomed.

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Next is the question about the nature of God. The best way I can summarize my thoughts is to state that God is, essentially, about creation. From the Big Bang to the uterine clouds that spawn galaxies spangling infinite space, from the tiny planarian (a type of flat worm) to the billions of humans walking upright on this earth – all have their ultimate source in God. He, she, it (take your pick) is creation.

How personable is God? That is another matter and one that I am not so far prepared to discuss. Let it suffice for now that it varies. Perhaps the more we strive to understand this universe and our place in it, the more the creator reveals itself to the creation.

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Such lofty thinking can last past the next millennium (which will begin Jan. 1, 3001, by the way), but we all have other things to do than forever reading columns.

Let me close with some words about the seven astronauts who died Saturday when the space shuttle Columbia exploded as it approached its landing.

I can assure you that it was not the &uot;will of God&uot; that they died the way they did. Nor was it the result of an obviously evil source. Instead, no matter how solid these space chariots are built they still can react to and even be destroyed by other forces – gravity, temperature, vulnerable materials, for example. Certainly the seven astronauts were aware of such risks. Still, it is tragic that the seven died in the prime of their lives. The same goes for the astronauts of the Challenger 17 years ago or the crew of Apollo 1.

What would greatly compound those losses would be to abandon research in space. This would make vain the work of all involved in this noble work. Those people were on missions that ultimately benefit humanity.

As I proposed above, the more people learn, the better our knowledge about the universe …and its maker.

Stephen H. Cowles is the managing editor of the Suffolk News-Herald. He calls on readers to give a silent salute in memory of Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark, Rick Douglas Husband, William C. McCool, and Ilan Ramon.