Sunday, November 22, 2015

Logical Arguments for the Existence of God

Are human beings the most intelligent species to ever exist across the entirety of the universe?

If your answer is yes, you are claiming intellectual superiority over a universe of which humans have explored and studied less than a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction.

If your answer is no, you can't be an atheist.

Before I begin, I want to make something clear:  This not about "proving" the Christian God.  Yes, I am a born-again Christian and I do believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.  But this is not about proving which religion is "right."  For that matter, it's not even about proving God exists.  It's about acknowledging the very logical possibility of the existence of a Creator.

Atheists like to throw around words like "logic" and "reason" in an attempt to make themselves appear superior and to both degrade and demoralize those who disagree with their reasoning.  After all, if you're not logical or reasonable, you clearly aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer, right?  But if you take a step back and observe the workings on the universe for just a moment, you'd find that it's both unreasonable and illogical to assume there is no God, much less declare this as a fact.

We see varying levels of intelligence in the various species on our own planet.  Insects, animals, humans - we all have differing degrees of intellectual capacity, and it is clear that humans stand at the top of that list.  Right away, that begs the question: What about other planets?  Does any other life exist out there?  If it does, is it smarter than us?

Critics will jump all over that comparison by saying that comparing the possibility of life on other planets to the possibility of a Creator is not equal because we see life on our own planet yet do not see any scientifically measurable evidence of a divine being.  Again, I direct them back to the "levels of intelligence" point from the previous paragraph.

For example, a dog can't design a satellite.  A bear can't invent an energy-efficient vehicle.  Lower forms of life lack the intellectual capacity to understand the concepts required to be able to accomplish what humanity has.  To them, the inventions of humans work by magic.  We, however, know that these things are not powered by magic because we understand the science behind them.

To those life forms, we are the divine beings due to our superior level of intelligence.

With that in mind, now ask yourself the question:  How did the universe begin?  Whatever your answer may be, ask yourself what came before that.  Then ask what came before that.  And before that.  And before that.

No matter what reason you come up with, you can always ask the question, "What came before that?"  This demonstrates the human brain's limitations.  Humanity cannot truly comprehend a hard "start" to existence because our brains tell us something must have come before that.  The law of cause and effect states that for every effect there is a cause.  So our minds tell us that whatever we believe "started" the universe, there must have been something to cause that.

But this plane of existence we call the universe had to begin somewhere, right?  The only option we have left - whether you do or do not believe in God - is to accept that our intellect is too limited to understand what many refer to as the "First Cause" of the universe.

So if we can demonstrate that the human brain is indeed limited, and we can demonstrate that there are varying levels of intelligence right here on our own planet, how can we possibly assume that there's nothing out there with an intellectual capacity greater than our own?

Most atheists will discount believers who invoke the "God did it" response to biblical events that would appear to be scientifically impossible.  Again, I want to reiterate that my goal here is not to prove Christianity but instead prove the possibility of a divine creator.  With that being said, why is the answer of "God did it" so impossible to us?  Regardless of the context, whether it be a miraculous healing or a worldwide flood, why do we discount the possibility that a divine Creator could do these things?

The answer, usually, is because these events seemingly go against the laws of physics and contradict much of what science knows regarding how the universe works.  So let's talk about that for a minute.

Your dog enjoys riding in the car with you.  To him, the car is this sleek red container that he jumps into and it takes him on this amazing ride through town.  He's always known it to be the same shape, color, and size, and there's nothing he can do to change the overall appearance or workings of the vehicle.

Then you buy a new car.  Your dog has no idea why, but his formerly red container has now become a wide green container.  It sounds different, looks different, and smells different.  How could this be possible?  It goes against every understanding he previously had about the appearance and workings of his travel container.

To us, the universe has always adhered to certain expectations.  The planets revolve around the sun, the tide rises and falls, etc.  And although we may put dings and scratches on our world much like that dog would put on the car, overall, it's the same universe it has always been.  Based on that, science has observed certain scientific laws regarding the nature of the universe.  And in our understanding of things, nothing can break those laws.

But what if something with a greater intellectual capacity does exist out there?  Again, the owner is smarter than his dog, so the owner completely understands why his car changed.  If there's something out there greater than humanity, how do we know it couldn't break what we call the laws of physics in a way that would be perfectly understandable if we shared its level of intelligence?  Why is that so impossible?  To declare these scientific laws 100% universally unbreakable is akin to declaring mankind the most intelligent species in the universe.  It is basically saying, "If we can't understand how it would be possible, it simply cannot be."

Yeah, the dog said that too.

When presented with these arguments, the atheist will typically say something about how there's no evidence that any of the workings of the universe are guided by a divine being and therefore there's no reason add one into our line of reasoning.  After all, if science can explain how a thunderstorm works, why do the religious add God into the mix?

Because nothing happens without cause.  Science teaches humanity how things work.  It does not teach why they work that way.  The question "Why?" is similar to the question "How did the universe begin?" because it can never be truly answered.  No matter what the response, you can always ask "Why?" again.  We know how thunderstorms and earthquakes work.  We know how televisions work and how motor vehicles are operated.  But why do they work that way?  And whatever answer you have in your mind, ask why again.  And again to that answer.  And again to that answer.  Keep going and going, because every scientific response you give - right down to the most basic laws of physics - still do not and cannot give a definitive answer to the question of "Why?"  If you can ask it again, it hasn't been resolved.

Science learns how the universe works, but ultimately has no idea why it works that way.  It's like learning how a car works without acknowledging the fuel that makes it go.


So if we can accept the possibility that humans are not the most intellectually superior beings in all of the universe, then we must also accept the possibility that there is something greater out there.  And if we accept the possibility that there might be something greater out there, we must also accept the possibility that this greater form of intelligence could understand and manipulate the laws of science in ways that the limited human brain cannot.  And if we accept that possibility, then we must accept the possibility that God exists.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Breaking Through the Walls

I never thought I'd find myself in this position.

I work a job right now that I never would've considered taking on my own.  It's a job I sort of fell into - a position that God put in front of me that I didn't expect.  And at the time, I didn't really want it, either.  But I had bills to pay, and I knew that responsibility had to be placed ahead of my anxiety.

It's funny how God teaches us things whether we want to learn them or not.  As you may or may not know, I'm a pretty socially awkward introvert.  I keep to myself in public, I don't have many friends, and I spend a lot of time at home with Laura.  There are those I've encountered throughout the course of my life who take that as arrogance, as though I think myself "too good" for them.  On the contrary, I see myself as not good enough.  I'm boring and plain.  I don't drink.  I'm not into the clubbing scene.  I don't dine in fancy restaurants, and I'm not a concert goer.  I like plain milk chocolate.  Vanilla ice cream.  T-shirts.  The band Chicago.  (That's the first time I've ever admitted that, by the way.)

I don't talk much about my non-writing work online for a couple of reasons.  First off, I work for a well-known worldwide company, and privacy and security are two of the most important aspects of our business.  Second, I prefer not to put too much of my private life out there.  I've been with my employer since moving to St. Louis five years ago, and I hope to remain there for a long time to come.  For that reason, as well as moral obligations, I won't divulge too many details.  But what I can tell you is this:  I make presentations to different groups of people on a near-constant basis, most of whom are initially complete strangers to me.  That puts me in sort of a public-relations type of position that is quite different from my old retail jobs, a spot that does NOT suit an introvert in the least.

But as I said, sometimes God teaches us things whether we want to learn them or not.

In school, I was absolutely terrified if I had to do any sort of public speaking in front of the class.  Oral reports were the worst - they may as well have been Armageddon as far as I was concerned.  I didn't want people to look at me, I wanted to sit in the back quietly and be forgotten.  There were times when the stress and anxiety made me want to throw up.

This past January, I spoke in front of an audience of nearly 80 people for a couple of hours.  And I did it with relatively little anxiety, no speech or script planned, and everything went extremely well. I realize that 80 people wouldn't be considered a lot in the eyes of some, but there was a time not too long ago when I would've quit my job long before I got anywhere near that conference room.

Anyway, I don't tell you these things to pat myself on the back or solicit anyone's praise.  I'm proud of the things I've accomplished, but I know there are millions out there who've done far greater and more important things with their lives than I ever will.  I tell you these things because I want you to know something:  If you run away from every situation that scares you, you could wind up closing doors on absolutely wonderful opportunities.  If you let nerves stop you from doing something, if fear makes you cower in the corner, if challenges make you tuck your tail and run, you will never know what you are truly capable of.  You will never learn, never grow, and never really feel a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction with your life.

Don't get me wrong - I totally understand the fear, especially when the critics in your life want to do nothing but bury you beneath it.  I've covered in the corner more times than I can count, and when challenges come along, the instinct to run away is still the first thing that pops up.  I'm still an introvert.  I still prefer to stay home and avoid public places.

But if I need to do something that initially sparks those fears, I now find that there's a bravery just beyond the anxiety that I can call on when I need to.  If I find out today that I've got to speak in front of a group of 100 tomorrow, I'll be OK with that.  Not because I'm not scared, but because I allow God to put me in situations to teach me what I can accomplish.  To show me what I can do.  And if you never step out of that comfort zone, you'll never know what comfort really is.

Because the honest truth is that there's nothing more comforting than knowing you are no longer imprisoned by fear.

God bless,

Kevin

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Hero

Mom

It was during kindergarten that I first remember you standing up for me in a way that might have embarrassed other kids.  I was an introverted bundle of nerves that somehow managed to make a few friends only to find myself in a lunch period with none of them.  You came to the school and talked to the principal to request my schedule be changed. 

From the moment you began making breakfast while simultaneously packing our lunches to the moment when you finally sat down to read a little before bed, you did nothing but serve your family.  Between the duties of raising four children and working side-by-side with your husband to run the family business, you barely had a moment to breathe.  But when we needed you, you always made time.  If I needed a ride to school, you made time.  If I needed supplies for a school project, you made time.  If I needed help with my math homework, you made time.  You taught me to respect others, appreciate what I have, and that the only thing I should ever hate is the word hate. 

You've been one of the main supporters of my writing aspirations from the very beginning.  You urged me to follow my heart and work hard for what I wanted.  And without that support, I would've likely given up many years ago.  I've written a total of ten books to date, one of which you even edited for me.  I can't say enough about what your support has done for my writing career.

More than all of that, however, you have been a living breathing example of what Christianity is truly all about.  You taught me that the first and most important commandment is to love others.  I've seen you volunteer for charity work, give stuffed toys to children's hospitals, bring strangers into your home, and most of all, care for your husband during his final years. 

Morality is no longer "in" these days.  It has been rejected by a society bored of chivalry and consumed by a culture that revels in self-adulation.  True heroes are all but extinct.  Yet, were I to be asked for my definition of a hero, I'd point my finger squarely at you. 

I owe you everything I have and everything I am.  You are a counselor and a teacher.  A barber and a cook.  A nurse and a cheerleader.  A fighter and a defender.  A friend and a mentor.

You're my mother.

And you're my hero.

With all my love, respect, and gratitude,

Kevin

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Episode V of The Fourth Dimension: Outcry

I'm BACK!

After two and a half years, it seems I'm finally back at the keyboard.  And I've returned with Episode V of The Fourth Dimension: Outcry, my online webseries!


I'm truly sorry it took so long to get back into the groove.  Creativity can be a fickle thing, and I really wore myself out with non-stop promoting, blogging, interviewing, and other tasks meant to increase my online presence.  I'm done with that stuff, now.  I love writing, I love creating, and I love adventuring in the insanity of my imagination.  But the task of promoting made it feel like a job.  I had placed expectations on myself that were extremely difficult to meet while also working a full-time job.  Other authors do it, and I commend them for it, but I can't keep up with it anymore.

So I'm going back to the schedule that works for me:  I'll write as much as I want about what I want whenever I want.  If I feel like all I have in me is one paragraph, that's what I'll write.  If I have twenty pages of material ready to go in my head, that's what I'll write.  No blog schedules.  No more word counts.  No more page expectations.  Just pure and free creativity.

I'll continue posting here from time to time to try to give you updates regarding future projects.  With Episode V of Outcry finished, I've already begun work on Episode VI.  I don't know how many episodes there will be, but I know where I want to take the story.  I hope to finish it this year so that I can move on to Volume IV of The Fourth Dimension next year.  But I'm not holding myself to timetables anymore, so whenever it happens, it happens.  I'm just glad to be writing again at all, because for a while I felt like I'd never get my mojo back!

Oh, and I intend to eventually update the look/presentation of all my websites, but again, I'm in no rush.  

I hope you enjoy Episode V.  Feel free to leave feedback either here or on the Outcry official page.  Either way, thank you again for being so patient with me.  I'm back now, and I plan to be here to stay!

I hope your 2015 has gotten off to a great start!

God bless,
Kevin