Adherents of most religions believe that God is all-pervasive, omniscient and omnipotent. Islam seems to specify that God exists only at one place, and that is in the Kaabah at Mecca. Perhaps that idea is why all Muslims are directed to face the direction of Mecca while praying, wherever they may be located. Even so, like Christianity and Judaism, Islam also preaches that God is omniscient and omnipotent.
Theists believe that there is a physical God who oversees everybody’s actions, judges them and awards them points, both positive and negative. Earning positive points helps us to enjoy a better quality of life with comforts, luxuries and a place in heaven, while negative points put us in troubles and may push us into hell on our death. Theists also believe that God listens to prayers and responds to them.
Atheists believe that God does not even exist, leave alone award points or listen in on our prayers.
I was a theist from birth. But as I grew up and became an engineer, doubts cropped up in my mind. There are billions of people on earth and at least half of them would be praying and petitioning God for granting some favor or the other. How can one entity listen in to all those prayers and grant those petitions? Would he have assistants? Or does he have a closed loop mechanism to handle all those chores? Then I was interested in the theories of atheists.
Being a theist resolves so many issues. Why am I born to these parents? Why in this country? Why with this mother tongue? Why with these siblings? Why with my physical characteristics and limitations? Why with my mental capabilities and limitations? The explanation in my Hindu faith was simple: God made you thus because of your karma in the past life. How was the universe created? How was this earth formed? How was the perfect balance between the environment existing on earth and the life it supports, achieved? God created it – you know that he is omnipotent!
“The explanation in my Hindu faith was simple: God made you thus because of your karma in the past life.”
How do atheists handle these questions? I discussed the topic with many atheists, and, as it happens, most of them are of scientific background. It looks like that when you are educated up to post-graduate level in sciences like chemistry or physics, atheism wells up in you.
The atheists to whom I spoke say that creation was all an accident of nature. What caused this accident? The energy that built up due to the contraction of the universe exploded the universe with a big bang, and, from then on, the universe is expanding, causing collisions between the fragments, releasing further energy that somehow gave rise to life. Life adapted and evolved itself by mutation and intercourse. Atheistic scientists contend that the life is still evolving and that we are not able to see it because it is too slow to be perceived in one lifetime.
Coming down to more mundane questions, such as the differences in individuals like more/less intelligent, more/less tall etc., the atheists I asked said they are due to genes. Why do genes differ? They say it is an accident but are confident to fix that by genetic engineering in the near future. How about luck? Some people garner better luck than the others. Atheists say that the people who put in better efforts garner better luck. Positive attitude begets luck and negative attitude begets ill luck.
God as Energy
Central to all this scientific explanation is the energy build-up that caused the “Big Bang” and started all this creation. From where energy did the energy come in? Science says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Of course, it can be converted from one form to the other.
My question was and still is, can we not call this energy as God? Atheists seems allergic to the word “God,” but let us look at the similarities.
God has no beginning and no end. So does energy: It was there at the time universe exploded and it continues to be there. One could argue that energy and God have been around since creation and will perhaps end with the world as we know it.
Energy is all pervasive, just as is God. There is no place in the universe where energy is absent. Energy may be of very high intensity, as in the case of stars like our sun. It may be of low intensity, as in the case of inert beings like rocks. Make no mistake, rocks have energy, but it is bottled up inside them, released when you break them. Energy is also very low in outer space. But it is all pervasive.
“Energy is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, just like the God.”
Energy is omnipotent, just like the God. If you know how to harness the energy, you can practically do anything. Airplanes are flying because of the energy. Cars are running because of the energy. We have electricity in our homes because of the energy. You name it, and energy runs it. Even human beings live and work because of energy. The moment energy goes out of our body, we are dead.
Energy is omniscient, just like God. It knows how to run a car; how to light a lamp, how to fly; how to make us run. In fact, there is nothing that the energy does not know. Only we do not know what energy knows. Scientists conduct research to learn what the energy is further capable of.
Energy cannot be seen, and so is God invisible! Both are never seen, and both can only be felt. Scientists have faith in energy, and theists have faith in God.
Why do we come with different capabilities? It is because of the different energy levels present in the sperm and the egg when they mated together to form the fetus.
You may be born a weakling, but you can become stronger by supplying your body with the right kind of energy in the form of food and exercise. You may be born with a weak intellect, but you can improve your intellect by feeding the right energy to it through study and learning.
We know how to convert energy from one form to another. We convert thermal energy into mechanical energy; we convert mechanical energy into electrical energy; we convert electrical energy into mechanical energy as well as thermal energy!
“All the energy that we use on earth comes from one single source: our sun.”
All the energy that we use on earth comes from one single source: our sun. We are all living just because of that energy.
Now what is wrong in calling the energy as God?
Energy is God, and God is Energy!
Scientists are still learning about energy. The equation E = mc² (E is the Energy; m is the mass; and c is the constant, speed of the light in vacuum) appears to be magical, as does the Fibonacci number series. Understanding these concepts properly is not easy. As more work is carried out in the scientific field and the religious field, I think that energy and God will gradually fuse together.
What is the difference between saying that energy sustains us or God sustains us – just the taxonomy!
Lastly we know how to convert some energies into others like electrical energy into mechanical energy. What we really need to convert the energy of bad luck into that energy of good luck – right? How do we do that? Science is not focusing on that aspect but religion is!
Murali Chemuturi is a renowned software designer who lives in Hyderabad, India. Mr. Chemuturi speaks English, Hindi and Telugu, and has written several books on the subject of software development management. Murali’s essays on Freethought Nation are popular, ranking no. 1 on Google in both America and India for Hinduism-related search terms. Murali brings a refreshing and upbeat view to Freethought Nation. Murali’s website is chemuturi.com. You can reach his Facebook page here.
Chemuturi has also published new translations of the Indian epic the Ramayana, beginning with the following two books of the series: Sundara Kaanda of Vaalmiki Raamayana and Baala Kaanda of Srimad Raamayana of Maha Rushi Vaalmiki