Why Is Belief In God So Pervasive?

Video Clip Transcript:

Why is Belief in a God So Pervasive?

by Rev. Ernest O'Neill

We here tend to ask the question, "Why is there such a general unquestioned assumption that there is a God"? Well, honestly it takes dumb, stupid, sophisticates like us to ever question it. It really does. It takes you to be educated to reject the idea that there is a God. If you just let your mind run in the way it normally does in everyday life, and follow through the normal cause and effect thinking that the mind operates on in daily life, you are bound to come to the conclusion that there is a God.

Let's say you go outside your room door or outside your house and there at the sidewalk is a solid gold Cadillac or for those of us who don't like that, a 650 Honda motorbike. You go outside in the morning and you see those there. Now, you know what your mind asks. It asks, "What explosion put this here?" Well, it doesn't ask, what big bang theory is responsible for this? It doesn't. It immediately asks, "Who put this here?" Because all of us know that explosions destroy. They don't create and they certainly don't create machinery like a Cadillac or like a Honda.

Or do you go out and look at them and say, "A-ha! Obviously it came about through spontaneous generation...from some decomposing substance."  Then you look for the decomposing substance. Well, you know you don't. Your mind does not ask those questions. It has to be taught to ask those questions. It actually has to be perverted to ask those questions.

Your mind automatically says, "Who left the Honda here, who left the Cadillac?" Or as Inspector Clouseau would say, "The Cadillac evolved from a Volkswagen and the Honda evolved from a ten-speed Schwinn bicycle." Well, you don't, because you are still left with the problem, who put the bicycle there or who put the Volkswagen there? The mind knows that even if there is some evolution (and there is obviously some kind of evolution within the species at least), even if there is some evolution, even if there was ever an explosion, even if there was ever spontaneous generation, somebody had to originally create the thing from which these things evolved. If there was an explosion, who made what exploded? Somebody must have created something originally, if there was a decomposing substance. Who created the substance that decomposed? Who created the stuff that exploded? Who created the original single cell amoeba that eventually evolved?

In other words, those so-called answers are not an explanation of creation at all. Normally when one sees a world like this or one sees a mountain -- one responds the same way as Einstein does or the same way as the most primitive person in the whole universe would respond. One says, "Who put the mountain there, who put the world here?" Maybe you will say, why do you ask "who"? Why do you ask, who put the world here? I can see that something must have started it all somewhere, but why do we say it's a "him" and not an "it"?

Well, loved ones the same way as we draw other conclusions from everyday life. We look at what is here and we work back to the kind of force or being that would have had to create it. Let's say you go out of your room door into the dormitory corridor and you see a bone lying on the floor. You just do not say, "That cannibal girl down the corridor or that savage counselor has been chewing up freshmen again." You don't. If you see a bone that looks gnawed, you know what normally produces gnawed bones. There's a dog somewhere and that dog is out again. Or if you work it the other way, you go outside your door and find a piece of paper with a simultaneous equation on one side and part of "Paradise Lost" written on the other. You just do not say, "That stupid dog has lost his assignment again!"  However, clever the dog is you know that a dog cannot produce "Paradise Lost". A dog cannot produce simultaneous equations. And that's why we say, who?

Can you imagine a chair making you? Can you imagine even an animate object like a dog making you? We can't. We automatically say no. Whatever made us, whether he made us in one moment, or whether he made us over a period of time, he must have been capable of putting these powers of development within us. So, he must be as personable at least, as we are. That's why we ask "who"? The being that created us must be at least as personal as we ourselves are.

Complete Talk:Is There A God