Taylor: Where you find God

I imagine Diogenes thrusting his lantern in the face of, say, an evangelical preacher, and demanding, “Show me God!”

You’ve probably met Diogenes, even if he lived 2300 years ago. Diogenes was a Greek philosopher who took a skeptical attitude to everything—including the public lectures of his contemporaries Plato and Socrates.

Diogenes is best known for his eccentric practice of carrying a lighted lantern around in broad daylight, thrusting it into the faces of those he met, looking for an honest man.

Of course, he didn’t find one. And I doubt if he would do much better today.

So I don’t imagine him asking the same question now. I imagine him thrusting his lantern in the face of, say, an evangelical preacher, and demanding, “Show me God!”

“This is the word of God,” says the preacher, patting a leather-bound King James Bible. “It tells us everything we need to know about God and God’s plan for the redemption of sinners.”

“How do you know it’s the word of God?” asks Diogenes.

“Because it says so,” replies the preacher.

“That’s a circular argument, isn’t it?” sighs Diogenes. “It’s true because it says it true, therefore its claim to be true must be true…”

He goes on to a liberal minister. “Show me God,” says Diogenes.

“I wish I could,” says the minister. “But the more I learn, the more I find that I can’t believe anymore. I’ve given up so many beliefs that I’m not sure there’s anything left to believe in.”

“At least you’re honest,” says Diogenes, withdrawing his lantern.

He goes to the Stock Exchange. “Show me God,” he says to a trader.

“God?” says the trader, looking up from his computer screen. “What’s God got to do with it? Life is about beating the market—buying low and selling high.”

“You win, they lose?”

“Their problem, not mine,” the trader shrugs.

“You’ve made the market your God,” Diogenes mutters as he moves on.

“Of course I believe in God,” says a nuclear physicist. “On Sundays. But God is irrelevant to my work. If God fiddled with the universal laws of physics, my work would be meaningless.”

“So your theories take precedence over God?” Diogenes asks.

“Theories are testable,” replies the scientist. “We develop a theory; we test it. It’s considered proven if other experimenters can predictably replicate the results.”

“And if they can’t?”

“That’s the difference between science and religion,” interrupts a biologist who has been listening. “Science deliberately tests its theories to look for flaws and errors. If it finds any, it revises the theory, and tests it again. Religion doesn’t test its theories; it only defends them.”

“I think I understand,” says Diogenes. “God can’t just be. To exist, God has to be externally provable.”

Diogenes finds an atheist. “There is no God,” asserts the atheist.

“Can you prove your claim?” Diogenes challenges him.

“You can’t prove a negative,” the atheist retorts. “It’s logically impossible.”

“Is God subject to logic?” Diogenes asks.

“You’re all the proof I need,” the atheist responds. “For 23 centuries, you’ve been searching for God, and asking people to help you. Did any of them succeed in finding God for you?”

“Not one,” admits Diogenes. “But you miss the point. God is not in the finding. God is in the searching.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

One person was extricated from a vehicle that rolled off Highway 97 Feb. 25, 2021, near Clerke Road in Coldstream around 2 p.m. (Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star)
UPDATE: Highway 97 cleared near Vernon following rollover that trapped occupant

Single-vehicle incident on highway stretch; vehicle rolled onto its roof

Have you seen these men? Crime Stoppers.
Kelowna RCMP look for men allegedly involved in bar brawl

The alleged assaults took place at a pub on Academy Way

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read