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.”

 

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry being held for West Kelowna man charged in wife’s murder

Man charged in the killing of his wife is in court this week for a preliminary inquiry.

Kelowna a top Canadian city when it comes to moves

U-Haul ranks city 19th on its list of top 20 spots for DIY movers

SunRype puts stamp on Okanagan Marathon

The Kelowna-based company takes over title sponsorship of the annual October run and festival

Penticton man dies in Lavington train incident

Sunday afternoon incident claims 25 year old

Hot weather to hit the valley

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. pledges $550 million for Indigenous housing

Aboriginal leaders say federal government needs to pitch in too

Okanagan residents getting locked up for B.C. SPCA

SPCA events taking place around the Okanagan raises funds for abused and homeless animals

Falcons rally for win in Wenatchee

Kelowna scores four in the ninth inning to earn West Coast League victory over Apple Sox Sunday

Car crashes into City Park

A vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed crashed into a Kelowna park Sunday night

Morning balloon landing at mall

A hot air balloon landed in the parking lot of the mall in Kelowna

Sweden beats South Korea 1-0

Sweden gets benefit of video review in World Cup

Blue Jay Roberto Osuna not expected to appear in court

The Blue Jays pitcher is charged with one count of assault by Toronto police

Global warming cooks up ‘a different world’ over 3 decades

Over 30 years the world’s annual temperature has warmed nearly 1 degree according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Most Read