By Herbert Vego
I believe in God without being religious. I am even open to agnosticism or uncertainty about God’s existence. The agnostic believes that there is no way of knowing whether God exists or not.
For his own sake, however, he may transform into a believer influenced by “Pascal’s wager,” which posits that individuals essentially engage in a life-defining gamble regarding the belief in the existence of God.
Blaise Pascal (1623–1662), a seventeenth-century French philosopher, taught that if God indeed exists, the believers stand to gain eternity. If not, they have nothing to lose.
I have been wondering though how famous agnostics view God in relation to the awesome “creations” in the universe.
Notwithstanding, learned atheists view order in the universe as a product of the “big bang” theory – trillions of times harder than winning the lottery despite the odds.
You must have seen the late English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, a quadriplegic agnostic, speak on TV: “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”
How did the “big bang” produce the first life?
Impossible. We God believers can only reason out that the omnipotent One has always been behind the scenes.
Atheists and agnostics, on the other hand, could not explain “coincidences” in the universe. In his book The Symbiotic Universe, agnostic American astronomer George Greenstein wondered, “Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon the scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?”
In another book, God and the Astronomers, astronomer Robert Jastrow postulated why some scientists are reluctant to accept a transcendent Creator: “Science is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the universe. When it is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, the scientist has lost control. He would be traumatized.”
Greenstein and Hawking could not accept a God-made universe because, being speculative, it could not be verified in the realm of science or beyond the reach of either the microscope or the biggest telescope.
Although Hawking until his death in 2018 continued to explore purely scientific explanations for our origins, other scientists have acknowledged what appears to be overwhelming evidence for a Creator.
British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle wrote, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”
German-born Albert Einstein wasn’t religious, but he called the genius behind the universe “an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”
The late British atheist Christopher Hitchens, who had spent much of his life writing and debating against God, admitted before his death due to esophageal cancer in 2011 that life couldn’t exist if things were different by just “one degree or one hair.”
Ilonggo lawyer Edwin Catacutan, author of the book “Creation, Fall, and Redemption,” told this writer that he does not doubt the creation of the heavens and the earth because “they could not have always been there.”
His book – which I hope to review later — may rightly be judged by its cover: a colorful telescope image of an outburst of the star Monocerotis, believed to be about 20,000 light years away from our sun, echoing the Bible verse: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).
In his book By His Light. Antiqueño book author Rolando Y. Dy Buco wrote of a smiling doctor whose advice to cancer patients is, “Start each day by giving thanks to God.”
A MESSAGE TO APPLICANTS FOR POWER RATE DISCOUNT
A MORE Power team has been going the rounds of all barangays in Iloilo City, according to schedule, to process applications for electricity rate discounts. If you know you are qualified, please coordinate with the team.
However, if you have not yet done so, please apply as soon as possible. This is in line with the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for poor residents who may benefit for as much as 100% discount. This means that those who consume only 20 kilowatt-hours or less of electricity per month would not pay a single centavo.
Those who consumer 21-50 kWh are eligible for 50 percent discount; 51-60 kWh, 45 percent; 61-70 kWh, 35 percent; 71-80 kWh, 20 percent; and 81-95 kWh, 10 percent discount.
To qualify, beneficiaries of 4Ps with government-issued ID and certification from the regional Social Welfare and Development Office (SWDO) must fill up a lifeline rate application form and attach their most recent utility bill.
The rate discounts are mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).