By Tal J Zlotnitsky
I’m not an expert on anything, let alone theology or physics. If you’re someone that opened this story, hoping for the answer to this question from someone with decades of experience in either of these fields — I am afraid you’ll have to either accept far lesser authority, or stop reading. By lesser authority, I mean a complete lay-person, in no way more entitled to an opinion on this matter than anyone else.
I submit, also, that this reflection I’m about to share has been expressed previously in some form or fashion by Plato and Aristotle, among others. I’m sharing it because I’ve personally never heard this reflection quite THIS way before — and as a deeply-curious person who does read and actively seeks information, the fact that I have never come across this reflection means it may not be widely in circulation. Descsartes came closest, but he’s not exactly Everyman.
So without further adieu — my reflection:
Most faith-skeptics cite one incontrovertible fact which no person of faith who possesses all of her senses can refute: Even if you personally believe the biblical recitation describing the interaction between God and the rarest among us who have interacted with the almighty, you yourself have not yet seen God.
Most of us who do have faith, hope to meet our maker one day. Many others may be unsure about the existence of a higher power, but we hope it exists. Both groups hope to do enough good in this world and in this lifetime to deserve to meet our God.
But that’s not the point I’m making. The point is that even if you are such a person of faith, you have yet to physically meet this God in this lifetime.
If you say otherwise, you mean it metaphorically.
To a skeptic, that’s enough to say, then how do you know this God really exists?
Here’s my reply, in the form of two simple questions, to my esteemed friends and to our fellow travelers, the faith-skeptics.
I’ll start with a yes or no question:
Do you believe in the physics of your own existence?
99.9% of you will say that you do. My follow up question is:
Who is reading this article right now?
Once you process this question — which is not as easy to process as it may appear — most of you would answer this question, I am.
But who is this I you’re speaking of?
Some of you would answer that with my soul, others with my brain. In either case, we would each be conceding that whatever we consider to be our present physical existence is the entity reading this article.
In either case, it’s safe to assume you’ve met neither your soul nor your brain — this entity. You’ve neither seen them, touched them, smelled them, heard them, tasted them… Even if it were possible for you to see your brain, you did not personally discover it’s functions; you are the disciple of the people who had, and who passed this knowledge on, to be accepted by (most of) the rest of us as… well, as gospel.
99.9% of us would accept that our own soul/brain — in the physical realm in which we each exist — is very much real. That life is not a simulation.
In other words, your experience of your own soul/brain is, to you, entirely fact-based. Think of that word — fact — in this context — my soul, my brain.
So, is our existence fact, or is it faith?
Whichever way you answer the above question — whether you believe your own soul or brain’s existence is fact or faith —any explanation you provide would also prove and affirm the other. Ergo, they must be equally true at all times. And anything that’s 100% the same, is... one thing.
Therefore, if you believe we exist, you believe. The only questions then becomes, what do you choose to believe, and how do you choose to act.