Today (27th Feb 2015) I have been given 2/3 minutes to speak against the Motion that 'God is Dead' at the Havant College Debating Society. Here's what I plan to do with my three minutes. Does my (very brief!) argument persuade you? Do comment below.
I’ve been invited to speak against the motion that ‘God is dead’.
My response is this: it all depends on what kind of God we are talking about. Or perhaps I should phrase that as a question to you: ‘what do you think God is like?’
Many people, sadly, think of God as some sort of white bearded Heavenly Headmaster, who sits on a cloud, dispensing rules and handing out favours to his favourite students. I hope that kind of God is dead. That is the Santa Claus God – the Hollywood God - the kind of God that some footballers thank when they score a goal. That is the sort of God who one might equate to a vending machine. Put in the right prayers, and get the answer you seek. I’m glad that he – and it always seems to be a ‘he’ – is dead. HE deserves to be.
But that is not the kind of God that religions (and thoughtful religious teachers) have been speaking about for thousands of years. The Alive God is neither male nor female. The Alive God is what many Anglicans and Catholics refer to as ‘the Ground of our Being’ – the creative energy that connects and sustains the whole Universe. The Alive God is the one of whom the Bible says ‘God is Love’, and who Hindus revere as the Supreme Spirit, the Brahman. Unknowable. Perceivable only by experiencing that God’s action in the human soul.
Can I prove that such God exists? Not in the way that a scientist can prove that this chair is solid. But science itself is constantly discovering that there is more to reality than meets the eye. This chair is not actually solid. Energy waves and certain molecules can pass right through it. The fundamental particles of which it is made might well be in two places at once, depending on whether one is looking at them. And it might be only one copy of the same chair that exists in billions of parallel universes.
To those who would easily dismiss the whole idea of God that I advocate, let me conclude with this thought: there are 7 billion people in the world. And around 6.5 billion of them believe in something that is deeper, greater, higher, lower and beyond than the everyday reality we experience. Some call that something ‘God’ – and 6.5 billion people think of that something as very much alive. My life mission is to uncover all I can about that kind of God…and I invite anyone who is interested to join me.