Essayist Jim Holt in his book Why Does the World Exist? criss-crossed the planet talking to cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, eastern sages and theologians about reasons for our existence.
Holt described one meeting with a priest, a physicist and a Buddhist monk. The priest said the universe must be created by God, the physicist invoked quantum mechanics and the monk believed that the universe just always existed.
Holt said that for religious believers, there was no mystery to the existence of the universe. It exists because God made it.
‘But suppose you ask nonbelievers to explain why there is a world rather than nothing at all,” he wrote. “Chances are they will not give you a satisfactory answer.”
Hall asked what options we had for resolving the mystery of existence once we let go of the God hypothesis. Science, he said, might be expected to someday explain how the universe came about. By any attempted scientific explanation of why hits a brick wall.
“The problem with the science option would nseem to be this. The universe comprises everything that physically exists. A scientific explanation must involve some sort of physical cause.But any physical cause is by definition part of the universe to be explained..Thus any scientific explanation of the existence of the universe is doomed to be circular.”
Albert Einstein once observed that “there are two ways to live: one is as if nothing is a miracle; the other as if everything is.
Jean-Paul Sartre, not a believer in miracles, once said “I exist, that is ll, and I find it nauseating.” But Christian author A.W.Tozer countered that with the thought that if you think God away, man has no ground of existence.
If this existence is a cosmic fluke, then our being is an exercise in futility. It has no purpose.
There will come a time when no one will be alive to remember that we even existed. All that mankind thought and did will be for nothing.
The alternative view is that we are here to attain eternal union with our brothers and sisters, and with the Divine. We are here to love and to be loved. We are here to complete ourselves
Writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said our obligation was to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life. “Life is a gift and meaning is its reward,” he said. “The meaning of life is to be found in every encounter. Every moment is a moment of grace.”
Humorist Garrison Keillor said we are all here to know and serve God. “It’s clear truth that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard.
But a little faith will see you through.”