There Is No ‘Away’
If there was one thing my Environmental Science professor hoped for us to get through our heads, it was that “there is no AWAY.” We build high smokestacks to get our air pollution to blow over the mountains. We flush our toilets and send the waste down the drain. We bag up our garbage, have it collected and buried in landfills, and build parks on top of it. We pay our “experts” to handle what we don’t want to deal with. All these efforts help us feel we’ve dealt with our problem. Yet, somewhere in our soil, our air, our water, or that of our kids and grandkids, most of our pollution still exists.
I suggest that we are prone to employing this “out of sight, out of mind” tactic in the spiritual sphere, as well. The God of the Bible’s attributes – perfect, infinite, and self-existent (to name just a few) – are impossible for our finite human minds to fully grasp, so many of us would reject him and invent an idol. Mormon religion founder Joseph Smith imagined a god that was easier to deal with, on the surface level. He said God grew up on an earth like ours and eventually progressed on to godhood by becoming sinless. God had a god who did the same, and so on and so forth with the gods before him. Worthy Mormons will be given as long as it takes in their post-earth lives to work up to god-like perfection, and keep the system going.
While this scenario seems interesting, and perhaps even viable at first, has it not pushed the problem of an unfathomable being further away while leaving the ultimate questions unanswered? Does the Mormon know what came first? Was it a human that evolved from dirt on a planet somewhere, righteously figured out the laws of godhood and perfectly obeyed them, and then went on to instill a system of humans, planets, and god-making? If so, how did the first planet get there, how did it produce a human, and where did the laws come from? Or was it a god that came first? If so, where did he come from? In my experience, the Mormon feels no need to ponder these questions, because the issues are not near enough to worry about.
The folks who don’t want to believe in the existence of God have adopted similar “solutions.” The theory of evolution cannot explain how life arose from nothing, or how complicated order arose from disorder, so it pushes the problem billions of years into the past. Even many of those who well understand the sophisticated computer-code-like nature of DNA, and KNOW we could not have evolved, still desire to get around the Intelligent Designer. Secular scientists Francis Crick and Richard Dawkins, for example, would reportedly rather theorize about how life on earth came from another planet – via aliens or asteroids – than acquiesce, “God did it.” Have these “experts” answered the big questions or just pushed them away? Do they know where the aliens came from? Do they know why they put us here? Did the aliens have a purpose for our existence? Do we go to Mars when we die?
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