When people stop believing in God, they’ll start believing in anything
by Bob Siegel
The Belgian playwright and poet Emile Cammaerts once wrote, “The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything” (The Laughing Prophets, Page 211, 1937).
The nuttier our times become, the more profound Cammaerts starts to sound.
Naturally Cammaerts was making a general comment. There are exceptions to the rule. It does not necessarily follow that a person who does not believe one thing will automatically accept a goofier idea. Still, there are some very interesting trends today and it is quite ironic when those who claim the intellectual high ground for rejecting God go on to list some of the things they do believe.
Cammaerts was also espousing a very specific view of God. He was aware of the many contradictory concepts of deity. As a result, theists will take different positions on moral and social issues. Cammaerts was referring to the God of the Bible, not some notion that rocks and trees are also God. He meant the Creator of the universe, the one who gave us a conscience, the one who holds us accountable for the way we live.
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I believe in God. To those who find that idea absurd, to those who think the word “intelligent” is reserved only for people who do not accept a Creator, let me offer a list of things I do not believe:
I do not believe we can get something out of nothing. Something had to always exist. In that vein, I do not believe personality sprang from nothingness. Neither do I believe personality came from an impersonal universe. Rocks and stars do not think. Sentience must have an origin. I believe personality comes from personality. This leads us to an interesting conclusion: If something always existed, and if personality must come from personality, then some kind of eternal personality must exist.
I do not believe the acceptance of miracles is anti-intellectual, but rather intellectual humility. An open mind ought not to assume that miracles are impossible. After all, when the Bible talks of miracles, it is not assuming that God waved his hands like a magician and threw natural law out the window. God, as the author of life, is also the author of all natural law…
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