By Michael Pravica
A recent article appeared in the New York Times with the eye-catching title: "An imperfect God?" which ascribes human frailties to the Creator of our Universe and a penchant of the Creator to make mistakes. As a religious physicist I felt compelled to write my own views on the subject.
As I have written before, God is likely an infinitely dimensional entity whom we will never completely understand. He has existed before the dawn of time (for us) and will exist beyond the end of time (assuming our universe collapses on itself as many physicists theorize). Humans have been given a gift (by God) to glimpse incomplete snapshots of an entity that can exist both inside and outside of our universe (and perhaps many more). Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. In some sense, there is much beauty in watching the process of life "perfecting" itself as life continues to evolve.
In fact, considering Zeno's paradox, perhaps our never-ending effort to achieve "perfection" (however we decide to define it) would give some purpose to eternal life. For those who claim that God is "imperfect," they are using human rationality/mathematics as a metric (to measure/judge God) that functions well inside four-dimensional spacetime but may not work so well outside of our universe. They want to bring God down to their inconsequential and infinitesimal level instead of seek to elevate themselves toward a higher level of existence/consciousness which is responsible for creating a universe capable of supporting life that could actually ponder the meaning of its existence. They want to debate (and even perhaps immaturely chastise) God - maybe even make Him feel "guilty" for His alleged mistakes and/or "negligence." All of the bad that occurs in our imperfect universe is blamed on God instead of on ourselves whom God has given the power of free will to. Natural/accidental calamities are also somehow God's "fault" despite the fact that, more often than not, God is made to feel unwelcome in our world and unneeded by many who feel that human intelligence is the supreme intelligence in our universe. Neither do those who blame God for Nature's mishaps realize the roles that human activity may have had on fomenting current and impending catastrophes such as global warming, genetically-modified foods, natural resource depletion, earthquakes (e.g. recent earthquakes in the Midwest possibly caused by fracking and in 1999 in Turkey possibly a result of NATO's illegal and vicious bombing of Serbia) and poisoning of the Earth (via, e.g. depleted uranium used by NATO and the bombing of the Pancevo chemical complex releasing untold amounts of chemical toxins into the Danube river in 1999 during NATO's bombing of Serbia).
Just as there is wave particle duality wherein there are two completely different interpretations of the same phenomenon (e.g. photons), so are there many different representations of God because He cannot be described using reasoning that is largely confined to four dimensional spacetime. The fact is that God, who transcends the four dimensional spacetime confining our universe, has been around forever. We have not. Instead of efforts to bring Him down to our temporal and spatial level, we should try to rise to His level by improving ourselves and seeking to live by the examples shown to us by the Prophets who, even if only briefly and incompletely, received fleeting glimpses of the Creator of our world (and probably many more).
The Bible cannot fully convey the infinite mysteries of God as it is written in human language on two dimensional paper. Physics can explain much inside our universe but it can't explain where all this energy that drives our universe came from. It cannot explain what the universe is expanding into, nor can it explain our unnatural ability to conceive of universes beyond our own with our powerful imagination. As we were made in God's "image" (in some sense), we can be cognizant of the fact that there is much more going on in reality than our five senses tell us. This is where Faith comes in.
Michael Pravica Ph.D.
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