A few days ago, Father Christmas, a genial much-loved generous man, visited the homes of my four granddaughters and left a variety of presents supposedly paid for by various relatives including us, their grandparents, but magically delivered and deposited in sacks or under the Christmas tree by Father Christmas himself. Most of my granddaughters are now aware that, in reality, not only did we, the relatives, pay for these gifts, we also bought them, wrapped them and lovingly placed them in the sacks or under the tree but our youngest granddaughter (aged 7) still believes that Father Christmas is real and is yet to be informed of the reality. When this happens, she will be disappointed but will eventually see the dénouement as part of growing up, a rite of passage. But, how do you answer the question “Does Father Christmas exist?” if and when it comes from the mouths of very young children?
I’m not going to answer this question but what I want to show you is a test for any article that professes to prove that God exists.
Some time back, I posted a blog about the existence of God. The blog, available here, reprinted the prologue from my book The Religion Business: Cashing In On God. In the prologue, I reproduced a 2010 e-mail exchange I had with a Christian (John) in which I asked him “If God exists, who created him, or her?” The conversation ground to a halt when he tried to prove God’s existence but the exchange became the trigger for me to write my book, all 98,000 words of it.
Very recently, a Bengali gentleman named Himangsu Sekharpal, a self-proclaimed mystic living in Kolkata, posted a comment on my Does God Exist? blog. You can view his comment here. Basically, Sekharpal suggested I read an article he had posted on his website in which he purports to have proved the existence of God by using reasoning based on the theories of Stephen Hawking (concerning the Big Bang theory origins of the universe) and Albert Einstein (theory of relativity linked to quantum mechanics).
Sekharpal’s article is full of what I call pseudo-science and mind-stretching assertions and includes the sweeping statement “God is a Being” (something that has existence and essence). This is a common ploy for those who seek to “prove” the existence of God. “First, let me tell you that God exists and now let me prove that he exists because I just told you he exists.”
Now, I’m no theoretical physicist (unlike my hero Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory comedy show) nor am I an expert in quantum mechanics/relativity but I have posted a semi-technical reply to Sekharpal’s comment in my earlier blog. You can see my reply just below his comment, here. But, before I posted my reply, I applied the Father Christmas test to his article. Here’s the test:
1. First select all the words in the article and copy to the clipboard on your tablet or laptop.
2. Next, open Microsoft Word and paste the text to a new document. Save as GodTest.doc
3. Now use Word’s powerful Find and Replace feature to change every instance of the word God into the replacement words Father Christmas. If you do not have any allegiance to Father Christmas because of your religion or for other reasons, replace the word God with the word Unicorn instead.
4. Now read the article!
If the article proves without any shadow of a doubt and in a strict scientific manner that Father Christmas exists, then so does God. Now try explaining that to every person who as a child believed in the existence of Father Christmas but as an adult no longer holds the belief.
Works the same for unicorns.