Finding God
By: A. Mohamed


Part One
: Introduction

God Prior to Religion

Many of us at some point or another in our lives start to question: where did we come from? Why are we here? What happens to us after we die? Is death the grim end, or is it but a gate that leads into a different kind of existence? We often wonder how did it all come to be? Is there some kind of power responsible for the creation of the vast universe and all that is in it, or did everything around us happened coincidentally?

Is there a God? To some people, the affirmative answer is the only one there can be, while to others belief in a 'god' is just an inherited myth, while to others still, belief in God is no more than a calculated bet. The French Philosopher Pascal concluded that belief was the wisest bet because the believer will either have bliss, if he is right, or oblivion if he is wrong, whereas the atheist has the less attractive alternatives of oblivion or damnation. (The case against God, Gerald Priestland, Page 14)

To some people the word 'nature' is some kind of force responsible for shaping life, but can there be justification in referring to 'nature' as a concrete intelligent force responsible for creating as well as shaping life, when nature itself was created? Or is 'nature' merely an abstract man-made label that acts as a convenient coat -hanger to the more urgent questions in our attempt to explain the cause of things?

If we trace the age of the Earth we would have to go back in time 4.5 billion years. The age of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, would take us even further back by 12 billion years, while as the currently estimated age of the entire universe is 13.8 billion years.

If the terrestrial 'nature' represents the Earth and everything on it, there would still remain a very long period of time prior to the formation of the Earth when there would have been no meaning to the word 'nature'. Still, there would have been a lot out there to account for, long before our 'nature' came into existence. Yet, by some logic, people speak of 'nature' as a creative force!

Another ideology, such as Buddhism, do not believe in an external god but that God is inside every one of us. It is very easy to debunk this view by charting the age of mankind against the age of the universe. This we would find to be very insignificant in universal terms. Recorded history of modern man goes back a mere 5000 years. As a result, any school of thought that believes in God, not as an external being to us, but to be found inside each of us is both inaccurate and presumptuous. It is inaccurate because if we were to claim that God exists only inside us then we would have to believe that before 5,000 years there was no God, and that he suddenly sprung into existence with our arrival on the scene!

Even if we suggest some kind of link between man and apes, taking our existence back to the first apes on earth, we would still have to say that God did not exist before 30 million years ago. That is when the first apes walked on Earth. It is also presumptuous because no matter how important we think we are, we are only one species among a few million species on earth, which is one planet that revolves around one star. The star, being the sun, is merely one star among 100 billion other similar stars that belong to our galaxy the 'Milky Way', and our galaxy is one among billions of other galaxies in the universe!

In the past, it was thought that the answers to such questions could not be found in any scientific books but only in religious books. Thus, the tendency to be drawn to various religions to attain the answers. No longer is this the case, for as will be demonstrated in this article, the science we currently know goes a long way in answering the questions about creation and the origin of the universe.

Through the adopted faith of any people, whether it is researched or most commonly inherited, they seek to find God. However, it may make better sense to reverse the procedure. It may be wiser to seek God first and then search for His true word. After all, if there is a 'god', then He must have existed long before the establishment of any faith or religion.

Compare this logic to the case of the patient and the doctor: Would it make sense to trust in a medical treatment, which we know nothing about, and as a result have faith in the doctor who prescribed it? Or would it make better sense to have faith in a doctor and as a result of that faith to follow his medication?

Finding God and accepting His existence is not necessarily a matter related to any particular religious belief. The subject of this search is therefore to argue the case why God exists in a purely intellectual and rational manner, without referring to any religious beliefs.

Never will the phrase "because it is written in such a book" be an answer to a question. Never will the familiar phrase "just have faith" be an answer to any question either. It is not the purpose of this article to inject the mind of the reader with an overdose of quotations from any Holy Book or another and then invite him to "just have faith"! Rather, no conclusion will be accepted unless it is in agreement with current scientific knowledge and supported by rational analysis.

In order to proceed with this search, it is necessary to refer to various fields of scientific knowledge. In doing so, reference will be made to a number of established scientific theories. These theories will be employed to serve the various arguments and seek answers, but it is not the purpose of this article to question the validity of these theories.

Generally speaking there are two types of scientific knowledge:

1- Scientific knowledge that is certain and is not likely to change, and thus, is universally accepted (e.g. water is composed of Hydrogen and Oxygen, or that the speed of light is constant, and so on.)

2- Scientific knowledge that is not yet confirmed and is open to change such as: What triggered off the 'Big Bang'? What is gravity made of? How many universes are there? Or how did such gigantic energy come to be trapped within the minute space inside the atom?

Throughout this article, all reference made will be made to the first type only.

There are those who will completely do without an intellectual approach to belief insisting that for them belief is in the heart and not the mind. Whilst one must respect their view, belief in the heart alone cannot be considered an intellectual faith. The rational process of examining the facts and deliberating upon them is what can lead to certainty of the mind. When we add to that the misrepresentation conducted by various religious organizations, and sadly, all major religious institutions in the world today are guilty of corruption; it becomes of prime importance to think and analyze these matters, and not just to inherit a faith or to have blind faith.

In addition, a spiritual or emotional belief may appear to be of great strength, yet if it is not supported by intellectual reasoning, it may often be vulnerable and prone to crack. One often comes across people who have suddenly acquired a very intense faith only to completely lose it after a period of time. For as the saying goes "easy come, easy go". On the other hand, a carefully researched intellectual approach has a better chance of endurance because it is built on reason.

Today we live in an age of reason and not of blind faith. It is thus necessary for any intelligent person to debate all matters freely and without bias rather than be trapped by the influence of one's environment and culture. One should not rely on the religious background passed on through parents or the society alone. One often hears the saying: "This is the religion of my father and my forefathers, they cannot all be wrong!" But if a Jew, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu and a Muslim, who indeed differ on basic issues, all said so, each thinking that what they inherited is the unshakable truth, chances are that most of them, if not all of them, will be wrong.

We have no choice as to which faith we were born into but we all have the free will to seek the truth. By definition, there can only be one truth, and the one truth is absolute. There are however, hundreds and thousands of variations, inaccuracies and manipulations that all originate from the bending and the manipulation of the one truth. For that, we should not accept any faith unless we are totally convinced that it mirrors our fundamental and basic reasoning and is in harmony with the scientific knowledge we have at our disposal. Such candidate for the truth would certainly be more worthy of our acceptance than any other. Yet there are some people who follow a certain faith because they say it suits them! It is very ironic that they could adopt a faith that affects their entire life in the same way they would go shopping in a supermarket! Look and see what is on display and then opt for the faith that would not place too many inconveniences on their way of life! Instead, if one is convinced beyond any doubt that a certain faith contains the truth, one should accept it in its entire form. There are some who tend to complain that a certain faith or another is a bit restrictive and does not conform to modern standards, but if they are honest with themselves, they should stop and question how well do modern standards conform to virtue and morality.

Part Two : Is there a 'god'?

The purpose of this section is to argue how modern science testifies to the existence of a sole creator, a supreme force far superior to anything we know who is responsible for the creation of the universe and sustaining it. To arrive at a rational intellectual conclusion it is very important to free our minds from all pre-conceptions. Clinging to pre-conceptions, most of which are inherited dogmas, will always blinker our view and make it very diffucult to accept the truth.
To conduct our search, three sets of debates are researched:

First Debate
: Did the universe have a beginning or has it always been there?

Here we refer to the laws of Thermodynamics which govern the movement of heat between different bodies. The second law of Thermodynamics states that heat travels from hot bodies to cooler bodies and not the opposite. Let us take the example of a hot oven that is placed in a cold room. The oven will warm the room, this is because heat will be transferred from the hot oven to the cold room. Never will the amount of heat originally in the room cause the oven to get hotter. This transfer of heat between the oven and the room will continue until the oven has used up all its fuel source (e.g. a gas cylinder). When that point is reached the oven will start to cool until such a point when the temperatures of both the oven and the room become equal.
To calculate the amount of time during which the oven will continue to warm the room we need to know two things:

1- The amount of gas left in the cylinder.
2- The rate at which gas is consumed.

If for example there is 5000 c.c. (cubic centimeters) of gas left in the cylinder and the oven uses up 100 c.c. every hour, then the oven will continue to warm the room for 50 hours (5000 divided by 100). We will call this stage (A). After 50 hours the oven would have used up all the gas in the cylinder and will thus start to cool until a point is reached where the temperatures of the oven and the room become equal. We will call this stage (B).

Now let us apply this to the universe as a whole. We know that the total amount of energy in the universe is equal to the sum of energy in all the stars, galaxies, and all other bodies containing mass. No matter how large the observable universe is, the amount of matter in the universe is a finite amount, large as it may be. The stars in the universe will continue to radiate heat, light and other types of radiation into the vast space of the universe, in the same way in which the oven would warm the space inside the room. So if we think of all the stars and all other active bodies in the universe as the oven, and the vast space of the universe as the empty room we can deduce the following:

From what we know about the life and death of stars in modern theories of cosmology, they will continue to radiate energy until they consume all their energy supply. To be precise, when all the hydrogen that constitutes the vast majority of the mass of stars has been converted into helium and other heavier elements in what is known as nuclear fusion. After that stage, some stars explode in what is known as super novae and give birth to second generation stars, but eventually when all energy is used up, the stars collapse and end up as cold dead bodies.

Since the amount of matter in the universe (inside stars, nebula, and other heavenly bodies) is finite, then these energy sources will radiate energy into the universe for a finite length of time. In our example of the oven and the room we calculated that time to be 50 hours. Theoretically, and if we can calculate the total amount of energy in the universe, and also the rate of consumption of energy, we can also calculate the length of time (although obviously not as accurately as in the case of the oven) in which the stars will continue to radiate energy. For argument's sake, let us assume that the universe will continue to radiate energy for another 50 billion years. It follows that since there is still plenty of energy being radiated in the universe, we can say that we still in stage (A).

Now if we go back to our original debate, and try to decide whether the universe had a beginning or has it always been there, we can deduce that if the universe had always been there (no point of beginning), or in mathematical terms: if the age of the universe goes back to infinity, then it should have been a cold and dead place by now simply because infinity, is a larger number (if it can be called so) than 50 billion years. If the age of the universe is infinity, we should have been at stage (B) a long time ago. The accuracy of the figure 50 billion is of no importance to the end result, for whatever figure we chose to make it, it will always be less than infinity.

What that means is that the universe had a definite beginning. That beginning, for argument's sake, is less than 50 billion years ago (as per our example). The birth of new stars in the universe does not affect our analysis, for they are born out of already existing matter in the universe (clouds of gases). The birth of new stars is not an addition to the total amount of matter that already exists in the universe, it is only a conversion of clouds of gases, under their joint pull of gravity, to form stars. The total amount of matter in the universe remains constant. After a specified time, all the clouds of gases in the universe will be used up and no new stars will be born. As for the newly born stars, they too will eventually consume all their energy and die.
This analysis confirms that the universe had a definite beginning.

But Thermodynamics is not the only branch of science to provide evidence in support of a beginning to the universe, for recent discoveries in space and cosmology also confirm that the universe had a definite beginning called the Big Bang. This was first confirmed by the discovery of the background radiation in 1965 by two American astronomers, then later by COBE (Cosmic background explorer satellite) that proved beyond any doubt the theory of the Big Bang.
The Big Bang theory states that sometime in the past, currently estimated to be 13.7 billion years ago, all the matter in the universe originated from an extremely dense concentration of matter and space that exploded outwards giving birth to all the galaxies and other heavenly bodies that comprise the universe as we know it today.

The theory of the Big Bang was given its final seal of approval through the discovery that the universe is expanding. This necessarily means that if we were to go back in time the universe would be contracting until it would reach a point from which it all started, and that takes us back to the Big Bang.

Now if we accept that the universe had a definite beginning, the next step would be to debate whether that beginning was caused deliberately by an intelligent power or happened by mere chance.

Second Debate: Was the universe created or is it merely an act of chance?

Reference is made to the first law of Thermodynamics (conservation of matter) which states that, 'Matter cannot be created nor destroyed'. This law dictates that all that we are able to do is convert one form of substance to another. We can never create matter from nothing, and similarly we cannot turn matter into nothing. Trees are brought down to make wood and paper, sand is used in the making of glass, and so on, but we can never create wood or glass out of vacuum. Similarly, we cannot make wood or glass completely cease to exist in one form or another, for even if we burn wood, we are only converting it to ashes and gases that are given off in the process.

We have also shown that all matter had a definite beginning or a moment in time when it came into existence, the moment when the universe was created. By joining these seemingly contradicting statements together:

1- The universe had a definite beginning, thus it was created.

2- Laws of physics state that matter cannot be created!

There can be only one case whereby both of the above statements can be in harmony and with no apparent contradiction between them. This is the case whereby we accept that the universe was created by a power that is above and independent of the laws of physics as we know them. A power superior enough to be able to create when the laws of physics state that matter cannot be created. Because this power is independent of the physical universe and all its laws, we can say that this power cannot be of a physical essence. It follows that all the normal rules that apply to our universe and all matter in it would not apply to this power. That goes without saying because it is this power that created the laws of physics in the first place. In essence, this power would not necessarily have to have a beginning as such when the concept of 'a beginning' is one that belongs to physical matter. In his "Theory of relativity", Einstein stated that time, space and matter were all created when the universe was born, and that before that moment 'time' did not exist. It is not easy for the human mind to envisage the concept of 'no time', but if one accepts that time is only a dimension of the physical world the idea becomes more acceptable. It can also be said that since the universe had a definite beginning before which nothing existed, then such an awesome event (the creation of the universe) cannot be attributed to chance, since before that initial moment of creation nothing existed, not even chance.

What can be derived from the above is that a superior non-physical power was responsible for creating and maintaining this universe. The following are selected arguments that all testify to the same conclusion.

a- The Mechanical argument

The 'Third law of Motion' by Isaac Newton states:
"For every action there is a reaction, equal to it and opposite in direction."
Everything that has moved was moved by something else. If we go back in time, tracing everything to its original mover, we would ultimately arrive at that which was not moved by anything else. This analysis will ultimately lead us to the unavoidable conclusion of an initial Creator.

b- Entropy and Disorder

Everything of order left unattended gradually moves to disorder. Consider the example of a house that is locked and left unattended. In a few weeks it will become full of dust. If it is still left unattended, in 10 or 20 years the paint will start falling off the walls. After two or three hundred years, some of the walls will start to weaken and crack. If the house is still left unattended for a thousand years or so, the whole house will be flat to the ground. In other words, if left unattended, any organized structure will eventually move to disorder. Never will chaos suddenly spring into a system. A house will never spring into existence of its own doing.

The second law of Thermodynamics is related to Entropy which is the measure of disorder, and it states that nature tends towards maximum entropy for any isolated system with the passage of time.

If we analyze what has actually happened on Earth we realize that it was quite remarkable. When the Earth was first formed it was a very hostile hot planet with no form of life whatsoever. Gradually simple forms of life evolved leading all the time to more complex forms of living creatures and culminating in the appearance of mankind. The law of Thermodynamics has actually been reversed, instead of things crumbling they have in fact developed all the time to higher forms of existence. Chaos has developed into a system. The scientific theories we know and take for truth state that this could not happen without the earth being attended all the time?

In the following diagram, the 2nd law of Thermodynamics (entropy) tells us that the right box of molecules happened before the left.

c- DNA Coding

The laws of probability offer another interesting argument:
If we throw one dice, the chance of obtaining any one number (say number 6) of the 6 numbers on the dice is 1 in 6. If we throw two dice, the chance of obtaining double 6's is 1 in 36. In this case, the odds are worked out by multiplying the odds: 1/6 x 1/6 = 1/36.
What this means is that on average if we throw the dice 36 times, the chances of obtaining double 6 is one time. Equally, if we throw the dice 360 times, the chances of getting double 6's are 10 times and so on.

What about if we throw the dice 36,000 times and we obtain double 6's every single throw? Can we call this coincidental? When we had 2 dice, the odds of obtaining double 6's was 1/36 (multiplying 1/6 by 1/6). To work out the odds of obtaining double 6's 36,000 times in a row, we would have to multiply 1/6 by itself 36,000 times! Such odds would be so infinitely small that it would for all purposes be almost zero. If such a sequence of double 6's happens it can never be described as coincidental, but that some force is causing these 36,000 double 6's to happen.

When we speak about probability we have a glaring challenge to the laws of probabilities in DNA coding.
Inside the nucleus of every human cell there are chromosomes which are microscopically small. Within the chromosomes is an even smaller structure called DNA. The DNA is a very small particle which stores coded hereditary information. DNA can be regarded as a computer program on a floppy disk. It stores and transfers encoded information and instructions. It is said that the DNA of a human stores enough information codes to fill 500,000 pages of very small, closely-printed text. The DNA code produces a product far more sophisticated than that of any computer. This enormous set of instructions fits with ease within a single cell and routinely directs the formation of entire adult humans.
The information is so compactly stored that the amount of DNA necessary to code all the people living on our planet would fit into a space no larger than an Aspirin pill!
This kind of code, which stores all the information of a human being could not have come into being by pure, undirected chemistry. No matter how chemicals are mixed, they do not create DNA spirals or any intelligent code whatsoever. The DNA is indeed an intelligent design.

Upon reflecting on the intelligent design of the DNA, two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by mere chance. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000 power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000 power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it!
(Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London, W1M 8LX, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31).

To put this number in perspective, note that the odds of winning the lottery, by means of selecting 6 winning numbers out of a possible 59, is 1 in 45 million, that is 45 followed by only 6 zeros. The odds of the DNA being coincidental is one in 10 followed by 40,000 zeros!

Famed researcher Sir Fred Hoyle said that supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing that "a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein."

Many, if not most, origin-of-life researchers now agree with Hoyle: Life could not have originated by chance or by any known natural processes. Many evolutionists are nevertheless coming up with all sorts of feeble scenarios in their attempt to negate the odds. They may search and try, but their efforts are doomed to failure, since they fail to understand that nothing will undergo any evolving unless it is first created!

Like a computer disk, DNA itself has no intelligence. The complex, purposeful codes of this "master program" could have only originated outside itself. In the case of a computer program, the original codes were put there by an intelligent being, a programmer. Likewise, for DNA, it can also be said that intelligence must have come first, before the existence of DNA. A master programmer must have also designed the very intricate odds-challenging DNA code.

One need only to look carefully at any living creature to gain some concept of their enormous complexity. If you have a pet, consider the complexities that must be involved -- enabling that "package of matter" to move about, play, remember, show signs of affection, eat, and reproduce!
If that is not enough to boggle your mind, imagine being given the task of constructing a similar living pet from carbon, calcium, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. -- the animal's basic constituent parts. It is relevant to remember that the early universe, after the Big Bang, was a theatre of matter, space and time. These forces in themselves contain no intelligence, no guiding force, no purpose, and no goal. Even the physical laws which immediately came into work could not have just happened by mere chance but must have been set by an intelligent designer.

d- The complexity of the human brain

All living things are extremely complex, even the tiniest single-celled animals and bacteria. However, none surpasses the overall complexity of the human being. Not only is each person constructed of trillions of molecules and cells, but the human brain alone is filled with billions of cells forming trillions of trillions of connections. The design of the human brain is truly awesome and beyond our understanding. Every cubic inch of the human brain contains at least 100 million nerve cells interconnected by 10 thousand miles of fibers. The design of the human brain surpasses anything we know. For every design there is indeed a Designer.

It has been said that man's 3 pound brain is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the entire universe! Far more complicated than any computer, the human brain is capable of storing and creatively manipulating seemingly infinite amounts of information. Its capabilities and potential stagger the imagination. Unlike the hard disc of a computer, the human brain has no limited capacity, no matter how much we have stored, it is always possible to add more information to the human brain. In addition, the more we use it, the better it becomes. The design of the human brain is beyond our wildest understanding, even though it sits in our own heads! For every design there is indeed a Designer.
The brain capabilities of even the smallest insects are mind-boggling. The tiny speck of a brain found in a little ant, butterfly or bee enable them not only to see, smell, taste and move, but even to fly with great precision. Butterflies routinely navigate enormous distances. Bees and ants carry on complex social organizations, building projects, and communications. These miniature brains put our computers and avionics to shame, in comparison. For every design there is indeed a Designer.
The marvels of the bodies of both animals and man are evidently endless. Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith made this thought-provoking and humbling statement:
"When one considers that the entire chemical information to construct a man, elephant, frog or an orchid was compressed into two minuscule reproductive cells (sperm and egg nuclei), one can only be astounded. In addition to this, all the information is available on the genes to repair the body (not only to construct it) when it is injured. If one were to request an engineer to accomplish this feat of information miniaturization, one would be considered fit for the psychiatric clinic."

When any person looks at any machine, say a computer, a TV set, how many are likely to deny that the machine reflects the existence of it's creator? Yet many will deny the fact that the intelligent craftsman was himself created by a more intelligent craftsman!
Just as it would be foolish to suggest that time and chance could make a typewriter or a computer without the interference of an intelligent designer, it would be even more foolish to claim that life, which is far, far more complex than any man-made machine, could have sprung into existence by mere un-intelligent coincidence!
Planet Earth is filled with myriad forms of life, each with enormous levels of complexity. Materialists believe life in all its amazing forms consist merely of atoms and molecules. They believe that somehow these atoms and molecules formed themselves into millions of intricate animals and plants. This view was born out of an earlier, more naive period in science when the extreme complexity of living systems was not yet understood; but what is the excuse today with all the knowledge available?

Today, unbiased scientists are convinced that life could never have come into being without some form of highly intelligent and powerful designer.

e- The Macro/Micro patterns

If we look at the universe at large we find that it is composed of vast areas of empty space and also other areas containing shapeless matter in the form of hot gases, and also dark matter, and also already formed stars and other bodies. These stars group together to form galaxies. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains no less than 100 billion individual stars. Our star, the sun, has a number of planets in orbit around it. Many of these planets have a number of moons again in orbit. The basic force that governs the movement of all these bodies is gravity. The moons rotate around their planets, which all rotate around the mother star, which in our case is the sun. Similarly, all stars rotate round the centre of gravity of the galaxy.
Galaxies group together to form clusters of galaxies, and once again individual galaxies rotate round the centre of gravity of the cluster. Clusters group together to form super clusters, and these obey the same laws. Super clusters are the largest units in the universe as we know it today.
When we proceed in the opposite direction, the sub-atomic particles, we notice that the similarity is truly remarkable. When we look into the atom, which is the smallest form of substance able to exist in a chemical reaction, we find that it is also composed of a central region, the nucleus, with various sub-atomic particles in continuous movement around it. The design of a central region with movement around it, which is identical to the movement of the largest bodies in the universe, allows us to witness the fingerprints of one and the same Designer.
The above arguments were only a selection among many other scientific arguments that cover almost every field of science. God's signs in His creation are all around us.
It was indeed amusing when the first man in space, the Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin, said when he was high in orbit around the earth:
"Where is God? I do not see him!"
It seems ironic though that he met his death in a helicopter accident, still in the air, where he could not find his maker! No doubt he found Him now!
If we accept that the creation of the universe must have been the work of a supreme intelligent power, we are faced with another puzzle and that is: How many gods are there? Is God one, or could there be more than one god?

Third Debate
: If a "god" exists, how many "gods" are there?

The words 'absolute' and 'relative' are quite straight forward in what they mean. Anything relative is that which can be compared to or related to other things. Whenever we describe that object we are always describing it in relation to other things. On the other hand, an absolute is that which is self-existent, independent and conceivable without relation to other things.

If we return to our example of the room and the oven we can say that the oven was hotter than the room but that does not mean that the oven is hot in an absolute sense, for if we were to place the same oven inside an active volcano it would seem very cool in comparison. An athlete is a very fast runner compared to road pedestrians but is indeed very slow compared to a motor car, and so on. It becomes clear that anything we see in life is relative because there will always be something that is cooler, bigger, older than it.

If we go back to our Big Bang theory we realize that what brought it about must have been a power that is above and independent of all the laws of physics that govern the universe. When scientists study the evolution of the universe they trace it back to the moment of creation or the Big Bang. When they reach that moment of the Big Bang they find that all the laws of physics cease to exist. Another way of looking at the same event is to state that, in a forward direction, the Big Bang was the moment when all the laws of physics have actually began to be! In actual fact, the laws of physics do not cease to exist at the Big Bang, at that point they had not existed yet.

We have also noted that the force that brought about the Big Bang, and in effect the creation of the universe, could not have been related to this universe in any physical sense. The force that created the universe is clearly the cause and not the effect of the universe. Since this supreme power is the cause then it must have been existent prior to and independent of the universe. If the force pre-dates the universe, then nothing in the universe can be related or compared to that supreme power, and if nothing can be compared or related to that power, then by definition that power is 'absolute'.
The absolute God then means that nothing is akin to Him, but if we were to consider the possibility of the existence of more than one god, immediately the question will arise as to: which god came first, which god is more powerful and so on, and that would ultimately reduce these gods to being relative because comparisons will arise. If God is Absolute, then by definition, He must be One and Un-Comparable.

Part Three : Truth and Revelation

Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), one of the greatest Catholic theologians of the middle ages, made a clear distinction between truth which could be deducted by reason (for example, the existence of God and the moral law) and truth which must be given by revelation (for example, the way to salvation). (Historical Selections in the Philosophy of Religion, ed. Ninian Smart, page 62).

Essentially, if God is One, then any revelation received from the One God must contain the same one truth. Do we conclude that there must be one revelation? The answer to this is that truth and revelation are not absolutely equivalent terms. Because 'truth is an absolute term, it is situated independent of form, whereas revelations are related to time, people and a place, and thus require a form. But to speak of form is to speak of diversity and thus plurality.

Mankind has gone through enormous changes through the ages physically, mentally and spiritually, thus there was always the need for various revelations at different times and for different peoples. Because of these diversities God never addresses identical revelations to two different people. This being so, it can be said that the diverse revelations do not, and should not contradict one another, for although they differ in form, the truth in all of them is one. In fact, they supplement one another, one revelation preparing for what is to follow, each revelation being one further chapter in the same book. The Book as a whole advocates one message and one truth.

If there appears any apparent contradictions between different revelations, they are in human receptacles and not in the divine message. This is manifested in either the human inability to interpret such revelations, or more importantly, the failure to preserve the truth contained in the revelation, which always tends to be altered and corrupted with the passing of time.

God, when He speaks, expresses Himself in an absolute mode, but this absoluteness relates to the universal content rather than to the form. Revelation speaks in an absolute language because God is Absolute and not because the form is. In other words, the absoluteness of the revelation is absolute in itself, but relative regarding its form.

The language of the Scripture is divine but at the same time it is necessarily the language of men. It is made for men and could be divine only in an indirect manner. Is our language or indeed our understanding adequate to attain the divine purpose? Because the answer tends to be more negative than positive, the need for various revelations in parallel with human progress across the ages was always necessary.

It is one thing to believe in the One God, but to be certain that any one revelation is genuine and not merely the product of human fabrication is a totally different issue. A close look at the three divine revelations, the Torah, the Injeel and the Quran, suggests that their deliverers were genuine prophets and that they were inspired by a divine power for the following reasons:

According to historical records, the founders of these religions were men of slender means. They had no notable claim to social status or power and had no material aspirations. Yet in due course they were successful in bringing about everlasting changes to the history and civilization of the world. Their followers rose from a mere handful to millions among millions. This can only suggest that they were sustained and supported by a great power.

The founders of these religions have all been men highly honoured and regarded for their integrity and the purity of their lives even by those who later, on the announcement of their claims, became their enemies. It is not conceivable that those who did not lie about men should suddenly lie about God.

The founders of these religions were not known to be learned men or scholars in the arts and cultures of their times, yet, what each of them taught turned out to be something in advance of its time. By adopting their teachings, the recipient people attained greater heights in civilization and culture and retained the glory for many centuries. Only a genuine religious teacher makes this possible. It is inconceivable that a person who is void of ordinary accomplishments, and as soon as he begins to lie about God, should come to have such tremendous powers that his teaching dominates all other teachings current to his time.

What each of these founders taught was contrary to all contemporary trends. If their teachings had been in line with the tendencies of their times, it could have been said that these teachers only gave expression to those tendencies. This suggests that these teachers were not a product of their times but were genuine reformers and prophets as they rightly claimed to be.

At the time of Moses, how novel must have seemed his teachings about a single God? When Jesus in his time confronted a materialism born of the worldliness of the Jews and of the influence of
Rome, how peculiar would his stress on spiritual purity must have seemed? How out of place must have been his message of forgiveness to a people who trembled under the tyranny of Roman soldiers, groaning all the time for legitimate vengeance? And when the oneness of God was preached by Muhammad, how inappropriate that must have sounded to the Meccan leaders for whom the many gods of the Kaaba were both their life and their revenue? How unsettling to the structure of the tribal life were his call which proclaimed the slave to be equal to his master in a society which regarded slavery as a social privilege.

The fifth common attribute between these prophets was the element of miracles. These miracles common to all three revelations, and which will be analysed later, stands as further evidence in support of the authenticity of each of them.

Revelation vs application

If we accept the validity of these revelations and try to compare them from the outside, as might a scholar, contradictions might appear, but we do find that God keeps Himself, so to speak, at the centre of each revelation.
The three divine revelations, Torah, Injeel and the Quran, as well as all the Scriptures revealed by God are all monotheistic. All the original Scriptures advocated the One God.

If the truth contained in these revelations is one why does there seem to be so many disputes between the followers of these faiths? If we were to hold a debate between a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim and discuss basic issues we would find a great deal of similarities, yet we would also find many sharp disputes in areas of vital importance. However, and when we examine the Scriptures, we realise that many of these disputes are unfounded. It becomes clear that although some of these Scriptures have been altered, with whole parts removed and whole new parts added, still in their present form, there is substantial evidence to indicate the singularity of their source. The truth contained in each of them is one and the same. In reality, revelation and application are two different terms. The truth embodied in the revelation is absolute but the application and practice of that faith depends on the human interpretation of that revelation. For that, it is not surprising to find that the application of the same faith changes, not only among people of the same faith, but also with time.