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Faith Q&A: Does God Exist?

This is the second article in a series called Faith Q&A. Previous articles are always available online at

Does God exist? This is the primal faith question because every other faith question is predicated on its answer.

This article won’t answer that question for you. It can’t. You’re the only person who can answer the God question for you. My purpose for writing these articles is to inspire new thoughts while challenging old thoughts.

The famous author, H.G. Wells, once observed, “If there is no God, nothing matters. If there is a God, nothing else matters.”

Let’s start the conversation with “If there is no God, nothing matters.”

In John Lennon’s song Imagine, he dreams of a world without God, heaven, hell, countries, things to kill or die for, and religion. He imagines that a world without God and religion would be a world where humans could exist in blissful unity without greed or hunger.

Is that true? Could a world without God be better than a world with God? John Lennon and his dreamers believed it could be — and they invite us to join them so the world can live as one.

Before we decide to join the dreamers, it would be wise to review some human history. We humans have been walking the earth for quite some time, so we have plenty of anthropological evidence to consider.

History reveals that nearly every human society has recognized a spiritual realm, the existence of deities, and an afterlife. Even completely isolated cultures have left behind or preserved a record of their spiritual awareness and the deities they worshipped.

If there is no God, then why would that be? Why is the human race so naturally fascinated by the spiritual realm if it doesn’t exist? Why would we even care or ask about it?

C.S. Lewis observed, “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out it had no meaning. If there were no light in the universe, and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” The fact that we care enough to ask, wonder, search, and yearn reveals something important and instinctive about us humans.

Is it possible that somewhere deep within every human being is a soul that longs for a realm and a God it cannot touch or see? The history of human spirituality doesn’t prove the existence of God, but the fact that it exists so universally is certainly a compelling argument. With this in mind, Blaise Pascal observed that “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator.” He had more to say, but I’m going to save that for another article.

In some ways, Lennon was right. History is polluted with examples of tyrants, despots, and charlatans using religion as a way of gaining power by controlling the masses. When spirituality is hijacked by evil men, be they priests, pastors, presidents, kings, or terrorists, the consequences are horrendous. This is likely what caused the 16th-century French philosopher Voltaire to make this observation regarding the bigotry and cruelty he witnessed in religion, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

If God does not exist, and if there is no spiritual realm and no universal and guiding morality, and if human existence has no purpose beyond survival, then the only thing that truly matters is the healthy perpetuation of the human species. Charles Darwin called it the survival of the fittest.

Darwin’s cousin, a British scientist named Francis Galeton, coined the term eugenics as a method for advancing the human race through Darwin’s survival-fittest theory. The term eugenics is based on a Greek term meaning well-born. Galeton hoped to actively discourage the overbreeding of the “less fit” to preserve and advance what was best in the human race. The only way to discourage overbreeding of the unfit was forced sterilization — or extermination.

The concept of eugenics advanced significantly in the early 1900s. In 1907, the state of Indiana was the first in the U.S. to pass laws that allowed for the compulsory sterilization of people the state determined to be “unfit for reproduction.” More than 29 states followed suit. When morality is based on survival of the fittest, eugenics makes sense.

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote, “Positive steps should be taken to encourage the flourishing of the fitter.” The Third Reich’s mass extermination of people it determined to be not fit for reproduction included Jews, Slavic peoples, same-gender attracted peoples, and the physically and mentally weak and disabled.

Is it fair to say that the concept of survival of the fittest naturally leads to eugenics? Wouldn’t it be wise for humans to limit the ability of the “less fit” to reproduce? Wouldn’t doing so bring about a master race of healthy and highly intelligent humans? Hitler certainly came to that conclusion — and fully acted on it. Is that what a world without God is like?

I think H.G. Wells was wrong. It seems that in a world where God doesn’t exist, there is one thing that matters — your own survival — and everyone else be damned. Not exactly the outcome Lennon’s dreamers had in mind.

Thankfully, the eugenics movement disappeared from public view quickly after World War II due to its association with the Nazis and the Holocaust. However, it’s still out there, and if God doesn’t secure your inalienable rights, then someone may someday declare you unfit.

Would the world be better off without the guiding presence, purpose, and morality of God? I’ll let you be the judge — and we’ll pick up the conversation again next week with the second half of Well’s quote, “If God exists, nothing else matters.”