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What If We Proved God?

VO: Noah Baum WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Millions of people believe in God, but no one has proved that one exists. Religion and Faith are cornerstones of modern society, shaping our daily choices and guiding us through our lives - from annual holidays like Easter and Christmas, to daily prayer routines and once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimages. But, what happens if religions didn't need faith because God was a scientific fact? What if science proved God's existence?
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What If the Existence of God Was Scientific Fact?


Depending on the culture or country, God assumes many shapes and embodies various ideologies. For centuries, humans have worshiped, researchers have studied, and atheists have dismissed the opinion of God... but, what if faith had nothing to do with it?

This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering the extraordinary question; What If the Existence of God Was Scientific Fact?

Science and religion might initially seem incompatible, but both fields are founded on finding apparent ‘truths’ concerning reality. The main difference between them is the methodology employed to determine fundamental statements. Science demands objectivity and verifiable facts, while religion places its emphasis on faith arising from scripture or dogma. Historically, there have been arguments for and against both.

Science deals with hypotheses and theories, which makes it an ever-changing field. In a matter of years, a school textbook can become dramatically out of date simply due to modern discoveries invalidating once-popular ideas. So, if science is constantly evolving, what constitutes a scientific fact? Well, it is a contestable term, but some principles are backed by such an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence, that they’re generally seen as beyond reproach. The theories aim to explain an ‘unexplained’ element of the world; the facts are objective observations.

While the sciences have steadily developed throughout history, people have always asked the ultimate question; “But, why?” It’s led philosophers to debate the existence of deities for thousands of years, to the point where classical theism argues that we, as humans, simply don’t have the required knowledge to define a transcendent God. If the two paths did converge, and we did have empirical proof of an omniscient being, then the world would be a very different place.

OK – God is real. And arguing against that is to consciously ignore observable facts. The first concern would still center on defining what exactly the now-confirmed God is. Countless religions exist with their own belief systems, though Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are arguably amongst the most pervasive current institutions with a deity. Many Hindus consider Brahman to be the Supreme Being who assumes many forms. Muslims believe in Allah, a transcendent entity responsible for creating the universe. And, Christians see God as a being who sent Jesus to save humans from their sins.

Significant variations exist between all three, but there are certain shared characteristics. For the sake of today’s question, God is supreme, monotheistic, omnipotent, and omnipresent. But, as centuries-old ideas are flung into disarray, people's primary (perhaps natural) concern would still be to determine whether the certified deity is, in fact, their God.

The global confusion would be unlike anything else ever experienced, with two main, feasible consequences. The first; all current religions would dissolve, to birth a new belief system idolizing the scientifically proven God. Theoretically uniting cultures, such an outcome could usher-in a new era of peace. Though, such an idealistic resolution would be a ‘best case scenario’.

The second – and perhaps more plausible – outcome involves religions weaving science's God into their pre-existing belief systems. The God becomes everyone's God, but disagreements between interpretations would still happen. Here, religions without a singular deity are likely to suffer worst. The meditative teachings of something like Buddhism could survive the change, but even they don’t leave much room for a factual God.

In such a universe, denying God means rejecting science, which puts atheism in quite a pickle, too. Would non-believers disappear overnight? Probably not, but they might now take the form of nonconformists rather than atheists. For a real-world comparison, despite the mountains of evidence showing the Earth to be round, not everyone accepts this as an undeniable truth. Facts aren’t always enough, and even a ‘proven God’ wouldn’t be accepted by everyone – especially if its existence isn’t regularly reaffirmed by science, as a reminder.

Researchers would also be far from done. Scientific facts are commonly used as bedrocks to form additional theories and ‘laws’. In the real world, again, it’s a fact that letting go of your phone prompts it to plummet to the ground, but Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation enables the speed and force of impact to be calculated. Then there’s Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, which tries to explain why the phone falls downwards rather than floating upwards or remaining suspended in midair.

And so, proving God proposes a whole new range of mysteries. Why does God exist? How does God impact other fundamental theories? Even if nothing appears to actually change, our entire understanding of the natural world would be challenged. As would our thoughts on the birth of the universe, and life itself. Scientists wouldn’t be satisfied with only confirming God’s existence, and would next seek to understand God’s will. Meanwhile, those who had previously had ‘faith’ in God would see that taken away from them, too. There’d be no need to ‘believe’ in something we know to be true. Both shifts could have a major impact.

For example; the afterlife. While exceptions do exist, most religions assume admission into "The Good Place" is in some way determined by a person's lifelong efforts. If this became scientific fact, it should create worldwide peace of mind. If the conditions to avoid “The Bad Place” were known, criminal behavior should theoretically decline since there’s no escaping judgment. However, accountability isn’t always a credible deterrent for crime, so, a completely safe Utopia is still dubious.

Human accountability is one thing, but the reverse also holds true; Godly responsibility. Things like earthquakes and tsunamis suddenly seem a lot more purposeful. Like the Old Testament's Great Flood, any catastrophic disasters would be seen as a clear message from God, rather than an act controlled by nature. By extension, areas subjected to fewer disasters could suddenly (and dangerously) claim a divine superiority over less fortunate places.

Natural events have often been attributed (by some) to some sort of divine plan, in the past. But, there’d now be a switch between believing everything happens for a reason, and knowing that it does. And that reason would be God. But, more than that, we’d need to determine if (and where) free will and God’s will differ. If a flood happens, would it 100% be God’s fault? Or, does part of the blame still lay with whoever was in charge of maintaining flood defenses? God's presence would place every incident under a microscope, possibly undermining humanity's basic ideas of justice and fairness.

Karl Marx famously described religion as “the opium of the people”, a quote often presented as a criticism of theology. And, while religion’s place in society would clearly change, its hold on the people probably wouldn’t. In fact, a confirmed God could have even greater sway over its ‘followers’, discouraging the masses from revolting via a belief that the Kingdom of God rewards suffering. Our mortal lives could be more widely seen as only ‘stepping stones’, because in this alternate reality where God and the afterlife are a given, who’d be willing to risk eternal damnation for a non-conformist 60 or 70 years on Earth?

Inevitably, though, feelings of fear, paranoia and contempt would brew. This would perhaps lead to the formation of a new form of atheism, populated by those who, for various reasons, would refuse to bow to any God, regardless of whether it had been proven. Over the course of history, various societies have worshiped physical beings as living deities – from the Egyptian pharaohs to pre-1945 Japanese Emperors. But, even then, not everyone fell in line. If God was fact, there’d still be those who defied it.

Nevertheless, the removal of God’s transcendence would still constitute massive change. The having of Faith is a vital part of most belief systems, but it has little place in science. By actualizing God, science would elevate humans to a similar level, potentially even superseding the “supreme being” before long. Knowledge is power, and there’d be no greater knowledge or power than this.

Finally, would people readily accept science's God as the endpoint of everything? The question of "Who created God?" (or “Who created the creator?”) has existed since the days of Aristotle. The argument says that a cause and effect chain can’t be infinite, so something must exist that causes but was not affected. If you accept the idea, then that ‘something’ is God. Modern science kicks against this train of thought, as there’s nothing to suggest a chain can’t be unlimited. But, if science suddenly found in favor of God, then the endpoint theory might also be confirmed. Whether or not it’d afford our lives with any more or less meaning, is another question entirely. But, that’s what would happen if the existence of God was scientific fact.
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