I was asked to write an essay on this topic as part of a written test
in a job interview. This article is what I wrote. If you are curious,
rest assured that I did not get the job. Some days later, I called
them and asked for my answer sheet. They obliged me with a photocopy.
Well, let me take Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's route by asking for
a definition for "God." Classical definitions of God have limited His
sphere of influence (no pun intended) to the planet Earth. The problem
is, what about the rest of the universe? Do our gods or THE God have
devotees in other parts of the universe? And, hold on a second! Even
the good old universe has a limit.
Do those regions that lie beyond this limit also have "God"? Is it
the same syndicate? Or, are there other syndicates? If so, what sort
of relationship do they have among themselves?
Let's come back to terra firma for a moment. Have the gods of the
earth proved themselves to be immortal? Most haven't. The ones that
escape this test are nowhere in sight. They have been absent for so
long! Should we take this as a sign there is no "God"?
Recall the story of Saint Ramakrishna Parahamsa trying to answer
this paradox by slapping the questioner and asking him to "show" the
pain. When the poor guy replied that pain was "a feeling,"
Ramakrishna surmised that "God" was also "a feeling" that needs to
be felt. Now, that begs the question why so much salesman-speak has
been wasted on insisting the "human nature" of "God."
In conclusion, the question about "God" leads us to more questions;
not answers. But it has been observed that belief in a god brings a
great deal of peace to the mind of the believer. Most people are
only happy to place the burden of their worries on a "God." With a
lot less on their shoulders, they are in better shape to face the
world. God is like a lifeline for them. So long as this seems to
work for them, we should have the decency to leave them alone.
Yes, scientists have set a limit for the Universe. According to the
Big Bang theory, the Universe is supposed to expand and contract over
time. The Universe is at about 78 billion light years wide. (One light
year is equal to 9.4 billion kilometres.)