What is God?  |  Instinctive Belief  |  How Spiritism Supports a Rational Faith
God's Nature and Attributes  |  Supportive Reasoning on Qualities Attributed to God

Instinctive Belief  

The instinctive belief in a supreme force, a higher creator or governing power(s) has been with humanity throughout all of time. It can be witnessed in even the most primitive of cultures, which demonstrates, as the superior spirits tell Kardec, that such a belief can not be the result of education or the assimilation of cultural ideas.  Though the details regarding a specific nature have been described with great differences across various belief systems, the fact that such an instinctive notion has been found universally, among all groups and generations of people, is evidence of its basis in reality.

This instinctive belief is an extension, almost an unconscious recognition, of the axiom that there is no effect without a cause.  Having developed (through the evolution of humanity) our abilities to analyze and reason, we can find proof of God’s existence in the rational extension of that axiom as well.  It is here that we extend the very reasoning of that axiom to deduce that every intelligent effect must have an intelligent cause.   To recognize such intelligent effects, we need only to look around and observe the natural environment in which we live and are a part of.  In observing the physical complexity and perfection of all living and non-living things that make up our natural world, we appreciate how each piece has its purpose and fits harmoniously into the bigger puzzle.  When we recognize the harmonious and consistent workings of the laws of nature, our logic will tell us that all of this must be caused by an intelligent power, greater than all else. 

A simple example of the above reasoning is found in the story dictated by the Spirit Meimei (through the medium, Francisco Candido Xavier) in “Ideas and Illustrations”,  in which an old, illiterate Arab was asked by his rich master why he prayed every night with so much faith, and how he knew that God existed.  The old man explained that just as one recognizes the origin of a letter by the handwriting on the envelope, the origin of a jewel by the mark of the jeweler, or whether a camel or a dog has passed by from the tracks left on the ground, one can know the existence of God by his signs.   He pointed to the sky, where the moon shone, surrounded by a multitude of brilliant stars and explained that such stars could not be the work of men who could never have put them there, whereas they must be the work of God, and that that was how he knew that God existed.

During earlier times, among primitive cultures, the instinctive belief in God stemmed greatly from an inability to explain the workings of nature, whereby all that was inexplicable was attributed to a higher power or powers, greatly respected and often feared.  However, over time, man has discovered a great deal about his environment and has discovered many natural laws.  We have even learned how to reproduce many of the effects we find in nature.  The result of such discoveries is that they have lead many scientists to believe that in matter itself, they will find all the keys to unlocking, and in many cases reproducing, the secrets of the universe, which they believe will eventually be explicable without the inclusion of any spiritual or divine aspect.  However, turning again to our rational deductions, as mentioned above, we will recognize that even the greatest discoveries of modern science will all be the discoveries of effects, and not of the first cause, whereby such discoveries should only lead us to a greater admiration of the Intelligence of that first cause. 

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