Archive for the tag 'apologetics'

Monday Morning Greetings #24 – An Original Argument for the Existence of God

June 13th, 2016

I am fascinated by apologetics, the discipline of defending the existence of God through reason. I have listened to and read the best apologetics from William Lane Craig to Alvin Plantinga, and I have studied their arguments carefully. I even devised a public seminar called “Can God Be Blue?: A Study of Kṛṣṇa” based on apologetics, even including arguments for God being a person and that person is Kṛṣṇa.
 
During that time I coined what I thought was an original argument for the existence of God.  I call the argument “The Argument by Coincidence.”
 
Basically, I argue that if one carefully studies his own life he will find a synchronicity between certain events, or “meaningful coincidences” as Carl Jung defined it, whose probability of occurrence was so small that it was far more likely that the cause of those events rests beyond any random occurrence under the laws of nature. What makes those events even more improbable is the link between those external events and our inner life, as if those events were personally directed towards helping us grow. An example from the life of Jung’s practice illustrates this phenomenon:
 

A classic illustration of synchronicity presented by Jung involved one of his patients, a woman with a highly developed rational mind— a fact that made her psychoanalytic treatment difficult.  One day she was telling Jung about a dream she had had in which she received a golden scarab, a beetle with significance in Egyptian mythology.  Just at that moment, Jung reported, he heard a noise “like a gentle tapping” on his window.  When he opened the window, a scarab-like beetle flew in.  Jung caught the beetle and presented it to his patient saying, “Here’s your scarab.”  The stunning impact of this synchronicity overwhelmed the defenses of her rational mind and led to a breakthrough in her treatment.*

 
Here is a similar example from my own life:
 
I met the devotees in 1970 while visiting California during the summer break after my second year in college. While visiting Los Angeles my friend received an invitation card from the devotees chanting on Hollywood Boulevard for a Sunday Feast at their new temple on Watseka Avenue. Four of us went and very much enjoyed the feast and chanting. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we decided to chant non-stop on our drive the next day up Highway 1 to visit San Francisco. In San Francisco, we specifically wanted to eat at one famous Chinese restaurant. When we finished, to our surprise, we saw the devotees chanting on the street right outside of the restaurant. I immediately joined in as I was already familiar with the chanting from our visit to the temple the Sunday before. When the chanting ended we proceeded to find a place to stay by calling the various references and leads we had collected in our travels to the west coast. The only person that was even the least bit accommodating was a young man who offered that we could sleep in our car in the parking lot to Kezar Stadium on the southeastern side of Golden Gate Park, smack in the middle of the city, and use the bathroom in his apartment across the street. When we drove into the empty, open parking lot, which we discovered was really only used on Sundays for the football game, we noticed that the back of the stores on Frederick Street faced us about twenty yards away. And as we looked up we saw through the back window billowing smoke and robes. It was the Hare Kṛṣṇa’s working in their kitchen! I turned to my friend and said “Holy cow, everyone in this city into this! We called out “Hare Kṛṣṇa!” Two devotees (Gaura Hari and Babhruvahan) leaned out the window at the beckoning four travellers and exclaimed “Ah! Kṛṣṇa’s brought us four! Have some prasādam!” We were offered a tray of sumptuous peanuts, raisins, and chickpeas, which we woofed down with gusto. We stayed in that lot for the last two weeks of our summer break; We visited the temple daily and met many wonderful devotees such as Jayananda, Madhuvisa and Locan das, to name a few. The rest was history. We all became devotees.
 
Of course, not everyone in the city was into this. That was the lone Hare Kṛṣṇa temple in a city. I am not sure that what happened is exactly called synchronicity, but this series of mutual coincidences – how I went to temple, met the devotees outside the restaurant, and was granted a place to stay outside the only Hare Kṛṣṇa temple in a city of millions, and then dedicated myself to that same path – is certainly a coincidence, the probability of which happening is small enough to at least stretch the concept of godless randomness as the foundation of those synchronized events. If this was perhaps the only coincidence of my life, I could pawn it off as chance, but when I look at my life and see how the world has repeatedly moved to teach me needed lessons geared directly at the most subtle impurities in my heart, the sheer probability of such synchronicity is implausible.
 
It could be argued that I am just seeing into to my apparent destiny things that don’t exist, that synchronicity is just in my mind. Besides the fact that synchronicity is an observance that happens just too often in the lives of too many people to be disregarded as chance, the fact that there is a moral force or destiny in every persons life beyond randomness that is called “the law of karma” that can be proven by the science of astrology, makes providence undeniable. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss this is in detail, but I am puzzled as to why no one has applied the scientific method to the study of astrology to prove that there is a destiny set at birth. It seems that it can easily be done.
 
In summary, the argument of coincidence states that the preponderance of the occurrence of mutual coincidences in people’s lives and the fact of destiny are so far beyond the explanation of chance that the only plausible explanation for them is God.
 
* I found the excerpt in a magazine article about synchronicity that I was unable to locate before the deadline this morning to get this out. When I find it I will update the reference.

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