Believing impossible thingsMay 21st, 2008 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Spirituality
The Vatican recognized aliens last week, or recognized the possibility of their existence. Father Jose Gabriel Funes is reported by Reuters as saying,
There could be (other beings) who remained in full friendship with their creator,
God is the creator. There is a sense to creation. We are not children of an accident . . .
As an astronomer, I continue to believe that God is the creator of the universe and that we are not the product of something casual but children of a good father who has a project of love in mind for us.
Matthew Engel writing in the Financial Times believes Funes’ arguments to be contradictory, one cannot retain faith in a “creator” and at the same time accommodate the findings of 21st Century astronomy.
Either we are just the teeniest particle of an infinite universe whose size is entirely beyond human comprehension, so much so that it is conceivable that someone like you is reading another article like this is in a pink-coloured newspaper in some other galaxy at precisely this moment.
Or we are all the creations of a mysterious superbeing who, from the start, had everything entirely mapped out and is looking after every detail of our lives, even when we are just reading a newspaper article.
Ex officio, the Vatican astronomer has to ask us to believe both at the same time. That combination really is too much for the brain to cope with.
Engel is right. It is too much for the human brain. Faith puts us at times into an Alice in Wonderland world
“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
But is that not the point of faith? If the brain could fathom everything, what place would there be for faith?