In high school a friend of mine gave me a challenge. He said that if we as humanity could ever achieve complete knowledge of the Universe, then that itself was definitive proof of the non-existence of God. My religious upbringing was notably upset by this statement, but even more I was upset by the fact that I could not bring myself to disagree with it. See, if we can ever reach a point of absolute knowledge, where no mysteries remain and every true statement about the world and how it interacts with itself were known, then indeed there would be no room whatsoever for surprises. In such a world there is no room for a God with free will. The God of such a world would himself be bound by the rules which we have already discovered. With complete knowledge comes complete power, and anything the universe is capable of performing, we would be capable of performing. God would not be our master. At best he would just be our equal, at worst our slave. Both of us would be capable of everything in the universe yet also restricted by it. Technically such a world does not exclude the existence of God, it merely excludes the existence of God’s supernatural interactions with it. In my mind such a God is not worthy of worship.

Sure there is still room for a different kind of God. The ‘clockmaker’ God who wrote the rules of the universe and set it into motion. Then he patiently watches as the universe, following his laws, goes through it’s motions until it eventually ends as it was programmed to do. In many ways this is the God of physics, as this is exactly how most of the ones I’ve talked to see the universe. Something set it in motion, but it’s interactions can be studied, mastered, and predicted. Most physicists won’t use the term ‘God’ when talking about first cause, but the role played is exactly the same. Some take it as faith that it happened and think no more of it and some try to justify it’s existence through the laws that they study. It has even been suggested that there was no first cause, the universe and it’s laws have just always existed. More interestingly it has been claimed that the question itself is beyond the realm of science and therefore beyond the realm of the human mind. This is the question that interests me, and relates back to the question of the existence of God. What are the limitations of the human mind? Is it really even possible to attain complete knowledge of the universe? What does complete knowledge actually mean?

The question that haunts me personally concerns the limitations of my own mind. In grade seven while my class was at a field trip watching a baseball game, I was busy reading a book called “Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension” (Michio Kaku). At the time I understood very little of what the book had to offer, but I was fascinated. The idea of dimensions beyond our own fascinated me, but not in the way that most fantasy fascinates young boys. No, what interested me more was the idea that there existed a place that my body could not enter, yet my mind could. It was different from the Tolkien’s land of Mordor in that we all know Mordor is not real. However, in some weird twisted sense to the jr. high boy at the time, higher dimensions were very real. Both Mordor and higher dimensions exist only in the human mind, yet one is real and the other is not. So how could I tell the difference, what makes some imagined quantities real, and others fake? This eventually leads to the ultimate question: What is reality?

Many extremely intelligent persons, whom I greatly admire, have attempted to tackle similar problems. I cannot even begin to summarize the endless volumes of literature that have been written on the subject, in fact is is arguable that everything that has ever been written, both fiction and non-fiction, are relevant to the discussion. However, nothing I have read so far has been enough to satisfy me. See, I receive information about the universe through my senses, and that information is interpreted by my mind. So it seems to me that if I am ever to know anything about the universe, I must first understand myself. I refuse to make the same mistake that Descartes made by assuming that my mind is characteristic of the entire human intellect. Indeed, even as I write this I am very aware of my peers who have made it extremely clear that what I see as clear and distinctly true is not seen by them. I was raised and given as an axiom that God exists, yet I know of many who see this as absurd and preposterous. They hold as an axiom that he does not. Both sides are easily justifiable, just usually not in a language that the other can understand. Arguments between the two groups usually degenerate into shouting matches, where both sides are fundamentally incapable of understanding the arguments of the other. The greatest gift I have ever been given, and in my mind the single difference between the wise man and the fool, is that instead of looking at both the atheist and the religious and bashing them for their errors (of which I am aware that I am still guilty of), see the shred of truth that both of them hold at their core. To throw myself openly into either side, would require me to suspend disbelief about the legitimate questions raised on both sides of the argument. Therefore, my intentions for this work are not to prove the existence of God, if I ever do so stop reading immediately. I wish to merely cast doubt on the certainty of the eventual achievement of the human mind. However, to do so will also require me to toss aside much of the dogma that surrounds the religious myth, placing me in the uncomfortable position of disagreeing with both sides.

If intellectual certainty is an achievable goal then yes the God I worship does not exist. However, if it is not true and there exists even one question relevant to the inner workings of the universe that the human mind is fundamentally incapable of answering, even in the distant future, then both sides are equally plausible and equally likely. At that point not even the strongest atheist can criticize me for believing in what they clearly see as foolishness. I assure you, it is a pleasant delusional, which no other human mind can refute. However, at this time what other minds choose to believe is clearly none of my business.