I’m just going to cut to the chase. At the most basic level it appears that the God question is very closely intertwined with the question of origins. Human and otherwise. Every culture under the sun has sought to lay the groundwork in this regard. Why? It is because humanity as a whole is deeply curious about the world. We are profoundly curious about how this all works and what role we should be playing in the process?
Tied within many perspectives of worship is a kind of awe toward the powers of nature as well as an innate fear and reverence for what is not known. Prior to a scientific perspective of the cosmos every culture has looked up and drawn peculiar patterns and religious imagery from the night sky. To this very day we still have a propensity to read into rare natural events such as the super blood moon that was caused by a recent lunar eclipse. I sat outside for a little over an hour just enjoying the rare sight that it was.
We hunger for meaning but as knowledge has increased throughout the world so has the actual price of what kind of explanations we cite as being true and most in line with reality. Though I am no expert in Astrophysics, Biology, or Quantum Theory I can no longer deny the overwhelming influence that science has within my world. Almost any modern convenience that we can think of is the result of scientific advancements that have occurred in a relatively short period of time. Though I don’t necessarily want to paint all religion as being anti-scientific I think that one of two follies is often committed by our trusted Theologians and religious thinkers. The implications of science are either underapplied and sometimes rejected outright, or the implications of science are potentially over applied and read into the past.
I think it is pretty clear how science is often underapplied. There’s a certain Creation Museum in Kentucky that serves as a prime example of this kind of denial. No need to delve any further in my opinion. A more recent folly that perhaps has been a little under the radar is the tendency for religious Philosophy to count all truth as being God’s truth. This is where religion often enthusiastically embraces science and then misapplies its implications into Theology itself. In example: The teaching that a God or gods are immaterial and utterly hidden within the natural universe is more likely an implication that has been read into religion as a result of what science has uncovered from the molecular to the cosmic levels.
What I mean is that though many religions teach that gods are invisible this need not be equated with the modern notion of complete immateriality or undetectability. In fact, if it is taught that gods are ever present and have a spirit-nature that is able to commune with humanity on some level then this right here would seem to bring complete and utter undetectability into question. Also, a spirit-nature implies some kind of essence, does it not? Where does such essence stem from and how is it that all matter and energy as we know it is intimately connected with a God or gods that have a spiritual-essence or nature? I suspect that this immunity that Theology has given to the gods is very likely an attempt to stay relevant with what is actually known about the world and our universe.
Many believers will say, but wait, my God is immaterial by necessity. If this being could be detected in some scientific fashion then it kind of contradicts one of the premises within a Cosmological argument for origins. To that I must posit a challenge. Search your Bible or holy book and tell me if you are able to clearly gather a teaching of immateriality from the text itself? Again, I’m differentiating this from a basic assertion that a God is invisible. To be invisible to the human eye does not necessitate the modern idea of complete immateriality. After all, if we are to take such a view of God’s basic essence to its ultimate conclusion is it not almost a diminishing type of principle? A regression that occurs with every new discovery? What I mean is that this idea of immateriality ignores, dare I say even contradicts what is known within the universe about every other invisible process that has been unveiled. Things that are otherwise invisible in our world and our universe end up showing up and actually contribute even more powerfully to our understanding! Magnetic fields were once invisible to the naked eye. As were atoms, protons, and electrons, actually they still are but we have detected such things via other means! Distant galaxies that have died out and yet still emit light were once not even known to us. The list goes on.
There comes a time when we must admit where the probability is more likely leaning. Since science is able to accurately transcend what can be known by the naked eye then it really ought to bring people to question whether it is realistic to assert that an unverified supernatural realm reigns supreme over other such clear discoveries? If this is the case then is it any wonder that the world religions are so varied and contradictory within their basic frameworks? Religion as a whole is claiming that a God or set of gods are choosing to remain undetected for unknown reasons! How convenient such an answer becomes in the face of the knowledge that we possess in the present. This regression of God and supernatural realms may very well break down entirely as knowledge continues to advance. It will bear out and display its own irrelevance with everything else that is clearly understood as fact.
You may even notice in the picture above that immateriality ironically is sometimes understood as a kind of irrelevance in the world. Food for thought!