A Lenten Thought for Today

A science professor begins his school year with a lectureto the students, 'Let me explain the problem science haswith religion.' The atheist professor of philosophypauses before his class and then asks one of his newstudents to stand...

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?''Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?''Absolutely.'

'Is God good?''Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?''Yes.'

'Are you good or evil?''The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' Heconsiders for a moment. 'Here's one for you.Let's say there's a sick person over here and youcan cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!''I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimedperson if you could. Most of us would if we could. But Goddoesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues.'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian whodied of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him.How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says.He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give thestudent time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?''Er...yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?'The student falters. 'From God'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tellme, son. Is there evil in this world?''Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did makeeverything, correct?'

'Yes.'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued,'If God created everything, then God created evil, sinceevil exists, and according to the principle that our worksdefine who we are, then God is evil.'Again, the student=2 0has no answer. 'Is there sickness?Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, dothey exist in this world?'

The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeatshis question. 'Who created them?' There is still noanswer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in frontof the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tellme,' he continues onto another student. 'Do youbelieve in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes,professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have fivesenses you use to identify and observe the world around you.Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him.'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus orsmelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perceptionof Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.''Yet you still believe in him?''Yes.'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable,demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn'texist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.''Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And thatis the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

At the back of the room another student stands quietly fora moment before asking a question of His own.'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?''Yes, son, there's cold too.''No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviouslyinterested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. Thestudent begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat,even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, whiteheat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't haveanything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degreesbelow zero, which is no heat, but we can't go anyfurther after that. There is no such thing as cold;otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458degrees.'

'Everybody or object is susceptible to study when ithas or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body ormatter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) isthe total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a wordwe use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold.

Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat isenergy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just theabsence of it.'

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in theclassroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thingas darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation.'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is notsomething; it is the absence of something. You can have lowlight, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but ifyou have no light constantly you have nothing and it'scalled darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we useto define the word.'

'In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you wouldbe able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front ofhim. This will be a good semester. 'So what point areyou making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophicalpremise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion mustalso be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise thistime. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' thestudent explains. 'You argue that there is life and thenthere's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewingthe concept of God as something finite, something we canmeasure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.'

'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen,much less fully understood either one. To view death as theopposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that deathcannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not theopposite of life, just the absence of it.'

'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your studentsthat they evolved from a monkey?'

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionaryprocess, young man, yes, of course I do.'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, ashe realizes where the argument is going. A very goodsemester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process ofevolution at work and cannot even prove that this process isan on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion,sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent untilthe commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to theother student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone inthe class who has ever seen the professor's brain?'The class breaks out into laughter.

‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard theprofessor's brain, felt the professor's brain,touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appearsto have done so. So, according to the established rules ofempirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says thatyou have no brain, with all due respect, sir.'

'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trustyour lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at thestudent, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact,faith exists with life,' the student continues.'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course,there is. We see it every day. It is in the daily example ofman's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crimeand violence everywhere in the world. These manifestationsare nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir,or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simplythe absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, aword that man has created to describe the absence of God.God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happenswhen man does not have God's love present in his heart.It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat orthe darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.


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