Religious beliefs polarize many humans. Some will say there is no scientific evidence that God exists, therefore there is no God. Others say the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; therefore we must have faith that God exists to give meaning to our existence. The following story illustrates how a person’s theory determines what is observed and how what is observed is interpreted according to the person’s theory.
The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”
“God created everything? The professor asked. “Yes sir”, the student replied.
The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil”. The student became quiet before such an answer.
Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”
“Of course,” replied the professor.
The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”
“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?”
The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”
The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?” The professor responded, “Of course it does.” The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the
absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wave lengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”
Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?” Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are 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 simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exists just as light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”
The young student’s name purportedly was— Albert Einstein. Einstein, himself, neither confirmed nor denied he was the student.