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Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Human Genome Project. His most recent book is "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief."
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I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began searching for answers.I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer questions such as "What is the meaning of life?" "Why am I here?" "Why does mathematics work, anyway?" "If the universe had a beginning, who created it?" "Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?" "Why do humans have a moral sense?" "What happens after we die?"
I had always assumed that faith was based on purely emotional and irrational arguments, and was astounded to discover, initially in the writings of the Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis and subsequently from many other sources, that one could build a very strong case for the plausibility of the existence of God on purely rational grounds. My earlier atheist's assertion that "I know there is no God" emerged as the least defensible. As the British writer G.K. Chesterton famously remarked, "Atheism is the most daring of all dogmas, for it is the assertion of a universal negative."
But reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just read the notes on the page. Ultimately, a leap of faith is required.Well, bagi yang belum terbiasa dan ingin tahu lebih jauh dengan argumen rasional tentang eksistensi Tuhan bisa membaca, "Menalar Tuhan" karangan Franz-Magnis Suseno, SJ. Setidaknya ini yang ada dalam bahasa indonesia.
Mengenai hubungan antara iman dan akal budi dijelaskan dengan baik dalam Konsili Vatikan I (Session 3: 24 April 1870-Konstitusi Dogmatik mengenai Iman Katolik [sambungan] BAB IV IMAN DAN AKAL BUDI No. 4)
4. Now reason,
- does indeed
- when it seeks persistently, piously and soberly,
- by God's gift
- some understanding,
- and that most profitable,
- of the mysteries,
- whether by analogy from what it knows naturally,
- or from the connexion of these mysteries
- with one another and
- with the final end of humanity;
- is never rendered capable of penetrating these mysteries
- in the way in which it penetrates those truths which form its proper object.
- the divine mysteries,
- by their very nature,
- so far surpass the created understanding
- that, even when a revelation has been given and accepted by faith,
- they remain covered by the veil of that same faith and wrapped, as it were, in a certain obscurity,
- as long as in this mortal life we are away from the Lord,
- for we walk by faith, and not by sight
- it is the same God
- who reveals the mysteries and infuses faith, and
- who has endowed the human mind with the light of reason.