There is a difference between why something is and how something works.
There is a difference between why and how that appears to escape many today and, I believe, is especially true with atheists or human secularists. I say this because I find that these people see no difference between why and how because how something happens is also why something happens. Or if that is not the case, then the why is just not important.
Wanting to understand the laws of physics is different than wanting to know why there are laws.
Sir Isaac Newton is considered one of the greatest scientific minds in history, and yet he was also a theologian. It must be that Newton understood the difference between why and how. I mean by this was he recognized the laws of physics and wanted to know how they worked. Understanding how they work was one part, but the other was why these laws exist. That seems to be lost on humanists; they simply don’t care because it is out of reach of scientific experiments. Yet, for many who desire to seek more than just the how, they have the capacity to look for a why. The philosopher wants to answer the equation of why + how = life!
Genesis chapter one is often read as answering the how of this world, and that view has led to many unprofitable dialogues. Genesis chapter one is really about the why. “Let there be light” doesn’t do anything to explain what light is and how it works; that is for science to figure out. However, it does answer why there is light. God divided the waters from above and below. Science knows why water evaporates and forms clouds which cause rain. Genesis doesn’t teach us how the hydrological system works, but it tells why there is one.
Are we only chemical robots?
One topic I want to address that applies here is emotions. Those who don’t believe in God will say love is a chemical reaction. That is because science can demonstrate this. I wonder how people can accept this as an adequate answer. The logical conclusion of that is that we are chemical robots being controlled by our environment. That is where the why becomes essential. The atheist’s why is the same as the how. For those who believe God gave us a conscience, the why takes on a whole new meaning compared to the how.
What puzzles me is the disconnect between those who say there is no need to ask why regarding religion or philosophy as compared to real life. Ask an atheist why the universe or they exist, and they answer there is no reason. Many who do not call themselves atheists may also feel this way.
Sooner or later you will ask why!
Life, however, makes us wonder why—a woman who can’t get pregnant wonders why. The doctors might tell how her body is failing somehow, but that doesn’t answer why. Why me and not someone else? That scenario can be seen when a person is born blind, told they have cancer, gets hit by a car, etc. Science can answer how it happened, but it can’t answer why it happened. We long to know these answers, but the biggest question is, why am I here in the first place? That question is avoided altogether.
Jesus answers why people don’t what to know about their existence. John 3:19; “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” The thought that we are not a be-all and end-all of our being is too hard for some to accept. To think that we must answer to a Creator gnaws at us.
Theism is a worldview not a religion.
I will argue that believing in a Creator is not religious, and I know that many, if most, will disagree with me. However, I think this is the result of the enlightenment revolution. Before that, a Creator was a common belief worldwide, but religions varied. Even today, people will claim they are not religious, but they believe in a Creator. I understand that religion involves God but religion also can include humans. Buddha was a man who is the center of religion, but we don’t claim that believing in a man is necessarily religious.
Since the why of creation has to be outside of creation itself, it falls into the discipline of philosophy. The why of all things is a philosophical question. Philosophy is not the enemy of science; instead, it goes where science can’t provide needed answers and hope. Asking why there is a creation and why am I here are philosophical questions, not necessarily religious questions. Those who hate religion want to make religion and a belief in a Creator the same. That is done to remove a Creator from our philosophy of how our society should work. Making the two the same has been a tactic used by secular humanists to dethrone God.
In America, our forefathers wanted a separation between church and state. From all their writings, we can see that that did not mean the separation of Creator and state. That is because of what I have been stating. The church or religion tells a man how he must worship his Creator and that they felt was for each person to decide for themselves; the government should not make that decision. However, that didn’t mean we were to operate outside the philosophy of why we are a people. Our historical documents and speeches constantly mention God is the reason America exists as a nation and why we should live in freedom. To Americans of the past, God was not religion.
In conclusion, I am trying to demonstrate that there are both why and how questions in life that are not answered by the same disciplines. I also wanted to show that answering the why question with a Creator is the same as answering there is no why, they are simply philosophical answers. We will operate our governments and lives based on these philosophies, and the outcome will be different. The other point is that religion responds to our philosophy and should not be convoluted with religion to remove God from our lives.