G-O-D. This three letter word is fraught with more opinions, misconceptions, arguments, wars — frankly, more of virtually anything — than any other word in our vocabulary. There are passionate believers and passionate non-believers. There are those ready to die — and kill others — in the name of God, and those ready to fight with almost equal zeal in the name of no God (there was even an atheist who declared “I hate you God as if you had existed”). And the rest of the world rests on the spectrum somewhere between the extreme radical believers and radical atheists. We have moderate atheists, moderate agnostics, radical agnostics, moderate believers and any other category you can think of. Where do you stand? What is most intriguing — astonishing, actually — is that people have all these positions despite the fact that we haven’t determined whether we can even agree on the very definition of God (or G-d as some spell it out of sanctity)! And if we don’t share the same definition of G-d, how can we disagree about G-d’s existence? As so poignantly captured by R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev’s words to a self-proclaimed atheist: “The god you don’t believe in I also don’t believe in.” Maybe time has come to first define what we mean by G-d before agreeing or disagreeing about His existence. We may find that we agree and disagree about a lot more than we think.
In this candid — and “irreverent” — discussion about the existence of G-d, Rabbi Simon Jacobson will pose and address the ultimate quandary: Can a creature even talk about its Creator? Can a system relate to that which is beyond the system? Can logic and reason speak of a force that created logic and reason in the first place? A god deduced by a mathematical equation would be nothing more than that: a result of mans’ calculations, based, no less, on a logic created by G-d! What type of god is that, and who would you even want a god that is a product of human logic and empirical proof? Can the part of a whole speak of — let alone dictate and prove — the whole? And if so, how can we even speak about G-d in any meaningful way? Can we prove or disprove G-d’s existence? (Karl Popper famously stated that a scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable. The statement “G-d exists” is not a scientific hypothesis because it is not susceptible to disproof). Obviously, if there was absolute proof one way or another there would be no argument. And then of course, we find people of faith behaving antithetical to their beliefs, and people of no faith acting nobly and ethically. So what does that say about their respective belief or non-belief in G-d? Did G-d perhaps create an agnostic universe? And finally: Is it fair to say that G-d exists without first defining what we mean with the word “exist”? Does G-d exist like we exist? Is it possible that the atheists may be closer to the truth than the believer when they say that G-d does not exist as in “not existing” in the way we humans define existence?
Please join Rabbi Jacobson in this fascinating class and discover an entirely new way to look at G-d — and yourself.