Thursday, April 23, 2009

The God Box Paradox

Suppose I gave you a box. A simple cardboard box like a gift box without the wrapping and a simple cardboard top.

Then I told you, inside the box was all the proof you ever needed and all the information you ever wanted about God. There's just one catch: if you ever open the box, it'll be empty. So long as you keep the box closed, then it's full of the most amazing thing you could imagine, but if you open it, there'll be nothing.

Would you believe me? Could you believe me? If you believed me, could you keep from ever opening the box, just to make sure? Would you shake the box and weigh the box and put your ear next to it, hoping for some clue about what's inside?

If you believed me, how would it change your life to know you had this box with all the mysteries in the universe inside, but you could never open the box and see them.

That's what faith is like. You have a box, and you believe a bit of God is inside the box, but if you ever open it, if you ever try to prove to yourself there's something in the box, there will be nothing in it, but as long as you keep the lid on, it's the most amazing box possible.

It doesn't mean there's nothing in the box because you can't see it, it's that trying to see it will make you unable to see it, but if you accept that you can't see it, then you'll always know it's there.

That's why there are atheists. They opened the box and, just as I predicted, they found it empty. So now they say the box was always empty. Surprisingly, many atheists have no trouble understanding the paradox of Schrodinger's Cat, but they'll just laugh at my God Box paradox, even though it's the same idea.

Some people will say you can prove God's existence without opening the box, but they're wrong. Trying to prove God makes the box empty no matter what you do. The only way to keep the box full is by accepting you can never open it. So long as we know we can open the box any time we want to, but are willing to keep it closed, then we're able to keep God with us forever.

So, what about you? What would you do if I gave you a box?

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