Atoms, Empty Space and Opinion

N. Dakota Sunset - Alex Fleming 2

I am a follower of Christ, and a believer in truth. Not that I have a monopoly on truth. Truth is truth, I like to say. Facets of it are available to everyone at all times.

Truth might be overrated. I say that only partially tongue in cheek.  Jesus says He is the way, the truth and the life, so truth is only part of the equation – even for Jesus.

This is also a truth: there is nothing new under the sun. To “prove” that statement, I offer Democritus, who lived centuries before Christ and millennia before “modern” scientific discoveries.

He might have been a typical modernist, eschewing any reality but matter and energy, but for the fact that he was born in another era, and he believed in gods.

Iron age ignorance is what moderns call it now. That fits into the opinion part, between atoms and empty space.

I think we take comfort, or try to, in the vastness of time and space. It leaves a lot of room to stretch out. We don’t like being hemmed in. Me included.

But, there is this nagging small voice. That voice is easy to dismiss but not so easy to erase, unless we become practiced at it. Then we become desensitized to it. Conscience seared.

It is not just a moral voice, though it feels that way. It is the voice of the Creator of the universe – like radiation afterglow. He is always there, but He does not overpower. He has created us in His image. We have been given not only the ability to know and understand but to have choice.

That choice is sacred. It sets us apart from the other creatures in the universe. It is God’s image in us.

Were we to come face to face with God in this mortal suit we would tremble and cower. Not because God is some cosmic ogre, but because God is so much greater than we. Greater than we could possibly imagine. Greater than the universe that we can hardly fathom. And not nearly so tame.

It is remarkable that a 5th Century BC thinker conceived of atoms without even a microscope. But space is not really empty, as he supposed, though opinions often are.

We see the world through our own perspective, small as it is. Ironic that God speaks to us in a small voice. We tend to drown His voice out with our own.


Thank you Molly for inspiring me with your inspirational quotations from Democritus.

This piece is a decided departure from anything I have done before and was inspired by the article, How I found God and peace with my atheist brother: Peter Hithcens traces his journey back to Christianity. It’s worth a read, so I will leave it at that.

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