Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Answering the Non-Believer (Including Two Fascinating Videos)
Technology has contributed to our lives today in ways generations gone by could barely even dream of. Those in the "older" generation may well remember such brilliant encyclopaedias as the World Book and Britannica. These were the ultimate resource tool for any serious student of anything and everything about life. They were beautifully bound and contained information on just about anything anyone could ever imagine. Those purchasing these masterpieces would need to purchase the year book to keep up with the latest developments throughout the year, but if one had the patience to work through a few hundred extra pages of info, one could be brought up to date on just about anything! I guess that's where the expression concerning a smart person – "He/She is a walking encyclopaedia" came from.
In today's times, technology has moved so fast, that a set of even 100 of such books does little justice to the amount of change in the world today. Amazingly however, the Internet has allowed people to share with others around the world (in real time of course!) the progression of some astounding developments. It's fantastic to be able to see these things happening – on demand and immediately!
Two video clips had recently caught my attention – both actually quite old (one year and two years) but had to do with unbelievable developments in technology that allow those who have various physical disabilities to be able to have the additional luxury of those not lacking these disabilities.
The videos point to the advancement in science and technology, and one who watches them objectively can only but think how brilliant Man is to be able to develop such amazing tools. Think of this for a moment… A person who is paralysed is suddenly able to walk again with the aid of a machine. Sounds too good to be true. Think of the brilliance of inventing a device to allow a paraplegic person to actually walk again. He wears a "suit" of sorts which hold on to his legs and at the touch of a button is able to move his legs. He can't actually move the legs himself, but the machine does the work for him. One watches the video and thinks of just how brilliant science is. Okay, it costs some $20 000 to own one of these kits, but if one can afford it and is in such a position (Lo Aleinu) Man has invented something to help this person. Nobody wants to ever need it. But if one finds himself in such a position (Lo Aleinu) and has the means – one can turn around and truly thank science for the developments it has made!
But imagine something even more wondrous. Imagine a blind person being able to see again. The eyes may not work, so instead a whole new concept to seeing takes place. Imagine a person developing a system of sound that causes the listener to hear images?! Instead of being able to see with one's eyes, one can suddenly see with one's ears! How does one even begin to come up with such ideas?! But they are out there, and when one sees the progress of science one can really give tremendous respect for just how much it has advanced. After all, we were certainly once all monkeys many millions of years ago…
But for those who are able to take a few steps back and reconsider, perhaps such video footage can help us in another direction altogether. The direction whereby we stop *every single day* and acknowledge that actually those of us who are healthy (Baruch Hashem) actually have all this technology built into ourselves. We *can* actually see! We *can* actually hear! And we don't need to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the machine that gives us these comforts. How much would the person unable to see give (if he could afford it) if he knew the latest machine would indeed allow him to see?! How much would a paraplegic person give to own a machine (if it worked) that allowed him to walk again?! And how much do those with health truly give thanks (every single day) for having these inbuilt working "utilities?"
If we can imagine that instead of considering ourselves monkeys – that we are actually real human beings created by a Divine Creator, we can wake up every single morning and thank Him (immediately!) for the wonders which He has already implanted inside us!
Of course, the non-believer will always look to the wonders of science – and rightly so. To develop a machine to help a paraplegic person walk is incredible! To develop technology to allow a blind person to see through his hearing is another incredible miracle! But the believer cannot be fooled. He knows that he never had to pay a cent for his ultimate machine and that it's able to perform all these things for him every single day. He gets the best out of everything without having to praise science. Instead – he praises G-d. He acknowledges that science may be great… but G-d is greater. It is G-d who hides behind all of this, ultimately giving each of us the freedom of choice to decide. He tells each of us – you can be amazed at science and think that not just so long ago you were once a monkey and now look how far you've come – being able to even help a paraplegic person walk – or you can be amazed every single morning when you wake up, find you're able to move by yourself, see by yourself, hear by yourself and do everything else by yourself and turn only one direction – upwards! There, you realise that the most unbelievable machine – the human body – created by G-d Himself, is given – free of charge. Other than the ups and downs which happen with it, it works almost perfectly! Walking is steady, sight is beautiful, hearing – pleasant!
It amazes me to see the wonders of technology. Every day one is able to tune in somewhere to see an advancement of science somewhere in the world. One is not limited to learning on a once a year basis of new things just out. Rather one can keep up with technology every single day. And as one does so, one is able to see and consider just how amazing and brilliant Man is to be able to develop such wonders to help himself.
But there's something that amazes me more! With all this around us, there are still so many who while acknowledging the brilliance of man-made machines, cannot spend time each day – turning to the actual Creator of the entire world – and thank Him for the wonder of the human body, the wonder of sight, of hearing, of walking. Everything working just as it should.
So where exactly is G-d then and why can't He come up with His own YouTube videos to show us what His latest developments in cutting technology are all about?! When you wake in the morning, take a short visit to the mirror (if you don't usually.) Then take a good look at what you'll see. There's an amazing machine (on the private "YouTube") designed by the greatest Scientist of all. So long as we are treating it right – this machine continues to work splendidly! The eyes on it cost nothing to acquire. Neither did the ears, mouth, tongue or nose. Neither did the arms which work together with the hands with thousands of muscle movements in perfect precision (ask a heart, eye or brain surgeon to confirm that!)
And with such simplicity – G-d hides Himself behind this, taking no real credit for His work. Those who do not wish to believe He is there will always be truly amazed by science and what it has brought us. But those who believe turn to G-d in thanks every single day for their gifts that they have been granted. When they turn to science, it is only to confirm more of just how great G-d is in allowing us to further our own growth through even more progress. The believer is amazed that the body can work so perfectly – at no initial cost at all!
For the Jew, his first thought as he awakens is his thanking G-d for having woken up. Shortly afterwards he begins to feel his body and thanks G-d for its perfection. This is the beginning of a Jew's day. It is also the beginning of a Jew's life.
Isn't science amazing?! Isn't the Scientist amazing?!
Enjoy the videos!