The existence of a Supreme Being is both unknown and unknowable
3rd Place - Student Essay Competition
by Leah Wuensch - Princeton Junction, NJ
Since the dawn of humanity, mankind has struggled to make sense of the world in which he finds himself. Throughout our journey, the "unknown" has been a constant companion. From the mystery of the basic elements- fire, lightning, the tides- at the beginning of existence to today's mysteries of quantum physics and death, we have invented reasons to account for these phenomena. Some of these reasons, based on observation, experiments, and the ability to reproduce said phenomena at will and under control, have been "proven". Other reasons, offered without any of the above support, have not. The existence of a Supreme Being is thus unproven, and can not under such circumstances be proven.
The use of the term Supreme implies a Being that is beyond ordinary beings such as ourselves. Therefore, such a Being must be able to do things that we cannot. However, what currently falls into this category? Have there been incidences of things that fall outside the natural laws that we have come to understand? Rain of toads? A ball falling upward when dropped? No, there have not. At the moment, there is no evidence to point to the existence of a Being with the power to do anything more than a human with reasonable access to technology can.
But what about the future? Could there at some point be such an occurrence of something mankind doesn't understand? How could there, when such a thing has already happened? In the past, there have been many occurrences that were not understood by man at the time. For man at the time, such occurrences could easily be taken as proof of the existence of a Supreme Being. But from the point of view of a twentieth-century man, such phenomena can be explained, because mankind has expanded its knowledge. It therefore follows that any "supernatural" event is only beyond our capability at the moment. With hard work and ingenuity, such an event could be reproduced- and, therefore, it is not the work of a Supreme, and therefore Superior, being.
There have been no events in history that cannot be explained by modern man, and there can be no events in the future that will not be able to be explained by man even farther in the future. There is no event that is completely beyond mankind's scope. Therefore, the "Supreme Being", as a being that is completely beyond mankind, does not exist.