A system engineer’s view
God exists. For one having trained and practiced systems engineering, the only hypothesis that makes sense for this extraordinarily complex physical world, is that for its creation, there must be an extraordinary engineer — Our God. The natural world is an exquisite and complex system. That its creator must certainly be God. It is our job to extend His creation.
Also and more importantly God gave all men Free Will. Because Man was given Free Will, we can choose. Do evil or do good.
In this essay, I argue how the sophisticated physical world we live in is proof of God’s existence and more importantly, suggest that our purpose, why we are here, is to extend God’s creation using our gift of Free Will.
“Blessed is He Who spoke, and the world came into being, blessed is He.”
As someone educated in and who has practiced engineering as a career, I am in awe of God’s exquisite, intricately beautiful design, craftsmanship and the imbedded, sophisticated synergy of the natural world.
The absolute, primary requisite for all life is the existence of the two complementary life forms — oxygen breathing animals and their reciprocal, carbon dioxide breathing plants. Without both, life on earth is not sustainable.!
All living systems have machine-like functionality and complex interoperability. Everything must work together for life to be viable.!
But initial designs must be improved or upgraded to adapt to changing conditions. That is Evolution. Creation and Evolution are both common in the practice of engineering. They are both present in God’s design strategy as well. They are not alternatives, rather they are one continuous process.
Evolution sustains and extends Creation. Evolution is the recurring system process that empowers post-design responses to changing conditions, a survival and adaption process.
For example, Evolution is the outcome of a process that was in the original system design, namely procreation. Two individual parent systems are required to combine, to procreate. The fittest offspring systems survive new environments better than less-fit systems.
But the importance: The question is not how or what, but why.!
God gave mankind Empowerment and Responsibility. God gave Man Free Will.
And so, evil is possible.!
God’s initial, His production model of humankind was shown to be defective. His first attempt at repair was to empower Noach and then the Great Flood. But this did not repair.
God’s solution was to add a new component, a Paragon, the Jewish People and our Torah (an Operating Manual, our Instruction Guide). This was God’s adaption of a technique we engineers use to resolve design defects. Add robustness to our initial design.
God’s revised, redemptive plan for humanity was His people, for us to carry His vision through history. The Torah becomes the story of His people, struggling to rise above human na¬ture and become “a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.”
“… The Heavens are God’s, but the Earth He has given to Mankind.”
“The sixth day. Thus, the heavens and earth were finished and all their array. On the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. God blessed the seventh day and hallowed and it, because on it He abstained from all His work…”
What exactly do I mean?
“…for He has not made us like the nations of the lands and has not emplaced us like the families of earth; for He has not assigned our portion like theirs nor our lot like all their multitudes. But we bend our knees, bow and acknowledge our thanks before the King Who reigns over kings…”
On the seventh day God rested. His work was done. Our work was to begin. His intent was to make us His partners in the work of Creation. He did not intend for this job to be His alone. It is ours as well.
This creates a daily problem for me. Thanking God for satisfying our physical needs and providing us safety from harm. Living in the United States during World War Two, I was a happy, safe child and oblivious.
Why am I alive today and one million of my contemporaries dead?
God gave each of us the gift of Free Will.
Why do I matter?
What needs to be my response?
We can change the world!
The universal gift of Free Will to all men means God limits His ability to stop evil alone. In his tribute to the religious community, After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring published in 2015, Rabbi Joseph Polak writes “One million children were murdered in World War Two. Babies were thrown into crematoria alive. But God did not save them. But He could not have known!”
Human existence is a deeply serious matter for which we each of us are accountable.
There are many areas of life where God tells us exactly what we are to do. But there are also many where God doesn’t spell it out and we are expected to figure out on our own. In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, God tests Abraham and Abraham tests God.!
“It is we ourselves who must answer the questions that life asks of us, and to these questions we can respond only by be¬ing responsible for our existence… The real question is not what we want from life but what does life want from us.”
Life has requirements.
“Judaism believes that each person has a fixed place in Creation. If I find myself thrust in here and now, it is because God thinks that I can act here and now efficiently. God wills me to act right here and now.”
Traditions and values have been passed down for millennia. Traditions that we are given come not without challenges. We must both preserve and extend. Each of us should strive in some way to make this world a better place, even in small ways, than it was when we were born.
“As for the Heavens, the Heaven’s are God’s, but the Earth He has given to Mankind.”
Since the Heavens remain under God’s firm control, all celestial bodies are forced to act in accordance with His will, without freedom of choice. On Earth, however, Man was granted with freedom to determine his actions and beliefs. Earth is Man’s province. We are bidden to perfect it and transform its material nature into something spiritual. Indeed, we were created to make Earth heavenly.
God gives us an opportunity to help.
The Talmud teaches that the defining values of the Torah are summarized in one verse from the Book of Micah: “It has been told to you, Oh Man, what is good, and what God requires of you: only to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” . It teaches us to truly empathize and identify with the needs of others, their unique¬ness, and their sensitivities, the essence of compassion, the essence of justice.
To create the physical universe, God needed only Himself. To create a universe of Kedusha, He calls to us.
That is why we were created. To practice humaneness, decency, humility and Mitzvot. To live a meaningful life. To live in the light of God’s presence. To live in answer to His call. To engage in works of love and creativity. To bring new life into the world, to care and nurture during its years of vulnerability.
The natural world is an exquisite and complex system. Its creator must certainly be God. Nonetheless, the existence of anything, including God, must have a purpose. Otherwise, existence is merely the wonderful outcome of exquisite engineering. But existence, in of itself, it has no valid purpose.