Christopher Hitchens, commentator, critic and author of God Is Not Great , recently wrote with regard to the cancer that has beset him: “To the dumb question, ‘Why me?’, the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, ‘Why not?’”


That sums up for me the arbitrary nature of our relationship with the universe. I said something similar in a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald some months ago, responding to those who could not accept the notion of the spontaneous creation of the universe, posited by Stephen Hawking among others.


In defence of the role of God, one letter writer asked: “Why is there a universe?” I said in reply:

“Why not? As your mother may have said when you pestered her with whys, ‘It just is, that’s all.’”


Mothers who said that were right - in a universal sense - even if they were merely being mothers.


Another Herald letter writer said spontaneous creation defied reason. Not really. You just have to get your head around the idea of nothingness. Then it’s quite easy. There was nothing, then the Universe created itself spontaneously.


But this is difficult for humans to grasp. The thinking machine in our heads is remarkable but it has limited ability since it has evolved within the parameters of natural selection. It leaves us wanting answers to everything.


The Universe is so amazing to our human brain that we created God to explain it.


But there doesn’t have to be an explanation. The Universe exists. That is all. What is, just is.


You don’t have to worry about sifting myth from reality, a thunderbolt from the sky or deciding which religion and/or God is the right one for you.


However, you will have to rely on yourself, relatives and friends when life is difficult but that’s better than waiting and hoping for help from a non-existent God.