The Cosmological, Teleological, and Ontological arguments for the existence of God have all undergone intense scrutiny and debate to the effect that opinion is split as to whether we can rationally demonstrate the existence of a Supreme Being or First and Proximate Cause of Creation. While we lack consensus as to whether the logical proofs of God’s existence effectively demonstrate said existence, it cannot be denied that the overwhelming majority nonetheless believe, in fact, that He, or some Higher Power, Being, or Cause exists. Regardless of how one arrives at the belief that God does exist, this truth provides a fundamental starting point from which many other beliefs can develop. In future Pages of this Blog, I will explain and expound upon some of the rational truths at which I have arrived based on my unshakable belief in God’s existence. Some of these truths were approached through reason alone; others through Christian faith supplemented by reason in an attempt to more fully understand.
We should not expect more proof than the subject matter allows and at a point we must admit that despite its power and effectiveness when contemplating the material world of Creation, our reason alone is incapable of delivering us to unequivocal certainty concerning the existence of God. The above mentioned arguments, particularly the Cosmological and to a lesser extent the Teleological, certainly give us grounds to suppose that it is far more likely than not God exists based on the rational proofs stated. The preponderance of evidence undoubtedly tips the scales in favor of belief and theism versus non-belief and atheism. Add to the debate the irrational and subjective (not here used in a derogatory sense) topics of Mysticism, personal spiritual experience, and the pragmatic effects of prayer, and even more justification for belief in God’s existence follows.
Much could be devoted to establishing the existence of God – both rationally and through faith. While the question once fascinated me, it has become relatively uninteresting compared to my further exploration of subsequent truths and beliefs from which it springs. That God exists is rather matter-of-fact to me now. I’d rather spend time contemplating other issues relevant to the philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian truth and faith. However, the question of God’s existence need be addressed in this Blog, even as cursorily as it will be, because assenting to belief in Him establishes the cornerstone of all further beliefs. Personally speaking, the Cosmological argument has not and will not likely in the future be refuted sufficiently to result in my questioning belief in its effectiveness as a logical proof for God’s existence. But that sentiment is not necessarily shared by all who address the matter, despite doing so in an open minded and objective way. Such is the lot in which we find ourselves when approaching the matter from a purely logical perspective.
Setting aside Mysticism, spiritual experience, and prayer and continuing to grapple with the question from a purely logical standpoint, a choice need be made. The options are threefold: 1.) A leap of faith to believe, 2.) non-belief, and 3.) Agnosticism. How to decide? When making a choice, the practicality and usefulness of the ends that follow must be considered. As with any rational choice, motive and outcomes are of paramount importance. The question then arises as to which option most empowers us and adds meaning to life. Non-belief and Agnosticism thus prove unworthy of our consideration. The former shackles us to a life of non-meaning, purposelessness, insignificance, and hopelessness; the latter to a life of indifference. From both starting points we find no foundation to deduce principles or virtues with which to order our lives and guide action. Unable to admit the existence of God, there emerges a disconnect between the reason for our actions and the actions themselves. To no higher standard with which to subject our actions, all action becomes arbitrary.
What then of a leap of faith to believe? Having arrived at the cause of Creation, i.e. God, meaning, purpose, significance, and hope emerge; and indifference melts away. Here we stand upon a foundation to deduce further truths with which to order our lives and guide action. Assenting to belief in God, connection is made between the reason for our actions and the actions themselves. Subjecting our actions to the higher standard of God, all action in specific and life in general becomes meaningful.
To this it can be argued that the non-believer and agnostic find practicality and usefulness in subjecting their actions to the good of society or humanity as a whole. But this merely begs the question of how practical and useful is their approach. Do they find more empowerment and meaning in fulfilling their duty and responsibility to their fellow man than the believer does to God? Undoubtedly, both camps are capable of carrying out the same actions as the other, although for different reasons. But the solidity of the foundations upon which they reason could not be more different – the non-believer’s and agnostic’s finite, changing, limited, and imperfect custom, practice, habit, or law contrasted with the believer’s infinite, unchanging, unlimited, and perfect Truth. The former are resigned to attempting to find a meaning in life based on man as the measure of all things whereas the latter enjoy life’s meaning in and through God.
And what of the relationship to the differing standards of man and God? The non-believer and agnostic can hope for no meaningful spiritual relationship with society and humanity to the extent that the believer may with God. But here it also evident that the believer possesses not only what the non-believer and agnostic lack, but also that which they have – relationships with their fellow man nonetheless. This relationship, however, proves more profound than the flimsy one weakly adhered to through man as the measure of all things. Rather, as cohorts in the material world of Creation, man’s relationship with other individuals, society, and humanity as a whole delves deeper and becomes more meaningful when set against the backdrop of God as Creator through Whom we forge relationships based on the higher standard of God to Whom we are accountable to in our striving towards as an end of those relationships an.
These considerations make clear the choice to be made with respect to belief. Argument for argument’s sake is never productive. Would philosophers and theologians admit to the burden of proof which should be applied to such matters as God’s existence, more may be discerned concerning the empowering, meaningful, practical, and useful conclusions which can be drawn with respect to what follows from that premise. With that said, moving forward from the foundation of belief in God, the next Pages will address my theory of truth from which some practical and useful information can be gleaned to identify and fulfill our purpose in life.