Saturday, August 20, 2005

Precious Comprehension

I am not a devout Catholic but neither am I an atheist. One could say I am an agnostic, believing in a higher power but not acknowledging it to be God, Jehovah, Allah or any god other religions worship.
I have always held on the belief that the more intellectual and critical a person is, the more questions the person asks. The person will not be satisfied with a given explanation just because it exists since time immemorial. The person will not settle in peace until either the dogmas are proven right…or wrong.
I am such person.
I have had a long theological discussion with one of my critical, as well as very religious, block mates. He is a pious Catholic who worships Him in his own way. I asked him why he believes in God. He said that it has been taught that he exists ages and ages hence even before Jesus Christ, through the popes, now to the ordained priests. He said the Bible is the word of God, the basis of proof of His existence.
But if God exists, who said so?
It’s a circular argument, one that does not prove anything.
Therefore, belief in God is blind faith; a trust in everything He stands for. But once again, that doesn’t prove anything.
There are three famous arguments that seek to validate the existence of God. The first is the ontological argument, as expounded by St. Anselm and Rene Descartes. It says that it cannot be denied that the concept of God exists in the human mind. Therefore, God exists. A classmate of mine said that through this argument, atheism is invalid if atheists themselves have the idea of God to not believe in and recognize.
Of course, there is a counter- argument as proposed by the philosopher Immanuel Kant. The basis of the argument, he says, is that it lies in its claim that God’s existence is a predicate. A predicate is the part of a sentence that describes the subject or what the subject is doing. If one says that Lizette is stupid and Lizette is writing, then, one tells you two things about Lizette: that she is stupid and she writes. But to tell you the Lizette exists doesn’t add anything to the body of information about her, simply that she exists, period.
Same goes with the argument about the statement “God exists” if we have a notion of Him.
The cosmological argument says that if there is something rather than nothing, there is a creator. He is recognized to be God. It implies that there is a creator, God or not God.
In my researches, though, I have yet to find a counter-argument.
The last major argument is called the ‘argument from design’. It notes that there is a certain degree of order and perfection in the world that it must have been designed for a purpose. Enter the concept of the ‘divine craftsman’.
However, David Hume raised four arguments against it.
First, that inferring an effect from a cause is to infer only what is particular to the effect. Noting that there is order and perfection in the world does not prove that its ultimate cause is God.
Second, that the universe is unique. Having no other example to compare it by, it cannot be inferred that anything like God created it.
Third, if God designed the universe, then who designed God? Who designed, then, the designer of God? And so on so forth.
Fourth, there is much disorder as order in the universe, so to seek an explanation for order only explains a part of the universe and not as a whole.

Tita Marlyn and Betch says that God is beyond comprehension. If all of us settle for that, what else will be beyond comprehension? The truth?

This is our report in SocSci, but my specific topic is atheism. I am exhausting myself thinking about it, but I don’t mind. I have to know. All I’m after is precious comprehension.


Anonymous sarj said...

I am much like you in this case - I believe in a higher power but don't consider it as a "god" in the sense that it should be worshipped and all. But I consider myself as an existentialist in questioning these things, rather than an agnostic. :)

I do agree that the entity itself of God is incomprehensible - after all, how can we understand something inconcrete, and subjective to belief at that? There are many versions of God, while for some there is none. In trying to comprehend God we're not dealing with the entity, but the concept of one.

6:54 AM  

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