Arguments for and against God are valid and can be sound. You have to ask if the argument you side with is because of something about the argument, or because it is entirely something about you. If it’s all about you, then be gracious in honoring the dignity in the “something about others” as they see things differently, yet none the less, just as rationally sound as you and your own hunch.

This is agnosticism, ignosticism, theism, atheism, and apatheism in a nutshell:

A rational outlook would be to say a being that transcends reality cannot be known, since all we can know is reality, our frame of reference and what all our thoughts are contingent on.

Another would be to say that the question of the existence of such a being is incoherent, given the above, and no god-talk can be about God and in trying to signify God, it is literal nonsense.

Another would be to say that yes, much of the above in both cases is true. But since all thoughts are contingent to reality, the idea of God is natural and then valid; no one invented the idea. Given that numinous experiences do exist, this undergirds the relevance of the idea and its truth. Also, though we have no concept of God aside from experience and though what we say about God doesn’t go for God, it is not nonsense because of relevance. Since our self concepts are based on contact with reality, it makes sense to say experience is why we exist and why we exist in the kind of world we do. Who we are and where we are is exactly how any transcendent being would equip us to discover whatever was meant to be discovered about the divine. And in that case, the question of God is then a necessary one because of its effect on us, and implied since again, reality made the question necessary. It makes sense to say that we in some way, are like whatever “Big Other” there may be and, the better we understand ourselves, the more we will understand whatever purpose we’re here for. In other words, our experiences will be as full as they can be (which is God’s aim), and our concepts of the divine as complete as they can be, all through the necessary, evolving conceptions of God we create, all in response to revelation in the practical sense; our developing sense of self in response to circumstance.

Of course, it’s rational to say we start with brute facts of existing and the facts of existence and all other ideas we develop must be justified. Any claim of a supernatural realm or reality or being is unnecessary and so, are not justifiable because anything happening in reality is natural and can be explained in those terms alone. Any claim about deity is simply unjustifiable and then is discardable.

Then one may well look at the question of the existence of deity and rightly conclude that since all of these are rationally equivalent, and since we obviously adopt some view aside from these arguments in and of themselves, any answer is completely dubious. In such a case, there may or may not be a God, but because it is dubious, then a world where God exists and a world where God doesn’t exist are identical and the implication of there being a God has no bearing whatever; “nothing” and “God” literally manifest identically in reality. So, there’s nothing practical in saying “God exists” at all.

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3 thoughts on “Quoque

  1. Steven Hoyt says:

    actually, what manifests in a way we can experience is what “to exist” means. reality is then the set of things which manifest.

    it is not at all debated by either conservative theology or critical atheism that ALL ideas of the divine entail to a being that in some way exists aside from reality; hence, “transcends”.

    you may want to try reading theology, or basic philosophy some time.

    but even if we agree that “reality is all that exists”, then by definition, god does not exist since our reality is finite and temporal. you have conflated what we experience as all which can exist with the supernatural which by definition, is not the natural reality of ordinary experience.

    don’t confuse irrational with illogical, nor supernatural with natural, nor finite with infinite, or the reality we absolutely know (of which my comments apply to) with a “reality” you merely presume exists though you can’t rightly even know what you mean by “exist” because the point is, the supernatural does not “manifest in reality”; were it to, it would appear completely … natural, ordinary.

    see father herbert mccabe in god matters, or norm geisler in systematic theology volume i, or aj ayer in language, truth, and logic, or george smith in atheism: the case against god … because they agree on ALL premises, only differing in conclusion.

  2. “A rational outlook would be to say a being that transcends reality cannot be known, ”
    Since reality means all that exist, the phrase, “a being that transcends reality” is irrational.

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