Saturday, July 11, 2009
Here's what I'm currently deliberating - the belief in evil (with which I agree) uncoupled from a belief in a, as you say, "beneficent supernatural god". We both may doubt the existence of god, but how then do we account for evil? If we say that evil is merely one man hurting another then we have agreed to a standard based on the importance of the individual. But where does that standard come from? Doesn't it assume that there is an individual to be honored and doesn't such belief in an individual importance mean that I believe in a thing, invisible to the eyes (call it consciousness, soul, nous, mind, whatever) which manifests through outer actions and the working of the human mind through writing and speech and art (as I am doing now)? Then - and here is the sticking point - how important is that individual nous; likened to a divinity? Not to use this observation to prove the existence of god b/c I don't know if such "proof" is either valid or necessary; but what if The God is a way not of viewing some magnificent power that dominates over us, but a way rather of viewing some odd phenomenon in us which is otherwise hard to justify or explain - namely, consciousness. Regardless of knowing that there is a god, our belief, or willed assent, that there is a god allows us better to make sense of this weirdness with which we are afflicted. Perhaps The god is rational thought itself - Logos; denial of which ruins the possibility of discussion. Perhaps The god is consciousness - nous; denial of which ruins the possibility of honoring the importance of the individual. And maybe the only way to give assent in order to engage in rational thought, discussion, honor is to acknowledge that The god is other than and greater than us.