I’m not entirely sure how to write this, but I never run short of words when it comes to discussing a Supreme Being. My only hope is that I can contain my thoughts in a few short pages. Often I discover my own thoughts through writing, and I do not edit my thoughts as I write. I will write until I’m complete – and review once to ensure the fluidity of my ideas can be understood.
One of the things I’ve struggled with most when contemplating the existence or non-existence of a God is the fact that even defined in the sense of theism each religion has a separate view of what that “God” would look like. This makes debating such an existence to be a never-ending plague of difficulties. First we need to define what our view of a theistic God would be. The arguments by Anselm and Kant both seem to show that by defining God we are essentially setting limits on a being that is designed to have no [true set of] limits. By this definition I’d like to point out that setting a limitation like “Can God create a rock too heavy for himself to lift” is indeed not a limit as it is a theoretical paradox that cannot exist – perhaps by discovering the limits that cannot exist we can then ascertain the limits that do exist.
What would “God” look like? I’m using the definition of theism to represent an entity consisting of “one unit” that ultimately controls everything. The trouble with this definition of God is that many people who are surface level, or even literal thinkers view God as a specific object that can be considered tangible on some level or dimension; however, if God created the Universe and all that exists in it, then God itself must exist outside of existence. Once again, we enter the paradoxical world. Perhaps if we change that sentence around a bit I can clear it up. That is, God itself must BE outside of existence.
“Je pense, donc je suis”. We live inside of existence. Aside from the occasional “Matrix” moment, I can relate to Descartes “I think, therefore I am” statement. Defining God is not nearly as easy. It logically cannot be “I think there is a God, therefore there is”. Those who are colorblind view the world in different color than the rest of us, but that doesn’t make the sky brown.
Its stated in our text that ” …even the fool must admit that something than which nothing greater can be thoughts exists at least in his understanding”. From a psychological self-perspective, this thought that something so great that “nothing greater can exist” feels almost like an absence of thought. To hold tight to a definition in my own mind sets limitations; however, releasing those limitations to “view” my thought of what the possibility of God is like a brief moment where I have no awareness of self-existence and only an overwhelming sense of awe.
“But that is clearly impossible” (p4). I must have read the statement previous to this about 15 times trying to make sense if it before I discovered this sentence. It was a tremendous relief when I did, but it furthered my thinking . . . in my notes I wrote “Does God exist as a goldfish?” I had to think for a second what I meant by that as I didn’t clarify in my notes – but what I mean by it is what sort of tangibility does one equate the existence of God? If one supposes a tangible God than proof must exist in tangible fashion; however, if we suppose that God is not tangible than the proof is also not tangible… and thus continues the Great Philosophical Debate.
I’d also like to bring up the use of the Bible as a text to use as an aid to define and prove God. Logically, I do not see that using a text that has no proof of its own accord can count as proof of anything. I can read and quote Mother Goose all day long, but that doesn’t prove that the cow indeed jumped over the moon. Without proof or description to what “inspired by God” may mean, there is nothing to differentiate the biblical text as inspired by God versus my writing here. An ever present God would indeed be part of any work by myself, or by any other person.
I love that all of my random interests, from flying [planes] to physics, meta-physics, philosophy, quantum mechanics, logic and the law all are very much related [the flying being the least related]. Reading through page 6 in our text and discussing the “impossibility of an ontological proof” brings me consistently back to Schrodinger’s Cat. The cat is both alive and dead at the same time – but the viewing of the cat is what decides which the reality is. In our minds, both concepts can occur at the same time; however, in our 4th dimensional reality, only one can occur at a time. Every possibility exists, and it is the viewing of such possibility that makes it reality. Perhaps if we were given the gift of existing in dimensions outside our normal realm we could better perceive the cat in its living deceased state, and the same could be true in our viewing of a Being classified as omnipotent and omnipresent.
Limiting ourselves to the concept that God is a “being” limits our ability to accurately perceive God.