I'm curious if you consider your position in regards to reason to be one of faith? What I find interesting is that when it comes to the mental and cognitive realm, we somehow assume that human beings are without bounds. We cling to the idea that we are "fully rational" beings, and that, like mental Supermen, we can figure out anything. Why are we so readily willing to admit to our physical limitations but are unwilling to take our cognitive limitations into account?
Or, perhaps you do and you'd rather place your trust in your own cognitive abilities, rather than God. I can understand that impulse.
You have it completely backwards. It is precisely because we are not mental supermen that we need reasoning. Reasoning and epistemology are tools we use to help our fallible minds separate justified and unjustified beliefs. On the contrary, it is the person who advocates faith who assumes the ultimate reliability of their ability to separate truth and falsehood. Faith supposes that we can obtain the truth without all the bother of attempting to justify it.
what does that have to do with the existence or non-existence of God?
It has to do with whether faith is a virtue or not. That is, can you apply it universally, and if not, then what are its limits? If it only applies when it's faith in your original convictions, that doesn't seem very virtuous.
Who is it that believes truth can never be corrupted? Certainly we, as Orthodox Christians, believe we have the truth uncorrupted, but that does not mean it cannot be corrupted,
Well, like I said, I think it's important that everyone takes a step back and says "hang on, is what I believe really more plausible and better-founded than this other stuff?" To say that a book has survived with the uncorrupted truth when it's been demonstrably edited (sometimes heavily) from the original manuscripts, wasn't based on first-hand account to begin with, and was ultimately about a Messiah-type figure when many accounts of such figures existed at the time seems a stretch.
To say it was allowed to flourish because it was the truth is useless because conflicting claims like Islam were also allowed to flourish.
Now, this doesn't mean that God needs to operate the way I think he does, what it does mean though is that God has not created a universal barrier to being fooled. The demand to follow the truth necessitates not being fooled, and the demand of faith to constantly reinforce your existing convictions is in direct conflict with that.
Isn't that contrary to the idea of free will?
It's contrary to the demand to worship the one true God and follow his teachings when the teachings and descriptions of God can not be verified to be accurate.
If God existed, why would he exist in your image?
I don't think he would, but I'm not the one claiming to have an idea of what God is like, religions are. They claim he has certain traits, which frequently seem to be in conflict with reality or in conflict with their own teachings. All of them are suspiciously anthropomorphic and often (as in the case of faith) apparently self-serving. At stake isn't the nature of God as much as whether any religion's claims to know the nature of God are actually credible.
To say that every religion is clueless about God is to say quite a lot about God's existence though, since there isn't really anything outside of those religions that continues to point to the existence of a god.
You're responding to me as if I said the faith should never be questioned, but that is quite the opposite of what I wrote.
What would you describe faith as?
Striving to reconcile anything toward a fixed explanation seems to me to be refusing to question whether that original explanation is itself accurate.
And yet with the bomb of creation we are suddenly to believe that because we haven't found any evidence beyond the idea that it is reasonable that someone had to do it, that we must discard that notion?
It's not so much that it's false as that it has no explanatory value. You can only really say one of two things:
- Something would be different if it were true compared to if it were false. If this is the case, then that's a testable claim and we can work on it, but we have had no claims of that sort where natural explanations don't seem to be much more consistent.
- Nothing would be different if it were true compared to if it were false. If that's the case, then it doesn't actually explain anything. Like maybe a bug flew into my apartment and flew out and I never noticed it, that's fine, but it doesn't explain why my kitchen's a mess.
You speak about "modern Christianity" as if these arguments have never been brought about before. These arguments are the same old tired crap from ancient times down today. The only difference is today, the new atheists use science to "prove" their beliefs. Christians have never said anything different than they did before.
While Christians long maintained the ineffability of God, they also tried to get around
the problem of ineffability to make God provable through things like Via Affirmativa and Via Negativa (John Scotus Erigena, mid-9th century). A God that cannot be described is also a God that cannot be interpreted and understood, which is rather troublesome for theology. As I pointed out before through a good hunk of the Church's history theology very much incorporated reason into its attempts to prove God.
Second of all, the essence of God is precisely a transcendental definition, which has been used before. St. Dionysius the Aeropagite, a follower of St. Paul himself, taught that God was beyond infinite. Modern Christianity, perhaps Western Protestants would have you talk about God as infinite. But as early as the Apostles, the essence of God was understood to be beyond of what we can comprehend, which requires God condescending to us to help in belief in Him.
If this is a response to my use of the term "Transcendental Argument," you're mistaking that for transcendental qualities in general. The Transcendental Argument for God is a pretty contemporary construct and is essentially an attempt to take Kant's methodology behind his "Transcendental Idealism" and apply it to the Bible ("God cannot be proved, rather he is the standard OF proof"). It has nothing to do with transcendetal qualities.
If you are talking about transcendental/ineffable qualities however, see the above. God being transcendental or ineffable didn't stop theology from trying to prove His existence through reason and logic for a thousand years, in part because they included God's ineffable/transcendental nature into their logical proofs and explanations. One such theologian was St. Augustine of Hippo who used God's ineffable, transcendent timelessness as a way to get around the Problem of Evil.
I understand that you're very used to the idea that, as you put it, "I honestly think it's silly to rationalize and prove the existence of God on logic and arguments," but this is ignoring the vast context of historical theology and the developments thereof.
The use of "pink unicorn" simply paints a picture of a horse with wings and a horn, and the color pink, and then puts that outside the "bubble" of the cosmos. The use of "God" is a use where painting a picture is impossible, and where anthropomorphic concepts is inevitable as long as the acknowledgement of the transcendental character of the Godhead is understood. "Pink unicornness" is not a transcendental character, or an anthropomorphic understanding of the characteristics of God as He makes Himself known to us, but (deliberately or not deliberately) an offensive caricature (albeit an attempt) and a gross mis-understanding of God. (Unless of course, we can poetically compare God to the unicorn, with the horn of protection from our enemies, the wings of transcendance and of comforting love, and the horse of guidance to the path of eternal salvation).
Finally, multiverse: Where have you been the past couple of years? Dawkins even hailed the idea as the final nail on the coffin of theism via "The Grand Design." What you ridicule as a Star Trek idea has been put forward as the bulwark of atheistic proof.
Sounds kinda dogmatic there. You're misinterpreting the transcendental nature of the entities I'm referring to.
The use of "Invisible Pink Unicorn"
is a use where painting a picture is impossible, and where equinethropic
concepts are inevitable as long as the acknowledgement of the transcendental character of the Unicornness
The use of "Cthulu"
is a use where painting a picture is impossible, and where squidthropic
concepts are inevitable as long as the acknowledgement of the transcendental character of the Cthuloid nature
I mean even if God has a qualitative difference from the IPU/Cthulu/FSM... so what? How exactly
does this transcendent nature and ineffability of the concept of God make Agnosticism a proper stance to take? How does it make both atheism and theism equally justified? The overgod Ao of the Dungeons and Dragons "Forgotten Realms" setting is just as transcendental... doesn't make Ao any less fictional. The Q Continuum is just as transcendental. Doesn't make the Q any less fictional. The Lovecraftian "Far Realm" of D&D cosmology is just as transcendental. Doesn't make the Far Realm any less fictional.
Overall the point is that defining a thing so that it is uninvestigable doesn't make it any more rational. It is possible to do this with any
concept and write metaphysical barriers around it. It's not mocking God. Rather, it's pointing out the inherent arbitrariness of the methodology
by which God is insulated from inquiry yet still given serious consideration.