Monday, June 2, 2014

Why I Don't Believe pt. I

Is God Reasonable?

I feel that though my blog has been an accurate journal of my thoughts and feelings revealing the man behind the doubt; I feel compelled to explain to my readers and more importantly, my future self, what it is that turned me away from faith in God, and not just how I feel.

The God of the theist, as he is known today, is a Being of absolute omnipotence. He is infinite and lacking nothing. He created and sustains all life and matter in the universe and beyond. He created everything for a purpose and protects and attends to all matter from the largest galaxy to the crawling worm. In him, we must place our trust and love. We must devote all the days of our lives in service to him, as he is our king.

Now, all religions have the their methods of service, laws, and practices. Each one -- claiming to know the Divine will -- has established complex systems that are to be studied and carried out by all it's adherents. I will not, at this point, delve into the many differences between the religions of today as I have neither time, interest, nor the necessary knowledge.

The question here is why I chose to abandon my faith in God in the first place.

I remember when I believed in God. I knew with absolute certainty that my God was the true God and all other gods were products of fabrications and mass delusion. However, after viewing the dedication of members of other faiths, I became perplexed as to how I was to know that my inner knowledge was, well, right.

Indeed, the Christian and Muslim would die for their faith as I would have died for mine, how then, was I to prove that my feelings were superior to theirs. As I declared that I was God's chosen, they too exclaimed the same.

In search of the answer, I did what any self-respecting believer has done at one point in his life; I ventured to see why -- using the method of reason and logic -- my faith trumped the others.

Of course this led me to the necessary follow-up question: "Even if I could prove that my religion was more logical than the other religions, how do I know that any of them are right? Perhaps God only communicated to special people in secret? Perhaps he is a sadistic god who thrives on cruelty? Perhaps he is a god who simply does not care? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps... Perhaps he doesn't exist at all? I remember being stricken with fear when this conclusion crossed my mind.

After much contemplation, I concluded quite obviously, that there simply was no objective truth. To quote the brilliant German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “There are many kinds of eyes. Even the sphinx has eyes - and consequently there are many kinds of 'truths,' and consequently there is no truth.” To be clear, there is of course, a Truth. Either there is or is not a God, a truth known only, unfortunately for us, to the deceased.

For the living, we must accept, that "truth" is only a hunch based on a varying number of factors, some better than others. My truth is not better than your truth, unless I can present my truth using an agreed upon method (ie. Reason) to be superior to your truth.

Reason is a guide for most people today. By it's laws we can manage, or attempt to manage, every aspect of our lives. We create civilized societies, discover secrets of the universe and converse with our fellow man all using Reason as a guiding force. Indeed, many scholars say that it is our supreme ability to reason that sets us apart from the animal kingdom. Our ability to reason has propelled mankind from the tribal evolved primates that once scurried around the planet to societies that have walked on the moon.

This, therefore, became my standard for accepting or rejecting God. Could the existence of God be proved using the method of reason? Certainly there have been many grand attempts, all of which, in my studies, have been debunked or at the very least replaced for other, more reasonable, theories.

God is an unfalsifiable claim. His very nature of Otherness requires us not to be able to perceive him! He is the wholly other. Absolutely incomprehensible. Thus, God is not to be found through the method of reason. How then am I to find him?

Through the miracles? Whose miracles? Which religion does not have a bag full of stories that were perceived as divine intervention? Which religion does not have miracles that testify to it's truth? Aren't their always more reasonable theories that would fit our general sensory perception of reality better?

That may be the most important point. When seemingly miraculous events occur, or have been said to have occurred,  isn't there always a theory that doesn't need God to explain it? Isn't the "our world" theory, which no doubt is a product of reasonable deduction, always more desirable than one that creates a supernatural being? Well, maybe not always more desirable --  but certainly more reasonable.

This, then, was what turned me away or rather made me deeply suspicious of my "knowledge" of God's (my God's) existence. If I could not prove him using reason, then no matter what I felt in my heart to be true, I could not say that I knew it to be.

I can only claim to know that which I can reasonably prove. God is not able to be proven through reason. Therefore, I do not believe.

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