Saturday, July 17, 2010

A More Basic Question: Does God Exist?

A follow-up to Jonathan's thoughtful question.  The more basic questionis simply, "Is there a God?", quite apart from is he needed or not.

 On what basis might we ask this question? Here's a few:

* the intuition or belief that there is a God is culturally widespread -- almost all cultures at all times have either believed there was a God, or contemplated whether there was.

* the understanding of the concept of God seems to be readily grasped by humans. I've never met anyone when asked about God, atheists' fondest wishes notwithstanding, who have said, "what do you mean -- what are you talking about?".  Even atheists seem to have a pretty-good built-in idea of who/what we are talking about, polemical brain-addled Zombie Sky Figure caricatures notwithstanding.

* Atheists spend an awful lot of emotional and intellectual energy thinking and talking about  God -- more than many theists! Perhaps, back in their minds somewhere, they are worried about something -- like personal accountability to God?

So, because interest in God, and intuitions about God, are so widespread, there's lots of reasons to ask, "is there a God"?

2. it's the ultimate metaphysical, ontological question. If there is a God, it is the most important fact about reality.

3. It is the most essential existential question.

4. It is the most essential moral question.

No comments:

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"