Monday, April 04, 2005

The God Who is Not There

Over at Charlotte Capitalist we have a rather zealous objectivist fisking Rick Warren. No argument here that Warren needs fisking, but atheism is an illogical dead-end by any standard. Even Ayn Rand backed off from her more militant Anti-God stances later in life.

To Andy, I said the following:

You’re way off-base, and I’m ashamed you’d make such weak arguments. You didn’t prove the non-existence of God; you proved that Warren didn’t prove the existence of God. Congratulations on knocking down his strawmen. Now how about we play a big-boy grown-up game of philosophy

Existence exists. I’m glad we have this jumping off point, the benefic of talking to an objectivist. I don’t have to argue this point with some obnoxious kid who thinks he’s Neo and that we’re living in the Matrix.

If existence exists, there are two mutually exclusive possibilities:

(1) Existence is innate. It was not “created”. (An atheistic universe)

(2) Existence was created and is not innate in and of itself. Rather, existence was created by something which (or someone who) is innate. (A deistic universe)

If the first possibly, then we have a perfectly materialistic world. The supreme power is matter and the physical laws of matter. Nothing exists but that which has physical attributes. I admit, it’s a rather beautiful way of looking at the universe: Rather than having a God who commands, which we must obey, the universe is a type of “god”, which to command, must be obeyed.

The problem is that certain pieces do not fit into this universe. Namely you, me, Ayn Rand, every other conscious being in the universe, and the Law of Identification itself.

Existence--in and of itself--cannot cause the identification of existence. Matter cannot cause one to know that matter is present. Nor can lack of matter cause one to know that matter is absent. Nor does your own physical being explain consciousness--the identification of self.

The 9 ball can ricochet off the cue ball. The plant can photosynthesize light and process soil into its cells. An animal can react to a chasing predator or running prey. A person's eyes can absorb the image of a rainbow in the sky, and experience emotional euphoria therefrom. These are all natural phenomena, effects from a cause. But the ability to say “There’s a 9 ball”, “There’s a cue ball”, “Look at that plant grow”, “There’s an animal, and it’s running” “There’s atmospheric water refracting light into multiple colors, and it's beautiful” . . . these are not effects from material causes, but an unexplained, physically unnecessary, mysterious process.

The otherworldly aspects of identification can also be proved in the negative. You can look around and say, “There is no rainbow”. How and why? Such a reaction is not effect from a cause, but an independent identification of a lack of a effect or a cause. The faculty of identification exists independently of the physical world being identified!

You’ve asked why there is no scientific evidence of a God. In other words, you want material proof of someone who exist independent of matter. Rather, you should ask where you consciousness came from. Not from matter, since it would be circular to say that the ability to perceive matter came from matter. Nor is consciousness innate, since it is the object and not the subject of reality. Matter does not make your consciousness and your consciousness does not make matter. Therefore, they both must have an independent third cause, that cause being God.

You believe God doesn't exist. You’re correct. Rather he “hyper-exists” and transcends the material world and our consciousness. Sorry if such a statement is a cop-out, but any attempt to explain God’s “non-being” and “non-perceivablity” is impossible. It’s safe to say that God is the one exception to Aristotle’s law, the one entity which exist and doesn’t exist at the same time, in the same matter. For he created matter.


At 4:45 PM, Blogger Bubblefish said...

Although the law of identification is accurate in the logical sense, Aristotle did not fully apply it dialectically or logically. If he did, he would have arrived at three values for truth instead of a two valued logic system.

Basicaly, two value systems fail to identify that which is not identifiable. Thus, any arguement for or against God is irrational when approached with a two value system, true or false.

Rather, the third value, mystery, is where any concept of God would sit, and then you would see how both arguements for and against are true to a certain point of view, and both are exalted in an expanded idea of God based on mystery as a third value.


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