Translate

Sunday, November 26, 2006

God does not exist!

Bro. Sedwick sure got our attention at the dinner meal, for most of the muttering going on was about our rain gutters and why they need immediate attention before the winter rains, and talk of desert thunderstorms and a culvert that needs to be cleared and bird nests that have clogged a gutter spout and broken gutters and around it went until Bro. Sedwick cleared his throat, then with two fist extended, a knife clenched in his left fist and a fork clenched in his right fist, together they came down upon the solid wood tabletop at the very moment he blurted out, "God does not exist!"

The entire dining room fell silent.

Bro. Sedwick, with knife and folk still in clenched fists, pounded the table a few times before saying, "Augustine rejected the notion that God waited an interminable length of time before deciding to create the universe, for as he wrote, 'the universe and time have the same beginning, God created time and the universe together.' whereupon Anselm of Canterbury got to the point when asking God, "In your eternity is there anything past, so that it does not exist now, or anything
future as if it does not exist yet? It is not that you existed yesterday and will exist tomorrow, but yesterday, today and tomorrow, you exist. On the contrary, you exist neither yesterday, nor today, nor tomorrow, rather you are simply beyond all time. For yesterday, today and tomorrow are nothing other than temporal. You, however, although nothing exists without you, are not thereby in place or time, but everything is in you. Nothing contains you, but you contain everything."

Many were now nodding their heads in agreement, Bro. Juniper was scribbling notes, and at that point I had guessed where this was going.

He continued, "If God is the source of existence, and non-being, then God is prior to those dualities, and therefore to speak of God's 'existence' is to cast God into the phenomenal world of time-space, and make God subject to its cause and effect."

At that point the two fists relaxed and Bro. Sedwick began sawing a rather tough Salisbury steak. I looked across at Bro. Clarence, who was now smiling broadly, and also sawing his steak, so after slathering my Salisbury with catsup, I noted the silence around the table, and I should note a rare silence, so with that I decided to enjoy it and began sawing my steak.

8 comments:

Lifewish said...

If God cannot be said to exist, in what way can we say that He is real?

If God is timeless, then in what sense can He behave as an intelligent entity does? How can He think, feel, choose, act?

Bro. Bartleby said...

We humans are limited to our reality, so we name the unnameable, we describe the undescribable, we apply attributes to that which attributes cannot be applies, and in the end we do our best to live in a world we did not create, to live a life we did not create, and to humbly acknowledge that we humans are not the creator of all this, and in response we push our minds to their limits and then we create words like heart and soul to describe where we find ourselves and it is in this place that we come to understand the creation has a Creator. And all else we do, pray, worship, or meditate, it is but our humble human response to this understanding.

Lifewish said...

Would anthropomorphising the Creator also constitute "applying attributes to that which attributes cannot be applied"?

Bro. Bartleby said...

I should think so. Just as the physicist 'names' something quark. Or make a picture of little balls orbiting around other little balls. Not reality, but a way for our human mind to grasp these undescribable (to the eye) things.

Lifewish said...

So the question is: is said anthropomorphism a reasonably accurate approximation to the truth?

How would one go about demonstrating this?

Bro. Bartleby said...

"So the question is: is said anthropomorphism a reasonably accurate approximation to the truth? How would one go about demonstrating this?"

Only one way that I can think of off hand, that is to live your life as though it were the absolute truth and that your life depended upon it. And if you can honestly do that experiment upon yourself, then I'd say after a year you'd be in a place where you would need not ask others about these matters.

Lifewish said...

Only one way that I can think of off hand, that is to live your life as though it were the absolute truth and that your life depended upon it.

Why would you need to believe in God to do that?

And if you can honestly do that experiment upon yourself, then I'd say after a year you'd be in a place where you would need not ask others about these matters.

The same is true of those poor souls with serious illnesses who are deceived by their faith in medical charlatans.

Bro. Bartleby said...

I would never say to put ones absolute faith in another human, that is what cults are made of. What I said was to search 'within yourself' for this year of 'experiment' and to live your life 'as thought' there were a Creator and so doing 'ego' would have to acknowledge that it is the creation and would have to climb down from its self-imagined pedestal. I would think all this would take care of the first day of the year long experiment.