Friday, February 07, 2003

Looks like I'm coming down with something. Just woke up from an evening long nap. Coughing, general disorientation. Great.

I posted on Mark Shea's blog today. I almost did the first time I was ever there, but I have a general principle against posting on strange blogs. You never know, until you've really read a blog for a while, what the hidden context is going to be. So, I finally posted today, in response to Mark's question, how would you feel if it was suddenly proven to you that God exists.

Dangle a toe in that comment box and you're in over your head before you can figure out which way is up. In other words, I had fun. But Mark said something about me not being far from the kingdom of God, just because I would prefer that a loving God existed. His comment was likely mostly dismissive. But I've been told similar things in the past.

I may not be all that far from the Christian camp. I would like to believe in God. I'm having a hard time refuting Catholicism. Born Again Protestantism was easy to refute because, well, it's shallow and stupid for the most part. Catholicism is more difficult. But deep in my core, I have a confliction regarding the existence of God. And until that's solved, I won't be jumping ship. I have my doubts it can ever be solved. But I would be glad to be pleasantly surprised regarding the matter.

When I was a little kid, I believed that God existed. I believed that God existed in the same way I believed that I had to obey my parents. Namely, because that was the way my universe was ordered, and that was all. It was an unreasonable assumption of sorts. And I regularly acted against it. But I did believe.

When I was older, I realized that I couldn’t fit my mind around the concept of God. So I started to find other explanations for my reality. Most things I found ready explanations for. The things I couldn’t find explanations for, I realized could be explained away by refusing to explain them. This was at least as reasonable as supposing that God was the cause. God didn’t make sense anyway. The concept of an unmoved mover is no more reasonable to me than the concept of a universe that’s just always been there.

At heart, I’ve always worked on my sort of childish conviction that there is a God because, well, that’s just how things are. But I’ve never had any sort of relationship with God. I don’t feel His presence and I can’t imagine coming into contact with such. People who claim such special knowledge alternatingly amuse and terrify me. I have always felt as if I were talking to myself when I’ve prayed.

I would not say that there is no God because I don’t know Him. But I feel similarly constrained about saying that God exists when I really don’t know. I do not know how to balance my sort of base intellectual assumption that God probably exists, with my own personal experience which leads to the feeling that He probably doesn’t. Agnosticism may act as a comforting middle ground for me, even if, in reality, it’s not a middle ground at all.