Does God Exist?

HAH! There’s a topic for you! I’ve been reading a book of that title which is a debate between Theists and Atheists, specifically between J.P. Moreland and Kai Nielsen with contributions by Peter Kreeft, Anthony Flew, William Lane Craig, Keith Parsons, and Dallas Willard. It’s heavy going for me in places — well, in quite a few places — but fascinating nethertheless.

My hope is to find reasons for not being an atheist, but I know I could never be a total theist. Kai Nielsen takes the atheist view and also he comes across as the most human and humble of the bunch. Too bad I can’t quite swallow his arguments. Dallas Willard is the theist I can almost agree with for most of his arguments, but then he loses me toward the end.

The big issue, or one of the big ones, is the problem of infinity, or of beginnings. We must have a beginning and yet we can’t really have one. A most ingenious paradox, a ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha, as it’s sung in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

More later. This is a never ending topic….. from here to infinity? 😕

  1. Mard’s avatar

    OK, that’s pretty clear. 😀 😎

  2. Danielle’s avatar

    Alrighty, this is my take on God and religion. When we were but apes we had an alpha male to look up to, to be submissive to and who took care of the group. As we evolved we needed to adapt more socially cohesive means of social control while developing a sense of the here not here in death observed through the first graves of the Neanderthals. A supreme figure such as an alpha male was not good for cooperation, a necessary adaptation. Early humans looked first to the Natural World as a supreme figure that invoked both fear and awe. As our groups developed and gained in size, religion took on more structure first through tribal family Gods who were an anthropomorphic expression of the natural divine and often retained natural symbols such as horns, and snakes. As we developed writing the use of symbolism did as well. Thus began the archetypes of Jung. As societies developed into states religion took a new function of social control with only a select elite having access to the wisdom of the divine and charged with dispersing this wisdom to the people. Starting with the Humanist movement led by Petrarch and the invention of the printing press people realized they were able to absorb the wisdom of the divine for themselves. I have no use for organized religion but am extremely spiritual. I believe that the divine is everywhere and can most readily found within myself and others. Some of us honor the divine within us more than others. Some of us recognize the divine within others more than others. But it doesn’t matter whether or not it is recognized, it exists. Divinity can be found studying the composition of our universe, and divinity can be found within the creative impulse of both nature and humankind. The religious texts do hold the essence of the divine but the function of social control can overwhelm the quiet message. I study and meditate upon the ancient Vedic sciences but am not too accepting of the Hindu religion which fits most closely with my beliefs but stinks of social taboos. The more taboos, the more control of the masses. In India, people are greeted with Namaste which in Sanskrit means I recognize and honor the divine within you.
    I end this thesis with a big fat Namaste to you!

  3. Mard’s avatar

    Thank you for the big fat Namaste, Danielle, and may I offer the same to you!

    You’ve covered a lot of ground in your take on God and religion. The whole history of the human race in one long paragraph! But I hear you about the Alpha Male. Also, I was reminded about half way through your thesis of the fantasy books by Jean Auel about life 25,000 years ago. These cover the life of Ayla, starting with the Clan of the Cave Bear, and proceeding through five other books. These are beautiful stories where women are often the “Alpha Males”. But I digress!

    Keep the faith and your recognitions of the divine. (I’m still working on it.) But especially, good luck on your upcoming courageous marathon blogging for a worthy cause, namely, Resist in Somerville, Mass.

  4. Danielle’s avatar

    I can’t wait until the next book of Auel’s. I devoured the series when my youngest was born. I was pretty much stuck to my darling new life holding the hardcover open with my toes and I read all the series and non fiction specifically the Neanderthals. Jean did go a bit too far with Ayla though. The girl has no weaknesses. I don’t think you can count doubt since that is the only reaction her character could have to the situations around her. The Clan of the Cave Bear alluded me for years. I heard classmates rave but never wanted to read it. I had Shelters of the Stone the last I think on my bookshelf from failing to return a book club notice and hadn’t read it. When I did I had my husband go to the library and retrieve them for me.

    Marde how clever you are to add a link and a shoutout. I’m worried I won’t collect enough sponsors. To me enough is at least 100-200 dollars total. Everyone’s small gift adding together.

    I love and miss Massachusetts. It is as if I am connected historically to the place. Of course when one commits to 48 posts and I do want to put out good offerings as I do strive to do, I am making a list. I will share some personal memoirs never written before, may be helpful to me as well. Multitasking while Following my Bliss. 😀 One on my history of fund raising goes back to when I was 18, another inspired by my Mom’s pride {she’s offline and can’t stand it.} and my creative background beginning at 15 and How I came to meet my husband, an Indian born Brahman 14 years my elder. I know I can break those down into two parts.

    And the usual news {my inbox and reader will be gleaned}, some academic essays, link love, a random lyrics game, a potential blog talk radio call in show live during the event, perhaps a podcast or two.

    I want people to spend the day or a portion of it with me. Just to stop and really connect with another, laugh, cry, get motivated. I am rather selfish since I know I have a lot to gain for the experience in so many ways.

    As always…

  5. Mard’s avatar

    Thanks again, Danielle, for your interesting long note. Yes, Ayla was of course too good to be true — as if the whole series wasn’t a bit over the top — but so fascinating, and escapist, nethertheless. What wonders she perfomred! I loved the way she shot her arrow from 100 yards away into that knot holding up Jondalar before those wicked women, thus freeing him. You’ve got tremendous energy and creativity too! Maybe you’re an Ayla of the 21rst century?? 😀

    Way to go, Danielle.

  6. Danielle’s avatar

    😕 😎

    I wish.

    You pull it out of me, Marde.


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