Friday, May 11, 2007

Anyone who even uses the word "God" accepts the existence of the idea of God

Major religions in one semester posted by MD: The well-known Marvin Olasky explains how he does it in the course he teaches at the University of Texas. Interesting stuff.
One thought, tangential to Olasky, but related to God: People argue whether God exists. Big debate; hair is ripped out; throats sore; friends lost; etc.
But note that it is indisputable that the idea of God exists, the world over. (And I particularly recommend Mortimer Adler's summary of the Idea of God, from his book The Great Ideas: A Lexicon of Western Thought.) And it is making inquiry into "what is the idea of God?" that is, broadly speaking, what comprises theology, and also happens to be the manner by which we appreciate the profound poetry that is the major literary works we call The Bible, The Koran, etc. I'm not sure that this isn't the only manner we actually contemplate "God", bottom line.
In other words, it doesn't matter whether God exists, from an empirical point of view. It is all steamy hot-air. Because we have such a broad, diverse, and in-depth literature, much of which functions as character-development for the characters of God, and certainly tells God-related stories of innumerable flavors, to even consider "God" means we must consider the literature extant that provides our fundamental understanding of "God". Which means, logically, that the question of "does God exist?" is an enormous red herring. And which also means, logically, that anyone who even uses the word "God" accepts the existence of the idea of God, because that is exactly what the word "God" signifies. Basic grammar requires the signifier "God" to have a signified, a concept held in our minds.
There is no way we understand "God" that doesn't fundamentally include the elaborations upon "God" found in the world's literature. Sure, we conjecture, we speculate, we guess, we believe, we solidify our opinion, we even think we feel the spirit of God when we contemplate and meditate (maybe we do, maybe we don't). That is exactly how human nature operates, and I merely observe that here. But the anchor of "God" is found in literature. Scratches into stories, the world over through the epochs of man. And, whether so-called "atheists" like it or not, these sustain us. And inspire creation. And always will, because the evidence (in the form of world literature) shows that the need for sacred signified is part of our DNA. Labels: , 12:29 PM

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