Friday 15 April 2016

What kind of creator made this world?

Don't ask 'is there a creator god?' - which is absurd, because everyone who has thought deeply about this knows that there must be a creator of some kind, even if an impersonal principle - but instead you need to ask what kind of god created all this?

Life is (in part) a process of discovery about god, and this discovery is something that happens by communication between the self and god; and that entails disovering the self - the real self - as well as discovering god - both of which are within.

(The creator god is not only within us, of course - he is the creator, after all! - but a part of god is within us; like a small but perpetually glowing cinder - this inner presence is what makes certainty possible.)

The only way to know god with that certainty we need, is to know god directly: to feel god (and, of course, to acknowledge the reality and truth of that feeling).


How important is all this stuff? Well, you tell me! Do you believe Life is something we cannot know, and god something we cannot evaluate - so, therefore, we should leave this whole thing undecided, don't bother ourselves, and just 'get on with it'. But get on with... What exactly? Get on with what?  


NOTE: The answer to 'what kind of creator?' does not come from drawing up some kind of 'balance sheet' of good and bad things, as we crudely and ignorantly suppose them to be. Of course we cannot really know what is good and bad in terms of motives and long-term effects - but even if we could this would be a ludicrous exercise - is that method how we know for certain a mother's love, a wife's, a son or daughter's love? By compiling a ledger of hugs and treats minus sharp words and slaps?


AdamW said...

As a scientist/engineer who was lucky enough to have time to think about these things at the right sort of age, I find the natural theology aspects of belief pretty obvious. However, Christianity demands more: that we recognise the personal aspect of God in Christ. That we talk to God and God talks back. I find these teachings harder - but that's not the same for everyone. And then there's the teachings of the saints: the Church is the body of Christ (Paul); He has no hands on earth but ours (Teresa of Avila).

Bruce Charlton said...

@Adam W - "Christianity demands more..."

Indeed, but for some people, including myself - and CS Lewis!, to jump from mainstream modern nihilistic materialism to the very specific beliefs of Christianity - and within that to the specific doctrines of a particular denomination or church - is bundling together way too many things at once. The first step probably then needs to be into Deism -> Theism.

AdamW said...

I suppose it can be a long way from nihilism to God! For me, though I never started from nihilism, the route was through a kind of deism: the things we see in the universe have arisen in response to something - what kind of something might that be? Our minds have arisen in response to something - what kind of something might THAT be?
Then again, I have friends who have been converted essentially by personal encounter. Theirs was the sudden step - mine was the long road.

Don said...

I never doubted that God was there. Nor his power or his personal interest in my life. He watches us and if we listen guides us. I never doubted he was there even when I was being deliberately disobedient.

Now I see my society moving further and further from the plan he has for all of us. Debauchery, degradation, depravity, evil actions and more evil thoughts and all of it is supposed to be normal. Since I know he is real, I am hoping to see his mercy rather than his justice. I hope that for everyone.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Don - I' m sure, as the loving Father he is, God will do whatever is best for us in the long term of immortality - probably some kind of 'tough' Love, since that is what we seem to need.

David Balfour said...

I'm sorry to say my most recent Facebook post of your 'Reconceptualizing the metaphysical basis of biology' paper has been met with a completely ignored response. Everyone else seems to be too busy watching hilarious videos of anthropomorphic cats or gawping at posts/media soundbite's devoted to tearing down the political party that is the current focus of mob hatred. This means they don't notice or care when something authentically thought provoking comes along.

As a life long seeker for spiritual truth I can't understand why most other people are not as curious about the big questions as I am. To me it is an obsessive quest to understand my place in the universe and why we are here and ...well,I want to know everything really...To most people though that mindset must just seem irrelevant.

David Balfour said...

Unfortunately my second longer comment on here did not post and has been *accidentally* lost in cyberspace somewhere. In hindsight perhaps for the best. Previty might summarise the remark as something like - despite the above we must always remember people can change, hardened hearts can be softened and persistently bringing truth to others about the gospel, about God and about faith is *always* worth doing. I have the strong impression that your paper, whilst perhaps neglected now will be part of a worthwhile legacy and I hope that sooner or later people from unexpected places will be drawn back to reconsider their metaphysical beliefs in relation to natural science, or nowadays, amputated 'Biology.' I hope the amputated limb can be reattached again someday to the body of knowledge which originated it. Strangely I had a dream about this last night (the re attachment of amputated fingers) but I am still allowing my mind to work that dream over for any valuable meaning.