There’s a TED talk in which Alain de Botton said (in effect): I’m not here to discuss whether there’s a God or not. We know there’s no God. Let’s also admit that militant atheism doesn’t really get us anywhere. Instead, let’s move on and talk about how we’re going to live our lives in a world without God.
His primary objective, to restate the paraphrase, was to envision an entirely secular culture, one that might even borrow from the “good things” he had seen religion doing. An interesting perspective, if you’re curious.
In a similar fashion, my primary objective in this series is not to prove that God exists. I did say that I’ve been studying the question, with all of the focus and spare time afforded to a father employed in a field far from Philosophy. I do say, so far as I can tell, that God’s existence seems to me more plausible than not. And not just by a little, but overwhelmingly so.
Further, as an autobiographical aside, I don’t believe my purpose is to go about proving that God exists. I think there are minds at work which fare far better than mine, and their arguments range from simple (as we have seen with the Kalam Cosmological Argument) to quite difficult to follow.
So, as de Botton looks at life in the absence of God, and seeks fulfillment, I now take a contrary tack. There is a God, a greatest of all possible beings, a mind so powerful and intelligent as to defy all comprehension except His own. Now what?
The proofs for God’s existence are instructive for my primary objective, and that is why they will show up from time to time. I do hope to give my agnostic and atheist friends exposure to them, to observe a depth of mind not often found in popular culture. (EDIT: There are similarly deep and profound insights offered by atheists and agnostics as well, and taken together with the theists’ insights, these represent thought far beyond what our televisions typically showcase). I also aim to discuss the subject in such a way that it is not too pious for my A&A friends, though I have been guilty of that charge from time to time.
The very tip of the point of this series, then, is this: To explore the nature of God through the analogy of an author. More broadly, this might be called a “conceptual analysis,” which we have already done in brief: If conditions are such that X exists, then what can we know about X?
In this manner, we learned what we did in 3.0. In later posts, we’ll introduce the concept of “God as author” and begin to explore what this can tell us about God and how to live our lives.