Can Anyone Answer The Question Of God?
Discussions of the God question should begin by asking whether anyone has a credible methodology for considering the question.
As example, if I were to claim I could answer the God question using a ouija board, you would first ask for proof that ouija boards are capable of such an accomplishment. If I can't provide such proof, then you need not invest a lot of time in my claim. It's more efficient for you to question the qualifications of my chosen authority first, before hearing and debating any claim I might make by reference to that authority.
What Is Reason?
Reason is the rather poorly implemented ability of a single species on one little planet in one of billions of galaxies.
You know, we have thousands of hydrogen bombs poised to destroy everything we care about within minutes, and we typically find this ever present existential threat too boring to discuss. This is the species doing the reasoning.
Point being, even if something as small as human reason were proven capable of generating meaningful statements on subjects regarding the most fundamental nature of everything everywhere, are we capable of reasoning? The evidence provided by nuclear weapons argues against.
What Is God?
Gods are typically defined as being the essence of everything everywhere, the creator of everything everywhere, the manager of everything everywhere etc. Everything everywhere, that is, very largest of scales.
Is something as small as human reason capable of understanding the most fundamental essence of all reality, whatever that may be, or not be?
Before we dive in to the endlessly repetitive debate about the possible existence of a God, we should probably first question whether anybody, theist or atheist, has a methodology capable of credibly addressing the question. Taking this approach can be a huge time saver, a very efficient manner of conducting the investigation.
As example, if one doesn’t believe that a holy book is qualified to speak credibly to questions of such enormous scale, then there’s really little point to an analysis of holy book verses, right? In exactly the same way, unless one can first demonstrate that human reason is qualified to generate a meaningful analysis of anything the vast scale of gods, there’s not much point in doing all the logic calculations that so interest atheist commentators.
What most atheist commentators do is skip over the question of reason’s qualifications entirely, and instead dive right in to the God debate logic calculations. This procedure is the equivalent of the religious person who takes the Bible’s qualifications to be an obvious given not requiring an investigation, and so they proceed without delay to discussing competing interpretations of Bible verses.
Is The God Debate Built Entirely Of Faith?
In both cases, theist and atheist, if one is not willing to inspect and challenge the qualifications of whatever authority one is referencing, one is a person of faith. If one doesn’t realize such an examination is necessary, one is a person of blind faith.
If we apply reason to the God question it should soon become apparent that no one on any side of that debate is in a position to prove the qualifications of their chosen authority. And thus, all the arguments and assertions pro and con based on those authorities can be dismissed from the outset.
This may be a painful process for those with a significant investment in such arguments, but there’s great efficiency available here for anyone willing to follow the process of reason where ever it may lead. This efficiency arises from focusing the inquiry on the source of the arguments (a holy book or reason) instead of on the arguments themselves. If the holy book can not be proven qualified for addressing the largest questions, we can forget about Bible verses. If human reason can not be proven qualified for addressing the largest questions, we can forget about logic calculations.
What we are left with then is just the fact of our mutually shared ignorance.
What a person of reason should do next is look for ways to put this abundant asset to constructive use.
All that this analysis entails is applying the very same process of challenge which atheists reasonably aim at theism to atheism as well. Once that's done all sides of the God debate collapse under their own weight. All that is required to accomplish such efficiency is intellectual honesty, and a conscious decision to choose reason over ideology.
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