Sunday, April 6, 2014

Is God In The Details?

What if the Ultimate Intelligence - allow me for simplicity's sake to use the popular word God here - determined to bring about highly intelligent creatures of reason capable of developing God-consciousness? 
What if the only true theology were Natural Theology. Let's define that:
Oxford Dictionary:  Theology or knowledge of God based on observed facts and experience apart from divine revelation. theology based on knowledge of the natural world and on human reason apart from revelation.
I included both of those definitions because they allude to all the things I feel are important in consideration of the God question: observance of the natural world, personal experience, and human reason.
Humans have attempted to cobble together a metaphysical spirituality from those raw data for a long time now. I think the metaphysicians have mostly done a wonderful job.
But then there is that bugbear known as "special revelation" that also arose in the distant past and that complicates matters and haunts us to this day. Special Revelation is the source of religious tension (religious tradition versus religious tradition) and even the war between believers and unbelievers. (On that latter I would suggest that if we just limited the discussion to observance of the natural world, personal experience, and human reason, at most we would have a difference of opinion about whether or not there is indeed a Big Picture, or purpose in reality.)
I believe we can explain much with Natural Theology and make good sense of reality by its application. However, the atheist also can make use of the tools of Natural Theology to build their case for God being just a figment of the human imagination.
Perhaps our personal experience informs our reason and tips the scale one way or the other.
Believers feel that they have metaphorically put out their hands and "touched the face of God," while the unbelievers have not and feel the believers are guilty of indulging in wishful thinking.
Reason of course is a grand thing. But as Albert Einstein once observed, "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." Is that merely a fluke? Do my feelings inform my reason here or is it the other way around?
Then there is observing the world around us. But believers and unbelievers alike tend to find what they are looking for. Those minds of scientific bent have both found and not found God through their telescopes, microscopes, and petri dishes. Avid naturalists both find God or fail to find God in their studies. So it goes.
The Christian religious philosopher and theologian Augustine wrote something I stumbled on many years ago and which I have contemplated much:
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

What if it were true? What if God-consciousness were the goal?

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