Does God exist?

Is Yogi Bear a Catholic?

Bears are not Catholic nor non-Catholic. Don’t ask stupid questions!

This question presupposes what Terry Eagleton calls the ‘Yeti’ view of God; that God is some spectacular being ‘out there’. Serious (i.e. existential) Christian theology does not concern itself with such silly questions.

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6 Responses to “Does God exist?”

  1. Daphne Says:

    Did the medieval people postulate the 4th dimension? I don’t understand this deal with god being outside existence when we don’t even understand what it means to exist (yet).

  2. beholdtheman Says:

    Hi Daphne. There is as many understandings of God as there is people in the world. i.e. every human has a unique existential relation to God – including atheists.

    I don’t understand God as a being, although I may talk about him/her as a being in a metaphorical sense. I understand God as – amongst other things – love, light (enlightening), hope-giving, life-giving. God exists as these things when we take them to heart and make them our own. The Spirit of God is then with us.

    Most popular theology (talk of God) seems pretty dumb to me. I’m talking about the Creationists, Intelligent Designers, natural theologians and the more bigoted Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians. I can’t believe in their God.

  3. beholdtheman Says:

    Rather, I refuse to believe in their God.

  4. Daphne Says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I hope that I didn’t appear as an incurable modernist because of my concern for existence, because I am not. I guess it is simply that I took your statement as somehow implying that God transcends existence or is more than existence yet is still fundamentally thought of in terms of being. But from what I gather, God ‘exists’ for you in the way that artistic interpretations do, which is all good.

    However, you basically redefined the popular notion of God, so I guess you can’t blame people if they rename the same concept, as ‘coping mechanism’ in psychology or ‘highest art’ in some other field for example.

    So in the end, when you speak of God, you are still describing something about the human person. You have all the right to redefine, but I the confusion that would ensue because of the use of the term should still be taken into account.

  5. beholdtheman Says:

    Not just coping mechanism, but healing mechanism (salvation=healing).

    Of course we have to use descriptions about humans, or desirable human attributes, to describe God. God is described with characteristics of transcendence, omnipotence, etc., because that is what humans desire, either for themselves (as Sartre says, we ‘want to be God’) or for someone in control of the world. On the latter, I found the explanations given by Walter Burkert here powerful: Naturalism, otherwise

  6. Daphne Says:

    Everything humans do is anthropocentric, indeed, and that includes describing god. What I meant is that when we say god is, say, the highest good, the anthropocentric aspect is not simply our understanding of the term. i.e., we understand highest good in this certain human sense, but this is more of a sidenote and that, in the end, this attribute is still thought to be present in God though of course in ways that is still beyond human comprehension. (This is, of course, medieval-speak.)

    Rather, it is anthropocentric more than usual because, in using this attribute, we hardly turn to god at all. That is, we say, “i think of god as the highest good. that’s because i need this, i have grown up with this, i wish this…” as opposed to “i think of god as the highest good, but of course my understanding of goodness is limited by my human experience etc etc etc. nevertheless, god is still the highest good, but what does this imply? free will vs evil issues etc etc.”

    But then again, the less anthropocentric of the two is concerned with existence while as you mentioned, this question must not be asked of god, which explains the difference.

    Anyway, that link you gave me is interesting because I have this soft spot for philosophical history. I actually like both sociobiological and the evolutionary psychological explanations. I think the latter explains this (nearly) universal inclination of humans to believe in something greater, while the sociobiological framework looks at the specific development and how this inclination shows itself in practice.

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