11/16/2010—I did not know it when I wrote a recent blog post below about how reality is God-like, but there had been an argument about something like this in the public arena in 2007. Kelly O'Connor responded on The Rational Response Squad (a very good atheist blog) to a piece by Dinesh D’Souza in the Christian Science Monitor defending Kant’s view of the limits of reason in the Critique of Pure Reason that there is more to reality than the five senses can know. The senses cannot ascertain the validity of metaphysical truth. O’Connor asks, reasonably, how can we know what we cannot know?
Now, I don’t know Kant well or really at all (only secondary sources). But I do understand how the believer can experience reality is such a way that it shows the presence of God. It is because reality is God-like.
Consider Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. Obviously Reverend King was thinking of the book of Exodus. African-Americans were like the slaves of Egypt. They were condemned to slavery for 400 years before God liberated them. King had faith that the same would happen here and to an extent it did (freedom did not solve all of the Israelites’ problems either).
The same is true for forgiveness of sin and the divine call to act for justice. Indeed the same is true for the belief that there is such a thing as justice. All of these are realities for the religious believer because, believing in God, they all actually happen. That may be why Kant thought religion to be rational.
Reality is structured in such a way that it is as if God exists. I don’t believe God exists because I don’t think unembodied will and intelligence is possible. But having been brought up in intense religion, I still experience reality as if God exists. And it is irrefutable experience.