Thursday, November 11, 2010

So, What About God?

11/11/2010—Happy Veteran’s Day. Pittsburgh still has the parade, but most people seem distant from the reality of the service of those who risk their lives every day in the armed forces. Thank you to all veterans.

My colleague Robert Taylor is now reading Hegel with me at the same time we are investigating Emil Fackenheim and the Talmud. Robert is pressing me to be much more direct about God. So, here goes.

It is obvious that there is a mysterious “more” to reality that simple materialism does not capture. We feel this dimension when listening to great music or poetry or feeling love—or awe. These experiences are not the result of bad wiring in the brain. They correspond to something real.

Nevertheless, these reactions and what they refer to do not repeal the laws of science. Will and intelligence do not exist independently of matter. Therefore, there cannot be anything like the God of the Bible.

That does not mean the Bible is wrong exactly. Rather, the biblical writers might have been describing the “more” in certain mythic and anthropocentric terms. Their error might simply have been over specification. For example, reality might favor the slave over the master without a God existing who “led the slaves out of Egypt.”

Reality can be God-like without there being a God. The description of God as having commitments, like a person (opposing gay marriage, for example), was always a kind of heresy.


  1. enjoyed your blog.
    athough - your ideas about God are thought out - that doesn't mean that your thoughts reflect what really is.
    these intellectual ideas about God or about "no God" - are quite interesting and even remotely familiar to me - like a distant, old thought.
    The question I have is this: as a mouse in the maze we can think alot about the maze maker - but when the maze-maker reveals himself - then the maze begins to be less of one.
    The message God brought to earth for people who did not know Him - but were made by Him - as is the whole that He is good and there is no darkness in HIM. Apparently - there was a needed reason for God to go to such an extreme to get this message to man. And this same God- who says He made the universe and let's say, fashioned the Grand Canyon - will come and show a simple (in comparison to himself) man, woman or children - regardless of intellectual prowess - Who He really is. He is God of Heaven and Earth. His revealing of Who He is to man - is something He seems to be quite adamant about - I guess the question should be "why even do it?" The Love of God that we hear Christians talk about - well may be the answer. He loves mankind - and loves to have relationship with "whosoever" will believe that: 1) He is...and 2) that He is a rewarder of whoever will diligently seek Him.
    I think - this answers more the heart of man first - and then the mind.
    thanks for your article.
    i liked it.

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