A metaphor for the unanswerable

All the philosophers are so caught up with what it means to be, or to exist. Husserl conceives his mightily confusing transcendental ego, Heidegger his equally challenging Dasein, and Sartre, the for-itself. But truly, the question is: how did we come to be? It is a genealogical question more than a descriptive one. Why is it that I am here, now, amidst these things which seem so nicely constructed and which cohere to a harmonic whole that is the world? What necessitates this unbreakable harmony? The laws of nature, one says; but then, what necessitates the laws of nature? How is it that I am conscious as a being in this world? How have we emerged from nothing?

There is but one answer to all these questions: God. I suppose this is why philosophers have always left them out of their inquisitions.

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8 thoughts on “A metaphor for the unanswerable

  1. I like this, do you think it’d be possible for God to have created these laws of nature as an answer for humans who do not understand the concept of God? So God provided a groundwork to the unanswerable through science as a means of allowing humanity to gain a clearer understanding of the universe for the purpose of a greater understanding of God?

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    • Hey Joe, thanks for your comment. Yes, it certainly is a possibility. But as it is, we have no way of ascertaining such a proposition. It might even be said that such a proposition can never be established as true, and that such questions concerning the origin of the universe, time, matter, existence, consciousness, etc., will always be left hanging in mystery. Hence, we ought not to ask if God is this or God is that, or if God had done this or that; rather, God is a representation of all that we cannot know, and thus must God remain a metaphysical concept. To ascribe him any substantive meaning would be to defy his transcendence. Nonetheless, it is no more wrong to believe that God created the laws of nature than to not believe so. It’s all a matter of faith, and there can never be anything wrong with faith since faith escapes reason.

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      • No problem. Yeah, I guess that such a proposition could not be assured analytic until we are actually able to understand beings greater than our existence. But as you’ve pointed out, God is a representation that is transcendent and therefore to be able to understand God would be taking away these qualities of what we associate with God in the first place. Should we then rather look to see faith in God rather than understanding due to this complexity? as it will always be a mystery we as humans just cannot get our minds round?

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      • Yeah, I definitely do think so. Since we’ve already established God as going the beyond the realms of reason and science, it would be paradoxical to claim to know him, or in any sense to know what he is like. That’s the problem with some of the religious now; they take God down and place him in their lives as if he could be definitively conceived. This essentially reduces God to the mundane. And it becomes not God that they are talking about, but a figment of their imagination. Thus, there has to be a sort of discipline whenever one thinks about God – a discipline that makes sure one does not ascribe characteristics to God, but to simply hold him as transcendent and reachable only by faith.

        I hope my rambling has made at least some sense haha. But in any case, I suppose there’s really no right way of looking at things. What’s important, as kierkegaard says, is that we find a truth that is truth for ourselves.

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  2. ahah, I like that reference at the end. Kind of sums up how God can be portrayed in todays world with so many interpretations that we find one to suit our own version of what we aspire God to be I guess? So as youve pointed out, there becomes these characteristics which are often seen as qualities of God which seem to take away the whole concept of being this all powerful being as such. Perhaps because of so many views in society, religions have started to be more open ended about these matters as a way of encouraging religion as going with the times. Could this actually be God wanting us to be more open minded? Maybe as a way of development in some way?
    But as you say, important thing is that people still see God as this transcendent being otherwise God won’t be, well, God? aha

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    • Again, Joe, I think there is no answer to your question; for one could believe that God is such and such, or such and such are his motives, then God is no longer a mystery, no longer transcendent. The very definition of God, or at least what I hold it to be, is that no part of him can ever be understood. To attempt an understanding of God is to remove him from his place and to turn him into an imaginary fancy. In fact, I have a great reluctance referring to God as ‘he’ or ‘it’, because by such a way a reference, I am taking God to be a ‘thing’, something that is corporeal and can be referred to.

      The question might then arise: Are we to think nothing of God then? And if no beliefs should ever be held about God, what then is the nature of faith (since faith necessarily includes an element of belief). These are questions I have been turning over in my head for a long time now. Perhaps, you could give it go and see if you can find any solutions. I’d be glad to hear from you. Cheers.

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      • Yes, I guess the referral to God as a thing places God into something which can in a way can be understood, but then that takes away the whole concept of being complex and unable to understand so I agree with you there on that perhaps we should stop referring to God as he or it as this in itself diminishes Gods value in the world. Perhaps it’s due to religious misunderstanding that nobody is quite sure how to address God, maybe due to the mystery or complexity and this is actually good as God is clearly beyond our knowledge.
        Regarding your question, if you’re saying then that if we cannot understand God, should we have faith in this supreme creator? how I see it is that faith relies upon these beliefs that God did do all thats been said but this is through pure belief and ‘understanding’ of God but this understanding is not actually possible. Yes, it is quoted through biblical references but should we really be placing faith in something we cannot know? But then again humanity thrives off the unknowing and yet to be discovered, something to add to our world of knowledge and through never being able to discover God, faith is then placed because God is ‘unknowable’ and this interests humanity.

        So, perhaps through an attempt of understanding our world, faith has arisen purely through humanity actually gaining a form of understanding of God but it is an understanding God wanted as surely it is part of Gods plan, presumably so it gives the opportunity for the faithful to rather than just trying to understand God, just have faith and maybe this is why God allowed faith-to see who can have faith in themselves and trust in God despite the mystery in the first place. So my question is then that should we have faith in the unknowing? does this lead to misinterpretations of God? will we ever know God?

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