A few days ago we looked at Is the Shroud Evidence for God’s Existence? (46 comments as of this morning). This lead readers of this blog to spot a couple of mainstream media articles about believing in God.
In yesterday’s Huffington Post we find Mick Mooney, the author of An Outsider’s Guide to the Gospel. writing, Why I’d Still Believe In God Even if the Bible was a Fairytale.
While I agree that believing in an ancient religious narrative is irrational (by irrational, I mean it takes faith to believe a certain narrative about God based on ancient accounts told in stories, myths, and allegories. Granted, it may turn out to be true, but nonetheless the point remains that it is not a rational conclusion one would come to purely by reason.) I disagree that belief in God is irrational (as in the Higher Power who created the universe and everything within it). If anything, it is the complete opposite. Belief in an unknown Higher Power (being agnostic) seems to me to be the only truly rational option one can choose when contemplating the universe in which we abide, but for the the religious believer and the atheist, they hold to either a faith-based belief or a faith based non-belief; both positions that are fundamentally irrational and requires faith, not rationality, to hold to their position.
There is also an Opinionater column from three days ago in the New York Times in which Gary Gutting interviews himself:
The question of whether God exists is a controversial one: there have been, and still are, lots of smart, informed and sincere people on both sides. So it would seem that philosophers, committed to rational reflection on the big questions, wouldn’t be atheists (or theists) without good reasons. But it is also obvious that the standard arguments for and against God’s existence — fIrst-cause arguments, the problem of evil, etc. — have stimulated an enormous amount of debate, leading to many complications but to no consensus. . . .
A bit off topic but interesting nonetheless.
This is a good post.
Mooney should read the enyclical “Fidei et Ratio” (Faith and Reason) issued by Pope John Paul II, who was also a philosopher, having written his dissertation on Scheler. There is also the American Cardinal Avery Dulles that he will need to read.
Gutting mentions the problem of evil. That is something that even Plantinga will not be able to answer without leaving doubts. C.G. Jung tried to make his analytic psychology compatible with Christian faith, seeking the help of his closest friend Father Victor White. He was unsuccessful. He also visited India and found it a place full of contradictory beliefs, calling it a “‘dreamland”. Other religions will also have to tackle the problem:
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