Why must God Show up?

I write this in response to Salahdin’s “Why God doesn’t show up”.  In the cartoon that was displayed it could possibly be an allusion to God’s non-existence. If that was the intended allusion that the cartoon tried to evoke – I don’t believe the position is neither objectively provable nor a intellectually sensible position to take.  One thing we have to understand is that the reality of the existence of God is far separated from the one espoused by religions. They are basically different interpretations for this core of “God”. You can say religions are the diverse dogmatic assumptions behind the notion of a non-material omnipotent transcendental reality. God is a related issue, but distinguished enough in itself to demand a separate regard.

As far as investigations into the nature of reality are concerned, religion as well as science (as it is regarded today) are dogmas. Just because science is widely accepted across belief systems and the fact that it works at a practical level of human affairs does not mean that it is a superior representation of truth. I have no axe to grind with science per se, just the interpretative philosophy (as represented by that of secular materialists) behind it to suit its own ends – that existence can happen by itself independent of any higher extraneous cause. The scientific method as a measure of objectivity and that objectivity as a standard of proof speaks not only of the severe limitations of the human condition but also the severe limitations such a method places on the advancement of human intellectual understanding and, hence, knowledge.  

 To quote Robert Anton Wilson, the agnostic, who said- “I consider dogmatic belief and dogmatic denial very childish forms of conceit in a world of infinitely whirling complexity.”

 He advocated a suspension of judgement not only on the issue of God but also at a general level. Simple denial of God based on objective sense experience is not enough to qualify the position of denial.  But one should not speculate on it without some sort of calculated assumptions right?.  In this article I use “SM” to mean “secular materialism” or “secular materialist” (to be applied as the context requires). In it I assert, albeit a tad dogmatically, that God should exist – by necessity. It may not be sufficiently objective for the purposes of science but neither is it sufficiently absurd that science can disregard even by its own standards. So in a crux, based on my arguments that follow, what I am asserting here is that 

1)     I fundamentally assume God exists (unless otherwise conclusively disproved by secular standards) because there exists a certain design in the way the universe is made to exist. I look around and see it every day in every place the “infinitely whirling complexities” that science has little answers for. The convenience of preconceived ideas as to what I define truth to be is only as true as a secularist assumes ideas in his own terms about the nature of reality.  

2)     Objectivity is not ideal as a standard to identify proof because, just like religions, it’s veracity is vitiated by it’s underlying assumptions. The scientific method notwithstanding, objectivity is not absolute if the fundamental assumptions are not proven. In other words there is no such thing as absolute objectivity and as such SM should not be regarded as such. 

3)     God does not manifest to human perception because I don’t see why he should and that even if he can and he doesn’t, that does is not proof that he does not exist in reason. 

4)     The question of why God doesn’t show up is moot because if He does show up He necessarily exists but if He exists he doesn’t need to show up to prove his existence. If he doesn’t exist, God necessarily cannot show up and if he cannot show up, he cannot be God – because an entity that cannot do something cannot be God. But that does not mean that God must do something to prove that he can do it or to justify his existence. God’s existence is a reality that is independent of belief by His creations and his manifestation is independent of human perception. So the showing up part is irrelevant because the real question is if He exists. 

5)     If the question of why God is not showing up is on the assumption of the theistic position (that he does indeed exist) is to show there is no objective arguments for God to exist then the question must contain a reasonably obvious inference – proving the absurdity of the reality of God’s existence – which it, by and large, did not. 

6)     Magical cereal formations and divine clouds above the Kabbah notwithstanding, the existence of supernatural events per se is no proof that God’s exists 

7)     In SM philosophy, there is no ideological equivalent of “God”. It has neither the intellectual or ideological platform to support the arguments for or against it nor does it have the sufficiency in the advancement in it’s knowledge base to tackle the conundrum of God. It can only object to the inconsistency of the idea behind “God” to it’s own notions of what constitutes fact and it’s own standard of proof.  The real problem here is that the SMs could well be mistakenly addressing an issue that was not a theists position on God in the first place.

8 )     If science wants to disprove the existence of God conclusively it has to assume or borrow the theistic ideological platform to address that because  :

a.      (as said earlier) the idea of God is alien to secular materialism i.e. it has no intellectual platform on the issue so it has to borrow the theistic position to address the question.

b.       The objective intellectual experience being squarely sandwiched between a priori deductions and a posteriori inductions – both of which  are required to form an absolute truth  – are fundamentally unsubstantiable. What I mean is that you either know the cause and speculate on the effect or know the effect and speculate of the cause. It is impossible to know both the fundamental cause and the fundamental effect to objectively realise absolute truth. In other words one cannot arrive at absolute truth via objective reasoning.

As such human knowledge as it is limited, is a floating crib that has no foundation in the vastness of knowledge.The superiority of SM could not be sufficiently established over other dogmatic belief systems. Period. 

Euclid once said that every proof relies on at least a few assumptions (or postulates) which themselves cannot be proven. Set the standards of proof too high and nothing at all can be proven. By the same token, set the standards too low, practically anything can be proven. At the heart of secular materialist (“SM”) belief (as with theism) are unprovable assumptions that require faith to believe in.  At the heart of those assumption is this assumption : “that which eludes scientific explanation has a scientific explanation yet to be discovered.” And God does not feature in those assumptions as a valid premise “yet to be discovered”. One thing we have to distinguish is reason and logic and SM.

Reason and logic does not represent SM’s philosophy but it forms a means to verify it’s postulates and justify belief in it’s claims. Thus the assumptions of science defines it’s principles not reason and logic which float above those assumptions.

Reason and logic define the reality of these materialist principles. So negation of God per se does not form the hallmark of SM. It’s just that the premises behind the hypothesis (that God exists) that does not conform to materialist definition of reality and as such it becomes anathema to science.  

Despite objective scientific findings that conclusively points to the existence of non-material entities, secular science refuses to even suspend judgement on the issue of God – it goes straight into the “God offensive”. SM has it’s own standards of proof, evidence and definitions for reality.  So for secularists, there is no definition or platform to allow a belief in God which it views as an irrational amorphous a posteriori abstraction that is beyond the scope of SM definitions because God cannot be observed or secondarily inferred from specific supernatural phenomena.

Thus there is no secular definition for the term “God” in secular materialist philosophy as theists understand it because it lies beyond the scope of SM objective intellectual experience. But SM sees the reality and the possibility of existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal entity through it’s own terms. However it finds no basis to include the possibility, however remote, the existence of that reality.  In other words what I am essentially saying is :  

i)                   The evidence against God is at least in the objective sense – inconclusive. In such an instance, reason and logic requires a suspension of judgement in this case.

ii)                 The centrality of absolute adherence to the objective way (the so-called scientific method) towards ascertainment of truth cannot be assumed to be superior or the only way because objective establishment of hard facts requires solid data – and if Euclid was right, absolute fact is impossible. 

So what is Transcendental Reality? There can be no answer to it in SM philosophy because, essentially, it holds that there can be no reality transcending the objective experience or observation. Such a line of thought has no room for the acceptance of subjective or intuitive deduction as valid explanations of reality. As such they don’t see the point (of the reality of God’s existence) because they don’t have one to start with.

In SM theory, the idea of God as defined by theists, simply cannot be observed or at least reasonably inferred. Yes as you said God is “NOT empirically verifiable”. To rephrase that you were effectively saying “your proof does not fit my standards”. That’s all. Standards vary and you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that SM’s standards are superior before I can be required to satisfy for my opinions to be intellectually acceptable.

As I have said earlier religion does not need to objectify it’s arguments to secular materialist definitions because it follows a different philosophy. If you consider empirical verifiability of hypotheses, there are indeed tons of observed, realities that secular science subscribes to, that does not fit SM’s empirical objectivity. I hold the standard of objectivity that goes into the theory of evolution to be in the same league as that of the theory of the existence of God both of which are basically a posteriori rationalisations of their respective claims to essential truths.  Thus to say that religion is a fantasy is thus a matter of secular, value-based opinion and I cannot reasonably regard it as superior to theistic constructs. 

How To identify God?

But seriously if I had the answer to that I’d be in some uncharted Himalayan highland happily meditating till death takes over me. But if you want God to show up like say in a clear night you see the stars in the sky clearly going out of their usual positions to make the words “I am God and to prove it, I will make the stars disappear in exactly 7 minutes”. And then say it does happen. Does that prove the existence of God? How do you know it is from God? Could be one of those angels teasing or maybe satan himself playing tricks? Can this event be empirically verifiable as something that is indeed coming from God?

There is no way you can make that assumption. Possibly even David Blane could create stellar formations. The fundamental mistake in your wanting God to prove himself by manifesting to within the limitations of human perception is that you ascribe some supernatural event as satisfactory “empirical” proof of God’s existence. That would be a great folly because theists do not understand God to be defined as supernatural per se. God is also seen through the reality of the existence of the devil – and devils are supernatural. And so too are angels and Jinns who exist in another realm of empirically unverifiable reality which science has no definitions for. And hence your mockery of which in the cartoon. You simply cannot identify with that. God is understood in a variety of contexts that really narrows and sharpens, rather than widens and blurs, as to what is God.  SM have to consider all contexts before making any judgement about God.

The secular materialistic understanding of God simplistically and conveniently misconstrues the multi-dimesionalities of theo-centric belief of God and it’s existence.  So if you want some cloud above the Kabbah or ceral formations to conclusively proof of God’s existence, I have to say that your standards are pretty low because it just proofs one thing. – and that is the existence supernatural things – at most. That’s all. One cannot make the mistake of simply drawing a definite line from supernatural events to the existence of God because that is not how God is understood by theists. And you cannot assert the position that any supernatural event that claims to Godhood has to be taken as that because secularists have no definition in their theories as to what should be considered as God to start with.  In mainstream  Islam and Judaism it gets even weirder because it essentially holds the reality of God to be beyond the grasp human comprehension. That is why I say secularists such as youselves have no idea what you are into really when you ask such questions. 

God : A belief of convenience?

Another thing is that I don’t think I believe in God because it gives me the answers I want. I believe in God because I am essentially left with the choice of two fantasies of secular materialism and theism. And that I admit this is an opinion. This is due to my realisation that science has failed to adequately answer the hard questions and refuses to establish the truth of God’s existence other than to vehemently deny it. If the size of the universe is a barometer, science, in my opinion, has answered next to nothing the questions arising about the nature of reality. So this makes the choice of theism and secularism arbitrary not clear in any one direction.  

The irrelevance of God’s material absence

My reason for claiming your question to be moot is because it necessarily assumes : “Proof that God exists underpins in him supernaturally showing up, otherwise he doesn’t exist” And your conclusion I infer as  :            – And God showing up means manifesting himself to human perception. –  Thus far God has not showed up and therefore he does not exist?   This logic is warped. 

Thomas Aquinas said to the question of God’s existence that God is neither self-evident nor beyond proof. I brought up the oblivious frog-in-the-well analogy to imply the fact that the lack of appeal of the concept of the existence of an omnipotent being to materialist reason and logic may not be sufficient to disprove god’s existence even though it may also be insufficient to prove it. The lack of a reason as to why God doesn’t show up does not automatically beg the question as to the proof of God’s non-existence.

Aquinas also said about dogmatic belief (faith) and denial :  

“If our opponent believes nothing of divine revelation, there is no longer any means of proving the articles of faith by reasoning, but only of answering his objections — if he has any — against faith”.  

In other words the question of God’s existence is beyond rational abstractions. And being an irrational concept you don’t see the point of God’s existence. It is beyond the ken of SM. And when you don’t see the point, you object based on your own standards belief. And when I object to your objections based my standards of belief, you may call it fantasy. So now, I am answering to your objections based on your understanding of reality.  

However, you will never find an answer based on your basic requirement for materialist proof. That is why I used the word Transcendental-reality in place of “God” in my earlier reply as God transcends materialist perception. And reality in theo-centric thought lies beyond human intellectual perception and as such I can only try and disprove your objections to it. You may find some faint questionable evidence here and there but one will never be able to grasp it. As secular-materialist reason and logic is contingent upon objective extrapolation of sense perception, it cannot “see” why god should or can exist. Having said that said, I must also add that the lack of proof as in the so-called scientific method should not necessarily point to a conclusion as to God’s non-existence. You have to do a better job at disproving it to debunk the idea of God as a necessary myth. So far the hypothesis of God’s existence cannot be scientifically disproved.

Is SM standards really superior?

Notwithstanding other unanswered ontological questions, can materialist logic find an answer to the question of god’s existence? The question of why God doesn’t show up underpins the question of his existence. If he exists then it does not matter at all if he shows up or not. If he doesn’t exist then the question of why he doesn’t show up is moot. Is it fair that for the purposes of proof to human understanding it necessitates a certain manifestation of God in the material world. But God is not obliged to do this as he is understood to be independent of this requirement. My simple take on this would be “Look around”. So the question that is within secular materialist range to know and too within that of the theists (non-materialists?) to prove is “can god exist?”

By virtue of the fact that the universe seemed to be “designed” can mean God does exist. But by virtue of the fact of existing scientific hypotheses proposing other ways in which the universe could have come into existence, he may well not exist. The proof behind the “can” and “cannot” of God’s existence is inconclusive. 

If one regards the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the origin of all that exists, he is sadly mistaken because it can be scientifically be debunked as a glaringly unverifiable hypothesis. (see here for more info)

Must God “show up”?To the question of why God doesn’t show up I ask why must he? If it is within his capacity to be within our perceptual grasp, it is also within God to to be beyond it (i.e to “not show up”). Why should he? A secular materialist wants to see him?

The reason why God doesn’t show up does not mean he doesn’t exist. But I am not begging that that points conclusively that God does not “not exist” either (which is different from “God exists”). It is still inconclusive by SM requirements. Religious philosophy holds that belief is a prerequisite for perception. Sometimes, you have to believe in order to see. In other words it is far true that you can only see what you believe than vice versa.

If you were blind all your life with no sensory link to the material world whatsoever and were suddenly given sight, you will not be able to make out or even see what appears before your eyes. A complementary neuro-intellectual infrastructure (that has adapted to the environment) is a necessary requirement to complement the optical hardware in your body to complete the faculty of sight. While the functional eye receives the signal, it is the neural hardware and the software within that gives it a functional meaning and purpose. The eye provides a window for the intellect to “perceive”.  SO it is the brain that acually “sees” rather than the eyes which is only an instrument.

So the objective system of ascertainment of proof, technically speaking, is hardwired to effectively preclude the belief in the existence of a non-material all-powerful transcendental being. That is because the intellect extrapolates incoming sensory data by hard objective standards.

An analogy to explain this would be this :  It is grossly meaningless that you just have a computer without the software to run it. You need the software to complement the hardware to make the computer meaningful for the purposes for which it was intended. The hardware (eyes) and the software (the neural network) are mutually complementary. By themselves they are useless and need to be married to be functional and purposeful.

What I mean by this is that we all only see (“truth”) as far as we believe (“assumptions”). If you live by the basis of not subscribing by any assumptions you cannot possibly think.You cannot see because you believe in something else.

So just because I have an eye does not mean that everything that is real should fall within my sight to be regarded as existing in truth.  If you ask why God doesn’t show up – I ask you why must he? If he is indeed God and He wants his creatures to know Him then he should or else he does not exist? I can’t see the logic behind this. If you want something you need to know what exactly you mean by that. If you want to see that which I believe in, then you can only see it by my definitions because that’s what I believe in.  And I believe that if I can see “God” materially manifested as a burning bush I don’t think that is God in His true nature but a representation of God through which God communicates to me. Thats because I believe God in his true nature is unknowable. If you want God to show up you must be able to handle the truth of which and so far SM has no handle to hold to even start to grasp the reality of God

I can only base my arguments by the requirements of your standards which does not see beyond the confines of intellectual extrapolation of objective sense perception (i.e the materialist platform) with regards to even existential questions. Science as it advanced through the ages has proven that there exists things that are beyond human comprehension and at the moment the case for God can neither be objectively affirmed nor denied. It is thus your burden, as a secular materialist to disprove god’s existence as much as it mine, as a believer, to prove god’s existence. So far neither of us have done a good job.  

If the theory of evolution needs to be disproved objectively to negate its acceptance for scientific purposes, then so too the case of the existence of God. But the theory of Evolution even fails by science’s own standards of proof. At the most, you and I can only suspend judgement on the question of God – for neither position is superior to the other.

The origin of creation and the determination of the primary cause for existence is far too complex for simple answers.  It may be poetic if not absurd that the universe, created itself and managed to arrange itself in such a way as to create man (among others) in a lonely outpost in the middle of a unimaginably vast nowhere to ask existential questions about itself. An infinitesimally tiny bit of the universe is searching for its own identity and origin and getting no real answers. Hmmm…How could that be?

 

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6 Responses to “Why must God Show up?”

  1. Winslie Gomez Says:

    Iqbaldinho
    Tough time going through the whole article but enjoyed it nevertheless, Good effort.
    I agree equally from the opposite perspective.
    Cheers!
    winslie

  2. Winslie Gomez Says:

    Iqbaldinho
    Oh! you might want to take a peek at this
    http://urbansemiotic.com/2007/06/18/the-bionic-god/#comment-99415.
    winslie

  3. salahudin Says:

    Hey there! Saw the article, will read it and reply in the next 2 weeks. Am a bit caught up in life these days. 🙂

  4. iqbaldinho Says:

    Hey Salahdin no worries, I have the same problem with time here

  5. iqbaldinho Says:

    Hey winslie thanks for the website recommendation. it’s interesting and had me thinking for a while. I’ll mark it and i’m very tempted to give my two cents worth…but I can’t coz the comment link is disbaled on my screen and I can’t seem to get around it. Can you help?

  6. Winslie Gomez Says:

    Hi Iqbaldinho,
    I think he wants people to register or something like that sorry new to this blogging stuff.

    This might help
    http://urbansemiotic.com/2007/05/10/no-more-anonymous-posting/
    I can ask? If you wish!
    Thanks
    winslie

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