Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My nagging thoughts on the existence of God 2

I finished reading Keith Ward's Why There is Almost Certainly a God today. Yes, it's a tough read but it did help me sort through some of my thoughts about the existence of God.

Whilst he postulates several points to support the existence of God, what convinced me the most is the part on The Problem of Consciousness. Ward writes:
The problem of consciousness is so difficult that no one has any idea of how to begin to tackle it, scientifically. What is that problem? It is basically the problem of how conscious states – thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions – can arise from complex physical brain-states. Even if we are sure that they do arise from brains, we do not know the sorts of connections that conscious states (such as ‘seeing a train’) have with brain-states (such as ‘there is electrical activity at point A in the brain’). We do not know if conscious states can have a causal effect on brain-states, or if they are somehow reducible to brain-states in some way we cannot yet explain.

No one can yet explain where and how consciousness came about. Whilst it does not "prove" God, it highly suggest there is a superior consciousness from where we came from.

My two problems I blogged about several days ago are these:
1. The perceived unsophisticated stance of being a theist whom some deem stupid and childish, being the reputation of theists.
2. The possibility of a God that is more complex than what is revealed. It's a bit tough to explain this. It's just that what if God is not what he describes himself to be. What if there is more to it that makes him less sovereign.

For me, the first is easy to tackle. I like what Ward wrote:
The question of God is not a purely intellectual puzzle. It is bound up with the basic ways in which we see our lives, the cultural histories and traditions from which we spring and against which we often react, and the most fundamental values, feelings and commitments we have. It is not just a question of evidence, in the sense of clear public data that put matters beyond any reasonable doubt. It is a question of basic forms of perspective and action.

As a believer in God, I strongly feel that in such questions it is not a matter of all the good and wise people thinking there is a God, and all the bad and silly people thinking there is not (or vice versa). All of us have partial perspectives, and we need to engage with others to see what the limits and advantages of those perspectives are.

So in my upbringing as a Christian and in my search for truth, I am convinced that I believe and serve the true God. Nothing stupid or childish about that. From my experience and knowledge about who God is, it all make sense and even though I'm not a genius, I am no fool either.

On the second problem, I need to work it out a bit more. And since I've tackled my first problem and have no doubt about his existence, and I'm convinced that the Christian God is the only one that makes sense, to me that is, then I will need to accept that who he says he is is exactly who he is.

And I need to watch less science fiction.



  1. I agree with you that God is complex. But in a sense he is simple. When I read about Jesus I see an image of God that is always good and always loving. Pure light. No darkness in him.

  2. Yea, according to Ward, God is complex in he sense that his mind contains everything and he is capable of all possible actions that are compatible with the divine nature. But God is simple in that:
    1. He is not composed of separate or separable parts
    2. He acts on one or two general principles and does not consist of many arbitrarily linked and contingent elements
    3. He is the one and only cause of all existence except himself, which can have no cause