I’m trying to find truth for myself. Trying to find it out of what I can perceive, rationalize and what I can accept through intuition while scrutinizing that intuition with cold rationality.
I have found that many people through intuition come to truth for themselves before they could rationalize it. Intuition guides them and then they go back and rationalize their position. That seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy or theory bias, so what good is that? Intuition is huge and cannot be ignored, but I believe our intuition is informed by the entirety of our experience and who is to say that my experience has been right in any way? Well, the fruits of the way I was raised have been good for me personally, so I can at least rely on that for how it effects me directly, but what about others? How have I effected them? It would be grossly selfish of me to maintain beliefs that were established only upon the basis of the beliefs being beneficial to self. What about the people who are not in my immediate “circle of care”, the ones that I could shrug off their death as not affecting my life directly? Do I have a responsibility to them? Do I need to care about my world views, my theological views and how it effects them?
My past fundamentalist christian belief system would have me grant less acceptance of others in the eyes of God that were born a certain way out of no choice of their own…so…I must scrutinize my own thoughts, intuitions and feelings with rationality in this regard. Would an all-powerful, all-knowing God have me relate to others in a fundamentalist way based off of an ancient cultural text that seemingly condones genocide, slavery, misogynistic treatment of women and discrimination of homosexuals (just to name a few)?
No, I don’t think so.
Does that mean God does not exist?
No, I don’t think so.
More likely, we have gotten it wrong. Yet, for some strange reason God stays seemingly out of sight, does not make itself known and does not seemingly intervene very often. This trait of God leaves me leaning towards atheism. I can philosophically see arguments for and against the existence of God. So why not speak up, God? Defend yourself a little? Many would argue that if God revealed itself that we would then have no choice but to believe and that would be against the nature of God. Well, then why the supposed pillar of fire at night and cloud during the day in the Old Testament? Wasn’t that making oneself a little too obvious and stepping on the toes of “free choice” when it comes to belief? Apparently not, those pesky desert wandering people would get right down to making themselves a golden cow as soon as the cat was away.
There are so many arguments back and forth for belief and non-belief. I disdain the statements that try to argue God as a lack of a better choice, I also disdain the “personal testimonies” of individuals that had a “moment”. I have found these on both sides of the argument, for and against belief and I have had both of those moments myself. It almost seems that for me personally God wants me on a fence. That sucks, but I’m starting to realize that I will never, ever “have” any solid proof beyond a doubt. It just does not exist and I apparently should not seek solid proof. So am I to say proof of God does not exist but God does? That seems weird.
So I’m left with an analogy based on the Anthropomorphic Principle favoring then a theory leaning towards the universe’s ostensible fine-tuning as being a result of a higher intelligence having an outside influence on our existence.
Suppose I were to go on a hike and find in the middle of the trail I was hiking a perfect arrangement of stones that would spell perfectly, in English, “Hello Trent Bell”, I would never in my lifetime dismiss that single circumstance in time and space as just coincidence or chance. I would live the rest of my life knowing that someone who knew me had gone before me and specifically placed those stones to communicate that message to me specifically. You could never convince me otherwise. This example is a pathetically small coincidence compared to the interconnected constants needed to develop consciousness as we know it.
So why all the doubt in my current situation? Why won’t the person who spelled out the message on the hiking path reveal themselves to me?