Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Proof

a full moon glowing over the desert mountains at sunrise

Throughout the history of Christianity, philosophers and theologians of the Western world have regularly attempted to "prove" the existence of God - Aquinas and Anselm, Descartes and Kant, inductive arguments, empirical arguments, deductive arguments. It's enough to make your head hurt just thinking about it.

More recently a new generation of "Neo-Atheists" like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking have developed similar arguments aimed at "disproving" the existence of God.

In my daily perusal of social media,  I have discovered that, while many people are indeed on a journey to find God,  the web is also abundantly sprinkled with a renewed spirit of atheism. The social media is replete with claims about how you can't prove the existence of God.

At some level I think the atheists are probably right. I actually don't think it is possible to present logical scientific-like arguments that give proof that God exists. At best, the many so-called proofs offered over the ages do little more for me than make me think it is "not unreasonable" to believe in God.

But here's the thing: I don't want to prove that God exists or doesn't exist. The arguments are unimportant to me, and I am uninterested in debating the logic, because I don't think you can think your way to God.

A few days ago, at sunrise,  I awoke and went outdoors for my morning coffee. I usually sit so I can face the eastern mountains and greet the rising sun,  but on that day I sat and watched the rays of the rising sun reflected on the western desert. 

As I looked up toward the mountains,  I saw it. The full moon was still gloriously abiding in the morning sky. It was an awesome God-filled moment.

Some might say that such beauty is a proof of God's existence. I don't think it has anything to do with proof. I looked up at the glowing full moon presiding over desert mountains drenched in the rays of the rising sun, and for a flicker of a moment I was looking into the face of God. How can you prove that? Why would you want to?

The 20th century Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh, puts it so beautifully:

O unworn world enrapture me, encapture me
In a web of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beach.
Feed the gaping need of my senses. Give me ad lib
To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech
For this soul needs to be honored with a new dress woven
From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven 













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