Man and His View About God
Describes the view of man about god...
MAN AND GOD
During the May of 1987 brown out where the apprehension of another coup-d’ tat, many Filipinos where surprised when they looked up in the sky that God is the creator of earth and sky. There are scientist who believed in God, they are Albert Einstein, missile expert Lise Werner, Von Braun, the great mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, the astronomer Johann Kepler they know that the deeper they they get into science, the more He comes shining through. However, there is more than an invisible cord, such as one’s thoughts and reflections linking man to God, Robert O. Johann in Part III of his book The Pragmatic Meaning of God shows God is intimately a part of the being of man, and is the condition for man’s complete becoming Johann’s purpose is to show not only how God is intrinsically constitutive of the human, but how explicit and thematic attention to Him alone makes possible the full realization of the human. Johann proceeds in three steps in order to show what he want to emphasize. The first step will consist in sketching out a conception of the ideal, the second step will indicate the positive bearing of belief in God on the realization of this ideal, thirdly, since the ideal is embraces every dimension of our lives. Belief in God, instead of being a force for alienation, is actually what restores us to our neighbor, to ourselves and to our world.
>About 80% of Filipinos are Catholics, 20% consist of protestants and pagans who believed in anitos. >aetheist- who doesn’t believed in God. The question for many is: how well thought out is this belief in God? Is it I believe because I believe? Is it the gang mentality at work; I believe because you and they believe? Is it necessary to think about what Johann means by “God is an intrinsic part of man?” Is it necessary to reflect on if God exist at all.
The significant contribution of the article of Father Francis E. Reilly, S.J. is that it helps us inquire into this problem “within the context of human inquiry and knowing in general”. Father Francis E. Reilly, S.J., is a professor of philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila University. He did graduate studies in philosophy at Saint Louis University in Missouri where he was awarded a doctoral degree in 1959. He has authored three
books; The Philosophy of the Real, Charles Pierce’s Theory of Scientific Method, and God’s Questionable Existence. Rational Inquiry about God’s Existence by Francis E. Reilly, S.J., said that an adult believer is expected to be aware of his believing. He doesn’t just believe, but he knows that he has come to believe through his fellow believers, and that these are still involved in his believing. He recognizes too that what he believes is said to be from God, whose existence he accepts and confesses in the very act of believing. The adult believer realizes upon reflection that believing is an act of entrusting ourselves and accepting his message to us. Even one who does not believe can assure himself like other believers do. An adult believer has a responsibility to be inquisitive about believing, but there are some people who are so impoverished that their inquisitiveness just does not get the chance to develop. But still there are some believers who have what it takes to become inquisitive and who have what it takes to become inquisitive and who have a leisure time to ask important questions about believing and in this way to become believers in an adult way.
There are two paths of inquiry: One is theology which is amounts to seeking the further truth about the contents of faith. It is an inquiry which focuses on what God has said and attempts to deepen the believers understanding of the word of God, and to see its relevance to the contemporary scene. The other path of inquiry is philosophy; it amounts to seeking the further truth about the act of believing in God’s word. It does not so much focus on what God has said but rather asks about the very act of believing itself. In searching about God’s existence an adult believer must be ready to believe in things. But if believing is a respectable act of the adult human intelligence, it will be necessary that some people at least be able to show the truth of God’s existence by reasoning from a stand point other than belief. Inquiry about the truth of a religious belief will conform to the general guidelines of human intelligence. Some of these guidelines are the following: 1.) Questioning and searching for answers must begin with the human situation in this world. -Our basic act of knowing is the perceptual judgement, that is, a judgement made about a material object present to our senses. There is no type of judgement about the real more basic than this. 2.) It is also part of our situation in the world that we have an unending drive to know the truth about reality. –We are driven on by a passion to know, by a
ceaseless curiosity. No answer will put an end to inquiry. No conclusion, no matter how certain, will leave us completely satisfied. Only the truth will satisfy an inquisitive person, our yearning is for knowing the truth about reality. We thirst for the real, even for a partial and poorly expressed knowledge of it. 3.) We are finite of all our knowledge partakes of the finitude. –No knowledge can be perfect. There will always be some shadow of incompleteness and vagueness. We are finite and all we do is finite. 4.) Rational inquiry about God’s existence be intersubjective, that is, dependent on a community of fellow seekers for the truth. –No one is trying to find God by way of sense perception the way we would look for a lost of keys. Our quest brings us far from the visible or otherwise perceivable part of the world, and hence we need the challenge as well as the assistance of other inquirers. Since human knowing is unavoidably finite, it helps to have other finite thinkers at our side, who may see finitely, of course, another side of reality. 5.) Any actual inquiry will be particular. -That is to say it will be about some particular sector of being: the score of a ball game, the birthday and age of a friend, the approximate dimension and age of the universe. The truth being sought determines the manner of seeking. Hence it is not right to expect a priori a quest for the truth about God’s existence to be like a proof in geometry, or like confirmation of a medical diagnosis. 6.) Be loyal to our inquisitive.-If we are going to be loyal our inquisitive we will not exclude a priori any question, nor any realm of being, nor any method that will enable us to reach the truth about being. 7.) In the background of any act of thinking lies the attitude that reality is intelligible and that human persons can know it to some extent. Quite early in life we opt for the intelligibility of being. The option may be implicit. In most cases it is. But as we approach maturity and turn to philosophy we can discover more fully the reasonableness of the option. It does fit our passion to know, our eagerness to inquire.
The rather general guidelines about human knowing given above make it somewhat easier to understand that rational inquiry about God’s existence will have some similarity to other rational inquiries. Still some differences are to be expected in the way the inquiry will be conducted. The question “Does God exist?” cannot be answered by the same method one would use to answer “Does a planet in our solar system beyond Pluto exist?” The God whose existence we ask about is said by religious believers not to be a material object.
Believing in God is the act of a person, of a flesh and blood individual living in a society of other individuals with definite problems and attitudes, and the belief of the religiously mature person will be a basic guide for his life, perhaps the most basic of all his fundamental convictions. As a consequence the rational arguments which attempt to verify a religious affirmation of God’s existence will be of the type that would verify a fundamental conviction. And since the fundamental conviction of a person are the most basic motives and attitudes of his life, the persuasiveness of any attempted verification will depend on what fundamental convictions the person actually lives on. If a person’s motive for his choices are fundamentally self- centered, if others, if others are considered only for his own personal gain, again no rational argument, no matter how carefully worked out, favouring God’s existence will be persuasive.
The topic is a bit complex and it would be better to divide it into subtopics: 1.) The type of knowledge that religious belief and its verifications are. What type of activity is religious belief? •
What makes a religious belief differ from an affirmation about the number of planets in our solar system, the mean density of the universe etc., is that the religious belief offers the believer a truth or purported truth concerning the basic meaning of life and of being. Such a meaning is transcendent in as much as it holds true in any situation in life. Hence the act or habit of religious belief is the believers acceptance with mind and heart of that personal being who reveals himself in love as the one who confers existence and goodness and truth on whatever is other than himself.
Religious believer almost always professes and lives out his belief as a member of a group of fellow believers who worship together and who support each other spiritually, emotionally, and even materially according to need.
Religious belief is the fundamental sense of life and how to live it. The adult believer has some understanding of God’s word, he accepts this word as true.
According to David Pailin, belief in God “ is not to be treated as an assent to a claim about some entity which exists alongside of the snails, stones and stars etc., which together constitute the world. It is rather to be treated as belief about the existence and nature of that which is itself self-
explicable, is ontologically and valuatively ultimate and is the only true ground of the unity and meaning of all things. 2.) Existential situation of individual people. How significant in an individual person’s life is the influence of what should be the main inspiration and integrating factor of his personality? The question seems to be part of a more general problem of good sense, seeing the point, grasping the connection between a given situation newly encountered and general principles already known and accepted. Active inquisitiveness, searching for questions, the desire to develop a more accurate and complete ethical code and to see the event confronting the author in relation to that code, all of these pertain to growth in maturity and in the integralness and magnanimity of his personhood. Curiosity is part of our standard equipment. A person who allows reality to simulate his inquisitiveness and who uses his maturing intelligence to discern which questions are most deserving of pursuits is already in position to grow in philosophical wisdom. Part of becoming an adult thinker is learning to ask the right questions. We can be wild with joy about existing, or awestruck by the cosmos, or brought to tears by sad news of distant disasters, or ecstatic about God’s love. A person can learn to see the momentousness of the reality that confronts him. His ability to see this is dependent on his perceptiveness, it is true, and is to that extent part of his subjectivity. A set of religious beliefs and other fundamental convictions, then will vary with the individual’ responsible use of intelligence and with the intensity and depth of his commitment to those beliefs and convictions. 3.) Method of testing some religious beliefs. Be more explicit in suggesting ways of verifying a religious belief. •
The religious belief that God exist and is the creator of the world can be verified by testing the fruitfulness and comprehensiveness of the belief. Is it productive of a unified understanding of a large sector of reality? For verifying a religious belief it is helpful to examine whether such belief is consistent with values such as happiness, love, friendship, community, establishment of justice for all, and the
organization of those structures necessary to preserve humane, peace and justice, forgiveness, living according to a carefully formed conscience. And does religious belief even promote an understanding and a realization of these values? •
Belief, it can be discovered, not only fits; it confirms and enlightens the rational knowledge. Furthermore the person who does not believe may be led to see that belief in God the creator may be worthy of the thinking person. God, he may conclude, is not so incredible after all.
Some philosophers who try to reason to God’s existence propose another type of argument also. The existence of the world and its main characteristics, they maintain, cannot be sufficiently understood by the persistent questioner unless he affirms God’s existence as creator and sustainer of the world. This kind of argument is sometimes called cosmological since it begins with obvious characteristics of the world.
Furthermore some philosophers begin with the human experiences of the moral.
In this few lines sketching cosmological and moral approaches to God he used the expression “ultimate account”. By this he means a human attempt to reach human knowledge expressed in a judgement that will be a finite and partial explanation of nature and man. It will be humanly ultimate since no realm of being is excluded, since the infinite is affirmed of giving sense and being to the infinite. But since this work of discovery is done by humans its conclusions will be incomplete, somewhat dark, and provoking further questioning. No matter certain it may be, it is still in need of development and depth.