Saturday, July 30, 2005

Rationalist Theology Redux

In the continuing saga of the elf/DH theological crisis, I present one more (not original, but no reference handy) way for a rationalist to deal with the issue of God having a physical impact on the universe, and yet continuing to be undetectable. We will be forced to accept God's existence as a postulate, but, remember, this is not contrary what this program set out to do, which was to make religious belief not contradict rational thought. The essential contradiction arises from our expectation that God will intercede in the universe, as evidenced by the text of our prayers. But, let us say that God acts through the actions of His people, not on His own. The laws of physics and experimentation are no longer a concern. People retain the freedom to do God's will or to oppose it. Meanwhile, prayer works to refocus our own energies on the communal and personal needs that are contained in the text. By asking God to intercede, we force ourselves to intercede (when the appropriate attention is paid to the words and ideas). Religious belief and religious action are one and the same. Unprovable, but, hopefully, not entirely contrary to reason.

The problems with this approach are twofold. First, it still requires that there have been a supernatural revelation in order for God's will to become known within the universe. However, it does not require continuing supernatural activity that may be contradicted by empiricism. Secondly, it is a cop-out, and, is theologically akin to deism.

And, now, along with DW, and at the suggestion of Dovid, we turn towards the mystical approach of the Tanya. A first-impressions post is coming soon.

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