Is There a God? What About Creation? Part II

Probably not in terms of a direct capacity to communicate with or verify the presence of. Probably not even in terms of an omnipotent being that is transmogrified from human to deity and observes all things simultaneously. Probably not in terms of spatial identification or an entity with humanoid or any sentient characteristics.

More probably creation had little to do with an architect’s design although it may follow patterns unrelated to a plan but more related to patterns of development in the universe. Creation was separate from current religious explanations and happened without order or “predestined” outcomes. It is likely that non-scientific explanations of planetary creation are speculative and culturally derived from attempting to establish some order of understanding or to impose some order on others. More probably a god is pure faith and not predicated on reason. More probably god is an entity that derives from cultural heritage or adopted cultural heritage. A deity is an attribute of culture in my opinion and results from human imagination and transmission. I do know that biology should emphasise Darwinian evolution and religions may postulate their views in the appropriate venue: like church or a Mosque, in theological discourse, but not a classroom in which science is the primary discipline under analysis.

This is somewhat consistent with earlier posts on humankind creating God. I do not believe that would diminish or denigrate the notion of a God if in reality it were a human construct. Humans can do important and beautiful things and if religion and god are derivative from that, I do not see that as apostasy. Yes apostasy if one is committed to a sequence of God, creation, religion. Not apostasy if one is willing to accept a sequence of non-metaphysical creation, religion, god as a need for large segments of humankind.

Is God important? Obviously. Does god exist? I do not believe so but I am too limited to declare or attempt to influence others. If God exists for you, based upon faith, then that is your understanding. If god does not exist for a person, that may be equally as virtuous. I like to believe in things that are less tangential and more easily transparent. Others find comfort in the unknown or in the ethereal grandeur of the incomprehensible, the phantasmagorical, I am not being pejorative, of deities and saints that mere mortals like myself find too complex to grasp much less dedicate a life to worshipping.

Does a belief in God represent a lack of sophistication or a lack of clarity in seeing the limits of such a view? No. God exists for believers on an individualised or congregational or group basis but not for those who reject the concept.

I have been associated with Catholic universities in graduate school and in my teaching assignments, and while I do not share their commitment to religious faith, I share some of their values and respect their right to believe or not to believe. I am most interested in religion, have studied it and practiced it at various times. Currently, I am more focused on what humans can do to improve their world and am less confident that there is an invisible hand, economic or ecclesial, that watches or guides our actions.

Should a professor who teaches at a Catholic university make these statements? Of course if he or she chooses to do so. All universities should promote the free exchange of ideas, academic freedom and the pursuit of truth. I do not know what “truth” is and that is the truth. My job is to question, to reexamine the canon, to raise issues that provoke and hopefully stimulate, to be honest and explore values of social concern. A Catholic university is not a church and its social contract with its non-Catholic, or non-believer Catholic personnel is to respect their rights and traditions and vice versa.

This entry was posted in Academia/Academic Freedom, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.