Sunday, November 8, 2020

Significance: is that the secret?

Is belief in God reasonable? Can we have knowledge of God? That is, can we get past belief; is belief really reliant on knowledge? That is for a reasonable belief?


Leave Kierkegaard's 'leap of faith' in the existential bin where it belongs.

Moreland and Craig in their books and lectures on YouTube and on line cover large territory in this area, but there's more, I think.

It's akin to what I call 'the problem of beauty'.

There's plenty of talk abou the 'problem of evil'. And that's a problem for the atheist, polytheist and the village cynic. As C. S. Lewis sets it out, it is a motivator of belief in God.

The other problem is that of beauty. In a materialist framing of reality there is no basis for it, no functional reason for it, no material connection it makes with particular assemblies of matter.

But we detect it, enjoy it, seek it, want to create it, evaluate it and prize it. Materially it is irrelevant.

Why should a natural scene, a sunset, a bird, a painting, a musical performance be so good. Why does fruit or wine or cheese, or a New York Cut steak, or French cooking taste so darn good. It doesn't need to be that good to be enjoyed, and it doesn't need to be 'good' at all to sustain life. But there you are. It's better than it needs to be and we can detect and enjoy that.

Significance likewise.

We all live as though our lives are significant, we fight death and discomfort and insignficance every time we shop for clothes, buy a book and go to the doctors.

No matter our beliefs, we act in a hierarchy of signification.

In a material world this is irrelevant. Sure, we would act to achieve instinctive benefit, but our demise would be a non-event if there was no means of signification.

We live significantly.

That is because there is a being of final value (this is therefore an offshoot of the Liebnizian cosmological argument) [also Craig here]. There is a giver of significance. Significance is not a contextless attribution or disposition of our 'brain'. But is a mental reference to a value system that in itself cannot be a configuration of matter.


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