October 8, 2016
It’s been an interesting week. I’ve been debating what I ought to write today, and thinking back on the past few weeks, most of my conversations with a close friend have been concerned with how we engage ultimacy (for us, ultimacy is God). We consider his character, we doubt what sources we can trust, we complain because we tend to be confused often. But hey, that’s what you get with asking tough questions about something that supposedly created you.
Anyways, I thought it might be appropriate to construct my understanding of theology from the ground up. With all of these conversations taking place, I glanced back at some of the work I’d done in a class my second semester of college. The title of the course was God, Faith and Evil; it was pretty much a study of the basic ideas that are discussed in philosophy of religion (which in laymen’s terms means the study of religion through the use of reason). This particular class happened to be one of the first in a series of classes that challenged what I fundamentally believed. I can say, these courses have reinforced some of my previously held beliefs, while some beliefs have changed in ways I find to be very beneficial.
Either way, through taking a second look at my work, I remembered how I constructed my idea about how everything came to be with the use of reason. While we can look at creation accounts such as Genesis 1-3 or a mathematical analysis like the Big Bang Theory, I find it even more beneficial to draw it back another step. In order to do this, I think it is best to begin with an argument that was constructed by Aristotle. In Aristotle’s Metaphysics, he constructs an argument for the unmoved mover or the prime mover. Unfortunately, I cannot do the argument any true justice in just a few words, so go and read it yourself; however, in short he states: we live in a universe of cause and effect, so something had to start the chain reaction that got us here. We can’t draw the causes back forever, there has to be something that moved first without it being moved.
With that said, my understanding of how the universe began comes down to three options:
- There is no god, all of this is a fantastic accident;
- There is a god, it created the universe, but our lives have no purpose;
- There is a god, it created the universe, and creation has a purpose to fulfill.
Now if you know me at all, I figure the third option to be the truth; however, I don’t find you to be foolish if you believe any of the options above. Like I said, these are only starting points. They are something to build off of, not the ends in and of themselves. I’d love to know what you think: Is there another option? Are one of the options wrong to assume? Let’s continue to ask questions.