Friday, October 21, 2011

On the Search for God

Walking along the banks of the river the other day, and arguing with myself about the truth or otherwise of such thoughts as popped into my head, I was struck by the following, doubtless unoriginal, ideas.

Science will never discover God because one of the axioms/dogmas/assumptions of science is that nothing is, in theory, beyond the reach of human reason. God is almost certainly beyond that reach, being, for reasons of His own, discernible only by revelation. Therefore the scientific method can never find Him as it has defined him not to exist and will always reach that conclusion. It is possible that human reason (groping blindly from paving stone to paving stone, with no knowledge whatsoever of and no way to conceive of what might be off to the sides) is far from being the perfect instrument we imagine, and is even created imperfect for a reason, that it is sufficient for us to recognise and love God, if we choose, and no more.

It is easy to say that there is nothing to suggest the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, being guiing his creation and waiting to judge us when we die, but the mistake that the more vocal atheists make is to imagine that all knowledge must be accessible to human reason. There is no reason whatsoever why this should be so. Militant atheists of the Dawkins/Randi type make rather too much noise, and show up their superstitious horror of anything that lies beyond their ability to discover.

I am a great fan of reason, and a great believer in its ability to provide both knowledge and certainty about that knowledge, but I think it highly arrogant to assume that this rather poor tool of ours- which some wield with great dexterity, it's true- is a universal attractant for everything that is so. Recognise the limits, attempt to push them back, by all means, but do not imagine you can be certain of what is or is not beyond them.