When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror. I don't mean the
fix-yourself-comb-your-hair look but a real eye-probing-look-that-would-last-a-minute kind. I have done that as a young boy and, maybe I'm weird, but it seems that I begin to feel myself detach from within and see myself as somebody else. It's a little scary, actually. However, it is during these times of neurosis, if that is what it is, that I begin to ponder who and what I am, why am I here, and what will I going to be in the future. These questions always lead me to the ultimate question, "Is there a God?"
An objective, rational answer to the question of God's existence has always eluded man. Many have offered an explanation but always, their answer fall short to the skeptics. This is because as man, we are limited to our senses and our logic.
As a result to our inadequacy to find the "true" answer to God's identity lead us to confusion thus ending in a struggle on who is right. Lately, the cotroversy of teaching intelligent design versus Darwin's theory of evolution has resurfaced in the States. There are people who would not accept that life on earth happened because of a Divine intervention. Ironically, even believers of God's existence do not see eye to eye. History is replete with stories of religions waging war on another with a different belief. The struggle between the Christians and the protestants during come to mind. Believers of Islam are continuously trying to find their place in a world dominated by Christian thought. Somewhere in your barangay, debates in barber shops or whereever people congregate sometimes become heated to the point of fisticuffs, if cooler heads could not prevail.
In my times of profound thinking, which happens very seldomly I might add, I have learned to view religion as something very personal. That what is important to me is what I think and what I believe in. Never mind what others think. I shall respect their thoughts as long as they respect mine. I have come to this conclusion a long time ago only to find out that this is not original. I now refer you to a Danish philosopher,Soren Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard is an existentialist who believed that finding the "Truth" is not important but that finding what is true to the individual's life is more substantial. Hence, "what is true for me" should be the question asked. In Jostein Gaardner's Sophie's World, the main character, Alberto Knox, teaching the fourteen year old Sophie about Kierkegaard's philosophy said:
...we must therefore distinguish between the philosophical question of whether God exists and the individual's relationship to the same question, a situation in which each and every person is utterly alone. Fundamental questions such as these can only be approached through faith. Things we can know through reason, or knowledge, are totally important
Hey, what do you know? I have been thinking along the lines of a famous philosopher!
Now, let me see if I got this right. This so called leap of faith
"leap of faith", according to Kierkegaard is to happen only if somewhere in your mind, there is "doubt" in the existence of God. He says that this is different from saying categorically that you are seeing and touching a table. There is no "leap of faith" that a table is present for it cannot be denied that there is one. This also reminded me of the apostle Doubting Thomas
. He could not believe that Jesus has resurrected from the dead unless he has seen and touched Jesus. There is no leap of faith there. This led Jesus to say, "you believe because you see, lucky are those who do not see, and yet they believe."
Since I am already at it, I would like to say that I also believe in Kant's
"practical postulates". It is essential for morality to presuppose that man has an immortal soul, that God exists and that man has free will
I should believe this for otherwise, I cannot find meaning to my existence.
Labels: philosophy, religion