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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Is there a God?

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.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous pepe said...

i do believe that no matter what one's faith is, it should translate to practical compassion and social justice.

8:25 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

pepe You got that right. That is the most important thing.

5:27 AM  
Blogger gilbert yap tan said...

hi rolly, long time no hear from me. I've been busy attending my MBA classes and adjusting to grad school student life. anyway, matters of faith are personal and not subject to debates. After all, if there's is a God, we are individually answerable to him as to how we live the lives he has given us.

wars like the Crusades were so futile and wasteful of precious lives.

12:33 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

gilbert Yeah, I know. So, how's school? And yes, we are individually answerable to Him and not somebody else. All these debates on who is right is nonsense.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Angel said...

I believe there is a God. I will not debate with anyone who believes otherwise but wish him peace. =)

3:55 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

angel Neither do I. I always shy away from religious debates. And I just wish them well, too. Thanks

9:25 PM  
Blogger atesienna said...

religion, for me, is something personal. somethiing i don't like discussing, imposing on, moreso arguing about, with anyone.

minsan nga gagawin ko yang ginagawa mo na tititig lang ako sa salamin. i can understand why it could be scary. pero parang very revealing. who knows, baka makita ko yung kakambal kong anghel na matagal ng nakalimutan nitong bruhang counterpart nya :)

12:45 AM  
Blogger the philosphical bastard said...

i believe in God. When I talk to atheists (or to people of other religions), I always tell them na "kanya-kanyang trip lang yan."

But my basis for believing in God, if I were to take myself out of being a Christian, is the proof of history and prophecy.

Some say that God is a concept that man created because he is obsessed with immortality, i do not think so. Man, after all, is a rational being. I believe God manifests himself to all of us and that is why we feel him.

Aynako.. ang daldal ko nanaman. :p

2:44 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Atesienna Sige nga, subukan mo nga ulit. I haven't tried that ini a long long time.

Philosophical Bastard Okay lang maging madaldal basta me sense ang sinasabi. Atsaka hindi naman mahaba ang sinabi mo. Okay lang. :-)

8:01 AM  
Blogger ipanema said...

I think I belong the doubting Thomases clan. Not that I ask or doubt if there's a God. I'm a believer.

I've been in situations wherein I've become sceptical in perhaps what I believe though I always come back to earth, remind myself that there is someone ABOVE ME.

10:28 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

"is there a god" din ang parating tanong ko sa sarili ko. hanggang ngayon di ko pa rin alam ang sagot.

ang importante sa akin ay maligaya ako at wala akong ginugulangan na tao.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Miki said...

sabi nila, God wants us to doubt. because doubting and then believing means so much more than blind faith. i like that term, "leap of faith." it implies that you know what you're doing, and though it seems irrational, you do it anyway. versus blind faith, which makes it sound like you're following orders without seeing or understanding the principle behind them - para kang sunud-sunuran lang.s

9:05 PM  
Anonymous bayi said...

Of course, there is God!

But I shall skip the intellectual debate, which I believe will not answer the question satisfactorily.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

i have read dawkins' book "the god delusion" and i have many friends who don't believe in God, and i have heard countless arguments telling me there is no God, and still, i believe there is a God.

dawkins shoots down st.thomas aquinas' 5 proofs or quinquae viae, and labels them as either foolish or fiction.

maybe one has to hold a beating heart in his bare hands in order to believe there's a god. i don't know. as long as i'm concerned, i believe and think that God exists!

10:55 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

ipanema It is okay to doubt. It is just being human.

batjay I think that is ore important than anything else

miki Believing after having doubted is the key component of "leap of faith."

doc emer me latin phrase that goes like this: credo quia absurdum" (ata yun). I believe because it is irrational. I don't need a rational explanation to believe that God exists! I just do.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Mec said...

sumasakit ulo ko sa philosophical approach... ahihi :)

i;m just thankful that everywhere around me... i see what I believe are proofs of His existence...

6:17 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

mec nakaka nosebleed no?

10:52 PM  
Blogger romeo said...

i now miss sir cortel's philo classes.

11:13 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

romeo I showed your comment to Mr. Cortel and expectedly, it warmed his heart like any teacher would have. Thanks.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

This reminds me the story about The Barber and God. It tells us that people who don't search for God ends up not believing in Him.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Svelte Rogue said...

I'm allergic to the philosophical bent for very personal reasons and which, I can assure you, are the least logical and reasonable in the world.
-----------

"An objective, rational answer to the question of God's existence has always eluded man. ...
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."

-- you begin with questioning god's existence and then fuse this question in the latter part of the quote above to questioning who god is, what his identity is.

--------------------

"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."

-- tito rols, all protestants are christians because they still believe in the christian god. the schism lies between catholics and protestants, and is manifested in the sacraments that each "sect" uphold within their traditions. while catholics have seven, protestants only uphold two as sacred. the first major schism in christianity, though, would be the split between the eastern (orthodox) rite and the western (latin, catholic) rite. the overarching tradition is belief in the god of moses and the coming of jesus as the christ.

---------------

"Believers of Islam are continuously trying to find their place in a world dominated by Christian thought."

-- there are approx as many catholics as moslems, and kung sa akin lang, rolly, islam has a definite place in our world's history as one of the four great religions (christianity, hinduism, islam, and judaism).

-------------

"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."

--- here i beg to differ, rolly. a person can take this 'leap of faith' without doubt. one need not doubt in order to face the unknown. one can argue that you take the leap of faith precisely because you have no doubt in the existence of god, as i believe kierkegaard did. god's existence was not a question in his mind, but rather this: what meaning and significance is there in my life because god exists?

9:50 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

"-- tito rols, all protestants are christians because they still believe in the christian god. the schism lies between catholics and protestants, and is manifested in the sacraments that each "sect" uphold within their traditions..."

Yes, Thank you. I was trying to cut down on word count so that the piece would not be too long. :-)
Nevertheless, they did fight sometime in the past, didn't they?

"-- there are approx as many catholics as moslems..."

My bad! You're right.

3:43 AM  

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MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.


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