Friday, February 25, 2011

Aquinas Revistited

So I'm not one to be a fan of logical arguments for the existence of God. I think I stand with Kierkegaard in thinking that God's God-ness is an objective truth which we access subjectively. However, I was thinking about this last night when I was trying to fall asleep. I don't see this argument as so much a "therefore, God exists, QED" as much as a "therefore, it's reasonable to entertain the possibility."

So it seems like the argument against God's existence tends to include one general premise: we have no evidence for the existence of God, and (if we take "God" as the God written about in the Bible) we in fact have empirical evidence against His existence. There seems to be an implied premise which goes along with this. Things as they really are must correspond with the way we experience our, perhaps relative, reality. This premise, I think, is something to dispute.

Here's my argument: If God (in the way God is characterized in the Bible) exists, then we must come to know God through faith. Faith, by definition, requires one to believe something which does not correspond with that person's relative reality. Would it not make sense, then, if one must come to know God through faith, that He would create us to experience reality differently than He does? If this is the case, then the argument that God can't exist because His existence is inconsistent with the way we experience reality doesn't stand.

This argument can't be a formal argument because it leads to the fallacy of affirming the consequent, which is why it shouldn't be taken as a "therefore, God exists" kind of ontological argument. However, it seems to be shifting the burden of proof from the side of the believers to the side of nonbelievers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oh hai

So I'm not entirely sure if anyone reads this much anymore (due to my lack of updating and lack of substantial posts), but what the heck. I like writing for writing's sake, even if it goes unread.

So I've been home from my mission for about a month. Long, complicated story short, I was sent home on a medical release due to unforeseen issues with anxiety. I met with a counselor from LDS Family Services while I was on my mission, but the advice given to me by him (and a plethora of others) didn't seem to cure my problems. The physical effects of the anxiety (nausea, headaches, body aches, trouble sleeping) made it difficult to be an effective missionary. Honestly, the decision to come home was a hard, yet necessary, decision to make. I'm still trying to process exactly how my mission affected me. On one hand, I learned a lot about my weaknesses. On the other, this whole situation has left me with two prominent emotions: guilt and failure. I guess the good (and bad) of it is that it can only get better from here.

One of the biggest things to have to deal with is the extreme change of plans. I'm home. This is the first time of my life (since I was 4, at least), that it has been a school year and I haven't been in school. I find myself feeling awkward and out of place on weekday mid-mornings, thinking I need to be in a class or in the library.

I've spent the last 2 weeks trying to find a job, and was offered a job with a doctor for whom I used to work. He's moving to a larger building and they need more office staff. A woman in my ward babysits his kids and told him I needed a job, and he had his office manager hire me. So I'll be doing front desk work there. Huge, huge, huge blessing.

I also am determined to finally get my driver's license (or driver license, as they are known in Texas) within the next few months. I don't know how I didn't connect the dots earlier, but driving brings me a great deal of anxiety; I'm positive that I'm going to kill myself or my passengers or another driver or blow up the world or something whenever I drive. I previously attributed that to inexperience, but it seems to be caused by something more complex. But that's something to get over.

I'll be returning to BYU this fall. I'm really looking forward to that. I'm thirsting for my student routine. For classes and campus food and TAing logic.

And then there's Brad. He gets home (home for him is Colorado) on April 20th. I don't know if he'll be flying to Texas or if I'll be flying to Colorado, or how long he'll/I'll stay, or what we'll be doing. But if there's one thing that my mission has taught me, it's that even the best-made and well-intentioned plans have a way of sometimes going horribly, heart-breakingly wrong.

Today in Sunday School we were talking about the miracles Christ performed. One of my favorite miracles is Jesus walking on water. I think that fact that He walked on water isn't as much of a miracle as was the fact that He saved Peter despite his lack of faith. On my mission, I read about 75% of Jesus the Christ. This paragraph in which Talmage explains the situation stuck out to me:

Into every adult human life come experiences like unto the battling of the storm-tossed voyagers with contrary winds and threatening seas; ofttimes the night of struggle and danger is far advanced before succor appears; and then, too frequently the saving aid is mistaken for a greater terror. As came unto Peter and his terrified companions in the midst of turbulent waters, so comes to all who toil in faith, the voice of the Deliverer--"It is I; be not afraid."

So that's my life right now. I'm going into my new job tomorrow to see the new building and to be psuedo-trained. I'm ready to kiss this month-long streak of unproductivity a great big adiĆ³s.