Thursday, July 31, 2008

Following Reason to Its Limits

Why is it more rational to assume God to be self-existent than to assume the same of matter? Isn’t it just as irrational to assume the self-existence of God as to assume the self-existence of matter? When you get right down to it, doesn’t the idea of God defy rational explanation just as much as any naturalistic theory of beginnings does?

Yes, both God and naturalistic accounts of origins are beyond the reach of rational explanation. Both believers and naturalists must admit that ultimate origins defy comprehension and either alternative proposed to explain them is impossible for the mind to grasp.

Reason cannot explain origins because, according to reason, everything that exists must be caused, which means that something had to exist prior to it. The mind cannot encompass the idea that anything could exist without a beginning, which is a necessity in both the naturalistic and the theistic alternatives. Yet one of these alternatives must be true because existence cannot be explained apart from self-existence.

We must find the courage to venture out past what we can fully understand. We cannot understand how uncaused existence is possible, but we can rationally accept the necessity of it. But when reason examines the evidence, it can accept the concept of God as a rational necessity because nothing less will account for the existence of matter, life and order. Based on this rational necessity, reason can rightly direct the mind to take the step beyond comprehension into belief.

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