Journey into Truth


If God exists in a similar form to most Gods that have been proposed, his existence is certainly the most important reality of all. Therefore, perhaps the most important question of all is “Does God exist?”

The existence of God is among the most lively debates in philosophy, though investigating the problem is difficult. Since no scientific proofs of God exist, philosophical arguments must be used. John Polkinghorne‘s analogy is that the existence of God is like quantum mechanics: neither can be measured directly, both are paradoxical, but they can make sense of disparate data.

Arguments for the existence of God are usually metaphysical (purely philosophical), empirical (based on evidence), inductive (probabilistic), and subjective (arising from personal experience). Arguments against the existence of God are usually empirical, inductive, and deductive (logical).

I did not investigate polytheism because there are no serious theories on how polytheism could explain the universe we know, and virtually no serious thinkers accept polytheism as more than a set of archetypal metaphors. I also did not investigate pantheism because if God is all, then God is merely a redefinition of God to mean “existence.”

Before getting into the arguments for and against God that I have studied, let me address Pascal’s Wager. Blaise Pascal argued that it is a better bet to believe in God than not, because the expected value of theism (eternal salvation) is better than the expected value of atheism. Taken by itself, though, this is valueless wager, because there are hundreds of mutually exclusive claims to methods of salvation. How is one to choose between all the different religions that offer salvation or other benefits? The wager itself does not address this problem. Of course, Pascal proposed the wager in the context of his own arguments for the Christian God, and we will deal with those types of arguments separately.

Finally, in the interest of authenticity I must make a disclaimer that may, for some, invalidate my journey into truth. From the beginning, I have wanted to find a benevolent God revealed in Jesus of Nazareth, because I find Jesus to be the most beautiful thing in earth’s history. And, I have been asking God to lead me into proper truth. But if he doesn’t exist, this will not have corrupted my search for truth. And, nobody can investigate the most important and affecting questions in the universe without bias. I do believe I have solid rational grounds for believing what I now believe. The rest of my story will expose this rationality.

The purpose of this new, epic post series is to tell the story of how I have come to believe what I believe about God; my journey into truth.

Each person has his or her own journey into truth. Some people “find God” through a personal divine encounter, some through a God-shaped void, some through religious indoctrination, some through science, and some through other means. I am a particular type of person who has found God through thought and reason. I do not pretend that my journey is superior to other journeys.

My journey began when I lost the faith of my Christian upbringing to a atheism. Though it was existentially stressful, I am grateful for this experience because it gave me a “clean slate” on which to write truth that I discovered as a thinking adult.

My journey into truth has been very rapid. I have not “paid my dues” as a historian, philosopher, logician, scientist, etc. I have not read the thousands of pages I would like to read about any one of the subtopics I will discuss in this series. I do not have a degree in any relevant fields of study.

But I do not have time for all that. I could spend an entire lifetime studying the veracity of one proposition of one of the formal arguments for God I will discuss later. I could spend an entire lifetime studying the gradual modification of the Bible by learning dead languages and personally reading all extant manuscripts. Etc. But then I would never have time to access the broader truths I seek. So, I am immensely grateful to the specialists who have spent their entire lives on such minutae, but I must read overviews and summaries and consensus estimations and at some point, I must decide what truth is most likely based on these alone.

In general, I am sufficiently convinced when (a) I have enough knowledge of a subject to understand that (b) a significant number of specialists concur on a point that is (c) logically and evidentially sound to me. Throughout this series I will give many examples of ideas that are convincing to me, and plenty that are not convincing to me for failing one or more of these personal criteria.

That being said, I always love to incorporate new data into my worldview. I fully expect to one day be unconvinced of some ideas that are convincingly true to me now, and vice versa. But I must soon accept some truths to the best of my understanding so that I can move on to other vital topics. Eventually, I would like to have “discovered” enough truth by these means to know the best way to live in all circumstances I encounter. I want to live in a fully realized, consistent worldview.

This does not mean that I expect to one day have a complete picture of the universe. I have never heard a consistent, believable conceptualization of how the universe (physical and metaphysical) works, and I never will. I just want to know enough that I can choose how to live in harmony and truth with existence.

My journey is rapid, and my coverage of it will be far more rapid. Though some readers may find this series long-winded, please understand that I will be cutting out a fuckton of material I believe to be necessary. I will be painfully concise to be easily readable, but I will certainly link to more complete materials for the interested.

In Part 2, I will begin to tell my tale and discuss the most important question in the universe.