Is god even real

Added: Natasia Kestner - Date: 17.11.2021 13:14 - Views: 20639 - Clicks: 6959

Can we know God is real? Kan ons weet God is waarlik God? This article examines the question as to what ground we have for believing that God is the only true Divinity.

Is god even real

A re-evaluation of the misconception of faith as 'blind trust' or belief without reason is provided. From this it is seen that faith, as used in the Bible, may refer to the whole of Christianity as 'the faith', to trust based on expectation not 'blind trust'or to faith as genuine knowledge derived Is god even real experience. Based on the idea of Is god even real as knowledge derived from experience, this article investigates religious experiences and the self-evident beliefs often arising from these experiences as possibly forming a valid part of our knowledge of God.

The traditional restrictions on self-evident truths that a truth must be recognised by all who understand it, that it must be a necessary truth and that it must be an infallible truth are shown to be unsupported and contradicted by experience. The definition of 'self-evidence' defended is that such beliefs are simply produced in the mind by experience instead of being inferred from other beliefs, that they are experienced as prima facie true, and that they are irresistible or impossible to disbelieve for the person who had the experience.

If we accept this definition of self-evident truths, which corresponds to the way they are actually experienced rather than the version that includes arbitrary restrictions imposed by a few philosophers, not only will beliefs such as that other people have minds, or that our names are what they are, be allowed as self-evident. The experience of the gospel as the truth about God will also be a genuine self-evident truth to those who experience it as such. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die vraag na die gronde waaroor ons beskik om te glo dat God die enigste ware Goddelikheid is. Hieruit kan gesien word dat geloof, soos dit in die Bybel gebruik word, na die hele Christendom as 'die geloof' kan verwys, dus, na vertroue wat op verwagting gebaseer is, en nie blinde vertroue nie; dit kan ook verwys geloof as kennis wat van ervaring afgelei is.

Hierdie artikel maak gebruik van die idee dat geloof kennis is wat van ervaring afgelei Is god even real om ondersoek in te stel na die religieuse ervarings en die self-evidente oortuigings wat dikwels vanuit hierdie ervarings ontstaan as 'n moontlik geldige deel van ons kennis van God. Daar word aangetoon dat die tradisionele beperkings wat op self-evidente waarhede geplaas word dat 'n waarheid deur almal wat dit verstaan erken moet word, dat dit 'n noodsaaklike waarheid moet wees en dat dit 'n onfeilbare waarheid moet wees nie oortuigend is nie en nuwe kriteria word voorgestel.

Ook die ervaring van die evangelie as die waarheid omtrent God sal as 'n egte self-evidente waarheid aanvaar kan word deur diegene wat dit as sodanig ervaar. The article that follows is written from a frankly Christian point of view. It does not seek to prove that God exists or that Christianity is true, as both are assumed from the outset.

Is god even real

It is also written for Christians in that its focus is on whether Christian faith has the status of knowledge or is something Is god even real than that. I argue that it is, indeed, knowledge whenever some ificant cluster of Christian beliefs is experienced as self-evident and that cluster includes or presupposes God's reality.

Whenever that happens, those beliefs are justified and so count as knowledge, not blind trust. This conclusion is not, however, presented as a proof of God's existence. In fact, I argue that Is god even real existence cannot be proven - though it can be known. Nor am I assuming that knowledge must be defined as justified true belief. Including the truth of a belief in the definition of knowledge is analogous to defining veridical perception as normal perception of something that really exists.

In both cases it can only be more of the same kind of experience that first produced a belief or a perception that could possibly provide the criteria for determining that the belief is true or the perception is veridical. Thus including the truth of a belief in the definition of knowledge makes every knowledge claim either hopelessly circular or entangled in an infinite regress.

For these reasons I take knowledge to be justified belief, and argue here that the experience of a belief's self-evidence counts as justification.

Is god even real

The Christian view of the grounds of belief in God. The question taken up in this essay can be posed this way: On what ground do we believe that the only true Divinity is the Triune Creator God who manifested himself incarnate in Jesus Christ? Often the first answer I get is: 'Belief in God's reality is a matter of faith; we take it on faith that God exists'. And because this is such a widely accepted answer, it is all the more important to see right away why it is sorely in need of clarification.

This clarification is necessary because there are so many misunderstandings about the meaning of the word 'faith' as it is used in connection with religious belief. For example, Mark Twain once quipped that 'Faith is believin' what you know ain't so' and many other writers have done almost as badly. So it is important that we take some time to see how the writers of the New Testament use the term.

The first clarification is that they never use 'faith' in any of the senses just mentioned. No one can possibly believe what he or she knows to be false, and no New Testament writer uses 'faith' to mean belief against evidence, Is god even real beyond the evidence, or a blind 'leap of faith'. The second clarification concerns the way the meaning of the term 'faith' was transformed by New Testament writers. Every writer of the New Testament was, so far as we know, an observant Jew who had come to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Not surprisingly, they all show great familiarity with the Old Testament OT. But the term 'faith' appears only once in the entire Old Testament! That single occurrence is in the prophet Habakkuk, where he says: 'The just shall live by faith. How are we to understand this difference? Why do New Testament writers make prolific use of a term that had played almost no role in their religious life prior to becoming Christians? The need for a new term for religious belief was the same need that required those authors to write in Greek rather than in Hebrew: the gospel of Jesus Is god even real was to be good news not only for Jews but Is god even real the entire gentile world as well.

For that reason, the record and interpretation of the life and work of Christ needed to be in the international language of that day, which was Greek.

Is god even real

Moreover, it needed a term for religious belief that did not assume the hearers of the gospel message were already familiar with the history of God's dealings with Israel. It had to challenge gentile pagans whose general outlook on religion was enormously different from the way it was thought of in Israel. In Israel God was known to his people by his mighty acts which were both recorded and interpreted by its priests, scribes and Is god even real. That is why Old Testament writers refer often to God being known to Israel by his presence amongst them. There was nothing speculative about that knowledge; it was not a theory they proposed to explain anything, but reports of Israel's experiences of God's covenantal care.

Is god even real

For the observant Jew, belief in God was what we would now call belief by acquaintance. God's presence was constantly Is god even real in a variety of ways, and the stories of his past saving actions were woven into the very fabric of Israel's national consciousness. There were, for example, God's appearances to the Patriarchs, his mighty deliverance of Israel from Egypt, his leading the people by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, and the miracles performed by the prophets. Most important of all was God's constant and continual presence in the holiest place of the Temple above Is god even real Ark of the Covenant.

Israel knew God because God lived with Israel. In this setting it made sense for the prophets to call for faith fulness, to issue reminders of what Israel owed God in return for his covenant-love. But there was no need for a distinct term for religious belief such as 'faith'. Israel's belief in God was never mere belief, but belief that was also knowledge in the sense of an intense experiential relationship.

In fact, the same term was used in Hebrew for knowing God as was used for conjugal relations of husband and wife Gn 'And Adam knew his wife and she conceived So there was no debate in Israel concerning whether God's reality could be known, as opposed to whether it was mere speculation or opinion. By way of contrast, that was exactly the debate which had occupied Greek and Roman poets and philosophers for hundreds of years prior to the rise of Christianity.

In Greece, the ultimate 'wisdom' about religious belief was Protagoras' famous comment: 'Concerning the gods, it is not possible to know whether they are or are not By contrast, in Israel the verdict on the same subject was: 'The fool has said in his heart "There is no God"' Ps In the debate over what counts as knowledge, Greek philosophers had developed a specific terminology for highlighting the difference between beliefs that are merely opinions and beliefs we have the intellectual right to say are certainties.

From Plato onwards the terminology used was to call beliefs we are entitled to be certain of 'episteme' [knowledge], whereas the term 'pistis' [opinion] was reserved for mere opinions no one is entitled to be certain of.

Is god even real

I'm not suggesting that Jews were not every bit as much aware of the difference between mere opinion and certainty as the Greeks and Romans it occurs in Josfor example. The difference between belief that is merely opinion and belief that is certain knowledge is a common one. No one has to be a philosopher to be aware that often we are justified in being sure of a particular belief, and to be equally well aware that at other times beliefs we hold are merely opinions we trust to a lesser degree than certainty.

Is god even real

I like the way this point was put by one of my favourite mystery writers: 'There's knowing and there's knowing for sure and there's a space between the two of them a man can get lost in' Hill For example, the belief that you will go to bed before 10 o'clock tonight or Is god even real next month will be unusually sunny are merely opinions. They may turn out to be true, but you have no good reason to be certain of them in advance. Other beliefs we are not justified in being certain of are promises we take on trust. If a friend promises to keep a secret, we can't be completely certain the promise will be kept until it has been.

Many of the beliefs we accept on the say-so of others are in the same boat, such as your belief in the accuracy of a friend's report of a car accident you did not witness. From now on I will refer to the opinions we form, including promises we take on trust, as beliefs we accept rather than as beliefs we know. I will use 'know' only for the ones we are justified in being sure of beyond a reasonable doubt.

Since this is a commonly recognised distinction, it should not surprise us that the writers of the New Testament especially St Paul, St John, St Luke and the author of Hebrews were also aware of the Is god even real between opinion and certainty. Moreover, there is no reason to suppose they were unaware that it had played a large role in the history of pagan thought about religion. Thus it should also not surprise us that they needed a new terminology which would differ sharply from the pagan intellectual tradition and at the same time communicate the Jewish and now Christian view of religious belief to those whose thinking had been Is god even real by that pagan tradition.

In the dominant pagan Greek intellectual tradition, the only beliefs that were certain episteme were those which are either self-evident or proven, and the only beliefs that were allowed as self-evident were with a few exceptions the truths of logic and mathematics. In contrast, what we find in the New Testament completely ignores the dichotomy of episteme and pistis that had been developed by pagan thinkers. The term episteme occurs only four times and never means certainty as contrasted to mere opinion.

The three senses of 'faith' in the New Testament. One of these senses, entirely new to the Greek language, was that they used 'faith' pistis to refer to the whole of the Christian religion - to all that God had revealed.

Is god even real

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