Analytical Philosophy and the Believer
The foundation of theism is not a speculative guess or inference or theory, but an imaginative vision of existence which can be of deep significance for life.
It cannot be verified by common sense or by science or by metaphysics.
There is a gamut of religious experience which strengthens the impression that in our approaches to ‘God’ we are in touch with something real, but it does not prove it. And one aspect of experience is that the meanings of our images and concepts are constantly changing in our hands.
What determines belief is an existential acceptance. Man builds a world around himself and builds himself in relation to that world. ‘God’ is a way of obtaining maximum unity in the world and maximum meaningfulness in our life. But the acceptance of God is not an ascertainment of existing fact, but a kind of ‘faith’.
There is a rival ‘faith’ which presents a world and a life without ‘God’.
No decision can be made between the rival faiths on rational grounds. Adherence to either, in so far as it is not mere habit, is a kind of choice. One chooses that belief which allows expression to one’s authentic self.
It is tempting to suppose that, if we could all analyse ourselves to the deepest level, we should find the authentic self to be the same in us all, and therefore converge upon a common faith. But it has never yet been found possible to make such an analysis and reach such a convergence.
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