My Philosophy Of Balance Essays, Book Reports, Term Papers

This essay My Philosophy Of Balance Essays, Book Reports, Term Papers has a total of 3316 words and 16 pages.

My Philosophy of Balance My Philosophy of Balance Balance. Our world depends upon it physically, psychologically, and spiritually. This principle, although easy to overlook, is the foundation of my personal philosophy. Without balance there is no harmony, no conflict and no growth. Any productive result, any achievement, any strength is useless without it. The balance in my world is achieved by these fundamental beliefs: God exists, and yet evil exists; all humanity does have free will and all these beliefs contribute to the development of a meaning for life. All of these beliefs are components of each other, an interdependent relationship that creates my personal philosophy. Each value’s participation in my final belief is measured and balanced to a precise amount, leaving an end result of harmony, certainty, belief and faith. I. God exists Of all the questions that face man, the question of God’s existence is the most important. This is true not only for a person’s salvation, but because of the way this will influence all other beliefs. A belief in God will act like a polarizing factor in someone’s life, affecting the way that they think and reason about almost anything. If a person does not believe in God, this too will cause great change in the way that life is perceived. The change that this belief brings to a person is best illustrated by Immanuel Kant’s proposition that certain conditions change our ability to perceive things. Kant’s postulation is described by Jostein Gaarder, who writes, “there are certain conditions governing the mind’s operation which influence the way we experience the world” (p. 326). Although this explanation of Kant was referring to how time and space influence our ability to reason, this would also extend to a belief in God. A belief in God influences all areas of a person’s life, especially the purpose and intent of what our lives mean, or should mean. The question of God’s existence has been debated in philosophy to great lengths. E.K. Daniel has listed all common philosophical arguments for the existence of God in his essay “A Defense of Theism”, consisting of The Ontological Argument, The First-Cause Argument, The Argument of Contingency, The Design Argument, The Moral Argument, The Argument from Religious Experience, and The Natural Law Argument (p. 260). These arguments are familiar to any basic student of philosophy, along with the critiques that have been raised by philosophers such as Ernest Nagel in his essay “The Case for Atheism” (p. 274-283). These arguments have almost reached a virtual impasse, since there seems to be as much rational proof against the existence of God as there is fervor to believe in God. K.D. Ellis states this by saying “They may offer some support for the plausibility of the belief in a god, but they are not sufficiently strong enough to compel our assent to the conclusion that a god exists” (p. 297). This difference of perspective results in theism, atheism and agnosticism. One of the rational reasons that I offer as proof of God’s existence is exactly because of the impasse of this debate. Given this, the deductive argument/thesis that I pose for the existence of God is: If God exists, he wants people to believe in Him through faith (If A, then B). For faith to exist there must not be incontrovertible proof of God’s existence (If B, then C). Therefore, God exists because there is no incontrovertible proof of God’s existence (If A, then C). It is prudent to define the terms of this argument. My definition of “God” is exactly as Ellis defined: “a being who is (deemed to be) omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, perfect, infinite, eternal, supernatural, and thus transcendent to the natural universe...the god of traditional theism” (p. 296). My view of God is that he is a being with a genuine personality, character traits and intelligence that exponentially surpass that of human beings. It is difficult to accurately define God, since the terms that we use to describe Him involve conceptualization that is far beyond our ability to imagine. This God would be the farthest realization of any positive feature that we possess, including the aspect of fairness. This concept of fairness, which we as humans adore but seldom adhere to, would constitute a God of balance, equality and benevolence. By exists, I mean that God is alive, with full power and ability. I define faith as being “the assured expectation of things hoped for,” similar to the definition that is found in biblical text. Through mention of “incontrovertible proof” I mean that a rational argument or physical manifestation that would or could occur that would prove to all humanity, regardless of their individual level of skepticism, that God does indeed exist. To analyze this thesis, let us begin with the question of the necessity of faith. Does God really require faith in him for a person to be considered a true servant? The only way that this can be answered is through God’s written word, the Bible. In the Bible, it is written at John 3:16: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life” (p. 1330). Jesus also stated that it was faith that would determine if a person would share in God’s rewards of the afterlife at John 11:25 by saying, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all” (p. 1345). Ephesians 4:5 speaks of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” (p. 1460) further showing that faith is an essential part of being a servant of God. In scripture upon scripture, it is clear that faith is indeed an essential, if not one of the most important factors in worshipping God. The next step is to analyze how proof would affect faith. If there were undeniable proof that God exists, would there be any that would not believe in him? I cannot imagine a single rational mind that would actively resist God (although accounting for the diversity of humanity, there might be a few), but no rational-thinking person would have any choice than to accept that God exists, and to dedicate themselves to His worship. In fact, the entire reason that there are divisions in philosophical circles between the theist, atheist and agnostic is because of the unproven nature of God’s existence. Ellis bases his entire decision to be an agnostic because “there is no good reason for anyone to believe the existence of a god” (p. 297). Bertrand Russell describes the concept of God as “a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms...a conception quite unworthy of free men” (p. 294). Being rational, thinking men, would not their concept change if there were incontrovertible proof? Of course, as all rational people are willing to accept new ideas when proven to them. What then, becomes of faith? Simply put, there would be no faith. There would be no challenge and no benefit from believing in God. Make the question of God’s existence into an answer, and the entire nature of each person’s relationship and belief regarding God would be changed. This would be unacceptable to God. The all-powerful, omnipotent God that I envision would not be satisfied with a relationship built upon blatant proof such as this. It is the seeking of God, the willingness to take a stand to proclaim God’s belief, the love of God and the faith in God that creates the special relationship of being in “God’s grace.” Obviously, for this kind of special relationship to occur, there must not be incontrovertible rational proof of God’s existence—the very act of questioning, and answering this question by each individual is what creates the special nature of a relationship with God. I can visualize the critics’ response to this argument. It might be said that this is a “circular” form of reasoning, since approaching this argument from another route would indicate that if there were proof of God that He would not exist. It may seem irrational, but I would agree with this statement. If there were proof of God, the God that we believe in (as defined above) would not exist. The God that manifests the qualities of this definition would not want to have automatons as subjects. The God of our definition above would want a special relationship that was based on more than rational acceptance of his existence. If there were indeed incontrovertible truths of God’s existence, then the God that did exist would be not be the God that we have envisioned, worshipped, or even inadequately defined as now. Therefore, I believe the thesis: God exists. II. Evil exists Remembering that the God we have defined is a creature dedicated to the highest standards of balance, this would demand that we accept that if good exists, evil must exist too. Whether speaking of moral or physical evil, these must exist for good to exist as well. The idea of a “harmony of opposites” is not exclusive to the God of traditional theism. Native Americans have long believed that for good to exist, that evil must also as presented by the Golden Mean issue (Bruchac, p. 59). The Oriental religion of Taoism speaks of the Chinese alchemical symbol of the yin and the yang, and how opposites must exist as an interdependency for either to exist at all (Eshleman, p. 276). Look at the world around us: for each attribute or quality, there is a clear opposite. Whether day/night, up/down, inside/outside or good/evil, there is always a positive or negative counterpart. This is even true in the world of physics, such as in the negative and positive charges of electrons. The

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