The Problem of God

June 20, 2011

The human condition is one defined by limits. The most important of these is the epistemic limit: we cannot know why we exist. There are limits to our reason. Though we can and should push these limits back–Science has been doing so for centuries–we cannot ever reach a point where we understand our existence in toto. To do so would be to become something supra-human. It would be to become a god.

Thus the tendency to posit God at the limit of knowledge. We cannot know what exists in that void, so God must. He must be the one who limits us. But this is a fallacy: our limit is a solely human limit. Even if we have a Creator, the impotence of (human) reason is simply a fact given by what we are–it does not imply a being other than ourselves which limits us.

In order to be free, we must not sacrifice our power to God by positing him at reason’s end. But we must also not delude ourselves into thinking reason is all-powerful. It is not. Instead, we must bravely stare into that irrational void and face it as such. In order to grasp our freedom, we must recognize our limits as limits of our own, as givens of our existence. In order to live without chains, we must live within limits.