I have fallen into a deep pit of skepticism
Speculations on the nature of God
I have fallen into a deep pit of skepticism about God.
One of the definitions of God is the creator of the universe, not just the observable universe but the entire thing. This would mean that God is outside of time and space because one cannot be within the thing being made.
But how can a timeless, spaceless “being” have a personal relationship with us?
Usually what I do when I have these questions is to immediately search on google for philosophers or theologians who have wrestled with this issue. However, this time I wanted to have a moment to think for myself. Now I admit that I need some foundation to kick off my thoughts so I granted myself thinking back to the philosophers and theologians I have learned about in college whether in a class or through talking with others.
Here is what I have come up with:
I began by asking, is it possible to be a being and be immaterial? I turned to Cartesian dualism. Descartes said that the senses deceive us. What we touch, see, smell, taste, and hear could all be hallucinations and therefore must be doubted. However, when I am doubting, who is doubting? I am doubting and as long as I am doubting, I am certain I exist. There is an “I” that is separate from my body. This “I” is not the brain either because the brain is able to also deceive me into thinking that my own hand is not my own, aka alien hand syndrome. Descartes argues that this is the soul. And this soul is aware of its existence. So this soul has a mind of its own. And this soul is certainly not material. I am a being. So yes, it is possible for a being to be immaterial.
Is this being bound by time and space? I already established that this being is immaterial and because it is immaterial, what does it even mean that an immaterial thing exists in time?
Can this immaterial being have a relationship with others? I think so. When we love someone, it is “I” who loves that person (who is his/herself, another “I” to his/herself).
Then I turn to the necessity for God. I turn to St. Thomas Aquinas’ argument from necessity. St. Thomas argued that everything in the universe is contingent. This means that it is possible to think of the non-existence of the thing. For example, I could have not existed if my parents had not decided to meet. My parents could not have existed if my grandparents had not met. If we follow this line of logic, there was a time when nothing existed, even the universe (The universe could not have existed if there was no big bang). However, there is something rather than nothing; the universe exists, my parents exist, I exist. Therefore there must have been a necessary first cause. A necessary being could be defined as a being that cannot not exist; a being that has to exist. This being would have to have immense power to create a thing like a universe. Aquinas also argues that this being would have to be intelligent but I do not fully buy that argument. There is no point asking why a necessary being exists just as there is no point in asking why 1+1=2.
So then, is it possible for this necessary being to be outside the bounds of space/time and have a personal relationship with us? I think so.
However, possibility does not equal certainty. And for that, I would have to take a leap of faith.