I know I am not an atheist. To say that God doesn’t exist is like saying God does exist I mean in terms of rational logic and scientific proof. Enough people have tried and failed for me to regard the debate as entertainment. I do know that both the rational and non-rational exist.
Take a novel like Moby Dick. Reason and rationality are not Captain Ahab’s best traits. A huge white whale is not an evil. Yet Moby Dick is full of truth and falsehood, brotherhood and hate — pretty much empirical realities of this world. The clash of both, too, is real. Compulsive obsession is there, too.
The agnostic takes no stand regarding the existence of God, neither denies or affirms. In the terms of mere reason I can buy this view. Don’t presume to know where logical knowing is impossible. The deist and his notion that God made a clock, wound it up, set it on a shelf and then walked off is fiction. One can believe in a fiction. Fiction can tell the truth.
In a non-institutional sense spirituality works best for me — so long as I don’t turn it into an -ism. There’s plenty of spirituality in every major religion of the world, plenty of spirit in art where music, poetry, painting, and fiction can evoke awe and wonder, beauty and sublimity. They can lift us to the very brink of belief in Something beyond our material world. It’s here that I go to Keats and his idea of Negative Capability, the idea that all we need to know is truth, beauty. But we must not force either into some simple notion given us by fact and reason alone or some dogma. And that means science, too. We shouldn’t worship Imagination either. Best to listen to the heart and keep our wits about us. What’s more irrational than Love?
Steadfast and cautious,