Monday, October 12, 2009

Is there a Need?

When I finished reading Sartre’s Patterns of Bad Faith, I began to question whether or not God is necessary and after much thought, here’s the conclusion I came to.

Generally speaking, God is as undefined as Sartre’s ‘good faith’, but, unlike Sartre, we attempt to define the unknown. We do this by adding attributes to God that we think are not of ‘bad faith’, while, also adding some that aren’t so appealing, such as: jealousy, and vanity. Sartre would say that by adding these attributes to God, we are limiting our scope on God. By relying on the past and present to provide ration for a phenomenon that cannot be explained we ignore all other possibilities; therefore, we are in bad faith. But, if this is true, then God makes all humans who choose to believe, people of bad faith. So why do we need a God, especially if you choose to follow Sartre’s logic? The simple answer is that we need God - the same way a child needs a parent, the way students need teachers - God becomes our permanent mentor. Unlike your parents or teachers, God is a being that doesn’t leave your side or die; in fact, the closer you are to your one absolute truth, death, the closer you are to God, as his being exists beyond time and space, like death. The other reason why God is needed is the idea of ‘good faith’. Since humans are animals, our one basic instinct is survival; luckily, we have the ability to reflect, reason, and rationalize all qualities that keep us civil. As such, if the concept of God didn’t exist, where would human thought be? God values certain moral characteristics of people, and therefore people follow them to be a reflection of the great Being. Here’s where ‘good faith’ comes into play, but first I need to clarify that, ‘good faith’ is not one’s passion for God or religion; in fact, it’s far from that. ‘Good faith’, as it relates to God is the personal character traits we attribute to God and aspire to have. For example, the evaluative thinker thinks highly of his being because God also assesses, therefore God becomes the evaluator. So why then is it shameful to judge others, especially if God does it, and the attributes given to him are indeed human? That’s because God becomes the absolute evaluator, this is ‘good faith’. If we attempt to take on the role of the evaluator, we ourselves take on the role of God, putting us in ‘bad faith’. I believe this is where every human lies, as overtime every conceivable quality that a human has, has undoubtedly been passed on to God. I don’t think this is a bad thing; in fact, humans striving to be Godly can achieve many good things. The problem is when negative attributes are transferred to God’s being.

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