Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Fork in the Road

Right now I feel like I'm caught in an endless sea of questions, being thrashed about by the waves. As far as storms go, this isn't a big one—in fact, I rather like the choppy water. But the problem is that the sky is cloudy and I've lost my bearing. I'm disoriented. Which direction am I supposed to be heading? But more fundamental than that is the question: in my search for God, what am I looking for?

In some ways it seems like God should be easy to find. If all I want to do is to locate God, then it seems like all I need to do is stop by one of those old buildings with steeples that are scattered around my neighborhood. But there's obviously more to it than that. I'm not trying to find God in a National Geographic Explorer sort of way. What I'm looking for is somehow deeper than that.

That big question (what am I looking for?) inevitably brings up a whole host of other related questions. What do I expect to find? How do I expect to find it? Do I really believe that I can find it through intellectual pursuit? To what extent does the pursuit have to be spiritual? If the journey is 100% spiritual (and, thus, subjective), can I trust what I find? What about if it's only 50% spiritual? Can these things be quantified? What good does it do for me, as a particular human being, to search, anyway?

And then arises the most troubling dilemma for me: what exactly am I willing to presuppose?

We all come from somewhere. We all have starting points and worldviews. And if we truly examine our thoughts and beliefs, we reach about point where we can offer no further explanations. As Wittgenstein puts it:
If I have exhausted the justifications I have reached bedrock, and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do."
For me to continue my exploration of God in earnest, I have to address the problem of presuppositions. On the one hand, if I allow myself to question everything, ultimately I can go nowhere. On the other hand, if I just accept a number of presuppositions, much progress can be made. But does the progress outweigh what I give up?

Ultimately, what is to be gained? What is to be lost?

As you can see, I am at something of a crossroads. But chances are I'll end up punching it into four-wheel drive and going off-road....


  1. If it's any consolation, I'll be jumpin' in the passenger seat when you trek further out into No Man's Land..... What am I talking about? I'm already there.

  2. I'm a few years short of being twice your age, but I have no answers for you. I stumbled across your website while searching for agnostic theology degrees! I admire your dedication and wish you well. The nice thing about theological roads is that you can travel on any of them without trespassing! Yes, you can even go off-road if you wish.


Let me know what you think....