Anonymous asked: Do you believe in God?
My answer is “yes.” Now allow me to critique the question.
It may become more clear how very complicated it is to answer this question by changing the word “God” to the word “Love,” so that the question becomes, “Do you believe in Love?”
Imagine answering this question. You might want to say “yes,” but it’s not really clear what the question means, exactly. Even if the question is “Do you believe that Love exists?” it is a tricky proposition. Because, as certain techno songs have asked before me, what is Love? Or really, what does the question mean by Love? What sense of the word is being used? Romantic love? Familial love? General goodwill toward others? Is it some kind of cosmic Love, or is it just the Love between humans? Can animals experience/practice this Love? The question seems to need clarification before it can be properly answered. Are you asking about a Love that is human in its origin, or does it exist independently of human life and the human mind in its current state?
There is also the problem that I feel something indescribable about the question. It is a very short, five-word question about something that is beyond words, something transcendent. Speaking personally, Love is an essential part of who I am and all that I hold dear about what it means to be human. I have felt it in ways that can never be put into words. When I say “I love you” and really mean it, it means something very deep. But do I believe that it exists? Like, really exists? Or is it just (“just”) part of my imagination? And that brings up a probably-potentially-endless conversation about what it means for a transcendent concept/thing to really exist.
All of which leads one either to: a) clarify the question, which maybe can never fully be done, or b) change the question to something that will be more relevant to the issue. Such as: What do you intend to do about your ever-changing thoughts, feelings and longings on the matter of whether and how Love exists?
“What do you intend to do?” is the real question here. Anyone can believe that Love or God exists. Hitler might have believed in both of them; that doesn’t change what happened with that guy. I don’t really care what you believe in. What I want to know is, how do you behave? What rules do you follow? What practices do you engage in? How do you treat people? And are you working on becoming better at life?
As for me, I’m interested in God, I think about God, and I try to live up to what I suspect God might want from me, all without really knowing what I am talking about, thinking about, or doing. I’m fumbling in the darkness every step of the way. But yes, I believe in God very often, and I recommend giving it a try if you are interested.