In Part 1, I made the point that atheists believe that their physical senses are exhaustive in telling us everything that exists in reality. I said that I do not believe that my physical senses can tell me everything there is to know about reality and that simply because I can’t physically experience something does not mean it is not a part of objective reality. In Part 2, I’m going to discuss what kinds of things I am primarily referring to when I say that I believe that something exists outside of my physical ability to perceive it.
I want to be clear that I am not merely making a distinction between people who believe in the supernatural and people who do not. There are two reasons I’m not making this particular distinction:
- When I say that I believe there is an objective reality outside of my physical senses, I’m not saying that I believe in supernatural things like ghosts, crystal balls, and Miss Cleo. When I say that I believe there is a reality outside of my physical senses, I am first and foremost referring to God and I am also referring to the objective reality of immaterial things like logic, morality, and beauty. I believe that these things would exist even before the human mind even existed and had the ability to conceptualize them. (Though I do believe in beings like angels and places like heaven that exist outside of my physical abilities to perceive them, I’m simply not using them in my reasons for belief in God because I think belief in God must come before belief in those things.)
- The second reason I’m not using the dichotomy of natural versus supernatural is that this distinction is usually made to differentiate between the “logical”, natural world and the “illogical”, supernatural world. Because I believe that everything exists in the same logical reality, the things I cannot physically experience are still subject to the same rules of logic. For instance, I believe morality exists outside of my physical experience. However, I reject moral relativism because it’s illogical. If morality exists, and people disagree on a moral principle, there are only two possibilities. Either one is right and one is wrong, or they are both wrong. What they cannot be is both right. I do not believe that any part of reality is nonsensical.
I believe logic exists because I have the ability to investigate and make sense of the world. I don’t believe that it needs to be empirically proven because it simply is. In fact the demand for empirical evidence for anything stems from the recognition of the reality of logic. I believe logic is a governing principle that holds reality together in a way that makes sense.
Human beings all over the world want justification for their actions. We want to know what is right and wrong and desire to live in accordance with our beliefs. I believe that this is a result of the reality of morality. I believe that there is objective morality and I believe that it is true across time and cultures.
I believe that beauty is also an objective reality even though it cannot be empirically proven. I also believe that our pursuit of beauty is a pursuit of something much greater than ourselves.
These are the things I’m mostly referring to when I talk about reality outside of my physical senses. While I am open to the existence of a logical “supernatural” part of reality because people have claimed to have supernatural experiences all over the world and throughout history, I am very skeptical of stories of ghosts and angels and demons. I personally do not find them convincing in my own reasons for why I believe in God. I’m not saying that that’s how I should or shouldn’t be, and I love hearing ghost stories that are supposedly true. However, I don’t take them as helpful in proving anything to myself.
My next three posts are going to be on how logic, morality, and beauty lead me to believe in the existence of God.