I’d like to hear on this question from religious, uncertain, and non-religious friends, even though the Internet isn’t always perfect for the kind of humble, careful thought needed in this kind of thing.
It seems to me like the question “Is there a God?” doesn’t make so much sense. Firstly because so many religions have different ‘powers’ that they call gods/God and there’s almost no definition to the question. Also because responding to the Jewish(/Jewish-derived) concept of a Creator is less about whether something exists or not (we’re not talking about some honourable power within the finite universe), but about how we as finite beings should respond to our ‘source’ for forming us, and whether that source of ours is cognizant of us specifically and cares about us…so to speak.
When we try to look back to our very furthest origins, as far as finite cause-and-effect could take us, the view is hidden by time and space and can only be speculated. Maybe it could never be known except by some over-arching revelation, or maybe it can be theorised or even figured out in some ways (whether by scientific/historical or, somehow, philosophical/metaphysical observations).
Do you think it is possible though not to look back and see God with material eyes, but to think about the ‘gates’ of our origins and respond to our Maker through them? Could you say that the infinite is not less than the creation that rests here in it (somehow), and is not incognizant of us? Could you say that the infinite needs nothing and therefore takes nothing, and well compare existence to a gift that evokes our thankfulness? Could you say that any purpose in life is linked to our origins, and be committed to following that purpose if it can be found by some logical or revealed ‘morality’ (to use the term generally)?
What are reasons for and against these thoughts? I know they need more clarity. But to me they aren’t random rationalisation of things ‘in a prior-believed-in book’…they are instead things that stand out to me a lot, out of all the claims and ideas I’ve heard in my life, and they’re a poor articulation of things I have learnt to feel deeply.
I’m specifically not talking here about belief (or reasons for belief) in historical revelation claims, but about the kind of thinking that people could handle if they never heard any of those historical claims of ‘unusual miracles’ or prophetic knowledge.
One big consideration involves the basic human biases, and also the cultural biases, in what we assume, what we compare, and the way we imagine everything… are we really qualified to comment on things so foreign and distant from our smallness and finiteness? We can assume that our logic is useful-yet-imperfect for finding the best ways for us to respond to reality though, and humbly work from there. (Again, revelation claims bring a historical dimension to the conversation that I don’t want to focus on at the same time as looking into this one, but I’m definitely not excluding them from being important!)