God is Not an Explanation

God is Not an Explanation July 22, 2013

Ian recently wrote a post on his blog, “Why God Doesn’t Explain Anything.” It reminded me of a post I wrote quite a number of years ago, and reposted a couple of years ago, with the title “God is a Mystery, Not an Explanation.” It starts off like this:

The world we live in is full of mysteries. When we envisage the self-replicating molecules that drive life on this planet, we wonder how they could have arisen, and we seek explanations. Likewise with the very fact than anything exists at all, we wonder why there is something rather than nothing.

To say “God did it” is not an explanation. To suggest that an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient being is somehow self explanatory and a way to eliminate mystery is misguided. This doesn’t mean that it is inappropriate to talk about God when talking about these mysteries. But God is part of the mystery, and to speak of God is to affirm that beyond these tangible mysteries we perceive there are even greater mysteries regarding which we may not even yet be asking the right questions yet.

Click through to read the rest.

I think a distinction that it is important to make is between (1) whether it is reasonable to conclude that our universe points beyond itself to something else, and (2) whether, by positing that something else (be it “God” or “a multiverse”) we have thereby wrapped things up and provided an explanation that brings an end to mystery.

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