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God, the afterlife and meaning

By David Dawson - posted Friday, 29 February 2008

After watching a recent documentary on Mormonism, I came to the startling conclusion that an agnostic belief system that doesn’t hold to the stereotypical concept of “faith” is quite compatible with most religious beliefs.

In fact, it can exist within their framework - provided the religious framework doesn’t rely entirely on a fundamentalist basis in ritualism. There’s even some scope for ritualism - bear with me. I can even prove the existence of God to the satisfaction of the most hardened atheist.

Before I can explain how these systems fit neatly together, an explanation of this spiritual agnosticism is in order.


Most theological discussions revolve around three issues - God, the afterlife and meaning.

The agnostic belief set essentially realises that attempting to prove the existence of God, or stating certainty one way or the other is just folly. Nobody knows and people who tell you they do are relying on the concept of “faith”.

Faith is an interesting term. It has pleasant connotations of hope and a reassurance that things will always turn out for the best, however, there are uglier aspects too.

It can be used to short circuit logic and justify self-imposed ignorance. When an impossible quandary is thrown up in religion, the answer is just to “have faith”. Regrettably, this is no answer at all and sounds more like a justification. “Why would a God give me the power to reason, then ask that on the biggest issues, I discard it?”

The answer? “God knows. Have faith.”

If the same logic was presented to you by a used car salesman flogging a car with no warranty you’d quite rightly reject it, so I don’t see why we should settle for that with a creator.


That being said, there is a way we can prove the existence of God.

We just need a new definition. If God is redefined into something we know exists, its existence can’t be disputed.

The real issue here lies with the concept of God as an intelligence. The debate is not whether we have a creator - clearly, we exist, therefore we were created somehow, be it evolution or otherwise. No - the issue is about an intelligent God.

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About the Author

David Dawson is an independent journalist based in the Darling Downs, who covers issues relating to politics and local government.

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