by John Sobert Sylvest
The term God often signifies a putative reality which many have spontaneously hypothesized through abductive inference, such as Charles Sanders Peirce, who referred to Ens Necessarium, such as Hans Kung, who referred, epistemologically, to primal ground, ontologically, to primal origin and being, cosmologically, to primal cause and support, axiologically, to primal meaning, teleologically, to primal goal, eschatologically, to primal destiny, or ology-du-jour, to whatever brute fact might stop an infinite regress of one’s root metaphor for primal reality.
It is worthy of note that making a vague reference to the reality of god in formulating an argument or hypothesis differs greatly from proceeding via premises in formal argumentation, which Peirce derided as a fetish. God, then, is not a syllogism and the term signifies a reality to which we hope to successfully refer even if we cannot aspire to successful description of same.
This is to suggest that natural theology or ontotheology might raise some interesting questions, demonstrating the rationality of our ultimate concerns, but we are telling untellable stories or proving too much if we pretend that it delivers any probabilistic answers.
What we do get, I suggest, are vague existential disjunctives between otherwise equiplausible posits, such as reality will, in the end, be found friendly or unfriendly, that all may or may not be well, that our ultimate concerns will finally be satisfied or frustrated. In other words, we must face theodicy issues and respond practically and existentially without theoretical and evidential justifications that are universally compelling.
Most discover the extrinsic rewards of truth, beauty, unity and goodness. Fewer discover the intrinsic rewards of these values. God hypotheses generally suggest that these existential orientations are, somehow, transcendental imperatives. Those who choose to live life in pursuit of these values and their intrinsic rewards are truly salt of the earth and light for the world, in solidarity and with compassion making the world a better place, whether justifying their stance philosophically, religiously or not.