Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Ground of Being

I like Stroppy Rabbit. Don't always agree with her. But the fact I don't always agree with her is not something that would make her get all grumpy, and I approve of that. If we all agreed with each other, where would we be? Stepford, probably. Or maybe Royston Vasey. So I'll go with passionate but respectful disagreement.

For example. In her post "Missing the the point (again)" she remarks, beautifully in passing, "..whether or not God exists is a boring question. It's been pretty well settled that God does not exist. Some theologians have got round this problem by saying that this is because God is existence, or the Ground of All Being, but then that leaves the question of what that might mean."

It's the "pretty well settled" that caught my attention. I don't know where I was the day the vote was taken, but I'd had voted the other way had I been there, I'm pretty sure.

See, "the Ground of All Being" is a terribly 1950s kind of way of putting it, but I do see some of where it comes from.

If God exists, far as I can see, the "Ground of Being" is the thing God must be. Here in the blue corner we have this multi-dimensional, possibly multiversal thing which is the whole of space and time as we know it (and mostly don't). Over in the red corner we have a suggestion that God is a localised fairy-story superman. I don't go with that. If God's God, then God's the thing it all comes from, the source of reality, the ground that all logic, all physics, all mathematics, all stuff flows from - or God don't exist. You can have it either way. But that ground of all being - God's got to be that, if God exists.

Doesn't mean God can't choose specific, of course. It's God's universe, and I'll accept God can manifest Godself all kinds of ways - maybe one special way per planet, or per isolated pond of space-time from which no meaningful information can ever flow, or just once, ever, on Earth - or all sorts of ways I can't imagine. And also in folk-memories and dreams and myths and all sorts of things, embedded into the world and the subconscious in exactly the way that the Ultimate Question wasn't, in Arthur Dent's brain.

My head hurts now, but I just wanted to say that. And if they hold another vote and you're there, Stroppy Rabbit, can you put in a proxy "yes" for me on the existence of God? Ta.


  1. Make that 2, please Eileen. The Ground of All Being may sound 1950s, but it hasn't gone out of fashion with me.

  2. Weren't The Ground of All Being a 60s prog rock band?

  3. So you're a closet Deist then AE? ;)

  4. I think Stroppy Rabbit must have been reading the work of a certain retired American bishop. I gave up on him when, in the first book I leafed through, he kept saying things like 'Now that we all know that X didn't happen/doesn't exist/isn't true...' an I kept thinking 'Wait a moment, when did this all become something we all know?' and never getting on to other parts of his argument.

    1. Steve - not at all. The same 17th-day CS Lewis-ite as ever! Deism's terribly un-Trinitarian, and I'm 300pc one of those!

    2. Steve - not at all. The same 17th-day CS Lewis-ite as ever! Deism's terribly un-Trinitarian, and I'm 300pc one of those!


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