UCTAA churchlight

Site Search via Google

Ask the Patriarch 111
Your 1st Article of Faith

from Wolfius

The 1st Article of Faith:
The existence of a Supreme Being is unknown and unknowable.

To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.

I realise I am, in all likelihood, hardly the first to make note of this, but your first 'Article of Faith' disparages faith in the existence or non-existence of god, and yet the claim that the existence of god is unknowable is, in itself, an act of faith. While the answer may be presently unknown, one cannot truthfully say with absolute certainty that such will always remain the case(admittedly, the tenet -is- called an article of faith, but all things considered that label seems more tongue-in-cheek than not).

The Patriarch replies:


First of all, it is stated several times on this site that much of the terminology used is, to a degree, tongue-in-cheek. The Articles of Faith certainly falls in that category.

But let's deal with the specific issue of whether or not the existence of a God is unknowable.

There are certainly agnostics who do not hold to this claim, but I do.

There are two ways of looking at the issue, depending on what claims are made about God.

First, consider the Supreme Being, Many of those who believe in this version of God claim that God is beyond human understanding. Thus, based on this characteristic of God posited by those who believe, it is reasonable to assert that God's existence is necessarily unknowable to those of us who are mere mortals.

Secondly, consider the deistic god, the Creator who initiated the universe, and then went on his or her way, never to interfere again. This god is outside of the our universe, outside the boundaries of our time and space. We have kno way of determining what is outside our universe; we can only hypothesise. Once again, we have a god who is unknowable.

Obviously there are other versions of gods beyond these two, but the failure of their supporters to present clear evidence without the cover of "beyond human understanding" or "outside the universe" renders me rather atheistic towards them.

Claiming the existence of God is unknowable is not necessarily a statement of faith. It can be arrived at through simple logic.