Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Basic Decision

I don't feel like my believing in God is exactly something I simply 'decide' to do. I am not someone who thinks you can simply CHOOSE to believe anything. But neither do I think faith in God is somehow disconnected completely from volition. There are decisions involved. The Bible itself indicates that belief is something  you take responsibility for...but how can I be responsible for something I have no control over?

Certainly not every belief-forming situation is volitional. I do not decide whether I believe in this computer I'm typing on. It's existence imposes itself upon me, and ultimately I have no choice but to believe in it. But not every case is like this.

I have used before the example of my dog's emotions. I know enough about the arguments over consciousness to know there are strong arguments against animal consciousness. But similarly, there are strong arguments for it. Neither position--for or against animal consciousness--imposes itself upon me. Yet I believe very strongly that my dog has emotions and feelings, and is conscious. That belief is in part chosen. I CHOOSE to accept the strong arguments for belief in animal consciousness over the strong arguments against it.

An athelete who chooses to undertake a challenge at a level they never have before also makes a choice in regards to belief. Will a skier be able to make 'that jump' this time? They've made it before and failed before, but now is the 'big event' and they have to try to make it. Believing they will make it makes it more likely that they will, in fact, make it. Ignoring the doubts is part of what makes success possible. And so, they believe that this time they will make it. That is a chosen belief, and and an important one.

I had a dream the other night where I saw the whole of creation in a vision. God's voice told me that I'd already chosen to see it all as good. That was a choice. I have to take responsibility for that choice.  I cannot give into despair having chosen this. I have to own what I believe. That choice also has clear implications, including that God exists. I believe in God because I have chosen life. I also believe strongly that God loves, and is love. That strong belief was not simply chosen, but the goodness of life is something I believe in, partly as a matter of choice. I chose life, and so I keep faith with God.

1 comment:

  1. I too believe in God and Love and Jesus Christ and Life and the Light and the Truth. I believe partly because I was brought up in the faith and partly because of something inside me. I believe it is the Holy Spirit that leads me to accept the truth of God's existence and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My biblical upbringing awakened the desire to know and please the Lord. Without God and Jesus Christ in my life, I would be lost trying to navigate this temporary world. Denise