Argument From Beauty, Part III: Kant, We Have a Problem

From a rational and empirical perspective alone, it is possible to surmise that, if there are intelligent designers of our universe, they are indifferent to human affairs, at best. One of the primary themes of the Gospel, however, is that the Creator of our universe is neither indifferent nor sadistic, but cares deeply about all humans, desiring the best for each of them. This theme, I think, is one of the themes that sets the Gospel aside as relatively unique for its cultural milieu, and relatively unique in contrast to currents of human thought in general.

This brings me to what I privately like to dub, “The Fundamental Problem of Philosophy”. Western Epistemology traditionally grants us two valid sources of knowledge: Reason and the Empirical. However, those two sources contradict each other when we ponder the most basic question of metaphysics: Does anything exist?

Empirically, it seems undeniable that something exists. Our sensory experiences and ability to conduct experiments with things both tell us unequivocally that something must exist. Rationally, however, nothing can exist. This is because our reason dictates that everything must have a cause. That is the foundation of the scientific method. We must admit, however, that existence itself must be uncaused, or somehow self-causing. Both scenarios completely defy our reason by defying the most fundamental grounds of that reason.

In short, reason tells us that there is no way anything can or should exist. But experience tells us that something does exist. What this tells me is that reason and experience alone are insufficient sources of knowledge when it comes to the most fundamental questions of metaphysics.

Next: Part IV