I traffic in a
1)metaphysical realism, phenomenologically, vis a vis an emergentist account,
2) moral realism, axiologically, vis a vis an objectivist account,
3) epistemic fallibilism, epistemologically, vis a vis a pragmatic semiotic realism
4) holistic personalism, anthropologically, and
5) humanist existentialism, cosmologically (meta-mythically).
Charles Sanders Peirce considered god-argumentation a fetish. At the same time, he distinguished between that and the formulation of an argument, such as the classical proofs. While those are not conclusive, they are suggestive. They do not prove God’s existence but demonstrate the reasonableness of faith by, at least, establishing the equiplausibility of its interpretations versus competing stances, especially regarding putative primal grounds, primal origins, primal being, primal destinies, primal meaning and primal causes. Such propositions go beyond reason but must not go without it, whether empirically or logically. They would not, then, interfere with or compete with probabilistic sciences.
Our traditions contribute so much beyond such creedal propositions. Indeed, ordinarily, formative spirituality proceeds first via right belonging, which cultivates right desiring, which then inspires right behaving. So, our faiths gift us much more so orthocommunal, orthopathic and orthopraxic stances and much less so orthodoxic propositions, which, across the different traditions are truly polydoxic, meaning that they addresss different dimensions of the same ultimate reality, for example, variously emphasizing unitary being or unitive strivings, etc
Faith, properly, goes beyond reason but not without it. Absolute claims to truth have no place in a fallibilist epistemology, which is the only empirically defensible anthropology. Faith, properly conceived, is an existential disjunction or a “living as if” that is normatively justified and eminently actionable even though not otherwise robustly warranted, epistemically, via either descriptive, evidential accuracy, or interpretive, explanatory adequacy. It’s indeed what Wm. James described as a forced, vital and live option, when suitably approached.
The most satisying theological stance that I’ve come across in which to situate all faith traditions would be a polydoxic, tehomic panentheism, which I’ll explain. I ground mine in a fallibilist epistemology and vague emergentist phenomenology.
Without necessarily denying a creatio ex nihilo, some interpret Genesis as describing a creatio ex profundis, which refers to a co-eternal void or abyss or tohu va bohu or chaos or tehom, which means “the deep,” over which the Spirit breathed.
God’s omnipotence would thus be reinterpreted as that power greater than which could not be otherwise conceived without raising logical inconsistencies, whether those would violate, for example, some agapic logic of the trinity or tehomic logic of the primordial deep.
As with other process-like god conceptions, a tehomic panentheism qualifies the classical divine attributes, recognizing limits on God’s power, which remains, in my view, radically good enough to effect the eschatological gospel promises as well as some anticipatory (proleptic) realizations, which, through signs and wonders, provide us down payments, earnest deposits, guarantees or the Spirit’s seal. If by this logic, for example, there might be a rock so big that God could not pick it up, in principle, one might suspect it would be human freedom.
It is my belief, then, that God abhors all suffering, authors no evil, has no instrumental use for it but saves, heals and transforms what He can per logics beyond our comprehension that would not otherwise allow the obstruction of that freedom, which remains indispensable to any authentic love.
Primarily, the Spirit, in an ineluctably unobtrusive but utterly efficacious way, coaxes all forward in love, eternalizing all wholesome trivialities, every trace of human goodness, every beginning of a smile.
It may be that what the great traditions and even indigenous religions share is an essential soteriological trajectory, which, through the orthopraxy of various disciplines, practices and asceticisms, effects human authenticity (e.g as described by Lonergan and others). This authenticity entails “secular conversions” that are available even to people of implicit faith, including atheists, agnostics and ignostics.
Otherwise, then, the traditions then diverge via diverse sophiological trajectories, which, through a glorious polydoxy of orthopathic liturgies, cults and rituals, effect a sustained authenticity (e.g. akin to Lonergan, Abraham Maslow, Viktor Frankl and others). This sustained authenticity entails different ways of being in love with God, others, world and self, including manifold and multiform dimensions.
Human nature remains radically finite. Human epistemology remains inherently fallible.
This polydoxic, tehomic panentheism remains a vague, speculative account, theologically, coupled with some anthropological interpretations that grew out of both interreligious dialogue and comparative theology. Regarding the logical problem of evil, it serves, somewhat, as a defense.
However, regarding the evidential problem of evil, it resists theodicies, which can trivialize the enormity of human pain and the immensity of human suffering in ways that are too often calloused. It also requires only a vague phenomenological approach rather than any robust metaphysic or root metaphor.
In other words, it resists saying more than we can possibly know, proving too much or telling untellable stories. Mystery perdures, wholly incomprehensible but eminently intelligible.
Some paradox surely dissolves from paradigm shifts or changes in perspective. Some resolves dialectically. Some we just evade via a reductio ad absurdum, ignoring it for all practical purposes. But some paradoxes, like the mysteries of faith, can be fruitfully maintained in a creative tension.