This week we are considering the primary philosophic questions and answers related to ‘existence’ …of being.
A second possible answer in the area of ‘existence’ is that all that now is had an impersonal beginning. This impersonality may be mass, energy, or motion, but they are all impersonal, and all equally impersonal. Many modern men have implied that because they are beginning with energy particles rather than old-fashioned mass, they have a better answer. Salvador Dali did this as he moved from his surrealistic period into his new mysticism. But such men do not have a better answer. It is still impersonal. Energy is just as impersonal as mass or motion. As soon as you accept the impersonal beginning of all things, you are faced with some form of reductionism. (Reductionism argues that everything which exists, from the stars to man himself, is finally to be understood by reducing it to the original, impersonal factor or factors).
The great problem with beginning with the impersonal is to find any meaning for the particulars. A particular is any individual factor, any individual thing – the separate parts of the whole. A drop of water is particular, and so is a man. If we begin with the impersonal, then how do any of the particulars that now exist – including man – have any meaning, any significance? Nobody has given us an answer to that. In all the history of philosophical thought, whether from the East or the West, no one has given us an adequate answer.
Beginning with the impersonal, everything, including man, must be explained in terms of the impersonal plus time plus chance. Do not let anyone divert your mind at this point. There are no other factors in the formula, because there are no other factors that exist. No one has ever demonstrated how time plus chance, beginning with an impersonal, can produce the needed complexity of the universe, let alone the personality of man. No one has given us a clue to this…except for… the Bible…the story of a personal God and His creation and man being created in His image.
Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – He Is There and He Is Not Silent