DISCLAIMER: the views herein presented are the work of one author and as such do not necessarily constitute–and should not be construed so as to constitute–the views of the Ichthus as an organization, the views of the Ichthus as a Christian student group, the views of the Ichthus as a parcel of the consubstantial body of Christ corresponding possibly to his left foot, or, for that matter, the views of any particular person who may happen to write or ever to have written for the Ichthus, including this author, for whom it is equally unclear whether the views presented herein reflect his own.
Let us begin with a pugnacious proposition. Let us assume first that my more supernatural theist colleagues–they are always a good and ripe topic for discussion, not despite, but particularly because of how often they are wrong–are, in this instance, correct, that the God to which (or whom, if you prefer) they refer is the case as such, which is to say the ontotheological god of their supernatural theism. One will concede, if we are to be forthright and not equivocal–and it is most rude to be equivocal–that there are two imminent possibilities which present themselves imminently in this case, the first being that God is senseless (or rather, the various and assorted utterances on the topic are senseless) or that the existence of god posited as such is factually inaccurate.
So as not to be obscurantist about this, let us take each eminently eminent possibility of the possible into considerable consideration and the sharpest scrutiny beginning with the former of these problematic issues, that the utterance of a god such as has been posited by orthodox (and I might add, thoroughly polite) believers is senseless. Yet, I should stress, if we are to be unequivocal about this, then we are to be forthright about it, and this–precisely why I mean senseless in the most literal of possible translations, a lacking of sense. Yet before we can proceed any further in this capacious and pugnacious thought project, we must–in order to avoid confusion, of course–define what precisely is meant by the term “sense” only in the sublimely Sartrean sense–the phenomenological Sartre of Being and Nothingness, naturally–that we can, upon adequate and appropriate apprehension of the positive, grasp violently and immediately the content of the negative, (though I am being hypocritically somewhat obscure here, as our more astute readers may have noticed, I have inverted Sartre–take that Sartre). We begin, then, with the positive: what does it mean (positively speaking) for a proposition to have sense? is a question Wittgenstein deals with, but which before even Wittgenstein explicitly deals with, Immanuel Kant tacitly–without speaking the utterance–deals with in this epistemology, insofar as we might posit (rather rudely, as a ventriloquist or obtuse and confident student might) sense to signify denotatively–that is refer to–the reference of either, in the first place, experience, or the categories of experience. For example, the propositions “this chair has four legs” and “Republicans have auto-immune resistances to facts” can be said to have sense, not however merely because they are true, for there can be sense-bearing propositions which are not factually true, like “the sky above Cambridge is brown.” In either case, the propositions make reference to the realm of things for which a phenomenology of experience is possible.
“But, aha!”, you may interject, “the essence one could extract from the given examples excludes an entire domain of facts which we otherwise intuit to be sense-bearing,” and this interjection would be most appropriate as we have not yet remarked upon the extended circumscription of this definition, that sense can also be extended to the realm of things which belong to the categories of experience, and this is meant in the simply Kantian signification, space, time, etc. etc., which is to say–and this is the difference between a merely a posteriori proposition of the Kantian sort, one which belongs to experience as such, and a sense-bearing proposition–that, for example, one may know to a reasonable degree of certainty, lest we be absolute cynics, that if the New York Times reports an event, it too counts as something that falls within the range of cognitions which can be cognized, though it may not be true–or, if it comes from the New York Times, probably isn’t. All this is simply to say that the sense-bearing propositions, or cognizable cognitions, are those which fall either within the realm of experiences or otherwise within the realm of experiences conveyable by Kantian categories, for which it follows immediately and perspicuously that those propositions which fall beyond these boundaries, such as, for example, any conception of god presented to the understanding as not circumscribed by time and space, but absolutely transcending these, presents in the act of the proposition the simultaneous enactment of an absolute chasm, an incommensurability consisting in the not merely Camusian, but the Kantian, between the conception and the ability of the intellect to cognize, so that we might characterize this chasm as one of intelligibility, absolutely impenetrable, and spans, in other words, the infinite distance between the conception and cognition, between the god and man, in a constitutive unspakability, a brick wall of cognition, much as the concept of the color red is unspeakable/untransmittable/incommunicable to the colorblind person, the concept of sound is to the deaf person, or the concept of logic is to the republican. Yes, such is the absolute absolute thus erected between such a supernatural divinity and man that man is wanting in the very faculties by which to comprehend the divinity, left, as it were, groping in the dark, or the darkness of ignorance that is the mere this-worldly. Again, at this point my crafty and intelligent interlocutor suggests that perhaps then the faculty is given, but so as not to be dishonest, we both know that this is the argument of F. Schliermacher, and that this argument applies as well, but only for that range of experience which W.James includes in the radical empiricism, and this circumscribed range is nothing much for concession, so, being generous, one shall concede it, while the great remainder of the metaphysic of the supernatural remains shrouded.
However, the sagacious reader will have recognized a gaping deficiency in the argument here presented: the god, he says, does precisely does enter into history, into the Kantian categories of space and time, the infinite collides with the finite and the brick wall of (in-)communicability is smashed by the god, who, crossing the absolute distance, tumbles like a meteor into the phenomenal, and thus into the realm of comprehension and communicability. His name is Yahweh-Elohim, he is the lord on high, and he bringeth the law upon the sick world. However, the sagacious reader, inasmuch as he is sagacious will also recognize the unconscionable consequences of what he has just said, for not only is it a high act of blasphemy, but it has also domesticated his own god and prepared the god for the crafty surgical analysis of those venal creatures, the positivists: he has made the god a subject for science, peppered him, as it were, for the feast, not only sent him to the slaughter, but gave him funeral clothes too, for now, it is clear, the god is a fact within history and shall be judged–the positivists claim triumphantly, as you know, “all shall be judged; none shall escape the wrath of my scissors!”–according to the fact, and the perspicacious reader will of course not be so remiss–he is, after all, perspicacious–as to think this god is safer than the Yeti, than the flying spaghetti man, the giant orbital pot, for now he is a fact in the world–no, the perspicacious reader knows that the surgical positivists will not find the god and they will declare him dead. That, and no less, is the consequence of such a conception. Whither then shall we, upon recognizing the pugnacious given, turn our attention?