In Scientific Circles, Philosophical Circles, and Religious Circles there is frequent discussion over what “is,” or what exists. Philosophers even call this one of the main branches of philosophy, Epistemology. Descartes famously asked if he existed, to which his response was, “I think therefore I am”. Curiously, artists I’ve known don’t seem to be bothered so much over questions of existence. Artists are more concerned about what they have and have not made and if they have made good art.
Scientists are often the most skeptical about existence, clinging merely to a physical existence. In some circles I’ve seen movement toward accepting the existence of “information”. This is largely because of the discovery of DNA and the invention of computers. I heard a scientist say once that, “A computer hard drive can be both full of information or empty and this will not change its mass. This means that information has a different kind of existence than mater.” While this isn’t at all profound in Philosophical Circles, in Scientific Circles it is often difficult to imagine anything outside of E=mc^2
In our modern world “God” has become an idea as childish to many as stories, as fictional as myth. Some even wish that religion would cease, that people would give up on these old mystic beliefs. However, I’ve wondered if this battle between theism and atheism has mostly come from a misunderstanding. Could you tell an artist that their work was not good or bad because Beauty does not exist? Could you tell a scientist that their work was meaningless because the existence of matter can not be verified through an objective source, because all we experience is subjective? We are all seemingly living by a faith of one sort or another.
For many, I think we have simply not thought enough about what God is. For many, God is defined by his power, his eternal existence, his omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. In contrast I define God by Love not power. And this isn’t my idea, but one that comes from the Bible, 1st John 4:9,”He who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”(NKJV) and again in 4:16 “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.”(NKJV) I may not be able to prove objectively that love exists however, I can’t think of a more beautiful or meaningful thing within which to place faith. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself; it is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, in not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NKJV) And I might add, Love does not condemn those who are wicked but, always forgives (See John 3:17).
For many people life might not simply be a choice to live in wickedness or love, but for me it was. The existence of this choice leads me to think that Character has an existence but, an existence that is different from Matter or Information.