Belief Because of Beauty

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-7-51-05-amDoes beauty lead us to God?  The worship songs of the Bible certainly seem to say so. The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)  Imagine standing in a field at night, taking in the immensity of the starry sky.  Perhaps you don’t need to imagine that much, most of us have experienced such a thing. We “feel small” in the face of such an experience of beautiful immensity. That smallness is akin to what we might feel before an immense God. it is easy to travel the distance between that numinous experience to belief that God must be.

Does experience of beauty serve as an evidence for God?  The philosopher Peter Kreeft calls this the “aesthetic argument” for the existence of God. He expresses it, perhaps with some cheek, as:  “the music of Bach exists.  Therefore God exists.”  And so not just natural beauty serves as a signpost along the way to God. The beauty of human creations can also do so. Of course, like all arguments and evidences for God, they do not convince all. But because beauty hits us so deeply, it may be the most unsettling for those who would rather not believe. In a recent book on Bach, author Michael Marissen examines the composer’s own deep devotion to God. Marrissen admits that he himself is an agnostic, but adds that when in the presence of Bach’s music he can never be a “comfortable agnostic.”


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