10 Unquestionable Arguments For The Existence Of God » VSB

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10 Unquestionable Arguments For The Existence Of God

In my intro to philosophy class, I teach arguments for the existence of God.

We cover the cosmological argument (the notion that we can deduce God’s existence by looking at things like motion and causation), the teleological argument (that the logical structure of the earth and created beings point to the existence of an intelligent designer) and the ontological argument (that the very definition of God points to the reality of a being that must exist).

While these arguments are important, they are not very convincing, each has an inherent flaw in the logic that opens it to criticism. Yet, atheism is not prevalent in the Black community. That is not to say that there is not a rich atheist intellectual tradition in the Black community (indeed Ta-Nehisi Coates counts himself among them), but that “no other racial group falls outside the margin of error for proportional representation.”

I think this dynamic exists because there are things inherent to the Black experience that suggest God exists. For example…

1. “Cash Money taking over for the 99 and 2000…”

How can you hear these words and conclude that God ain’t real?

2. Lalah Hathaway’s voice

The daughter of the great Donny Hathaway is a brilliant songwriter and performer, but it’s her vocals that puts one in the presence of “s/he who sits high but does look low.” Her effortless sensuality speaks to the divine nature of possibility, because, to quote Darius in Love Jones, “Love is about the possibility of the thang.”

3. Soul Food

Enslaved Africans were not given choice cuts of meat. They were forced to take the scraps and make them work. The result was hot water cornbread, candied yams and dressing (not stuffing). Only a divine being could inspire a people to create something so magisterial.

4. John Coltrane

Listening to a Love Supreme is a transcendental experience. On that record, you hear a man communing with something beyond comprehension. The way he not only plays a note but plays around the notes inspires deep introspection.

5. Louisiana Hot Sauce

…is the sweat that drips from the brow of the Almighty. Using anything else is just uncivilized. (Looking at you Frank’s Red Hot adherents.) Fight me.

6. Frankie Beverly and Maze

Just play “Before I let Go” and watch what the opening chords do to black people in attendance. It touches upon something primal and unspeakable. It reminds me of Jeremiah 20:9, when it says, “my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.”

7. The word “Nigga”

I subscribe to Damon’s liberal theory on the malleability of the term.  

With the word nigga, one sees the linguistic creative of black people. We were able to take something dehumanizing and turn it into a term of endearment so pliable that it can be used as an audible signifier for both a door that is jammed (“this nigga won’t open”) and the current president-elect (“I can’t believe white folks voted for this nigga.”)

8. Black women

They live in a world that says to them that they have the wrong lips, hips, and skin pigmentation. They thrive in the face of white supremacy, patriarchy, economic inequality and trifling niggas. They have been and will continue to be our salvation…because black women are magic. Yes Lawd.

9. Barack Obama

When he was elected in 2008, my then-84 year old grandmother, a woman who lived through Jim Crow in the South and participated in the civil rights movement, said she never thought a black family would live in the White House. One cannot overstate the symbolic importance of a Black person as the representative of this country around the world—especially given the vicious legacy of white supremacy in America. I have many criticisms of President Obama and his policies, but his election was earth-shattering.

10. Our very existence

We were brought here in chains, but our spirits and minds were never enslaved. I come from a people who learned to take what was ugly and find the beauty therein. Give us scraps, and we will make soul food. Enslave our bodies, and we will sing. Force us to live under the shadow of Jim Crow, and we will find inventive ways to fight back. Take away funding for the arts in the inner city, and we will invent hip-hop—and this art will take over the world. The way we found a way to persevere in the face of inhumanity is, in itself, a miracle. I was once ashamed to be the decedent of slaves—now, I wear it as a badge of honor. I am the dream for which my ancestors fought and died. I love my blackness…and yours.

This list is not exhaustive (I didn’t even mention Jollof, Prince or the work of Toni Morrison), and I do not mean to suggest that atheism is a position lacking in Black intellectual pedigree. Yet, when I look at the experience of Black people in America and around the world, it causes me to see the hand of a divine being at work. Especially when the beat drops on Knuck If You Buck.

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Law W.

Lawrence Ware is a philosopher of race at his day job and writes if the kids go to bed on time. He is a contributing editor of NewBlackMan (in Exile) and a frequent contributor to The Root and other publications. He has been featured in the New York Times and you can sometimes find him discussing race and politics on HuffPost Live and Public Radio International. He is the kind of Steelers fan that enjoys watching the Cowboys lose.

  • A.G.

    This is beautiful. Bravo.

  • A.G.

    #3 and #5 = YES! I’m flying into New Orleans on Saturday before driving to MS and I can’t wait to get my Louisiana hot sauce (and I hope the Popeyes on Canal Street is open.)

    God is definitely real. I wouldn’t have made it through this tumultuous 2016 if God wasn’t somewhere up there.

    • grownandsexy2

      “‘I’m flying into New Orleans on Saturday”

      I’m jealous. I wanna go. :) That Canal Street Popeye’s is the truth.

      • A.G.

        You already know!!

  • miss t-lee

    Louisiana hot is really the only way, I don’t know why folks eat them other sauces. Ew.

    So many ways show themselves on the daily, just gotta pay attention.

    • “So many ways show themselves on the daily, just gotta pay attention.”

      Never happened for me in church but I see things.

      • miss t-lee

        I think I’ve seen more signs outside of church than inside. As my pastor says, “it’s why you have to get outside the 4 walls.”

        • Lea Thrace

          this right here is truth.

          someone once told me that when Jesus comes back the last place we will probably find him will be inside a church.

          • miss t-lee

            I honestly believe that.

    • Tasha Lawrence?

      I like the Chinese hot sauce the best. It makes me sing when I drizzle on them wings.

    • RaeRae

      Other sauces?? You mean there are others? Who knew?

      • miss t-lee

        Imposters!

    • Val

      I’m looking at a bottle of Crystal as we speak. :-)

      • miss t-lee

        It’s not the same Val.

    • MsCee

      It really grinds my gears when I ask for hot sauce and someone hands me anything other than Louisiana…put some respeck on my taste buds.

      • miss t-lee

        I feel this completely.

  • Tammy Jenkins

    Dare I say it? My Ni$$@? ?

  • I am a recovered atheist, with my wife making me Christian again, if not particularly churched (us moving from med school took us out of the geographical distance of our favorite church in rural Arkansas from a lawyer-pastor who brokered no homophobia or hate in his flock; rather, he’d point to the door and say while Jesus was the salvation, he would not offer passage on his particular road if they though they could put down other human beings on it.)

    I think a lot of what Ware wrote about, in a sense, are hints of the divine on Earth. The materialist side of me regards stuff like music (I’m partial to Nas’ catalog) and taste (fried chicken with Lousiana) as expressions of my senses, and that I underestimate how deep those senses run. I also sometimes feel, though, that they give me slight access to a universe I won’t fully be able to touch until I pass on.

  • Lawrence… you have redeemed yourself (#8 alone). Here is your Black Card is reactivated after its suspension during the “Black Movies That Aren’t Nearly As Good (Or Even As Black) As We Pretend They Are” fiasco of 2016.

    Please accept this temp on behalf of the 1st district delegation. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d4bff005b90e7e3c0a1d14bbd3a9b2c26db7ef96dbbd4afff00b41935746bdd.png

    • Law Ware

      *fights back tears*

      It’s good to be back home…

      • *Reports Lawrence to HR for crying in public*

        • Law Ware

          Key word: ‘fights’

          I’m still a G.

          • Objection

            If 2pac can “shed so many tears” you can cry if you want to.

          • marwilli

            Black men don’t cry, we play the saxophone.

            • **another tee shirt in the making.**
              Dammit, is anybody writing this down?!

              • Ericarlambert

                Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !st60c:
                On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
                !st60c:
                ??
                ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash350WebUniqueGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!st60c:….,……

        • Jetty

          I hear that one tear down the cheek is still acceptable for any black man!

          • Denzel or Terrance Howard, maybe.

      • The Pengest BK

        You can always come back home. Someone fix him a plate, please!

      • Wizznilliam

        We gotta talk about this hot sauce thang though.

        • Nik White

          I’m sayin

        • Yay Radley

          We don’t, discussion closed. The only other acceptable substitute is Tabasco, which is technically also a Louisiana hot sauce. Fight us both.

          • Wizznilliam

            What?? Man please… That mess ain’t nothing but vinegar and red food coloring.

      • L8Comer

        Welcome…
        * bosomly embrace *

    • L8Comer

      I totally forgot about that!!

  • #2 -The last time I saw my homeboy before he died last summer he said Layla Hathaway’s voice sounded like chocolate. I saw her open up for Prince and she can blow.

    #5 – I’m a Texas Pete type of fella but I get what you’re saying.

    #8 – Yes lawd.
    #9 – I wasn’t always in agreeance with Honolulu Slim but I’m going to miss he and the fam. Especially Michele (See item 8)

    I’ve never once felt close to God within the confines of a church/place of worship but every now and then I see things, marvel, and the closeness absent on Sunday mornings is there. I remember once I was driving over the harbor while it was so foggy and the bridge is so high that it was above the fog which placed those on the road squarely in the sunlight. Then you look out to the left or in that case east toward the ocean and I saw everything worth laying eyes on ever.

    • OSHH

      Texas Pete girl myself and nods affirmatively at your last point ?

    • Lea Thrace

      For me God tends to reside outside of the church 99.53% of the time.

      • Tasha Lawrence?

        God resides everywhere IN church, out of church, in season and out of season.

        Church is where 2 or more are gathered in His name.

        • Lea Thrace

          im moreso talking about the organized mess that some call “church” these days. The one that tells people they cant sit here or talk to these people or wear that. .

          • Darkchloe144

            That ain’t church then. Not the way its supposed to be. Speaking from experience after leaving a congregation that deteriorated and left me disillusioned to the whole thing even after joining a much better one two years ago.

          • Tasha Lawrence?

            I do believe on the wear part.

      • I_AmU

        THIS!!!! You will meet some of the most judgemental, mean spirited, unloving, close mineded people on earth in a house of worship. The mosque, church, temple, synagogue and all the rest. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e7245bb2dcd2e9e574aecbacb29f609fb4fb82f47f2c00bdb051648b23a2cd3.png

      • Gibbous

        While not a pagan, or a practicing anything for that matter, I find glory in the outside. Nothing man made or man written makes me feel as awe inspired as the great outdoors.

        Went to Yosemite this summer. If that’s not a cathedral . . .

        • Cleojonz

          “Went to Yosemite this summer. If that’s not a cathedral . . .”
          I felt this same way when I saw the Grand Canyon. I didn’t go to the main tourist area, so it was just our tour group. Silence and nobody else for miles. You look at that and think I know there is a God.

        • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

          The Black Hills in the Dakotas are a great place to get some clarity, too. Finding a centering experience in nature is, well, natural.

          And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (Luke, New Testament)

          Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, men who celebrate the praises of Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the wonders of creation in the heavens and the earth, with the thought: “Our Lord, not for naught hast Thou created all this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. (Ali `Imran, Qur’an)

          Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise. (Lawh-i-Hikmat, Baha’i Writings)

          • Gibbous

            This, this, and this!

            Thank you.

      • Blueberry01

        Lol. I can attest to this.

        Technically the “church” in the Bible refers to the people of God. So, if you don’t see God in the actual building, perhaps those congregants aren’t filled with the true character of God?

        Is that what you’ve experienced, too?

    • A.G.

      Your last paragraph is beautiful.

  • You may be an evil genius, sir. You did forget Serena Williams… How could you doubt God when you see all that talent carrying around dat azz?

    • Rena falls under #8 right?

      • If every Black woman was Serena Williams, I’m not sure how I could operate. I would be (more) addicted to twerk videos.

        • Rewind4ThatBehind

          No you wouldn’t.

          Cause she can’t twerk.

          But God bless her magnificence nonetheless

          • knees too bad.

            • Rewind4ThatBehind

              She can wobble de wobble but she can’t shake it, shake it

            • The Pengest BK

              She tries her mightiest, though. And you can’t be mad at that.

              • Tasha Lawrence?

                She should just stop.

                • The Pengest BK

                  I mean, yeah…..but no.

                  • Tasha Lawrence?

                    You mean, yeah AND yeah.

              • I never said I wouldn’t watch her try.

    • She is in FACT a wonder of the world!!

      • If she isn’t evidence of God, she is God, down here to get exercise and take these white bishes down a peg.

    • kingpinenut

      God rested for 21 days after He made her….

      • Mr. Mooggyy

        When God said 2 of everything on this ship, them yams was part of his vision!

        • Tasha Lawrence?

          Yams are edible you know. He is a good God, He didn’t want His people to hunger.

      • grownandsexy2

        He had to.

  • Adrienne_in_MTown

    I have never had Jollof. Is it that good? Wondering if one bite will drive me to go to church every Sunday and catch the Holy Ghost? If this is the case, where do I get some? I live in Memphis, BTW.

    • Rewind4ThatBehind

      Finally had it last month.

      Jollof will make your smack your momma.

      That is all.

    • Blueberry01

      Another version is paella. So, if there are no Nigerians in Memphis, go to a Central American restaurant.

    • MsSula

      It’s fried rice african style.

      If there is a Senegalese restaurant in your area, try them. The Senegalese aka original (from the Wollof people of Senegal) version is called Tiebou Diene (rice with fish). I have never had bad Tiebou Diene. Never ever. I have had some bad Jollof rice.

  • Dustin John Seibert

    Looking down in my pants: there lies unimpeachable proof of the existence of God.

    • Mika

      bwahahahahah

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