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February 06, 2005

Comments

bls

To the greatest extent possible, I would like for my mental model of God, his creation, and his will, to be “in synch” with the external evidence of what God has actually wrought, so that my choices and actions will have a better chance of conforming to his will.

Horrors.

Martinus Scriblerus

To the greatest extent possible, I would like for my mental model of God, his creation, and his will, to be “in synch” with the external evidence of what God has actually wrought, so that my choices and actions will have a better chance of conforming to his will.

You are making a mistake in your basic premises. Is there "external evidence of what God has actually wrought"? Is the universe a "creation"? Is there such a thing as God's "will"? You start out with irrational premises and then try to apply reason to them. It is no better than assuming that we are being visiting by space aliens and then claiming to be rational by "deducing" what the aliens must want from us. That's not "realism." It's being a fantasist who pretends he's rational by applying logic to irrational assumptions.

D. C.

Martinus, I used to feel the same way, and still do about a number of theological doctrines asserted by traditionalist Christians. But on the threshold question of the existence of God, I'm pretty well convinced intellectually.

Am I utterly convinced that God exists, beyond any doubt? No. But I'm sufficiently persuaded that I'm willing to bet that way (cf. Pascal's Wager), and to try to conduct my life accordingly. Of necessity, we do this sort of thing all the time in life, acting on the basis of incomplete information.

I briefly explain some of the things that persuaded me of the existence of God in "Letter to an Interested Agnostic," along with "How Do We Know There's a God" as well as "If Jesus Wasn't God." You might take a look at them, and at the other posts to which they link.

Thanks for visiting, and for the comment.

Martinus Scriblerus

Looking over your links, the bottom line is that you can't present a compelling empirical or logical case for your fundamental beliefs -- you just have some sort of gut feeling or intuition that they're right. With that sort of standard of proof, you could just as easily be a follower of Zeus or Isis.

What I don't get is that this site starts out with exactly the same irrational beliefs in God as other Christians with the same lack of proof for your basic beliefs, but then goes on to battle other Christians for being irrational. At least the fundamentalists are logical in their irrationality. They start out with irrational premises but follow those irrational premises to their logical conclusions. You are starting out with irrational premises but then not following them to their logical conclusions because you perceive that the conclusions contradict the facts. But this halfway house between rationality and irrationality is still irrational.

I guess in the kingom of the blind, the one-eyed man in king, and it's fun to be the one-eyed man clobbering all of the blind people, but if you'd open that other eye, you would see it's all a waste of time.

We're biological machines that come into existence, become self-conscious for a period of time, and then cease to be self-conscious after the machinery breaks down. Nothing we do or believe in the meantime has any significance. Loving your neighbor and all of that stuff is just altering the inputs on the machine in a meaningless way. There is no rational reason to act toward our fellow biological machines in any way that doesn't promote our own pleasure. That's what the facts really show.

bls

I can't imagine anyone looking at the disaster of the 20th Century and thinking that there's "no rational reason to act toward our fellow biological machines in any way that doesn't promote our own pleasure."

Or at Rwanda, for that matter.

Your thesis assumes that people act rationally. They don't.

Steven Cullinane

You speak about God and his Creation, but how do you know that a Creation has ever actually occurred, since you've told us that the Book of Genesis - and maybe also the Bible as a whole - is "unsuitable as evidence" and that the Genesis creation record is "fantasy."
So how do you know that a Creation has ever actually occurred? How do you know that there is a Creator?
Perhaps your current "god" is merely an extension of your imagination - a "god" that's here today and replaced or gone tomorrow?

D. C.

Steven, thanks for the response - please check out the links in my Feb. 7 comment, above.

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