The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
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16-04-2014, 02:22 PM
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
(16-04-2014 01:40 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(16-04-2014 01:24 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  Absolutely. As shown by history, theism, superstition, and religion has been an unavoidable inclination of the human race. I've seen theists and atheists alike go back in forth. It's almost as if it is inherently unavoidable to think about a god, afterlife, ect. That's why I'm saying it's not too crazy because eventually every human being has to stumble upon the question and answer it for himself.

I don't know that that's a justifiable claim.

Real data would be controlled data - human societies without outside contact. And there's no such thing... Some form of religious belief predates (so far as we can tell) any founder populations - it's tens of thousands of years old.

I might go along as far as saying some form of theist belief is likely (not necessary) when there are no compelling alternatives (ie, pre-modern societies with no scientific understanding), but that's just an outgrowth of our vaunted pattern recognition - false pattern implies false cause, an agent is a possible cause. You can train the same superstitions into pigeons, and nobody's saying they're theists.

But if you want further anecdata, I can say as someone raised without any religion that while the same sorts of questions always occurred to me (who, what, where, when, and why, as applied to myself, human beings, and the universe in general) there sure as fuck was never a moment when I thought the answer was "I don't know THEREFORE SKY DADDY".

But maybe that's just because most people aren't lucky enough to be taught that "I don't know X, therefore I do know X, because I don't know not-X" is the logical equivalent of fixing a clogged pipe by shitting into it.

Absolutely great points. I totally agree. But I'm not exactly saying "therefor sky daddy" or go of the gaps sort of reasoning at all. I am talking about the "hmm, I wonder if there is a sky daddy. haha

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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16-04-2014, 02:23 PM
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
(16-04-2014 02:00 PM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  This post feels like déjà vu. Did I just read this at AF?

Hahaha, yeah, sorry, posted it there too. haha. I like to get as many opinions and insight as possible sometimes. haha

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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16-04-2014, 02:33 PM
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
(16-04-2014 02:23 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  
(16-04-2014 02:00 PM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  This post feels like déjà vu. Did I just read this at AF?

Hahaha, yeah, sorry, posted it there too. haha. I like to get as many opinions and insight as possible sometimes. haha

Hehehe. Typed nervous laughter...

Well yeah, we've kinda established that el God dude is a pretty crazy idea, mainly for the reason that "God" is code for "I dunno", at least as far as physical explanations for phenomena go.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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16-04-2014, 02:39 PM
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
An interventionist god, is one of the worst ideas man has come up with. Not only because of its obvious falseness, but also because of what it implies.

An interventionist god would answer prayers, vanquish enemies, perform miracles etc... But it raises the question of who does he help... Does he automatically grant anyone who prays their wish, regardless of whether they're good or evil, or does he pick a side, and if so, which?

If this god requires a degree of morality on our part, then is that our standard of morality or his? Human morality is different depending on which part of the world you're in, or which period of history you study. So therefore with this type of deity, there has to be a single set of rules governing morality... Its certainly not the Ten Commandments. Jesus' teachings seem more relevant, but only cover a handful of the moral dilemmas we face.

The only way such a god could enforce these rules is by watching us day and night. A being that cannot be removed from power, and cannot be questioned... As Christopher Hitchens put it, "a celestial North Korea". No one with a logical mind would want that to be true... I don't want to live in a Big Brother state, regardless of whether the state is benevolent or otherwise.

And then there's deism...

Whether true or false, there's absolutely no reason why you should care one way or the other about its existence, since it will make absolutely no difference to yours or anyone else's lives.

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16-04-2014, 04:10 PM
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
I think that the more science uncovers, the more evident it will become that we exist because of a perfectly natural cause, perhaps along the lines of a chemical reaction.

I've never been religious, so it's always been of interest for me to note that most people's god mimics almost exactly what they love and hate. Everyone needs validation. But not everyone is self aware enough to realize that the only validation that really matters is self validation. But then when you make up a god that loves what you love and hates what you hate, you have divine self validation, you can excuse things you may otherwise be uncomfortable with about yourself by saying "it's not me, it's god". This is particularly evident in christianity, where everyone likes to say they have a "personal realtionship" with jesus. Funny, that same guy wants Bryan Fischer to stone homosexuals, but didn't get that message through to Gene Robinson. Consider

I don't worry myself too much about what anyone believes until it begins to affect my life. So if the guy next to me wants to believe that dinosarus lived in the garden of eden and ate berries instead of Adam and Eve, fine, long as that crap stays out of public schools and my rights, we'll get along fine.
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16-04-2014, 04:16 PM
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
I deny the existence of any gods. To me the idea of gods is just that, an idea. There is not a shred of evidence. Just an idea.

Human beings have had many bad ideas. God is one of them.

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16-04-2014, 05:46 PM (This post was last modified: 16-04-2014 08:02 PM by John.)
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
(16-04-2014 01:24 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  
(16-04-2014 12:39 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  
Quote:That being said, I think it is inherently unavoidable to come upon the idea of a god or creator.
Could you elaborate on this please.

Absolutely. As shown by history, theism, superstition, and religion has been an unavoidable inclination of the human race. I've seen theists and atheists alike go back in forth. It's almost as if it is inherently unavoidable to think about a god, afterlife, ect. That's why I'm saying it's not too crazy because eventually every human being has to stumble upon the question and answer it for himself.

I've come across several times a variant of the claim "humans are predispositioned to believe in god(s)", but I'll hedge my reply by saying that I haven't really dived into the veracity of this claim (yet). I remember Jonathan Haidt (Jewish-atheist social psychologist) referring to this in a recent talk as a matter of fact but I couldn't find the bit out of the bottomless pit of YouTube. Here's a blog post from FTB that discusses the topic and refers to and draws from a somewhat related article (with further references):

7 Reasons Why It's Easier for Humans to Believe in God Than Evolution

The main thrust of the argument for the belief of god(s) to naturally arise (though maybe not "inherently unavoidably") is essentially twofold:

1) humans are hardwired to think teleologically and assign (naïve) purpose to things that don't have any: The purpose of clouds is to rain, that of apples is to be eaten, that of the sun is to bring light into darkness etc.

2) humans are hardwired to (over)detect agency and assign a mind and intention to inanimate things: When you hit yourself into a door it's the door that hit you. When the computer won't do what you wan't it to it's the computer that's screwing you around. And of course all the classic infrequent natural disasters, plagues and what have you are the result of some form of agency.

Combine these two and you're well on your way to believing in some mysterious powerful agency (or a plethora of them), which you can't quite explain but stick a label to -- god.

This whole scheme goes against another common meme that "everybody is born an atheist", which, while technically true, doesn't give you the whole picture. Again, I haven't checked the literature but this seems relatively straightforward and agreeable on the face of it.

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16-04-2014, 05:55 PM
RE: The Idea of a God Is Not So Crazy
(16-04-2014 12:01 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  but I don't dislike the idea of a God, a Divine Creator, and I do not discourage the pursuit of evidence of that creator.

There is no coherent definition of a god that does not invoke Special Pleading. Every deity so far invented is anthropomorphic projection. So no. The idea is incoherent.

(16-04-2014 12:01 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  Atheists and agnostics deny religion and don't focus too much on the possibility of a god, theists usually accept religion because they believe in the possibility of a god, or perhaps are convinced that there has to be a god.

Wrong. Atheists don't care about religion. Atheism is not about religion. It the absence of belief about GODS. You have it precisely backwards there.

(16-04-2014 12:01 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  That being said, I think it is inherently unavoidable to come upon the idea of a god or creator.

Nope. With no coherent definition it's all a placeholder for things that are unexplained.

(16-04-2014 12:01 PM)elconquistador Wrote:  I propose that individuals join religions only because of they agree with that assumption: the existence of a god. Religions then manipulate that innocent belief to impose dogmas, rules, cultural constructs, ect.

Wrong again. People join religions for social reasons and community. I'll get the studies, but only after you provide yours.

Belief systems with gods are indistinguishable from belief in only gods. You're attempting to make making a distinction without a difference.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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