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Thoughts on God/Purpose

Posted by TheThorn 
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 07:26AM
Hi folks like Islander thought this thread was interesting and thought I'd drop in.

Firstly about the definitions floating around. A modern strong atheist no longer defines atheism as a belief that there are no deities. Atheism is the rejection of the belief that there any forms of deities/creators/flying spaghetti monsters exists because of the lack of convincing evidence. As Professor Sagan stated extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Secondly going back to your original post Thorn. Your jelly bean analogy is flawed. It neglects to show the huge numbers involved when discussing the evolution of the universe and life and intelligence.

Are more accurate analogy would be if you had 100 trillion jelly bean jars smashing on the floor by unknown reasons and then leaving the jelly beans to the elements i.e wind pets earthquakes etc for 14 billion years. I would bet that one of those bunch of jelly beans on the floor would eventually spell out "How are you!" Some might have a sonnet!

As humans we have evolved to find patterns in everything, it was a crucial trait to help us survive. The trait remains and it sometimes clouds our thinking. It sometimes deceives us. And the idea of the universe or life having a deeper purpose is one of those deceptions that we fall for. Navy is right the idea of the universe having a purpose is an illusion. A hard one to shake off. Mainly it is due to fear. A purposeless universe is a scary thing. And ( as I've mentioned before) in my opinion is the reason why religion is such a huge part of human history and remains such a big part of humanity still, to help quell our fears.

Thorn ask yourself truthfully is believing that the universe has purpose due to you finding incredulous that it wouldn't have purpose because of what it has produced or because it gives you peace of mind.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2015 07:29AM by Fascinated_foreigner.
Sam
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 08:37AM
Islander, I should've been more specific about my belief that the process of neither believing something nor disbelieving something does not exist. I know there are plenty of examples where that's not true but we are talking about a true or false question and I do indeed believe everyone who understands the question "do you believe ____ exists?" does believe it most likely does exist or it most likely does not exist OR that the likelihood is exactly 50 percent. To me, if you believe something is most likely true, you do believe it. Or you should anyway. Way too rusty to be arguing here and didn't mean to but old habits and all, lol. Take care!

FascinatedForeigner, I sent you a pm.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 11:20AM
I've also been away for quite a while and it’s really nice to see some old names from the forum showing up to discuss this topic.

Sam,

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Sam
Ok, don't like santa? How about unicorns or teapots in space? If you don't understand why atheists use these comparisons of imaginary things I'm afraid you might not have the capacity to understand why it's so important to believe what's most likely and disbelieve what isn't. Instead it seems much more important to agnogs that they constantly grapple with themselves so as to be able to argue with everyone who knows what they believe, lol.

I already responded to a similar comment from Curt earlier in the thread and I think the same answer works here too:

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Me
I think it’s useful to make a distinction between a specific detailed myth and the fundamental metaphysical question of whether the universe/life/existence is purposeful or meaningless.

Strong atheists tend to be very well-rehearsed, ready and able to provide their stock arguments to counter religious points of views. My stance is not religious, and those arguments are non sequitur in response.

It’s easy to say:

“I don’t believe in Yahweh/Allah/Odin/Ra like I don’t believe in Unicorns”

- since we are referring in both cases to specific “characters” the existence of whom is not supported by any evidence.

But if we say:

“I believe the natural physical laws which govern the universe exist simply because they do, and that they combine to create the conditions for the development of conscious creatures for no reason; a random confluence of meaningless factors leading to the development of meaningful creatures – like I don’t believe in unicorns”

- it doesn't work. It comes across like one of those auto-response emails to an enquiry.

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The problem with your definition of agnogism? There is no such thing as a "process of neither believing nor disbelieving" unless you count being dead, in a coma or similarly incapacitated from thinking. You might always be vacillating between one or the other but never neither. You said it yourself as you described changing your beliefs on a daily basis. Something is either true or it isn't and we either believe it or we don't. Fuzzy definitions serve no purpose. Or god, if you will, lol.

I was actually saying that if you remain agnostic you are free to change your views on a daily basis, rather than saying that I actually do so.

There is nothing fuzzy about the definition of agnosticism, it is simply a recognition that we do not have knowledge of the metaphysical, therefore it is irrational to pretend that we do simply because we find a question mark a bit scarier than a full stop.

Fascinated Foreigner

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FF
Firstly about the definitions floating around. A modern strong atheist no longer defines atheism as a belief that there are no deities. Atheism is the rejection of the belief that there any forms of deities/creators/flying spaghetti monsters exists because of the lack of convincing evidence. As Professor Sagan stated extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Actually it was Hume [My mistake, it was actually Marcello Truzzi] who said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, which Sagan once paraphrased. It’s actually a logically fallacious statement though, whoever you want to attribute it to. All claims require the same amount of evidence. “Extraordinary” and “ordinary” are terms that simply describe human emotional reactions to new and familiar ideas.

Strong Atheism, or Positive Atheism or whatever term you choose does indeed mean the positive belief that there are no gods. To be honest I don’t see the need for Atheism to refer to anyone else since all other positions are covered by the various categories of agnosticism.

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FF
Secondly going back to your original post Thorn. Your jelly bean analogy is flawed. It neglects to show the huge numbers involved when discussing the evolution of the universe and life and intelligence.

Are more accurate analogy would be if you had 100 trillion jelly bean jars smashing on the floor by unknown reasons and then leaving the jelly beans to the elements i.e wind pets earthquakes etc for 14 billion years. I would bet that one of those bunch of jelly beans on the floor would eventually spell out "How are you!" Some might have a sonnet!

You wouldn't though.

The monkeys and type writers thing regards infinity, not a large number. 100 trillion monkeys would not write the works of Shakespeare and 100 trillion jelly beans would never spell “How are you” regardless of how much wind or earthquakes there were.

It’s irrelevant anyway, since you've fundamentally misunderstood my position.

It is the existence of life and consciousness itself, as part of the fundamental set of natural laws that govern the universe, which I find compelling. The size of the universe is irrelevant, I am talking about the strings holding it all up behind the scenes.

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As humans we have evolved to find patterns in everything, it was a crucial trait to help us survive. The trait remains and it sometimes clouds our thinking. It sometimes deceives us. And the idea of the universe or life having a deeper purpose is one of those deceptions that we fall for. Navy is right the idea of the universe having a purpose is an illusion. A hard one to shake off.

How comforting it must be to convince yourself of certainty in something you actually don’t know… which leads well into your next point…

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Mainly it is due to fear. A purposeless universe is a scary thing. And ( as I've mentioned before) in my opinion is the reason why religion is such a huge part of human history and remains such a big part of humanity still, to help quell our fears.

I think what people really are terrified of is accepting that we don’t know all the answers, or even any of them.

This is why Strong Atheism has risen up in response to people rejecting religion. The difference between Strong Atheism and Agnosticism lies entirely in the exact same human weakness that spawned religions: People are terrified of accepting that we have no idea what is actually going on:

Agnosticism: “Oh, those religions are clearly wrong; I guess the truth is that we just don’t know much at all about the nature of the universe”

Strong Atheism: “Oh those religions are clearly wrong; and I know exactly what the nature of the universe is now – it’s meaningless!”

Religious thinking, the need to make up answers because we can’t handle persisting questions is a human weakness that has been around forever, clearly a hard one to shake off. Strong Atheism is just its most recent expression.

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Thorn ask yourself truthfully is believing that the universe has purpose due to you finding incredulous that it wouldn't have purpose because of what it has produced or because it gives you peace of mind.

How does accepting I don’t know what the purpose of the universe give me peace of mind? Your certainty that you know the answers give you peace of mind, clearly, just like it does religious people.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/2015 12:40PM by TheThorn.
Sam
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 04:29PM
You sound exactly like the religious fundy who says "just look at that beautiful mountain. there must be a god." Emotion not critical thought. I think you are a deist which, admit it, is theistic. You recognize the problems with the belief in specific gods but the absence of any force that directs creation toward some purpose clearly leaves you feeling disoriented. I believe agnogs are experiencing cognitive dissonance not the serenity you claim. Clearly if you were serene about your nonposition there would never be any reason to argue with any believer or disbeliever yet the agnogs I know spout endlessly about their claim that they are comfortable on the fence with the power to jump from one side to the other with the wind. The only thing I fear is being forced to live under the authority of delusional people. Gods, death, meaninglessness? pfft Nothing to fear there. Meaninglessness is freedom. Here's how I picture it. Believers in gods/purpose are rocks. Nonbelievers are magma. And everyone else is ash blowing in the wind. This said, everyone is free to change their views every day. Know why we are all free to do that? Because there is no god. smiling smiley
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 05:25PM
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You sound exactly like the religious fundy who says "just look at that beautiful mountain. there must be a god." Emotion not critical thought.

No, I simply do not see life and consciousness being a part of the universes laws as random happenstance, that’s all.

We didn't beat the rules of the universe by being here; we are a part of and a result of the fundamental laws of the universe. I don’t consider that something like consciousness exists “just because” – which is pretty much the strong atheist view – as a very likely answer.

Of course I hold myself open to that possibility, it just seems very unlikely to me.

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I think you are a deist which, admit it, is theistic.

If you had to categorise me, then agnostic theism is probably closer than deism.

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You recognize the problems with the belief in specific gods but the absence of any force that directs creation toward some purpose clearly leaves you feeling disoriented.

I considered myself an atheist for several years and there was nothing disorienting about it. It’s a simple, thought-less belief system much like fundamental adherence to a religion is. You think you know all the answers, and that is what human beings crave above all else. That’s why so many people – like religionists and atheists – like to play metaphysical make believe…

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I believe agnogs are experiencing cognitive dissonance not the serenity you claim.

Have I claimed serenity? I claimed intellectual freedom, it’s not the same thing, if anything it’s the opposite.

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Clearly if you were serene about your nonposition there would never be any reason to argue with any believer or disbeliever yet the agnogs I know spout endlessly about their claim that they are comfortable on the fence with the power to jump from one side to the other with the wind.

Debate for debates sake, thinking for thinkings sake. These things have their own value.

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The only thing I fear is being forced to live under the authority of delusional people.

Me too.

I would class anyone who thinks they know the answers to metaphysical questions among them.

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Gods, death, meaninglessness? pfft Nothing to fear there. Meaninglessness is freedom. Here's how I picture it. Believers in gods/purpose are rocks. Nonbelievers are magma. And everyone else is ash blowing in the wind. This said, everyone is free to change their views every day. Know why we are all free to do that? Because there is no god.

Meaninglessness, like religion, is a kind of freedom – a freedom from having to think.
Sam
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 05:49PM
Why do you keep saying atheists claim to know anything? Maybe you are projecting. Most atheists are also agnostic. They believe it's most likely that gods are not real but also believe we can't know for sure. Do you really believe atheists don't think about these things? If that's true, how did you come to change your mind and become a theist? lol

P.S. There are no fundamental laws/rules of the universe that exist outside human brains. There are only observations we have made about the way things work which, when tested, consistently hold up as valid so we call them laws/rules (scientific theories). That said, there is one exception to the rule of no rules: @#$%& happens.

Imo, it is the utmost of hubris to conclude because we are alive and conscious that there must be a reason for our special existence. If we are special, it's because we are an aberration, not something that needed to happen in order for the universe to exist. If it does. winking smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2015 06:16PM by Sam.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 06:29PM
Imo, it is the utmost of hubris to conclude because we are alive and conscious that there must be a reason for our special existence. - Sam

Hi, Sam. smiling smiley I hope you're doing well.

Me, too, Sam. Who here has concluded that? Anyone? Or was that just a general comment not directed at anyone here?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2015 06:34PM by Hornswoggle.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 06:53PM
Quote
Sam
Why do you keep saying atheists claim to know anything? Maybe you are projecting. Most atheists are also agnostic. They believe it's most likely that gods are not real but also believe we can't know for sure. Do you really believe atheists don't think about these things? If that's true, how did you come to change your mind and become a theist? lol

Agnostic.

Strictly speaking someone doesn't "become an agnostic" they start employing an "agnostic approach" since agnosticism is not a belief set it is a process.

I stopped considering myself an atheist because I started thinking about things. That is usually enough...

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P.S. There are no fundamental laws/rules of the universe that exist outside human brains. There are only observations we have made about the way things work which, when tested, consistently hold up as valid so we call them laws/rules (scientific theories). That said, there is one exception to the rule of no rules: @#$%& happens.

We have theories that describe laws, or try to. Many may be wrong, most are touching on something real.

Isn't gravity a natural law? Magnetism? The speed of light? The formation of DNA? The process of evolution? Perhaps "laws" is the wrong word, but the point is that the way matter, energy, waves etc act is consistent. Science would not be possible were it not.

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Imo, it is the utmost of hubris to conclude because we are alive and conscious that there must be a reason for our special existence. If we are special, it's because we are an aberration, not something that needed to happen in order for the universe to exist. If it does. winking smiley

It is hubris to consider ourselves outside of the universe looking in. Once you start thinking of life forms as part of the universe as much as a planet, and think of evolution as a natural law as much as gravity, then the way you think about us starts to change too.
Sam
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 02, 2015 11:44PM
Hi, Horny! I was talking to Thorny. I'm well and hope you and your sweetie are, as well.

Thorny, So the couple years you considered yourself an atheist (yeah, right) you never thought about things like this? Wow!

You saying that life/consciousness is evidence there is a purpose to the universe is pretty much ignoring everything else in the universe as evidence of a purpose. That's a pretty egocentric view. We are here therefore there must be a purpose. I don't see it that way. That there is anything at all in the universe is a much bigger reason to believe there might be a purpose than just that there is life, esp. human life. Humans as the reason for the existence of the whole universe?? yikes I think you got it right the first time and maybe should think about atheism again, lol.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 12:35AM
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Sam
Hi, Horny! I was talking to Thorny. I'm well and hope you and your sweetie are, as well.

Thorny, So the couple years you considered yourself an atheist (yeah, right) you never thought about things like this? Wow!

You saying that life/consciousness is evidence there is a purpose to the universe is pretty much ignoring everything else in the universe as evidence of a purpose. That's a pretty egocentric view. We are here therefore there must be a purpose. I don't see it that way. That there is anything at all in the universe is a much bigger reason to believe there might be a purpose than just that there is life, esp. human life. Humans as the reason for the existence of the whole universe?? yikes I think you got it right the first time and maybe should think about atheism again, lol.

Why do you think I'm ignoring everything else?

And no, I don't think humans are the reason for the existence of the whole universe. I think it's likely that life as a whole is an integral part of the purpose, but I don't think humans are especially relevant.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 02:37AM
Sam, you said:

"I know there are plenty of examples where that's not true but we are talking about a true or false question and I do indeed believe everyone who understands the question "do you believe ____ exists?" does believe it most likely does exist or it most likely does not exist OR that the likelihood is exactly 50 percent."

I'm really not sure I understand what you're saying. You seem to be agreeing now that it's possible for a person to neither believe nor disbelieve underdetermined assertions. Yet you then seem to be saying that if they understand the question it's not possible? Like I said, I 'know" from direct experience (I can give you examples if you wish) that I can understand a question and if the answer is underdetermined, I can, at the same time, neither believe it's true nor believe its false, which is why, for instnace, I consider myself an agnostic with regard to the big questions which are in fact, underdetermined.

Is there, for instance,any kind of meaning and purpose to what we consider the universe? Darned if I 'know'. Do I truly 'believe' there is? Based on the objective evidence that we have, 'thus far' (as I understand it) it's not strong enough or convincing enough for me to simply say that I honestly 'believe' there is some objective meaning and/or purpose to this universe.

But at the same time, I don't think the evidence is anywhere near convincing enough (to me), for me to say I honestly believe there is absolutely no objective meaning or purpose to the universe. Would I like it if there were? Or hope that there were? Sure! Who wouldn't? Knowing that I have such feelings, however, makes me even more skeptical and more demanding of any evidence that 'seems' to support what I would like to believe. Is there enough convincing objective evidence to confirm the assertion that there is no such thing as meaning or purpose with regard to the universe except what we give it? No (at least in my humble opinion) . The most powerful evidence for such a belief stems from our ignorance Simply put, at present, we don't know of anything (except for ourselves) that could possibly give meaning and purpose to the universe. Therefore, due to our ignorance, we have to actually 'believe' there is no meaning or purpose for the universe. I, personally, don't subscribe to the premise that if I don't know the purpose of something, I must believe that it has no purpose. Naturally, that doesn't mean that I have to believe it has a purpose either.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 03:05AM
I, personally, don't subscribe to the premise that if I don't know the purpose of something, I must believe that it has no purpose. Naturally, that doesn't mean that I have to believe it has a purpose either. - islander

Right - me too. I don't understand what's so hard to understand about that stance. I'm pretty sure that most of the posters on this forum are in the same camp.

Hi, islander! I hope all's well in NC.

Nice to have 3 old posters back!
Sam
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 04:48AM
Isle, I'm trying to draw a distinction from your general "underdetermined" to specifically a claim that is either true or false. For example, the claim "there is a god/purpose". Everyone who understands the claim either believes it is most likely true or believes it is most likely not true or believes there is exactly a 50/50 chance either way. How can you not hold any beliefs about that claim? Probabilities!

Ohmy, I've just gotten off my 72 hour shift and am about dead. The only reason I can address anything here is because it's nothing new which requires my brain. Kinda fun seeing you guys again so maybe will be back tomorrow to take up where I left off. Good night, old friends.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 05:42AM
There isn't enough information to assign a numerical probability that the universe has a purpose. In fact there's no information.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 06:36AM
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Hornswoggle
I, personally, don't subscribe to the premise that if I don't know the purpose of something, I must believe that it has no purpose. Naturally, that doesn't mean that I have to believe it has a purpose either. - islander

Right - me too. I don't understand what's so hard to understand about that stance. I'm pretty sure that most of the posters on this forum are in the same camp.



One day Sam will come to the same conclusion all of us did. In fact, most atheists are on the path to the obvious conclusion imho. Belief is irrelevant. Saying I believe there might be a god(s) is the equivalent of saying I believe the Red Sox will win the World Series. I know nothing about the Red Sox or what kind of team they're going to have - so my "belief" is inconsequential to baseball, the Red Sox and myself. The only difference in that comparison is I could take the time to learn about the Red Sox and perhaps my belief (while possibly still wrong) would at least then be based on information and fact and therefore offer a modicum of substance. Learning about god(s) or coming up with some imaginary "probability" based on fictional tales of yore or philosophical jumping jacks is a waste of time since there is no credible information available to form a valid "belief". Any number one throws out - 25% "probability"... 65% "probability"... would be illusory and no different than picking a random number out of a hat. 25% would be the same as 65% and vice versa. In the end we're left with the obvious conclusion - the only reason anyone's belief might matter to someone else would be in regard to emotional and/or philosophical support for the position of the person inquiring. The religious folks need everyone to believe in god - the atheists need everyone to not - ie: groupthink. The bottom line is "me too".
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 12:10PM
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islander
Sam, you said:

"I know there are plenty of examples where that's not true but we are talking about a true or false question and I do indeed believe everyone who understands the question "do you believe ____ exists?" does believe it most likely does exist or it most likely does not exist OR that the likelihood is exactly 50 percent."

I'm really not sure I understand what you're saying. You seem to be agreeing now that it's possible for a person to neither believe nor disbelieve underdetermined assertions. Yet you then seem to be saying that if they understand the question it's not possible? Like I said, I 'know" from direct experience (I can give you examples if you wish) that I can understand a question and if the answer is underdetermined, I can, at the same time, neither believe it's true nor believe its false, which is why, for instnace, I consider myself an agnostic with regard to the big questions which are in fact, underdetermined.

Is there, for instance,any kind of meaning and purpose to what we consider the universe? Darned if I 'know'. Do I truly 'believe' there is? Based on the objective evidence that we have, 'thus far' (as I understand it) it's not strong enough or convincing enough for me to simply say that I honestly 'believe' there is some objective meaning and/or purpose to this universe.

But at the same time, I don't think the evidence is anywhere near convincing enough (to me), for me to say I honestly believe there is absolutely no objective meaning or purpose to the universe. Would I like it if there were? Or hope that there were? Sure! Who wouldn't? Knowing that I have such feelings, however, makes me even more skeptical and more demanding of any evidence that 'seems' to support what I would like to believe. Is there enough convincing objective evidence to confirm the assertion that there is no such thing as meaning or purpose with regard to the universe except what we give it? No (at least in my humble opinion) . The most powerful evidence for such a belief stems from our ignorance Simply put, at present, we don't know of anything (except for ourselves) that could possibly give meaning and purpose to the universe. Therefore, due to our ignorance, we have to actually 'believe' there is no meaning or purpose for the universe. I, personally, don't subscribe to the premise that if I don't know the purpose of something, I must believe that it has no purpose. Naturally, that doesn't mean that I have to believe it has a purpose either.

This is a nice clear summary of what I was trying to get at.

The only real difference is that when I look at the two options, the 'meaningless' one seems to make very little sense to me, so I am definitely skewed towards the notion of purpose.

Regarding why this topic is different to topics I have no issue expressing a belief about – the difference is that: a - there can be no evidence for or against either view besides our own existence; b – it is a fundamental question about the only thing we actually know does exist – again ourselves.

The classic strong atheist auto-response of “I don’t believe in the tooth fairy/santa/unicorns either” only really applies to specific and detailed notions regarding purpose. If, like me, you consider the concept of ‘God’ to be a broader one – essentially the other option besides meaninglessness – then these arguments don’t really apply. We are talking about the fundamental nature of the universe, not any specific and detailed fictional/faith based character God here.

The way I see it we have two options:

- The universe is as it is for some reason
- The universe is as it is for no reason

Both of these are massively bold and ballsy statements to make as though we actually knew them.

The idea that consciousness, life and the purpose we imbue on the universe has meaning is no more or less fantastical or harder to fathom than the notion that the universe just exists and its natural laws lead to the formation of conscious beings for no reason whatsoever.

What I object to is the idea forwarded by strong atheists that their claim to knowledge should be considered a rational default – that the second someone dispenses with certainty that there is purpose, they should go nuclear and express a certainty in no purpose.

This is not a rational leap. It is replacing one false certainty with another false certainty. We can pick one and pretend that we know it is the truth, or we can remain agnostic on the issue and accept that we don’t know. I think the latter option is the only one that makes sense.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 04:31PM
"- The universe is as it is for some reason
- The universe is as it is for no reason"


This is somewhat of a false dichotomy. The unspoken part of option #2 is "... despite the fact that it's possible for there to have been a reason."

"Reason" and "meaning" are valid only in a relative sense. In an absolute sense, there simply is no reason. It's a meaningless concept.

So option #3 is "The universe simply is."
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 05:01PM
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Navy2711
"- The universe is as it is for some reason
- The universe is as it is for no reason"


This is somewhat of a false dichotomy. The unspoken part of option #2 is "... despite the fact that it's possible for there to have been a reason."

Two positive positions. As I said in closing:

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Me
We can pick one and pretend that we know it is the truth, or we can remain agnostic on the issue and accept that we don’t know. I think the latter option is the only one that makes sense.

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Navy
"Reason" and "meaning" are valid only in a relative sense. In an absolute sense, there simply is no reason. It's a meaningless concept.

Unless there is a reason... that's kind of the point of this discussion no?

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So option #3 is "The universe simply is."

Which is just a re-phrasing of #2.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/2015 05:01PM by TheThorn.
Sam
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 05:55PM
Thorny, Re: "The idea that consciousness, life and the purpose we imbue on the universe has meaning is no more or less fantastical or harder to fathom than the notion that the universe just exists and its natural laws lead to the formation of conscious beings for no reason whatsoever."

Except that if there IS a reason/purpose for the existence of the universe it would require an intelligent designer which IS pretty damn fantastical and hard to fathom.

There IS a reason the universe is as it is now: cause and effect/evolution. But that's not the question. The question is why does the universe exist at all. There can be no reason unless there is/was an intelligent designer and there is no evidence to make that claim therefore I don't believe it. It's not rocket science how we come to believe what we do and we don't choose what to believe or not believe either. Each of us uses our own experiences and critical thinking skills (if present) to weigh evidence for a claim and if no convincing evidence is there we just don't believe it's true. Unless we've been indoctrinated to believe things without the benefit of experience or evidence which I suspect is the case for every single true believer and confused agnostic on this question. Based on my personal experience and critical thinking skills I believe the absence of evidence for the existence of something IS evidence of its absence and that's why personally do not believe there is/was an intelligent designer of the universe. To go even further, which will inevitably upset all the agnostics both theistic and atheistic, I know there is no intelligent designer as confidently as I know that other fantastical creatures do not exist. It's really just that simple to me.



I agree we can't put probability numbers on claims like this and that was kinda my point when I said we either believe something or we don't "OR believe it's exactly 50/50" which is a ridiculous position but which seems to be the one agnostics favor.
Re: Thoughts on God/Purpose
February 03, 2015 06:15PM
Navy: So option #3 is "The universe simply is."

Thorn: Which is just a re-phrasing of #2.


... with the critical distinction that #3 recognizes "reason" as illusory. It gives no weight to the concept of "reason." It does not treat "reason" like a thing, such as a basketball or a sad thought, which can be defined as "there or not there."

"Meaning," as a human understands it, is simply the flux of the human brain. The chemical workings of the brain's molecules. From the human's point of view, the relative sense, he/she experiences "meaning." In the absolute sense, there is only flux.

If there were a deity or creating force that created the universe for a "reason," what would that reason be? From the deity's/force's point of view, the relative sense, it might be something like, "To glorify My almighty being!" or "To give the living beings in this universe a chance to experience life!" In the absolute sense it would simply be the flux of the force/deity.
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