Debunk My Brother's Theology
I would try to avoid dogmatic statements like ‘there is no proof’ and ‘naked assertions’. Again, to reach the goal you are simplifying the complex. theology (like philosophy) should not be assessed using the same standards or rules of ‘proof’ that might be accepted and applied in other disciplines.
But in this black and white world you hold out exists, perhaps unless you sat in the lab yourself you cannot accept the truth or otherwise of any alleged fact. But no we don’t operate on that basis do we. Does every assessment of ‘truth’ sufficient to justify a response depend on some kind of science test result in our experience? No.
Relaxing the standards which clearly must be done in an environment that is largely incapable of laboratory testing, is required to form a view.
When I read a theory like the multiple universe theory, do I demand some kind of laboratory result or the ability to observe the other universes posited to accept that the theory may be plausible or have some credibility of some kind? Of course I don’t because I know that it is one of those theories that are more on the edge of the envelope than others.
So passionate denunciations of religion or god as the great evil because the standards applied to a particularly rigorous scientific
methodology are not (and cannot be) met, are no more reasoned or plausible than hysterical claims that god is true because he appeared to me in a dream.
I think it is the process that is more important. Ie the process that you and I go through to reach our conclusions.
Giving something a fair hearing should be more important than confirming a preexisting view. Particularly if you are actively hostile to ‘religion’ as you appear to be. I wonder why, as our lives were really not that bad. Perhaps those sermons of the deluded one
have sunk in to make you feel guilty and so you must rail to overcome the conscience.
Morality and other matters of consciousness are all of course attributes that are available to be used by either side of the debate to argue a point. I myself would have thought having no consciousness would be better to make hard decisions in an evolutionary sense. It is one thing to hypothesize that morality evolved. Equally I can hypothesize that it was a design feature.
Wikipedia doesn’t suggest Kohlberg wrote on the evolutionary aspects of morality. But no doubt others have.
Evolutionary theory doesn’t generally explain theological or philosophical matters. Nor does it attempt to. Unless it becomes a kind of religious theory of its own. And says that it explains everything, before the big bang, what makes the life force, metaphysical matters etc. And then it becomes a faith of it’s own. Subject to all the criticisms you make of religion.
Where is the proof? Where is the direct proof I can see with my own eyes, that there was no creative force before the big bang? Hoh gibbet, there is none. Hoist by your own petard.
Of course, a creative force could have used evolution in some way shape or form to develop life. Natural selection is clearly a fundamental force in the biological world. Indeed our little semen go through their own little ‘masterchef’ selection trial where millions of them compete, and only one wins. How fascinating, in our reproductive system a microcosm of life operates. More evidence of a common ancestor! But what a fantastic thing to have arisen. But don’t think too hard about it.
So ha to you gib. When you are able to concede that you are also in the same playing field, your bold pronouncements are less credible.
Evidence, I am used to dealing with it. The black and white world your statements imply exist does not. Not even in the absolute world of scientific truth. Material evidence, that is a boundary imposed by you. The existence of the universe clearly is evidence that it came from somewhere, indeed the big bang theory makes clear that even scientists don’t believe that it just ‘is’. It came from something. What did it come from. Oh nothing. We have no ‘evidence’. It just was. I have not read that particular theory. That it just was.
Your dichotomy between ‘material evidence’ (which on your standards you would not get for your metaphysical view (no god) either) and ‘unsupported assertions’ is one of those oversimplifications to achieve the end. At least you concede that you are positing a ‘belief system’. Which actually is simply an anti-religion system. A non-belief. To what end do you beat yourself over the head with this marvelous belief sytem?
Proof in this arena is to a certain degree subjective. You cannot meet a tangible ‘god’ and chat over coffee. Therefore what you define as ‘god’, what you accept as revealing that ‘god’ to you, and how you respond are personal matters. The multiplicity of religious theories and beliefs makes that clear. If it was objectively proveable surely there would be fewer options.
The world you imply exists, of black and whites, does not exist. Especially not in the field of theology. It cannot and to insist on this measure is simply a way of denying the validity of the field at all.
Having assessed some of dad’s books, I would suggest he was not the most ill informed amongst us. But in any event, now we are big people too, we can’t blame dad or anyone else for our own decisions.
"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck