I don't know what to make of the whole thing. (YOU RESPOND)

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I don't know what to make of the whole thing. (YOU RESPOND)

YOU RESPOND:

Quote:

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Mukhi
Date: Jan 24, 2007 7:34 PM

I have a few questions that I have been thinking about for a while now.

I consider myself an agnostic... but now that I've read about it, I have no idea what to say about the whole ordeal. I do not find it logical to deny a higher power whatever it may be because there is no logical proof of it not existing... This power may be something like "chi" or something deeply spiritual within us or our surroundings, like some kind of energy or prescence.

My question is this- What is the difference (if there is one) between something like God and some kind of supernatural energy which governs our universe? Do you believe that this presence is irrational to believe in as well?

I also believe that There is no Logical Evidence that god or a supernatural "power" does exist. I cannot prove to you god exists because it is impossible. Religion is based on faith. It is highly opinionated and controversial.

If I believe that there is no logical proof that god exists or does not exist, am I an Agnostic?

In a way, I just don't know when it comes to athiesm or thiesm...

Peace.

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  Quote: What is the

 

Quote:
What is the difference (if there is one) between something like God and some kind of supernatural energy which governs our universe?

I would say that most theists would say god IS a supernatural energy that governs our universe (among other non-sensical things). 

Quote:
Do you believe that this presence is irrational to believe in as well?

Yes. By the fact that you define it as 'supernatural' it is irrational. When you label something as supernatural you are removing it from being anything that can exist in any way in which we as humans can understand the term existence. You are effectively rendering it a non-concept. There is no rational reason to believe that anything has this property of being supernatural, or any way to even understand what this 'supernaturalism' entails. Name a 'supernatural' quality by which we would know something as 'supernatural'.

Quote:
I also believe that There is no Logical Evidence that god or a supernatural "power" does exist. I cannot prove to you god exists because it is impossible. Religion is based on faith. It is highly opinionated and controversial. If I believe that there is no logical proof that god exists or does not exist, am I an Agnostic?

If you don't have a belief in a god you are by definiton atheistic, or without a god belief. Agnostic means without knowledge, so one can be an agnostic atheist, or one without knowledge of the existence of any god and therefor without a belief in any god. In the end, since the terms are merely labels applied to express something about ourselves to others, it is the label you feel comfortable with that you should apply. Just realize that if you apply the theist one, you are by definition, irrational. Smiling 

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Quote:

Quote:

I do not find it logical to deny a higher power whatever it may be because there is no logical proof of it not existing...

There is no logical reason to either deny or affirm the existence of anything, based purely on the absence of a valid logical proof either way, that is true.

But to believe in the positive existence of something, it is irrational, by definition, to believe unless there is some actual evidence for it. And not just some evidence, but evidence of sufficient solidity and strength to match the significance of that 'something'.

There is also no strictly logical reason to disprove the existence of a wonderful teapot orbiting the Sun out there in space. We need more than simple logic to address that - induction, based not on absolute logical proof but probabilities, is the way to address real issues.

If you feel a spiritual (not necessarily an exclusively religious notion) awe at the existence of the Universe and what it contains, that is fine and entirely natural. To wonder where it 'came from', also entirely natural.

The problem, as we see it, is when you want to start attaching some pre-scientific, supernatural concepts to these ideas, as if they somehow explain something. They may well help you personally think about these fundamental things, which is of course why they persist in our culture.

But the more systematic approach of science has lead to ultimately much more useful and emotionally satisfying ways to look at the Universe, but unfortunately it can require a lot of study to really come to grips with. I can assure you that it can lead to even more mind-blowing experiences than the vague ideas of supernatural entities, as you contemplate the picture of the universe that science has revealed so far, which is so much grander than anything in the myths of religion.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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RationalResponseSquad

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YOU RESPOND:
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My question is this- What is the difference (if there is one) between something like God and some kind of supernatural energy which governs our universe? Do you believe that this presence is irrational to believe in as well?

What is the difference? The difference is in the "human-like" qualities associated with typical theistic gods(you seem to be likening your skepticism towards pantheism). For example, the Christian god created man "in His image". "His" probably doesn't make much sense for something that doesn't reproduce anyway, but the quality is still applied. Theistic gods, like the Christian god or Thor, any of the Egyptian gods etc. all act, generally, like people. They do things because of some personal motivation, no matter how divine or correct it might be(according to the believers). More than that, in most cases Theistic gods concern themselves in the everyday workings of the universe, specifically in the lives of humans; intervening from time to time with miracles, punishing sins and answering prayers. The "god" you're proposing; "may be something like "chi" or something deeply spiritual within us or our surroundings, like some kind of energy or prescence." would not have these personal qualities, and would not have illogical human traits associated with it. That is, as I see it, the difference between the two beliefs; One believes in a personal god who has motivations and reasons, who listens to prayers and intervenes within the universe and cares about what happens there, the Other believes in a "presence" of some sort which is responsible for governing the laws which are at the heart of our universe, who does not engage in abstract thought processes which could allow for the caring of sins and lives of humans.

Is this presence irrational to believe in? That depends on the way in which you define this presence. As is Dawkins' position, mine is that you're using the wrong word to describe what you're talking about, though. To call energy "god" is somewhat nonsensical; god has come to mean, in the minds of almost everyone you meet, a supernatural intelligence. It is certainly more rational, but I wouldn't place it at the same level of rationality as, say, believing that you will one day die.


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OK, this one cracked me

OK, this one cracked me up.

Quote:
I consider myself an agnostic... but now that I've read about it, I have no idea what to say about the whole ordeal.

What ordeal? Since when considering yourself something has to be an ordeal?

Quote:
I do not find it logical to deny a higher power whatever it may be because there is no logical proof of it not existing...

I'm sure you meant "logical proof of it not existing" <- without the "not".

Quote:
This power may be something like "chi" or something deeply spiritual within us or our surroundings, like some kind of energy or prescence.

Actually, it is not the "chi" around us, but it is described with all "his" important traits in the Bible. So we're not guessing what we don't believe in, we know for sure what we don't believe in.

Quote:
My question is this- What is the difference (if there is one) between something like God and some kind of supernatural energy which governs our universe?

My my, how difficult can it get?

God:

- omniscient

- omnipotent

- omnipresent

- omnibenevolent

- jealous (see Bible)

- avenging (see Bible)

- demanding sacrifice (see Bible)

- demanding worship (see Bible)

Supernatural energy:

- inanimate matter, so omniscience is pointless relating to it

- possibly, but not necessarily, omnipotent

- possibly, but not necessarily, omnipresent

- doesn't care about moral percepts like benevolence

- doesn't care about human feelings, like jealousy

- doesn't care about retribution

- doesn't care about sacrifice

- doesn't care about worship (in fact, I doubt it cares that we ourselves exist at all)

Satisfied?

Quote:
I also believe that There is no Logical Evidence that god or a supernatural "power" does exist. I cannot prove to you god exists because it is impossible. Religion is based on faith. It is highly opinionated and controversial.

Well hello sunshine !

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If I believe that there is no logical proof that god exists or does not exist, am I an Agnostic?

Yes, let's say you are... but some may have their reserves...

Quote:
In a way, I just don't know when it comes to athiesm or thiesm...

It's all a matter of realism...

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/