God shaped gaps. [kill em with kindness]

dieduiwel
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God shaped gaps. [kill em with kindness]

 A big part of people's justification to 'believe' is based on what is generally assumed to be rational reasoning. People who believe think they do so for (or because of) good reasons, just like those who don't believe.

Lots of atheist commentators  have highlighted the 'God of the gaps' view where in we are told that the concept of god is simply a label we place on currently unexplained phenomena.
Consider older societies inevitable attribution of a god's will to the occurrence of an earth quake, which most of us now know to be caused by shifting tectonic plates, devoid of divine intervention.

There are many "reasons" to believe in gods which have been thoroughly debunked by various thinkers, filled gaps so to speak. Things like biology, physics and maths which explain the diversity of life, the formation of solar systems and the speed of light are typically considered filled gaps, things like the origin of life and the origin of energy gaps left unfilled.

A recurring reason given by theists is that of personal experience. Subjective revelations tied to experiences are not the intended subject here. If there are  rational arguments to consider subjective experience as a 'good reason'  to believe in gods then yes, please mention them, but this threat is intended for tangible, objective phenomena, perceivable by all, not just the experiencee.
For example, an argument to consider might focus on experience as a problem of science which could be considered an empty gap. We have not as of yet been able to explain experience. There is a gap between the material (the brain) and the apparently immaterial phenomenon of experience. Is this simply because we have not managed to uncover the rational explanation tying them together or is it because something about experience places it beyond the reach of natural explanation? If so, could this gap only be filled by a concept as unfathomably abstract as that of a god?

I guess the question - to theists and atheists alike - goes something like this: Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?

 


jcgadfly
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"Where are the gaps where in

"Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?"

Usually in the heads of the theists.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


dieduiwel
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jcgadfly wrote:"Where are

jcgadfly wrote:

"Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?"

Usually in the heads of the theists.

 

How do we go about fixing that?


jcgadfly
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dieduiwel wrote:jcgadfly

dieduiwel wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

"Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?"

Usually in the heads of the theists.

 

How do we go about fixing that?

I'd say that depends on the theist. Some are so adamant on keeping the gaps they won't bother examining the evidence that closes/narrows them.

Others are more open. It will be a struggle no matter what.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Jeffrick
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dieduiwel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dieduiwel wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

"Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?"

Usually in the heads of the theists.

 

How do we go about fixing that?

 

 

                        When ever we fill in a gap for the benifit of the theist,   they up and create a new GAP!!!!!!!   If I could prove to a theist that I personally fill in the gap between my parents and my children;  they will ask about the gap between me and my Mom & Dad  and me & my daughters.   Unless the mailman was realy energetic I can't  see any;  yet  theists do.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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Welcome to the forum.I would

Welcome to the forum.

I would say that the biggest gap left to fill is the origin of the universe. There are also gaps pertaining to the origin of life, what happens after we die, etc., most of which appear to be dwindling in size.

Of course, anything a particular theist doesn't understand can be used by that theist as a gap. It doesn't necessarily matter if it's already been exhaustively explained by science, as long as the theist doesn't get it. Evolution is a prime example of this. I've also seen theists ask how can all the planets be "perfectly round," how does the sun come up every morning, how can there be such beautiful music without God, etc. They will use this argument from ignorance at every available opportunity.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote: I've

butterbattle wrote:

 I've also seen theists ask how can all the planets be "perfectly round," how does the sun come up every morning, how can there be such beautiful music without God, etc. They will use this argument from ignorance at every available opportunity.  

 

Perfect point.  

"gaps" or not, it does not seem to make any sense for ... TrueChristians.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7WXoMp8Ews

 


ubuntuAnyone
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dieduiwel wrote:There is a

dieduiwel wrote:

There is a gap between the material (the brain) and the apparently immaterial phenomenon of experience.

What is immaterial about experience?

dieduiwel wrote:

Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?

Atheists would be foolish to answer this because it's a loaded question. I feel that only theists can tell where a "god resides".

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


Tadgh
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dieduiwel wrote:For example,

dieduiwel wrote:
For example, an argument to consider might focus on experience as a problem of science which could be considered an empty gap. We have not as of yet been able to explain experience. There is a gap between the material (the brain) and the apparently immaterial phenomenon of experience. Is this simply because we have not managed to uncover the rational explanation tying them together or is it because something about experience places it beyond the reach of natural explanation? If so, could this gap only be filled by a concept as unfathomably abstract as that of a god?

Frankly, I think this talk of "gaps" is a fruitless exercise. Evolution has been explained and the quite sufficient amount of evidence shown. Even still, creationists have decided that scientists are lying in some sort of grand conspiracy to bring about satan's reign. No amount of evidence will sway these people, who admit that nothing can cotradict scripture (apparently except scripture itself) and still be true.

Yes - some of these people might have a change of mind further down the road, but most will not. I believe that there is quite enough evidence to refute the truth of scripture and any deity you can name. Do we really need to prove how the universe began in order to prove the non-existence of god? I don't think we do. I think what we need to do is much harder than proving the origins of the universe. I think what we need to do is much harder than filling any perceived 'gap.'

I think we need to get the children a decent education, away from over-heavy church influence. The only way to do this is to get the general population to trust us and listen to us. We need to work on our PR.

Every time somebody shoots up a school campus, let the cry go forth, "That was a religious man."

Every time a terrorist's bomb goes off, let the words be heard, "No atheist does that."

Every time a city gets ruined by a flood, let the atheists be there to lend a helping hand to the religious. No preaching. No proselytizing. In fact, encourage their prayers. What harm in that?

The gap isn't in their minds. It's in their hearts, if only metaphorically.


dieduiwel
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The Universe

butterbattle wrote:

Welcome to the forum.

Thanks.

butterbattle wrote:

I would say that the biggest gap left to fill is the origin of the universe. There are also gaps pertaining to the origin of life, what happens after we die, etc., most of which appear to be dwindling in size.

Of course, anything a particular theist doesn't understand can be used by that theist as a gap. It doesn't necessarily matter if it's already been exhaustively explained by science, as long as the theist doesn't get it. Evolution is a prime example of this. I've also seen theists ask how can all the planets be "perfectly round," how does the sun come up every morning, how can there be such beautiful music without God, etc. They will use this argument from ignorance at every available opportunity.  

Yes it is true, the argument from ignorance is rife, I guess the answer really is early education. Though most of the questions they ask really do have answers, very few theists honestly ask where does the universe come from or how do we explain free will... or why didn't Jesus leave the cure for AIDS Eye-wink The general ones I encounter, who do  manage to ask anything (rather than uncomprehendingly reciting) seem to ask things like what happens when we die, what is the point of living without a god, how do you explain good and evil, ghosts, that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I pray? So should we continue highlighting and trying to help answer these questions with them,  or is the return on investment simply not worth it?

 People also seem to struggle with the fact that we don't have all the facts, we yearn to fill the gaps, and god is eagerly showed in there by our environment (that darn indoctrination). So where there should clearly be gaps, it is not even perceived as such by the time we are mature enough to think about gaps. But then as Jeffrick says:

Jeffrick wrote:
 When ever we fill in a gap for the benefit of the theist,   they up and create a new GAP!!!!!!! 

This is probably (I think) because by the time gaps are becoming (or more likely are made) apparent it is too late and the emotional bond between the believer and the belief is so strong as to induce a kind of denial, like an alcoholic denying that a problem of alcohol exists. 

butterbattle wrote:
I would say that the biggest gap left to fill is the origin of the universe. 

Yeah its definitely a big one. I'm no scientist, but it seems (by my limited understanding, as I'm almost certainly out of depth here)  that the first law of thermodynamics and the big bang theory together make for an interesting problem to solve. We can take it all the way back to the first few milliseconds of existence of all matter/energy/the universe and at the same time our science tells us that energy can not spontaneously start to exist, and it can not be annihilated, yet it does not seem to be able to simply always have existed as time itself has a beginning, with the rest of space and the universe. Is the question itself circular? Or does a quantum world understanding turn all of this thinking onto it's head? How can we meaningfully talk about the beginning of energy if it can not be created or destroyed? So I definitely agree on this one, but then it probably simply is just a gap in my understanding with a perfectly rational explanation. 

 


dieduiwel
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There is a...

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

dieduiwel wrote:

There is a gap between the material (the brain) and the apparently immaterial phenomenon of experience.

What is immaterial about experience?

 Well, I don't know if it is immaterial, hence the tiptoeing around it with apparently. But from what I gather, we have not managed to explain how the brain produces experience.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
dieduiwel wrote:

Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?

Atheists would be foolish to answer this because it's a loaded question. I feel that only theists can tell where a "god resides". 

I cant help but feel that 'I feel that only theists can tell where a "god resides".' sounds a bit like an answer. But I think x-theists might also have something to add, and also insightful observing atheists.

Any how I certainly did not intend to present a loaded question, let me try to rephrase: 

Which are the remaining unanswered questions that people still answer with: "God did it" ?

 


jcgadfly
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dieduiwel wrote:ubuntuAnyone

dieduiwel wrote:

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

dieduiwel wrote:

There is a gap between the material (the brain) and the apparently immaterial phenomenon of experience.

What is immaterial about experience?

 Well, I don't know if it is immaterial, hence the tiptoeing around it with apparently. But from what I gather, we have not managed to explain how the brain produces experience.

ubuntuAnyone wrote:
dieduiwel wrote:

Where are the gaps where in modern day god resides?

Atheists would be foolish to answer this because it's a loaded question. I feel that only theists can tell where a "god resides". 

I cant help but feel that 'I feel that only theists can tell where a "god resides".' sounds a bit like an answer. But I think x-theists might also have something to add, and also insightful observing atheists.

Any how I certainly did not intend to present a loaded question, let me try to rephrase: 

Which are the remaining unanswered questions that people still answer with: "God did it" ?

 

Again, you'd have to ask theists. I'm content with "I/We don't know yet".

If you want to know the location of a problem, you have to go to people who have the problem. I wouldn't expect a doctor to come to me and ask "Where does dieduiwel (only because I don't know your name) hurt?".

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


dieduiwel
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...this talk of "gaps" is a fruitless exercise...

Tadgh wrote:

dieduiwel wrote:
For example, an argument to consider might focus on experience as a problem of science which could be considered an empty gap. We have not as of yet been able to explain experience. There is a gap between the material (the brain) and the apparently immaterial phenomenon of experience. Is this simply because we have not managed to uncover the rational explanation tying them together or is it because something about experience places it beyond the reach of natural explanation? If so, could this gap only be filled by a concept as unfathomably abstract as that of a god?

Frankly, I think this talk of "gaps" is a fruitless exercise. Evolution has been explained and the quite sufficient amount of evidence shown. Even still, creationists have decided that scientists are lying in some sort of grand conspiracy to bring about satan's reign. No amount of evidence will sway these people, who admit that nothing can contradict scripture (apparently except scripture itself) and still be true.

Perhaps it is a demographic difference thing, but here (Britain/Europe) I find many theists who are very comfortable with things like evolution, the big bang and the allegorical nature of the holy texts and it comes across as if  people who don't feel this way about their religions are part of a fundamentalist minority (perhaps this is wishful thinking, and/or lack of general exposure). I have read that the literalist situation is some what more widespread in the US (not to mention the various others). 

Tadgh wrote:

Yes - some of these people might have a change of mind further down the road, but most will not. I believe that there is quite enough evidence to refute the truth of scripture and any deity you can name. Do we really need to prove how the universe began in order to prove the non-existence of god? I don't think we do. I think what we need to do is much harder than proving the origins of the universe. I think what we need to do is much harder than filling any perceived 'gap.'

I am not really sure that there is any evidence that refutes deity, scripture yes but not deity per se. There are many facts and arguments which seem to reduce the probability of the existence of deity, but as of yet there is no more a disproof of deity than  there is a proof of it. That's probably a Nobel prize caliber accomplishment. And no we dont have to prove how the universe began in order to prove the non-existence of god. Doing so probably wouldn't disprove gods, but like evolution it would be very nice to have such a big gap filled with a real answer and it is sure to nudge many liberally religious people and atheists alike closer to reality.

Tadgh wrote:

I think we need to get the children a decent education, away from over-heavy church influence. The only way to do this is to get the general population to trust us and listen to us. We need to work on our PR.

Every time somebody shoots up a school campus, let the cry go forth, "That was a religious man."

Every time a terrorist's bomb goes off, let the words be heard, "No atheist does that."

Every time a city gets ruined by a flood, let the atheists be there to lend a helping hand to the religious. No preaching. No proselytizing. In fact, encourage their prayers. What harm in that?

Not sure about the name and shame tactics. 

 

Tadgh wrote:

 

The gap isn't in their minds. It's in their hearts, if only metaphorically.

Metaphorically a big part of it does sit in their hearts.