Hey Sc, hope you are feeling OK.
The "God" you are trying so hard not to believe in
First off, if I didn't love you so much I'd resent the implication that I'm desperately (because of my yawning spiritual void, my hatred of religion...etc etc etc) denying the existence of 'god' because of my personal views of religion. This is not true. I don't hate god, because I don't believe he/she/it/they exist. My problem is with (yes, I know...boring) organised dogmatic religion and the effects it has on the non-religious. I'm not 'trying hard' not to believe...I just don't, why won't people accept that ? Why ? Are you 'trying hard' not to believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, The Bogey Man ? You have has much 'faith' in them as I do in 'God', so why ask ? I tell you why- it's a typical 'religious' ruse (in the vaguest sense) but it might cause us to fall out so I'll keep it to myself. And secondly, by making that implication you are making the outrageous assumption that this 'god' actually exists and that I should believe it without a second thought. Why's that then ? You've never told me.
the bible was written by people for people - and is not and was never meant to be a literal account
Yes, that's what I hear. We aren't meant to take it literally, anymore.
That's very convenient, wouldn't you agree ? Possibly just a little tiny bit suspicious that in recent times, when the nonsense (let it be whispered - horror) of the bible/koran/whatever in the face of unchained free thought has become apparent, we are suddenly not meant to take it literally ? Oh yes, it's just parables, metaphor now, the world isn't flat after all...sorry our mistake.....hmmm......OK. So, taking that on board, how are we to assume that it is the word of god ? What if Moses wasn't 'taken literally' when he came down from the mountain. Maybe it's all wrong. Maybe god actually said 'You SHALL lie down with thy neighbors wife'. Maybe all the psychopaths have got it right after all. Who's to know ? I tell you what, if I were a religious leader I'd just make it up, take a good look at it, and pick out the bits I like and forget the bits I don't. Oh, they've beat me to it. Where's the literal interpretation in that ?
can only be a human construct
Yes? Last time I looked I wasn't a crocodile or a tree (except in my saddest moments, a soggy old weeping willow), so what else do you expect of me ? You're human, I'm human, everything that anyone has ever said or done or thought or read was from another human. What else is there ?
You, me, this chair I am sitting in - all so precariously balanced between existing and not
Yes ? What are you saying ? It could be two things - either that you are astonished that we alive at all and can't think of any other reason than your supreme being made us, or you refuse to accept that we are just the product of non-random evolutionary mutations of primeval ooze (or rather, complex amino acids that we observe on, for instance, some comets and Titan, one of Saturn's moons) a planet that was created from the left overs of the formation of our sun - which in turn was created (as with all the other trillions of stars) in a natural process, which in turn was spewed forth from a universe created in a quantum vacuum ? Which is it ? Why can you not accept that the same science that powers the computer you are using to type on (very tangible), is the same science that points in completely the other direction from your supreme being ?
It simply isn't possible those things can be. Yet they are.
Again I ask - why ? Why is it more believable to think that it was a supreme being when the evidence to the contrary is all round you, however baffling it is - and it is baffling. Why do you so readily dismiss 3000 years of human thought...geology, chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, astronomy...?
Is my inability to explain, with simple words or numbers, "existence" part of my "proof." Of course it is. Does that make it any less valid? No
Sorry, you're wrong, it does make it invalid. If you can't explain it to me then how am I to make a judgment ? And sorry again, unless we both have undiscovered telepathic powers or you can write with runes, it's got to be words. I'm human, you're human. Should I accept anything as valid ? I'm not making a comparison (why do I always have to choose my words as carefully as I might choose moss covered rocks when crossing a river?) here, but should accept the ravings of a schizophrenic as valid ? David Koresh ? Osama ? My lampshade that tells me to set fire to kittens ? As Richard Dawkins said - 'Sure, let's keep an open mind, but not so open that our brains fall out'. You have a point of view, and so do I, that's all. That's what makes us human, and that's what make debate so worthwhile.
Hang on a minute...I almost missed it !!!! What you are really
saying is that I'm either not intelligent enough to understand what you are trying to get across, or that because of my lack of spirituality I am unable to comprehend what you are saying in non-human terms. Perhaps you think it's both ?
I think I'll just fall back on the proof you yourself provide: how can something that does not exist cause Martin to react so strongly?
Once again, I resent the implication here. Please refer to my first paragraph. You are citing my anger as proof of god ? I wish I were so deserving of such lavish praise.
i am about as intelligent as a human critter can be
By who's standards ? Your own ? Does the proof of your intelligence, which I'm not denying, mean that everyone else, or rather, those that don't agree with you, are wrong ? And remember, Pride is a sin. Be warned !! :wink:
SC, you of all people should know that it is fear that drives us, in desperation, to come to conclusions that keep that fear in check. Fear, fear of not knowing, fear of death, life, the absurd pointlessnes of it all, fear of being alone in a pityless universe, fear of suffering, it drowns out all appeals to commonsense. Fear clouds everything. And that, I think, is where the problem lies, not in DP, war, hate, or 'miraculous' interventations. Without presuming to know for sure, I'd take a guess that your idea of a supreme being brings resolution to the fear, and your refusal to except anything else is what seems to you to be justification for this belief. Which must make me the most terrified man on earth, right ? Wrong. I accept it, embrace it in a way, like Camus's idea of the absurdity of existance. Once you realise that there are no 'reasons' why we are here, we're just here because we're here, that life is one great big cosmic accident (or not), then what is there to fear ? The habit of fear is worse than fear itself, you know it, I know it. But if we swallow the fear and accept that life is just what it is, life, then perhaps we can all get on with enjoying it or, at the very least, doing the best we can. It's a difficult trick to learn, unless you are lucky (and it is luck - because I'm not intelligent or strong enough to have made these choices on my own) to be like me and be born without any need to believe.
People can bang on about gods ultimate gift of 'free will' all they like. Chance is not on anyones side. Once again it's an excuse, an embarrassing excuse for suffering, an apology...nothing more, nothing less...surely the very last that the religious can get away with, and I'm ashamed on behalf of them. I myself cannot accept this view of god as all loving. I have a different notion of love, I'm sure you do to, and till the day I die I shall refuse to accept this idea of love in which children, for instance, are tortured. And, as is my wont, and, I think, my right as a (fairly) decent human being - I'll spit in the face of anyone who actively grovels to the majesty of that god. We'll let the Seraphim do that.
If you take a step back and look at the world, you'll see that it (and the universe in general) has exactly the properties we would expect if there were no order, no greater purpose, other than that which we create.
In the end we're all dust, just dust. And i'm eternally gratefull for that