Why can’t we see god?

This author argues it is because she wants us to choose to love her and to protect our freewill. This argument doesn’t hold unless the proponent can show that in the many narratives involving god showing up for bbq, that the people she interacted with had no freewill. If Adam and Eve had god immediately in their presence and still had room to eat the fruit, which among other things, god needed not have told them about its existence, then the argument about fear is moot. It doesn’t hold any water.

Christians, some of them, insist Jesus is God. If this is true, then what do we say about the disciples? Was it their fear of hell that kept them with Jesus? Didn’t god know this? The same Christians, who believe in trinity, tells us the spirit is god and it is with us. How is this then squared with the claim god doesn’t show herself because if that happened we wouldn’t love her?

I say we can’t see god the same way we can’t see Santa. God(s) so far as I can tell have no existence out of the human mind. This, to me, is the most likely answer. What gods are is unknown to us. What they look like is unknown to us. Besides, we have apologists tell us god is spirit, is without form and all that makes it way impossible for us to see such a being given we lack the necessary apparatus to see spirits.

It is absurd to suggest that a being desirous of having a relationship with you would seek to do this by hiding. What relationship is that even? A delusion?

For those interested in further reading, In defense of William Rowe’s Evidential argument from evil by Nick Trakakis, makes for good reading on the different arguments that apologists have advanced to defend divine hiddenness.

theists 1 atheists 0

while atheists are stuck in their position that the theists have not provided evidence for their claims about god, and others go as far as claiming theists have not even passed the first hurdle; what is god and why is it necessary that a god exists, the theists have 10 proofs. Who can deny 10 proofs? Only fools eh. What are these 10 proofs?

The first 5 proofs are the 5 ways of Thomas Aquinas. The first proof makes a claim that we have no way of confirming, that is, for something to happen in nature, there’s got to be something at the beginning of it that is outside of nature. We can’t know this. In the second proof, Aquinas is simply saying, I don’t know, therefore God. 3 way introduces a necessary existence which he makes his god. The 4th way is to say there are degrees of ugliness and the perfect ugliness must be god. The 5th way is the best. A rock falls down and not up because god. If this proof doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

The 6th proof is quite complex. I can point at a tree and i can describe a tree. What connects the tree and my description is god.

The seventh proof is not a proof really, but is in itself need of proof. It is a claim that there has to be a powerful something causing organization in the world.

Mathematics or our concept of justice have actual existence out of our minds and therefore this is the 8th proof of god.

Things don’t just exist. The reason for their existence is god. And this is our 9th proof.

To deny the existence of god is to deny the existence of moral law. This is the 10th proof.

Atheists I know you are now totally stumped and will be walking in droves to join the church next door or you will go to hell.

Have a proof full day, won’t you.

Belief has no place where truth is concerned

God does not exist
Does god exist?

These two videos speak to the same topic. I hadn’t heard of Prof Peter Millican before this, but I like him. He is eloquent. As for Krishnamurti, I have read some of his works and I agree with some if not most of it. The two videos will take a max of 35 minutes but you will thank me for days for contributing to your education.

Enjoy

open comments post

Today I don’t want to bore you with stories about running. I know some of you, I will not mention names, get tired from just reading about running 1mile. SO telling them about running 10 miles would make them ten times tired which reminds me of one of Mark Twain’s tales. I think in the story he goes to the Alps to hike. He has a binoculars and a guide. So he sits at the base camp and tells the guide to go hike while he follows him with the binoculars and gets tired in the process. Maybe that’s how I should do my next hike or run. But enough of that.

You could be a theist, deist, atheist or anything in between or Nan or Barry. I hope that leaves no one out. I am interested in hearing from all of you what, if you have considered them, is the most fatal argument against the existence of god(s). And if you are a theist, what you consider as the most persuasive argument for the existence of god(s) and why?

I hope this should be fun. Give it a go. Surprise me. But you can talk about running if you wish to 🙂

If atheists found out that God is real, what would they do differently in their lives?

I find quora sometimes does have very interesting questions. Notice I say interesting not intelligent.

The first problem( taken literally) with this question implies we believe god is fake or unreal which is a gross misunderstanding of the atheist position. I have no belief in the existence of god or deity.

The second is implied. That the deity we will find is the Abrahamic one who sends you to hell because he loves you very much. Such a deity is terrifying.

If one were to meet, say, the Maori god of earthquakes that Barry was telling me this morning, one could ask them what joy they derived from such destruction? Do they have regrets and can they teach me to create an earthquake?

A meeting with Apollo or was it Bacchus would be a different thing altogether. Maybe we would get so high no meaningful conversation would be possible.

I have digressed.

Atheists live their lives just like other people except they don’t have the tendency to meet on a certain for worship or thank their cats for something that happened to them or that they did and I guess many would continue that way.

Finally, there is an implicit acceptance by this believer that god could as well be real. Or else this believer doesn’t subscribe to an omni god. And I am with anyone who entertains such doubt and I encourage them to move just one step further.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Is theism true?

And if so, which of the many brands is the true one?

Do the three Abrahamic religions make the same doctrinal claims or do they differ sufficiently to be contradictory?

Is Scientology a separate theism? Should we consider it as true? Or is Mormonism the true theism?

And how is one to know which of the competing denomination is the truth?

Can one be forgiven for not believing in any of them until such a time as their claims can be verified? That is, is it rational to not believe in any of the available theism-s?

Are deists a separate theism or do their claims suffer from the weaknesses of the other theism-s?

Confessions 3

If we believe the priests, we shall be persuaded, that the Christian religion, by the beauty of its morals, excels philosophy and all the other religious systems in the world.

Baron D’Holdbach

One of the most irrational of all the conventions of modern society is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected. …[This] convention protects them, and so they proceed with their blather unwhipped and almost unmolested, to the great damage of common sense and common decency. that they should have this immunity is an outrage. There is nothing in religious ideas, as a class, to lift them above other ideas. On the contrary, they are always dubious and often quite silly. Nor is there any visible intellectual dignity in theologians. Few of them know anything that is worth knowing, and not many of them are even honest.”

H. Mencken

My first confession was a story of how I became clever, saw the light and left the faith I had been brought up in. The second confession (very Catholic, if you ask me) was a short story of the past. Then there was reflections on Christianity and finally about atheist experience in Africa.

This posting is about what I have become.

A great amount of care was taken to make me a Catholic. It was taught in school as fact. I went to catechism school. Went through the rites, participated actively in church activities and generally without reflection. It didn’t occur to me to question the truth of this religion I was brought up in. Did I have doubts, yes, but not about the truth of the catholic doctrine. I worried a little about whether I would go to heaven or hell. And the book of revelation (the few times I read it) didn’t help matters in this front with its small number of the chosen ones.

When my faith began to wane or maybe I had lost, I read a lot on arguments for god and why they failed. I read on authorship of the bible, on the existence of Jesus and even on miracles. All this reading led to one conclusion only, revealed religions were a scam. I read a little here and there on Islam and even the Gita.

Does Christianity or any religion for that matter deserve the attention we give them? Is there any good in wasting years trying to demonstrate that religions are all false, that their claims are contradictory and many times impossible? Is there any truth in the claims of Christianity? Is there a way to verify any of it? Is it any more true than the religions my forefathers had believed in? If it had been true and was ordained by a god, why did it need violence, deception, evangelism to spread? Was it important that we, everyone, had a religion or believed in a god(s)?

I am at that point in my life where I can say theism is false. That the supernatural claims religions make are baseless. It is not important that one believes in a god(s) as long as one lives well with others. Be kind. Be useful. Life is simple.

Africa interests me. African religion and philosophy more so. How my forefathers lived, what they believed in and how this knowledge made life in society and community possible. How did they face calamity? Death? Disease? And in times of plenty and bountiful harvests or hunts, how did they celebrate? Now this is interesting stuff.

Talk of gods and miracles bore me.

Hell doesn’t interest me. Heaven is a scary proposition. Vicarious redemption is abhorrent. And the gods? They don’t exist. We make them all the time. The raw material needed is a sick imagination and a people gullible enough to believe.

Of God and other manenos

Most of us would agree that the objectivity of good was a thing we had settled and dismissed with the existence of God. Theology and absolute ethics are two famous subjects which we have realized have no real objects.

Ramsay 1925

If the prospect of integrating faith and contemporary experiences is to be ultimately successful it must be sufficiently radical. And to be sufficiently radical it must get to the root concept of God. And to be sufficiently radical respecting the concept of God it must radically depart from the philosophical world-view which has given the traditional faith in God a cultural form which no longer serves well that faith.

Leslie Dewart, Catholic theologian

It is possible that in their time the Five Ways (Aquinas Proofs) were an exciting expression of the whole movement from the actual world to the reality of God… But there can be no doubt that they no longer express anything of the sort.

Howard Root.

Dear theist

This is a response- kinda- to this letter directed to atheists. It’s a letter that from the very onset is full of fallacies. I will pick a few and leave the rest for you to name.

The pastor asks

How do you think we got here? Was it a colossal cosmic accident or is there some plan, design or purpose behind our existence? (false dilemma fallacy)

An an atheist or unbeliever, there is no contradiction in answering I don’t know to the question of how we got here. As we do not have any definite knowledge on how we got here, the question of purpose cannot be answered conclusively. We can say our purpose is to propagate more life. But if this is the case, are those, who for one reason or another, do not propagate living purposeless lives?

The next question follows a wrong assumption.

 If we are here by cosmic accident, who is right and who is wrong, and what rules should we live by?

I don’t know how we got here or even why but that doesn’t stop us from working out a way to live that promotes peaceful coexistence.

If theists believed and acted like they believed their gods existed, some of the things we see around us would not happen. So to write

 If there is no ultimate arbitrator then I would assume that we are not accountable to anyone which means that the rules we make are based upon current opinion, force of autocratic power or democratic vote

is in my view to be blind to history and reality. We don’t need an ultimate arbitrator. We need just a few intolerant people to be adamant about something and it may become law.

I am certain there is a fallacy involved in this next question

You say that there are some things inherent in us that define what is right and wrong, but if we are cosmic accidents is anything really inherent or does each of us have to figure out life and sometimes we discover similarities in our experience and we conclude that our similarities mean something is inherent.

Our first parents (taking liberties here) can be cosmic accidents but we have what is called accumulated history and knowledge of the race that has contributed in promoting life. Over time, these habits, tendencies become part of the group psychology. It is not rocket science. And I don’t think there is any contradiction in finding a product of a cosmic accident having some inherent properties.

In the next question, the good pastor is being dishonest. He asks

If that’s the case why is it that all civilizations look for “God” without knowing each other or having a pre-existing cross reference?

And I argue that people do not look for gods per se, but are looking for answers. In this pursuit, humanity have invented gods, imbued them with powers ranging from omniscience to immortality, without ever being able to tell coherently what a god is or why one is even needed.

In asking

Religion is confusing and there are multiple religions and theories, but does that confirm that we are a cosmic accident, or does it mean that we just do not know definitively one way or another?

the pastor is mixing up issues.

How should we live? Many things answer this question. And we get answers from custom, from public opinion( a very potent guide, actually. The threat of public dishonour or shame is enough to keep many people in check). The good pastor however thinks he can corner us and asks

You insist you are certain there is no possibility of God, so who or what determines how we should live?

Is it nature?

Is it public opinion?

Is it science?

His question is loaded. He has introduced god in the premise as a determinant on how we should live.

Do our lives have meaning? In his book on the human condition, Benatar, identifies different levels at which our lives can have meaning; cosmic meaning. There are some people whose lives have meaning only so far as their families are concerned. Other people luckily, manage to transcend borders. Therefore, in asking

But can science help us with meaning? If we are cosmic accidents, is there a single meaning, or are there multiple meanings?

the pastor is pretending there is a universal meaning for all of us. Had this been the case, the many people who live miserable lives trying to find meaning for their lives shouldn’t be a common occurrence.

Atheism generally is understood as absence of belief in deities. It says nothing about the character of the atheist. The pastor in writing

If you subscribe to a belief system, do you have to be profane against the thing you don’t believe? Shouldn’t your atheism produce someone who is superior to the ignorant people who believe in God? Shouldn’t others be able to look at you and your character and conclude that atheism is good and produces better people?

is making an argument that has no leg or head to stand on. One could turn the question on its head and ask of the theist, why with the belief in god and the threats associated with it, do they steal, pillage and cuss? Do they not fear their god(s)?

In his final paragraph, Dave tries to be dishonest again. He writes

Since there is no scientific experiment that either proves or disproves God, why should I give up on something that works for me?

which contradicts what he wrote before, thus

No one is required to believe in God because we are all individuals who make our decision from our knowledge base.

Put differently, everyone believes as they are convicted. But there are good reasons to give up religion.