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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:22 pm

On the Freethought Fellowship Forum a new thread has been started by a non-theist freethinker to allow the Theist/Deists among us to defend their "irrational" belief in God with whatever "simple-minded" reasons they can muster. I'm kidding, but they can be pretty aggressive in their counter-arguments.
http://freethought-fellowship.org/forums/index.php?topic=2598.msg35226;topicseen#msg35226
Posted warning: (This is not bait for Theists, Deists, or believers to be picked apart, this is a thread to discuss rational reasons for the existence of God, but expect critical questions and observations.)

In order to get a different perspective on this contentious issue, I will post a few excerpts here. You are welcome to join the FF forum if you are a glutton for punishment. But please don't be a troll. These people are my online friends and neighbors. The site is an offshoot from the defunct Universist Forum, and the members are mostly Atheists and Agnostics, with an understandable emphasis on Separation of Church & State issues.

Since I am only in my sophomore year of Deism, I still have a lot to learn. So this is an opportunity to get some rigorous testing of my Deist Thesis. Since I have no formal training in Philosophy or Theology, my angle of approach is primarily scientific. However, I also have no formal training in Science beyond 101 courses in all the basic categories, so what the !@#$% do I know about it?
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:31 pm

From FFF:

Gnomon,

I am giving you a chance to explain your position on your belief of the existence of a Deist G*D. You can offer just a summary or you can offer more in depth information. Please do not assume though that we are too ignorant to not understand your point of view. That would be very presumptuous of you. (I'm only stating this because you have implied this before.) This is a very intelligent and well-rounded group of individuals here at the FF.


Andrew

I appreciate your willingness to listen to reason. Cool

However, I notice that you placed this thread in the Religion section, which could be prejudicial. For me, and for most of the Deists I know, Deism is not a religion, it's a philosophy or worldview. Please remember that not long ago, I was sitting on your side of the table, asking "where's the beef" questions.

. . . .

If, by "rational reasons" for God, you mean the same kind of circular-reasoning that has been circulating for eons, I will have very little to add to the discussion. Most traditional logical "proofs" of God are true, but irrelevant to non-believers. They are not convincing to outsiders, because they are necessarily circular. Since G*D is ALL, there is no way to get outside of the ultimate sphere to place He/r in a mind-sized category for logical analysis. The God-concept is a logical tautology***. So you can't discuss G*D as you would a particular and contingent topic such as Politics. If you do anyway, you will miss the point, and end up going in circles---as so many do in naive discussions of deities.

When I use the term "G*D", I am referring to an axiom not a syllogism; a tautology, not a rational calculation; an inference, not a deduction. A tautology is a statement which is either necessarily true, or a needless repetition of premises. confused


***Wikipedia, quoting Betrand Russell:
"Everything that is a proposition of logic has got to be in some sense or the other like a tautology. It has got to be something that has some peculiar quality, which I do not know how to define, that belongs to logical propositions but not to others."
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:32 pm

From FFF:

As I indicated above, my reasons for accepting the necessity for the existence of a Prime Mover, will be difficult to communicate without first defining a few key terms. Some of those essential, but commonly mis-construed, concepts are:

Holism
Metaphysics
Information
Creative Evolution


In my following posts I will attempt to explicate the specific meanings that I have in mind when I use such ambiguous terminology.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:40 pm

From FFF:

HOLISM

Ancient philosophers, sages, and religious founders had long ago discovered, intuitively, the principle of Holism; which they called by various names, such as God, or Entelechy, or Brahma. Such an all-encompassing, transcendental, and abstract concept was beyond the comprehension of most people, so the teachers had to water it down into a common-sense concept with concrete and anthropometric terminology. Unfortunately, these bite-size analogies were often mistaken as literal descriptions of the ineffable Whole. The confusing result of such mind-to-mind transmission of memes over generations is the various conflicting religious doctrines in the world today.

But, until the age of computers, the human mind was unable to actually deal in a rational, analytical manner with the infinite complexities of holistic concepts and organic systems. That's why the snapshot systems of Plane Geometry and static Physics were rationalized long before the dynamic moving pictures of Chemistry and the organic systems of Biology. And we are still peeling back layers of complexity in the non-physical systems of Psychology and Sociology.

Inspired by Darwin’s paradigm-challenging Theory of Evolution, and Einstein's worldview-expanding Theory of Relativity, J. C. Smuts brought those old Holistic concepts into the 20th century as a new philosophy of science. Now with the help of 21st century super-computers, scientists are beginning to penetrate the brain-boggling chaos of even more complex systems such as Climatology and Global Ecology---which James Lovelock represented holistically and metaphorically as the Greek goddess Gaia. Neurologists are now peering inside the black box human brain. And they are beginning to vaguely understand how whole systems operate on the inside.

Jan Christiaan Smuts was a contemporary of Albert Einstein, and a renaissance man like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison rolled into one person. He was a South African military leader, statesman, scientist, and philosopher, who was instrumental in the formation of the British Commonwealth and the League of Nations. He served as the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa after working for the end of colonial rule. As a philosopher, scholar, and scientist his most important work was HOLISM and EVOLUTION, published in 1926. He defined “Holism” as "the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution".

From Wikipedia:
<< After Einstein studied "Holism and Evolution" soon upon its publication, he wrote that two mental constructs will direct human thinking in the next millennium, his own mental construct of relativity and Smuts' of holism. In the work of Smuts he saw a clear blueprint of much of his own life, work and personality. Einstein also said of Smuts that he was "one of only eleven men in the world" who conceptually understood his Theory of Relativity >>

Ironically, Einstein soon became the most famous scientist in history, but Smuts may now be the least known. His paradigm-shattering concept of Holism has led to such new 21st century scientific fields as Systems Theory, Cybernetics, Chaos and Complexity Theory. The reason for his obscurity may lie in the fact that Holism cannot be simply summarized in an equation on a T-shirt. Although Smuts was raised and educated in the Dutch Reformed Church, he later abandoned formal religion in favor of a simple, principled life-philosophy similar to the Deism of the founders of the United States.

Later in the 20th century, the term “Holism” eventually became associated mostly with New Age belief systems having philosophical ties to eastern religions. But the core concept is neither western nor eastern, but universal. For those interested in learning more about the principle of Holism, a recent publication brings Smuts’ ground-breaking book to a new, and possibly more receptive, generation: Holism and Evolution: The original source of the holistic approach to life by Jan Christiaan Smuts and Sanford Holst (Hardcover - Oct 1, 1999) – Unabridged.[i]
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:45 pm

From FFF:

Before I jump ahead to the "Creative Evolution" concept, I need to clarify a few other misconceptions that inevitably come-up in discussions like this. I use the term "Metaphysics" in a sense that is essentially different from the common modern usage. Atheists and Scientists often think of Metaphysics as "that which is non-scientific". They probably have in mind the second dictionary definition below. But my intended meaning is closer to the first definition.

Before the 20th century, modern scientists were limited by their primitive technology to studying reality in bite-size increments. Anything on the cosmic level or the sub-atomic level---or especially about the contents of the mind---was left to Philosophers to haggle about. However, in the 21st century science now has the tools to break atoms down into their constituent parts, and to "see" almost back to the Big Bang era of the universe. They can now dissect living beings with CAT scans instead of dead things with scalpels. They can peer inside living and functioning brains instead of inert pieces of meat. So topics that seemed mystical before are now becoming practical targets of the scientific method. Impetuous Science is beginning to tread on the sacred ground of religion, and the taboo territory reserved for philosophy.

Therefore, when I use the term Meta-physics in these posts, please remember that I am talking about Ultimate Reality, not religious dogma or figments of imagination. I have pasted my own definition of the term at the bottom.



Merriam-Webster:
Metaphysics

(1): a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology

(2): ontology 2 b: abstract philosophical studies : a study of what is outside objective experience



META-PHYSICS

Literally “after” or “beyond” physics.
~ Aristotle divided his treatise on science into two parts. The world as-known-via-the-senses was labeled “physics”. And the world as-known-by-the-mind, by reason, was labeled “meta-physics”. Plato called the unseen world underlying the physical façade: “Ideal” as opposed to Real. For him, Ideal “forms” (concepts) were prior-to the Real “substance” (matter). In a chicken-and-the-egg sense, the egg (DNA, information) came before the chicken (meat).
~Physics refers to the things we perceive with the eye of the body. Meta-physics refers to the things we conceive with the eye of the mind. Meta-physics includes the properties, and qualities, and functions that make a thing what it is. Matter is just the clay from which a thing is made. Meta-physics is the design (form, purpose); physics is the product (shape, action). The act of creation brings an ideal design into actual existence. The design concept is the “formal” cause of the thing designed.
~I use a hyphen in the spelling to indicate that I am not talking about Ghosts and Magic, but about Ontology.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:13 pm

You could touch on Godel's ontological argument for the existence of God.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:37 am

I visited that site and left a couple of comments. I probably won't be back though because I'm pretty busy. Let me know if anyone responds.


Last edited by stretmediq on Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:56 am

I saw the thread that you quoted me on. Someone asked,", I am wondering just now whether there are specific advantages in being a Deist and Pandeist. Are there? Do either of these -isms add something valuable to a person's life?" Maybe you should turn that question around by asking,"Can someone's life truly have value other than the value someone places on life in a godless existence?" In other words if everybody didn't value life would that mean that life isn't valuable? So, an advantage to being a deist could be that life has value assigned to it by God. From an atheist's point of view they should believe that life has no value except that which we place on it. If I believe your life doesn't have value and you do then who is right? The only way we can find out who is right is by looking outside ourselves. If the universe is godless then life has no value. If the universe was created by God then life does have value. If I didn't value someone's life then from my point of view there would be nothing wrong with killing them because after all their life has no value and if the person I'm killing values their life then from their point of view I'm wrong? Is the value of life relative or absolute?
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:58 pm

Schizophretard wrote:
So, an advantage to being a deist could be that life has value assigned to it by God. From an atheist's point of view they should believe that life has no value except that which we place on it.

Actually the Atheist argument is, evolution places value on life for the continuation of the species. Societies place value on life for the continuation of that society. In a "them-against-us" environment, the more members your tribe has, the more likely your tribe will survive. Cooperation among people increases the chances for survival. If you kill your fellow tribesmen, you increase your chances of going hungry and your chances of being killed by your enemies - animal predators or other tribes.

Call it morality of necessity. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:13 am

I know that's how they would answer. They wouldn't just say no. They just give a materialistic explanation so they can feel justified in their belief. This goes in line with what I said about them being practicing deist in "Any Advantage to Being a Deist or Pandeist?". They believe that the point of living is to just survive and pass on our genes but they live for more than that. If their parents die they don't think to themselves," It's ok that they're dead now because they passed on their genes and raised me to do the same. Now they aren't needed anymore. These feelings of love for them are just chemical reactions to give me a natural love for my parents so they can help me survive. So, now I have no reason to love them. They were old, retired, no longer contributed to the survival of society, and became a burden on us because all the resources they used during their old age could of been used on the young. So, it is good that they are dead now. It's better late than never." but instead they think to themselves," I love my parents so much and I'm going to miss them! I hope I see them again someday!" just like a deist does. There behavior is inconsistent with their beliefs. If they followed what they believed they would act like Volcans meets the Borg. Many people say they don't want to be a Christian because they would be a hypocrite. That is the same reason I don't want to be an atheist.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:10 am

Here's another rational basis for the existence of god from Pantheism.net that sort of side steps any arguments for or against the existence of god. This explanation in a large way describes the basis for my belief in god.

Quote :
What's the evidence for pantheism? How do you know the universe is worthy of reverence?

We choose to regard the universe with awe, reverence, love, feelings of belonging and a recognition of tremendous power, beauty and mystery. This is an aesthetic/emotional choice and basically lies beyond any challenge from logic or evidence. But it is based on objective qualities of the Universe and Nature.

In fact almost everyone regards the universe or nature in that way but many are mislead by traditional religious teachings into seeing these things as evidence for deities they read about in their ancient scriptures.

We need no faith, no ancient books, to reveal these feelings and experiences to us. The visions are right in front of our eyes, the feelings are in our hearts. We only need to recognize them frankly to accept the universe and nature as primal focus.

The evidence for this approach is infinitely stronger than for belief in a personal creator God.

So is Pantheism just atheism or humanism in disguise?

No. Like atheism and humanism, pantheism does not believe in a personal God separate from the Universe. Like them it is critical of beliefs that depend on faith in impossibilities, or unproven revelations in ancient books.

But atheism is essentially defined by a single proposition. It states that there is no God, and nothing more. Usually atheism implies respect for certain approaches, for example realism, physicalism, demand for very strong evidence of improbable claims, rejection of scriptural or priestly authority claims as a source of truth. All of these are valid and valuable. But these are the ways in which people arrive at atheism - they don't constitute part of the definition of atheism. Atheism does not claim to be a comprehensive philosophy. One can be an atheist and love nature, or detest nature, love life or hate it. In other words, atheism is like a starting point: if you want a system of ethics and attitudes to life, you have to add them on top, and from other sources.

Humanism has tried to develop a positive philosophy and ethics, but sometimes this has been too anthropocentric, too confident of human superiority, too nervous of appearing even remotely like anything called "religion."

Pantheism goes beyond atheism in offering a positive approach to the world and a a reverent and religious attitude towards nature and the universe. It affirms our unity with these, and rejects the idea of human mastery over nature or human pre-eminence in the cosmos. It takes our relationship to nature and to the universe as the centre of our religion, our ethics and our aesthetics.

http://members.aol.com/Heraklit1/faqs.htm

It seems to me that this would be better described as Pandeism rather than Pantheism and it would certainly help to clear up some confusion about it's relation to Theism but there is a long tradition connecting the term Pantheism with the above stated belief so I guess there's not much I or we can do about it.

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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:23 pm

Interesting! I feel awe, reverence, love, feelings of belonging and a recognition of tremendous power, beauty and mystery in the universe also but it doesn't instill in me a sense that the universe is God. It instills in me a sense that the universe was created by a God. It's like pandeists see a painting and believe it is also the painter, deist see a painting and believe there must be a painter, and atheists don't see a painting.

I'll check out that faq when I get the chance and I'll give you my take on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:07 am

Aaron,

I checked out that faq and they answered the questions pretty well but It doesn't make sense to me to call the universe God. It just seems like they are changing the definition of god to much to be considered a god. If you can define god as the universe then you could define it as anything. If I defined a god as being a tree then all I would have to do is show you a forest to prove polytheism. The definition of a god must be some kind of supreme being because a brain dead god is no god at all. If you can give the word god any definition then everyone would believe in god if you define it as something everyone believes in. If God is the universe and atheists believe in the universe then is there no such thing as atheism? Pantheism just sounds like being religious about atheism.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:27 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Interesting! I feel awe, reverence, love, feelings of belonging and a recognition of tremendous power, beauty and mystery in the universe also but it doesn't instill in me a sense that the universe is God. It instills in me a sense that the universe was created by a God. It's like pandeists see a painting and believe it is also the painter, deist see a painting and believe there must be a painter, and atheists don't see a painting.

The difference between a painting and the universe is that a painting is "an artifact" where the universe is a "holon". (see definitions below) In other words, a painting is a lifeless shell. It required outside manipulation for it's structure and order. The universe on the other hand is an emergent, dynamic, evolving, hierarchical system. The order/chaos in the universe is self-sustaining and some would speculate self-created.

In the view of many Pantheists (and Pandeists) the universe is considered to be like a being or an organism. This is where Pantheists and Atheists often differ.


Here are some useful definitions...
A holon is a system (or phenomenon) that is a whole in itself as well as a part of a larger system. It can be conceived as systems nested within each other. Every system can be considered a holon, from a subatomic particle to the universe as a whole. On a non-physical level, words, ideas, sounds, emotions—everything that can be identified—is simultaneously part of something, and can be viewed as having parts of its own.

Individual holons are holons with a subjective interior (prehension, awareness, consciousness); they have a defining pattern (code, agency, regime) that emerges spontaneously from within (autopoietic); and they have four drives (agency, communion, eros, agape). Examples of individual holons (or compound individuals) include quarks, atoms, molecules, cells, organisms....

Social holons emerge when individual holons commune; they also have a defining pattern (agency or regime), but they do not have a subjective consciousness; instead, they have distributed or intersubjective consciousness. Examples include galaxies, planets, crystals, ecosystems, families, tribes, communities....

Artifacts are any products made by an individual or social holon. A bird's nest, an anthill, a automobile, a house, a piece of clothing, an airplane, the internet--these are all artifacts. An artifact's defining pattern does not come from itself, but rather is imposed or imprinted on it by the agency or intelligence of an individual or social holon.

A heap is just a random pile. A pile of sand, a water puddle, a rock, a bunch of dead leaves--these are heaps. They have no interior consciousness, they do not follow the twenty tenets, and they have no enduring, defining pattern. And they are not artifacts, because they are not the product of individual or social agency or intelligence.

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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:47 am

Schizophretard wrote:
The definition of a god must be some kind of supreme being because a brain dead god is no god at all.

But Pantheists don't see the universe as "brain dead". After all, if it was brain dead it would never have been able to create something as intricate as the human brain or as orderly as the motion of the stars and planets or as beautiful as the sun setting over the mountains. Pantheists don't view god in personal terms but that doesn't mean that they don't or can't hold god to be supreme.

Schizophretard wrote:
If God is the universe and atheists believe in the universe then is there no such thing as atheism? Pantheism just sounds like being religious about atheism.

In many cases it is. However there are many atheists who, simply refuse to use the word god due to it's connotations with theistic human like mythical beings in need of worship and praise and with the term's connection to organized religion. Many atheists also refuse to see the "living system" like aspects of the universe, and like you inferred, see the universe as essentially "brain dead".

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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:50 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Aaron,
Pantheism just sounds like being religious about atheism.

Zing! Bullseye. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:38 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Interesting! I feel awe, reverence, love, feelings of belonging and a recognition of tremendous power, beauty and mystery in the universe also but it doesn't instill in me a sense that the universe is God. It instills in me a sense that the universe was created by a God. It's like pandeists see a painting and believe it is also the painter, deist see a painting and believe there must be a painter, and atheists don't see a painting.

Aaron wrote:
The difference between a painting and the universe is that a painting is "an artifact" where the universe is a "holon".

I stand corrected! Pandeists like Atheists don't see a painting but unlike Atheists believes that there must be a painter. Laughing

Aaron wrote:
But Pantheists don't see the universe as "brain dead". After all, if it was brain dead it would never have been able to create something as intricate as the human brain or as orderly as the motion of the stars and planets or as beautiful as the sun setting over the mountains. Pantheists don't view god in personal terms but that doesn't mean that they don't or can't hold god to be supreme.

Well, if the universe does have a Divine Mind that mind can't be within the universe because minds are immaterial and immaterial things don't occupy space. Minds don't have length, width, or height and therefore don't occupy three dimensional space. Only matter can occupy space. It doesn't matter if the mind/matter relationship is dualistic or non dualistic because even if it was non dualistic the material aspect would occupy space and the mental aspect wouldn't. My brain occupies space but my mind does not. My mind occupies no location and is boundless. If there is some kind of Divine Mind then it is not within the universe because like all minds it is boundless. If a Divine Mind exists then God is inside the universe, outside the universe, no where, and everywhere. A Divine Mind is compatible with Panendeism but not Pandeism. Therefore, If the universe is all that exists then God is brain dead. Yin Yang
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:55 am

Okay, I disagree with pretty much everthing thats been said so far. I think all you folks have severe god complex residue from your days as monotheists. (And I say this with due respect to your intellects). I don't know where to begin. I've argued with a couple of atheists over time and I nearly convinced both of them that they were wrong but one became abusive and then I became abusive in my language too (as I'm sure you all are quite aware of that tendency in me tongue ), while the other one ran away. So while the rounds were inconclusive, yet I strongly feel that I'm on a stronger rational footing as a Deist then they; except that I'm the most atheistic of all Deists that I've encountered so far (save Stretmediq, perhaps) and I just can't stand some of the characterizations above, such as the value of life being depended upon the value ascribed to it by God, or that somehow nature is God or that God is nature and then some. Please.... these archaic notions were designed to attract theist within Deism; but they repulse all scientific materialist rationalist atheists and Deists who have no hang up about God, at all. I feel like renouncing my deism one more time; its just that I can't get rid of the notion of an Eternal Cause that transcends natural causality that exists within the fabric of space-time, which, as we well know, has a definite beginning.And so, like Hume, I reluctantly concede the necessity of an Unmoved Mover.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:28 am

Averroes wrote:
I feel like renouncing my deism one more time; its just that I can't get rid of the notion of an Eternal Cause that transcends natural causality that exists within the fabric of space-time, which, as we well know, has a definite beginning.And so, like Hume, I reluctantly concede the necessity of an Unmoved Mover.
Yea I would also prefer to be an atheist but I just see no evidence to support it. I'm actually very close to Stenger but even he falls short in my opinion when he tries to equate zero with nothing materially. I've said before why I think that argument fails; half of nothing is still nothing so there must be something (see The Paradox Of Nothingness or The Non-creator God for an explanation of what I think that something is).

But I also see alot of unnecessary leftovers from theism. Especially divine intervention and the idea the universe has a purpose. So I call myself an Atheistic Deist. A name coined by Averroes btw.


Schizophretard wrote:
My brain occupies space but my mind does not.
If you think of the mind as a sphere and the world as a plane intersected by the sphere then there would be an area in the form of a ring common to both. In that way the mind can occupy space. It is space that cannot occupy the realm of the mind.

P.S. This is my 100th post! WOO! HOO! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:06 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Schizophretard wrote:
Interesting! I feel awe, reverence, love, feelings of belonging and a recognition of tremendous power, beauty and mystery in the universe also but it doesn't instill in me a sense that the universe is God. It instills in me a sense that the universe was created by a God. It's like pandeists see a painting and believe it is also the painter, deist see a painting and believe there must be a painter, and atheists don't see a painting.
The difference between a painting and the universe is that a painting is "an artifact" where the universe is a "holon".

I stand corrected! Pandeists like Atheists don't see a painting but unlike Atheists believes that there must be a painter. Laughing

Actually, I'm arguing that the painting analogy is a false one. Therefore the whole question of who sees a painter and who doesn't is irrelevant. The painting analogy sounds nice but it's based on a Newtonian/mechanistic understanding of the universe. While the Newtonian/mechanistic model works well in many ways at the macro level, it's been proven by many subsequent models that you can't base a "theory of everything" on it.

Schizophretard wrote:
Well, if the universe does have a Divine Mind that mind can't be within the universe because minds are immaterial and immaterial things don't occupy space.

??????????????????????????????????????? and ? Smile

That sounds like a 17th century Descartes dualistic interpretation of the Mind-Body "problem". Nothing wrong with that, but just like the Newtonian model, it's a bit outdated.

I'm of the personal opinion the mind/body are like two sides of the same coin in the same way that light can appear as both a particle or a wave depending on how you measure it. This view is also not the most popular opinion among the popular consensus of scientists, but it has been gaining greater attention recently.

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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:10 am

Averroes wrote:
I can't get rid of the notion of an Eternal Cause that transcends natural causality that exists within the fabric of space-time, which, as we well know, has a definite beginning.And so, like Hume, I reluctantly concede the necessity of an Unmoved Mover.

I don't know... that description sounds very close to being a panendeistic one to me. The only difference is that I view natural causality as an extension of the transcendent "Eternal Causality" or how I would describe it as "Eternal Potentiality".

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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:42 am

stretmediq wrote:
P.S. This is my 100th post! WOO! HOO! cheers

Hey congratulations! Smile When will you be available for the jacket fitting and the awarding of the golden key to our exclusive "100 Poster Club"?

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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:03 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Aaron,

I checked out that faq and they answered the questions pretty well but It doesn't make sense to me to call the universe God.

I have to drag out my tired old question again....If, before God created the universe there was nothing - except God - what did God use for building materials?

Of course, the universe is God! What else could it be?
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:16 am

Averroes,

My days as a monotheist ended about a year ago. So, I haven't had much time to clean off all this severe god complex residue. I feel so dirty! Spank my ass and call me the center of the universe!Drool

stretmediq,

I don't think of the mind as a sphere and the world as a plane intersected by the sphere. So, I don't think there would be an area in the form of a ring common to both. I think of it more like the mind as a guy sitting on a couch watching TV, the TV as the body, and what is broadcasting on the TV as the world. Another way of looking at it is that the brain is like a two way radio between the world and the mind. I don't think of the mind as existing in the universe or anywhere for that matter. If it did then you could show me a mind. If the mind really exists within the brain then you should be able to take out a brain, separate a mind from a brain, and show me a mind all by itself. That can't be done because minds are not made up of matter. They are made up of concepts.

Aaron,

I knew what you were saying about the painting. I was just being a smart ass. I wasn't being serious. I know a pandeist wouldn't describe it that way.

I understand your opinion that the mind/body are like two sides of the same coin and in a way I agree with you. If the mind and body are two sides of the same coin they are not separate substances but two different properties of one substance. The important thing is that they are still two different things. Instead of being two different substances they are two different properties. One side of the coin is material and occupies 3D space and the other side of the coin is immaterial and occupies immaterial space. If you looked at my brain you would only see the material side of the coin. You would be able to measure it's volume and say where it is in space. I'm on the other side of the coin so only I can see my mind. Actually the only things we can see are our own minds because our minds create an immaterial simulation of the world around us and our minds exists within this immaterial world. We don't experience the world directly but indirectly because of this. The only being that does directly experience the world is God because the world is the immaterial simulation that he created.

Paul Anthony,

I don't exactly believe there was a before. I believe there was a beginning and probably will be an end to the universe but from God's perspective it's eternal and he is the eternal first cause. There was no building materials because we are thoughts in his mind. The universe isn't God anymore than the imaginary creatures in my mind are me. My mind does the thinking and the things thought about are within my mind but those thoughts are just a part of me. I'm the self aware observer and first cause of my thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Rational Reasons for the existence of God   Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:58 am

Here's one more take on it that's very similar to my reasoning for a god belief.

Quote :
Why do pantheists believe in pantheism?

There are several compelling reasons.

1. Most traditional religions have elements which are hard to believe or to reconcile with common sense, evidence or modern science. Most pantheists are reared in another religion, and as they mature come to question what they have been taught. This leads many people to atheism or humanism.

2. Atheism and humanism don't suffer from the logical or empirical problems of traditional religions - but many people find them too cold and dry. They don't provide a sense of positive belonging to nature and the universe.

3. Nearly everyone feels religious feelings when looking at nature or the night sky. Most people explain those feelings in terms of the religion they were taught as children.

Pantheism believes that those feelings are older and more basic than any traditional religion: they are a natural part of our existence as natural material beings. They are a recognition of our participation and belonging as members of nature and the universe.

Pantheism takes those feelings as its basic foundation.

What's the evidence for pantheism? How do you know the universe is divine?

We define the word "divine" by reference to our feelings. If something is "divine," it means that humans regard it with awe, reverence, love, feelings of belonging and a recognition of tremendous power, beauty and mystery.

Almost everyone regards the universe or nature in that way. We need no faith, no ancient books, to reveal these feelings and experiences to us. The visions are right in front of our eyes, the feelings are in our hearts. We only need to recognize them frankly to accept the universe as divine.

The evidence for this approach is infinitely stronger than for belief in a personal creator God.

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