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Re: [humanism-174] Fwd: essay on God

From: Mark T.
Sent on: Thursday, January 3, 2013 11:54 AM

"And if there IS a personal god out there somewhere, if he wants me to believe in him, he simply has to become believable."

Bingo! :)

On Jan 3,[masked]:35 AM, "Tim Campbell" <[address removed]> wrote:
Part of a FB conversation that I have been having.
Tim Campbell

From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Sent: 1/3/[masked]:42:15 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: essay on God
Back again! lol Ernie, I understand your points and I know how powerful spiritual experiences can be (even without the aid of drugs!). But there is no evidentiary correlation between these mind-induced feelings of awe and connection and any actual deities. If there was no God, what would be different? You would still be able to find awe and connection in meditation or even in a sunset or a symphony. To be blunt, "God" is just not necessary! I can appreciate your ability to make great music without thinking bthat there are supernatural beings behind your ability.
    Tim Campbell And yes, I am familiar with CS Lewis and his work. What I see are human beings inventing their own deity, imbuing that deity with imagined traits, and then striving to support those traits through mental judo, either ignoring the many actual contradictions in that deitiy's nature or denying them--or pretending that they do not matter.
    But they DO matter. Sacred writings that are filled with inconsistencies, inacuracies and contradictions call into doubt their basic premises. Claims of revelation by con men and schizophrenics ought to be questioned, not accepted without doubt, especially when said revelators make the additional claim that to question or doubt is to risk eternal punishments. THAT is blackmail, pure and simple!
    I believe in humanity, Ernie. I believe in our ability to survive and thrive on an often-inhos pitable planet, and to enjoy the beauty that comes with this planet. I believe in science and its method for rooting out bullshit and also discovering explanations and causes for a myriad of events and things that were once thought to be the result of magic. I believe in art--in the ability of art and artist to move me in many highly emotive ways. I do not believe in tribal gods. I am convinced by much work and research that those tribal gods were invented by their tribes, and evolved as those tribes evolved. And "died" when those tribes "died"!
    And I agree with Les, that you are an excellent musician. If YOU wish to attribute your talent and accomplishments to the intervention or guidance of a magic being, that is your right. I think it is more due to a combination of factors, ALL NATURAL AND EXPLAINABLE without resorting to supernatural shenanigans (to paraquote Lawrence Krauss). But who knows? Maybe you are right and I am wrong.
    Tim Campbell Roger. I would agree that ID may be a reasonable argument for the existence of God. The First Cause argument is pretty much the theist's final refuge. But ID has been shown to be nothing more than a political attempt to interject religion (and a very specific form of religion--biblical literalism) into our science education system. Robert Pennock has written several books that deal in detail with ID and its Creationism origins.
    While I do not think that a Supreme Being is likely, I would certainly agree that we do not know what or who exists beyond otr before the Big Bang (a fairly well confirmed theory about the origin of at least our portion of the Universe). We cannot disprove any extra-universe sentience, but we CAN look at claims made by humans here and now, and evaluate them for consistency and evidentiary support! Unfortunately, the God invented by a pre-science minor-league Middle Eastern tribe comes with his own set of issues--simply because his inventors were unaware of the universe's actual scale!
    Tim Campbell And if there IS a personal god out there somewhere, if he wants me to believe in him, he simply has to become believable. And if he wants me to love him, he needs to be lovable. And if he does not know what I would need in order to believe, then he isn't a god! And if I was a Newtown parent, I would not want this being's comfort after he permitted this slaughter to take place. I would want my six year old back!

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