Kurieuo wrote:Anyway, I don't really want to press the issue.
It seems clear to me however that Atheism as a positive denial of God or gods is at least internally sound and meaningful.
Not pressing the issue too hard is probably for the best, because I am most definitely not
schooled in philosophy of religion or formal logic. I'm much more instinctive about this stuff.
My thoughts basically go like this -
I've never met a god. I've never even seen one from a distance. Everything that I know about God and gods I learned from human beings.
I want to cut you short here, for still embedded, purposefully I'm sure, is that God and gods are essentially the same.
You say both are supernatural, but even if we're talking "supernatural"...
(which by the way, to provide some side commentary on "supernatural" -- this term really needs unpacking. While "supernatural" is employed as a conventional term useful in conversation, when really put under the magnifying glass I believe the term is superfluous. Why?
Because "supernatural" is usually understood in contrast against what is "natural". So?
Well, for the moment assume the "spiritual" world, or (as often gets discussed in contemporary philosophy) that "mental properties" really are distinct from and different to "physical properties" (i.e., consciousness is qualitatively different from matter). If true, then it seems to me that the "natural world" should perhaps then be defined to include such things for this is what the fabric of the real
natural world consists of. Understand?
If you do understand me, then it seems what how we define "supernatural"just excludes knowledge that we either don't understand, or perhaps parts of reality or nature that we can't easily get at yet. That is why I say the term "supernatural" is actually superfluous.)
To get back to the main topic, even if we're talking "supernatural"
, the "supernatural" God is still very different from supernatural "gods".
You say that all ideas of God come from humanity. Besides the point any idea we have (including scientific ones) come from humanity, I flatly disagree with the underlying thought that such means we just make God up.
Your bundling God with gods in the same sentence also clouds the truth of this.
Since many readily identify "gods", especially in Greek mythology, as being quite anthropomorphised (human likeness, clearly representing human passions and the like). So bundling "God and gods" has great rhetorical effect of making God out to be much the same.
Even more-so because they share much of the same letters, so they must be similar right? And this makes it even more persuasive to use "god and gods" in front of a new listener. I find it disrespectful personally, but admit it is quite a neat rhetorical trick whoever initially got it started.
SO just because they share the same letters besides an 's' and the capital 'G' (that is, unless you're Atheist-leaning and want to belittle belief in God by using a lowercase 'g' to call God "god"), such does not mean they're actually much the same.
I do not believe "God" and "gods" is like apples and apples and
I see logical reasoning for saying they're very different.
I don't even believe "God" and "gods" is like apples and oranges. It's more like apples and our entire universe.
Indeed, I think you are justified in applying your reasons to "gods" since they appear contingent.
So there is no logical necessity for such, unless one has good evidence reason to believe they exist.
This would even include angelic beings the pinnacle of which is Satan.
BUT then, why not God?
edwardmurphy wrote:With that in mind, I truly don't see any difference between a god the god. I see how the ideas are completely different, but ideas aren't gods.
It is clear to me that you don't see any difference between "a god" and "God".
Although, I explained some differences in my previous post I will elaborate further.
(As a side, there is a little irony in those who cry foul of some Christians defining Atheism a certain way that they do not like, and yet they will belittle, ridicule and display disrespect for the beliefs of Christians who do seriously think God is the most important person and deserves a capital 'G'. Don't worry though, I understand you truly don't see the difference, and at a board like this neither side wants to give any ground on the matter, so while I think it is a little disrespectful, I'm not really bothered by it -- it's just a part of the fun and game.
In any case, why is God not just invented by humanity akin say to the gods of Greek mythology?
There is basic problem when we explore life's larger question: Where do we come from?
This is a great question to explore, because if we know where we come from, then we might be able to deduce some purpose.
And if we discover purpose, we discover our true meaning in life. Then, perhaps many people wouldn't feel so hopeless in the world.
In fact, I dare say any lasting objective meaning to be found in our lives hinges upon answering this most base question:
Where do we come from?
So we start with ourselves. We can see that we came from our parents, and our parents theirs and so on and so forth.
This general principle we observe is that this comes from that, comes from this, comes from that.
If you accept evolutionary science that we naturally evolved from a common ancestor, as I suspect you do, then need I say more?
So what we see is that we are contingent upon our parents who were contingent upon theirs and perhaps go back far enough we have a common ancestor with chimps and even all life.
Where does the buck stop though? Surely, there must be something that has always been which was non-contingent.
All I am pointing out here, is that it seems logically obvious that something non-contingent must have always exist from which everything else came.
Ok, now someone like Kenny might ask why can't it be the physical world that has always existed.
Yes! Great. The argument of contingency has been at least understood in a sequential understanding.
Which is some thing foundational
must have always existed.
But, to be truly
non-contingent, it must also not be dependent upon anything hierarchically below it.
What do I mean by this?
Well, let's say that the universe has always existed
in some form or another.
The fact that the universe can be in this or that form, actually reveals the universe is contingent
It is contingent upon a set of laws which allow it to behave in this or that way. These laws could be otherwise. Maybe we can find out how to tweak them. So they're contingent too.
Think of it another way. Without the physical laws of the universe, then E = mc2
could not exist.
The very working of energy, mass, time and the like is based upon their being a set of laws that continually apply in a stable and predictable manner.
So if energy has always existed along side these greater physical laws, then energy itself is contingent upon those laws.
These may/may not be good examples, but I present them purely for illustrative purposes.
SO, to conclude, we see that just because something has always existed, such does not mean it is necessarily non-contingent.
To be non-contingent something must both 1) have always existed, and 2) be dependant upon nothing beneath it.
All I'm identifying here is an argument from contingency.
Given that logically something must not
be contingent upon anything else.
This is what us Theists often ascribe to God as Aseity
In any case, there are two candidates before us for Aseity:
1) Intelligent force.
2) Unintelligent force.
And you know what?
We're not in a position where we can physically see, or use science, to determine which is true. At least as I see matters we're not.
There is more that could be said for why I opt for (1) but I dare say I've already said enough for now.
What I want to come back on though is now your thought that "God" and "gods" are much the same.
Is it therefore irrational that one believes God to be the necessary non-contingency? No, I don't believe so.
Is believing in "God" therefore the same as believing in what have to be contingent "gods"?
I hope it has at least become a little more clear why such to me is like comparing apples with the universe.
All the best Ed!