UCTAA churchlight

Site Search via Google

Discussion 1 to Talk Back 79
A critique of the critique

by Gordon Barker

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This discussion has been continued.

1. The existence of a Supreme Being is unknown and unknowable.

To believe in the existence of a god is an act of faith. To believe in the nonexistence of a god is likewise an act of faith.

Why is it that belief in God's existence is an act of faith, and Belief in God's non-existence is an act of faith, but Belief in the indeterminable nature of God is NOT an act of faith? Aren't you just arbitrarily designating your position as NOT an act of faith when it really is just another form of Belief about God?

To assert that the existence or non-existence of a Supreme Being is unknown and unknowable is not a statement of belief or non-belief. It is an assertion that the question has no meaning and cannot be asked.

There is no evidence that there is a Supreme Being nor is there evidence there is not a Supreme Being.

That's quite a claim. If you mean that there is no EMPIRICAL evidence for or against God, then I would agree with you. There are all sorts of evidence pro and con of God, including anecdotal evidence, logical evidence, ethical evidence, metaphysical evidence, anthropological evidence, etc. Are you just defining all information about God as "non-evidence"?

If there is a belief system that I adhere to, it would be the scientific method which is body of techniques or investigating and acquiring new knowledge as well as correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on observable and measureable evidence and subject to reasoning. Specifically in this case, I would quote the work of Karl Popper and suggest that any theories on a Supreme Being rely on deductive reasoning subject to the concept of falsification. Your references to the various “evidences” you quote will not stand up to Occam’s razor.

Faith is not knowledge.

No, but faith is based on knowledge. It's a belief held by evaluation of information from a variety of sources.

I disagree. I see faith as being based on fear. I am afraid of being alone in the universe; I don’t understand why bad things happen, I want someone to protect me, etc. If you are claiming a knowledge base out of which faith is the logical conclusion please enlighten me.

We can only state with assurance that we do not know.

Why are you assured of that?

Occam’s razor again. The simplest answer would tend to support non-belief. The tenant of agnosticism is that the question cannot be formed in such a way to be answerable and therefore the statement that we do not know is the logical conclusion.

2. If there is a Supreme Being, then that being appears to act as if apathetic to events in our universe.

Oh? Why's that? A religious person might just as easily say the converse: "There is a Supreme Being because it is so involved in our universe.

Our scientific theories investigate natural phenomenon and propose natural processes by which the phenomenon operates. Again, according to Karl Popper, greater interest is paid to evidence to the contrary of the theory than to evidence that the theory is supported. As new and contradicting evidence is accrued, old theories fall and new ones are developed. A point to make here is that the new theory never explains less than the previous theory, it must explain all the old evidence and the new evidence as well.

If there is a Supreme Being and that being is intelligent and not just a natural force (like the curvature of space…no one would pray to the curvature of space I suppose) and that Supreme Being is involved in the Universe, then we should be seeing phenomenon that do not fit any theory that we can come up with other than “God did it”. Now, current theories suggest that our universe is just one of many “pocket” universes, God could be somewhere else right now, however the tenant of the Church is that no Supreme Being appears to be interested in events in our universe.

All events in our Universe, including its creation, can be explained with or without the existence of a Supreme Being. Thus, if there is indeed a God, then that god has had no more impact than no god at all.

Complete foolishness. Simply because there are two different explanations to a scenario doesn't mean that both explanations are equal. One is true and one is false. A robbery can be explained as an inside job or a nefarious locksmith, but only one explanation is correct and relevant to the scenario.

This is Occam’s razor again. You strip away anything that is not absolutely necessary to the solution. If God is not absolutely necessary, then unbelief is the required conclusion.

To all appearances, any purported Supreme Being is indifferent to our Universe and to its inhabitants.

You keep saying this, but how do you know that the Supreme Being isn't having an impact, and that impact just hasn't directly affected you?

Again, a Supreme Being acting as an independent agent in the Universe should leave some footprints that cannot be explained in any other than ”a Supreme Being just went past”. I have never heard of such evidence.

3. We are apathetic to the existence or nonexistence of a Supreme Being.

If there is a God, and that God does not appear to care, then there is no reason to concern ourselves with whether or not a Supreme Being exists, nor should we have any interest in satisfying the purported needs of that Supreme Being. However, our apathy to the question of God's existence does not necessarily mean we are apathetic about promoting agnosticism.

So your argument is now that THERE IS a God, and that God doesn't care about us, so we shouldn't care about it? This argument is flawed for several reasons.

1. If there is a God that exists and doesn't care about us, then this metaphysical revelation would deeply inform our choices and outlook in life. It might make us nihilistic, or it might make us want to be better than that God (in terms of caring more than that God).

Or it might make you self reliant for once and not depend on anyone but yourself for your actions, consequences and your lot in life

2. It doesn't follow that because a divine being doesn't care about us, we shouldn't care about it. If Horus exists and doesn't care about us, we may still be interested in it's existence and purpose (if it doesn't care about us, what IS its purpose? Should we subvert it's purpose or help achieve it?)

Of course it does. If Horus exists but doesn’t care about us, why pray to him/her/them/it Seems like a waste of time. Also, it wouldn’t get you anything. Why be good in this life (if that is even what Horus would want) if there’s nothing after death. This assumes that Horus would not bother setting up and running Heaven and Hell for people he/she/them/it doesn’t care about. I might study Horus but only scientifically.

3. Morally, the fact that intelligent entity (A) has no love or interest for intelligent entity (B), it doesn't follow that Intelligent entity (B) should have no love or interest in intelligent entity (A).

I would not base a faith system on unrequited love. From all the movies I have seen, it will not work out.