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Discussion 2 to Talk Back 79
A critique of the critique

by Jonathan Romero

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In response to Chris’s critique:

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?

“Faith (n): Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.”

If I were to declare God real, I would be exercising faith (see definition above). Likewise, if I were to claim that God does NOT exist, it would also be (insert definition here).

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"?

Please, I’d love for you to explain these various types of evidence for me. What exactly would you consider “logical evidence” concerning the existence of God? I presume they’re more opinions and personal beliefs than any kind of evidence at all. The fact that the religion has survived two thousand years is not proof that its beliefs are correct. I feel you have a very loose interpretation of the word “evidence.”

…faith is based on knowledge. It's a belief held by evaluation of information from a variety of sources.

Not according to my dictionary, it isn’t. But along the lines of what you said: One’s faith is based on another’s faith, not knowledge.

Why are you assured of that?

When you don’t know something, it’s generally obvious to yourself (sometimes it’s obvious to others as well). Trust me, I’m positive I don’t know whether God exists or not.

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.

You missed the point. What we’re saying, along the lines of your analogy, is that a bank was robbed. It could’ve been masked criminals armed with automatic weapons. Then again, maybe it was David Blaine working some kind of magic trick from afar. Regardless of the explanation, the bank was robbed.

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?

You obviously neglected to read first three words: “To all appearances.”

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).
  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?)
  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).

It seems as if you are positing here some sort of metaphysical tantrum at God, and using that as a justification to be apathetic about it. I simply don't agree that God's non-concern for us should mean that we shouldn't be concerned with it!

The key word you missed is if.

If there is a God, and that God is completely apathetic to us, then I don’t see why we should be concerned with it. I suppose it’s a cynical point of view, but it suits me just fine. Unless that God were about to directly interfere with my life, I’d stick with the “leave and let be” principle.

I agree with your third point, but at the same time: if intelligent entity (A) has no love or interest for intelligent entity (B), can you say that intelligent entity (B) should have love and interest in intelligent entity (A)? It’s a choice that everyone is free to make.

I can only speak for myself, but I see my apathy toward the existence or nonexistence of God as a way of enjoying my own life more thoroughly. I don’t feel the need to cloud my mind with questions that have no answers. You can spend a lifetime chasing those answers, or you can spend a lifetime living your life.