Regarding lesser forms of (still) dogmatic belief

When people say that they aren’t really arguing the case for an “old-world god”, and especially when they argue that they’re not even arguing for an anthropomorphic god, they generally seem to be giving up the very basis for a belief in god(s) in the first place.  Considering the religions that nearly all theists come from one can really only argue for the reality of their chosen god and his/her literal influence on the world as revealed to man-kind through some form of revelation (which implies that the knowledge only exists at all in this world by virtue of the fact that its particular scriptures are true), or one has no real basis for believing in a god(s) at all.

Also, and forgive me because I am sort of half responding to a debate that I was watching with Chopra and Sam Harris, I have to say that actually watching a man so blatantly and pathetically appeal to the god of the gaps by saying that god can always exist in the tiniest, most imperceptibly minute fraction of a second after the big bang when physics breaks down because even physicists say that the comprehension of that time is unknowable…<gasps for breath>…and to do so without recognizing how pathetic and sad that argument really is when taken to such an extreme…well, I just find that hilarious.

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7 thoughts on “Regarding lesser forms of (still) dogmatic belief

  1. God of the Gaps Argument-From a New Perspective

    I will begin this article with two suppositions: 1) God has created this universe; 2) He has brought man in this universe with some purpose.
    I am not claiming here that these two suppositions are true, or that I can prove them to be true. But I want to show here that if these two suppositions are true, then God will always be the God of the gaps. Anyone who will be reading this article should not forget that there is an “if” clause in the last sentence.
    Now I begin with the supposition that God has created this universe. If God has created this universe, then He could have created it in four different ways: 1) He created it in such a way that there was no necessity for Him to intervene in it after creation, 2) After creation He intervened in it, but these interventions were a bare minimum, that is, He intervened only when these were absolutely necessary. In order to clarify my point here, I will say that He intervened only when He found that without His intervention the universe would come to a standstill, 3) He created the universe in such a way that in order to keep it going He had to make very frequent interventions in it, 4) God’s total intervention after creation.
    If it was the purpose of God to keep mankind crippled in every possible way, then He would have adopted either the third or the fourth way while creating the universe. This is because in these two cases man, in spite of his having sufficient intelligence and reasoning power, will fail to unveil the secrets of nature, because in almost every phenomenon of nature that he will decide to study he will ultimately find that there always remains an unknown factor, for which he will have no explanation. For him the book of nature will thus remain closed for ever. But if it were God’s purpose that man be master of His creation, then it is quite natural for Him that He would try to keep the book of nature as much open to him as possible, so that with the little intelligence he has been endowed with man will be able to decipher the language of nature, and with that acquired knowledge will also be able to improve the material conditions of his life. In that case God will try to adopt the policy of maximum withdrawal from His creation. He will create the universe in such a way that without His intervention the created world will be able to unfold itself. However that does not mean that He will never intervene. He will definitely intervene when without His intervention the created world would become stagnant. In such a scenario man will be able to give an explanation of almost all physical events in scientific language. But in those cases where God has actually intervened, he will fail to do so.
    So I think there is no reason for us to be ashamed of the “God of the gaps” hypothesis. Yes, if God has created the universe, and if God’s purpose was that man be master of His creation, then He would try to keep as little gap in His creation as possible. But the minimum gap that would be ultimately left can never be bridged by any sort of scientific explanation. God will also reside in that gap. Why should we be ashamed of that?
    The whole matter can be seen from another angle. Those who strongly believe that God has created this universe also believe that He has created it alone. Now is it believable that a God, who is capable of creating such a vast universe alone, is not capable enough to keep a proof of His existence in the created world? So I think it is more reasonable to believe that while creating the universe God has also kept a proof of His existence in something created. This proof is open to us all, but we have not found it, because we have not searched for it. So even if it is the case that God has never intervened in the created world after its creation, still then there will be a gap in this natural world, purposefully left by God, for which science will find no explanation. This will be the ultimate gap that can only be filled up by invoking God.
    So it is quite logical that a God who will create man with some purpose will always prefer to be the God of the gaps. Yes, if we were really created by some God, and if it was not God’s desire that we be some sort of semi-savage beast, then it makes quite a good sense if I say that in that case God would try to keep the book of nature as much open to us as possible (policy of maximum withdrawal). In such a case man will also be able to explain almost everything of nature without invoking God. But then this “ability to explain almost everything of nature without invoking God” will not prove that there is no God, because it might also be the case that this ability itself is God’s design, God’s plan.
    Here I will give an example in order to make my point more clear: Let A be one most obvious fact of nature, and let D be one natural phenomenon that follows from A. Let us also suppose that D does not directly follow from A, but there are some intermediate steps. A causes B, then B causes C, then C causes D. In order to be more precise here let us say that A means dark clouds gathering in the sky, and that D means lightning. We know very well that lightning does not always take place whenever there are dark clouds in the sky. So we will modify the above chain from A to D in this way: A causes B, but B does not always cause C. Instead of C, it sometimes causes C1. When B causes C1, there is no lightning. But when B causes C, in that case only lightning occurs. Now it might be the case that there is a God, and that after creating the universe He has not intervened in it at all. So all the processes from A to D will be natural. In that case if man wills then one day he will be able to understand the whole natural process here. He will understand what lightning is, how and when it occurs, and with that knowledge it can be hoped that one day he will also be able to protect himself and his property from lightning. Now let us suppose that after creation God has frequently intervened in his creation, but his intervention was not total, but only partial. Let us also suppose that God has chosen the above case of lightning for His intervention. That means lightning can never take place unless He wills. When He decides to punish mankind by sending lightning, then only B can cause C, otherwise in every other case B causes C1. In this case the whole chain from A to D will be broken at B. Man will never understand how B can naturally cause C, and so he will never understand how D naturally follows from A. So lightning will forever remain a mystery to him. Now let us suppose that God’s intervention in this universe is total, that is, behind every natural phenomenon there is hand of God. In that case man will understand nothing of nature, and he will remain as ignorant as a savage. In this world his fate will be no better than birds and beasts, and his condition will remain as miserable and helpless as those birds and beasts in the face of natural calamities. But if God wills that man be almost equal to Him in the knowledge of things in nature, and if He also wills that man live in this world with some dignity and not just like birds and beasts, then He will create the universe in such a way that almost all the phenomena in nature can take place naturally without His intervention. In that case He will adopt the policy of maximum withdrawal. He will intervene only in those cases where His intervention is absolutely necessary. One such case is genetic code. Genetic code is information code, and those who believe that there is a God try to make a point here. They say that information code cannot naturally arise from space, time, force, field, matter, energy. Some intelligence is required, and nature does not possess that intelligence. Only God possesses that intelligence, and therefore only God can generate information code. If what they are saying is true, then I will say that man will never understand how information code can arise from space, time, force, field, matter, energy. It will forever remain a mystery to him.
    Moreover my thesis presented here can successfully explain as to why nature has opened her secrets to man, whereas proponents of accidental origin of man cannot give any reason as to why nature has done so.

  2. I’ve been trying to muster the desire to respond to this, but there’s nothing worth responding to in my interpretation. If only a religious person would say something new as an argument for the existence of god, and by new I mean something that wasn’t originally thought up by someone living in or before the 11th century, or some variation thereof. There are always more and more reasons to doubt the existence of god as mankind’s knowledge and understanding of the cosmos grows, but religion can’t seem to get out of the dark ages because that’s the last time these arguments actually made any sense. At this point belief seems more often than not to be based on willful ignorance and groupthink, and that shit is not worthy of a response.

    • i really like this comment. i have recently became an atheist and this is one of the things why and im glad someone else shares my opinion. it’s awesome to start a blog site and find out that others have taken the words out of my mouth and mind and used them in a non-retarded way loaded with irrelivent points. i thank you dude.

      • Thanks, dude! I tend to take forever to do anything on here, much to Dave’s chagrin, I’m sure. I feel like most people who share a worldview devoid of gods all came to it in their own ways, but there are only so many paths to take. So it seems like I’m constantly having the word’s taken from my own mouth just by conversing with more and more like-minded people.

  3. Dave,
    It seems you are a big fan of the cowardly Richard Dawkins who refuses to publicly debate renowned Christian Apologetics such as Prof William Lane Craig and defend his book God Delusion. He recently refused to to do so during WLC London tour early this month.

    Some brilliant chap has dissected the Dawkins problem very well here: http://www.apologetics315.com/2011/11/is-god-delusion-william-lane-craig-in.html#comments

    The problem is, Dawkins has specifically said he’d debate anybody, from any church, anytime, and he’d have a polite argument, and he’d win the argument. Nobody can argue that William Lane Craig is anything but polite, and he is obviously an intellectual force to be reckoned with. Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and many other smart atheists attest to this, as does his scholarly work.

    So Dawkins does not have the right to say the above, and then to refuse to debate Craig, giving multiple contradictory excuses as to why not, and then impugning and maligning the man’s character in an attempt to wiggle out of his own obvious cowardice on the issue.

    Dawkins tried to paint Craig as academically beneath him, when the scholarly record clearly shows that isn’t true. He said he doesn’t “debate creationists”. Craig is not a creationist, and Dawkins HAS debated creationists in the past. And on and on and on.

    Lastly, Dawkins claims that nobody has been able to answer his arguments in the God Delusion. But Craig and many others have, both in popular work and in scholarly journals. Dawkins has not responded to their critiques, but merely acted as if they don’t exist so he can keep claiming that nobody has been able to answer him.

    Add it all up, and it’s quite clear that Dawkins is acting like quite a snake here all around, throwing down a gauntlet then backing away from a fair debate, and giving all kinds of dodges for doing so, as well as indulging in what can only be called character assassination as a way to assuage his own cowardice.

    And in fact, Dawkins has debated many “real” nobodys, including the founder of Hell House and others of that sort. He says he’ll take on all comers, only deals with the chumps, then cries foul when the big boys take him on. He acts as if he hasn’t been answered, when he has and just ignored it. And he acts like people like Craig are beneath him, when Dawkins is the one who hasn’t done anything but popular work in 30 years and had his chair bought for him at Oxford by an atheist donor. Dawkins has done no scholarly work in decades, whereas Craig has written over a hundred journal articles, and yet Craig is the guy “beneath” him?

    Dave, lets hear your response.

    • Dawkins won’t debate Craig for much the same reasons I won’t debate somebody whose email address contains the phrase “against gays.” Have a nice day.

  4. Dave,

    Thats the most pathetic excuse I’ve ever heard to avoid answering some valid queries on the character of the fellow you so admire. It simply demonstrates how shaky your position really is on this subject of God’s existence. One wonders why you’ve even bothered to set up a blog if you can’t handle a simple intellectual challenge on your pet subject.

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