So did this part of the discussion move or are we still on this thread? I couldn't tell. Will cross-post if need be.
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
If you wish to insist that there is as much intuitive reason to believe in unicorns as there is to believe in God, so be it.
I'm not going to push the matter beyond noting how amazing it is that intelligent people will so often rely on ignorance when it suits them.
You made an important change to what I said. I am not saying anything so general. You clearly find the belief in god to be intuitive. Littlek and I do not -- and you have been asking us about why we do not believe. I think that may be one important piece of it. The intuitiveness that you take for granted does not exist... for us
Sorry sozobe but you introduced the unicorn analogy. Don't fault me because I responded to it.
I'm not complaining about the unicorn part. I'm talking specifically about the intuitiveness
factor right now. I think that's actually really central.
I'll stop saying "we" because I'm uncomfortable speaking at length for littlek and others who seem to think similarly, will take it back to just me.
The idea of A Singular God has never
been intuitive to me.
Now, I want to be sure I'm separating something out. I'm explaining my own thinking, after requests for just that. The corollary is NOT that I think that people who believe in God are just as silly as people who believe in unicorns. The analogy doesn't go both ways. It's simply a thought experiment -- since I surmised (correctly) that you don't believe in unicorns, that non-belief you already have can be compared to my non-belief in any gods.
Since you DO believe in God, I have to use an analogy of something YOU don't believe in to demonstrate how inconsequential -- to ME -- this non-belief is.
This does not mean that I think your own belief in your God is inconsequential. Again, I am not anti-religion, and know many intelligent, logical people who are religious. I don't think they are silly or illogical for believing in God (the way I would think they are silly or illogical for believing in unicorns). I think that faith can transcend logic and that the very transcendence can be an important and valuable force in many people's lives.
The context here, though, is explaining my own
lack of religion, and how that doesn't trouble me as much as many theists imagine.
And I think that this "intuitive" stuff has actually led to a pretty interesting insight. If a belief in God is seen by theists as universally intuitive, that would explain some of the lens littlek was talking about. If theists assume that we all start out believing in God and then have to cast it off somehow, have to rebel, be turned off, ACT in some way to go back on that intuition, that explains some of the ascription of motive that doesn't always exist.
If you don't find a belief in God to be intuitive, that's fine, but don't try and compare it to a belief in unicorns if you don't want to be called on your comparison.
Hopefully the above made this clear, but to reiterate, the fact that I don't find a belief in God intuitive is very much a central point. It's answering your question, without casting aspersions on your own belief. It's not a two-way analogy, it's simply a way of helping you to understand MY mindset on this issue.
How did it all start?
You can't answer that question of course, but tell me why "I have no effin clue," is more intellectually compelling than "There must have been a creative force?"
Because I don't see any evidence for a creative force. And I guess more to the point, what difference does it make? If the Big Bang occurred because a creative force said "make it so," does that significantly change anything? As I said in my response to F'art's thread, the line between "wow nature!" and "wow God!" is pretty fine when it comes to just creation -- just the initial spark that led to the Big Bang. I think it's nature, not God, but I'm agnostic... I'm willing to be convinced, one way or another. In terms of belief
, of faith
, I don't currently think any kind of god had anything to do with it.
I'm sorry I didn't respond to this sooner. I got caught up in the banter.
I'm not suggesting that everyone must intuitively believe in God.
What I have argued is that comparing a belief in God with a belief in unicorns is specious (and, by the way, insulting).
Setanta has argued that it is intuitive to believe in unicorns but this is utter nonsense.
The foundation of this silly argument is the notion that a westerner seeing an antelope would "intuitively" believe he saw a horse with a horn. Ridiculous.
Unless this westerner was half a mile away or drunk he would have known he was seeing an animal that in some way resembled a horse but which had two horns on its head (no antelope has a single horn).
Perhaps by the time the account of discovery got back to the villages of his homeland it involved a horse with a single horn on its head but this is hardly an example of intuition.
Why, by the way, do we insist that the legend of unicorns has an actual source in nature (the narwhale being the most preposterous example of such claims)? Our forefathers had legends of griffins, manticores and hippogriffs (among others). What were the actual sources for such fantasies? My favorite is the idiotic notion that manatees led to the legend of mermaids.
In any case, that was way back when and even if the ridiculous connection is valid, surely it no longer is. There is no reason what-so-ever for a sensible and educated person today to intuitively believe in unicorns.
On the other hand, the same cannot be said about an intuitive belief in God.
If anyone has been actually reading my posts they will know that I have not claimed that an intuitive belief in God is proof of his existence, nor have I argued that if someone does not have an intuitive belief in God that they are somehow defective.
In the year 2010 when scientific theory and examination suggests that the universe was created in a Big Bang it is entirely reasonable and not the least bit fanciful to ask the question, "What came before?"
No one can prove that the answer is God, but there is intuitive credence to the belief that in a series of physical events that stretch across what we conceive as eternity, if there is (as our thinking demands) a beginning, then it probably involves a force outside or above physicality.
Again, I freely admit that these things are beyond our ability to totally understand and it's quite possible that there is an explanation that would stun theists and atheists alike, but it certainly is the height of ignorant arrogance to sneer at either belief as absurd.
(Not to necessarily suggest that you have - although you came close with your unicorn analogy - but others in this thread certainly have)
BTW - I'm not saying that atheists are rebelling
against intuitive belief. I assume that a position of atheism can be reached through logic, but I don't believe all have anymore than I believe all belief in God has either.