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Thread: NTs and God

  1. #401
    Aspie Idealist TaylorS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tayshaun View Post
    Unifying trend among NTs: If God exists, immanent rather than transcendent.

    Leaning #1: Atheism Sheer materialism and empiricism. No immanence and no transcendence.

    Leaning #2: Naturalistic Pantheism. God is the substance in the natural chain of events. Everything in Nature obeys universal laws. God=Laws of Nature, therefore all is God. I might not be expressing this well (SolitaryWalker can correct me considering he is much more learned about Spinoza and so on).

    Leaning #3: Deism The main one before the 19th century. Rejection of supernatural revelation as a basis of truth, use of reason instead. God(s) is the creator but has no worry about human affairs. There is no direct communication (prayers are useless), but he exists nonetheless.

    Personally: atheist who can rationally accept the metaphysics of a pantheist.
    I can fit into both #1 and #2 depending on exact definitions
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaylorS View Post
    There is no evidence for the existance of some super-person in the sky so I have no reason to believe in the existance such a being, let alone worship it. People that say "you just gotta have FAITH!!!" make me want to bash my head again the wall.

    I get rather annoyed when religious people accuse us non-believers in wanting to get rid of all spiritualness, wonder, and mystery from the world, which is total nonsense. We just don't resort to the concept of "god," a concept I actually find to be an insult to the universe, to explain such feelings.
    That's the attitude that irks me. But I have to realize that this is largely the church's fault; we spent so many years being dominant and unquestioned that we sort of forgot that people might actually want to know what rational reasons we have for believing what we believe. On the other hand, your next statement about people who say that you just gotta have faith, well, my sentiments exactly. I understand that "you gotta have faith" works for some people, and I don't begrudge them that. But sometimes we forget that "God is not willing that one should be lost," (that's a paraphrase of Scripture, and I don't know the reference) and that just because "you gotta have faith" works for them, it does not follow that "you gotta have faith" will work for everybody. And so just because somebody wants evidence, we take that as proof that this person (according to our own beliefs!) can just, quite literally, go to hell? We'd rather effectively ensure that you will never even seriously consider Christianity than move out of our own narrow framework for belief in God long enough to have a serious conversation? That's bs, in my book.

    And then, of course, I completely agreed with your next statement (if you want proof, read any poem by P.B. Shelly, a firm atheist who believed and affirmed more mystery and wonder in the world than many a Christian) and violently disagreed with your conclusion, that the idea of God is an insult to the universe. Well, hey, my parents always said that if two people agree about everything, one of them is unnecessary. Strong Christian doctrine that understands the Bible well only makes the universe more mysteriously majestic. As one Christian physicist said, "The only God that is dead is the God of the gaps," the mystical figuration whereby any unexplained phenomenon (gravity, for instance) was simply God actively causing things to happen, rather than putting a beautifully organized (and superbly rational!) system in place. God doesn't merely explain such feelings; I believe that He makes them logically coherent, and enhances them. The universe is still mysterious and awesome, but to each mystery and each awesomeness (hurrah for creating nouns) Christianity adds the additional mystery and awesomeness of love, of the fact that a God who already had everything He needed bothered to create all this intricacy and wonder and beauty literally for me. That mystery is as unfathomable and unimaginably complex and multifaceted as the atom... if not as verifiable or falsifiable.

    Oh yeah, and I finally finished my above post.

  3. #403
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Science is not a universal tool for reaching conclusions. It surprises me how many atheists assume this.
    I define "ration" as the faculty by which real information about the real universe in which we inhabit is attained. As a result, in order for something to be "rational", it must meet the following criteria:

    1.) Its premises must be verifiable fact.
    2.) The conclusions arrived at on the basis of these premises must be arrived at via logic.

    Ration is man's only method available for attaining real information about the universe. Science, as its application, is the only method we have of continually enlarging the available pool of factual premises to arrive at increasingly accurate and encompassing conclusions.

    This is not to say that philosophy is without its place. It is, indeed, the purpose of philosophy to address why the pursuit of real information is to be undertaken at all and how the information arrived at ought to be applied. Philosophy is not, however, a means of arriving at real information about the real universe in and of itself.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I define "ration" as the faculty by which real information about the real universe in which we inhabit is attained. As a result, in order for something to be "rational", it must meet the following criteria:

    1.) Its premises must be verifiable fact.
    2.) The conclusions arrived at on the basis of these premises must be arrived at via logic.

    Ration is man's only method available for attaining real information about the universe. Science, as its application, is the only method we have of continually enlarging the available pool of factual premises to arrive at increasingly accurate and encompassing conclusions.

    This is not to say that philosophy is without its place. It is, indeed, the purpose of philosophy to address why the pursuit of real information is to be undertaken at all and how the information arrived at ought to be applied. Philosophy is not, however, a means of arriving at real information about the real universe in and of itself.
    Well first of all, the terminology wasn't even correct. I think rationale is very closely implicated with philosophy. I think what you meant to say was "ideology." Religions are more like ideologies than philosophy. Ideologies may be formed off of rational philosophies, but they might not do it well.

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    In essence there is a disparity between ideologies that support religion, and agnostics or atheists who try to disprove religion based off of scientific rationale.

    Ideologies can be socio-political or cultural. A lot of the times ideologies are systematic in their own ways, but most of the time will have unbridled faith and adherence despite evidence. Ideologies for the most part dislike disagreement and eschew it. Those with ideologies might listen to facts and postulates from non-believers, and might even agree with some. However, ultimately they will always come up with a rebuke against it. Why would you give you up ideology for some heathen non believer anyway? To convert someone? To make yourself feel better? It does not matter.

    Rational people who try to disprove are actually using sound logic. That is the disparity between the two. However, there are those who try to disprove without logic, simply because of intense dislike and ignorance. These people are not rational, just dogmatic and/or zealous, just like the idealistic religious followers.

    In the end, I can respect those who speculate based off of sound empirical logic. Who are you going to trust more? The one who speculates based off of palpable facts, or one who bases evidences off of those we have no point of reference to. People who are not even alive, material that claims to have written by so and so. Do you see what I mean now?

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    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I define "ration" as the faculty by which real information about the real universe in which we inhabit is attained. As a result, in order for something to be "rational", it must meet the following criteria:

    1.) Its premises must be verifiable fact.
    2.) The conclusions arrived at on the basis of these premises must be arrived at via logic.

    Ration is man's only method available for attaining real information about the universe. Science, as its application, is the only method we have of continually enlarging the available pool of factual premises to arrive at increasingly accurate and encompassing conclusions.

    This is not to say that philosophy is without its place. It is, indeed, the purpose of philosophy to address why the pursuit of real information is to be undertaken at all and how the information arrived at ought to be applied. Philosophy is not, however, a means of arriving at real information about the real universe in and of itself.
    What's your definition of verifiable?

  7. #407
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    Yeah, failed was harsh language, but it wasn't intended to apply to you. It was intended to apply to people who make the specific statement, "there is no evidence for God". There is a difference between saying, as you do, "I have looked at evidence and I'm not convinced" or even "there may be evidence, but I am not interested in reading it," and making the wholly unfounded statement "there is no evidence for God".
    Well then I think it does apply to me, because I don't believe there is any evidence for God. I have looked at what some consider evidence, and I do not consider it evidence. Nor is it my policy to actively avoid evidence - as previously stated, I would be more than happy to be presented with concrete evidence.

    Even a theory that the scientific community discards has some evidence for it, or it would have been impossible to even bother to write about.
    What??

    If you're aware of the existence of a work like Summa Theologica, how can you say there's no evidence for the existence of God?
    I am aware of its existence, I have even read excerpts (!) (although my specific area of study is not theological texts) and I say there is no evidence for the existence of god. What exactly is it in Aquinas - what specific part of it are you considering to be evidence? I don't really understand what you're getting at here, I don't think. Aquinas said god exists so he/she/it does? If there is some incontrovertible proof in there, out with it!

    Also, regarding your statement that expressing the arguments of brilliant thinkers is the job of believers, weren't the brilliant thinkers believers? Why is it a requirement that some hypothetical brigade of believers recite arguments, when the arguments in their best form are available, say, on the internet? In an argument, yes, it would be the believers responsibility to present the arguments for belief (that was good, btw). But my point is, when you make a minor decision, you look for evidence for and against. When you're making a decision as to whether or not God exists, which changes one's entire metaphysical understanding (and possibly, one's entire life), I would probably make at least a cursory glance at the evidence for and against. And my belief is that it's a part of good teaching, good scholarship, to at least acknowledge the existence of alternative views, and to not dismiss them as unfounded without at least being aware of them.
    Why would you assume I haven't made more than a cursory investigation? I have no problem acknowledging alternative points of view, but acknowledgement isn't the same as agreement.

    Now, I can't say that I've made enough study of evidence against God, but that's what this discussion is for, right? So I'm really not attacking you, Kangirl, because I really respect people like you who are at least passingly familiar with the fact that some very smart people have argued that God exists, even if you're not convinced by them. My belief is that you are incorrect, but as far as I'm concerned, my respect increases by several orders of magnitude when I find considered statements like yours and Costrin's than when I encounter statements that clearly have no basis in fact, i.e., "there is no evidence for God", unless the statement is qualified I believe in God, but I would never make such an obviously false statement as "there is no evidence for atheism" or "there is no evidence for Darwinism" or "there is no evidence for pantheism," because one trip to the library proves that such statements are demonstrably false.
    This has been said repeatedly in this thread, by some of us and I'll say it again: I am NOT trying, nor is it my task here, to *disprove* god. Again, it has been pointed out that disproving something is virtually impossible. Regarding the trip to the library - it's not the books that offer evidence for, for example, Darwinism, it's the facts/evidence that the books contain. The actual, tangible things that exist in the actual, physical world that are evidence for Darwinism. Smart people writing stuff down doesn't make what they're saying true. The evidence they have to back up their theories does - and the writing/books themselves aren't the evidence.

    What is "concrete proof" to you? Is it scientific evidence based on observable phenomena, and if not, how much broader is it than this?
    Yes. To the first part of the second sentence.

    Evidence 1) Anything that begins to exist has a cause
    -Support: everything that I have seen that begins to exist has a cause.
    Evidence 2) The universe began to exist
    -Support: The Big Bang Theory (every time I type this, I keep thinking about the TV show. Okay, sorry, just wanted to say that.)
    But you've conceded that it isn't certain that the universe *did* 'begin to exist'...

    Hmmm. I thought you mentioned Pascal's Wager but it was in a later post, apparently. Regarding that, doesn't Pascal's Wager specifically concede that there is no rational reason to believe in god?* But that it's best to do so anyway, lest one turn out to be wrong and spend eternity doing backflips in a lake of fire?

    *and if you're going to say "there's no reason to disbelieve in god" let me just remind you that I am agnostic. I do not know, nor am I in any way confident that I'm even capable of 'knowing' the true answer to such a question. Unless some long haired dude in a robe comes to my house and does some cool miracles.
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

    "please give concise answers in plain English" - request from Provoker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I define "ration" as the faculty by which real information about the real universe in which we inhabit is attained. As a result, in order for something to be "rational", it must meet the following criteria:

    1.) Its premises must be verifiable fact.
    2.) The conclusions arrived at on the basis of these premises must be arrived at via logic.

    Ration is man's only method available for attaining real information about the universe. Science, as its application, is the only method we have of continually enlarging the available pool of factual premises to arrive at increasingly accurate and encompassing conclusions.

    This is not to say that philosophy is without its place. It is, indeed, the purpose of philosophy to address why the pursuit of real information is to be undertaken at all and how the information arrived at ought to be applied. Philosophy is not, however, a means of arriving at real information about the real universe in and of itself.
    I suppose I shouldn't take it upon myself to answer every single post, especially ones that aren't even directed at me, but...

    Mycroft, did you notice that your premises assumed your conclusion? Your definition of "verifiable fact" clearly assumes scientific induction.

    But what about, say, Descartes, who adored mathematics, coming to the conclusion that "I think, therefore I am" wholly without any scientific evidence whatsoever? (Uber-simplified: I can doubt anything except my own existence, because if I did not exist, I would not exist to be doubting. The fact that I am doubting is proof that I am). If we can establish our own existence without the use of science, what is to prevent us from establishing the existence of other minds (i.e., God) without the use of science?

    Furthermore, how can it be that philosophy is a source of knowledge, but somehow not a source of "real information." I can see two possible justifications for this (if you have another one, I'd be interested to hear it):

    1) Philosophy does tell us truths, but these truths are in a different class that is somehow inapplicable to arguments about the existence of beings or causes
    -How is it that science-less logic can tell me that I exist but not that other minds exist?
    2) Philosophy doesn't tell us truths, but gives us ideas which we irrationally choose to live on.
    -But this also doesn't make sense. As quoted above, the problem of induction gives us reason to doubt inductive argument (and all scientific arguments are inductive arguments), and yet only philosophy can yield necessary (deductive) conclusions, from the rules of logic themselves, upon which you stated that scientific arguments depend. So, basically, if philosophy can't yield truths using only logical deduction, surely science cannot yield any truth whatsoever using logical deduction with the uncertainty and probability of induction mixed in.

    Ultimately, your position seems to rest on verificationism, defined by Alvin Plantinga when he says, "the Verifiability Criterion of Meaning, which said, roughly, that a sentence is meaningful only if either it is analytic, or its truth or falsehood can be determined by empirical or scientific investigation-by the methods of the empirical sciences." That second clause sounds very close to positions that people on this thread have held. But verificationism depends on sense experience, and Plato showed that sense experience is insufficient when he made the argument about circles and triangles. Have you ever seen or otherwise experienced an actual circle or an actual equilateral triangle? That is, have you ever seen a line curved so that absolutely each point is equidistant from a given center? Have you ever seen a triangle in which each leg was the exact same length? No. Now, you have seen circles and triangles that are incredibly close, but if you measured down to the molecular level of whatever substance the thing that you thought was a true circle is made out of, you'd find that one point on one side of the circle extend two molecules further than another point on a different side of the circle. Furthermore, the very fact that the circle has depth and height makes it not a circle, because circles are inherently one-dimensional, and we live in a three-dimensional universe. Nevertheless, you know what a circle is, and you know what a triangle is. You know when a thing is more or less like a circle and more or less like a triangle. Clearly you don't know this because you experienced or saw a circle or triangle. And how are you going to verify that a circle is or is not a given thing? Obviously, you cannot. And yet you know what a circle is.

    Now, I finally found my Alvin Plantinga quote. First of all, it asserts, as does wikipedia, that scientists and philosophers alike have given up on logical positivism, verificationism, falsifiability and the assorted ideas. But Plantinga's advice to Christian thinkers was simply to assert the self-evident meaningfulness of statements like "God created the heavens and the earth". There are arguments to support that. What arguments are there to support verificationism? Why should we believe that the only way to derive knowledge is through scientifically verifiable means? There's no argument to support that thesis, and there can't be, since you can't scientifically verify verificationism. Of course, I can't speak as well as Plantinga, so by all means, search this article for the words "verificationism" and then please, if you can, link me to some articles providing justification for verificationism.

    I think that I derive real knowledge without experimental verification all the time. Where's the experimental verification for 2+2=4? I reached this conclusion through rational intuition, just like I understood what a circle or an equilateral triangle is, and deduction from rational intuition is just as valid as deduction from experimental verification.



    Also, withoutaface, I don't think I'm quite understanding you. Are you saying that some theists behave in this way, or all theists? Also, what reasons do you have for preferring evidence based on "palpable facts" rather than arguments based on "people who aren't even alive anymore"? Because I assure you that the majority of the "palpable facts" dealt with by scientists are based on the work of "people who aren't even alive anymore," and that these scientists even refer to these individuals' work to justify their own premises and conclusions. Can you clarify that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    Well then I think it does apply to me, because I don't believe there is any evidence for God. I have looked at what some consider evidence, and I do not consider it evidence. Nor is it my policy to actively avoid evidence - as previously stated, I would be more than happy to be presented with concrete evidence.
    Sorry, I assumed that your definition of evidence was broader than "scientific evidence based on observable phenomena." Then my question must be: what observable phenomenon told you that telling the truth was a good thing? What observable phenomenon allowed you to know that a given attempt at drawing a circle is more or less like a "real circle," since you have never seen a "real circle" (see above)? What observable phenomena justify any moral value which you hold to be true? What observable phenomenon proves to you that you are not, at this moment, dreaming? Descartes gives the hypothetical possibility that there is an evil genius that figured out how to affect your brain such that every time you think "what is two plus two" the evil genius zaps your brain to make you think it is four, despite the fact that it is not, actually, four. What observable phenomena proves that this is not the case? Furthermore, what observable phenomena were used to convict criminals before the widespread availability of DNA testing and the like? Should we throw out all convictions made on the basis of eyewitness testimony, since eyewitness testimony is not scientific evidence based on observable phenomenon, and therefore is not evidence at all? What observable phenomena prove that the only reliable evidence is observable phenomena? Heck, depending on how you define "observable phenomena," how do you justify belief in atoms, in quarks, in electrons? What observable phenomena justify your belief in historical facts? What observable phenomena justify a belief in anything that others tell you? What observable phenomena prove string theory? What observable phenomena prove the Big Bang? Certainly, there's observable phenomena involved, but also purely deductive reasoning. Are you saying that somehow deductive reasoning works when applied to observable phenomena, but without an observable phenomena to base it on, then deductive reasoning ceases to function? If so, what observable phenomenon led you to this conclusion?

    Just so that you don't think I'm a complete douchebag, I don't throw out all of these questions merely to be irritating, but because I recognize that you may very well dismiss plenty of them. Costrin was willing to concede that his system of thought doesn't allow for objective moral values, so for me to appeal to objective moral values is pointless. I don't know what you and I agree on, so I just threw out a bunch of stuff that I can't deduce from observable phenomena to see if you agree with any of it.

    What??
    Well, take the medieval belief in spontaneous generation. People believed that when it rained earthworms were created. They had an observable phenomenon: it rained, earthworms came up. If I were to publish a book on this, it would be based on observable phenomena. Now, when we get more information, that additional information may support a different thesis. But the fact that earthworms come out of the ground when it rains is evidence for spontaneous generation. It is merely evidence that has been supplanted by additional evidence leading to a conclusion that better explains all of the facts.


    I am aware of its existence, I have even read excerpts (!) (although my specific area of study is not theological texts) and I say there is no evidence for the existence of god. What exactly is it in Aquinas - what specific part of it are you considering to be evidence? I don't really understand what you're getting at here, I don't think. Aquinas said god exists so he/she/it does? If there is some incontrovertible proof in there, out with it!
    Well, Summa Theologica includes many arguments for God's existence, including the First Cause argument, which is essentially Aquinas' statement of the Cosmological Argument I presented here. To clarify, I didn't mean by the word "evidence" the phrase "conclusive proof". Conclusive proof is built on a variety of evidence. Of course, I believe (or at least, I think I believe) that Aquinas' books contain conclusive proof of God's existence. But I wouldn't expect that to be immediately obvious. But the fact that he presents evidence, that meaning information which points towards a specific conclusion, seems to be obvious at first glance. I mean, centuries and centuries of people have written these books defending God's existence, I don't know how you can assume that there is no evidence (otherwise, what were they writing about?), except, of course, when you define evidence to only mean scientific evidence based on observable phenomena, in which case one would have to fast-forward to the teleological argument, which is effectively intelligent design, which is so covered in layers of political controversy and assumed incoherence that I didn't want to argue it. But we can if someone wants to.


    Why would you assume I haven't made more than a cursory investigation? I have no problem acknowledging alternative points of view, but acknowledgement isn't the same as agreement.
    Again, sorry, my statement was probably confusing because I assumed a definition of evidence broader than "scientific reasoning based on observable phenomena." I don't think you have to agree with a given position to agree that there is evidence for it. There is evidence that Edward de Vere or Christopher Marlowe wrote the plays that are attributed to William Shakespeare, but there is also evidence that William Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to William Shakespeare. If one theory or the other is proven conclusively, or if I ascribe to one theory or another, does the evidence for the other theory suddenly cease to be evidence?

    This has been said repeatedly in this thread, by some of us and I'll say it again: I am NOT trying, nor is it my task here, to *disprove* god. Again, it has been pointed out that disproving something is virtually impossible. Regarding the trip to the library - it's not the books that offer evidence for, for example, Darwinism, it's the facts/evidence that the books contain. The actual, tangible things that exist in the actual, physical world that are evidence for Darwinism. Smart people writing stuff down doesn't make what they're saying true. The evidence they have to back up their theories does - and the writing/books themselves aren't the evidence.
    I completely agree. When I said "summa theologica" I meant the information contained within Summa Theologica, rather than the mere existence of the text. When I referred to a trip to the library I assumed that the hypothetical visitor would read a text or two and find the evidence within, again, with our differing definitions of evidence.

    Why is disproving something virtually impossible? If you can prove Darwinism, don't you inherently disprove, say, a literal seven day interpretation of Genesis? If you can prove that God exists, you disprove that statement "God does not exist."

    Yes. To the first part of the second sentence.
    See above. Also, it would appear that you only believe the evidence supporting the currently approved theory is actually "evidence". Would the fact that Newton's theory of gravitation was superseded by Einstein's theory of relativity does not make Newton's support for his theories cease to be evidence, in your belief?

    But you've conceded that it isn't certain that the universe *did* 'begin to exist'...
    Actually, I haven't. I conceded that I can't defend it on the basis of the Big Bang from my current knowledge. But I find the combination of the possibility that the universe did begin at the Big Bang, the logical arguments presented above regarding an actual infinite sufficient to make the argument stand.

    Hmmm. I thought you mentioned Pascal's Wager but it was in a later post, apparently. Regarding that, doesn't Pascal's Wager specifically concede that there is no rational reason to believe in god?* But that it's best to do so anyway, lest one turn out to be wrong and spend eternity doing backflips in a lake of fire?
    Yeah, that's kinda why I didn't bother with Pascal's. I think I was going to try to use it in a specific way, but Pascal's just doesn't really work with people. And no, Pascal's Wager does not by any means concede that there's no rational reason to believe in god. In fact, Pascal holds that, given that there is a logical possibility both that God exists and that God doesn't exist (this is the premise that I assume you dispute), then it follows that, in the absence of any other evidence, it is safer, more in line with self-preservationist instincts, and hence more rational to believe in God, since to disbelieve in God gains you nothing, but to believe in God allows you to avoid the possibility (however small) of "doing backflips in a lake of fire" (which is a rather unsophisticated view of hell, but it's one most fundamentalists propound, so I can't blame anyone for citing it), and also gains you the possibility (however small) of spending eternity in bliss. Rather than say that there's no rational reason, it provides a rational reason based on the idea that it is rational to do what is in one's self interest. Now, I don't believe that Pascal's Wager has ever actually caused anyone to have sincere faith in Christ, so it's not worth mentioning. But it's rationality would not seem to be in question, even if you disagree with the premise that "there is a chance (however small) that God exists". But you said that you were an agnostic, and so you would seem to affirm this premise.

    *and if you're going to say "there's no reason to disbelieve in god" let me just remind you that I am agnostic. I do not know, nor am I in any way confident that I'm even capable of 'knowing' the true answer to such a question. Unless some long haired dude in a robe comes to my house and does some cool miracles.
    I'm going to assume you're joking and don't want me to launch into a lengthy defense of the resurrection...? jk. I understand that impulse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    What do NTs think of God, and how do they relate to Him ?
    Three Christian-culture NTs I know admit either indifference or little understanding of what they call "religion."

    Is it possible for an NT to be interested in God ?
    I am interested in God for a few reasons:

    1. I intuit faith as something beyond rationality. Faith itself requires belief in something beyond comprehension. As such, I think there is room for faith in approaching the fundamental questions of existence. The real question to me is, does faith work at improving life?
    2. I find moral principles to have a multiplier effect with respect to improving human life. Even if a biological basis could be found for morality, morality would not lose its potency and would remain a topic for spiritual relationship to the universe.
    3. I am interested in settling questions of despair in my own life. I am willing to entertain the idea of choosing to believe in God (even in the face of a lack of evidence) in order to put such questions to bed, as they interfere with a proper appreciation for and approach to life. From my perspective, an atheistic view of the universe does not emotionally satisfy my need for meaning. If I have to belief in something fictitious to derive my meaning, so be it. The only question to me is "does it work", not "is it true". Truth means many things.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

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