Nice Socrates shout out.
Isn’t Christianity full of admissions of “not knowing”? God’s plan; moves in mysterious ways; the mystery of the trinity?
That thinking folk “know” these things aren’t true, or that their origins are suspect to say the least, is irrelevant; Christians have said, in print, that they don’t know.
And although said thinking folk “know” these things are not true, The Barmaid says she knows she doesn’t know.
However, as a representation of thinking folk, she thinks that one day she will know, even though there’s no way she could possibly know that that one day she’ll know for sure.
What’s it all about? Well I don’t know…..
Problem with any skygod religion is that they want it both ways. When something is unexplainable, it fits into the “God moves in mysterious ways” or the wonderfully circular “You need a special understanding of God to understand god/You only “get” God if you are religious” or even better “God created logic, so (s)he exists outside of logic” explanations.
However, apologists are equally keen to interpret the scriptures in whatever way they chose and tell questioners they “know” what God meant, when it suits them and when it seems to prove their point (ignoring for the minute they’re trying to prove their god exists from texts which only have any validity if their god exists).
Those who don’t believe, on the whole, aren’t arrogant enough to claim they know, or even that they ever will know. Personally, I never expect to “know” one way or the other. What I can be fairly sure of is that of all the myriad of possible explanations for our existence, there being some sort of all-powerful “god” as posited in the Abrahamic religions is pretty remote (and as a classic uncaused cause, is a paradoxical explanation anyway).
And I don’t mind not knowing. It means I can get on with life and live it as best as possible.
Cheers – BT
“the humble religions”…religions that somehow fit so well and catter for our attention whoring sadomasochistic human tendencies. (I’m a lowly shit , but the universe was created with me in mind)
…that is totally suspect.
not to mention the mysterious paradox that there is a different religion for every milenia and corner of the planet.
if that does not scream MAN MADE to people, must be thanks to the power of childhood indoctrination (taking wishful thinking and denial to the next level, since the year zero)
Actually they will tell you whats right and wrong. These things they “know” and then when you ask them how or why something is they will use the fall back of mysterious ways. We simply require reasons for the things they claim and they don’t have those reasons.
Awesome. I’ve said this a hundred times trying to explain myself and the holla to socrates just sweetens the deal.
r00db00y – I think what religious people ‘know’ ab initio, is not so much the mysterious ways, but the main premise of the argument: that there is a god.
The rest of us confess with Barmaid to not knowing, or with Dawkins that the whole God thing is not only unknowable, but highly unlikely.
They dont know it, they feel it. If it feels like the universe in general gives a damn about you then no amount of argument will convince. If it could then then the absurdly easy to refute religious “arguments” for Gods existence would have gone down already. Just as rationalism was starting to get a foothold in this country the loonies have come back in force. With beards and now, Dawkins help us, with the aid of liberal “you cant criticise others” attitudes. Now I am depressed.
All right, Kiddies, Poor Richard says: if you look at the universe as evidence, there are two answers to play with. The first is that the whole idea of the supernatural is bunk. The second is that if there is a God, It is an
insane, murderous, violently tyrannical Thingy capable of an occasional flash of grim humor. Now, one of these answers is rational; the other comes from a time when all us primates thought the world was flat and full of sharp sticks. [One of these premises is true, too.]
Either of these answers–It or no It– dictates a solid moral truth: WE are the conscious Thingies, and our fate is entirely up to us. No Other is going to save us, no all-powerful Idiot is going to massacre us. We are doing a terrible job of taking care of our only planet, and religion is one of the main reasons we are being so murderous and stupid. My older daughter, at five years old, said “God is Love. What IS the problem?” Well, hers is a “God” we could work with, but we’d have to dump all the rest of the garbage. Let’s face it: “morality” is a matter of the tacit contracts we make with each other every day. Let’s respect ourselves and strive to BE gods and goddesses; we’ll never make it, but think of the benefits of trying. Meanwhile, we’ve got birds, fish, furry animals and veggies–all of whom are our close siblings; more stuff to love than any one person can handle. And “Jesus and Mo” to boot! Why add Superfluous Superstuff? And think of our species at its best — bodies, stories, sex, hope and humor. The universe –just as it is– is miracle enough. It has kept me busy for more than my alloted three score and ten.
thus spraketh Po’ Richard.
How do you “know” you’re living life as best as possible? Do you “know” that there is, without a shadow of a doubt, no better way?
Poor Rich (nice handle btw),
Yes, I’d agree that God is a nasty fugger. And I’d agree that we are nasty fuggers. So are we not already on our way to becoming Gods and Goddesses. Sure, there have been benefits, but there have been mistakes as well.
And who’s to say that the terrible job we are doing, is the exact reason we are here? Who’s to say that man evolved this great mind in order to wipe the earthly slate clean? Who’s to say that the only reason we evolved a conscience was so we didn’t do it too quickly; that we are, in fact, doing exactly as the universe intends us to do in exactly the amount of time it intends us to do it. Individually, we can each decide the part we play and the path we take but as a collective conciousness, as a species or a force of nature, our path has been set.
That may seem doom’n'gloomish, but only to those who believe that humankind is the pinnacle of evolution. And if we are, if we are as perfect as any species will ever get, then are we not already Gods?
I love evolution – it means we will either get better adjusted by becoming a somewhat different species or go extinct. I had a student once point out that, given evolution, it is already the best of all possible worlds. Aaaaaaugh!
You know, I never see the news media covering the biggest story of our age:
our struggle for existence as CONSCIOUS critters. It may be that consciousness isn’t a particularly productive adaptation.
We’re not gods and never will be, but at least we can have fun seeking out those moments of intensity, humor, and love. Actually, I have my eye on this goddess at the bank; perhaps, at my age, I can get her to think I’m god-like….
rOOd: I’m watching the mail…where’s my Scotch?
Jesus and Mo forever!
I don’t think I claimed to “know”, just that I try to live as best as possible. As it’s so subjective – my idea of a good life probably differs massively from yours, or from a Yak heardsman in Mongolia – I’d be very suspicious of anyone who claims they “know” what living a good life it.
I guess the interesting question you’re getting at is how do I “know” that murder is bad, for instance? The theists would argue a sense of good and bad is something which can only come from a god. I’d disagree and I think the stance that if you are not religious, you are not moral, is spectacularly arrogant and insulting.
The important thing is, I’m not out there telling people the only way for people to live their life, is the way I live their life.
I believe in a life lived well and trying not to step on the cracks
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