The dilemma of atheism summarized ( though not resolved! ) in few lines

atheism dilemma 3

 

The existence or non-existence of any non-observable entity in the world is not settled by any single argument or consideration. Every premise will be based upon other concepts and principles that themselves must be justified. So ultimately, the adequacy of atheism as an explanatory hypothesis about what is real will depend upon the overall coherence, internal consistency, empirical confirmation, and explanatory success of a whole worldview within which atheism is only one small part. The question of whether or not there is a God sprawls onto related issues and positions about biology, physics, metaphysics, explanation, philosophy of science, ethics, philosophy of language, and epistemology. The reasonableness of atheism depends upon the overall adequacy of a whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world.
Matt McCormick

Commentary: I strongly believe this quote reflects and conforms with my holistic approach to all types of theoretical problems and manages to demonstrate how this particular issue is rooted in a network of many ”related issues”  and cannot be extracted from it and thus analyzed in seperation, in a laboratory manner. You have to deal with a system as a whole to seriously deal with the question of God’s existence.

RE 3

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The dilemma of atheism summarized ( though not resolved! ) in few lines

  1. I like this quote! One argument or line of evidence might not be sufficient to persuade someone of atheism or theism. However, a cumulative case should be made. Between atheism and theism, which has the most explanatory power and sufficiently answers the most questions. Which corresponds to reality the best? Now this question obviously pre-supposes that their are only those two choices as viable options. When it comes the the question of atheism vs. theism, both cannot be true in the same sense at the same time per the law of non-contradiction. Either it is true that God does exist or it is true that God does NOT exist. God cannot logically partially exist. If God does exist, God is a sufficient answer for why anything exists at all, ie why we are here blogging.

    Any viable worldview must answer the question of our existence. A worldview that does not, might offer pragmatic and useful advice about how to be happy or how to attain a higher consciousness, but it does not sufficiently answer life’s more important questions.

    There are alternative worldviews that postulate a force or consciousness that is in all and is all. From which, everything emanates that is. All is one and their is no distinction. However, this impersonal force is causally impotent in that it lacks the any discernible will or volition. Only personal beings have will and choice. And only a personal being could decide to cause the universe.

    Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reception and commitment.

    ”Now this question obviously pre-supposes that their are only those two choices as viable options.”
    I think this is a simplification actually, because a person who condisers himself an atheist, isn’t simply claiming that God does not exist, he is rather making a claim that God exists but as an abstraction born in the human brain rather than as a complex being with powers and qualities. One way or another, God is something – even if it is not a personal being or impersonal force, it still is at least an abstraction and we wouldn’t say an abstraction doesn’t exist at all. It doesn’t exists as a personal being but abstraction does exist in a different, more subtle way. In this view, God exists in similar manner that a number exists. An atheist gives a proposition for what God is – an abstraction, he is definitely opposing a claim that God is a personal being affecting universe on the grand scale and he is also opposing a claim that God is force mainipulating and driving the universe. Yet he still sees God as something, just not something that agrees with any type of belief in his actuality. I don’t think it is fair to state that God does not exist at all, I think it is fair to state that God may not exist as an entity outside of human brain – that’s the proper statement.

    ”God cannot logically partially exist.”
    Under condition that what we call God makes sense at all, but if what we call God, even as a concept, does not make sense, because it is self-contradictionary, incoherent and lacking any accurate correspondence to the objective world, I think, paradoxically, it may partially exist as these parts that agree with observations of external world and as these parts that are hallucinations and were never based on the external world and don’t agree with it, both at the same time. Then, God would be a fractured concept consisting of both correct observations extracted from the observations of external world and attached to a being and of unclear content emerging from unclear mechanisms of human brain.

    ”If God does exist, God is a sufficient answer for why anything exists at all, ie why we are here blogging.”
    If it turns out that what God really is, is radically different to any type of the belief that is hold regarding his actual existence, he may potentially not be a sufficient answer at all. Atheist’s approach fits this possibility. If a typical description of God as a being who wills the world into action is correct, than God should indeed be a sufficient answer, than theist were right after all.

    ”Any viable worldview must answer the question of our existence.”
    I think not necessarily. The limitations of the human brain ( the way it works ) and the nature of knowledge ( antifoundationalism might be a case ) may be a reason why no such answer may be available to a human or might not objectively exist. The question of existence does not have to have any objective answer if this question itself is an abstraction generated by human brain. There are many questions that don’t make sense. Questions make sense only if they are stated with rigoristic methods. This particular question may lack a logical meaning, however unbelievable it might appear.

    ”There are alternative worldviews that postulate a force or consciousness that is in all and is all.”
    They are not very useful if science manages to explain particular phenomenons and problems as consequences of laws of nature which are universal. The universality and other characteristics of laws of nature often perform the function that alternative worldviews propose, anyway, but with mathematical and methodological rigor instead. Science also recognizes that everything is connected.

    “We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    ”However, this impersonal force is causally impotent in that it lacks the any discernible will or volition.”

    Such possibility would be wonderful and would satisfy me. This possibility was embraced by Pantheism. It would obviously lack some of the absolute qualities of God, however.

    ”Only a personal being could decide to cause the universe.”
    It seems so, but it doesn’t stand the test of logic to postulate literal existence of such being before the emergence of the universe as we know it. These are, it seems to me, very anthropocentric suggestions. We arrive at the problem of infinite regression and others. The solution which should resolve these paradoxes, should also paint a different picture of this problem, and again, of God.

    Many of these problems result from the fact that the traditional concept of God is seriously flawed and very imperfect. Might be true to some considerable degree, but that seems very unlikely that God is what we usually think or what we are conditioned to think he is.

    Thank you for this comment. Your statements are challenging enough and really important.

    Like

  3. 1. Would you consider yourself an atheist, naturalist, neither, or both? I get the sense that you think there is something beyond the physical universe which would exclude naturalism. However, you describe people’s spiritual experiences in a purely naturalistic way (ie, hallucinations, unclear mechanism of human brain).

    2.You seem very resistant to the idea of a real god who exists. Why is this?

    3. I would appreciate an explanation as to why you think the concept of God is, “self-contradictionary, incoherent and lacking any accurate correspondence to the objective world”.

    4. By observing only data provided by the external world humans can infer that the universe began to exist at a finite point in the past. Only something that has the following attributes can explain how this happened: uncaused, personal, beginningless, immaterial, enormously powerful, timeless, and spaceless. For our purposes, this set of attributes will be the definition of God. According to this definition, god is not just an abstraction born in the human mind and passed to us from our ancestors who used is as a survival mechanism. Even if our brains are hardwired to believe that a god exists, this does not present evidence against a personal god existing. Maybe god hardwired us to seek after and search for him. Why wouldnt he do this? he definitely has the prerogative.

    5. you said, “I think not necessarily. The limitations of the human brain ( the way it works ) and the nature of knowledge ( antifoundationalism might be a case ) may be a reason why no such answer may be available to a human or might not objectively exist.” Your brain seems to be working well enough to understand that the we are here and that we got here at some point in the past. You are using logic and reason. Ironically, if naturalism is true then all knowledge and reason is illusory (see: http://www.reasonsforgod.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Libertarian-Free-Will-and-The-Argument-From-Reason1.pdf, http://www.reasonsforgod.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/An-Evolutionary-Argument-Against-Naturalism.pdf, and http://infidels.org/library/modern/victor_reppert/reason.html) Answers to the question of why the universe exists are objective even if we cannot find them. Whether or not you knew that I would respond to your blog post has nothing to do with the existence of actual events outside of your knowledge happening. We can be unaware of answers and they still exist.

    6. “We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Neil deGrasse is not very friendly to the idea of theism when i have heard him speak. Aside from that, the fact that we are all connected does not preclude the existence of god at all. The fact that we are all connected does not tell me how the cosmos came into existence, how life started, how and why conscious beings exist, why objective moral values and duties exist, etc…

    7. You say, “We arrive at the problem of infinite regression and others.” What caused the causer? That question is irrelevant because at some point in the past something had to initiate all causes. Otherwise the chain of causes would go back for infinity. It is impossible for an infinite past or series of events to exist because we would never arrive at today if that was true. In other words, an actual infinite implies that there is an infinite number of events or time behind us and an infinite amount ahead. The problem is that one cannot traverse an infinite number of events or time. (taken from my article called, “an argument for god with objections”)

    8. You say, “Many of these problems result from the fact that the traditional concept of God is seriously flawed and very imperfect. Might be true to some considerable degree, but that seems very unlikely that God is what we usually think or what we are conditioned to think he is.” I agree that we should not just take someones word for what or who god is. we could have been taught something that is not who god really is. But if god does exist, we should do our best to find him regardless of our tainted image of him. What would you describe as the “traditional” concept of god?

    Like

  4. For the last week, I had very limited access to internet, something that happens so rarely that I don’t remember when it happened before and it was quite unexpected. So, this is my late response:

    1. I always considered it a very tricky question. I seem to have a long-time tendencies towards pantheism, with panentheism being my prefered choice for some time. The closer discussion could possibly reveal hints of a weak atheist in me, which is the result of the way I was able to evaluate the evidence which my life experience has offered to me so far. The safest of what I could currently associate myself with would be an agnostic. I definitely am not satisfied with orthodox christian conception of God. What I was always striving to do was to marry mysticism with logic, or fantasy with reality, so as much as I am open towards all sorts of spiritual doctrines, I am unable to blind myself to mathematical order of nature. Nothing should be devoid of this two-way realism. That’s in a very incomplete nutshell. I know I am far from having conclusions of high certainty. I am just following my own path of learning and where it leads me. It is a dynamic development and very little is fixed in it!

    2. I tend to be very careful with my considerations on the topics, where I sense, there is a great multitude of subtle traps which may deceive me in countless ways. I am resistant to the biblical God because I cannot see any strong basis or justification for why should there be a reasonably high-level probability that he exists. In this type of situation, I am rather willing to resort to the method of minimalism, avoiding postulates which do not follow from simpilicity but require either extraordinary evidence or a leap of faith. Saying this, I am, however, quite comfortable with the concept of ‘Brahman’ and some others like Spinoza’s God.

    3. My problem here is that I see God’s attributes to conflict with each other ( omnipotence together with omnipresence, for example, althought it may not be apparent at first ), it is difficult to reconcile these attributes with what we observe in the world around ( omnipotent God allowing evil and punishing for it is one of those classic peculiarities which are endlessly disputed while it is quite easy to explain it from naturalist point of view as it appears to me ). Too many problems in plenty little but significant details here and there, to me, are making such God highly questionable, and in such case, it is always logically preferable to avoid stating demanding postulates than stubbornly forcing them. However, as it stands, I am foremostly looking for clues, hints and indications in all possible places and sources, and so far, they have not demonstrated to me that such God is highly-to-moderately probable. I am searching all the time but I will rather not allow myself for a leap of faith but wait for convincing pointers. We’ll see what I’ll come up with in the future.

    4. Some of the leading physicists are proposing a timeless universe with no beginning, even if it sounds counterintuitively, it doesn’t seem to contradict The Standard Model. I don’t know how to deal with something that is spaceless, I cannot imagine it in sensible way. Non-existence of God is perfectly consistent with no one having been able to prove God’s non-existence, as far as logic is concerned. This hardwire appears to be very consistent with evolutionary mechanisms – it is explored by many anthropologists and the results are easily available. I can’t agree that only something that has these certain attributes can explain how this happened, I would prefer being humble towards this mystery and not assuming too much, but at current we just don’t know what the appropiate explanation could be. Anyway, we still have a rather long way to go before we settle this, me included.

    5. I will answer it at a different occasion. I could not familiarize myself with the sources yet.

    6. This fact that everything is connected does not explain these things, but understanding of what causes this fact shall give a right framework to do this. Yet again, I am far from having strong conclusions, but I can see that whatever proposition we are personally favorizing, it can lead us astray.

    7. I cannot do the justice to this point at this time. I will get back to it later, in due time.

    8. The traditional concept of God is to me that which portrays him in strict accordance with the Bible and does not violate it. What I would call non-traditional concepts of God are: Spinoza’s God, Brahman, Teotl or Whitehead’s process theology. Yes, I invest a great deal of time and energy to find him, but my pathway has not yet made this general problem any approximately clear to me.

    Like

This is place for you - share your impressions!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s