Also, I wanna hear what you think of your dad's book that you're reading. Who wrote it? Do you find it convincing?
"Anyways, wow. I'm so sorry about your girlfriend. I know that must suck so much."
It did, but I'm over it now. *Shrug*
"Though you seem to hold Christian views and exhibit Christian behavior more than a lot of actual believers I know."
Well thanks. That's sort of my problem. I like people who share my strong since of ethics, which often happens to be Christians, but as an atheist...well it can be an issue.
"I just don't know why you do...And I realize that belief in God has evolutionary benefits, but so does belief in our own abstract reasoning. If you believe that belief in God is something innate in the human mind which is not true, then why not logic as well?"
This is a good question and one I have thought long and hard about. Its one I'll continue to think about, as well. But for now my answer is this:
Logic may very well be an illusion. The universe may be chaotic and uninterpretable. What I percieve may have nothing to do with reality. Its definitely possible. But if that's true, why even bother?
To make any sort of coherent worldview I must assume that rationality is true, and that I can, through that rationality, understand the world. Its sort of a minimal requirement for any sort of understanding of the universe, but it is an assumption, and assumptions can't be proven. Thus I don't want to make more than necessary, which means I don't want to make the assumption that God exists. Does that make sense?
I'm trying my best to approach this topic objectively, and I think that argument makes objective sense. On the other hand, I won't lie that there isn't intuition guiding me on this as well - God doesn't make sense to me on an emotional level either. I try to ignore that part of things though and just look at the objective, logical progression of my arguments.
Regarding my dad's book: Ok. Here are the details. I got the title slightly wrong the first time, but: Belief in God: A Study in the Epistemology of Religion By Georg Mavrodes. I've just read a little bit so I can't really give you my reaction yet.
Tough guy. I laud you for not dwelling on what wasn't meant to be though. Or maybe senior classes are just keepin ya too busy. ;) Anyways, sorry again. Though I think the two of you made a mature decision in addressing the issue before your relationship got too far along. I respect that.
And hahaha. I love atheists who act like Christians. It's why I liked Antony Flew even before he became a theist. It shows that their objections are sincere. :) I wouldn't discredit your moral intuition entirely though. Many people have been drawn to the faith by their love for the person of Christ rather than proofs they found in logic or natural theology. Don't get me wrong, both are avenues to the faith, but the former seems to skip a step, in a way, as the center of Christianity is Christ and what He told us to be like.
Christianity also gives you a reason to hold those moral standards, making them less arbitrary and more the path to righteousness. Viewing them this way inevitably will make you a better person, if probably not by too terribly much in your case.
Also, that argument does make sense. But it makes sense according to the very laws of logic which you're trying to validate. Any attempt to justify the axioms is inevitably circular.
Which is why only placing faith in logic as the rationality of God's mind can assure a thinker. It's a cold, hard life of thought to leave the value of everything you believe up to chance. And given truth is rather irrelevant to Darwinian evolution, especially on an abstract level, I have to think that the chances are rather slim.
Out of curiousity, what emotional objections do you have to the idea of God? The classic question of Epicurus? Or is it more?
And huh. I've never heard of the author, but I looked him up and he seems highly qualified. Keep me updated. I just might read it too.
h ttp://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=hYfaOJATh_U
A very long video, but short in relation to eternity. :p Besides, I think you'll find it very interesting. Enjoy. :)
Collin: So I watched the first 20 minutes of the video. Here are some initial thoughts before I forget them.
1. He has the best understanding of science out of any strongly religious person I've heard speak.
2. He does not make an argument for literal creation (which is good b/c such an argument is totally unjustifiable).
3. He makes a good point that physics can never know for sure if it knows everything.
4.He also makes a good point that science cannot prove that a God does not exist outside of the universe.
5. I was not aware that the multiverse is thought to have a beginning, but I did some fact checking and it seems to be accurate.
6. Points 3 and 5 are strawmen though. In no way is that evidence for a god, in particular the Christian God. Just because the universe has a beginning (which may or may not be true) does not immediately mean that there is a God.
Anyway, I'm enjoying it so far. I'll post more comments after I watch a little bit more.
Glad you're enjoying it. :) I'll try to link you something by John Polkinghorne too, in the near future.
Anyways, I think the first part of the video is mostly concerned with demonstrating why New Atheists who claim science has somehow "ruled out God" are preposterous. Because, well, science can't do that and making such a claim is based on a faulty philosophy of science. :)
Also, regarding 6, it doesn't necessarily point to God, but science doesn't really have much to say about "before" there was a universe to observe. At that point, I think it becomes the job of philosophers to try and posit through logic what the "something" before everything must be like, which would be a whole nother 3-hour lecture if done right. :p