6.17.2006

atheists part deux

So... I said I'd post more on atheists. I have a Matlab script running which takes time, so I think I need to squeeze this post in to the 10 or so minutes that I have.

I guess it just deep down unnerves me. I don't particularly think of myself as the most honest guy I've ever met, but I do try to give myself psychological check ups every now and again. I ask myself if what I believe is the right thing, if I'm going in the right direction. I include God in all of these evaluations. I don't want to continue to do something just because it's what I've always done.

I could see myself becoming an agnostic. If certain experiences in my life never happened, then I could disassociate myself with the Church and say that God is not talking to me, if He's there. Certain experiences have happened, though, so I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that one. :)

But let's just say that they didn't, and I did end up an agnostic by now. I don't think I could let myself take the jump and say that there is NO god, or that God exists nowhere. Korihor might tell me that that's the effect of a frenzied mind, and that I've been conditioned my whole life to think that there is a god, so it's too traumatic for me to let go and I'm too afraid to do so even if I could.

I just don't see it that way. I couldn't verify that God exists nowhere, so why would I draw that conclusion?

OK, here's one more thing that kinda gets to me. If I am atheist, and I have drawn the conclusion that God does not exist anywhere, then what does that do for ethics or morality? How does one define it? Things get a bit ego-centric. I think it's wrong to steal, but if Johnny Dobad thinks that everything belongs to him, then who am I to say that it's wrong and that Johnny can't take my things? Or who is Johnny to say that he can take my things?

Without God, I see a breakdown of morality, ethics, and authority.

Do atheists decide that they're advanced enough that they just don't need someone telling them what's right and wrong? Does every single atheist agree on what is right and wrong? Aren't they the rational ones, who think things through? How do you think things through and decide that even though it's impossible to prove that there's no God, but you require evidence to draw a conclusion, draw the conclusion that there's no god anyway?

2 comments:

Shaun Carlson said...

I concur, hence my previous comments. If one wants to choose to believe there is no God, that is one thing. When one believes there is no God because there is no proof He exists or because something else somehow disproves the existence, that's when I say the claim is on shaky ground. When it comes to absolutes like the existence of the Divine Being, conventional reasoning and evidence just aren't going to cut it. We have a hard time explaining the behavior of space, time, gravity, and light at times. If we can't decide on those things, how can we hope to make any substantiated claim on the existence of God?

The continuation to how this impacts ethics is another reasonable question. Since I've defined mine by my religion and the nature of God, it's hard for me to imagine otherwise. Near as I can tell, modern philosophy and ethics largely is based off the idea of what allows people to pursue their goals without infringement from others and the net benefit for society. These largely mirror traditional values, thought with some obvious key differences. Moral relativity is allowed, but as a society we've defined certain things to be right or wrong and that's how we proceed. This is another reason I think the debates over illegal immigration and homosexuality are such hot topics right now, the various viewpoints on this previously loosely defined standard are clashing.

sixline said...

We are imperfect beings attempting to define perfect principles.

It is sometimes difficult, and other times nigh impossible.