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Discussion 2 to Meditation 15: I don't see your problem as valid. I stand by what I wrote

by: JT

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This exchange of views has been continued.

Marc:

I can be a little uncomfortable at times being held to account for what I wrote on this website eight years ago. But, I normally leave the general thrust of the older articles unchanged, correcting only for grammar and spelling unless a major error is identified, in which case I might revise the article. This way the evolution of thought over time can be seen, and on the atheist / agnostic question, some of my views can be seen to changed over the dozen years I have been developing this web site.

That said, I cannot see the problems you have with this particular article. You are asking me to defend postions I did not take in Meditation 15.

You say I wrote that I said that I am not an atheist as I "can not disprove the existence of god." I can't find that claim anywhere in the article. What I actually wrote was:

"On the other hand, I am not an atheist because the nonexistence of god has not been proven to me either."

There is a fundamental logical difference between what you interpreted my words to mean and what they actually say. We are dealing not with what I personally can prove or disprove, but with what anyone else, including those with minds far greater than mine, can prove or disprove.

As an example of the evolution of my thought, I wrote later in Meditation 227:

"One of the reasons I am an agnostic rather than an atheist is a lingering sense of the remote possibility of Deism; not so much from a theological aspect, but from a lifetime of exposure to science fiction. I cannot set aside the possibility, however small, that creation of the universe in which we live was a deliberate act by an intelligent being."

Whatever we (meaning humankind) might be able to prove or disprove in the future about the range of possible deities whose existence might be tested because of supposed fine-tuning (or meddling in) our universe on an ongoing basis, I expect we will never be able to test for a deity outside our universe who created, saw that it was good, and went on her way.[1]

And that's enough to stand by what I wrote back in 2000 in Meditation 15.

I've strayed a bit from the opening part of your question, but then, your question strayed from my actual words.

Now, on the the part about me supposedly giving the "Abrahamic god" special consideration over "Baal, Zeus, Shiva, or any other made up gods."

Did I really? I will admit I did not talk about made-up gods; that phrase assumes a conclusion. But special consideration for the "Abrahamic god" ?

Of course there was a focus - I was replying to Catholic school girls and a couple of the questions were related to specifically Catholic issues. But please reread those questions and answers that were not tied directly to Catholicism. I don't see any limitation to the "Abrahamic god", to the Catholic god, or to any specific god. Further, I consistently referred to "god", not "God". If you really want to fault me, perhaps you should address the fact that I stuck with the singular throughout rather than using the formula "god or gods."

In my view, you are reading ideas into this article which are not there. I stand by what I wrote eight years ago.


Footnote:

  1. Just to wander a little further afield with this thought: Should we discover that there is a meta-universe or multiverse containing multiple universes, it is quite possible we might find that created universes are indistinguishable from those that arise by "natural causes."