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The most obvious question never asked of theists:

Invisible

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113 thoughts on “The most obvious question never asked of theists:

      • Why is God invisible?

        Practically speaking, look to “God” as being a concept. Conceptually, “God”, in its Essence, is beyond physical incarnation, beyond mental conception.

        Is there then a philosophical wisdom in the “invisibility” of God?

        Free will and faith are central to the answer to this question. Free will denotes a choice – an effort, or volition, to move in a chosen direction. Faith is a choice, although some feel so compelled to believe that they feel as if there is no choice. But faith comes from within. To choose to cultivate divine virtue and to suppress selfish ego – this is an act of faith, and the cultivation of faith and the development of divine attributes are essential for our spiritual development.

        Some argue that if the existence and presence of God was more obvious for all, few would need to decide to cultivate virtues such as faith, few would have the opportunity to exercise free will in choosing to develop divine attributes. And the exercise of willfully choosing to cultivate faith and virtue is the purpose of our existence. It takes us outside of our “me focus” and we see that others have feelings, they love and cry and sometimes hurt, just like we all do, and perhaps together we move forward for the betterment of everyone and divided, confrontational and indifferent we wither and die.

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      • Free will is a scam, though, Roy. We are social animals. Acceptance from the group is the most popular preoccupation of human beings.

        With that in mind, our amount of “free will” is is directly related to how much freedom of thought we are instilled with.

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      • Hey Chris,

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

        “Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors.”

        “The principle of free will has religious, legal, ethical, and scientific implications.[1] For example, in the religious realm, free will implies that individual will and choices can coexist with an omnipotent divinity. In the law, it affects considerations of punishment and rehabilitation. In ethics, it may hold implications for whether individuals can be held morally accountable for their actions. In science, neuroscientific findings regarding free will may suggest different ways of predicting human behavior.”

        You may be referring to the “herd mentality” some unrestrained groups exhibit.

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_mentality

        “Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items. “

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      • No … I think it’s all related, Roy.

        Without even delving into what is happening in our brains when we make choices …

        You’re suggesting that exercising free will is the purpose of existence … when most people are not conditioned to have much free will at their disposal. Social conditioning literally & physically alters how a persons neurons respond to each other, Roy — similar to the way mind altering substances do.

        I think we can both agree that an intoxicated person has less control over themselves than a sober person. People become physically addicted to social acceptance.

        Human beings are not individually free creatures in a similar way that a single sardine is not free. Oh, sure, it can swim without the school for a little while — but, it’s chances of survival are slim to none.

        You can’t separate terms like “herd mentality” from free will, and then say that individual choice to have faith in something greater than ourselves gets rid of individual ego … We are instinctively concerned with the group … it’s not until you tell a herd creature that it needs God to exist … that it begins to question its own purpose … GOD is a catalyst of egomania … God creates a gap between us and our fellow creatures.

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      • I never said “exercising free will is the purpose of existence” and I gave some human characteristics that can be developed for use to “suppress a selfish ego”, not get rid of ego.

        I said,

        “Free will denotes a choice – an effort, or volition, to move in a chosen direction.”

        “Faith is a choice…that comes from within.”

        “Some argue that if the existence and presence of God was more obvious for all, few would need to decide to cultivate virtues such as faith, few would have the opportunity to exercise free will in choosing to develop divine attributes.”

        “…the exercise of willfully choosing to cultivate faith and virtue is the purpose of our existence.”

        I understand the last statement runs contrary to your beliefs. I was just simply answering “The most obvious question never asked of theists”.

        I respect your opinion but I can not equate myself to that of a sardine. I make my own decisions, I run my household and I go where I want, when I want. The only man-made restrictions I impose on my free will are the laws-of-the-land.

        I’m interested in some thoughts you present, in your last paragraph. God seems to fit your description as having egomania, but not the sort of egomania that can be found in some of us. And “God creates a gap between us” is true, but I don’t think you and I should fight it out, so to speak, I don’t think the gap should prevent us from trying to move our species forward.

        I see more spirituality in people who avoid religiosity.

        Who gave mainstream churches the permission to disenfranchise homosexuals and drive young people to suicide with their hateful rhetoric? Was that Jesus?

        Men and their organized religions have been the cause of most of the wars in human history and other evil abominations. We will advance quicker once hate, greed, and war are extinguished.

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      • I’m still waiting on the name of your favorite non-religious charity. Preferably one which gives out birth control, but any secular charity will do. I’m willing to show support in some way since you are a persistent lunatic 🙂

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      • You? I had to escape!

        The head doctors at my lunatic asylum had a meeting and decide that I might be potentially well, so they decide to test me and take me to the movies.

        When we got to the movie theater, there are `wet paint` signs pointing to the benches. The doctors just sit down but I put a newspaper down first and then sat down.

        The doctors got all excited because they thought I may be in touch with reality now, so they asked me: “Why did you put the newspaper down first?”

        I answered: “So I`d be higher and have a better view.”

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      • So, Roy, you’re answer as to why your god is invisible is essentially because its magic, right? We can’t understand so its invisible. Mystery solved! Wouldn’t this however contradict with the whole “made in its image” proclamation?

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      • I think “image” is more than what we look like, John. It goes a lot deeper than skin tone or features.

        When I watch Penn and Teller I see illusionist performing illusions. Some use the words magicians performing magic.

        I chose one of several arguments available to explain why God is invisible without using magic or Scripture.

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      • I chose to believe I’m a sardine, and I use this Charlie Chaplin song to support my belief. I know it may sound like he’s talking about coming back as a sardine in the next life, but I think he really means that I am already a sardine. Sticking with that. It makes me happy.

        Oh For The Life Of A Sardine
        When I was three my nurse told me
        About reincarnation
        And ever since I’ve been convinced,
        Thrilled with anticipation
        That when I leave this earth
        It makes my heart feel warm
        To know that I’ll return
        In some other form.
        But I don’t want to be a tree
        Sticking in the ground — I’d sooner be a flea.
        I don’t want to be a flower
        Waiting by the hour
        Hoping for pollens to alight on me.
        So when I cease to be
        I want to go back, I want to go back, I want to go back to the sea!
        Oh for the life of a sardine!
        That is the life for me!
        Cavorting and spawning every morning
        Under the deep blue sea.
        To have no fear for storm nor gale.
        Oh to chase the tail of a whale!
        Oh for the life of a sardine!
        That is the life for me!

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      • We can’t let Roy defend the invisibility of God until he acknowledges his human predispositions.

        We wouldn’t look into a funhouse mirror and waste time making inferences about our 3 inch waste or our 2 foot wide head … and, I don’t think we should respect these types of inferences, either.

        Anyone who believes in God is distorting facts: this is a fact. Anyone who is willing to mount detailed arguments to support God is OBSESSED with distorting facts: this is likely.

        I could devote my ENTIRE life to proving that I’m a sardine, if I were insane enough. No one would take my arguments seriously … they would be quickly disregarded … you can’t convince an insane person that their arguments are unsound until you convince them that their thinking is unsound.

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      • Agreed, but i already suspect this is going nowhere. Shame. i would’ve liked to of heard a logical explanation for this invisible state… well, as logical as one might achieve given the subject matter.

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      • Sorry to say, but you’re just using ‘magic’ as your explanation. But i would honestly like to hear a viable (non-magic) explanation, should one exist. That’s not a bait. I think theists should be able to explain (without resorting to magic) why their god is invisible. What possible reason is there? What sense does it make? You’re a father, the head of a family, right? What sort of father would you be if your were invisible and inaudible?

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      • Hi guys, back from a lovely day at the office. Most days I’m out 9-5 CST.

        I gave, what I thought was, a good argument on believing in the concept of God and it had nothing to do with magic or Scripture.

        God’s invisibility is obvious. Because we cannot see God doesn’t make Him not real.
        He is real by De facto. Another might look upon God’s invisibility as a problem, an embarrassment, perhaps even a hindrance to faith and godly living. But this simply is not so. Many also believe in Jesus as a living Saviour and He too is invisible,

        I don’t really understand how it is magic John. I am flesh and blood. God is not. We both exist in two different planes of existence. Or two diff realms, if you will. No one will ever see God in the way we see each other, flesh and blood others.

        ****

        And I don’t get you sometimes Chris. You wrote once it was hard for you to reply to me, then you said, perhaps we found a common-ground, then you turn and do a 180 with the sardine bit. Like I said, I don’t want to dismiss the ideas you have about yourself and your sardine mentality for humanity, I just can’t see that trait in myself. I will be civil and respectful but I will not play with child gloves.

        You called me a persistent lunatic in jest with a smiley face and I laughed. I even agreed and wrote a classic lunatic joke using myself. You didn’t like the joke?

        ****

        This “god” business has been around a long times guys. Every ancient civilization believed in something beyond our mortal state. This “god belief” is a fact of life and I am just one of many and my anchor is firmly tied to the God of the Jewish/Christian Bible.

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      • I’m attempting to avoid this discussion, but I keep getting drawn back in (as I am a mindless sardine.)

        Give me a way to show support for a non-secular cause, and I will do it. If you are here to bridge the gap, then come on … how can I help you?

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      • Afraid to say Roy but you didn’t explain anything. What does ”real by De facto” mean? Is your god actually in this universe? Is it viewable? Is it present in some different light frequency? If so why can’t spectrometers detect anything? Where does your god reside? Is your god subject to the law of thermodynamics and conservation of energy?

        You said, Free will and faith are central to the answer to this question. By this I’m guessing you mean its all a test, right? Your god is testing everyone. So it all comes down to a exam (never actually outlined) spoken by an invisible being to (someone said) a single illiterate goat herder in the desert… while also promising said illiterate goat herder a slither of dirt on the eastern Mediterranean shoreline.

        Sounds legitimate.

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      • I just felt a need to address words and ideas attributed to me that I never said, like

        you’re answer as to why your god is invisible is essentially because its magic, right?

        and

        We can’t understand so its invisible

        I’m sure you can find a non-secular charity that interest you Chris. I don’t get it, just search the net. I think it is awesome you want to give back to those in need but most charities are Christian based. Not all, just most.

        Children International is a good one http://www.children.org

        It is neat to choose a child, you get photos of them, see them grow up and the kids even write you letters. You can even send them a little something special on birthdays and holidays. Things they want…socks, another pot to cook in, perhaps a toy truck or another container to hold water.

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      • Vidas,

        Free will and faith are central to the answer to this question. Free will denotes a choice – an effort, or volition, to move in a chosen direction. Faith is a choice, although some feel so compelled to believe that they feel as if there is no choice. But faith comes from within. To choose to cultivate divine virtue and to suppress selfish ego – this is an act of faith, and the cultivation of faith and the development of divine attributes are essential for our spiritual development.

        You have heard this many times you think it is true. You have no free will. You act as you would, no two ways about it. Faith is not a rational position. You don’t choose to have faith, you have faith because you were indoctrinated to believing the particular god. You had no choice about it. To suppress self is the work of serfs. You are a slave of the mind to think there is virtue in suppressing the self.

        Some argue that if the existence and presence of God was more obvious for all, few would need to decide to cultivate virtues such as faith, few would have the opportunity to exercise free will in choosing to develop divine attributes.

        I don’t even see any sense in this statement of yours!

        And the exercise of willfully choosing to cultivate faith and virtue is the purpose of our existence. It takes us outside of our “me focus” and we see that others have feelings, they love and cry and sometimes hurt, just like we all do, and perhaps together we move forward for the betterment of everyone and divided, confrontational and indifferent we wither and die.

        Tell me any christian or muslim organization that LGBTs have rights just every other person has then I may actually believe you. Either we will die, but religious people will die thinking they are going to another life having wasted opportunities to be happy thinking they will be happy in another beyond world. We have no duty to cultivate faith, we have to use human reason. Anyone who thinks they need faith is an intelligent dwarf and does nothing to improve humanity.

        Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors

        Show me just one situation where this is possible, one I don’t want two.

        Practically speaking, look to “God” as being a concept. Conceptually, “God”, in its Essence, is beyond physical incarnation, beyond mental conception.

        Then why think about him/it/she in the first place. This is the height of absurdity.

        I see more spirituality in people who avoid religiosity.

        You have every right to entertain yourself 😀

        God’s invisibility is obvious. Because we cannot see God doesn’t make Him not real.
        He is real by De facto. Another might look upon God’s invisibility as a problem, an embarrassment, perhaps even a hindrance to faith and godly living. But this simply is not so. Many also believe in Jesus as a living Saviour and He too is invisible,

        But many people are deluded. They also believed for many years the earth was flat but they were wrong. The people who believe in an invisible daddy and a dead and risen sun son are also mistaken. They are wrong!

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      • Dear MAKAGUTU,

        I read your About page at your website. I love a cold beer too. I drink Miller High Life Lite. I’ll drink 2 or 3 then switch to Beam so I don’t get up to pee all night.

        “We are on a journey together to where I know not.” You might not.

        “Lets go for a ride, and make our own paths. Let us soar high up like the eagle, let us be free and let us sing liberty to fellow men.” Indeed.

        “The host welcomes all comments and ideas and asks that we be civil even when we disagree.” Spoken like a gentleman.

        *****

        You:
        You have heard this many times you think it is true. You have no free will. You act as you would, no two ways about it. Faith is not a rational position. You don’t choose to have faith, you have faith because you were indoctrinated to believing the particular god. You had no choice about it. To suppress self is the work of serfs. You are a slave of the mind to think there is virtue in suppressing the self.

        Me:
        I was raised Catholic and went through the whole CCD process. We prayed in the morning before we left the house for the day, we prayed at meals, and we prayed at bedtime. We talked to God. We praised Him for the good fortune we had and asked that He continue to rain down His blessings.

        After High School came military service. I was a man, full blown bad ass, and the Military taught me sacrifice, team work but also self reliance. Prayer saved my life several times. I should be dead right now. I have free will, my will chooses what I believe.

        To have Faith is to pull something out of yourself that is deep inside. In the face of extreme stress I had to go where I could look death in the eye and have NO FEAR.

        Oh, but if only everyone had “divine attributes” there would be no killing. We would all love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

        ****

        LGBT’s can get legally married in 10 States now. Eventually all States will pass laws allowing same-sex marriage. Every major insurance carrier allows coverage for ones “significant other”.

        My focus, by believing what I do, is not for some afterlife reward. It is to enjoy my life right now. It’s my way of life, not my way of death.

        You:
        Show me just one situation where this is possible, one I don’t want two. In response to my statement, “Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors”.

        Me: Here’s 3 out of a hundred.
        1) My will is to have a couple beers, then three fingers of Beam after work. I know this is not healthy. My will is that I like to get a little numb, not drunk, even though I know it is bad for my health in the long run.

        2) I know it is illegal to drive with out a license or insurance but I am not constrained by these factors. My will is to drive anyway.

        3) My will to do whatever it is that I want to do is not constrained by any certain factor. This is not to say there may be unfortunate consequences.

        You: Quoting me,
        “Practically speaking, look to “God” as being a concept. Conceptually, “God”, in its Essence, is beyond physical incarnation, beyond mental conception.”

        Then why think about him/it/she in the first place. This is the height of absurdity.

        Me:
        You take this out of context. I was answering the question by John, “Why is your God invisible”.

        To answer the question my logic is to look at God as a concept, and if so, is there a philosophical wisdom in that “invisibility”. The rest of my answer is tied to this premise.

        You:
        But many people are deluded. They also believed for many years the earth was flat but they were wrong. The people who believe in an invisible daddy and a dead and risen sun son are also mistaken. They are wrong!

        Me: What happened to civility? Now you see why I quoted your About page. Why persecute me?

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      • Hi Roy, if I may jump in before Mak answers (which I hope he will), he wasn’t “persecuting” you in any way. He is merely stating that your belief is wrong. That’s not persecution. Persecution is denying people the right to (for example) hold political office because of their race or beliefs… just like the 7 states in the US who won’t allow atheists to hold public office. THAT is persecution. Being ‘offended’ is not being persecuted, and you know that.

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      • Hi John,

        I hope he does too. I’d like an explanation why part of his reply to me doesn’t match his About Page Statement of Beliefs.

        The definition of persecute is to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief.

        He calls me deluded for my belief. It grieves me he refers to my beloved as an invisible daddy. I’m afflicted with pain he calls my Saviour a dead and risen sun son.

        Now don’t go saying the same old excuses like, “No one invited you here” “You got to have thick skin around here Princess”. I was just answering your question, “Why is your God invisible?”

        We also talked about hate speech in your Fart post.

        Hate speech is, outside the law, communication that vilifies a person or a group on the basis of one or more characteristics such as color, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

        We all take things on faith, even atheists.

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      • I would refer you to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists

        Where it states,

        “Historians including Lucien Febvre agree atheism in its modern sense did not exist before the end of the seventeenth century.[3][4][5] However, as governmental authority rested on the notion of divine right, it was threatened by those who denied the existence of the local god. Philosophers such as Plato argued that what we today call atheism was a danger to society and should be punished as a crime.”

        You are living in a Country where it’s original European immigrants came here to escape religions persecution. They came to be free from tyrants and to worship whatever who, and whatever what, they choose, originally Christian. Every religion and belief is represented right here in the good old USA. We are a melting pot. I have tolerance for others and afford them respect.

        The Founding Fathers, when they declared independence they wrote that, “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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      • Vidas,

        Faith has a lot of different meanings, and you know it.

        1.) Confidence in something
        2.) belief that is not based on proof
        3.) belief in God or religious teachings
        4.) belief in anything (a code of ethics)
        5.) a system of religious belief

        I think you would agree that Atheists don’t have the same kind of faith that Christians do. Human beings are associative thinkers … we obscure the specifics of things in order to make quick decisions … this is an evolved survival mechanism, but we need to be aware of this tendency in discussions like this.

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      • It’s Roy. Vidas is Spanish for lives. Vidas de Christo roughly translates as Christ Lives.

        So, I’m happy to hear you agree that atheists also have faith in some things. My point is that it is not important you have EVERY faith in everything I do, just that you have faith in some things.

        Again we have something in common. Faith.

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      • Sometimes in the fuller version speech is silver, but silence is golden . Silence is golden, says the proverb John….

        Let all that I am wait quietly before God for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

        There is a valuable lesson to be learned in waiting quietly before the Lord. With ALL that I am, I will wait quietly before God. He ALONE is my rock and salvation. He is the ONLY fortress where my faith is not shaken for it holds tightly with confident hope. Only Jesus can anchor my soul in such a place.

        Yet now Beam calls sweet slumber,

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      • Hey Roy and John,
        Roy I know my about page, it starts with the page is always under construction and I say we are going where I know not because I allow room for uncertainty.
        I will start with the charge of persecution and incivility. I would want you to, if you get time, to follow the places I comment and show just instance where I was uncivil. John is my friend, there is just no way am going to write anything uncivil whether I agree with a respondent or not on his blog.
        I wish I could apologise for calling believing in Jesus and god delusions, but am afraid I can’t. It is my position that whoever believes such things is deluded and need help. You really must prove the existence of such beings to be taken seriously.
        I was brought up catholic went to church run schools and am no longer and while at it, when you next visit my blog there is a post war and religion and you’ll see what I think about soldiers.
        I was well aware you were answering John’s question of why is god invisible and my response was not out of context. So if you stand by those reasons I still ask why think about him in the first place?

        1) My will is to have a couple beers, then three fingers of Beam after work. I know this is not healthy. My will is that I like to get a little numb, not drunk, even though I know it is bad for my health in the long run.

        How is this not constrained by other environmental factors? You desire to have beer because you can afford and because the particular brand is available. Your knowledge of it being bad for your health does not override the pleasure you get from it, you can’t act otherwise.

        2) I know it is illegal to drive with out a license or insurance but I am not constrained by these factors. My will is to drive anyway.

        You’d not be thinking about driving if you didn’t own a car or could drive. Unless you don’t see those as agents influencing how you act, there is no way I can make it clearer.

        3) My will to do whatever it is that I want to do is not constrained by any certain factor. This is not to say there may be unfortunate consequences.

        It is, by environmental, social, legal restrictions. In other words you act the way you would. You can’t chose to act in a particular way.
        You said prayer kept you alive. Am happy for you. I charge god responsible for anyone who prayed but still died when they didn’t want to die and I say your god is capricious, has favorites, poor priorities and I don’t know what else.

        We all take things on faith, even atheists.

        This time just give one example of what Atheists take on faith. And I mean just one, it will be sufficient to demonstrate my point.

        There is a valuable lesson to be learned in waiting quietly before the Lord. With ALL that I am, I will wait quietly before God. He ALONE is my rock and salvation. He is the ONLY fortress where my faith is not shaken for it holds tightly with confident hope. Only Jesus can anchor my soul in such a place.

        It is for this reason I can’t withdraw the statement you are suffering from a delusion. My rock is my mind, I stand on the knowledge and wisdom the human race has acquired, not on revelation from supposed gods. No and as long as anyone believes as you do, I will call that person deluded to that extent.
        Lastly sorry I didn’t see a notification on my dashboard that you had responded, I could have done so sooner.

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      • I’ve travelled through the states a few times and was always astonished at the Over-Sized culture there. Breakfast plates the size of satellite dishes, and of course, the trucks, the trucks, always the trucks…

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      • Bravo, sir! Damn, I’m saying that a lot with you, aren’t I? Just so you know, Noel, you can say whatever you like here. So can Roy, and anyone for that matter.

        Roy, my question to you was “What does ”real by De facto” mean? Is your god actually in this universe? Is it viewable? Is it present in some different light frequency? If so why can’t spectrometers detect anything? Where does your god reside? Is your god subject to the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy?”

        BTW… what’s a finger of Beam? I’m guessing Jim Beam, right? You know you shouldn’t mix 😉

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      • The definition of uncivil is to be without good manners; unmannerly; rude; impolite; discourteous.

        1) you called by belief “absurdity” meaning ridiculously incongruous or foolish.
        2) You said, “You have every right to entertain yourself” to dismiss me as if I were a foolish, deluded man.
        3) You called me “deluded” as if you have proof there is no God.
        4) You called God and Jesus daddy and sun son.

        All very uncivil.
        ****
        Why must I prove God to you? What ever I say you will not believe. God could tap you on the shoulder and whisper in your ear and you will attribute that as being the Wind.
        ****
        I don’t need to read your post about war and religion to have an idea what it says. I’ve studied history and I know the sickness we are can do , and are most capable of. My own experiences with war brought me to my knees, to see what it does to men, to have to fight against those that would rule over others with abusive power is not good. It’s rather sick.
        ****
        Although I was raised Catholic I studied every major religion and mysticism in my late 20’s. I had to know why so many different beliefs, by so many different cultures. I am no longer Catholic, I am not religious, I do not follow men blindly and uneducated.
        ****
        Why think about Him? I would no sooner renounce my faith than be put to death for such belief. Believe it and know that I’m not alone, all us deluded fools.
        ****
        How can you argue people don’t choose the way they act. Are we then powerless to effect our lives. Choices we make determine everything. If ones will is to be a lawyer or doctor it takes great determination and will to learn these professions.

        Perhaps using an addictive substance like alcohol for defending free will was lacking but really, we have to have some accountability in life, for our will to do what we do.
        ****
        I am with you Mak. Why was I saved and many others not? Why did God come to me in a dream and give me a startling vision and then two days later that vision saved me from a terrible 5 car accident, yet so far this year 203 people have died on Texas roadways.

        Don’t ask me because I don’t know, ask Him why He does what He does. Ask Him why He chooses to move and why He chooses to remain still.
        ****
        Anything you have “faith” in is by definition a position not arrived at by logic.

        I believe in individual freedoms. I believe in apple pie.

        1) I have faith in my parents, grandparents, friends, etc. to stand by me and love me even when they don’t agree with me or I them.
        2) It is not logical to have faith my wife will not sleep with another man. I know it happens, cheating spouses. But I have faith in her to allow her to go on a girls-night-out once a month. She too has faith in me. I can go out with the guys and she doesn’t worry about me. Her ex cheated on her but she has faith I will not do that to her even though logic could tell her if one did it, so too will this other.
        3) I have faith that the Sun isn’t going to explode tomorrow. I have faith our gravitational field will not crumble tomorrow and wipe out all life. I have faith I will not die at age 55 from a heart attack or cancer. All these kinds of faith impel me to save for retirement and plan on living to 87 like Grandpa did.
        4) I have faith that my car will start each morning when I go to work.
        5) I have faith that my children will grow up to be responsible and moral human beings.
        6) I have faith that humanity will ultimately overcome the evils of this world and that basic human rights will triumph over oppression.

        You get the point. All these examples of faith have no absolute logical foundation.

        1) friends and relatives can, and do, turn on us.
        2) Spouses do cheat.
        3) Nature can be deadly and dead-before-his-time does occur.
        4) Vehicles break down all the time.
        5) Some children do not.
        6) This too is illogical given our past history and the current state of our world
        *****
        If indeed it is true what you call me, then I will take my delusion over your delusion any day.

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      • Roy,
        am often quick to apologise when am wrong even if I don’t see where or how but in this case am sorry am not going to make any apologies. The only apology am going to make is that this response seems to be longer than the original post and am sorry but I couldn’t make it any shorter.
        You take issue with me calling god sky daddy well everyone I know who is religious calls god father and looks to the sky when they pray. All depictions of jesus that have seen show him wearing a star with 12 rays, why you find a problem with me calling that apparition the risen sun I don’t know. If you find telling you to have fun is uncivil, I can’t apologise. I said any theist is deluded and it is not my duty to prove the non existence of god. You make the claim there is a god, show me the evidence.
        You say you have read history of war and as such need not read my post to know what man is capable of doing but you miss the point by a mile. My post is not about the history of war or the atrocities.
        You said you have considered other mythologies, did you treat christianity, judaism and islam as mythology and if not, why did you give them a free pass. I look at them as all mythologies evolving over time and for different reasons at different times but all based on the myths of the ancients that is of primitive man. They all have at the core ignorance.
        If you are not religious what business of yours is it defending the absurd and the ridiculous? And how do you say you are not religious but still believe that your prayers get answered? Am confused here!

        How can you argue people don’t choose the way they act. Are we then powerless to effect our lives. Choices we make determine everything. If ones will is to be a lawyer or doctor it takes great determination and will to learn these professions.

        I wish sometimes it were true that we make the choices we think we do and it no longer bothers me. We act as we do. When you act in a particular way to a given situation, you couldn’t have acted differently at that time. You are a product of your environment, training and to a very small degree temperament which also you can’t change. You will at all times act in a particular manner and not differently.

        Roy I asked for one example only. But now that you have presented many I want to systematically show that they are not positions of faith where faith is believing things you have no evidence for and where it is practically impossible to test its truth and adjust your beliefs.
        I encourage next time to take my offer of 1 example.

        1) I have faith in my parents, grandparents, friends, etc. to stand by me and love me even when they don’t agree with me or I them.
        Your relatives have shown you they are dependable and have shown you love before, you have no reason to think they are about to change. It is therefore a logical position and not a faith position and you can adjust your beliefs accordingly should anyone of them change. If your parents disowned you at 1yr of age you would not say they love you and are reliable. You have a reason for believing they do.
        2) It is not logical to have faith my wife will not sleep with another man. I know it happens, cheating spouses. But I have faith in her to allow her to go on a girls-night-out once a month. She too has faith in me. I can go out with the guys and she doesn’t worry about me. Her ex cheated on her but she has faith I will not do that to her even though logic could tell her if one did it, so too will this other.
        In the time you have been married you have not caught her with another man neither has she given you a reason to not trust her. This is not a blind position, it is based on the knowledge you have and you can adjust this belief if you were to be told you were cuckolded.
        3) I have faith that the Sun isn’t going to explode tomorrow. I have faith our gravitational field will not crumble tomorrow and wipe out all life. I have faith I will not die at age 55 from a heart attack or cancer. All these kinds of faith impel me to save for retirement and plan on living to 87 like Grandpa did.
        In the last millions of years the sun hasn’t exploded, we have no reason to think it would tomorrow. Neither has our gravitational field crumbled in recorded history, it is not about to happen. This is not a faith position. It is based on the knowledge we have and we can adjust our knowledge if things were to change. You haven’t had a heart attack and your doctor could have told you are not at risk of getting one. It is not a faith position either and if you get a heart attack tomorrow because you have a heart, you can adjust your belief. You will have a reason to change it.
        4) I have faith that my car will start each morning when I go to work.
        When you last parked your car, you had driven it to the parking lot. It would be illogical to think it will start if it had been towed after a breakdown in the middle of the highway. This belief is justified because every morning the car starts and when it doesn’t then you can adjust your beliefs.
        5) I have faith that my children will grow up to be responsible and moral human beings.
        wishful thinking but this is dependent on how you bring them up. It would be insane to hold such a belief if you don’t take them to school, encourage them that crime pays, that to be irresponsible is good. They will be what you teach them and some more what they learn.
        6) I have faith that humanity will ultimately overcome the evils of this world and that basic human rights will triumph over oppression.
        It is not a position of faith. Humanity abolished or has to a very great extent abolished slave trade. Humanity is moving away from armed conflict except the crazy muslim countries and the drones from the crazy Americans. If these sets of crazy people would be rational we would overcome this problem. Humanity got over the inquisition, humanity came together, albeit late, to condemn the genocide in Rwanda, we are against the continued human casualties in DRC, we were against ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, all rational people oppose torture.
        I don’t think there is anything I have left out in this response. And I will say again without any apologies that any religious person to the extent they believe a god exists, that this gods hears their prayers, cares about their lives, who they marry and is waiting to welcome them into heaven are deluded. Call me uncivil, call me what you want but to that position I have no apologies.

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      • My intent is not to convert or preach. My intent is to try to explain my point-of-view.

        I’m not looking for an apology from you or anyone here. I have a thick-skin and will not crumble in tears when a civil debate turns into an uncivil and hateful name-calling display towards me and the things I love, but that doesn’t mean I will not call one out on it. Like I said, nothing I can do will convince you. My testimony to God working in my life isn’t enough.

        Thank you for a well written reply.

        Like

      • Is Noel MAKAGUTU? I didn’t find a name on his About Page. And I think THEGUYWITHTHEEYE is Chris (preferred).

        I still maintain the wiki interpretation of free will as correct.

        “Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors.”

        “The principle of free will has religious, legal, ethical, and scientific implications.[1] For example, in the religious realm, free will implies that individual will and choices can coexist with an omnipotent divinity. In the law, it affects considerations of punishment and rehabilitation. In ethics, it may hold implications for whether individuals can be held morally accountable for their actions. In science, neuroscientific findings regarding free will may suggest different ways of predicting human behavior.”

        I further maintain that although one may be raised in Church one gets to an adult perspective eventually and then, hopefully with logic, education, and wisdom, decides for themselves (free will) the worth of believing in God. Free will is such that one can look to the evidence and make a decision. You do not have to settle for anything, whether it be what you were raised to believe or the attitudes and station your parents hold.

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      • Mak is Noel, yes. Well, I have to admit when he first introduced me to his views on free will i had my doubts. I read, i thought, i tried to disagree with them, but i found myself being drawn to the same conclusions. At first i didn’t think it terribly important, but then it slowly dawned on me that it wasn’t just important, it was pivotal. Noels work in this field demonstrated to me the fallacy of a deeply help theistic view: that of free will and the ongoing concept of some godly test. I’ve long lived free of such a childish fear, judging my actions by what i know to be right, and what i know to be wrong. That said, it wasn’t until after analysing Noels work did i come to see how important this is to others who’ve not been able to make that jump yet in their lives. This removes the daydream of a god from any and all social constructs. It’s pure naturalism… and that’s beautiful.

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      • I read his piece, “Free will is an idle fancy” under /category/philosophy/

        It seems he takes the argument from the “God is a myth” standpoint to attempt to prove his point. I don’t find it compelling.

        Is it not true that at least sometimes, someone has more than one course of action open to him?

        An interesting publication on free will can be found at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/

        In part,

        “Harry Frankfurt (1982) presents an insightful and original way of thinking about free will. He suggests that a central difference between human and merely animal activity is our capacity to reflect on our desires and beliefs and form desires and judgments concerning them. I may want to eat a candy bar (first-order desire), but I also may want not to want this (second-order desire) because of the connection between habitual candy eating and poor health. This difference, he argues, provides the key to understanding both free action and free will. (These are quite different, in Frankfurt’s view, with free will being the more demanding notion. Moreover, moral responsibility for an action requires only that the agent acted freely, not that the action proceeded from a free will.)”

        Another interesting introspective supporting free will can be found at
        nytimes.com/2007/01/02/science/02free.html

        In part,

        “A vote in favor of free will comes from some physicists, who say it is a prerequisite for inventing theories and planning experiments.

        That is especially true when it comes to quantum mechanics, the strange paradoxical theory that ascribes a microscopic randomness to the foundation of reality. Anton Zeilinger, a quantum physicist at the University of Vienna, said recently that quantum randomness was “not a proof, just a hint, telling us we have free will.”

        Another compelling read highlights experiments done on our brains by Neuroscientists.

        io9.com/5975778/scientific-evidence-that-you-probably-dont-have-free-will

        In part,

        “Why, for example, did humans evolve consciousness instead of zombie-brains if consciousness is not a channel for exerting free will? And given the nature of quantum indeterminacy, what does it mean to live in a universe of fuzzy probability?”

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      • Interesting, but still unconvincing. Like I said, I was at first extremely reluctant to even entertain Noels analysis. It didn’t ‘t fit well with me at all. It damaged my sensibilities and I was as such repulsed by the notion. But then I started thinking about it. I started looking for instances where I had actually exercised pure free will and sadly came up wonting. For free will to truly exist it must exist outside the constraints of cause and effect, and nothing exists outside that basic program.

        Good articles you linked to… thanks for that. It’s certainly something we should all explore with honesty and an open eye. However the claim of “quantum randomness was “not a proof, just a hint, telling us we have free will” is just weird. I see that as antithetical. Randomness = Free will?

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      • I love this discussion on free will.

        Roy, since you still maintain Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors please list this factors. Making a claim and not supporting it is not going to help us. I have shown you why there is no free will and I have supported my assertions, could you support yours without giving me definitions?

        I further maintain that although one may be raised in Church one gets to an adult perspective eventually and then, hopefully with logic, education, and wisdom, decides for themselves (free will) the worth of believing in God. Free will is such that one can look to the evidence and make a decision. You do not have to settle for anything, whether it be what you were raised to believe or the attitudes and station your parents hold.

        One can’t believe differently. You can’t believe against your reason. It is not a case of free will. There is no day you are going to wake up and decide I don’t like this thing if reason has not led you there. And this position you hold here is because of the implications it has on the theist with regard to punishment. One has been taught and made to believe that man has chosen to do wrong and therefore ought to be punished by god. If this person is shown there is no free will, then the idea of god punishing us for our choices becomes untenable and is the only reason you will hold onto this position. You should look at the work of neuroscientist Sam Harris Free will.

        “Harry Frankfurt (1982) presents an insightful and original way of thinking about free will. He suggests that a central difference between human and merely animal activity is our capacity to reflect on our desires and beliefs and form desires and judgments concerning them. I may want to eat a candy bar (first-order desire), but I also may want not to want this (second-order desire) because of the connection between habitual candy eating and poor health. This difference, he argues, provides the key to understanding both free action and free will. (These are quite different, in Frankfurt’s view, with free will being the more demanding notion. Moreover, moral responsibility for an action requires only that the agent acted freely, not that the action proceeded from a free will

        But this does not show we have free will.

        Since you visit my blog, you should read the post on genealogy of morals which is a review of a book by the same title and there is a quote about god if one were to exist not to have free will and then we can continue this debate.

        Again as I have done before, please and please now just give me one example where you acted in a manner that showed you have free will. Please and this time make it just one. Am well aware you can show me many, but I just want one for my purposes.

        And John, thanks my friend.

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      • It didn’t ‘t fit well with me at all. It damaged my sensibilities and I was as such repulsed by the notion.

        Brother you know it wasn’t my intention to do anything to your sensibilities.

        Is it not true that at least sometimes, someone has more than one course of action open to him?

        Many times there are many courses of action. This I have no argument against. Thing is you can act only in one particular way and that depends on external circumstances. You will tell yourself you chose to act in one and not other feeling responsible for your action. This is what I want you to do Roy, take time next time, after acting in a particular regardless of how mundane and after the act consider all the possible outcomes and then ask yourself why[look at all the reasons, list them] you acted just the way you did and not any other way.

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      • I meant that in the sense that it challenged my going idea… and that’s a GOOD thing! We should be challenged, and we should be open to accept new information as it comes to light. I thank you for it! 🙂

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      • John,

        I agree with you, about challenge. I believe a closed mind is a dead mind is not to mean that we are immovable from our position, but that we are open to learn why it is one believes what they do, then have respect for that belief if it is opposite from our own.

        A paper written by Antoine Suarez
        Center for Quantum Philosophy

        Quantum randomness can be controlled by free will
        – a consequence of the before-before experiment.

        “The assumption that human behavior is not completely determined by the past plays a key role in the way we behave in daily life and organize society through law. When I typewrite this article, I assume that I am governing the movements of my fingers through my free will. Accordingly I claim to be the author of the article and to express original thoughts, which are not completely predetermined at the beginning of the Universe. Anyone who claims for the right to choose how to live his life should coherently exclude any explanation of his brain using only deterministic causality, be it in terms of genes, chemicals or environmental influences”

        quantumphil.org/SuarezRandFinQM

        ****
        Noel,

        Are there any persons who were raised in the Church, and after reaching adulthood, then exercised their free will to reject the belief in God? Yes, and there are many different reasons why one would reject said belief. This also has to be true for those that maintain their belief in God once they are adults, and they too have many different reasons for maintaining their belief. All things related to childhood teaching is up for grabs in adulthood when we invoke our own independent thoughts, will and outlooks.

        That’s why I stated you do not have to settle for anything, whether it be what you were raised to believe or the attitudes and station your parents hold.

        You state that I maintain my belief in fear of punishment by God. This is simply not true. In all areas of life no one is compelled to do anything out of fear of punishment (solely on the reason of punishment) if our will is to do the thing that may result in a punishment. Every decision, choice, and action is followed by a result, results are indifferent, good, or bad.

        I read your article. Did you know Nietzsche’s father was the town minister and his Uncle and Grandfathers were also Lutheran ministers, and his paternal Grandfather, Friedrich Nietzsche was further distinguished as a Protestant scholar. When Nietzsche was nearly 5 years old, his father died and the death of his two-year-old brother, traumatically followed six months later.

        I find it very interesting learning how these scholars of old, such as Nietzsche, lived. We can learn their life story and perhaps understand why it is they come to believe what they believe, their struggles and accomplishments in a time where the whole of knowledge is not what it is today, is interesting.

        Nietzsche entered the University of Bonn in 1864 as a theology and philology student, and his interests soon gravitated more exclusively towards philology, which is a discipline which then centered upon the interpretation of classical and biblical texts.

        Never in outstanding health, further complications arose from Nietzsche’s August-October 1870 service as a 25-year-old hospital attendant during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), where he participated in the siege of Metz. He witnessed the traumatic effects of battle, took close care of wounded soldiers, and contracted diphtheria and dysentery.

        Some argue that Nietzsche was afflicted with a syphilitic infection (this was the original diagnosis of the doctors in Basel and Jena) contracted either while he was a student or while he was serving as a hospital attendant during the Franco-Prussian War; some claim that his use of chloral hydrate, a drug which he had been using as a sedative, undermined his already-weakened nervous system; some speculate that Nietzsche’s collapse was due to a brain disease he inherited from his father; some maintain that a mental illness gradually drove him insane; some maintain that he suffered from a slow-growing, frontal cranial base tumor; some maintain that he suffered from CADASIL syndrome, a hereditary stroke disorder. The exact cause of Nietzsche’s incapacitation remains unclear. That he had an extraordinarily sensitive nervous constitution and took an assortment of medications is well-documented as a more general fact. To complicate matters of interpretation, Nietzsche states in a letter from April 1888 that he never had any symptoms of a mental disorder. In contrast, we have Paul Rée writing in an 1897 letter that Nietzsche had always been unbalanced.

        Source: plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche/

        OK, you want one example.

        All of the workers at the homeless shelter are unpaid and are there of their own free will. Since the volunteer chooses to give his time he is still unpaid and not required to show up.

        Why do some have the will to give their time and money to those in need for nothing in return? There are many philanthropist that do not believe in God.

        And alternatively, why do some not have the will to give their time and money to those in need? Is it that there is nothing in it for them?

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      • John you know I was kidding. I understood you fully well when you said i disturb your sensibilities 😀

        Roy, I have spent the last several months reading Nietzsche and yes I know his father was a church minister, I know he adored Wagner until he[Wagner] converted to christianity, I know he was made prof of philosophy at 25 before he finished his studies, I know he had very friends and he was quite devastated when they broke up after 1 year with her lady friend and I also know that for the last 10 years from his collapse he didn’t write any book till his death in 1900. I know he didn’t like the experience of the war, that he contracted a disease during the war that led him to relinquish his position at the university and after which he started living in hotels in different places of the world. You see all these do not deal with the question of free will or whatever he wrote about it. Now when you attend to that part and the desire for moral responsibility we can continue the discussion.

        You state that I maintain my belief in fear of punishment by God. This is simply not true. In all areas of life no one is compelled to do anything out of fear of punishment (solely on the reason of punishment) if our will is to do the thing that may result in a punishment. Every decision, choice, and action is followed by a result, results are indifferent, good, or bad.

        I am not sure I said that about you. Every action is self centred, you’ll do what gives you the greatest reward regardless of the consequences. At the time of your action, you can not act otherwise than you do. There could be other options but you didn’t chose them simply because you couldn’t at that particular point in time.

        All of the workers at the homeless shelter are unpaid and are there of their own free will. Since the volunteer chooses to give his time he is still unpaid and not required to show up. Why do some have the will to give their time and money to those in need for nothing in return? There are many philanthropist that do not believe in God. And alternatively, why do some not have the will to give their time and money to those in need? Is it that there is nothing in it for them?

        Allow me to treat this as one question.
        Is it possible for you to show that the volunteers at the shelters could have acted differently that they did? You are making the assumption that since they are unpaid, they are acting of their own free will. If we take it that money ain’t their motivation and something else is, do you think they have acted against their nature. Every one acts first and foremost in a way that gives him/her the greatest joy. No one would act if he didn’t benefit. In other words, you will act according to the environmental pressures acting on you at any given time and two you can’t act unless you benefit from the action.

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      • If your view about us is true then life is somewhat hopeless.

        Consider

        narcissism – vanity, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, egotism, conceit, self-importance, selfishness, self-centeredness.

        and it’s opposite

        selflessness – unselfishness, self-sacrifice, altruism, generosity, gallantry, self-abnegation

        So according to you, if I understand, one has no control to move from an anti-social narcissistic nature to a more socially selfless nature. We have no free will to move ourselves. We chose what we chose independent of free will. If we are one way, or the other, it is because of EVERY know factor than the one that gives us control over our lives – free will. Without the ability to believe one can affect their life in a positive way, a way to improve ourselves, and others, through our will then where do we find hope in a better future for mankind?

        You say there could be other options but you didn’t chose them simply because you couldn’t at that particular point in time. So is bad behavior then excusable? I mean really, you didn’t chose the good behavior simply because you couldn’t at that particular point in time.

        ****

        You ask, “Is it possible for you to show that the volunteers at the shelters could have acted differently that they did?” Yes. They could have chosen not to volunteer.

        You ask, “…do you think they have acted against their nature?” Yes. Since you say we act in our own best interest, how is putting ourselves out good for our own best interest?

        You say, “Every one acts first and foremost in a way that gives him/her the greatest joy.” This statement denotes free will to choose that thing “greatest joy” over another thing “less than the greatest joy”.

        ****

        I don’t intend on debating the worth of Nietzsche’s views. There are other philosophers who hold the opposite view.

        We can end this particular discussion of free will if you like, and I’ll afford you the last reply if necessary, and concede to respectfully disagree with you. I still believe denying free will is a cop-out. I still believe we, as one human race, live and die solely on our ability to exercise our free will to make our little fish bowl a better place for all, irrespective of belief, or non-belief, in God.

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      • Well, I don’t think there is need to continue the debate. I grant your wish not to look at Nietzsche’s position.

        narcissism – vanity, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, egotism, conceit, self-importance, selfishness, self-centeredness.

        I find nothing wrong with these

        selflessness – unselfishness, self-sacrifice, altruism, generosity, gallantry, self-abnegation

        This are attitudes of the weak and are defeatist. There is nothing like selfless, self sacrifice. Nothing stops an egotist from being generous, gallantry.

        I will leave the rest of the questions to rest. Maybe someday we can do a post to just answer as for now, I like the tie in the picture and I like the hat, all I don’t know is where the supposed owner went to and I suffer the same problem as to why your sky daddy is invisible

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    • I can take this one …

      It’s the ideal political campaign supporter.

      I don’t mean to get Planet of the Apes … but, If modern apes suddenly starting emerging with the capacity to ask “why” … then how would we control them? If we decided it was better to find a use for them than to exterminate them, then how would we get around their superior strength?

      Tell them about God’s wishes — and assure them that they have the freedom to deny those wishes if they chose to …

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      • Hah. Nah … I thought of that with me own brain.

        Its sad, really, that we have to work so hard to point out how ridiculous it is.

        If an elite group didn’t get so much damn satisfaction about feeling superior … and they didn’t need us to make things for them … most of us would have been exterminated a long time ago.

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  1. Isn’t there something about no mortal being able to look upon the face of “god” and survive? So maybe god isn’t invisible and it’s just that we’re not allowed to look at it?

    You can ask absolutely any unanswerable question of a true believer and the fact that the question can’t be answered doesn’t matter. Their god is magic and can do anything and you’re not supposed to ask awkward questions in the first place but, if you do, whatever it may be, god can do it because it’s god.

    You can roll out thousands of years worth of inquiry, study, research, science, irrefutable empirical evidence, libraries of scientific knowledge and indisputable fact and it won’t make the least difference.

    On the day Earth is swallowed by the expanding sun, if there are any humans still alive, most of the idiots will probably be praying for salvation.

    “We’re never gonna win the world
    We’re never gonna stop the war
    We’re never gonna beat this
    if belief is what we’re fighting for”

    John Mayer, “Belief”.

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  2. John, on “Why God is invisible”, I paste the words of the late Carl Sagan here, from his book “The Demon-Haunted World”. Enjoy

    “A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage”
    Suppose (I’m following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you’d want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

    “Show me,” you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle — but no dragon.

    “Where’s the dragon?” you ask.

    “Oh, she’s right here,” I reply, waving vaguely. “I neglected to mention that she’s an invisible dragon.”

    You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon’s footprints.

    “Good idea,” I say, “but this dragon floats in the air.”

    Then you’ll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

    “Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless.”

    You’ll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

    “Good idea, but she’s an incorporeal dragon and the paint won’t stick.” And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won’t work.

    Now, what’s the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there’s no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I’m asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so. The only thing you’ve really learned from my insistence that there’s a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You’d wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I’ve seriously underestimated human fallibility. Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don’t outright reject the notion that there’s a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you’re prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it’s unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative — merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of “not proved.”

    Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons — to say nothing about invisible ones — you must now acknowledge that there’s something here, and that in a preliminary way it’s consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

    Now another scenario: Suppose it’s not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you’re pretty sure don’t know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages — but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we’re disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I’d rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren’t myths at all.

    Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they’re never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon’s fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such “evidence” — no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it — is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

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    • That’s a fair point. I think theists should deal with this subject. We know an awful lot about energy, and if they can’t produce (or otherwise explain) their god then they should shut up and go away and leave everyone alone.

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  3. I like it when you say:
    “Practically speaking, look to “God” as being a concept. Conceptually, “God”, in its Essence, is beyond physical incarnation, beyond mental conception”

    So if God is immaterial and is a concept, then how can an immaterial, concept only thing, create something? Not only something but the whole universe? That is contradiction!

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  4. Pingback: Who is blind? | Random thoughts

  5. Tut! Not ALL gods are invisible — but even visible ones can be of little use, as Dudley Moore’s character found out in ‘Wholly Moses” (hope I spelled that lot correctly).

    Anyway … if a God filled every nook and cranny of the universe, wouldn’t it be better of Him (Her/It) to be invisible? Of course — so there you are then, a considerate invisible omnipresent God …

    “Sorry, Ma’am!”
    “Eek, what?”
    “Can’t use that cubicle—God’s in there.”
    “Okay, I’ll use the next. It says ‘vacant’ on the index.”
    “Sorry again, Ma’am. God’s in that one too …”
    Click … creaaaak …
    “Where? I can’t see Him.”
    “Take my word for it, Ma’am. He’s there alright and if you go in and sit down you’ll be right in His lap …”

    Like

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