jeeprs wrote:In my view, Dawkins notion of God is essentially meaningless (which is ironic considering how many books it has sold). He says in his book The God Delusion that God must be 'infinitely complex', on the grounds that 'a thing that designs must be more complex than what is designed.' But this is nothing like the depiction of God in any work of Christian theology or philosophy. He seems to think of God very much as the image of an archaic celestial deity like Zeus or Jupiter.
Everyone seems to have a different notion of what the idea "God" is, so proving or disproving that idea seems like a fruitless exercise.
"Religion is direction or movement toward the ultimate or the unconditional. And God rightly defined might be called the Unconditional. God, in the true sense, is indefinable. Since the Unconditional precedes our minds and precedes all created things, God cannot be confined by the mind or by words. Tillich sees God as Being-Itself, or the "Ground of all Being." For this reason there cannot be "a" God. There cannot even be a "highest God," for even that concept is limiting. We cannot make an object out of God. And the moment we say he is the highest God or anything else, we have made him an object. Thus, beyond the God of the Christian or the God of the Jews, there is the "God beyond God." This God cannot be said to exist or not to exist in the sense that we "exist". Either statement is limiting. We cannot make a thing out of God, no matter how holy this thing may be, because there still remains something behind the holy thing which is its ground or basis, the "ground of being."
Dawkins speaks scoffingly of a personal God, as though it were entirely obvious exactly what this might mean. He seems to imagine God, if not exactly with a white beard, then at least as some kind of chap, however supersized. He asks how this chap can speak to billions of people simultaneously, which is rather like wondering why, if Tony Blair is an octopus, he has only two arms. For Judeo-Christianity, God is not a person in the sense that Al Gore arguably is. Nor is he a principle, an entity, or ‘existent’: in one sense of that word it would be perfectly coherent for religious types to claim that God does not in fact exist. He is, rather, the condition of possibility of any entity whatsoever, including ourselves. He is the answer to why there is something rather than nothing. God and the universe do not add up to two, any more than my envy and my left foot constitute a pair of objects.
Sherlock wrote:Your position is that flat-out anyone who is post-Darwin and a believer isn't smart. I'm just saying that's not true.
Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is like when you trust yourself to the water. You don't grab hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You have to relax, and the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging, and holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.
duckfiasco wrote:I would say that the tighter the grasping and reinforcing process becomes, the less energy and space there is available for anything else. It takes tremendous energy to overcome some habits, especially ones reinforced on a daily basis like how we view other people. I may be mistaken, but for me it's felt like I have limited resources of attention and determination, so I have to direct them wisely. If this is the case, then it makes sense why a fundamentalist approach saps attention and concern about other areas like tolerance of opposing views or kindness to strangers.
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