My take on God, if anybody cares.

Belief doesn’t enter into it. Can you PROVE the external world exists?

You are not a solipsist. I am not a solpsist. I am an anti-solipsist. I’d happily switch, too. However, I will not switch from anti-solipsism to solipsism. The solipsist says that the external world and other minds cannot be known. I SAY that the external world and other minds can be known. Solipsism is the philosphical idea that one’s own mind, alone, is “sure to exist”. Anti-solipsism is the philosophical idea that EVERYTHING - the external world and other minds - EVERYTHING, except one’s own mind, is “sure to exist”.

Is that a “yes” or a “no”?

That is a “no” to solipsism.

Is that a “no” to the question actually asked, though?

You mean this question:

No; however, I can prove that other minds exist.

How is that different from solipsism?
Solipsism:

  1. Only one’s own mind, alone, is “sure to exist”.
  2. The external world and other minds cannot be known.

You wrote:

I wrote:

See what I did there.

NOW you get a gold star.

  1. The Hamster King lives his life as though the external world does exist.
  2. Kozmik lives his life as though other minds live their life as though the external world does exist and can be known.
  3. Other minds live their life.
  4. Therefore other minds exist.
  5. Other minds exist.
  6. Therefore the external world exists.

3 does not follow from 1 & 2.

The fact that you and I live our lives as though the external world exists does not prove that it does.

Plenty of folks live their lives as though angels exist. Their belief is not proof of the existence of angels.

No gold star for you.

Speak for youself. You and I DO NOT live our lives as though the external world exists. You live your life as though the external world exists. I live my life as though you and other minds live their life as though the external world exists.

Nor could God exist if God was not in existence. So if God is not a being then he must be being (existence)! Place must be before 'a" being can be there, If there is no place to be first, then there can be no being.

I assume you are aware that you’re defining your own, personal and very specific and subjective definition of the god you are trying to define.

But, in general, feel free to define any gods you want and believe in their existence.

The question about religion is whether those gods can affect reality, and/or, humanity, and/or, a particular human being’s life.

If your god just sits there and the universe operates without any influence from your god, then the examination of the universe has to be independent of any gods, therefore your questions about cosmology have to be separate of your theological questions.

If your god can affect reality, human life, or universal laws, then it can’t be something you believe in, by your own claims.

Therefore, gods are irrelevant to the universe.

Therefore, no gods exist.

this isn’t unique or new.
it’s just deism.

What if the thing humans consider “God” is all a single, unifying natural element that is heretofore unknown…?

What if God’s not some magic sky dude who smites pant-wearing Baptist women but is a unifying quantum element that makes reality work in the mechanical way it does…and what if humans have always been able to recognize SOMETHING makes everything make sense but never understood it and mystified it…?

We call the common cold “a cold” but it’s really rhinovirus. It has been called “under the weather” and “coryza” and we believed soup would cure it.
Or that wet hair caused it.
It’s been demystified and scientized.
“Cold” is a slang term.
“God” is too.

My point is that science (or just intellectually honest people) looks at the term “God’” and immediately goes “that’s not a thing! Religion is wrong and stupid and if you believe in it you’re less intelligent than me.”

Religion *is *a mess. It’s storks bringing babies; it’s Zeus throwing lightning.

It’s feeble humanity clamoring to make sense of something we don’t understand.
The sun was once a god and our understanding of it was wholly religious.
Then science advanced, and the god-status faded and the religion has at this point nearly vanished.

What if that’s the same principle…?
If some natural, inconceivably complex unifying factor existed to cohere reality, wouldn’t the obvious chain of events be that the thing would be deified, worshipped, feared, sectioned, regionalized personified/named/claimed, denominated and mystified…?

I understand the aversion to the term due to the religious aspects…but everything known by science now was at one time entrenched in religiion, magic or superstition.

We just grew up. We’re just not *this *grown up yet.

My motivations are completely incomprehensible to a baby. Does that mean it’s hopeless? My motivations are so far above the understanding of a child that they are only comprehensible to the point that I make them known by simplifying them to his level of understanding.

Are you saying that a twelve year old is fabricating his parents because he can explain some of their purposes, but has no clue on others? And sometimes actively thinks they must be evil. Are parents evil when a child believes them to be because he wanted something else than they provided? Or is it possible for a parent to know better than a child, to have the best interests of that child in mind, and still orchestrate events the child totally doesn’t want to happen and thinks are evil? Is that in any way possible?

My parents became more and more comprehensible as I matured, and I found the same thing with God. If you don’t find that possible, it says more about you than anything.
(edit)…Wait… haven’t I had this same conversation with you before? With you spouting the same argument and me the same rebuttal? Tell me. Is it possible for parents to know better than their children? Don’t you love it when someone doesn’t listen to the arguments against their point of view and wander off to spout the same nonsense over and over again?

I like that.

My simplification:

“Use the Force, Luke.”

You aren’t claimed to be “perfect.” God is. A “perfect” entity would have the ability to make its motivations known, even to a young child. (but not a baby; see below.)

A “perfect” entity wouldn’t need to use parables; it could simply speak ordinary truth.

A “perfect” entity wouldn’t need all the drama that surrounds Christianity; it wouldn’t have to engage in a big self-immolating pity party, but would simply publish an edict.

At a secondary level, I object to using a baby as a metaphor for human understanding. Not too many babies have the intellectual sophistication to figure out the Periodic Table of the Elements, or create the laws of rhetorical logic upon which these debates themselves must rely.

The analogy baby:man :: man:God fails, in my opinion, because man knows much, yet the baby knows nothing. If you substitute, “a youngster,” or “a child,” the analogy might have some validity. I would still disagree with it, but I would not reject “stone age tribesman:modern man :: modern man:God.” The stone age tribesman, while maybe not knowing how to synthesize Plutonium (bless him!) certainly knows many things about his environment, and is far from foolish.

Theological debates necessarily involve an element of repetition. The matters are far from settled, and your blithe dismissal of them as “nonsense” isn’t helpful, useful, convincing, or rhetorically valid. An honest man may say, “I disagree, and here is why.” He may not say, “I won’t even bother rebutting your ideas; your views are nonsense by definition.” That’s simply an appeal to tautology.

Another reason these debates are repetitious is that new people come into them from outside. Schoolkids grow up, join debate fora, and ask questions which we older blokes have heard a million times. It isn’t valid to say, “This has been discussed to death; go away until you have something unique and innovative to contribute.” It may be old news to you and to me, but it’s new to them, and we have the duty to respond in an honorable fashion.

God is claimed to be omnipotent, parents are manifestly not.

As human parent I must sometimes use means that, to my children, are undesirable. I would prefer not to make my children unhappy or angry, but sometimes the ends (them growing up to be healthy, responsible, and moral adults) justify my means.

But an omnipotent God has no need of means. He can achieve whatever end he wants without jumping through hoops. He can have his cake and eat it too.

Therefore, if evil exists in the world, it’s not because God NEEDS for it to exist as a means to an end. It’s because He DESIRES it.

The Problem of Evil is specifically an argument against an omnimax god. The existence of evil is perfectly consistent with the existence of a god who is morally ambiguous, or whose powers are limited in scope. However, that’s not the sort of god that most modern theists claim to worship.

You’re not the boss of me, dad.

Exactly this. I was talking to a friend, who had an unpleasant experience in a burn ward in a hospital. (I think those are the only kind of experiences one can have in a burn ward in a hospital…)

There was a one year old baby in the ward, severely burned.

My friend could no longer believe in God after that. She said that she could cope with adults coming to grief because of original sin. She could accept that grown-ups get burned, because our free will had distanced us from grace.

But a baby? What moral agency does a baby have? How is a baby a fit target for God’s wrath against the disobedience of Adam? Any supreme being who permits extreme pain to come to innocent babies is – well – “morally ambiguous” only begins to describe it.

Okay, that does it, you’re grounded. And mow the lawn, would ya! :wink: