Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Inflammatory Statement Number Two: I Believe in God, and (Kind of) Jesus Christ

A lot of people argue about whether or not God exists, and if so, why God lets bad things happen, so on and so forth.

I believe absolutely that God exists, mainly because of all the things on this earth. I find it impossible to believe that they came about by accident. Earth and all of its creatures is proof that God exists.

I also believe that Jesus Christ was real and was the son of God, but I do not believe that he is the only way to God. I believe he is my people's way to God, and it seems probable to me that other groups had other ways God tried to bring them to him. I am a Christian more because of the accident of birth; born to another family, I probably would have been Jewish or Muslim.


sevencardan said...

I'm down with that. Go God, yeah!

John said...

Now this is an inflammatory statement that actually inflames me!
Your belief seems to be based on the classic teleological argument, popularly known as “the argument from design”. Its basic structure is:
1. nature exhibits complexity and order
2. the order in nature cannot have occurred accidentally or randomly
3. therefore, there must be a mind that created the order
This argument is also summarized by a common analogy: a watch, so clearly designed, implies a watch-maker.
There are two major problems with this way of thinking:
1. Living organisms are the most complex things we know of, and appear to have been ordered by a designer. This order however, is the not result of a designer, but is because of a natural, non-random process: evolution.
2. This argument leads to an infinite regression. For example, if the watch implies a watch-maker, the watch-maker is a least as complex and ordered as the watch (because it has the knowledge, ability, and will to make the watch). Therefore, such complexity and order would imply a watch-maker-maker, and so on, ad infinitum.
For a more in-depth review of this issue, I’d recommend reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument.
What I’m ultimately getting at is that any belief in a god or gods does not have any supporting empirical facts or logical necessity, and is therefore irrational. If we allow beliefs without any definitive proof, then how are we to separate the true from the false? All such beliefs are equivocal, meaning that a belief in a god is just as valid as a belief in invisible wish-granting unicorns, or that flying an airplane into a building of infidels will instantly transport one to paradise.
Note that I don’t wish this to imply that rational beliefs are perfect; they most certainly are not. The difference is that reason and science are mechanisms for improving the quality and scope of our knowledge.

Able Ponder said...

Hey John! Well, I disagree :) Tongue out.

smartinof4steve said...

My dear John, looking for empirical facts and logical necessity again?
Presupposing, nay, taking leaps of faith that 1) the evidence as gathered by the senses of your physical form are conclusive, exhaustive, or even anything more than the tip or warped edge of an iceberg, and 2) your logical/analytic faculties have the scope to comprehend either the empirical observations correctly, or deduce anything “True” from those observations.

Tsk tsk. Faith-based atheists and scientists.

Have you had the opportunity to take that scientific journey for alternate empirical evidence, the internal analysis that might produce observations based on something other than your physical senses? As a scientist, I would think you would want to exhaust those possibilities before denying them.

(I saw you were up late on this one, so I’m going to ignore the declarative, void of logical support/progression sentence as too easy (grin): “This order however, is the not the result of a designer, but is because of a natural, non-random process: evolution.”)

As my darling, and daring, bride requested, my real thoughts:

I agree with Alexe. I found God through Christ, but cannot fathom that the Creator of all would not have many roads to Him. I don’t know where you can turn to not find God. I suppose it would take a complete closing of the mind and senses. :)

Anonymous said...

Read Richard Dawkins
The belief in "GOD" is man made
not vice versa in order to control
the masses.
God lives in all of us.Our collective love can be powerful.
Your statements seem fear based and frankly
quite naive.

smartinof4steve said...

I'm interested in the belief that God is in all things, all of us, etc. That's actually a very standard precept of most religious belief. When that transitions to "is a product of a collective us", I don't follow.

I'm not sure if the need to believe that we are capable of understanding, or more extreme that we ARE the ultimate presence in the universe, is based on pure ego, or fear of this not being the case.

A slight correction of a previous assertion: Organized religion (the human social-structure around a belief) is generally what is used to control the masses, sexes, what have you.

In my sadder hours this is what builds the case for humans being far less than brilliant/all comprehending/god-particles.

Possibly we are benefactors of something larger's Grace, rather than the providers?

A final thought, slightly related, which is a personal belief, based on empirical observations:

Individual humans are wonderful.

Collectively they tend to be terrible.

Anika said...

okay, I have several things to say on that one:

1) I don't think it's an inflammatory statement. I'd say it's a statement of your beliefs and one can agree or disagree but inflammatory? If you had said that you believe in God and people who do not are crazy nutjobs who should roast in hell...well, then you would have inflamed me
2) I agree with you, but I also agree with John (Hi John ;-) ):
I believe that belief is a highly personal thing, and that the existence of God (or whatever you may call her) is not something that you can prove by any outward occurence such as evolution (I'm with you on that one John) but it is something that is moved within oneself...for me it is the ability to see beauty within the world, to love and to be loved, the ability to feel and create happiness (I'll have my two cents to share on that subject, too)
3) I totally agree with you that it is only by the accident of birth and upbringing that generally determines whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist etc. There are many faiths out there and in my opinion it is not the question of right or wrong, it's about faith, period. Interestingly enough I find that most people I meet that proclaim to be atheists, really are agnostics...
4)If we place faith over religion and start recognizing that there are many ways to God (or whatever you may call her) and recognize each other as fellow human beings capable of love and compassion instead of trying to instill our own beliefs and morals into others I believe the world would be a much happier place (and yes, I noticed I'm starting to sound like a crazy earthloving Yoga chick, but I guess I am, slightly wonky that is)
5) And yes, faith is totally irrational, that's what makes it so awesome
6) I do love you for putting your beliefs out there for us to criticize, that is a true leap of faith!