WorldlingWatcher wrote:Is there a God?
Doesn't seem like it. There's no evidence of, nor even a need for, a god to exist in order to explain existence. I have seen no compelling reasons to think there is, and mythology explains far better these stories of gods (and instantly resolves and and all alleged "paradoxes" within these mythological models; fiction can
break logic and remain consistent), all of whom seem to be very much as limited as men who existed at the time these gods were created. That goes for Zeus, Yahweh, and Xenu, who apparently flew around in DC10 airplanes. 75 trillion years ago.
Is it an important
question? Maybe. Frankly, I'm fine with it being answered ("No."). If there is one, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.
WorldlingWatcher wrote:Do we cease to exist when our bodies die?
If you mean our personalities, there's nothing to indicate that we continue. If you mean our atoms, yes, that continues after we die. Mildly important. I'd rather focus on finding more resources, and maybe extending human lifetimes, and indeed, developing bio mechanics for a shot at real longevity. I've probably missed that boat-- it's a bit off in to the future, but that's okay. If I could be transferred into a robot and with other robots be a part of a far flung mission to another solar system, that would be awesome. That's the kind of "infinity" I want. not the dreary boredom of the christian Heaven. ZzZZZzzzzz.
WorldlingWatcher wrote:How ought we behave towards one another?
Kindly, but why does a question we already know the answer to rate as "important". Okay, so let's play anyway:
Here's a few reasons why:
1. Sapient, sentient humans are self aware and have complex personalities that are utterly unique in all of existence. Any individual is, as best as we can tell, utterly one of a kind -- this means they are immeasurably valuable, hence have the right to live full and happy lives.
2. There is demonstrable common ground between any two individuals that shows that each can have a measure of happiness without stealing from one another; this means that while we cannot invite limitless freedoms (this is an evolutionary / survival tactic), we can grant a great number of freedoms to one another wherein happiness can be found. Therefore, coexistence is possible and maximizes the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people with the least amount of cost. Rogues will pop up but they tip the balance of the competitive / symbiotic dynamic of survival, and so are isolated and removed, such as criminals or tyrants. Killing them is not necessary; they can be imprisoned which would allow them to continue to live, therefore not violate principle #1, while at the same time remove them from being able to take advantage of others and their happiness.
3. Reciprocal altruism. If we act kindly towards others, they will act kindly towards us and that's a quid pro quo. We benefit form this because a secure and cooperative collective is in our best interests and the best interests of those who carry on our genetics.
Reverse any of these three principles, and you (i.e., the species) will go extinct. Knowing that is the important part of the equation. If you don't realize that cooperation is essential, we all die, and then it's not only no longer an important question, it's not even one that gets asked.
WW wrote:Not precisely. I think you've made an error in your third question and are not using "exist" and its forms univocally throughout all three. I know of no Christian theologian (or philosopher of religion) who would argue that "existence exist[s] in the mind" of God. Can you clarify what you mean by that?
Sure. I am simply turning the theistic claims of the immaterial nature of "mind" back on the theist; I am using the theistic ground rules they use when appealing to spiritual loopholes.*
So, let's play theist for a moment: To create, one must first conceive. For god, an omnipotent and eternal being, there is no difference from "conceiving" and "creating" since god is 100% of everything that is, or even can be. God's thoughts are
reality since god and gods mind cannot be divorced form one another. An omnipotent being also cannot have wants or desires of be lacking in anything-- anything that exists, the god is the author of, so must already have within the god for it to be conceived or created. Hence, if conception and creation are one and the same to an immaterial and spiritual god, we exist as a direct product of god's mind. Remove god's mind-- and we vanish.*Theists claim all sorts of things under the "spiritual nature of god", and this is simply using the exact same "rules" they grant themselves. If they can come up with endless loopholes for god based upon his "spiritual nature", then the floor is open for everyone else to do likewise. There is nothing contradictory in my model of the spiritual nature of god and the idea that if he conceives of something, it must be extant because of his omnipotence.
WW wrote:With respect to your comment on the materialist worldview, if existence is contingent on matter and nature, what are matter and nature contingent upon, or are they necessary?
Matter is contingent upon energy, and energy is necessary. What forms it may take varies, but that it is necessary is self-evident.
WW wrote:Scripture also tells us to trust in our ability to reason--"examine all things and hold on to what is good". How is that principle discredited by one or more people failing to apply it?
Because it's also defined as limited and not enough. By far the scriptures insist that belief is far more important than anything else. Do we really need to go through the tedious exercise of posting c&v wherein Jesus extols belief over all else, faith over reason, and from the OT, that those who say there is no god are fools?
I hope not. The bible really has been made tedious
by its adherents. Once it was a noble and epic book of poetry and mythology which offered an inspiring message that people could use to combat their feelings of inadequacies, but after 2,000 years of the misguided insisting it's true
, it's magic has been drained and left to whither like an olive branch in the desert.