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Richard Dawkins
Posted: 15 January 2008 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Could anyone suggest any possible answers to Richard Dawkins’ question(mentioned in “The God Delusion”)as to why people have always believed that God demands worship from them. Isn’t quite possible, Dawkins suggests, that if God does exist, He may as well reward people for their compassion or generosity just as much as their professing belief in Him? Could not God (if He does exists)be just as likely to reward a person for building a hospital or a school or shelter just as much as He does another person who decides to invest pools of wealth into the building of a Medieval mosque or a Rennaissance cathedral?

[ Edited: 15 January 2008 01:53 PM by PantheistAnonymous]
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Posted: 15 January 2008 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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If one takes Dawkins suggestion even further, perhaps the “creator of the universe” is actually interested in being completely unknown?  What if this creator actually wants no one to believe in him/her/it?  What if the creator’s ultimate joy would be that people could get by without ever imagining that such a thing as a god ever existed?  What if atheists are in fact doing the greatest service to the creator by not even believing in it’s existence?  Wouldn’t that be something!

Bob

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Posted: 15 January 2008 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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CanZen - 16 January 2008 01:45 AM

If one takes Dawkins suggestion even further, perhaps the “creator of the universe” is actually interested in being completely unknown?  What if this creator actually wants no one to believe in him/her/it?  What if the creator’s ultimate joy would be that people could get by without ever imagining that such a thing as a god ever existed?  What if atheists are in fact doing the greatest service to the creator by not even believing in it’s existence?  Wouldn’t that be something!

Bob

If there was a God this would be the most likely scenario,  But alas, there is no God.

Dom

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Posted: 15 January 2008 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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““But alas, there is no God.”“

Way to go Dom, you’re making this god (that doesn’t exist) very joyful!

Bob

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Posted: 15 January 2008 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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CanZen - 16 January 2008 03:48 AM

““But alas, there is no God.”“

Way to go Dom, you’re making this god (that doesn’t exist) very joyful!

Bob

The way I see it is that the theists either have to admit that God is a sadistic prick as shown in the bible or they have to use some other evidence for which there is none.

I cringe whenever I hear the word religion these days.

Dom

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Posted: 16 January 2008 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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PantheistAnonymous - 15 January 2008 06:51 PM

Isn’t quite possible, Dawkins suggests, that if God does exist, He may as well reward people for their compassion or generosity just as much as their professing belief in Him?

While I agree with Dawkins’ point, it doesn’t acknowledge that deists and others believe in what that hateful theocrat Antonin Scalia dismissively calls “unconcerned deities.” Those particular believers do not in fact worship their gods. I can’t imagine that belief having the same origin as the typical theistic beliefs about worship. What is your theory about that belief’s origin?

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Posted: 16 January 2008 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Three or four years ago I would never have posted that #1 response or my reply to you, Dom.  I’m not sure why, but I think even referring to god as if he exists would have at that time appeared to compromise something in my character.  I would’ve cringed even reading that kind of statement.  But as I wrote it the other day I was thinking something like, well this just makes the complete meaninglessness of theism explicit. What it actually boils down to, I guess, is that I’m no longer afraid or intimidated by the idea of god.  If you treat it like the obvious mythical joke that it is, there’s no need to be apprehensive.

I also think that you are perceptive in stating that the word ‘religion’ makes you cringe.  It does that to me also!  I really don’t care (that much) if people believe in some version of god, I mean everyone has their own personal meaning for that particular term.  But when people get together in the name of their god or gods, that becomes a scary proposition, and that’s religion.

Bob

[ Edited: 16 January 2008 08:45 AM by CanZen]
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Posted: 16 January 2008 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Carstonio, are you saying that you are just as apprehensive (or even moreso) of those who believe in a god who doesn’t require worship (“unconcerned deities’)?

Bob

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Posted: 16 January 2008 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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CanZen - 16 January 2008 01:49 PM

Carstonio, are you saying that you are just as apprehensive (or even moreso) of those who believe in a god who doesn’t require worship (“unconcerned deities’)?

I’m saying that I’m LESS apprehensive about those believers. They’re not the ones who want to amend the Constitution according to “God’s standards.” While deism and theism share the same unreasonable core belief, at least deism doesn’t compound the problem with additional unreasonable beliefs.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Carstonio - 16 January 2008 02:19 PM

They’re not the ones who want to amend the Constitution according to “God’s standards.”

This may be an offense against evidence, and it may be an offense against reason. Regardless, the redefinition of reality by theism only constitutes an inconvenience to people who pay attention to reality.

Reality continues to hold all the trumps.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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For Carstonio:

As to your question about the origins of pantheistic and theistic belief, animism is of pantheistic orientation, whereas the Abrahamic religions (as well as the Dharmic ones of India like Hinduisms and Brahmanism and Chinese Confucianism and Zoroastrianism,etc.) and polytheism are of theistic origin. The transition from animism to theism occurred during the Agricultural Revolution about 10,000 years ago. During the Agricultural Revolution people no longer hunted for food, therefore severing the emotional ties they felt to nature (they believed that when a person died, their soul becomes transformed into a guardian spirit that animates nature and everything else in the world—I know it sounds so corny). Farming guaranteed a food surplus and prolonged storage, thereby triggering an exponential population increase. With a population 10 to 100 times larger that that of hunter-gatherers, farmers set up chiefdoms, towns, and cities (and of course greed, war, economic inequality, political corruption, and all of the iniquities of so-called “civilization” were born into the world). In order to ensure centralized politcal stability and structure, organized religion (the theisms) was born. And of course since man was no longer a naked savage roaming the jungles and dragged like carcass by animals like he was in the days of hunting, he began to feel worthy of grand cosmic significance since he was finally able to make clothes to wear, develop literacy, metal technology, architecture, art, science, and everything we now take for granted. For the first time, he finally felt superior and worthy of salvation. I could have sworn Daniel Dennett in “Breaking the Spell” made mention of the Agricultural Revolution (population expansion in other words) being linked to the birth of organized religion. The indigenous people of Australia for instance, as hunters, believed in a pantheistic animistic God. The same with other hunter-gatherers in Melanesia, Africa, and the Americas. Pantheism is the belief system of hunter-gatherers, theism is the belief system of farmers. Throughout history, religion has always functioned as a mechanism for adaptation to changing social, cultural, and environmental circumstances.

[ Edited: 16 January 2008 10:18 AM by PantheistAnonymous]
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Posted: 16 January 2008 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Salt Creek - 16 January 2008 02:26 PM

the redefinition of reality by theism only constitutes an inconvenience to people who pay attention to reality.

Reality continues to hold all the trumps.

I hope so. I hardly think of the fundamentalist dogs barking at the schoolhouse door and Constitutional door as an “inconvenience.”

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Posted: 16 January 2008 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Carstonio - 16 January 2008 03:30 PM

I hope so. I hardly think of the fundamentalist dogs barking at the schoolhouse door and Constitutional door as an “inconvenience.”

I think you do, and that your reliance on the Constitution to provide a tether to “reality” is misguided. You regard fundamentalism as an offense against your “reasonable sensibilities”, or those of the “founders”.

You’re right. The fundies offend against reality. Reality will take care of them. You don’t have to.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Salt Creek - 16 January 2008 03:41 PM

I think you do, and that your reliance on the Constitution to provide a tether to “reality” is misguided. You regard fundamentalism as an offense against your “reasonable sensibilities”, or those of the “founders”.

You’re right. The fundies offend against reality. Reality will take care of them. You don’t have to.

How will reality take care of them? How will it prevent them from turning America into a totalitarian theocracy where atheists, feminists, gays, intellectuals, Jews, Muslims, moderate Christians, and any other “disloyal” Americans end up in death camps?

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Posted: 16 January 2008 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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“How will reality take care of them? How will it prevent them from turning America into a totalitarian theocracy where atheists, feminists, gays, intellectuals, Jews, Muslims, moderate Christians, and any other “disloyal” Americans end up in death camps?”

How? Each of the groups/individuals you mention are consumers and taxpayers. Fundamentalists are Republicans.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Carstonio - 16 January 2008 04:37 PM

How will reality take care of them? How will it prevent them from turning America into a totalitarian theocracy where atheists, feminists, gays, intellectuals, Jews, Muslims, moderate Christians, and any other “disloyal” Americans end up in death camps?

Let’s just say that you are taking ‘way too much personal responsibility for what America is going to “turn into”. Needless to reiterate, reality will take care of anyone who is not being realistic. What’s the longest-lived totalitarian theocratic state you can think of since, say, 1700? That would be the Vatican, right?

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