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Posted by Harvey on October 24, 2002 05:16:18 UTC


If you ever have a child (assuming you don't have one now) and that child is, God forbid, in any way clinging to life, then I hope that you would at least wish there was a God that could hear your prayers and actually do something about it. If you have no desire for God's existence, then I hope you really value life. Because the only real hope in life is God's existence. We are fortunate to live in a pretty good country with high standard of living and promising future for its youth. It might not always be like that, but unfortunately this is generally not the condition for most people on the planet. In those situations especially, hope in God's existence is the difference between feeling good about life despite one's suffering and falling into dispair. Even in wealthy countries, one's luck in life can go horribly bad and depending on God's existence can be what brings one hope and happiness. In some ways, having it 'so good' in our society we are liable to be blinded by our good fortunate and not see the dangers as well as the suffering of others. It is common to see materialist views prosper in such situations. In fact, a belief in God can actually hinder that happy-go-lucky materialist lifestyle since a spiritual contact with God often leads to self-imposed sacrifices. A materialist-led lifestyle also values independence and this can make athheism appealing as well.

***Ahh, I remember the 'driver' discussions from when I first began to post in these forums a year ago. What ever happened to the Russian fellow... Alexander, if my memory serves me right?***

Beaten. Defeated. He was a sore loser and took his ball elsewhere to play.

***When this atom hits this one, they move like this, and gain this much heat, etc. The way I see it, the fact that any law can be proven means that the universe is based on laws, and that no law can be proven wrong.***

Quantum mechanics forbids the notion that an atom 'hits' another in any classical sense of the word. The 'hitting' is all probablistic, and there is no actual touching. You should be careful with the term 'proven'. In science this is not a deductive proof, it is an inductive proof having formal mathematical support. It doesn't mean that the universe must operate a certain way. Nancy Cartwright, and excellent philosopher of science, has written a book in 1983 called "How the Laws of Physics Lie". Other philosophers have also gotten on the bandwagon and shown that the concept of 'law' is very misleading and that actually there are no known reasons why the universe continues forward as it has in the past. As surprising as this is, it is the case. Shhh... don't tell anyone.

***I feel that we are discussing the fundamentals of our beliefs, and that, probably, we will not be able to discuss them much further because our opinions will be based purely on speculation. But, this may not be the case, who am I to know?***

I wouldn't say it is based on speculation. Rather, it is based on philosophical argument which is not entirely conclusive (like many 'facts' in science). However, we appeal to philosophical argument to justify scientific based beliefs, so one cannot avoid such discussions. Sooner or later you must face the philosophy behind a belief and discuss it in detail and try to find strengths in your belief and weaknesses in opposing beliefs. If the opposing belief is stronger, then it is best to change.

Besides, why do you want to be an atheist anyway? I can't think of any belief that is more distasteful than one which states there is no real purpose to life. It is always held in the shallow guise that it is more truthful than theism, but that's a bunch of baloney. It's better to put meaning thoroughly in your life and be a theist, become a strong spiritual person in your life, and live with the hope of building other people's faith in life. That's the best way. Of course, that's what I do, so I might be slightly slanted toward theism.

Warm regards, Harv

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