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[icon] Some thoughts on religion - Patti
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Subject:Some thoughts on religion
Time:09:29 am
I wound up in a fairly long discussion of religion and beliefs tonight. This is paraphrased slightly from something I said:
I think the Deists are probably the closest to the mark.

I don't honestly believe that there is any sort of god, creator, or supreme being, or an afterlife. However, I think that if I'm wrong, then said creator is more likely to judge us by whether we're good to each other than by whether we've picked the right clubhouse to go to on Sundays.

Also, we were discussing beliefs and respect for them, and I came up with this analogy.
OK, so your god either exists or he doesn't. We can't prove it either way right now, but objectively one of those statements is going to be true.

So think of the existence of god as being a coin that's in a wooden box. When we die, we get to open the box and see whether the coin is heads or tails, but not before then. We have no other way of finding out about the coin, so we make guesses based on the best evidence we can find. You are absolutely convined that the coin is heads. I am absolutely convinced that the coin is tails.

Clearly, we can't both be right-- our beliefs are mutually exclusive. I respect your right to believe the coin is heads, just as I expect you to respect my right to believe that the coin is tails. However, I have a hard time respecting the belief itself, because I just fundamentally think that you've guessed wrong.

And then this, which didn't go over too well:
Once you come to believe that there is no creator, then all potential-creators that people believe in are equally unlikely to you. God, Allah, Brahman, or intelligent monkeys who live on the moon-- to me they're interchangable, and all equally likely to exist.

However, I must say that the moon monkeys picked the wrong press agents.
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mspurrmeow
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Time:2006-11-06 09:43 am (UTC)

I love it. Thanks for sharing.
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tigerknight
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Time:2006-11-06 01:20 pm (UTC)
Given previous entries about how you pretty much held religious people in contempt and looked at them as intellectually challenged, the more moderate (yet still staunchly holding to your own disbelief) version is a bit palatable finally.
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heronymus_waat
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Time:2006-11-06 02:10 pm (UTC)
"Invisible Sky Fairy" was my go-to phrase for being honest and an asshole at the same time. I think I stole it from George Carlin.

I like your "coin-in-a-box" thing; I may use it in the next debate in which I am involved.
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adigitaljunkie
Subject:42
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Time:2006-11-06 03:25 pm (UTC)
Good thinking.

I created a full response at my LJ.
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prock
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Time:2006-11-06 04:26 pm (UTC)
With the box example, you can drive 'em crazy by using dice instead of a coin.

"You are absolutely convined that the dice show snake eyes. I am absolutely convinced that the dice do not show snake eyes."
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abostick59
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Time:2006-11-06 04:26 pm (UTC)
The coin-in-a-box analogy is weak: In the real world, the coin can be in a mixed state. That's the whole point of Erwin Schroedinger's bizarrely sadistic thought-experiment with a cat.
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whipartist
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Time:2006-11-06 06:12 pm (UTC)
In context, the coin-in-a-box analogy was perfect. He was getting hung up on the idea of being right or wrong about our beliefs.

I was trying to illustrate for him that there really was an objective truth-- either the god he believes in actually exists, or doesn't exist. We can't know what that truth is with absolute certainty, but it's pretty much a binary thing.

Of course, there are lots of variations on the possibilities. It could be that his god doesn't exist, but some other god does. Or his exists and some other god does. Or either case and some weird other entity exists.

For us, the coin is in a Schroedingeresque state-- we don't know whether it's heads or tails. But objectively, when the box is open, we'll find that it's one or the other.
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brec
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Time:2006-11-06 05:18 pm (UTC)
When we die, we get to open the box and see whether the coin is heads or tails
We get to do this only if it's heads.

Therefore, if the box is opened, the coin is heads.
Therefore, the coin is heads.
Q.E.D.
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whipartist
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Time:2006-11-06 06:13 pm (UTC)
I've got your heads right here, smartass.
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violet_tigress1
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Time:2006-11-06 06:15 pm (UTC)
Hehe, moon monkeys ^_^
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(Deleted comment)

whipartist
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Time:2006-11-07 09:29 pm (UTC)
Same data different conclusions.

Every time science figures something out, I see that as one less thing that we need a god to explain. I can follow this through to it's logical (yet probably hypothetical) conclusion, where man has sufficient scientific knowledge to explain everything in the universe, and gods just disappear in a puff of logic.
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[icon] Some thoughts on religion - Patti
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