Thursday, April 21, 2016

1 - Atheists and Theists and Nothing to Prove

From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, from the laziness that is content with half-truths, from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, O God of truth, deliver us.  - R. Mordechai Kaplan

In this post:

What are atheists?

What are theists?

Why do they argue so loudly?


  1. Kol HaKavod! Welcome to the blogging world Art!

  2. Art: Congratulations on publishing this excellent blog. I am sure it will evoke some deep thoughts and convictions. Here are some of mine. I may be a "Fool" but I'm not an Atheist, Theist or some of those in between.

    I am a Christian & believe in God. I respect all other religions except the fundamentalists, nor other extreme sects all defined in the Glossary you compiled.

    I do not believe in the scientists, mathematicians or others who would attempt to explain the existence, non-existence or creation of my beliefs. Theirs have been only theories with no solid proof.

    The attempt by mankind to explain the creation of our planet, God, gods or other Supreme Being depends not on theories but upon Faith is an unknown event which I believe is an intangible that can be argued but not proven. There is no right or wrong. Wars have been fought, governments have failed lives have been sacrificed & economies have been destroyed in the name of religious persecution.

    Attempts on a micro level by physicists & mathematicians over the years have resulted in discoveries of the atom, protons, neutrons & of late the Higgs-boson particle. While I am no expert it doesn't explain the existence of God nor the creation of the Universe. What is beyond Higgs-boson that's yet to be discovered? Similarly on a Macro level there is no explanation of the Big Bang "Theory".

    What came before or later if there was nothing but a void? What is the explanation that there were no other Big Bangs? We don' know. Is/are there another/other
    dimension(s) that we don't know about that would lead to other explanations? Is the so called Big Bang three dimensional & what went in all other directions? What really is eternity? Is it just a a void? There are millions of planets & Universes out there. These are some of the questions that occur to me.

    All the formulas, theories, & word definitions perhaps are man's creation yet to be proven true or false. In my opinion, "Faith" in God/god/Supreme Being,as intangible as it may be,is the only answer regardless of religious belief.

    I welcome your comments.


  3. Hi, Art --

    I look forward to reading more of your blog. This first taste is indeed tantalizing!

    Science is a wonderful methodology -- a tool that helps us explore and describe our universe in all its immensity and minutiae with increasing accuracy. Let us not lose sight of the fact that we scientists are describing the characteristics of a Universe that already exists, and would continue to exist without our intervention.

    Science does not address the origins of that Universe and its ongoing intricate interactions. For me, that is the place from which Faith emanates. Biology can tell me the probability that my baby will have brown eyes, but it cannot explain the loving bond that ties me to that child. The joy we experience in meeting our children's children, who are our link to future generations and thus to eternity -- that too is bound up with Faith.

    Science can tell me why a certain flower is pink or yellow and why its parts have a certain function, but it cannot tell me why I am drawn to its beauty and feel the need to bless its Creator.

    I am excited that the resolution of our space telescopes is improving, and I exult at each new discovery. I know that we are simply learning to understand the interplay of orbital mechanics, but I also know that it is precisely the existing regularity of their motions that makes interplanetary travel possible. I know in my gut that we did not put the planets, moons, comets, asteroids, etc. in place, nor did we set them in motion. Faith emanates from this area, too.

    I am a scientist, and the more I learn about the intricacies of our universe, the stronger is my faith in a Unified creative force that brought it into being.

    I love Julius Lester's description of prayer as our Lovesongs to our Creator, or however we each may understand the notion of God. I don't know whether God lost interest in our world after creating it, or if God maintains a personal relationship with each of us. I can't prove it, but I do believe that God hears my prayers and cares about all of us. For me, God exists in the infinity of time and space and love.

    So I guess you'd count me in the Theist camp, though I've never thought of myself as a fundamentalist. The closeness I feel with God, and my gut-sure certainty of God's existence does not require that any one else's path toward Faith or Doubt or Wondering or Agnosticism or Atheism be the same as mine. In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"

    Linda Z.

  4. Art - as you know I'm a pretty solid Theist (as a Roman Catholic), and perhaps even a fundamentalist however I am really going to enjoy your blogs and look forward to the book! I've always pondered what my life would be like had I been born into a different faith, or even no faith at all. This pondering also takes me to the place of what other Theists, Atheists and/or Fools might or must think about what life is like for someone in another group (Theist, Atheist, Fool). Or is it even a topic that people spend time pondering? I believe that's where you are taking your blog and why I'm so looking forward to the continued discussion and opening of my mind. Even the comments posted so far are doing just that. This will be an excellent journey!

  5. Since it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of a God. The question then becomes if there is a God what has it done and what does it continue to do. And if you believe god created the universe or the multi verse as is more popular today where did god come from. It seems to me that believing in the creation of an all powerful god is probably more difficult than believing that random events created the multiverse as if you believe that random events did it that's the end but if you want a god there is no ending of trying to find the origin of such a god.


    1. As you will see in my future postings, David,my I am positing is that a deity of some sort that is infinite and timeless appears to exist in a domain outside of our universe (this theory originally appeared in the philosophy of Deism). That possibility is much more likely than a random purposeless creation of the finite thing we call the Universe. Stay tuned for more postings, which will discuss this.

  6. Nice to see this book up and going forward (does the 'preview' button work??). Onto the topic at hand, the first chapter, which I find nicely set out. I'd like to add one observation, or rather a question. Art talks about the worry over "Creation" as the generator of the two supposed, competing methodologies, mystic and scientific. Who created us/ the planet/ the Universe, etc. However, there are other ways to posit the enquiry. For example, as basic human anxiety -- not fact vs belief, but anxiety. If there is such an anxiety, then we're talking about consciousness and mind, not nature and matter. The only 'matter' is brain matter. In that event, the active word is "death" and its opposite, "birth." Was there life before birth and is there spirit after death? Does birth merely activate human consciousness -- e.g, of God -- and death, de-activate or transfer it? Are we worried about a Creator or about being *aware* of one? It is true that humanity worries (overmuch) over our relative position in a vast Universe, seemingly empty; however, the more palpable, perhaps the more eternal worry, is about being born and dying and about realizing what's happening to us. - Walter Bruno


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