Pointy eggs and whales (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, September 14, 2018, 09:55 (691 days ago) @ GateKeeper

GATEKEEPER: How do we describe the system we are in to help us determine if spiritual people are more valid or less valid than those that make claims against them. I guess I am lucky, I have no stake in the answer. the universe is way cool the way it is, I don't care what some atheist or some theist try and push off as more 'real". Real is, what real is. statements of belief do not determine how the universe works for me.

DAVID: You are the perfect passive agnostic, happy not knowing and happy not to know. Fine with me. This website is perfect for you.

Why do you use the word “passive”? We agnostics are surrounded by theists and atheists who try to impose their views on us. You are happy enough to see us actively use reason to explain our rejection of atheism, but suddenly we become “passive” if we point out the illogicalities in your own beliefs! The very fact that we write about these matters is active, and I suspect that even you would much prefer to hear our more balanced views than to be subjected to those of the extremists on either side whose irrationality can be so damaging.

TONY (in reply to the above by GK): No, but belief informs action. Sometimes it frees you to take action, sometimes it prohibits actions, and sometimes it simply alters which action you take. Belief also changes your perspective. This is not to assign any particular morality to any particular ideological sect, but merely to say that what you believe to be true influences your behaviors.

I don’t think any of us would disagree that belief influences behaviour – sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. But GK’s point is that beliefs are not pointers to validity, to truth, to what is real and not real. And of course I agree.

GATEKEEPER (GK): yes. we don't know how the universe started. Something or nothing are our choices. Its assumed, by most people that understand, everything is natural. 'supernatural, by definition, only means something natural that we don't know about yet. (David's bold)

DAVID: No dictionary I can find uses your definition of 'supernatural'.

An interesting point. If we stick to semantics, David is right, but GK is going beyond semantics. Once people thought that thunder was caused by demons, but eventually the “supernatural” was explained as something natural that they didn’t know about. If we were to find natural explanations for the origin of life and consciousness, the same would apply, but if we were to find that a God exists and nature is controlled by his mind, then we would have to redefine our concept of nature. After all, he would be the one to define what is and isn’t “natural”!

DAVID: There must be some cause to explain why there is any thing or us existing.

True, but nobody knows it, and it’s not unreasonable to assume that nobody CAN know it. That doesn’t stop us speculating, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone saying he’s perfectly happy to remain in ignorance!

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