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Sad Skeptic

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Against obvious logic, what is the reasonable case for Intelligent Design/God's existence? If not, why is the thought of such so prevalent?

The case for atheism is, frankly, obvious. To think otherwise is to put one's moral reasoning, partial life's purpose, and partial opinions behind the imaginative, to say the least, seems careless at best and wishfully apathetic at worst. As Richard Dawkins says, in the above video, the easy answers found in an unrealistic dogma can all too easily supplant scientific thought. A ignorance of such atheist precepts is rampant as well, at least in the U.S.; this quote from George H.W. Bush, though outdated, is quite revealing; "No, I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God." Extrapolating, more than 1/2 of U.S. citizens voted for him, and it was never really questioned fully by the media. How many Atheist congressmen are there today? Feel free to debate, haha.

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  • Dec 22 2011: Richard Dawkins has his PhD. in biology, not theology. His opinion on religion is just that- opinion. It's not even an educated opinion, because whenever he speaks about it the only thing he proves is his ignorance.

    You wonder why the thought of the existence of God is so prevalent- the answer is simply, because God exists. No one is forcing you to believe it or understand it or accept it, but that is the answer to your question, even if you don't like it. It is the reason why it is so prevalent, as there is nowhere on Earth you can go to escape it.
    • Dec 22 2011: First of all, thank you very much for replying to this conversation. There is often a dearth of debate on the most sensitive, personal topics here, on TED, which is a pity as this is the best place to have them.
      By "God", first of all, I assume that you're referring to the one, Judeo-Christian-Islamic omniscient being, creator, and the whole shebang. If not, that's fine, and doesn't really change much. I find that to poke holes in some thousands of year-old teachings copied down from rather poorly educated people is almost unrealistic. Though they are likely there, what does it prove?
      By contrast, I find fault in the answer that God is prevalent because He is real. What evidence has guided people to this conclusion? People have attributed less and less to what I would call "magical" beings as scientific process led to more knowledge of our surroundings. Trees are no longer occupied by Dryads that make them grow. Lightning is more than the anger of the heavens. Of course what can't be quite conquered is the beginnings of our universe (there are heaps of evidence, which is at least more than is shown for Him), and the time after death. Is it a truly likely, believable hypothesis that you would like to make that He defied all laws of physics to form our universe, *poof*, just popped things into existence? That (only applies to Judeo-Christian-Islamic God) is waiting with eternal milk and honey in some distant realm, judging whether you're good or bad? If so, find solace in that. Please don't, however, elect candidates based on their said "values", or deny the scientific progress that's made. Live your life as you want to, and not how He tells you to. You never know...
      • Dec 22 2011: You're welcome, but there's a reason why there's a dearth of debate here, as TED is really not the best place to have them. It might be the best place for an atheist to have such debates, as there seems to be a 10-1 ratio of atheists here on TED, which would explain why you'd think it ideal.

        You find fault with the "God is real" answer, fine. Calculate this- Thought is energy, therefore it exists, yes? It is measured via electrical currents, and it's been proven that we are electro-magnetic beings, yes?

        If it is true, as Tim Colgan believes, that God is just a mental construct of our imagination, then the majority of the planet's inhabitants are directing their mental energy to constructing God, therefore, God exists as a very measurable current.

        Beyond that, (and here is where the magic really takes place) even claiming a disbelief in God still keeps this current active because the brain (specifically the subconscious mind) fails to register negatives such as 'not', so even in saying 'God does not exist', the brain processes it as 'God does ___ exist'. So, even in denial of God, the very thought of God continues to create God.
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      Dec 22 2011: OK. So God exists. He exists in your imagination. He exists in many people’s imagination. He is a mental construct.

      Where did it all come from? I don’t know. Must of come from somewhere. Let’s call it God.

      That’s all well and dandy. But where does it all lead from there?
      • Dec 22 2011: You say 'mental construct' as if it's dismissive. Thought is energy and what we give that energy to is what determines who we are. Even if God is a mental construct withihn the realm of imagination, then where it leadsus from here is both determined by as well as limited to our imagination.
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      Dec 24 2011: Thomas. At last - a believer who recognizes God as a mental construct! No, I don’t mean to be dismissive of the fact that deities are symbolic representations of concepts that go beyond simple description. My problem is with people not recognizing the fact. To me this is the essence of iconography. Worshiping the symbol versus appreciating the complexity behind the symbol.

      Moreover, with a recognition of God as a mental image, we can realize that a mental image is malleable, hence adaptable to new information. So where do you see the construct developing? How will/should humans adapt their Gods in the future?
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        Dec 24 2011: Jesus is my God. He walked this earth in real history, & will be back in the future. I have to imagine what He looks like to a certain extent, but that will have no effect on what He actually does look like. So my mental construct is temporary. What we need to know has been written down, to tide us over, if you will. If we deliberately distort our image of Him with our opinions it will make no difference to the truth.

        :-)
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        Dec 25 2011: Tim & Peter & Thomas :

        I wanna intervene a bit if I'm allowed :
        It was said that God is a mental construct , and it is true from my perspective up to a point :
        1) God is in our minds , this is/and should be (if it's not) very clear for everyone: otherwise we couldn't talk about Him .
        2) God being a mental construct don't mean at all that God is JUST a mental construct , God can exist very well whatever we think about Him . And in this sense I think Tim is right when he says that the constructs are developing . For many by saying that God is a mental construction it's like saying that God has been invented and therefore He don't have any real existence, but this is not correct logically because:
        -even if we invented God , in other words if we invented the IDEA of God , it doesn't mean that God don't have exterior existence , real existence , it just means that we have an idea in our minds about something , and this idea is invented , it's a huge mistake to confuse the idea of something with that something . I can be very well a theist and believe that God/the idea of God has been invented.

        "Richard Dawkins has his PhD. in biology, not theology. His opinion on religion is just that- opinion. It's not even an educated opinion, because whenever he speaks about it the only thing he proves is his ignorance" , I'm glad to meet people who really understand something , there aren't too many , partially that's why Dawkins talks have success . Dawkins view is resting more on childish understandings of what theism is really about , just an example :
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        Dec 25 2011: "Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.'' But what about if we have that powerful telescopes ? Wouldn't we be accused of ignorance and naivety if we refuse to watch through that telescopes the sky and see if really there is there a china teapot only because it's seems now from our actual scientific perspective that it is doubtful to exist a such teapot ? This would be a refusal to science , but this is what atheism is about because the main thing Jesus Christ did was TO BUILD ENOUGH POWERFUL SUCH TELESCOPES . (by the way it's also a refusal to science to not look to the sky only because of : how could I know that Jesus Christ did that ? ) . In fact now follows the example : - it is to think that Jesus Christ really created such telescopes and as we don't have anyone as proof : why to believe ? This is the kind of understanding the atheism is built on . Look: Richard Dawkins had fun of this expressions : 'God bless marriages' , 'God control our sex life ' just because he understand them so 'deeply'
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        Dec 25 2011: otherwise there is no way to make fun of this expressions . Another example is that of Paul Frete ...'s comment ( here under my comments) "I thought I would burn an eternity in hell if I couldn't believe... " I believe he is sincere but what he said is just an childish understanding (if it is an understanding).
      • Dec 27 2011: "Thomas. At last - a believer who recognizes God as a mental construct!"

        Yes, but not quite the way you think.

        You think God is something humans created through the imagination when, in fact, humans have imagination because of the creator.

        It is necessary to use the intellectual, logical and rational mind to learn about, compare and evaluate the varying symbolic meanings of these complex concepts that go beyond simple description, yet it is through the higher levels of mind such as the imagination that we increase the power of our mind. Literally increasing the amount of creative thought/energy.

        Thought is a measurable current and when we focus on God we are not just allowing the current to increase, we "create" a connection to the universal source of energy, thereby increasing our energy in the same way learning increases our intellect.

        It is through the use of imagination that we are able to connect to the creative forces, not to create them- they're already there. It's referred to as having a relationship with God, yoga, union, prayer, meditation.

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