Thursday, March 31, 2011

Derivations on a Theme - Probabilities

For me, the God question is about probabilities. Can I state with certainty there is no God? (using the word God in a generic sense) Of course not. But, I can not make an absolute statement about anything. I don’t possess complete, absolute knowledge of anything. Even if there was proof of the existence of a god how would I determine which god is the real God? Humans believe in a plethora of gods. Which god is the true God?

Atheists are skeptics. Claims of certainty, like the claims of Christianity, are viewed with suspicion. The Atheist says “prove it.” Appeals to faith or the supernatural have no effect on atheists...
~ from The A Word at the blog, Fallen From Grace ~
Like my blogging compatriot Bruce Gerencser, it took me quite a while until I began identifying myself as an atheist and, in my case, as an atheist Taoist. The word atheist comes along with so much baggage -- baggage heaped on it by theists. I avoided the term so that I wouldn't be preached at by others more than usual.

But the fact is that I don't believe in god -- your god, if you believe in one, or anyone else's. By definition, that's atheism and so I am an avowed atheist.

As with the quote from Bruce above, I am not stating that there is absolutely and undeniably no supernatural entity that created and/or watches over the world and cosmos; I am merely stating that I see no logical evidence to lead me to believe that such a being exists.

In my case, however, I do believe in the notion of Tao and many of you have suggested that Tao could easily be interchanged with the word, god or vice versus. My response is that this may work for you, but it doesn't work that way for me. In my view, a god is a something -- a specific being, entity or spirit-like thing -- Tao is a principle, process or what one could call the "laws of nature."

From my perspective, the probability that a principle exists is far greater than the probability that a specific entity exists.

As I have stated in this space numerous times, I am of the opinion that most of the things we think we know we only believe we think we know as most aspects of this life are unknowable. From this standpoint, most of what we take as fact is either personal or collective belief. In the majority, I try to base my beliefs on probability and, in my estimation, the probabilities of a god as described by any religion I am aware of are very, very, very remote.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I used to think that the mystics who said everything was an illusion were overly romantic.

    But after having been wrong so many times throughout my life, I have come to realize that we usually only have one aspect of reality available to us. In that sense, what we think we know, we really don't. So fighting wholeheartedly for my opinions affirming that I'm right and others wrong is pointless, to say the least.

    In other words, I agree with you.


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