Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thought provoking video

This is a great, relatively short video that demonstrates very clearly the problems in arguing logically for God. It also shows that the implications of this is that if we do decide to take a "leap of faith" then we cannot in any way justify expecting others to do the same. It gets a bit preachy at the end, in a way I TOTALLY agree with, about how the way we treat others shows more about us than what dogma we are intellectually submissive to. I recognize the difficulties that can come from this argument, because we can argue that how we treat people is dependent on whatever "metaphysical" views we adopt, but it's still a great, thought-provoking video. Thanks, Vernicus.


  1. very interesting video. It is nice to see logical, unemotional discussion put forward in an easy to follow format.

    Also, randomn question, how many, if any, athiests, believe in no supreme being but DO believe in an afterlife? I have always been a bit confused about if atheism typically leads to a belief in no afterlife, or if many times athiests do still believe in an afterlife.

  2. As is often the case, labels can be a source of confusion. That is why many find the label atheist to be a poor descriptor; I mean, who finds a label that describes what they don’t believe in to be really fitting? I suspect many people are aunicornists (for example), however we really don’t find that this label is used all that often (if we lived in a society where a sizable group were unicornists, perhaps this would be different…).

    Using a different label to describe atheists, for instance, naturalists (asupernaturalists?) or reluctant-to-believe-in-phenomena-without-good-evidence-ists, it seems to me that this grouping rules out at least some versions of an afterlife. But many other realistic versions, like living on in memory, etc., are left on the table.

    There are plenty of people who do not hold theistic beliefs but are quite credulous when it comes to supernatural phenomena. I think this is the population where you will find the most belief in an afterlife minus supreme beings that resembles something beyond legacy.

    Is a supreme being necessary for afterlife? What is the supreme being's necessary role?

  3. Often I see two different ways of dealing with "god".

    Two different people look at the god they grew up with, or the god they see other people talking, and they diagree. One decides that god is what those people were describing, but god doesn't exist. Fair enough. The other decides that god isn't what the others were talking about. Fair enough.

    So god is difficult to really, REALLY talk about meaningfully, because I think there are about as many gods as there are people. We can talk about what that "god" points to.

    The idea of the afterlife is similar, to a lesser extent.

    As Skyhook suggested, it can be argued that it exists in one form or another. The ever expanding ripple effects of our actions, the memories of others, the possibly eternal existence of every moment in the past, present and future, continuing consciousness of some sort, -whatever a person believes.

    But I do think that most people's beliefs in God are VERY related to afterlife. If there's not afterlife, perhaps even if there were a God, many "religious" folk would not care. And of course, perhaps many atheists believe in afterlife. After all, "athest" can also mean a person who does not believe that god is a person ( a theistic entity).

    As Skyhook said, labels are meant to clarify, but they often do the opposite by creating false equivocation. Good question, John.