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Is the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? posted 12 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a "god" inherent in our minds? by Grantaire, Moderator

I'm an agnostic with a yen for the mysterium tremendum. When people ask me if I believe there's such a thing as God, I tell them I'm having a hard enough time believing there's such a thing as meaning.

Interesting Scott, I had a feeling you'd say something like that, I couldn't really see you as belonging to an organized religion. I'm in somewhat of a similar boat really, uncertainty of god, much less all things. It's hard to break with the expectations of society and/or parents though...

I hope no one minds me jumping into this discussion but I was curious so I couldn't resist. I'm aware that nothing can ever be really proven only disproven (correct me if I'm wrong) but one of my professors said something interesting which I think applies here as well. There are paradigms or theories that have false assumptions but are still useful (Newtonian physics assumes mass concentrates at a point ? and microeconomic laws of supply and demand postulate that firms seek to maximize profit). Nevertheless, these theories still work well enough in practice (they have explanatory power). I see science as providing that practical explanatory power; it may be wrong about many things but it still makes useful predictions or has useful applications for us.

Religion perhaps has that claim to make as well? It does provide a moral foundation, a meaning to life, psychological well-being. This may not be explanatory in nature but it is still beneficial and useful. It is certainly useful to society in keeping order and negatively to the ruling classes as well as it helps to maintain the status quo (the untouchables in India for ex.).
Having been on a spiritual quest since I was 9 and still hanging in limbo, I'm curious as to how non-spiritual people (right term?) deal with that lack of meaning. If life and the universe is meaningless than what is the point of living and following all of the routines that are set for you? And is that concept of a meaningless universe the same as a belief in a chaotic universe? Or are they different?

Welcome to the discussion eowyn (we don't mind at all, it's nice to see a new face <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> that would be termed on the internet <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> ).

Religion may have some claims to having a positive effect on people or society, I don't argue that. It comforts people when horrible things happen, comforts them against the thought of death, gives them
'purpose'. But, as I think you said, religion is generally based on an assumption that has yet to be skillfully proven to me- the existance of a god. view post


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