Brant Gaede Posted July 21, 2008 Share Posted July 21, 2008 Atheism is rational. Belief in a supreme being is faith. --BrantIs this true? It strikes me that both are theories intended to fill in the blanks that occur beyond the limits of what we can observe. In fact, these are both causal theories that try to explain why things are what they are and why they behave as they do. This sounds rational to me.A commitment to a particular theory of existence takes us past the point of what the evidence can directly support. According to the evidence alone I cannot be any more than an agnostic. But I am atheist! Why?Metaphysics is all about big picture thinking. It is all about taking the observed parts, the evidence, and building a picture of the whole that fits the evidence and is internally consistent. It is a very rational (though not necessarily linear and deductive) enterprise. Whatever the big picture you arrive at, whether it is one that requires a god or one that excludes a god, it is a theory about existence. Making the commitment to claim that one is true and the other is false, in the absence of any conclusive evidence, is faith. For myself, I consider it to be faith (or self-confidence) in my ability to generate a picture that fits with all the evidence and is internally consistent, and faith in my judgement that this is so, that makes me atheist. I am an atheist because I have confidence in my thought processes and my judgement and these have led me to conclude that there is no god.Where I have a problem is with a different kind of faith. The kind that requires a commitment to a picture generated by some higher authority. A faith that requires the suspension of my own judgement and a commitment to someone else's judgement. I consider anything that demands the suspension of one's own judgement to be the root of all evil. I see elements of this in the practice of both Christianity and Objectivism.So I can't agree that "atheism is rational" and "belief in a supreme being is faith." They can both be the result of rational thought, even if the commitment to one or the other is an act of self-confidence or faith. Both beliefs can also be practiced blindly by adopting the images and models of the universe proclaimed by some authority, who cannot be contradicted without fear of exile, and who demands the suspension of one's judgement (at least on those occasions when you contradict them). This is the faith of a cult.PaulI'd suggest more science and less philosophy here. I presented no theories, just two conclusions for an expression of clarity. It's not a matter of my opinion, your opinion, ergo: uncertainty. Present your evidence for the existence and nature of God.--Brant Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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