Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why I Am Not An Atheist

As Trivandrum proposes, I should set forth Terms and Definitions, and Argument related thereto, and thus develop a Position on which I take my Stand. So here is that Stand, and may You who read enjoy It.

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Terms and Definitions

  • A God is a Thing which exercises Powers which are beyond Human Analysis, practically, theoretically, or rationally, with respect to the Limits of those Powers in Terms of Origin, Manifestation, Aspect, Occasion, Quantity, Quality or Perceptibility, and with no Likelihood or Chance of Human Analysis.
  • An Atheist, in simple Form, is One who does not believe in Gods, in any Kind, Quantity, or Equivalent.
  • An Atheist, in active Form, is One who explicitly rejects the Belief that there are Gods, in any Kind, Quantity or Equivalent.
I am not an Atheist in either simple or active Sense. If the Reader wishes to take Issue with any other Term defined in this Section or other Sections in this Post, please do so Elsewhere.

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Argument

  • Let Us assume that Humans are Moral Animals, which I am personally inclined to believe. If this is a Failing on My Part, so be It.
  • This Morality has a Nature that is either relative or absolute. If the Nature is relative, It can only be seen to exist if measured by a Yardstick. If It is Absolute, then It has no Exceptions and hence partakes of the Quality of Natural Law.
  • If the Nature of Morality is relative, the Yardstick (or at least the System of Measurement) must be Absolute if the Analysis of Morality is to have Meaning. Without Yardstick, or Benchmark, or Touchstone, the Idea of Morality is defunct as We cannot then say, "This is a Good Thing," or, "This is a Bad Thing."
  • If the Nature of Morality is an Absolute, then We need no Yardstick, or Benchmark, or Touchstone, but merely Observation and Hypothesis Testing as is the Way of Natural Law. We need but create a Scale of Units such as proposed in the Philosophy of Utilitarianism.
  • From Evidence of the Empirical Kind, that is, from History and hence the Observations of Humanity, We can see that the Nature of Morality is not yet to be claimed an Absolute, for It has heretofore not been resolved by any Human Agency into a System adherent to a Scale of Units.
  • Hence Morality is likely relative and requires a Yardstick.
  • The Yardstick cannot be Human, for this is an Empirical Finding that Humans disagree on Morality.
  • The Yardstick cannot be a Natural Law or Anything that proceeds from Natural Law, as this is Our Observation as well.
  • Hence the Yardstick must be beyond Human Analysis.
  • Hence It is a God (at least one). (Alternatively, Humans are not Moral Animals.)
  • In Fact, the Only Plausible Alternative to the Existence of Godhood is to apply This Reasoning to all such Qualities. Then the Universe must be purely quantitative and subject to Rational Laws alone.
  • If the Universe is so, then It is a Deterministic Universe.
  • Hence all Human Actions have no Attached Moral Responsibility or Choice or any Such.
  • Hence it is a Meaningless Thing for Me to have done This Post. (Or for You to be reading It.)
And yet, to paraphrase Galileo Galilei, still I have posted.

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Conclusion

  • This Post has Meaning, or It has not. (Unless Meaning has no Meaning.)
  • If It has Meaning, then at least one God exists.
  • If It has no Meaning, then We do not know from It whether God exists or not.
  • But We do know that if It has no Meaning, and You have been reading It, then You have either been conned, or there is no God and the Act of Reading does not matter.
  • Regardless then, it leads Us to conclude that reading Richard Dawkins (or any Explicitly Atheist Statement of Unbelief in Gods) is meaningless.
I would rather believe that this Post has Meaning. If You disagree, then for Your Disagreement to be meaningful, at least one God must also exist.

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I rest my Case. And drink my Coffee.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Sorrows said...

Nice. Very nice.

Pretty much therefore if the world is entirely nihilistic, then therefore arguing for or against God is meaningless, as nothing has meaning anyway.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:08:00 am  
Blogger Trebuchet said...

Actually, the world itself cannot be nihilistic.

For the idea of nihilism to exist meaningfully, nihilism must be inconsistent with itself, since that which denies meaning would have meaning.

If nihilism existed meaninglessly, well then... haha!

However, arguing for the meaning of God is meaningful, because as an absolute unknown which by unknown operation creates meaning, He would have to exist in order for us to make this argument. It is a positive feedback loop, in some sense.

Friday, May 01, 2009 5:48:00 pm  
Blogger sibrwd said...

Does it follow from "A God is a Thing which exercises Powers which are beyond Human Analysis..." that Any Thing which exercises powers beyond human analysis is a God?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:43:00 pm  
Blogger Trebuchet said...

sibrwd: Sorry to answer so late; didn't notice your comment. The answer is 'yes'. But consider the terms used; if the analysis of powers (which need to be further defined themselves) is ultimately beyond human analysis, then the entity concerned is ultimately godlike. If the analysis of powers is only for-the-moment beyond human analysis, then it is similarly for-the-moment godlike. The problem is that we can't necessarily determine which case it is, or what form of analysis is sufficient for definition.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:30:00 pm  
Blogger sibrwd said...

I see. Thank you.

Friday, October 02, 2009 1:21:00 am  
Blogger Sorrows said...

An even later reply from me; sorry, I just noticed you replied to my above comment. I wish Blogger had that "list of latest comments" thing, like Wordpress (e.g. http://givemesometruth.wordpress.com).

Anyway, I see your point. It reminds me of my (newly-reselected) TOK question 6, which is a paradox in itself (the statement, that is). And the comment about positive feedback loop brings back fond memories of secondary school biology, haha.

/Sorrows

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 9:50:00 pm  
Blogger Banana Hat said...

Interesting. Many aspects of Science are beyond human understanding and analysis. We speculate about the presence of dark matter and the nature of black holes. Can we conclude that Science is a god? Maybe black holes are also a god?

On a whim and partly as a joke. Many a man has observed how little we know about women. Being beyond successful analysis, I guess they are gods? :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010 3:41:00 pm  
Blogger Trebuchet said...

Banana Hat: Just because we are presently speculating about the nature of black holes doesn't mean they are beyond human analysis. Science is even worse as a God, because it is purely within human understanding that the construct known as Science has arisen. And women, of course, are Goddesses. :)

Note, though, that the likelihood of at least one god existing is not the same thing as saying that everything we don't (yet) understand is a god.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 10:40:00 pm  
Blogger Sze Zeng said...

Right to the point! Couldn't agree more with your reason stated here.

Friday, October 22, 2010 1:17:00 am  
Blogger Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Presuppositional apologetics coupled with argument from morality?

Friday, November 26, 2010 9:56:00 pm  
Blogger Trebuchet said...

CSC: actually it is a cunningly humorous version of the argument from meaning with a dash of Douglas Adams... :D

Saturday, November 27, 2010 4:53:00 am  

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