Hello all! I had another very long, but very fulfilling conversation in a comment thread about god and all that fun stuff. I asked permission from one of the commenters to share one of his points, which I greatly appreciated, and am actually spending a lot of time reflecting on now. Let me know what you think of it! Here you go, some insight from mydogshakespeare.
Since we’re all just trying to help each other out (including Believers like you, Mike!) perhaps I can share a little opinion regarding your nagging feeling that “something started us all”?
No doubt you have heard the atheist rebuttal to “Something *had* to have started it all, and that something is God”, namely “then what started God?” The Believer parry is simple (though completely unsatisfying to me) “Oh, God is *Timeless*! Always has existed, and always will!”
My rebuttal is slightly different.
Atheist (me): There are no supernatural entities operating in the universe, only natural processes.
Believer: Something *had* to have started it all, and that something is God.
Atheist (me): Actually, that “something” is just the laws of nature.
Believer: And what started the laws of nature?
Atheist (me): The laws of nature have always existed, and always will.
The difference is subtle: whereas Believers’ explanation requires a fabricated exception and surmise active “design” and “intercession” (despite rather extraordinarily clear indifference on the part of a so-called “God” though not its evil nemesis, The Devil, who is, according to many Believers, rather extraordinarily active!), I offer a natural explanation requiring no magical exceptions (and completely accounts for the rather extraordinarily clear indifference and utter lack of evidence of active “design” and “intercession” and attributes The Devil, etc., to human nature and its primitive animal instinct for the satisfaction of selfish needs, of which personal then family, clan, tribal, community, regional, national survival is paramount).
“God”, all of them as far as I can tell, provide the “magic” to fill the gaps between the operation of natural laws and human understanding of them. Well, “God”, all of them as far as I can tell, also provide effective “magic” for guiding, shepherding, manipulating, coercing, and stampeding others; but that is a story we have already shared!