Friday, June 12, 2009

7a Is it reasonable to believe in God?

One of our main characteristics as human beings is our drive to search explanations for everything. It is in our genes. The whole history of philosophy is nothing but an attempt to explain.

In the course of history it has shown that the rational explanation, following the principles of logic has shown to be the most effective one for our survival.

We must distinguish between two questions:
1. Is there an explanation for our believe that there is a god
2. Why do humans believe in god(s)?
When it shows that we don't have a rational explanation for our conviction that there is a god, then we still have the second question.

For if we would conclude that there isnt a rational explanation and we look around us, living in a world of many religions, are we then forced to conclude

that human beings act completely irrational in certain matters. You only have to think of a subject as ethics and you can imagine what consequences that would have.

So, let's deal first with question 1. In the lecture of coming Tuesday I'll try to give an answer on question 2.

It isn't surprising that after support for the ontological argument, already initiated by Anselm of Cantebury (1090) and masterly formulated by Thomas Aquinas (1250), for hundreds of years in the age of science around 1750 a new argumantation for the existence of God was added.

William Paley formulated in 1802 what is now known as the Watchmaker Analogy:
1. The complex inner workings of a watch necessitate an intelligent designer.
2. As with a watch, the complexity of X (a human eye e.g., the structure of the solar system, life, the entire universe) necessitates a designer.

So it can't be otherwise than that if all has a purpose, this purpose must have been put in the creation by a designer. Darwin thought otherwise in 1838.

It is natural selection, and as we know now, changes in DNA that makes the system tick: random changes in interaction with an environment, in which the organism lives.

But the laws of nature, they are such a unique coherent system. One abberation and the whole system would collapse. That can't be explained by refering to coincidendce.

However, when I buy a lot in the lotery it is improbable that I will win the jackpot, but yet I win. How easily aren't we then inclined to say:"Yes, the gods were friendly to me", which of course is nonsense. I was just lucky.

What argument is there to claim otherwise when it is about how all pieces of the universe fell together just in such a way that it was capable of making life emerge? Aren't we just a (lucky) coincidence?

Let's assume that we weren't just lucky and there is a God. This God has at least three qualities: allkowing, allmighty and allgood. Jewish, christian and moslim believers regard this as a fundamental religious truth.

This leads to serious questions: if this god has these qualities, why then is there so much evil, suffering and pain in this world? How allgood is that God for us, or how allmighty. The facts are against him.

There have been numerous attempts to reply to this question. For instance, our suffering is a punishment for our sins, but what has been the sin of a child that is born with a serious handicap or the sins of 6 million jews?

Then it is because God gave us a free will. That gives us the ability to act such that it will cause suffering, violence, war, name it. But a lot of suffering isn't caused by our free will, Mexican flue, earthquackes, plagues, famine...

Another argument is that without suffering we cant become the virtuous humans God wants us to be. But why gets a good mother and wife cancer and could Stalin end his life in peace and luxury? How is this suffering divided among people?

But do we need such explicite arguments to make a belief in a God rational? For some people claim that they dont need such arguments because the knowledge of the exsistence of God is directly revealed to them.

That is a kind of a problem, because catholics claim this and protestants too and their God imposes on each of them different rules. Is it then the same God? But also Hindus 'see' Vishnu, the Romans 'saw' Jupiter and so on.

Besides that we now know that a certain category of these holy insights have just plain physical causes, like the experience of seeing a tunnel of light in a near death experience. So we should be carefull in qualifying which experiences as revelations of the divine.

Ultimately a theist could say, that the essence of believing is that you don't need rational arguments. Your belief in God makes you know what is right and wrong. This leads to a situation of knowledge based on belief without argument. At least we then should be able to clarify what kind of knowledge this is.

Yet another line of thinking: in my garden I have flowers and plants and I help them grow by spreading fertilizer among them. That is what makes them so beautiful.

or: in my garden I have flowers and plants and I help them grow by spreading fertilizer among them. But there are also elves, invisible, but I know they are there and it actually is them that make the plants to grow. That is what makes them so beautiful.

A child runs after his ball on to the road and is killed by a car. The child is killed by a car or the child is killed by a car, because it was the will of God.

It seems to me that whether there are elves or a will of God doesnt matter much to how reality can be explained. And if we would use Ockham's razor ( "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily" ) we might chose for the most simple explanation.

Let me finish with a quote from Stephen Law: " My conclusion is not that it is a mistake to believe in God. It's just that theism is much harder to maintain than many seem to realize." And in the light of what I have said sofar, he might be right.

The Discussion

[13:29] herman Bergson: This concludes my lecture :-)
[13:29] herman Bergson: Or should I say Amen :-)
[13:29] Paula Dix: lol thats nice
[13:29] Paula Dix: hahaha
[13:29] Qwark Allen: eheheh
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: Regardless of what philosophy says it all comes down to a matter of faith
[13:29] Justine Rhapsody: :)
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: believing or not believing
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: without proof
[13:30] Paula Dix: my friend Bela says there is no problem with religion if they believe science is a way to show how god(s) do things, otherwise, religions are bad
[13:30] herman Bergson: yes...that is ok when it is just a personal matter...
[13:30] Justine Rhapsody: So its a matter of choice
[13:31] herman Bergson: But as soon as this belief becomes for instance a political matter, or is transformed in the general is not just a matter of believing anymore
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: true
[13:32] herman Bergson: Believing isnt the problem....the place and function in society requires a rational justification
[13:32] Paula Dix: thats what makes interesting that Dawkins idea that atheist should get together, since religious people do with a lot of political influence
[13:32] herman Bergson: I dont belief in such an ideological confrontation Paula..
[13:33] Paula Dix: same with me
[13:33] herman Bergson: Religion is a social process
[13:33] Paula Dix: but religious do have lots of political influence. Here in brazil abortion is against the law because of church, for instance
[13:33] herman Bergson: and depending on developments in the world it holds its position because it seems justifies or it gradualy looses its powerbase
[13:34] herman Bergson: and since 1700 in Western europe religion had to retreat from many areas of human knowledge
[13:34] Paula Dix: true, better than making a political atheist group is to fight for better education for all
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes..I think we have to develop ethics that dont depend on religious utilitairianism does for instance..
[13:35] herman Bergson: or virtue ethic as proposed by Mary Midgley
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: oh yes
[13:36] Paula Dix: yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: But what is here the subject is, do we have rational arguments for the existence of God?
[13:37] Paula Dix: i think the best argument against is that each culture has it sets of gods and they die with the culture end
[13:37] Zevio Droz: if we don't know who some of our neighbors are how can we claim to know god?
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes Zevio....we better might start with getting to know our neighbors..
[13:38] herman Bergson: By the way...a funny thought...
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: nice question well what do you mean by neighbors?/
[13:38] Zevio Droz: the people in your neighborhood
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: ah ok
[13:38] herman Bergson: there is a big difference between the gods of the Greeks and the Christian God
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: was wondering if you meant aliens
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:38] Zevio Droz: no
[13:38] Paula Dix: yes greeks were more interesting :))))
[13:38] herman Bergson: The Ggreeks had a completely different idea of the role of gods...
[13:39] herman Bergson: their gods raped , stole, abducted , held parties and so on :-)
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: and some say they were aliens!
[13:39] Paula Dix: my friend Clear says what can be around are beings so much more developed than us that their actions look like god things to us
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well...if you look at their behavior.....looks too familiar to me ^_^
[13:40] Zevio Droz: if they are aliens or gods or elves or a good, they do a good job at not making their presence obvious and if they don't want us to know they're there they probably will succeed
[13:40] Paula Dix: lol Gemma, same idea :)))
[13:41] Paula Dix: Clarke has a book where powerful aliens arrive, but dont show themselves before 3 generations, and when they do, they look as our image of devil... result of a previous contact try that didnt went well. :))
[13:41] herman Bergson: Well.... I guess we are digressing a little here
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: oh samuel
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: you missed it
[13:42] Zevio Droz: if jesus showed up to me right now, how would i know it was jesus?
[13:42] Paula Dix: nice, samuel will have some arguments there :))
[13:42] herman Bergson: He might tell you Zevio, just like I was told that I was meeting an angel :-)
[13:42] Justine Rhapsody: Oh I read that book by Clarke
[13:43] Paula Dix: :))
[13:43] Zevio Droz: if he told me then what, i take his word for it?
[13:43] Paula Dix: there is a guy here in brazil who says he is jesus
[13:43] herman Bergson: You could ask for an ID..?
[13:43] Paula Dix: call himself INRI
[13:43] Zevio Droz: there's nothing i could do to know cause i'm dumber than any supernatural entity
[13:43] Samuel Okelly: peopel being faceteous to a religious belief here?
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: no
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: not really
[13:44] Paula Dix: he has an accent, but cant talk idich :)
[13:44] herman Bergson: no ..not at all
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: nono
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: you will read the blog and see
[13:44] Samuel Okelly: [13:43] herman Bergson: You could ask for an ID..?
[13:44] herman Bergson: This is a philosophy class and only rational arguments and logic count..nothing personal
[13:44] Samuel Okelly: is that said in all seriousness?
[13:44] Paula Dix is looking what faceteous means
[13:44] herman Bergson: Just kidding Samuel
[13:44] Samuel Okelly: like i said herman "faceteousness"
[13:45] herman Bergson: I dont know the word
[13:46] Zevio Droz: but seriously, how could you know god was god if he slapped you in the face
[13:46] herman Bergson: Even google translate doesnt know it
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: ah
[13:46] Zevio Droz: facetious?
[13:46] Paula Dix: 1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark.
2. amusing; humorous.
3. lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous: a facetious person.
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: it is a good word
[13:47] herman Bergson: Samuel spelled it faceteous...
[13:47] herman Bergson: But that is not relevant here
[13:47] Samuel Okelly: my spilling is notoriously crop
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:47] Paula Dix: google asked if i meant facetious and i accepted the correction :)))
[13:47] herman Bergson: Zevio's remark is relevant
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: ys
[13:48] Paula Dix: Samuel, the topic today is 1. Is there an explanation for our believe that there is a god
[13:48] herman Bergson: Well there is someone who calls himself Mitreia or something like that...
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: oh i have been trying to think of his name for days
[13:48] Paula Dix: next class will be 2. Why do humans believe in god(s)?
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: paula
[13:48] Zevio Droz: and meher baba claims to be the avatar (god in human form) of this age
[13:48] Zevio Droz: there's the bahai faith
[13:49] Samuel Okelly: i thought the question was "is it reasonable to believe in God?"
[13:49] Zevio Droz: zorostarianism
[13:49] herman Bergson: Yes...that is the initail question
[13:49] herman Bergson: Yes a lot of deity is claimed these days
[13:49] Samuel Okelly: and THAT a biased question
[13:49] Zevio Droz: and what i'm saying is it reasonable since we cant know where the source of anything supernatural is
[13:50] Paula Dix: yes, the most reasonable posture would be "i dont know"
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well the question can be refrased to "Does god exist"
[13:50] Samuel Okelly: god or GOd?
[13:50] Paula Dix: "i dont know" :)))
[13:50] herman Bergson: in other we have rational reasons to believe this
[13:51] herman Bergson: Let's restrict it for now to God
[13:51] herman Bergson: the Monotheistic God of Jews, moslims and christians
[13:51] Samuel Okelly: so was a definition of "God" agreed or merely assumed?
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: it was presented in the book as the creator of the world
[13:52] herman Bergson: There was a definition....the Watchmaker Analogy
[13:52] herman Bergson: In question 1 He was the First Mover
[13:52] Paula Dix: we discussed that they could even be aliens much more advanced than us
[13:53] Zevio Droz: it could be aaannnything
[13:53] Zevio Droz: we dont know
[13:53] Zevio Droz: something we haven't thought of pretending to be jesus or whoever
[13:53] herman Bergson: I think the lecture on Tuesday will be very interesting to you
[13:54] herman Bergson: Because thing is a fact....religion plays an important social role
[13:54] herman Bergson: and I mean this in a neutral way
[13:54] Paula Dix: and its significative that every culture has religion
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: oh dear time to go
[13:55] Paula Dix: like language
[13:55] herman Bergson: Yes that is why I dont like zealous atheists...people that want to drive religion out
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: see you thursday
[13:55] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma
[13:55] Qwark Allen: really interesting, as allways
[13:55] herman Bergson: Bye Qwark..:-)
[13:55] Qwark Allen: thank you hermaan
[13:55] Paula Dix: yes herman, as radical as radical religious
[13:55] herman Bergson: I think they make a mistake
[13:56] Paula Dix: btw, the more we talk, the more i think atheism is a religion too
[13:56] Zevio Droz: i think anyone who forces their views is making a mistake including athiests
[13:56] herman Bergson: it me at least...
[13:57] Paula Dix: i've discussed this on atheist group, most there think atheism isnt religion
[13:57] Zevio Droz: then we're getting like stalin if you enforce it
[13:57] Paula Dix: exactly
[13:57] herman Bergson: they claim they have the right arguments
[13:57] Paula Dix: and enforce them...
[13:57] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:57] Samuel Okelly: before we can answer Zevio's question of how we could "know" God , a very clear understanding of what is meant by God is needed i think if we are to avoid talking past eachother
[13:57] Paula Dix: in this sense i dislike dawkins
[13:58] herman Bergson: It is against human nature and fundamental freedom of mind
[13:58] herman Bergson: Oh I dont like him at all
[13:58] Samuel Okelly: ow - that text is VERY late and laggy!
[13:58] Paula Dix: lol
[13:58] Paula Dix: but still pertinent :))
[13:59] Zevio Droz: think of it this way, it's like you're an adopted child and you dont find out till ur older. the whole time you thought it was your real mother
[13:59] herman Bergson: But I think you must make a difference between institutions of the church and the human phenomenon, that man believes in a supernatural
[13:59] Zevio Droz: u have no way of knowing otherwise
[13:59] Paula Dix: true herman, i still dont like churches
[14:00] Paula Dix: lol Zevio thats interesting, because ultimately universe does exist
[14:00] herman Bergson: Well ..most of the time..people who call themselves atheists are against these institutions
[14:01] Paula Dix: yes, like under christian label there is all kind of people also
[14:01] herman Bergson: under socialists...good ones and bad ones ^_^
[14:01] Paula Dix: hmmm that means the labels doesnt really matter??
[14:02] Paula Dix: whats under them? ethics?
[14:02] Samuel Okelly: i think unwavering certainty of belief, be it theistic or atheistic, is indicative of extremism
[14:02] herman Bergson: So we should keep a clear distinction between the philosophical debate here and the social function and place of a religious organization in society and how they justify their power
[14:02] herman Bergson: I agree Samuel
[14:03] Paula Dix: yes me too
[14:03] Zevio Droz: yes
[14:03] Zevio Droz: but i propose that we are certainly uncertain
[14:03] herman Bergson: What I try here is just to clarify the rational arguments we can find to say there is or is not a God
[14:04] Samuel Okelly: do you think it is possible to challenge the "logic" and "reason" of the First Cause theory?
[14:04] Paula Dix: one of dawkins idea that looks interesting is that is strange to put the most complex being in the origin of things and not at the "end"
[14:05] Zevio Droz: i have to get goin guys
[14:05] Zevio Droz: nice to meet you all
[14:05] Samuel Okelly: tc zev
[14:05] Paula Dix: bye
[14:05] herman Bergson: Nice you could come Zevio :-)
[14:05] Zevio Droz: nice to be here
[14:05] Zevio Droz: adios
[14:06] herman Bergson: The first cause theory is problematic, for it is justified to ask what was the cause of the first cause
[14:06] Paula Dix: First Cause is that things should have come from somewhere??
[14:06] Paula Dix: yes, exact
[14:06] Samuel Okelly: i diagree herman
[14:06] Samuel Okelly: and here is why...
[14:07] herman Bergson: Are you ok Jangle?
[14:07] Samuel Okelly: to ask "where did God come from" denies the premise and assumes the argument to fall
[14:07] Paula Dix: :))
[14:07] Jangle McElroy: Rational. I guess my view is biased, like everyone. I beleive in god. I believe he has caused existance. And that we are allowed to operate freely, within rules, during our life. If God existed in a regular, manifest manner in our lives ,they would be our afterlives - salvation. Something we aspire to - a here-after and not more of this existance. I guessI 'm dumb enough to compare God to a scientist who has an antfarm called the universe. Imagine tryng to convince ants you are god and exist without fundamentally changing the nature of their lives.
[14:07] herman Bergson: denies what premis?
[14:08] Samuel Okelly: the first cause theory argues from contingency
[14:08] Paula Dix: in this sense, samuel, then i dont agree with first cause
[14:08] herman Bergson: And what does that mean?
[14:08] Paula Dix: because i would need an explanation of where god came from
[14:08] Samuel Okelly: that means that everything is dependant on something else
[14:09] herman Bergson: Yes and so is that first cause, I would say
[14:09] Paula Dix: Jangle thats a great concept!
[14:10] Samuel Okelly: but to then question what caused the first cause denies the very premise that the argument begins with
[14:10] Samuel Okelly: it assumes a circular argument
[14:10] Jangle McElroy: It's a simple idea, I like simple - like Ockham.
[14:10] Paula Dix: :))
[14:10] Samuel Okelly: which itself is not logical
[14:10] herman Bergson: if it isnt logical then there are no arguments against it
[14:11] herman Bergson: not is the conclusion necessary
[14:11] Samuel Okelly: i think there is a common danger for people to start arguing from what they view as "probable" rather than "logical"
[14:12] herman Bergson: If the premisses are true the conclusion is necessarily true..that is a basic rule of logic
[14:12] Paula Dix: lol thinking about "circular argument" i thought that universe could have started on that point with a big bang, then developed and developed, past us, to get finally to a very very powerful being that evolved for long long time. Then this being transported her/himself to the past and created big bang... :))))
[14:12] Samuel Okelly: exactly
[14:13] herman Bergson: So what are the premisses of the First Cause reasoning and how do we estabish their truth
[14:13] Justine Rhapsody: I think Paula's idea has a lot of interest.
[14:13] Samuel Okelly: so if the premise IS accepted, then can we say thge argument is "logical" ?
[14:13] herman Bergson: Yes Paula, but that doesnt explain the very first Big Bang
[14:14] Paula Dix: true, its just circular
[14:14] herman Bergson: no...we cant Samuel
[14:14] Samuel Okelly: where does the logic fall herman?
[14:15] herman Bergson: If the premisses are true and the logical form is correct then the truth of the conclusion cant be denied without creating a contradiction
[14:16] herman Bergson: Can you formulate the premisses and conclusion of this First Cause argumentation?
[14:16] Samuel Okelly: an argument can be "logical" even when the premise is flawed
[14:16] Samuel Okelly: it is the truth of the conclusion can be flawed
[14:17] herman Bergson: If you mean that the logical form of the argumentation can be correct while the premisses are untrue you are correct...
[14:17] Samuel Okelly: i do
[14:17] herman Bergson: but then the conclussion is necessarily false
[14:17] Samuel Okelly: i agree
[14:17] Jangle McElroy: On a lighter note, I love the idea put forward by Fritz Leiber in his fantasy novels. He has a Lord of The Rings type society where in them ain city there are hundreds of religions and gods. The way religion works is the more people whobelieve in a particular god, the more powerful they become - and the more power they pass to their priests in terms of healing/ miracles etc. One of the stories plots the rise of a particular religion up along the street of gods - where all the chriches are and as a religion gets bigger it moves to bigger chirches along the street - or down again as it falters
[14:18] herman Bergson smiles
[14:18] herman Bergson: religious competition, Jangle?
[14:19] Samuel Okelly: the first cause argument is logical as it logically argues away from infinite regress
[14:19] Jangle McElroy: Yes indeed. It also mirrors the idea perhaps that mainkind eventually finds what it seeks, whether it existed or not before hand or not. So in the case of the rleighion, belief creates the gods.
[14:20] herman Bergson: I still havent seen the argument, Samuel
[14:20] Samuel Okelly: it seems perfectly clear herman...
[14:20] Samuel Okelly: without a first cause, what remains?
[14:21] herman Bergson: A much more interesting argument is the ontological argument as formulated by Thomas Aquinas...
[14:21] Jangle McElroy: Did he have a number of rules probving god;'s existance?
[14:21] herman Bergson: that way....
[14:21] Paula Dix: jangle there is a great book by scott card, hart´s hope, where gods are physical beings, very interesting
[14:21] herman Bergson: This implies that you believe in absolute causality
[14:21] Jangle McElroy: Cool
[14:21] Paula Dix: its a princess and prince story, wonderful
[14:22] Samuel Okelly: everything is dependant on something else and without an uncaused cause, we are left with infinte regress
[14:22] herman Bergson: yes indeed...
[14:22] herman Bergson: we are and we have no argument to deny the infinite regress
[14:23] Samuel Okelly: an uncaused cause makes infinte regress unnecassary
[14:23] Jangle McElroy: May I pose a question?
[14:23] herman Bergson: this First Cause MUST have a cause by its very own logic
[14:23] herman Bergson: sure Jangle
[14:24] Jangle McElroy: If I remember correctly, it's reported that Jesus said 'God made man in his own image.' - My question then is what if this means God also had to evolve. In which case the regression question maybe affected?
[14:24] Paula Dix: i think like herman in this, or it wont be logical
[14:25] Jangle McElroy: Did I kill a perfectly good conversation ? :)
[14:25] herman Bergson: Well Jangle..I wouldnt take these word too literal....otherwise you have to asume that God has a manlike material appearance
[14:26] Samuel Okelly: i agree
[14:26] Paula Dix: or womanlike! :))))
[14:26] herman Bergson: sorry Paula.....the old pittfall of us males
[14:26] Paula Dix: lol
[14:26] Jangle McElroy: I'd argue the opposite, and not worry about the material, and think eternal substance. A soul. In which case, the question may stand?
[14:27] Samuel Okelly: wasnt it sherlock holmes who said after eliminating the impossible whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth?
[14:27] herman Bergson: I agree that these words were menat in this abstract way
[14:27] Jangle McElroy: Sorry Paula - I'm thinkling soul and does that have a gender lol
[14:27] Jangle McElroy: Sam - yes it was written that the character said that
[14:28] herman Bergson: I am not as smart as Sherlock I have to stick to philosophical argumentation ^_^
[14:28] Samuel Okelly: :)
[14:29] Jangle McElroy: Just surely the simplest answer is either - existance is a fluke, existance is a mathematical probability, or there is a god. And we will never know the odds for each option :)
[14:29] Paula Dix: lol sure, im just joking :))) it could be babylike also :)))) or its said angels dont have sex, so why god would have?
[14:29] Samuel Okelly: i think this may be helpful to us when we are faced with two very diffiuly concepts
[14:30] Paula Dix: Samuel, my thinking about this is why to go to a final position about it? we can speculate and this can get somewhere, but i guess a final position isnt advisable since we have no data to be sure?
[14:31] herman Bergson: I think it is really time for the lecture on Tuesday....
[14:31] herman Bergson: I will put forward a completely different approach of this matter..
[14:31] Jangle McElroy: Thanks for the lecture
[14:31] herman Bergson: You are welcome Jangle
[14:31] Samuel Okelly: i agree paula in most theistic beliefs, God is understood in a series of absolutes and to denigrate God to possess limitations is unhelpfull
[14:32] Samuel Okelly: thank you herman
[14:32] Samuel Okelly: apologies again for my late arrival
[14:32] Samuel Okelly: this was one i really would have liked to have been on time for ;)
[14:32] herman Bergson: I hope you yet appreciated participation in the discussion Samuel..I did
[14:33] Jangle McElroy: It was interesting. See you all soon.
[14:33] herman Bergson: Bye Jangle
[14:33] Samuel Okelly: well if anyone is really interested in teh argumentation of Christian apologetics, i can recommend the MP3s on peter Kreeft's website
[14:34] herman Bergson: Ah..ok
[14:34] Paula Dix: i guess thats was the best religion discussion i had so far :)))
[14:34] herman Bergson: got a URL, Samuel?
[14:34] Samuel Okelly: i think it is just his name ".com"
[14:34] herman Bergson: Ok..thnx
[14:34] Samuel Okelly:
[14:34] herman Bergson: I am glad you are content Paula
[14:35] herman Bergson: And such a small group is actually pretty convenient :-)
[14:35] Samuel Okelly: :)
[14:35] Paula Dix: its such an interesting subject but normally people get so inflamated we cant talk abou
[14:35] Justine Rhapsody: I found it interesting to hear the various opinions.
[14:35] Paula Dix: lol yes!
[14:35] Justine Rhapsody: good bye now :)
[14:36] Samuel Okelly: i agree paula
[14:36] Paula Dix: bye!
[14:36] Samuel Okelly: tc jus
[14:36] herman Bergson: Thx for coming Justine...
[14:37] herman Bergson: There is a big difference in a person between the emotional meaning of his religious belief and rational argumentation about religious topics
[14:37] Paula Dix: yes
[14:37] Samuel Okelly: i agree 100% herman
[14:37] herman Bergson: And here we are not interested in how everyone personally experiences his (non)religious convictions
[14:38] herman Bergson: Here we have a thesis and we look for arguments
[14:38] Samuel Okelly: all too often i see people "debating" religion without having agreed terms and definitions and they nearly always end up talking past each other
[14:39] Paula Dix: exactly!
[14:39] herman Bergson: So..I wonder what next class will bring..:-)
[14:39] Paula Dix: lol

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