God and Certainty (was Olympic Piety)

Kurt Rongey (ldm@fastlane.net)
Sun, 28 Jul 1996 23:48:56 -0500

> > At 03:05 PM 7/28/96 -0700, Max More wrote:
> > >Not sure this is very on-topic but it struck me as hilarious but sad:
> > >
> > >I was watching the 100M women's race. The winner (whose name I forget but
> > >who was on the American team) was interviewed right after her victory. What
> > >did this "fastest woman in the world" have to say? She said:
> > >
> > > "The first person I want to thank is God."
> > >
> > >Somebody wake me when we're living in a modern world.

James Daugherty wrote:
> This brings up a serious question. Can a person with a scientific
> mind set ever have the "certainty" that seems to be required for peak
> performance in many fields of endeavor?
> Religious "faith" is the most common approach to the "need" for
> certainty. I am not talking about the "comforting" aspects of "certainty"
> and "faith", but the apparent advantages in "programming" behaviour be it
> athletics, business, career...stiving of any and all sorts!

Kurt Rongey:
It would seem that the Christian attitude toward goals is that "I'll do
through the grace of God, if it is His will." What this accomplishes
the aspiring olympic runner is eradication of any need to acknowledge
possibility of failure. "God will be there no matter what happens, and
all I have to do is work hard and he'll take care of the rest." This is
especially true of people operating to fulfill the potential of a
(read God-given) "talent", as one finds with olympic athletes.

This kind of motivational abandon seems on the surface incompatible with
any belief system that restricts itself to reason. In addition, I think
that the Extropian mainstream view of "certainty" is not a positive
All is theoretical, and theories are subject to alteration due to
differing experimental results.

Do we have to abandon reason in order to abandon uncertainty? If so,
a rational philosophy hamper achievement?

I'm interested to know what techniques people have used to free
themselves from the thought of failure without "divine assistance," and
thereby achieved extraordinary goals. Anybody have any favorite
techniques? The faith-in-God one works pretty well. Too bad there's no

Kurt Rongey ===============
ldm@fastlane.net ==========