David A Musick (davidmusick@juno.com)
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 00:04:24 -0500

Many extropians and other generally rational people label themselves
"atheist", meaning that they don't believe in God. Some go even further
and believe that there is no God. Many atheists seem to be against the
concept of God in any form. I've noticed many times on this list that
when the subject of God comes up, many atheists, in typical knee-jerk
fashion, renounce the whole idea, even though the God concept is
significantly different than standard God concepts. I doubt this
rejection of all possible God concepts is rational.

My belief is that unless a theory is logically inconsistent or disagrees
with experiential evidence, then it cannot be rejected entirely. Of
course, theories with much supporting evidence should be considered more
applicable to reality than those with little or none. But there is no
rational basis for *rejecting* a theory without sufficient evidence
against it.

There is a huge variety of God concepts. Probably the most familiar to
those on this list are the Judeao-Christian God concepts. Many people,
including atheists, have a hard time thinking about God without using
these limited concepts. But there are countless other ways to invent God

The idea that our universe was created by an intelligent being is very
attractive to most people. Of course, that intelligent being could have
many possible characteristics and motivations. Many atheists continue to
use the tired argument, "if there is a God, why all the suffering?",
without realizing that there is no connection between creating a universe
and ensuring that no suffering occurs within that system. They have
placed the unnecessary restriction that God must care about suffering and
is able to do anything about it. That's also true for their arguments
regarding omnipotence or omniscience. *Some* people's Gods have those
qualities, but not every God concept includes God being omnipotent and

When atheists state there is no God, they are making a very bold,
unsupported claim, since there are so many possible variations on the God
concept. I don't consider it rational to make such claims without any
supporting evidence or logical proofs.

Now, I'm not saying there is a God; I have no idea. But possibilities
are possibilities until proven otherwise. I prefer not to close my mind
prematurely on any subject. That way, I don't limit myself with my own
mental fixations.

David Musick (DavidMusick@juno.com)

- Continual improvement is the highest good.