Mark D. Fulwiler (mfulwiler@earthlink.net)
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 17:14:08 -0700

(David A Musick) <davidmusick@juno.com> wrote:

> Subject: God
> 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
> concepts.
> 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
> omniscient.
> 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.

Most atheists base their atheism on the standard Judeo-Christian concept of God, which
is a logical impossibility.

But let's suppose you want to define "god" as some sort of intelligent being who created
the Universe. Yes, that is possible. However, there is not a shred of evidence for that
theory. I really don't have time to think about everything which might be possible. It
is possible that there may be a planet in the Universe made of green cheese. My mind is
not "closed" on any subject, but the burden of proof always lies with the person who
claims something is true.

Also, if there is some sort of "god", I'm really not interested in this entity unless
you can show me that he can do something useful for me at the present time.

Mark Fulwiler