Re: God

Fred C. Moulton (
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 17:39:16 -0800

At 12:04 AM 1/10/98 -0500, David Musick wrote:
>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.

What "God concept" are you talking about? I do not believe that there
is a pink invisible hippo dressed in a tutu dancing on my keyboard, which
I will refer to as PIHDT. Just because there are many different PIHDT
concepts, are you stating that I am not rational for rejecting the
entire set of PIHDT concepts? I suggest that you take your original
message and do a global replace of "God" with "a pink invisible hippo
dressed in a tutu dancing on my keyboard" and then read it again.

If you are claiming that I should give some special consideration to some
concept, exactly what type of consideration are you talking about and why
I should give different consideration to "God concepts" than to PIHDT
concepts. Mickey Mouse, PIHDT, and God are all fictional concepts,
sometimes I consider these concepts but I consider these concepts as fictional
concepts. If you think there is a relevant difference between Mickey Mouse,
PIHDT and God, please state it in detail.

>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

It is the believers in God who came up with the all knowing, all loving,
and all powerful stuff. The persons who have criticized these silly ideas
should not be condemned, rather praised for calling attention to the errors
in these ideas.

I am not going to comment on the rest of the post, I don't have the time
or patience. My strong suggestion is that before people go arguing religion
and theology, they do some basic study in the field. The best place to
start is the following book:

TITLE: The Retreat to Commitment
AUTHOR: W.W. Bartley, III

I hope this does not seem overly harsh, however this is the Extropian email
list and my expectation of a high level of discourse.

Fred C. Moulton