Posted by tungtide on October 2, 2008, 8:16 am

If only it were this easy:


5 Responses to “Quickie”

  1. Janelle said

    You posted from this comic strip before, so I went to their site and scrolled through a bunch. I was surprised at how anti-agnostic they were, implying that agnostics are really atheists that don’t want to upset Christians. If I had to define my religious views, I guess I would say it is agnostic, but not for that reason. I just think it is rather arrogant to claim absolute knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God unless He/She/It came directly to you and said “I exist.” Christianity is relying on the Bible, what religious leaders tell them and blind faith to support their belief, and atheists are relying on a lack of scientific evidence to support theirs. I interpret the idea of God as something beyond our Earthly understanding. Based on that interpretation, how is it possible to understand on Earth what God is, what God wants, or what comes after death? Conversely, how can you claim God doesn’t exist when the “evidence” you seek may be beyond our Earthly means to measure? As suggested in Kevin Smith’s movie Dogma, isn’t it better to just have an idea? Maybe people are frightened by uncertainty, but I think uncertainty is respectful to both God and science. Respect to God, because I’m not claiming to know something that is beyond knowing. Respect to science because history shows that things once beyond our ability to measure can later be shown to exist. (Example: neutrinos.)

  2. tungtide said

    The way I look at the whole issue is rather straightforward: evidence does not exist that convinces me that god exists. If new evidence arises (due to being able to measure something that was unmeasurable before) that conflicts with my current understanding of the situation I will appropriately revise my beliefs.

    Dogma is one of my favorite movies because it brings up a number of good questions about the role of religion and the “truth” it claims to hold. I can completely understand the idea that god is something unknowable. The question then becomes which god? The god of the Christians is very different than the Hindus, and still separated from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    I respect ideas, but question the validity of some. Not all opinions on a subject are equally valid or true. The ongoing “debate” between the concepts of evolution and intelligent design is an excellent example of an idea gone wrong.

    I put up today’s LICD comic because it entertained me and fit in with some of the themes that I hit on with this blog. Ryan and Lar touch on a great variety of subjects and often do so without tact of any sort.

  3. Janelle said

    I absolutely question the validity of certain ideas, but I think that is the whole point. Ideas are meant to be questioned and discussed, and like scientific hypothesis they can be dismissed as evidence again the idea arises.

    There are so many religions, which God? Again, I don’t think that is something humans are meant to know based on the mere concept of God.

    I respect that you are willing to look at new evidence and reconsider. Many people aren’t willing to do that.

    You said “If new evidence arises…I will appropriately revise my beliefs.” To me, a belief needs to be formed based on existing evidence, not lack of evidence. I believe the world is round in part because we have sent shuttles into space and photographed it. But I don’t dismiss the existence of God because we didn’t seem him in the heavens above.

  4. nell's dad said

    At one point in my youth I considered myself an athiest. Then I decided that was too limiting an outlook for me. So, I decided to believe in the possibility of a creator (thereby becoming agnostic). Now that I am older, and have had more of a chance to think, dream, and study, I have changed to become a believer in a creator (with occasional doubts, of course!)

    We take many things on faith. We believe the earth is round based on interpretive data, photographs, testimony, etc. We believe in neutrinos even though we have never seen one and most of us take it on faith that the existence of neutrinos is true, but have never seen the evidence of their existence. (I certainly haven’t seen the tests, or even the test data, but believe in them because scientific logic tells me that they exist.)

    Isn’t it possible that religious faith is similar? There is no real conflict between creationism and evolution in my mind. I would recommend watching a DVD – ‘The Case for a Creator’ if you truly have an open mind.

  5. tungtide said

    Since this discussion is actually heading in a fun and interesting direction I’m going to pull it up to the front page in a new post this weekend.

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