Re: jars logic regarding a Creator
To paraphrase Lou Grant loosely, there's not enough coffee in the world. (ask me for the original remark if you're curious)
Here's the fundamental problem as I see it having played out so many times in "debates" between fundamentalist/evangelical* Christians and skeptics/atheists. The skeptic wants to see some kind of evidence or reliable reasoning from the Christian and the Christian keeps trying to push the discussion to the point where the skeptic concedes the possibility for a supernatural entity to exist. Once that point has been reached, the Christian then immediately asserts that that means that his own ideas of "God" and of his doctrine are true. IOW, if you concede that some vague undefined god-ish thingee might possibly have to exist, then all my highly detailed and extremely specific theology has been proven.
If I had a copy, I would at this point post that classic cartoon of two scientists/mathematicians standing at a blackboard. The one has worked out a solution to a problem and is presenting it to his colleague for comment. On the blackboard we see equations on the left and right sides, but the center is blank save for the words, "Something happens". The colleague points to that middle section and says, "I think this part needs more work."
Believers instinctively grasp at any straw that might suggest the existence of the supernatural as proof that their god exists and that the entirety of their highly detailed and extremely specific theology must be true. Non-believers, especially agnostics (ie, those who realize that we cannot possibly know anything about the supernatural which we cannot sense, observe, nor determine anything about including whether it even exists, let alone create highly detailed and extremely specific descriptions about it), know full well that you are jumping to conclusions (analogous in magnitude to leaping from the US west coast to the US east coast in a single bound) and so challenge your actions which put Superman Classic to shame ("Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound!").
IOW, that middle section that you overleap without giving it a single thought needs a lot more work. Just because there might be a chance that the supernatural might possibly exist does not in any way prove your own particular god nor any of the many theologies associated with that god. That case still needs to be made and as far as we can see nobody has ever attempted to even begin to make that case.
From my Country Two-Step class I know a young woman of a particular religious persuasion that I do not know the name of. That contact has left me second-guessing our labels for highly similar religious groups.
Her religion is extremely "conservative", what most of us would call "fundamentalist" or "evangelical" or "conservative", and yet she and her ilk will bridle most strongly against being associated with those apostates. True to Ed Babinski's classic evolutionary tree of Christianity (see below), even that branch of that most highly splintered tree has splintered far beyond the comprehension of normals.
Now, to us normals ("I know about me, but I'm not so sure about thee") all that group looks the same and so deserves the same label, whereas each sub-group within that group holds itself as being separate and distinct from those other sub-groups in terms of theology and does not want to be associated with those apostates in any manner, to the point of taking extreme umbrage at having the other sub-groups' label being applied to oneself. And, frankly, those insurmountable differences between them are beyond the comprehension of most outsiders.
Frankly, she opened my eyes to that problem of how we are to refer to them. One label does in fact not fit all. But that leaves us with the problem of how to refer to them as a group.
There's a quotation of Bertrand Russell that I continue to find apt.
He said that when a Catholic becomes a freethinker, then he becomes an atheist. But when a Protestant becomes a freethinker, then he just forms a new denomination.
My understanding of that is that Catholics think even more in black-and-white than Fundamentalists do in that all that there is is the One True Faith and heresy. On the other hand, the entire tradition of Protestantism is splitting away from the mother church over some doctrinal differences, so when you develop doctrinal differences with your church then you don't leave the religion but rather you simply create a new religion.
And true to that dynamic, Ed Babinski outlines below the massive splintering of Protestantism into a myriad of denominations.
Edited by dwise1, : FOOTNOTE
Edited by dwise1, : Added Ed Babinski's classic evolutionary tree of Christianity
Plus ABE about Bertrand Russel
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