J. Randall Murphy
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This thread is for examining questions about the unexplained from a philosophical and/or scientific perspective. While this can include religious and mystical subject matter, please be as objective as possible. This is not a forum for sermonizing. To start off, here's a video featuring Alvin Plantinga, who was recently mentioned by an infrequent poster @smcder in this thread.
This will probably stir some controversy. My first response to one of Plantinga's video's is here: https://www.theparacast.com/forum/threads/october-20-2013-jerome-clark.14172/page-3#post-173274
To continue from the previous thread: The key point for me is that Plantinga asserts that belief in God is only rational if it is true that God exists. There are some other issues he brings into the mix that I'm not entirely comfortable with. But this one point on truth doesn't seem to be escapable.
So the real question then becomes, how do we tell whether or not God exists? We've been through that here on the forum a number of times. Plantinga argues in the video above that his personal experience is sufficient reason for him to believe. Is that really a supportable position? I think that for him ( personally ) it is. But of what relevance is that for the rest of us?
“Evolution doesn’t care about true belief.”
The average person believes in some form of a God. Atheism although more popular now than in the past, is not the norm. That being the case - if so many people, all the product of millions of years of evolution believe in God - might that propensity itself be a result of faulty perception programmed into us by evolution?
I hold firm to the idea that - spirituality, for severe lack of a better term, doesn’t necessitate a God. Companies have CEO’s. Businesses have managers. Bands have front men. We have an expectancy for there to be an alpha component in all social dynamics. We then map that out into the metaphysical. I don’t think it’s necessarily our fault though - organized religion from its inception was well aware of the psychological effect their presence had, and how to exploit archetypes. When I was a kid, I used to manipulate my little sister into doing things I wanted her to do by simply lying and saying “Dad said so.”.
Hello @Golden_Vimana. I have been away from the paracast forums for quite a long time and have not met you in the past. I wonder if you would clarify the meaning of this statement in your post --
"We have an expectancy for there to be an alpha component in all social dynamics. We then map that out into the metaphysical."
Hello constance. I’d be happy to.
“Take me to your leader.” - a sci-fi trope that says a lot about how we think.
We expect groups and organizations to be shaped like a pyramid. We expect there to be a hierarchy. When you have a dispute with a cashier at Walmart, you ask for the manager. I’m not saying any of this in a pejorative sense - I simply mean, whenever we encounter a group, organization or civilization of any type, societal norms have us expect there to be somebody “in charge”. We can even observe it when it’s just two people. There’s generally one person who’s more assertive, while the other is more passive. Since we’re steeped in that dynamic from birth, we then expect the same rule to apply when it comes to transcendent realms, or however you want to refer to consciousness that exists outside the limitations of what we can readily sense. If high schools have principals, and basketball teams have coaches, well then the universe must have - God - right? I think the answer is no, and I think some higher ups within organized religion are well aware of this, taking advantage of our nature.