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Meeting the Living God.

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Presentation on theme: "Meeting the Living God."— Presentation transcript:

1 Meeting the Living God

2 “The Tree Comes to Me” What does this mean?
Objective Evidence (primary) exists independently from our Subjective Opinions (secondary) Subjective Opinions are entirely dependent upon Objective Evidence

3 Mis-Expressions Name five words or expressions that you regularly use which don’t mean what you say “Say what you mean and mean what you say” Is ≠ Seems Our words have great power

4 How is PCEEC related to our search for God’s existence?
Subjective opinion is only as good as the objective evidence that backs it up Can we be certain about God’s existence? Why or why not? What kind of knowledge do we have about God’s existence?

5 Life vs. Death: The Battle
Freud – atheist psychologist Two Forces on the Individual Eros: The Life Wish Stretching your horizons Thanatos: The Death Wish Inertia Not Just Introvert vs. Extrovert

6 Children of the Death Wish
Self-Absorption Inertia

7 The Grandchildren of the Death Wish: Obstacles to Reasoning Well
Prejudice Herd-Need Protective Indifference False Humility Fear of the Cost How do these prevent us from reasoning clearly?

8 Truth: The Nature of Things
Existence Do objects and persons exist subjectively only? Only in our minds? What exists first? What is primary reality? An object’s existence does not depend on my subjective opinion, but… Your valid opinion is utterly dependent on the object’s existence and nature

9 “Existence” vs. “Nature”
Does this exist? Vs. What is its purpose and meaning? Give me three examples Some natures we can figure out ourselves; for others we must rely on experts Rights of Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness  Constitution Murder is Immoral  5th Commandment Why not the other way around? What is the purpose of laws in general?

10 Types of Knowledge Real Knowledge – Certain, Right-Brain
Direct Observation  “The Tree Comes to Me” Common Sense Ex. No effect can be greater than the sum of its causes Notional Knowledge – Probable, Left-Brain Reasoning – PCEEC (Gather, Sift, Outline, Express, Critique) Testimony Expert Opinion Eyewitnesses

11 Types of Reasoning Induction Deduction Analogy Give me an example
From unique experience to general theory Deduction Apply general theory to specific situation Analogy Give me an example

12 Is There a Mind Behind It All?
Why only four possible answer to this question? Indifference – “I don’t care to answer the question” Agnosticism – “not knowing” Atheism – “no-God” Theism – “God”

13 False Gods God is a useful creation of humankind, a fantasy that gives our lives direction and purpose God is a feeling I get, like my conscience God is an ideal, the personification of all virtues God is “The Force” God is human love, the summation of all love in the world at any given time.

14 Strange “Gods” God is there when I’m in need. Otherwise, when things are going okay, God doesn’t intrude on my life. God is the Good Shepherd who pats our wooly heads and makes everything nice again God is the judge whose purpose is to forgive and condemn when we die God is an infinitely distance and holy perfection, but too pure to muddy himself in human life God is my buddy, at my elbow, ready to “be there” for me, always.

15 Indifference & Atheism
Indifference – “Who gives a shit?” Many people who claim to be agnostics and atheists are really indifferent Agnostic Do not deny God’s existence Want absolute certainty that God does exist “You can stay at the crossroads forever. But it’s frustrating.”

16 Atheism vs. Theism What do they have common? Thinking Atheism
Well thought out!!!! Both are an act of faith – a calculated opinion Thinking Atheism If there is no God, what does this say about the world and how we live in the world? Ivan Karamozov – “If there is no God, everything is permissible” Is the universe an accident? Thinking Theism Is there an order to the Universe? Is there a Mind Behind It All?

17 Indifference What are “reasons” that cause us to be indifferent to being curious in general and, in specific, about the God question? What power does society have over our lack of care? “The American Dream” “Hip Hop” and “Rock n Roll” Culture Whatever we make the center of our lives functions as god to us idolatry

18 Thinking Atheism Modern Atheism
Why has atheism flourished in the modern world (from 1750 to present)? What has dramatically changed in the world and our worldview after the Renaissance? Be careful in distinguishing between Atheism vs. Anti-Religion Marx, Nietzsche, Feuerbach, Freud, Camus, Sagan

19 Economic Atheism  Marx
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, & the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the masses” “Since only what is material is perceptible, knowable, nothing is known of the existence of God."

20 Marx on Religion "The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."

21 Beginnings of Psychological Atheism  Nietzsche
Nihilism Religion and divinity are projections of human nature What we want to be at our most powerful is what we project upon god “Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever right is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be justified and established.”

22 Nietzsche on God’s Death
"But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Backwards, sideways, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? - for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! "

23 Psychological Atheism - Freud
"The child's attitude to its father is coloured by a peculiar ambivalence." Future of an Illusion ch. 4 “It would be an undoubted advantage if we were to leave God out altogether and admit the purely human origins of all the precepts and regulations of civilization." Future of an Illusion, ch 7

24 Freud on Sexuality and God
"Sexual love has given us our most intense experience of an overwhelming sensation of pleasure and has thus furnished us with a pattern for our search for happiness." Civilization and Its Discontents, ch. 2

25 More Freud “The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind." A History of God

26 Scientific Atheism/Agnosticism
No meaning can be found outside the physical universe Possibly more of an agnostic than an atheist Carl Sagan

27 Sagan on God "The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God,' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."

28 The Argument from Suffering
Albert Camus The Plague and The Stranger The Myth of Sisyphus We wander aimlessly If life has no purpose, then why not commit suicide?

29 Is God Near or Far? Transcendent Immanent Deism Islam Christianity
Judaism Dualism??? Buddhism? Panentheism Hinduism Greek and Roman Religion Immanent Pantheism

30 Types of Theism The Impersonal God The Personal God(s)
Deism Thomas Jefferson The Clock Maker Why is Deism too easy? The Personal God(s) Polytheism vs. Monotheism Pantheism vs. Panentheism Dualism?

31 What makes us have faith?
Faith vs. Belief? Faith A Gift A calculated risk, an opinion Belief A relationship of trust

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