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God and Whose Army

God and Whose Army

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Published by iananderson4033
In God and Whose Army? The Human Place in Finite Systems, I attempt to move beyond religion’s particular claims about the material and ascertain the viability of theistic belief itself through a series of exhaustive thought experiments about the afterlife and other experiential and philosophical aspects of human life. The keyword in this last phrase is “human”—our unique perspectives and limitations as human beings allow us to do more than simply prove that the universe doesn’t require an intelligent creator. We can also evaluate that theoretical creator’s claims, whether they pertain to its own godhood or to moral notions of right and wrong. A logical, systematic thought experiment has much to say about the possibility of religious belief itself, and the implications it has for a consistent worldview (and for modern political issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and the ethics of acting voluntarily to carry out given orders in war). See http//www.godandwhosearmy.com to read it in html or download the doc file.
In God and Whose Army? The Human Place in Finite Systems, I attempt to move beyond religion’s particular claims about the material and ascertain the viability of theistic belief itself through a series of exhaustive thought experiments about the afterlife and other experiential and philosophical aspects of human life. The keyword in this last phrase is “human”—our unique perspectives and limitations as human beings allow us to do more than simply prove that the universe doesn’t require an intelligent creator. We can also evaluate that theoretical creator’s claims, whether they pertain to its own godhood or to moral notions of right and wrong. A logical, systematic thought experiment has much to say about the possibility of religious belief itself, and the implications it has for a consistent worldview (and for modern political issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and the ethics of acting voluntarily to carry out given orders in war). See http//www.godandwhosearmy.com to read it in html or download the doc file.

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Published by: iananderson4033 on Dec 23, 2009
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01/15/2013

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 Table of Contents
 
Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..3Chapter1………………………………………………………………………………..6Chapter 2………………………………………………………………………………43Chapter 3………………………………………………………………………………62Chapter 4………………………………………………………………………………81Chapter5……………………………………………………………………………..105Chapter6……………………………………………………………………………..115Chapter7……………………………………………………………………………..169Chapter8……………………………………………………………………………..264Chapter9……………………………………………………………………………..309Epilogue………………………………………………………………………………342
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Introduction: Moving Beyond the New Atheists
Authors such as John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, andmore recently George H. Smith, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett,Christopher Hitchens, David Eller, and Sam Harris have put forth eloquentand effective testaments to disbelief, refuting a history of religious apologiafrom Aquinas to C.S. Lewis. They’ve shown religious doctrine to becontradictory, inimical to modern society, and scientifically inaccurate.Russell, for example, repudiated the notion that a prime mover wasnecessary to create the universe (as everything finite requires a cause) byasking, “Who made God?” Regarding the same argument, Smith pointed outthat even if the universe requires a prime mover, whichever being filled thatcapacity could have perished at some point after or during the process—itneed not be immortal. Dawkins and Dennett have built upon Darwin’sobservations about the natural world to prove that there is no call forintelligent design in the world of biology. Hitchens and Harris have shownthat religion is a uniquely harmful aspect of modern society, given to havingits nebulous-by-design precepts twisted to provide a veneer of holiness andwholesomeness to destructive projects.While these rejections of faith are compelling, they are ultimatelyrestricted by the theistic tendency to advocate a more general spirituality astheir specific claims come under scrutiny or are shown to be contradictory.Each new argument is but one in a series of ever-expanding, ever-wideningapologist goalposts. Refute the claim that god must have created theuniverse, and the theist will reformulate his or her position such that goddidn’t
create
the universe, but rather incepted it and then retreated to theHeavenly realm. A Christian will often become a general theist or agnostic forthe purposes of arguing a tenable position, but the problem remains thatthey are religious, albeit in some watered-down, fair-weather way (and theywill often drift back to a specific creed via the soporific effects of faith). Suchis the dilemma of mystical thinking: when rational empiricism is thrown outthe window, anything conceivable or inconceivable becomes plausible.Explanatory hypotheses are unnecessary because religious thought is definedas distinct from scientific thought, yet by necessity it must, on occasion,interact with the scientific. This incongruity cannot be examined deeply, sothe religionist formulates contradictory explanations and attributes such togod’s unfathomable nature. God can perform logically meaningless acts, suchas create square circles, because it is god, a being alternately defined as onewhich can be described in our terms, and one which cannot, depending on
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