Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Still not a theist...

A quick followup to this long-ago post: Being a theist requires believing in several things. Specifically,

  • That God exists;
  • That God is benevolent;
  • That God is able to communicate with us in a way we can perceive;
  • That God is willing to do so;
  • That God has done so;
  • That this communication has included God's preferences regarding our behavior;
  • That we have noticed this communication;
  • That we have understood or interpreted it correctly.
One further thought: Acceptance of any one of those propositions, or all of them up to some specified proposition, implies little to nothing about the truth-value of the next. That is, assuming, for example, that God exists and is benevolent, says nothing about whether it is possible for a (presumably-infinite) being to interact with finite beings in a way they can perceive; whether any such communication has been made; and so on.

Not only are the assumptions very large, the causality connecting them is tenuous at best.

UPDATE: One further assumption should be slid in there: that any communication about preferences for our behavior have been unambiguous and non-contradictory.

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