I just asked this question on my Facebook page...

Devil's Advocate question time!! .......If EVERYTHING that happens is according to "G"s plan....Why do people get angry with the outcomes of everything!!?? Hmmmmmmmm......(I must have over-looked the fine print somewhere).... If you get angry at the outcome...and you believe there is a "plan"...and it is God's will...Wouldn't you essentially be mad at God?? And doesn't he get super pissed about you not being happy with his game-plan???

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Oh, I don't know.  I get mad at God all the time.  Yell at him sometimes.  So did lots of the folks in the Bible.

People get angry at things for all sorts of reasons.  Mostly when I get angry, I'm angry with myself for being dumb, or behind on some project.  People get angry because they don't get their way, because they don't understand, or just because they need to throw a temper tantrum.  Being angry says something about us, I suppose.  It probably doesn't say much about God.

Or, put another way, when I teach a class, I do have a plan.  I have some intended outcomes, even.  I think my students know I have a plan, at least if they bothered to read the syllabus ;-).  That won't stop them from being angry if they get a lower grade on a test than what they thought, or if a project keeps them up late they might be cranky.   I don't get pissed.   Why should God?

You get angry at an invisible, nonexistent entity - that explains far more than I believe you intended.

I get angry at an entity that you believe is nonexistent, though you haven't presented any evidence which would falsify my operating theory.

I think we're all still waiting for your evidence that it exists anywhere but within the confines of your mind.

I think we're all still waiting for your evidence that it exists anywhere but within the confines of your mind.

Oh come on, you know all too damned depressingly well it exists in the confines of all too many other minds as well.

X - no disrespect intended, but fyi, never hand your opponent a rebuttal, which you did: "a power source that can’t be explained in terms of modern physics" - you KNOW he's going to jump on all of the things we already don't know about modern physics, and just add that to the list, ergo - his god!

Ah, but that's where he would yell, "Checkmate!" He would then patiently explain that his god IS energy, the same energy that created an entire universe, can certainly power a small percentage of it - how much energy could it take, to power a disembodied soul?

I've been in these kinds of absurd arguments before, I know how they go. Magical explanations are hard to refute, the only resolution is to insist on proof that such magic exists.

BTW, Feynman was an atheist too, but then most thinking people are.

I'm just trying to warn you, after hundreds of such confrontations, where he's most likely to go with your argument - as for the energy required, it's "magical" energy.

I have, if you know anything about my history, done exactly that, taken the argument to those who believe, but if, from my experience, I can help someone avoid some of the major pitfalls, I will - unless, of course, they prefer to reject my insight, in which case, they're on their own.

Trust me, i won't bother you again.

Arch, x, here is 2.27 minutes of where Sam Harris totally cemented the impossibility for me, of a separate 'mind' or 'person' continuing after death.

Nobody has to falsify your operating theory.  I know you know this is what many atheists believe, so I am surprised you'd make such a statement here.  That is something I would expect, and indeed have heard, from people with much less sophistication and knowledge than you.  

So what is your real point?  What's your goal?   I understand why you said the first part of the sentence, but the last part seems nonsensical.  Mind you, I am not really confused about this.  These are hypothetical questions.  

So what is your real point?

Mostly, I was just enjoying the exchange between @arch and @x! 

I think my real point is something like this.  A number of atheists seem to get themselves hung up on the "proof of God" issue.  From a theist's perspective, that's not an interesting question.  Nobody is a theist because they've been convinced there is proof of God's (or gods) existence in a general sense.

As I mention in another thread to @Reg this week, God is a postulate, like two points can be joined by a straight line segment in Euclidean Geometry.  We don't reject all of Euclidean Geometry just because you can't prove any of the postulates.  Quite the opposite, we use Euclidean Geometry even though it can't be "proven" to describe and model all kinds of phenomena.   We "believe" it, and we adopt its language and way of thinking as our own, even though it can't be proven.

The real criterion for evaluating a system of thought is not whether you can "prove" its fundamental assumptions (you never can, in any system of thought).  The real criterion is usefulness.  We adopt systems of thought because we find them useful.  Systems of thought that we find useful are "real" in that we find them helpful in describing/modeling/etc. some aspect of the world in which we live, social and psychological as well as physical. 

I suppose the equivalent to "You can't prove God exists!" for a theist is "You can't prove the universe exists!" for a scientist.  That's true.  Physics can't prove the universe exists; all of what we have is perception.  We could be locked in the Matrix.  Whether the universe exists is not an interesting question in physics, we just postulate that it does. 

The point is that doesn't really invalidate physics.  Now, if you could prove that the universe really doesn't exist, that would invalidate physics.  If you could prove God really doesn't exist, that would invalidate Christianity.   Until that point, though, the only real question is what modes of thought are useful.

Side note:  I'm a bit concerned that discussions with me have a tendency to hijack other threads.  Is the norm here that that's OK, or should I be "spinning off" topics like this?


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