This is my opening for my debate on the existence of God at tomorrow’s philosophy meetup:
10 minutes is not much time to present an argument against a belief central to the philosophy of the majority of Americans. To show that God isn’t needed, I must not only offer an argument against his existence, but also *for* all the things that God means to people:
- A guide to morality.
- A justification for the laws of nature.
- An explanation for the variety of life on earth.
- A validation of human knowledge.
- And optimism for the future of humanity.
My opponent on the other hand, can simply say, “God says it is so, and thus so it is.” But as H.L. Menken said “There is always an easy solution to every human problem–neat, plausible, and wrong.”
The conclusions we reach about the existence or nonexistence of supernatural entities are not philosophical primaries. Rather, they are derivatives of our premises about the basic nature of the universe and our ability to know it.
To present an alternative to a theistic worldview, I am going to present two opposing positions on what I consider the fundamental question of philosophy. The side you take on this issue (which everyone does, whether they are aware of it or not) plays a critical choice your life.
What is this critically important issue? It is the nature of the relationship between consciousness and reality. The central question on this issue is whether consciousness is the agency of perceiving reality, or the agency of creating reality.
I believe that once you understand that consciousness has the power to perceive and identify, but *not* to create reality, a naturalistic worldview follows automatically. If however, you assume that consciousness is an entity that can create reality, then emotionalism becomes your epistemological method, and no further understanding of reality is possible. Continue reading “The Case Against God” »