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Reason Not Religion Essay Research Paper Observations

Reason Not Religion Essay, Research Paper Observations and inferneces from real life perceptions: My entire life I have been a Catholic and have attended Church regularly with my

Reason Not Religion Essay, Research Paper

Observations and inferneces from real life perceptions: My entire life

I have been a Catholic and have attended Church regularly with my

family, always believing in God and the stories and tales of the Bible

as pure fact that happened long ago, and of Jesus being the savior,

etc.

Just this past month I attended a Presbyterian church service with my

elderly grandmother in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The church was small to

begin with, and only about one-third of the seats were filled. I would

have to say that at least 95% of the people were all over 65, with very

few young couples at all. My grandma made a comment on the lack of

young people who attend the masses now, and she kept referring to the

fact that recently less and less young couples and families ever

attended church.

At first I thought that this church would then seriously have to close

its doors when the current majority of the parishioners died, but then

I realized another aspect of human behavior and psychology.

The characteristic that I see and hear so much about that many humans

tend to possess and practice, is the fact that they become “closer to

“god”" the older they get. Why is this? It is because of one of the

same big reasons that we even have to have religion in the first place:

fear about death and what happens to us afterwards. These people seem

to be turning to the kind of thinking that inspired the dichotic idea

of PASCAL^S WAGER. Even if these people were not very religious during

their younger years, we can now see a trend of a large section of our

country^s population starting to attend church more and more and become

more “religious” as they grow older. What inspires this shift?–plain

and simple, the fear of uncertainty.

“QUESTIONING” ONES BELIEFS MUST GO BEYOND JUST WONDERING

When I used to attend Church regularly their was a priest who was an

extremely good speaker and extremely

intelligent. Even though he was a Catholic priest, serving as the pastor

of an extremely large church, he had the

courage and brains to disagree with some of the rigid dogma setup and

enforced by the Vatican. I remember one

sermon he gave that has greatly influenced me since, and I am very happy

I was fortunate enough to hear it. In

this certain sermon he talked about his thoughts on it being good for

teenagers and youth to question the

existence of a God in their world. He talked at length about this

questioning and finished up the speech with the

summation that even though we can question, it all comes back to God.

I continued to believe in this way for a very long time. That there were

many questions concerning the actual and

true existence of God, however due to certain things like the design of

the world, everything had to relate back to

an almighty creator. Just recently I have started to realize the problem

with my previous concept of “questioning”,

as well as this particular priest’s. In the manner that he was referring

to this concept, he was very right in the fact

that “everything has to come back to God”. The reason that this is true

is due to the fact that just questioning is

exactly that: if all we do is say to ourselves, is “Gee I wonder?”, then

we of course will not be able to come up with

any alternative except to continue believing in the existence of a

“god”.

Questioning one^?s faith must not only encompass asking yourself

epistemological and metaphysical questions,

but we must explore, learn, and above all gain knowledge about the

evidence and the arguments from both sides

of the debate. We must have dialogues with others who believe the same

as us, as well as those who share a

completely different, even blatantly contrary view. Only by these means

can we ever come out with a greater

understanding of the issues surrounding the questions about the

existence of a supreme being. If this procedure

is followed and we always continue to learn and accept new, valid

information then we will eventually find our

own sense of the truth, and our own philosophy for our lives.

MY JOURNEY TO FIND THE TRUTH, AND SUBSEQUENT “LEAP OF REASON”

This past year I really started examining my own beliefs and faith in

“God”. As I read Homer^?s Iliad, information

about Mithra (Jesus^? immediate mythological predecessor), and many other

sources that put questions in my mind

about the validity of my faith, I began to seriously doubt whether “God”

was something just made up by humans

since the beginning of time to explain their world, or was really the

truth.

I am sure now in my mind that the images and symbols used to represent

“God” and initially “gods”, were

contrived simply to explain phenomena of the planet, mysteries of life,

and to satisfy that extremely strong need of

human beings to feel important. This past point I feel is the most

pivotal in understanding the human race^?s

majority view of the existence of a supernatural power. There are so

many people today that of course we can^?t all

have jobs that most would consider “important” and help lead the holder

of that job to

“SELF-ACTUALIZATION”, so a “god” makes up for that. It is written and

spoken by Christians and the Bible

that all human beings are equal and that they are all loved the same by

“God”, therefore everyone is extremely

important because the “maker of us all” values them on par with everyone

else. A respected businessman who

has worked for his fortune is the same as a neurotic drug addict begging

for money; often times the former is seen

even as more evil.

THE FALLACIOUS ARGUMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF A GOD

In my quest to find the truth about the existence of a “God”, which will

always be going on and never end, I have

also made it a point to study those arguments which are many

philosophers^? and theists^? base for their belief in an

almighty creator. I will begin by explaining the thought that goes into

each argument, and how the people whom

are proponents of these such arguments validate their claims. I will

then therefore proceed to point out the

mistakes that I believe each of them makes, some more than others. These

three main arguments are as follows:

Teleological Argument for the Existence of God

The teleological argument for the existence of God is one that uses the

actual existents we know in reality, in this

case the entire planet and universe, and uses these in a somewhat well

developed theory for the existence of a

“god”.

The simplest way to define this argument is to use the simple analogy of

a clock maker to a clock; or intelligent

designer to an intelligent design. This is the conscious basis for a

theory that states that due to the fact that we

live and exist in a wholly technical and advanced-level world where

things such as the existence of life and

humans are very “intelligent”, then there must be an intelligent creator

that first shaped us all and everything

around us. This theory has been changed and developed even more over the

years into modern versions.

The main ideas that I find inherently wrong with this argument come from

the fact that first: theists believe that

God just exists and always has, however he too would be an intelligent

being, and according to the teleological

argument itself, would “He” then not necessitate an intelligent

designer? And so on and so forth^? Therefore

theists who believe in the “existence exists” idea in terms of a “God”,

and also tend to endorse the teleological

argument, are contradicting themselves because of a conflict in which

the premises of their two parallel beliefs are

at odds. Those making this contradiction must check their premises.

Another more abstract theory that can act to somewhat disprove the

validity of this argument is that of the

“OSCIALLATING UNIVERSE THEORY”. This theory in a nutshell states that

the universe is constantly either

expanding or condensing, as long as matter is present in the universe. A

corollary of this theory also says that

there is substantial evidence that the universe has expanded to its

limit and then shrunken down again into one

point of infinite density, temperature, and curvature, only to explode

again (the big bang), a total of 100 times!

With the potential of an entirely new universe being created each time

this has happened, with the potential of

completely different laws of physics and the behavior of matter, then

there is definitely the increased possibility of

our planet simply existing and being able to support life by a chance

creation of the universe we live in, created by

the current expansion and creation that has been happening for an

estimated 10 billion years. The fact is, with that

many worlds being created over time, there is a sure chance that out of

all those planets created, at least one, ours,

could support life.

The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

The Ontological argument for the existence of a “God” is more complex,

and more utterly unfounded then the one,

previous argument that we have examined. This argument basis its entire

“proof” on floating abstractions made

about the brain of man, his conscious, and the things it is unable to

do. This argument is commonly referred to St.

Anselm, its primary creator. The argument goes like this: We all have

somewhat of an image or idea of what “God”

is in our minds, even atheists who don^?t believe in any “god” still have

somewhat of a conception of what a

“god”, if one existed, would have to be like and capable of. Our

conception of a “God” is fairly limited because to

conceive of a being so great and powerful is hard for us to do in the

first place. Anselm holds that because we can

therefore conceive nothing greater than “God”, one must exist.

Let^?s look at that in simplistic form: due to the fact that I can

neither think nor conceive of anything greater than

this entity, the particular entity which I can not go beyond therefore

must exist. How absurd of an argument is

this? Its only foundation lies on some unconnected idea of a

philosopher, randomly applied to reality. The main

problem that I have with this argument is that it takes a rule and law

of reality and reason, and applies to

something that we simply can have no conclusion ever made on while

living on earth. If I say that there is nothing

worse and more scary that I can conceive of beyond death, so therefore

death must exist, I am right because death

does exist. In this case the ontological argument for the existence of

death works. How do I know it

works?–because I can see and perceive death in reality and I can know

it beginning with my sense perceptions.

The existence of, and my knowledge of death, is hierarchical. However

the concept of “God” can^?t not be traced

back to basic sense perceptions (where all concepts must be originally

derived from), and is therefore unable to be

grounded in reality and truth. In order to gain higher knowledge of

something as complex as a “God”, we fist must

perceive basic facts of reality. There are no basic facts of reality to

perceive when it comes to the concept of

“God”.

Think of any concrete that almost all men believe in and their can be no

real intellectual debate about without one

of the parties being totally irrational in even disputing the fact^?that

concrete concept can be traced back to the

traced down on through the line directly to man^?s ability to perceive.

“God”^?this concept can not be broken

down into anything close to reality and perception. It is because of

this fact that even if you do believe in “God”,

in order to retain any sense of being able to think, you must remain

agnostic. If we refuse to recognize the fact that

the existence of “God” is impossible to perceive, then human knowledge

will perish into an abyss of unconnected

and unsupported beliefs in irrational and ungrounded faiths, which we

will fool ourselves into believing is reality.

The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

The Cosmological argument hinges on a property which is a corollary of

the axiom of existence. This law is the law

of causality^?which states that all things that occur do so because they

are caused. The proponents of this

argument then take this law, which we apply to every day reality on

Earth, to the beginning of the universe. They

say that the universe just couldn^?t have existed for all time, but that

it would have to had been created just like

everything else. They then take these beliefs even farther when they

assert that the process of creation and

existence can not be infinite in either moving forward, or looking

backward.

For instance, these people believe that “God” created the

universe^?therefore the universe has a cause. However

they do begin to get into contradictory waters as soon as they are

confronted with the fact that they believe of

their God^?s existence^?was God created too? No^?they say that there has to

be some beginning that just was and

always will be^?there can be no infinity in either going forward, and no

infinite progression backwards through

ages of cause after cause. This first contradiction is plain and obvious

to the educated interpreter of the argument,

the others are more deeply involved with other problems.

If these people believe in the phrase “existence exists” when it comes

to their God, then why can^?t this just be

applied to something such as the universe? Why do we need a fanciful

“God” to explain the beginning of the

universe when the cosmological argument already asserts that things can

not simply progress or regress

infinitely? The reason is due to the concepts we discussed earlier of

the need of human “self-actualization” and

the reassurance of an afterlife where we can finally fully enjoy our

humanity and existence.

This argument is right in one respect: the very entity that initially

created the universe itself was not caused or

created. In this correctness however they fail by failing to correctly

identify that thing which did create the

universe^?it was not “God”, but something which contained the entire

universe and still is a part of that universe.

(FOR A CLARIFICATION OF WHAT I AM REFERRING TO HERE, READ THIS.)

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

My final conclusions so far in my quest to understand the basis for

beliefs and proof for the existence and

non-existence of “God” are short, small, and completely unfinished. They

are my final conclusions for this paper,

at this point in my life. One^?s true final conclusions on these matters

will only be able to made some day if there is

some place, perhaps not necessarily a heaven, where we will have time to

think and reflect on what we have

learned during our lives, and perhaps even after them.

For now I know that no matter what paths we follow as human beings on

journey to cognitive understanding

about “God”, we must always remain agnostic for the complete duration of

our mortal lives, primarily because of

the lack of a hierarchy of knowledge which we can see and deduct for the

concept of “God”. Finally, we must all

learn as much as we possibly can and can volitionally motivate ourselves

to in order to understand this debate

and conflict in human belief.

Question everything^?learn from the answers.

______________________________________________________

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