[ExI] Atheism

Bill Hibbard hibbard at wisc.edu
Mon Apr 20 07:08:31 UTC 2020

Will Steinberg wrote:
> What are y'all?

Science is the source of statements of fact about the world
and religion is just feelings, which are not the source of
statements of fact about the world.

When I was a kid I would lie in bed and wonder why there was
anything. It seemed to me so much more natural that there
should just be nothing, no time, no space, just nothing. That
there was anything seemed so improbable. These feelings were
very intense - they freaked me right out. They were my true
religion: awe and wonder at the "miracle" of existence, and
gratitude to be alive and able to perceive existence. What I
heard in Episcopal church and Sunday school seemed to have no

No doubt primitive people shared my intense feelings but at
some point made the error of using these feelings as the
source of statements of fact about the world. Perhaps this
error was made in service of the great scam where one person
(e.g., priest) claims to represent "god" to other people. The
religion scam was useful for organizing and controlling social
groups of humans, and hence the scam flourished.

I also have strong feelings about not inflicting suffering. It
is natural that these feelings get mixed up with religous
feelings and are no doubt the source of religous morality. And
of course religous morality is useful for promoting the religion

So I see the question "Is there a god?" as a category error.
It is looking for a statement of fact in a category that does
not include statements of fact.

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