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does god intervene?, ..we're talking miracles here!
  • One final attempt, then I'll stop :) I'm trying to restrict it to whether or not the Christian God exists, not whether or not some bland generic "god" exists (a question which I find very uninteresting). An analogy:

    Suppose we are at war.

    Theo thinks we are at war. He is very cautious when he goes out. He observes the blackout. He has built an air-raid shelter in the garden, and keeps it stocked up with emergency provisions.

    Arthur thinks we are not at war. He goes about his life as normal. He is up late at night with the lights on and the curtains open. He hasn't stocked up on supplies more than usual.

    Angus is agnostic about whether or not we are at war. He wants to live in a neutral way.

    How should Angus live?

    Should Angus follow the principle that, unless you are sure we are at war, you should live as though we are not at war? Or should Angus follow that principle that, unless you are sure we are at peace, you should live cautiously, as though we are at war? Which of those principles is "neutral"?

    My point, in the analogy, is simply this: that there is no such thing as living in a "neutral" way, when it comes to whether or not we are at war. The closest he could come to being "neutral" is to live a confused, schizophrenic life, living as though we are at war on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and as though we are not at war on the other days of the week, say.

    So my claim about agnosticism is simply this: that belief in whether or not the Christian God exists is like belief in whether or not we are at war. You have to decide what you think, and live your life one way or the other (or be confused and schizophrenic). Even if you don't know whether or not the Christian God exists, you have to live either as though he does exist, or as though he doesn't exist (or live in a state of confusion). You can't live in a "neutral" way.

    That's all I'm trying to say. Now, you may disagree with me - as exchemist seems to - and claim that whether or not the Christian God exists needn't make any difference to the way a person lives. I'm not convinced - but if you can find an atheist who says their life wouldn't change in the slightest if they became a Christian, or vice versa, then I'll be willing to reconsider.

    To expand just a little bit more, there are many different ways of living your life as if the Christian God doesn't exist, as exchemist points out. You could live as if no God (and nothing like God) exists. You could live as though some other God exists. You could live as though religious truth was entirely personal and subjective. You could live as though the important thing about what you believe is that it should give you personal fulfilment (I think that's bonnie's position?). But none of those is "neutral" and all of those require some faith commitment (living as though what you believe is the case, is actually the case).

    That's enough for now... and Simon really does look like that, by the way :)