Originally posted by josephw How is it that some believe that the concept of an eternal being with infinite powers is a creation of man?
Because we can trace the history of the idea which was only formulated in these terms after and not before the philosphical concepts which it expresses. Indeed it is argued in many religious circles that to attribute qualities to God such as infinite powers or eternal being is already a move away from religious thought into human reasoning.
Man invents God, but can't feed the starving children?
Well we can. For example it is well argued that famines do not arise in democracies. The last famine in India was in 1943 when Churchill declined to divert from the war effort sufficient supplies, which were available and many argued should have been deployed. Malthus would be astonished [and silenced] to discover how succesfully the planet has absorbed such a stupendous population increase since his time (pace the blindingly obvious question about sustainability).
Man generates an army of scientists and flies a man to the moon, yet is unable to create an agricultural base enough to feed the hungry?
We have a perfectly adequate agricultural base for this purpose. We also know that it could feed more people better if it gave less resources to producing meat. People do not starve because there is not sufficient food. (During the infamous potatoe famine in Ireland, 1845, the country continued to export cereals and foodstuffs).
Man builds war machines costing astronomical amounts of money, but can't make peace with himself?
Well the Man who builds war machines is indeed the Man unable to make peace and has no desire to do that it seems. It would be nice if Man learned to get along without violence and maybe in time that will be achieved. However, to be fair there has been a lot more peace in the past 50 years than historically, even accepting that wars continue to arise and violence below that level is endemic. It is perhaps useful here to check out just how persistently violent our history has been to appreciate the change required, and it is a project that humanity did not even consider before recent times. So maybe you are impatient.
Did you see how much money the CEO's profited from the sweat of those who labored for it, yet I know of people who are buying frozen pizza because they can't afford food anymore?
Yes indeed and Socialism in some form will have to be restored to popular favour before that changes, free from the authoritarian strain which has poisoned its history to date. [Meanwhile poverty is no excuse for buying pizza. I had beans on toast for my dinner tonight and that must cost less without poisoning me.]
Thank God for evolution. Otherwise we'd have to blame God. After all, we can't hold man accountable for greed or envy or hatred. It's all because of evolution.
Why not? Man is a product of evolution but has the unique capability that he can act outside of instinct and not only use reason, but also learn or be taught new habits of behaviour. Learning to overcome base appetities is a challenge for us all and a skill that is best instilled from childhood. It is extremely useful in this enterprise to understand just what appetites are and how they influence our behaviour. After all any attempt to treat Man as an exclusively rational being will fail. Equally any attempt to describe Man as a disembodied spirit will fail because we are very much embedded in flesh.
Morality and ethics, of course, are not the preserve of scientists and science is never value free. By the same token, aesthetics stand apart from science, and yet science makes great use of aesthetics - mathematicians in particular insist that they know they are approaching a solution when they perceive beauty in their work.
Everything is just how it's supposed to be. Right?
That was one idea floated for instance in Voltaire's novel Candide. To quote from Wikipedia: "...As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory..."
Whether we consider this concept right or wrong must wait until we get clear just what it means. It is quite an interesting one.
Seems to be a disconnect somewhere.
The disconnect would be seen by many as a matter for political debate. Social arrangements are open to review and change. Anything that seeks to ossify society and tell us it is as it must be because it is for example God's will must be challenged. Think of the Divine Right of Kings in Europe, or the way Brahmins cornered for themselves (and still do) a position of high status and power through India's caste system. We must take responsibility for the way things are. At times, such as currently in Syria and Libya, that requires ordinary people to confront the violence of their oppressors, as have many in the past to create the tolerable societies that so many of us now enjoy and perhaps take too much for granted. Sometimes to be perfectly fair that struggle has been expressed in religious terms - as for example in the formation of the very attractive Sikh religion in opposition to oppression from both Hindu and Muslim in NW India of the 17th and 18th Century.
Am I alone?
You may be very much alone as we all may be, yet we are inherently social creatures and I, for example, am here to offer solace and light.