Jejudo, South Korea
Fair enough, but while you're right that what you say doesn't prove God's existence for me, I certainly don't think what you write is gibberish. I feel pretty confident that I understand your view. I think you would have to say I don't, not really, because I don't feel the way you do. Nevertheless, I can see it as a possibility.
But I'm not sure you understand my point yet. People CAN'T believe or interpret what they want because that already implies that they have control over that wanting. Whether you want to call it the unconscious, instinct, genetics, cultural conditioning or whatever, that wanting is outside the control of the conscious self. They say they do, they say they can control it, but practice indicates otherwise.
Think of the teen-ager who whines, "Why can't I just do what I want?" but completely oblivious that what they want is determined by an explosion of hormones. I don't think adults ever really escape this oblivion.
It just may not be hormones.
Again, you use existence without defining a certain type of existence and without defining a certain type of existence, existence just doesn't mean all that much.
I am not taking a half-way position here. If I give up God (even tentatively), I give up the soul, on a fully coherent, unified self, on even a lens from where 'I' can see, because that self-image of the 'I' comes into question (the 'I' becomes the effect, not the cause of other factors, but that 'I' can then cause things to happen. I'm redescribing the everyday world, not positing a different one).
I can show how this position works, I can show how the things we do everyday backs this up, and I can show how a certain historical movement has attempted to cover it up (de-emphasize -- no one really denies that these things don't happen), but the examples I give will be so obvious, so completely common sensical, that most people will think I'm being silly.
And will necessarily cover up (de-emphasize)other aspects that give credence to your view. So, while I believe this, I still believe that there's no way to be certain. I can't prove it to you because our beginning assumptions are different. What I'm not convinced of is that this is a bad thing.
A good example would be poetry and the endless arguments between form and content. It always seems that you have to choose one or the other: content is more important than form (the more common position) or form is more important than content (the 'elitist' position perhaps), but why do we have to choose either? Does it really matter when you are actually reading a poem?
Yes, it does. But we forget that the poem is a poem and the form/content distinction is an abstraction. I think we should read the poem in multiple ways and thereby read multiple poems and, if it's any good, gain multiple thoughts and experiences from these multiple readings.
TRUTH, the right answer, gets in the way of that.
If this makes any sense (Stephan, I bet I can out-gibberish you any day of the week), you can see that I'm not interested in convincing you of my position (though I wouldn't mind if you conceded its plausibility), I want to talk and discuss things precisely because you work from different assumptions, I can gain from these discussions even if nobody ever convinces anybody of anything. How can I gain?
By reading the poem again and again and again.