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Discussion 1 to A Miscellany 290
Response to: Burning the Bridge to Hell: Introduction

by: PsiCop

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Since Ms VanLaeys invited feedback from Agnostics, I thought I would oblige her. Here, then, are my comments.

Among other things, Ms VanLaeys says:

Those who deny the existence of any divine intelligence frequently do so because they see the fallacies in the religious doctrines they have been exposed to.

This might be the case for some of these “deniers,” but it is nevertheless possible to deny a “divine intelligence” based solely on the absurdity, not to mention incomprehensibility, of that notion. Both of these are aspects of this “divine intelligence” that the author herself brings up immediately after this:

Then instead of going a step further to explore the possibility of a divine mystery too large to be explained by any theology or philosophy engineered by the human mind, they disregard all theism as an invention of the imagination.

Here is the basic problem with any kind of mysticism, whether that of Ms VanLaeys, or anyone else’s: When one defines something as “too large to be explained … by the human mind,” any chance of discussing it, immediately ends at that point. Things that cannot be explained, obviously cannot be explained! What is the point of trying to comprehend that which is, by definition, incomprehensible?

And then there are the agnostics who say that any god who allows evil to exist must be apathetic.

I’m not sure this is the case. It is, for example, logically possible for a deity who allows evil to exist, to be malevolent, rather than merely apathetic or ambivalent.

The purpose of this book is to demonstrate the possibility that one divine intelligence created the universe and everything in it; and that this universal mind, which is Love, has always been active in the evolution of creation, manifesting in the multiple ways that have helped to transform us from primitive warriors to the seekers of enlightenment that so many are today.

If this “divine intelligence” is truly working to reveal itself to humanity, it has done a horribly poor job of it. We haven’t been able to arrive at anything close to a singular vision of this cosmic metaphysical entity, as one would expect to be the case, if this being were trying to present itself consistently to us. What we have is, at best, an indefinite, muddled message about who and what this entity is.

But perhaps more significant than the lack of a clear and consistent message, we have the problem that — as Ms VanLaeys herself states — this entity has purposely designed us so that we cannot comprehend it. In other words, s/he/it expects us to do something it has specifically designed us never to be able to do.

Something Ms VanLaeys doesn’t address, is the can of worms one is forced to open, if one starts asking why her “divine intelligence” would have purposely chosen to design our minds to be too deficient to understand him/her/it, yet still expect us to do so. What is the point of setting humanity up for failure? What does s/he/it get out of this scenario? I don’t know if she addresses this in her book, but she’ll have to, if she expects others to buy into it.

Ultimately Ms VanLaeys posits an absurd being whose design choices keep it from reaching its presumed goals. I have no idea how or why any rational person would want to revere such a crazed or moronic being, much less assume s/he/it exists at all (another point which is nowhere in evidence in her introduction).

My final comment is a general one that applies to many of the points she makes in her introduction, and that is that she reaches a lot of conclusions about atheists and agnostics based on claims she makes about some of them. She overgeneralizes several times, and uses these generalizations to dismiss what non-believers say and think. She’s doing them no favors by doing so.