God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

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Maksutov
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God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

Post by Maksutov »

Some of us are familiar with the phenomenon of the "God of the Gaps"--that is, unexplained things are assigned to the mysteries of theology. "God" is given as an answer but not actually an explanation. Yet it provides satisfaction to many.

Aside from theology, in the "world" there is the "Devil of the Gaps"--the conspiracy theory. Something weird going on? It's the x, y or z bunch. It's Soros. It's the Kochs. It's ISIS. It's the Neonazis. MS13. Russians. Commies. Jews. The Satan believers could propose that Satan is ultimately behind it, of course, as a fallback position when busted by an evidence seeker, but the important thing is a binary blame game aimed at the reptile brain. Narrative, narrative, narrative--factoids and "truths" as garnish. :wink:
"God" is the original deus ex machina. --Maksutov

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Some Schmo
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Re: God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

Post by Some Schmo »

Mak, did you post this in Spirit Prison on purpose? I think it's a good topic.

I've long thought of belief in a god and a devil as absolving personal responsibility. This is primarily because relying on a god to solve personal problems is obviously childish, as is blaming a devil for doing immoral things.

But it's notable that giving up on thinking through tough questions like, "what's really true?" is certainly a case of avoiding (intellectual) responsibility.
God belief is for people who don't want to live life on the universe's terms.

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Maksutov
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Re: God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

Post by Maksutov »

Perfume on my Mind wrote:Mak, did you post this in Spirit Prison on purpose? I think it's a good topic.

I've long thought of belief in a god and a devil as absolving personal responsibility. This is primarily because relying on a god to solve personal problems is obviously childish, as is blaming a devil for doing immoral things.

But it's notable that giving up on thinking through tough questions like, "what's really true?" is certainly a case of avoiding (intellectual) responsibility.


I don't remember posting it here but there is a certain humor in it ending up here. :lol:
"God" is the original deus ex machina. --Maksutov

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Re: God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

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Perfume on my Mind wrote:I've long thought of belief in a god and a devil as absolving personal responsibility. This is primarily because relying on a god to solve personal problems is obviously childish, as is blaming a devil for doing immoral things.

But it's notable that giving up on thinking through tough questions like, "what's really true?" is certainly a case of avoiding (intellectual) responsibility.

At least from what I have seen using god and the devil to absolve oneself of responsibility is a game of young children and Schizophrenics . For normal tolerably intelligent humans religion shines light on personal responsibility and asks individuals to take responsibility stopping bad behavior.

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Re: God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

Post by Maksutov »

huckelberry wrote:
Perfume on my Mind wrote:I've long thought of belief in a god and a devil as absolving personal responsibility. This is primarily because relying on a god to solve personal problems is obviously childish, as is blaming a devil for doing immoral things.

But it's notable that giving up on thinking through tough questions like, "what's really true?" is certainly a case of avoiding (intellectual) responsibility.

At least from what I have seen using god and the devil to absolve oneself of responsibility is a game of young children and Schizophrenics . For normal tolerably intelligent humans religion shines light on personal responsibility and asks individuals to take responsibility stopping bad behavior.


Religion doesn't do that. Some responsible religious people do that. Religion puts no limits on its own irrationality and irresponsibility. :eek: People's Temple, Heaven's Gate and Waco's Branch Davidians were all religious.
"God" is the original deus ex machina. --Maksutov

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Re: God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

Post by huckelberry »

maksukov,

a few quotes from Wikapedia on God of the gaps:
(from folks who think about Christianity)

Men have thought to find God at the special creation of their own species, or active when mind or life first appeared on earth. They have made him God of the gaps in human knowledge. To me the God of the trigger is as little satisfying as the God of the gaps. It is because throughout the physical Universe I find thought and plan and power that behind it I see God as the creator.[6]

During World War II the German theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer expressed the concept in similar terms in letters he wrote while in a Nazi prison.[7] Bonhoeffer wrote, for example:

how wrong it is to use God as a stop-gap for the incompleteness of our knowledge. If in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed further and further back (and that is bound to be the case), then God is being pushed back with them, and is therefore continually in retreat. We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know.[7]

In his 1955 book Science and Christian Belief Charles Alfred Coulson (1910−1974) wrote:

There is no 'God of the gaps' to take over at those strategic places where science fails; and the reason is that gaps of this sort have the unpreventable habit of shrinking.[8]

and

Either God is in the whole of Nature, with no gaps, or He's not there at all."

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huckelberry
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Re: God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

Post by huckelberry »

Maksutov wrote:
Religion doesn't do that. Some responsible religious people do that. Religion puts no limits on its own irrationality and irresponsibility. :eek: People's Temple, Heaven's Gate and Waco's Branch Davidians were all religious.


Maksutov,
I think you are certainly correct here. Religion is a very broad term. People as different as Jesus and Charlie Manson have inspired varieties it for others. I should have modified the term by something like perferrable or better forms of religion or perhaps ideally.

Your comment made me consider that there is a transfer of responsibility from self to other which can happen all to often. What I see is people transfering responsibility not to god or devil but to authoritarian humans who invite the transfer. That is a bad transaction and religion can be used to grease the process.

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Re: God of the Gaps and Devil of the Gaps

Post by Some Schmo »

huckelberry wrote:At least from what I have seen using god and the devil to absolve oneself of responsibility is a game of young children and Schizophrenics .

Yes. The problem is the number of adults who haven't grown up yet.

huckelberry wrote:For normal tolerably intelligent humans religion shines light on personal responsibility and asks individuals to take responsibility stopping bad behavior.

That has never been my experience with religion. Quite the opposite. Responsibility is something most religions only honor with lip service. Their actions tell a different tale.
God belief is for people who don't want to live life on the universe's terms.

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