This recent post reminded me of something that I’ve thought about before. First, an excerpt:
Fifteen thousand years ago, our ancestors bred dogs to serve man. In merely 150 centuries, we shaped collies to herd our sheep and pekingese to sit in our emperor’s sleeves. Wild wolves can’t understand us, but we teach their domesticated counterparts tricks for fun. And, most importantly of all, dogs get emotional pleasure out of serving their master. When my family’s terrier runs to the kennel, she does so with blissful, self-reinforcing obedience.
When I hear amateur philosophers ponder the meaning of life, I worry humans suffer from the same embarrassing shortcoming.
I’d expect us to shout “life is without mandated meaning!” with lungs full of joy. There are no rules we have to follow, only the consequences we choose for us and our fellow humans. Huzzah!
But most humans want nothing more than to surrender to a powerful force. …
Suppose we did not have any evidence for or against the existence of God. But, tomorrow the answer is going to be revealed. What should we be rooting for? What would make us happier? To find out that we were created by God, or to find out there is no God?
Do answers to these questions correlate with belief, and, if so, what’s the direction of the causality? If we prefer God does that affect how we see the evidence (motivated cognition)? Or, do we first establish a belief about God and then start rationalizing to convince ourselves that the way things are is the way we prefer them? I have heard a few agnostics and atheists say they wish there was God. I don’t recall theists saying they wish God didn’t exist (although that kind of thinking is forbidden, right?)
Personally, I LOVE the freedom and uncertainty that comes with not having a conscious designer. Why do some people prefer God? Is immortality the only selling point? (I’m sincerely curious)