Homeric God and A Doctrine of Likelihood.

I think I may be at risk of upsetting many people who read this blog. It is not my intention to do so. I am offering my point of view, I am not trying to anger anyone.

For me a homeric God (a man made one) describes all gods, whether it be a Christian mono-god or the Greek Aphrodite. I do not dismiss ‘Godness’ in its entirety but I am certain of the uncertainty of religious ideas. Or am I? As with all ideas, and as Sophocles notes, ‘I know I know nothing.’ This is my only certainty, that there is no certainty. Ideas can only ever be indicative, there is no such thing as conclusion. To think there is, is not to think.

Here is the trap of relativism. To know that nothing is knowable is not the same as the nihilistic action of dismissing all ideas as equally worthless. There are likelihoods of certainty. It is more likely that I am writing this blog than I am not. It is more likely that the world was created through scientific accident than it was exhaled through the mouth of a turtle in space. But I can not be wholly certain of these things. I don’t have the ego.

To be rationalist is to accept probability, or likelihoods, but never absolutes. To be certain of a thing is the enemy of free thought. So I offer a doctrine of likelihood. There are degrees of certainty. I doubt the existence of a god communicated to me through human ideas and words but I can not entirely dismiss the idea. And the worthy side effect of this doctrine is respect for other people’s beliefs and ideas.

2 thoughts on “Homeric God and A Doctrine of Likelihood.

  1. Very well said sir. I am hopeful that the readers of your posts (and the posts of most other writers) would understand that what is being written is purely the expression of opinion. I view your writing as an attempt to invoke the reader to, at the very least, consider your views and make up their own minds as to their validity. Only then can a discussion be consummated, in what should be thoughtful and respectful manner. I enjoy your posts very much and have never been offended by your points-of-view.

  2. Personally I can’t imagine why this excellent brief treatise would “upset” anyone.
    I would only offer that you were a bit too harsh in you conclusion about conclusion.

    A conclusion is not meant to be an absolute, unless it is prefaced with that word. I always try to reach what I feel to be a reasonable conclusion regarding any subject I pursue. But I know that any conclusion I come to is subject to change at any time should empirical evidence be presented that invalidates it.

    For me at least, conclusion is synonymous with opinion.

    “Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds and fanatics”
    C.J. Keyser, an American mathematician of pronounced philosophical inclinations.

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