OK, I am new here and have no particular background in "Atheist Studies" if there is such a thing . . . but . . . a possible proof that there is no personal God came to me as I was driving to hockey practice.
It's 1:00 in the morning now, but I'll write this down before I forget. If I'm wrong, It's because it's 1:00 in the morning. DEAL?
So, to my way of thinking, there is likely a moral dimension to the universe. This moral dimension is analogous to mathematics. Somewhere written into the fabric of the universe is a set of rules that takes us toward moral progress. For instance, groups that cooperate are more successful. Something like that. Anyway . . . . The Buddhists have "Karma." I don't believe in Karma, but I want to clarify first that disproving the possibility of a personal god, would not rule out Karma or an impersonal mechanism that drives intelligent beings toward moral improvement.
So . . . The type of god that I don't think can exist is the type who is conscious and has evolving feelings of hate or love or sadness. If he is all knowing, he knows everything that has, is, and will happen--simultaneously. So he creates the world and watches it like a big TV program, feeling simultaneously happy and sad and sympathetic and disappointed about things happening simultaneously across the world, but also about things happening simultaneously in different time periods.There is no changing time or place or evolution for him. He sees it all at once. He is perfect, all-knowing, and omnipresent, so his feelings are constant. He doesn't learn or change his opinions over time or feel surprise. So how is he anything like a person? Isn't change an essential part of being a person? The conscious entity reacts to things in it's environment and "thinks" about them. How can this thinking happen for a never-changing entity outside of time. There can be no "thought process" because there is no change. And thought requires change? Otherwise, he is more like a mathematical equation.
Go ahead shoot me down. I'm not to tied to his idea.
'"Atheist Studies" if there is such a thing'
That's called atheology.
"there is likely a moral dimension to the universe."
Morality is a part of human culture, a set of shared concepts within groups. Like language, it evolves along with us. It does not exist outside of the human mind, and there is no moral aspect to the external universe. The universe is basically an utterly indifferent, giant (possibly endless) machine.
Morality is something that inevitably comes up once we have society. Life naturally arises in the universe, groups of animals naturally arise in the universe, so society naturally arises in the universe, so morality naturally arises. Yes, the external universe is an utterly indifferent, giant (possibly endless) machine, that sometimes gives rise to groups of intelligent beings who have to decide how to get along (i.e morality) and some rules will seem fairer than others to a group trying to get along.
I don't think what you're saying is much different than what I said.
The fact that there most societies consider "fair" to be a good thing rather than a bad thing, and that we can recognize is a "more" and "less" fair implies that there is a very general ethics that is mutually understood. And is really IS something. You might as well say there are is no politics because everything is physics and chemistry. But there is a dimension to the universe that is "politics" just like there is a dimension to the universe that is "ethics", and ethics can't be anything. It is constrained in some ways.
What I said doesn't contradict what you said, but my emphasis is different. Ethics is a real thing and it can't be anything. A good ethical code is conducive to welfare and fairness. That is the moral dimension. I know that's pretty general, but it's something. The rule" Everyone break your promises whenever it suits you" is not a good ethical code because it is not conducive to group welfare and fairness. Thus morality is SOMETHING. It is not imaginary. It is not anything we want it to be.
// It's not anything we want it to be //
For 80% of the population of all of North America it certainly is. Christians are always spouting their morality/ethics of which I find disgusting in their entirety. From their leader (Jesus) telling possible followers they must HATE their entire familys and abandon them to follow him to the modern day POPE speaking to illerate and ignorant masses saying sex education and condom use is EVIL - well...I have a problem with such an EVIL gospel.
Ethics can be broken down to many sub-groups - such as 'gangs' that use their so-called 'ethics' to murder other rival gangs. It's expected and completely 'moral' within such a sub-group.
We all choose our morals - society places certain responsibilities we adhere to - but we all break those 'rules and regulations' don't we?
I get sick and tired of Christians spouting off how peaceful, loving and compassionate Jesus is (was) and it's an absolute evil lie. They are ignorant of whom that man was and what he wanted because they don't read their book they think is so holy. The only problem is that the Romans didn't know about him a lot sooner - perhaps all this evil would not have been carried so far into the future.