Originally Posted by Purple Sage
How does this work, exactly? How do you know the intrinsic value of anything?
I thought the alternative to an intelligent higher power creating the universe was a random, chaotic, indifferent, natural universe....so wouldn't the intrinsic value of things made from the random events of a random universe be, in fact, random?
Actually I think this is a very limiting view of things. Simply because we don't have "the" answer it doesn't mean that the answer doesn't exist. Frankly, I've found that the big things in nature tend to follow a logical sequence if you step back, one that's irrelevant to the higher power discussion.
Originally Posted by MusicianDad
No, I am saying that the value that something has is there because that something is there. Not that the value is always equal. And not because some higher power randomly decided to give it value, it's value is part of what it is, in other words the value is intrinsic.
This. For example, as we're all on a parenting forum I think we can probably agree that we believe that each child has value. That value doesn't come from God, it doesn't come from what society thinks of that child, but simply because the child *is*. If a child is in an abusive home where her parents think she is worthless and without value, that does not change the intrinsic value of that child outside that venue.
This thread has really made me do a lot of thinking and sorting things out. I converted to Paganism about a year ago, and unlike the Christianity I was raised with, there isn't a set of pre-written instructions, so it's been a year heavy in introspection of just what I do believe in - and what I do not. I definitely don't believe in the Christian idea of God. Too much of that doesn't add up, doesn't make sense, and seems contradictory. I don't believe that a kind and loving God would set people up the way the god in that religion seems to.
I personally hate the phrase "divine power". It just sounds goofy to me. However, I guess that's the best phrase out there right now. I don't believe that One God created each individual creature and item on every world in every planet in every universe. I do think that there is some strong energy force behind it, and that the dieties I worship act as a way to more closely interact with that. I do believe that evil as well as good exists, but I don't believe that everything we can't explain that is contradictory to a set religion is the work of "Satan". I believe that everything works in balance, and most things aren't really defined as good or bad, but rather they just are. So, do I believe in god? Actually I believe in several, but more as another level of the cosmic force.