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The God Delusion

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Wond3rland
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

We have a creator, because we didn't create anything. This is not hard. It had to get here, some how by someone or something at sometime. Are you ignorant? Prepackaged purpose... are you serious? "Oh mine isn't dogma" Its part of the package. You get the life you and you get the purpose. We all agree on the purpose of life. Become happy and then make other people happy. Simple again. That is what we as humans have been striving towards for a millennia. Evolving from our primitive nature of selfishness and greed.

Do you not agree...?


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Wond3rland wrote:
We have a creator, because we didn't create anything. This is not hard. It had to get here, some how by someone or something at sometime. Are you ignorant? Prepackaged purpose... are you serious? "Oh mine isn't dogma" Its part of the package. You get the life you and you get the purpose. We all agree on the purpose of life. Become happy and then make other people happy. Simple again. That is what we as humans have been striving towards for a millennia. Evolving from our primitive nature of selfishness and greed.

Do you not agree...?


No!


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

P.M. wrote:
Quote:
If the evidence does not point to a designer at all yet simultaneously does not point away from a designer (as I am assuming that you are arguing here, as your reply includes the beginning of “or,” indicating that it is separate from my statement), then it is as logical to believe that there is a designer as it is to disbelieve that there is a designer. If the evidence is entirely ambiguous, either position is equally logical.


So the Flying Spaghetti monster, Zeus and Allah are all equally likely to exist? As is the probability none of them does? By this logic the chance that any of these deities exists is far greater than the possibility that none exists simply because there are infinitely more ways to assume a creator than a non-creator. Clearly, this is ridiculous.


First of all, shaving off the Flying Spaghetti monster's straw-man, and taking Ockham's razor to the ideas of multiple gods (Greek mythology has a bounty of them, and if one god can explain the universe, no more are necessary, strictly in looking at the evidence), your quote is one big non sequitur. If it is just as likely that these deities do not exist or that they do exist, based upon the evidence, then there is no greater empirical possibility that they exist than if they don't. That's very, very basic logic.

P.M. wrote:
Postulating a deity does not solve the infinite regress (what 'created God?') and even if we wrongly call God the solution to the infinite regress, how does follow from this name-giving the fact that the Bible is God's word, that God hears our prayers, that there are a heaven and a hell, etcetera ? It simply does not follow at all. And God does not even solve the problem of infinite regress, so it didn't help our understanding in any way.


If God created time, He therefore exists outside time. Therefore, He does not need a beginning, as what exists outside our conceptual realm of time does not need a beginning, as there is no beginning nor end. Therefore, since He does not have a beginning, He does not need a cause. This "infinite regress" ignores the first premise of the kalam cosmological argument--whatever begins to exist has a cause; without a beginning there is no need for a cause. This is not special pleading to a creator-God either, as this is how enlightenment philosophers argued out of necessitating a creator for the universe. What is eternal needs no creator.

And thank you for assuming that I made any reference whatsoever to the Christian God or Christian doctrines! I did not, and the basis for accepting Christianity over any other religion would be a matter of biblical revelation and its validity, which is a whole separate topic.

P.M. wrote:
Quote:
Nevertheless, this argument can be made in total coherence with available, confirmed as true, scientific data.

There are an infinite set of theories in 'total coherence' with any piece of scientific data.


First of all, no, not an infinite amount or with all pieces of scientific data, second of all, the possibility of more than one theory in coherence with scientific data was my point exactly to Bombax: a different explanation does not necessitate a non sequitur. Thank you, for you have, though terribly, argued for my original point.

P.M. wrote:
Quote:
Thus, simply because there are different interpretations of evidence does not justify a non sequitur. A non sequitur is made when a conclusion is drawn that is evidently wrong, or does not agree with the premises in any way.

We have established that any piece of empirical evidence can be explained by an infinite set of theories and hypotheses.


I'm amazed by your logic. You state a wrong opinion, then refer to it--without any evidence or logic whatsoever--as a pure fact. I feel that I can just leave this one here.

P.M. wrote:
Saying: science can not (yet) explain phenomenon X, THEREFORE Allah exists, THEREFORE heaven and hell exist etc. may not be a non sequitur by your definition, but the existence of heaven simply does not follow from the fact we do not yet completely understand X, even when the God hypothesis is not incompatible with empirical evidence, because (again) we can think of infinitely many alternative hypotheses. Yahweh and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are just two of those (and not very sensible ones at that).


Yes, that is exactly the very definition a non sequitur (keep in mind, logical fallacies are not subjective; it doesn't even matter what my interpretation of a non sequitur is), which is why my argument has always been nothing more than "since science points in the direction of a creator God, one should be free to investigate the truth claims of all religions."

By the way, try to show me that Yahweh isn't a sensible one. I would actually enjoy that thoroughly, as I will prove you wrong from every angle. It currently seems that only one in this topic who has proven able to argue with me is Bombax. He argues from logic, evidence, and is a careful (though sometimes over-meticulous) critique of flawed logic. If someone else is qualified in these respects, then please by all means post, but if not, please do not waste both of our time.

P.M. wrote:
I really do not see how singularities have anything to do with the question whether the Qur'an or Bible represent any truth. Neither do I see how the fact that String Theory is 'plagued with problems' indicate that the Christian God does exist... String Theory does at least try to explain some phenomena and gets way further in it's attempt than 'God did it'. It all sounds like the same old 'God of the Gaps' to me. I have yet to read a scientific paper with the following conclusion: "Unfortunately, my hypothesis is rejected by empirical data, I therefore conclude that our prayers are heard by a omnipotent God after all and that heaven and hell do exist. I would encourage others not to look further in to this issue and don't bother postulating new hypotheses because I have demonstrated convincingly that God did it by rejecting my null-hypothesis"


Argument from ignorance. Skewing my argument. Straw man.

I have never argued that "God did it" from my posts. See my above explanation of my argument. I have also stated that I'm a methodological materialist in science. Stop wasting your time.

P.M. wrote:
Let's look at one of many alternative hypotheses: 'God did it'. Isn't this hypothesis plagued with even more problems? HOW did God do it? How did a non-material God influence the material world? By what mechanism does a non-material object connect to and influence the material world? How does a non-material object make calculations and 'think'? I think these problems are at least as troublesome as the problems with some science theories. Furthermore, it doesn't help us predict outcomes of future experiment, it does not increase our understanding, it is simply useless at best.


The entire discipline of theology deals with these problems. You clearly haven't investigated this discipline and are just arguing from common materialistic standpoints. For a quick refutation, a non-material God isn't anti-matter, he's above matter and can thus influence it. Some say that God most likely exists in the fifth dimension, others say in the seventh. Just like we, in 3 dimensions, can influence things in 1 dimension--though the things in 1 dimension might not recognize this--so God can influence things in the third dimension. Also, keep in mind that there is actually anti-matter in theoretical physics, which does in fact influence matter. So the problem of how non-matter influences matter should not be much of an issue if you're willing to accept theoretical physics.

P.M. wrote:
It is fine to try and refute popular theories and hypotheses in science, since that is what science is all about, but don't make the mistake of assuming 'God did it' as the default, unless replaced by a convincing explanation by science.


You clearly have not thoroughly read my posts. I never assumed "God did it" by default, nor did my arguments. My argument, as seen in my first post, has been to provide evidence that materialism is false, that The God Delusion is a poor overall book, and to provide evidence that, based upon our current knowledge, points towards a creator-God.

Amorphis, I will get to your attempt of an argument later tonight.

Edit: I had accidentally typed in a quote as quoting Bombax at a point when it was in fact P.M. If anyone, especially Bombax, saw that, I'm sorry, my mistake.




Last edited by Freecube on Thu 24 Sep, 2009; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

I know this can be an heated topic .. but could posters remember to show respect for each other.


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Freecube
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Amorphis,

With my response, I am at least in sync with an atheistic philosophy of life. If the self is all that is assured, then no God or purpose is a necessity. Therefore, living for pleasure is acceptable. However, when one allows one’s self to accept things other than the self, one has two options: we are entirely of chance—leaving no possible human purpose—or we have a cause—and that necessitates a deeper purpose.

Amorphis wrote:
Atheists can have purpose, and greater purpose - I would argue - than Christians. Atheism does not come bundled with a ready-made purpose one must dogmatically accept, it is rather the absence of accepting a purpose dictated to us.


“There is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, nothing but pointless indifference.” – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, page 133.

Bertrand Russell wrote that we must build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.” -- Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship,” in Why I Am Not a Christian, page 107.

“Our European culture is moving for some time now with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade, as toward a catastrophe: relentlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that it no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, on the purposeless of European culture, in “The Will to Power,” trans. W. Kaufmann, in Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, page 130-131

As Jean-Paul Sartre says, without God, all we are confronted with is the bare, valueless fact of existence. With atheistic naturalism, carried to its implications, there is no deeper purpose. Creating one’s own purpose is, ultimately, deeply, meaningless. Without a purpose behind one’s self-made purpose, there is no reason for the continuance of life once that purpose has been removed. This is not the only cause, but certainly a contributing factor, to the risen rates of suicide in our culture. My argument’s purpose is the only argument consistent with a materialist atheistic philosophy—I was defending your position rather than attacking it; I proved that there was an actual purpose to atheism, if only in Cartesian philosophy.

Amorphis wrote:
We atheists with purpose are creators, we artfully create our own person out of the chaos and prejudice of our history as sculptors working with the material of self. Our own, personally created purpose is not sacred and unchanging; something that it is forbidden to laugh at. We laugh joyously at our folly.


Ultimately, in an materialist atheistic philosophy, there is no deeper reason to create than personal pleasure. What is the meaning in creating? Why do it? There is ultimately no deeper answer that can be given, as illustrated previously by great atheistic philosophers.

Amorphis wrote:
Ah yes, Freecube generously gives us a cow to show us atheists meaning! Should the atheistic purpose be to gain pleasure and withdraw from pain? Is this not why a Christian values pity? Atheists need not be Stoics!


What reason do you have not to be a stoic? There is ultimately no reason behind avoiding this!

Amorphis wrote:
I here quote (in full, from http://praxeology.net/zara.htm) Nietzsche's contempt of this "religion of comfortableness", from the prologue of Thus Spoke Zarathustra :
Quote:
When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the people, and was silent. And to his heart he said:

There they stand; there they laugh: they do not understand me; I am not the mouth for these ears.

Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear with their eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and penitential preachers? Or do they only believe the stammerer?

They have something of which they are proud. What do they call it, that which makes them proud? Culture, they call it; it distinguishes them from the goatherds.

They dislike, therefore, to hear of “contempt” of themselves. So I will appeal to their pride.

I will speak to them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is the Last Man!"

And thus spoke Zarathustra to the people:

It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope.

His soil is still rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow there.

Alas! there comes the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of his longing beyond man -- and the string of his bow will have unlearned to whiz!

I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you have still chaos in yourselves.

Alas! There comes the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There comes the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself.

Lo! I show you the Last Man.

"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?" -- so asks the Last Man, and blinks.

The earth has become small, and on it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His species is ineradicable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest.

"We have discovered happiness" -- say the Last Men, and they blink.

They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him; for one needs warmth.

Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or men!

A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end for a pleasant death.

One still works, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one.

One no longer becomes poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wants to rule? Who still wants to obey? Both are too burdensome.

No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same; everyone is the same: he who feels differently goes voluntarily into the madhouse.

"Formerly all the world was insane," -- say the subtlest of them, and they blink.

They are clever and know all that has happened: so there is no end to their derision. People still quarrel, but are soon reconciled -- otherwise it upsets their stomachs.

They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health.

"We have discovered happiness," -- say the Last Men, and they blink.

And here ended the first discourse of Zarathustra, which is also called "The Prologue," for at this point the shouting and mirth of the multitude interrupted him. "Give us this Last Man, O Zarathustra," -- they called out -- "make us into these Last Men! Then will we make you a gift of the Overman!" And all the people exulted and smacked their lips. Zarathustra, however, turned sad, and said to his heart:

They do not understand me: I am not the mouth for these ears.

Perhaps I have lived too long in the mountains; I have hearkened too much to the brooks and trees: now I speak to them as to the goatherds.

My soul is calm and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But they think I am cold, and a mocker with terrible jests.

Now they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate me too. There is ice in their laughter.


A valiant effort, but Zarathustra, the founder of Zoroastrianism, had his religion to fall back on as a reason to regard these things with contempt. I included a quote from Nietzsche that illustrates his knowledge that without God, culture will be driven towards a pitiful existence, one that one does not want to imagine. Without religion, it is illogical for anyone to fall back on religious morals, as there is no objective reason for anything against these morals to be contemptible.

Amorphis wrote:
Valuing pleasure above all things is contemptible. I see this infection in those I know and myself. There is much more to life then being placated, and it begins with self-creation. To live one's life rather than being lived by it: to expend your greatness in sorrow and loneliness is what one needs. Hating displeasure is just as contemptible. To flee from it is to flee an impulse that would drive you farther than you could hope. To cowardly avoid pain is to rob yourself of greatness. To pity pain in others is to desire to "help them from it", and thus rob them, too. If happiness be our only measure for life, why not simply be drugged constantly? Is that enough? Is this happiness what we really want? No! We want to test ourselves against despair, and live a great life. Yes, even the atheist has his ideals!


What is the point of these ideals? What reason do you have not to consistently be drugged? Where is the basis of what you consider right and wrong? Why is the idea of pleasure above all contemptible? There is no objective reason for any of this in atheism! Ultimately, life is pointless, save for Cartesian philosophy or a deity.

Argue a point for an objective human reason without God! I challenge you, as this is impossible. What do you have to fall onto when your self-created purpose falters?




Last edited by Freecube on Thu 24 Sep, 2009; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Freecube wrote:
What do you have to fall onto when your self-created purpose falters?


The same thing when your self-created faith in 'god' falters... what ever that might be.

As both 'sides' have pointed to the fact that we can neither prove or disprove the existance of god or that sience can adequetly explain creation of the universe and all that is in it - then there has to be a leap of faith at some point for either side of the arguement.

At least in that point both sides should share some common ground.


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Carnun wrote:
Freecube wrote:
What do you have to fall onto when your self-created purpose falters?


The same thing when your self-created faith in 'god' falters... what ever that might be.


God's existence does not depend upon our faith. Humanity has purpose in God, if God exists--at least in the Christian definition of God,--whether or not we choose to believe it. In addition, faith in the Christian God is not self-created; rather, it is a personal relationship that I continue to experience. Before you try to argue that point, keep in mind I said that it was my experience, not a universal one, and arguing with one's experience is irrelevant. With science allowing the possibility of a God, and my faith being experienced in a relationship with a personal God, there is no reason for my faith to falter.

Carnun wrote:
As both 'sides' have pointed to the fact that we can neither prove or disprove the existance of god or that sience can adequetly explain creation of the universe and all that is in it - then there has to be a leap of faith at some point for either side of the arguement.

At least in that point both sides should share some common ground.


While science can neither prove or disprove the existence of God, based upon current knowledge, we can make a logical choice as to which way the evidence points. As Patrick Glynn states, "As recently as twenty-five years ago, a reasonable person weighing the purely scientific evidence on the issue would likely have come down on the side of skepticism. That is no longer the case. Today the concrete data point strongly in the direction of the God hypothesis. It is the simplest and most obvious solution to the anthropic puzzle." -- Patrick Glynn, "The Making and Unmaking of an Atheist," in God: The Evidence. Pages 53 and 55.

This is not to say that we should stop all materialistic investigation, as I have said previously, science is a material discipline, and therefore should be carried out with methodological materialism, regardless of one's personal philosophy. It does say, however, that in making an argument for God it can be logical to choose the most compelling answer with currently known evidence. There is indeed a leap of faith either way, but how big of a leap on either side is the question that this argument intends to answer.

I can find common ground with experienced debaters who communicate logically, with reason, and accept evidence that can alter their worldview so long as it is true evidence. I can find common ground with people who search for the True.


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

I am not questioning your experience - the same can be said for schizophrenics for the experiences that they endure. But ultimately, it comes down to your perception of the experience - and you have rightly shared your perception of your god experience as a personal one, as experience is subjective.

You say god can exist wheter or not we choose to believe it or not. But if humanity was not aware of gods existance, then how can humanity have a purpose in God? God will still exist - but our perception of god will be interpreted in other ways.

edit: didnt see your edit and I am not sure if you saw mine? Sorry. Will have to reply later... otherwise I will not get anything done today Great conversation!


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Carnun wrote:
I am not questioning your experience - the same can be said for schizophrenics for the experiences that they endure. But ultimately, it comes down to your perception of the experience - and you have rightly shared your perception of your god experience as a personal one, as experience is subjective.


Odd, I use the same example and reasoning against postmodern philosophy. I might want to stress that I do not feel that an experience is enough to warrant a belief in God--save for a revelatory experience. My belief in God stems from a union of verifiable, suggestive, scientific evidence as well as the historical validity of the Bible and, additionally, my own personal experience. I do not feel that experience alone is always enough to allow for worldview contrary to verifiable evidence.

Carnun wrote:
You say god can exist wheter or not we choose to believe it or not. But if humanity was not aware of gods existance, then how can humanity have a purpose in God?

God will still exist - but our perception of god can be interpreted in many other ways.


Humanity will have purpose in God if God dictates it as such. Even if a God created us but left us to ourselves, we would still have no higher purpose. However, humanity can be unaware of said purpose without the reality of that purpose being forsaken. Our acknowledgement of something does not necessitate its truthfulness. If I am interpreting you right, I am basically restating your finishing statement in different words, and if so, I agree with you.

Carnun wrote:
edit: didnt see your edit and I am not sure if you saw mine? Sorry. Will have to reply later... otherwise I will not get anything done today Great conversation!


I saw yours. Agreed! Conversations like these do indeed prove that while views can differ greatly, civil philosophical discussions can be held. I look forward to your future replies.


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Freecube wrote:
First of all, shaving off the Flying Spaghetti monster's straw-man, and taking Ockham's razor to the ideas of multiple gods (Greek mythology has a bounty of them, and if one god can explain the universe, no more are necessary, strictly in looking at the evidence)

I don’t feel any God is ‘necessary’ (apply Ockham’s razor one step further). But I don’t think Ockham’s razor is a very strong argument (rather a ‘guideline’ for building models or postulating theories). Multiple gods may not be necessary but can still exist. I admit that for the argument of the existence of any god, this is of no relevance. It is relevant when considering the validity of any one specific religion, but I understand this is not the point you want to argue here (see directly below).
Freecube wrote:
And thank you for assuming that I made any reference whatsoever to the Christian God or Christian doctrines! I did not, and the basis for accepting Christianity over any other religion would be a matter of biblical revelation and its validity, which is a whole separate topic.

Fair enough.
Freecube wrote:
First of all, no, not an infinite amount or with all pieces of scientific data, second of all, the possibility of more than one theory in coherence with scientific data was my point exactly to Bombax: a different explanation does not necessitate a non sequitur. Thank you, for you have, though terribly, argued for my original point.
I'm amazed by your logic. You state a wrong opinion, then refer to it--without any evidence or logic whatsoever--as a pure fact. I feel that I can just leave this one here.

You are right; I did not demonstrate the validity of my statement and should not have claimed to have done so. I should have referred to the Duhem-Quine-These. Basically: “It is always possible to reject an apparently falsifying observation by claiming that only one of its [the theory’s] underlying assumptions is false; since there are an indeterminate number of such assumptions, any observation can potentially be made compatible with any theory.”
Further, I am totally aware I was arguing the same point as you were (which is why I emitted a referral to the Duhem-Quine-These in the first place). I simply wanted to stress that the fact that any piece of empirical evidence can be explained by many (whether infinitely many is actually beside the point) different theories does not make all these possible theories equally likely to be truth (you want me to provide evidence for this?). The fact that an argument does not commit a non sequitur, does not automatically make that statement valuable in any respect.

Freecube wrote:
which is why my argument has always been nothing more than "since science points in the direction of a creator God, one should be free to investigate the truth claims of all religions."

Fair enough (although I do not feel science points in the direction of a creator God)
Freecube wrote:
By the way, try to show me that Yahweh isn't a sensible one. I would actually enjoy that thoroughly

For this we would first have to agree on a exact definition of ‘sensible’ and requirements to qualify as sensible.
Freecube wrote:
If God created time, He therefore exists outside time. Therefore, He does not need a beginning, as what exists outside our conceptual realm of time does not need a beginning, as there is no beginning nor end. Therefore, since He does not have a beginning, He does not need a cause. This "infinite regress" ignores the first premise of the kalam cosmological argument--whatever begins to exist has a cause; without a beginning there is no need for a cause. This is not special pleading to a creator-God either, as this is how enlightenment philosophers argued out of necessitating a creator for the universe. What is eternal needs no creator.

First, the premise that everything that begins to exist has a cause is not universally accepted and may simply be wrong. It could very well be right however, but still this does not lead any further than the conclusion that the universe is caused and it certainly does not imply this cause is ‘God’ (unless you would simply define this cause as God). I don’t see how assigning any quality to this cause (except the quality to cause something) can be justified or can help our understanding of the world (Ockham’s razor).
Freecube wrote:
For a quick refutation, a non-material God isn't anti-matter, he's above matter and can thus influence it. Some say that God most likely exists in the fifth dimension, others say in the seventh. Just like we, in 3 dimensions, can influence things in 1 dimension--though the things in 1 dimension might not recognize this--so God can influence things in the third dimension.

First, I never meant to suggest that God is anti-matter.
Second, if you are arguing that God transcends space and time, I don’t think that means much and I think there are many problems when assuming a God outside space-time with regard to how he could influence our universe. What does it mean to say “he’s above matter and can THUS influence it”. I don’t see how that follows or what meaning it has. Neither have I seen a convincing argument for the existence of such entity. Or, if you’re fond of Ockham’s razor, how postulating a God outside space-time does add to our knowledge.
And even if I assume there is such thing as a God creator outside of space-time, the step to attributing it with any qualities apart from pushing the ‘start’-button, let alone such qualities attributed to him by major and minor religions is formidable.

If your argument for 'God' implies nothing more than that the universe is or might be caused, we do not have a fundamental disagreement. If you attribute him with other qualities, I would like to know which ones and what justification you have for attributing them to him.



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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Freecube wrote:


You have completely misunderstood my position. Perhaps you have done so wilfully? I believe a careful consideration of the post you are replying to here refutes the assumptions you have made. You have not read me carefully, and it seems you have also not used the principal of charity. Though I do not need your charity, the discussion might.

You also do not understand the consequences of Nietzsche's philosophy, or indeed, anything he has written. You hilariously argue from his own philosophy that there is no reason for your religion (Christian) morals to be contemptible, and yet he is very explicit about this. I'm not going to chop him up piecemeal for your digestion, you seem quite happy that your understanding of him tastes good to you.

Yes! Life is pointless! Embrace it! Create a purpose in that, and laugh at your folly in doing so! Cast aside Descartes and his attempt at rationalizing the universe and embrace the inability of your mind to rule your life by pure concious thought. We embrace our minds as if they are our strongest organ, we must be prepared to laugh at this ridiculous pride.

I have nothing to fall on to if my purpose "falters". I do not need the crutch. Just as a child eventually takes the training wheels off his bicycle so that he may know great speed, I have taken the training wheels off my mind so that I may know great purpose.

This "fall onto" argument is cowardly, if your mind is ruled by this; that is very contemptible. If I fall, I will learn from it, pick myself up and be better for it. Christianity fears and avoids displeasure, and thus robs itself.


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Freecube
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Amorphis wrote:
You have completely misunderstood my position. Perhaps you have done so wilfully? I believe a careful consideration of the post you are replying to here refutes the assumptions you have made. You have not read me carefully, and it seems you have also not used the principal of charity. Though I do not need your charity, the discussion might.


Re-reading your post in light of this, I see that your semantical error of assuming purpose = fulfillment is what threw me off. It is true that the atheist can find fulfillment in creating one's on destiny, but there is no deeper purpose to that.

Amorphis wrote:
You also do not understand the consequences of Nietzsche's philosophy, or indeed, anything he has written. You hilariously argue from his own philosophy that there is no reason for your religion (Christian) morals to be contemptible, and yet he is very explicit about this. I'm not going to chop him up piecemeal for your digestion, you seem quite happy that your understanding of him tastes good to you.


First and foremost, it is impossible to get an understanding of the implications of his argument when all you quoted was a quote from Zarathustra. I had simply assumed your quotation captured the jest of your argument. If it does not, I see no reason for the posting of the selected quote. If it does, then all that you have argued is that a man who founded a religion viewed others as contemptible. Please elaborate on his argument, as I do not have the time nor the desire to bother myself with your argument besides what is posted here and checking the sources that you give. The fact is that the consequences of Nietzsche's philosophy ultimately end in despair, and this is known. While one particular argument against the contemptible morals of a religion that is not Christianity may prove some point, it does not prove the contemptibility of Christian morals per se, nor does it prove a basis for that contempt in the first place, nor does it prove there is a deeper basis for fulfillment in the atheistic life. While the atheist may find fulfillment, ultimately, there is no objective reason to find it.

Amorphis wrote:
Yes! Life is pointless! Embrace it! Create a purpose in that, and laugh at your folly in doing so! Cast aside Descartes and his attempt at rationalizing the universe and embrace the inability of your mind to rule your life by pure concious thought. We embrace our minds as if they are our strongest organ, we must be prepared to laugh at this ridiculous pride.


Forget logic! Who needs it in arguments anyways? Preach it brother! I might add that you are quite smart in this argument, as you seem to have deduced that discarding logic is the only way to defend your absurd position.

Amorphis wrote:
I have nothing to fall on to if my purpose "falters". I do not need the crutch. Just as a child eventually takes the training wheels off his bicycle so that he may know great speed, I have taken the training wheels off my mind so that I may know great purpose.

This "fall onto" argument is cowardly, if your mind is ruled by this; that is very contemptible. If I fall, I will learn from it, pick myself up and be better for it.


Then, if life becomes despicable, why not commit suicide? If there is no hope, and the bad clearly outweighs any good, why not end your own existence? While your own argument against this may suffice for yourself, it certainly will not for the person with depression. Additionally, you never answered my question as to why you should not remain consistently drugged. What reason do you have for abstaining from this besides arbitrary and subjective ideals? Why hold these arbitrary ideals if another thing brings greater fulfillment?

Amorphis wrote:
Christianity fears and avoids displeasure, and thus robs itself.


Ah... Ignorance of Christian belief surfaces once again. James 1:2-12, 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5, Hebrews 2:9-10, among many, many other passages promote suffering and displeasure. "In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering" - Hebrews 2:10. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4.

Christianity does not avoid or fear displeasure; Christians are told to embrace suffering so that God's work may be complete in us through perseverance of the faith. You are entirely mistaken and ignorant of actual Christian belief.




Last edited by Freecube on Fri 25 Sep, 2009; edited 1 time in total
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Freecube
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

P.M. wrote:
Freecube wrote:
First of all, shaving off the Flying Spaghetti monster's straw-man, and taking Ockham's razor to the ideas of multiple gods (Greek mythology has a bounty of them, and if one god can explain the universe, no more are necessary, strictly in looking at the evidence)

I don’t feel any God is ‘necessary’ (apply Ockham’s razor one step further). But I don’t think Ockham’s razor is a very strong argument (rather a ‘guideline’ for building models or postulating theories). Multiple gods may not be necessary but can still exist. I admit that for the argument of the existence of any god, this is of no relevance. It is relevant when considering the validity of any one specific religion, but I understand this is not the point you want to argue here (see directly below).


I suggested Ockham's razor to Zeus for a purpose I did not make quite clear. I was referencing that if the universe did, in fact, point towards a creator with science, then if the evidence could be explained by one God alone, based entirely on the empirical evidence rather than any mythology, it would be more logical to choose a singular God. However, if a mythology could accurately explain the universe and had other strengths to it--such as reliability of their holy scriptures and historical validity, among other things--then it would be perfectly logical indeed to choose that mythology over others with lesser strength--negating Ockham's razor. But, you are indeed correct, this wasn't my point.
P.M. wrote:
Freecube wrote:
First of all, no, not an infinite amount or with all pieces of scientific data, second of all, the possibility of more than one theory in coherence with scientific data was my point exactly to Bombax: a different explanation does not necessitate a non sequitur. Thank you, for you have, though terribly, argued for my original point.
I'm amazed by your logic. You state a wrong opinion, then refer to it--without any evidence or logic whatsoever--as a pure fact. I feel that I can just leave this one here.

You are right; I did not demonstrate the validity of my statement and should not have claimed to have done so. I should have referred to the Duhem-Quine-These. Basically: “It is always possible to reject an apparently falsifying observation by claiming that only one of its [the theory’s] underlying assumptions is false; since there are an indeterminate number of such assumptions, any observation can potentially be made compatible with any theory.”
Further, I am totally aware I was arguing the same point as you were (which is why I emitted a referral to the Duhem-Quine-These in the first place). I simply wanted to stress that the fact that any piece of empirical evidence can be explained by many (whether infinitely many is actually beside the point) different theories does not make all these possible theories equally likely to be truth (you want me to provide evidence for this?). The fact that an argument does not commit a non sequitur, does not automatically make that statement valuable in any respect.


Ah, the Duhem-Quine-These slipped my mind in my reply. This was not the intention of the argument that I was presenting to Bombax, my intention was to show (as in the neuroscience argument presented just before it) that some evidence can be interpreted in different ways fitting with the evidence entirely verifiable as true--that is, I was trying to prove that two people could come to an agreement about what the evidence showed, yet interpret the evidence in entirely different ways based upon pre-existing theories. However, your point still stands.

I most definitely agree that simply because an argument does not have a non sequitur does not make it right (Zeno's logic if I remember correctly?). However, I was not claiming strength of my argument from this premise, I was simply stating that the argument should not be discounted.

P.M. wrote:
Freecube wrote:
which is why my argument has always been nothing more than "since science points in the direction of a creator God, one should be free to investigate the truth claims of all religions."

Fair enough (although I do not feel science points in the direction of a creator God)


This might be unfair of me, but can I ask you to provide evidence backing up that claim? I have spent a considerable amount of time showing scientific evidence that most would agree points toward a creator (I know that this does not necessarily prove that it does point towards a creator, and I am sure some would discount my request because of this statement, but keep in mind that--as I have stated earlier--interpretation of anything, even evidence, is subjective, and therefore a larger number of people agreeing with an interpretation gives that interpretation credence). I would actually like to see the evidence that points away from a creator if you can bring some up for me?

P.M. wrote:
Freecube wrote:
By the way, try to show me that Yahweh isn't a sensible one. I would actually enjoy that thoroughly

For this we would first have to agree on a exact definition of ‘sensible’ and requirements to qualify as sensible.


Well, since you had first stated that Yahweh was not sensible I had assumed that you would argue by your definition of sensible. My definition of sensible would imply that the Christian God is logical throughout the entire belief of Christianity (inner consistency), that its historical claims are verifiable or valid (reliability), and that it consistent with empirical evidence in the material world (outer consistency).

P.M. wrote:
Freecube wrote:
If God created time, He therefore exists outside time. Therefore, He does not need a beginning, as what exists outside our conceptual realm of time does not need a beginning, as there is no beginning nor end. Therefore, since He does not have a beginning, He does not need a cause. This "infinite regress" ignores the first premise of the kalam cosmological argument--whatever begins to exist has a cause; without a beginning there is no need for a cause. This is not special pleading to a creator-God either, as this is how enlightenment philosophers argued out of necessitating a creator for the universe. What is eternal needs no creator.

First, the premise that everything that begins to exist has a cause is not universally accepted and may simply be wrong. It could very well be right however, but still this does not lead any further than the conclusion that the universe is caused and it certainly does not imply this cause is ‘God’ (unless you would simply define this cause as God). I don’t see how assigning any quality to this cause (except the quality to cause something) can be justified or can help our understanding of the world (Ockham’s razor).


While that first premise has the possibility of be wrong, it can logically argue its antithesis--that something can begin to exist without a cause--into absurdity, which I can do if you feel the need for me to prove this. It is basic logic then, that if the universe had a beginning it had a cause, though, as you correctly state, this cause is not necessarily God. To prove that this cause is God, a refutation of any other model for the beginning of the universe must be made, which can be done. With our current knowledge, all of these theories are self-defeating or inadequate with little promise of proving adequate. Again, there is a wide variety of these theories, which would make arguing into the dark against all of these aggravating and useless. If you can raise one of these possible arguments, I will refute it, as promised.

P.M. wrote:
Freecube wrote:
For a quick refutation, a non-material God isn't anti-matter, he's above matter and can thus influence it. Some say that God most likely exists in the fifth dimension, others say in the seventh. Just like we, in 3 dimensions, can influence things in 1 dimension--though the things in 1 dimension might not recognize this--so God can influence things in the third dimension.

First, I never meant to suggest that God is anti-matter.
Second, if you are arguing that God transcends space and time, I don’t think that means much and I think there are many problems when assuming a God outside space-time with regard to how he could influence our universe. What does it mean to say “he’s above matter and can THUS influence it”. I don’t see how that follows or what meaning it has.


Transcends is a dangerous word, full of many possible misinterpretations. My "above" probably misled you in my sentence too, my apologies. God existing in a dimension above ours (by above, I am simply referencing numerical dimensions: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, etc.) does not remove Him from our dimension. It is analogous to our being able to influence things in the first dimension without notice, though we are most certainly not in the first dimension.

However, we are not addressing the issue of whether or not a non-material (though that word is also dangerous) God can influence the material world simply by addressing the semantics of dimensions. There are a variety of theories, and naming them all could take much time as well. However, I again reference the antimatter of theoretical physics or the evidence that is nearly confirmative of the soul that I posted earlier as evidence that what is non-material can, in fact, influence the material, and this is empirically evident. I do not feel that science should therefore assume God, but I feel that science should investigate and hypothesize as to how these non-material entities, which are highly empirically verified, can influence matter, this would form a scientific hypothesis for how it would be possible for God to influence matter. If you are looking for a theological theory, I can give you mine if you'd like.

P.M. wrote:
Neither have I seen a convincing argument for the existence of such entity. Or, if you’re fond of Ockham’s razor, how postulating a God outside space-time does add to our knowledge.


I have not addressed this yet, but is it entirely coincidence that Genesis has claimed a 6-day creation for millennia yet physicists have discovered that from the creation of the universe until the human (homo sapiens rather than erectus or anything) species emerged, a total of 6 days passed in cosmic time, judged by the space-time curvature and time dilation due to general relativity? (A note: this is approximately 15.75 billion years from our perception). This is an exceptional argument for the existence of the Christian God, in my opinion (and I can prove this mathematically too if you'd like, it's a relatively new proof, which is why you probably haven't heard of it, but an indisputable one nonetheless). Additionally, when the chances of our universe having such precise conditions for our existence (see my previous arguments) are so miniscule, science has no adequate explanation for the existence of our universe at all, and there are flaws in the evolutionary fossil record among other things wrong with evolutionary theory, isn't the idea of a God more probable and/or convincing than the idea that all of these things happened by chance? Yes, science may one day explain away all these flaws, but claiming that, at this point in time, actually requires more faith than believing in a creator. I want to stress above all, though, that I do not believe science should ever stop investigating the material world. I will say again, I am a methodological materialist. Science should attempt to answer the entire universe in an entirely materialistic fashion, as this is all it can prove. Whether or not this is possible is the true question, but science should be carried on as if it is not only possible but also as if it was evident.

P.M. wrote:
And even if I assume there is such thing as a God creator outside of space-time, the step to attributing it with any qualities apart from pushing the ‘start’-button, let alone such qualities attributed to him by major and minor religions is formidable.


Putting aside the 6-day cosmic time creation described earlier, this is where the topic of revelation becomes necessary. It is indeed impossible to attribute qualities to a deity based upon empirical evidence of a creator alone, which is why one should investigate the claims made by world religions to find the truth value of them.

P.M wrote:
If your argument for 'God' implies nothing more than that the universe is or might be caused, we do not have a fundamental disagreement. If you attribute him with other qualities, I would like to know which ones and what justification you have for attributing them to him.


My argument for my belief in God and then God's qualities is that the universe is or might be caused (this encompasses the fine-tuning of our universe and the improbabilities of irreducibly complex systems forming through alternate routes as well), that the non-material is empirically verifiable and influential in matter (this encompasses the fact that we have a "self," or a soul, as is indicated by Genesis--God making man in His image; the soul/spirit is what separates us from all other beings and thus most Christians agree that the soul/spirit is what is meant by Him making us in His image--and both the soul and antimatter can influence matter, though we are not yet able to explain how, thus allowing for a non-material God to also influence matter), that the Bible contains nothing contrary to scientific thought, that the Bible is historically reliable, and that the claims made by Jesus establish Him as either Lord, a lunatic, or a liar, and the latter two can be ruled out (as well as the historical reliability and validity of these claims; and the fact that Jesus perfectly fulfilled over 400 prophecies, though the odds against the fulfilling of all of these prophecies is nearly prohibitive.)

I can argue for each of these. I can tell that my next reply is going to be nearly as long as my other two as you're going to ask me to prove these. Please do not forget that I have asked you to argue that Yahweh is not sensible, and I have asked you to provide evidence that indicates that science is not pointing in the direction of God. Since I am going to fulfill my part, please fulfill yours.


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Wond3rland
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Another looooongg post for a simple point.

Let me sum up AGAIN

We have stumbled upon the ability to create our own universe through lucid dreaming... riiight??? So why is sooo hard to believe God is creating our waking life with purpose and beauty and structure and emotions and faith.

WE HAVE A CREATOR BECAUSE YOU DIDNT CREATE ANYTHING AND AT MOST WILL BUILD A BIRDHOUSE OR CRUDE SCULPTURE.

You need to let go of your ego and see outside yourself. There HAS TO BE A CREATOR/DESIGNER/ARCHITECT.

There is NO other way. None. Zero. Sorry. To late. Buh Bye. Nuh-uh. Zip. Not even a remote chance of another idea. The precious big bang THEORY coincides with that of creation in the simple manor of "THATS HOW GOD DID IT"

Your theory answers no questions. What about purpose? What about why? Morals? Emotions? Conciousness? Really all going to be explained by a bunch of emptiness exploding... WAKE UP!

Seriously I'm getting tired of the idiocy.


WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!


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Carnun
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009  Reply with quote

Wond3rland wrote:
We have stumbled upon the ability to create our own universe through lucid dreaming... riiight???


Is not very consistent with saying...

Wond3rland wrote:
WE HAVE A CREATOR BECAUSE YOU DIDNT CREATE ANYTHING AND AT MOST WILL BUILD A BIRDHOUSE OR CRUDE SCULPTURE.


A little off topic:
Although I appreciate your point of view Wond3rland, I think the way you are presenting yourself in this topic is not very constructive to getting your point of view across, and by being so 'preachy' you are only doing more harm to your side of the arguement here. Relax!!!


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