The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

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The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

 

This is it. This is the official thread that Kelly and Sapient will try to interact with as many visitors as they can. If you are new here, welcome aboard. If viewing this from the homepage you can click the title of the thread, create an account, and post your comments. Kelly and Sapient will not have time to address all the email and would like to keep all of their exchanges public for the benefit of the readers who are curious. Soon we will have a downloadable document available right from this post that will expose as many arguments as we can expose from the ABC Nightline Face Off with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Here are the highlights of the face off from our eyes...

 

Did we make mistakes in the full debate? Yes. We stumbled on a few words, made an inaccurate point or two, and made a weak point at a moment or two. Ironically our worst points still seemed to be too much for them. So while we welcome criticism, especially constructive, please keep in mind that we feel we have a good handle on what we did wrong. We'll grow, learn, and get better. What we're really hoping for in this thread is for the actual content and discussion about gods existence to be brought into question. Challenge us to continue, and we will continue to respond to your claims. If you are a theist, please feel free to post your scientific evidence for God, leaving out the miserable arguments that Ray Comfort has already been beaten on of course. If you are having trouble finding the video on ABCs website, you can find most/all of the videos here. DIGG it.

A thread on our message board that has links to the entire unedited debate.

Other threads of interest:

Nightline Editing Bias - The Supporting Data

Gregfl starts a thread about Bashirs big blunder and the Nightline portrayal.

Some of the Christian mail coming in [YOU RESPOND] about the debate.

Pertaining to Jesus Mythicism A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins

A Silence That Screams - (No contemporary historical accounts for "jesus) by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism

 

UPDATE Sapient spoke with ABC and voiced concerns leveled by many atheists in the community that the editing job for the Nightline piece gave Ray and Kirk a free pass. The most commonly voiced criticism of ABC was that it managed to show the debate as somewhat even and that there was no clear victor. This discussion was accepted only under the understanding that Ray and Kirk would prove God exists without invoking faith or the Bible. Anyone that understood the format saw that Ray and Kirk failed at their premise as soon as the proof of God became the Ten Commandments. ABC was made aware that commentary like "It was difficult to know if either side could claim victory" gave the impression that they were pandering to their largely Christian audience. While Sapient understood that this may be a wise business move, it was noted that it wasn't an accurate representation of the discussion. The Rational Response Squad brought it's "B" game and still destroyed every claim Kirk and Ray threw at them. In more positive news, we were made aware that the ABC unedited video of the debate was viewed over 160,000 times in the first 12 hours. Hopefully a few people have found the strength to overcome their god delusion.

AND THE PWNAGE CONTINUES:


THE FULL DEBATE!

 


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detritusmaximus - great

detritusmaximus - great post.  You summed up my personal feelings on the matter nicely, but in language I am not capable of using, because I never made it to the physics part of an education.  Smiling


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Excellent points

Excellent points gary7infiltrator-!

Makes my two examples seem 'pale' by comparison, but, I'll post them anyway since they are examples of fossil-species which 'most-people' are very familiar.

Here are two extremely-well documented "fossil-species",... just as 'well-known' examples, out of many more available to be found, if one is looking.

Small changes, edging-towards 'major-changes' over long-er periods-?

Time will tell.

What Is a Sabertooth?

With their enormous, deadly-sharp canines, saber-toothed carnivores are well known to many people as frightening and ferocious predators of the Cenozoic.

Surprisingly, there is more than one "saber-toothed cat."

The sabertooth morphology has appeared several times during the history of the mammals. Saber-toothed members of the Carnivora, (the mammalian order that contains cats, dogs, bears, weasels, and others) appeared independently at least twice.

Saber teeth evolved both among the true cats, or the family Felidae (these saber-toothed cats are sometimes classified in a separate subfamily of cats, the Machairodontinae) and within the Nimravidae (an extinct carnivore family that was related both to the true cats and to the civets and mongooses).

The Hyaenodontidae, a family of the extinct mammalian order Creodonta, also included saber-toothed members.

Even saber-toothed marsupial "cats" or thylacosmilids inhabited South America from the upper Miocene to the late Pliocene.

 The saber-tooth morphology is an excellent example of convergent evolution as it appeared in several evolutionary lineages independently.


More Info Here:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mammal/carnivora/sabretooth.html

 


Woolly Mammoth DNA Reveals Elephant Family Tree

Geneticists have sketched out the woolly mammoth's family tree using ancient DNA found preserved in Siberia.

The extinct beasts are more closely related to Asian elephants than to African elephants, the researchers found, and the three species diverged within a surprisingly short period of time.

More Info Here:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/12/1220_051220_mammoth.html


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From the moment I heard

From the moment I heard about this debate I knew it was going to be joke. "Scientific evidence for the existence of God?" Thats laughable. You guys totally won that debate. The only thing I wish is that Ray would have used his "banana is the perfect fruit" argument so you guys could have owned him on national tv about it. I really wish they had given you guys more time and had more time for audience questions. The lady that asked the question about cancer never did get a straight answer.

"Offensive or not, sacred or not - religion and superstition – Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Scientology and so on - must be open to all forms of criticism and ridicule." - Maryam Namazie


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gary7infiltrator

gary7infiltrator wrote:


Step 4: The flagellum, seated in the "motor" (built up of useless mutations that did not hamper the existence of the ancestral bacteria that had them) continues to be shaped by natural selection until the perfectly functional flagellum/motor mechanism we observe today is formed.


Actually, during the Dover PA trial, Ken Miller was able to show that one of the intermediate steps of the bacterial flagellum was the type 3 secretary system.  

Here's a clip from his American University presentation that illustrate this point in detail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQQ7ubVIqo4

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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scottmax wrote:jabwocky

scottmax wrote:
jabwocky wrote:

scottmax, gravity is a bad example of a 'theory' it is a fact, jump, u fall, not a theory...

No, gravity is a scientific theory and it is fact... just like evolution. That is my point. I am not going to address the rest of your points since I don't intend to teach evolution in this post. Far more informed people than I have written many books on the topic. I will address this though:

jabwocky wrote:
If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you? Just a thought...

Absolutely. Are you proposing a God that deceives people intentionally so that we have cause to not believe in Him?

Calling all theists: Do you care to defend your God from this accusation?

My point that I seem to be getting across poorly, or may I point out, one they may twist so they don't have to answer it is: recorded written history only goes back around 4000 years ago, (that in itself is funny, we couldn't write or communicate then WHAM we all of a sudden can ? If evolution was true, and I am speaking true evolution, we would have fossil records of each animal (humans included) that showed its progression from each state to the next (we have lots of fossils of certain animals but none without HUGE gaps if you try to throw evolution into the picture) so that there are huge gaps and unknowns (leaps of faith?) that one must make to support ones belief in evolution, unlike gravity because I know that as far as on the surface of this planet is concerned exists by the fact that when I jump up, I come down again. My point being that gravity is a bad example of a theory to be put up against evolution.

Part Duex: The fact that it is possible that there is a false record of things planted on earth is not to "deceive people intentionally" it is possible there to deceive those that wish to be deceived? Is it not possible that He is just giving you what you want? Or maybe it is not God, perhaps Satan? The world is the devils playground, perhaps he put them there? One of my favorite movie lines is the one in 'The Usual Suspects' when the main character states "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist."

The funniest part to me of this whole discussion is that neither side is actually provable according to scientific PROOF/FACT, all we can do is make our own bed, and then lay in it.

We can both enjoy our lives to its fullest point, some more than others, and then we will know, like I said before though, no winners, just the possibility of losers.

I guess my biggest wonder is how can somebody look at the world around them, and think this is all just chance? I guess somebody living in a city would say that, all they see is man made, I live on 300 acres in the country that God gave me, and I see His hand in a lot of things everyday. Lot at the simplicity of a flower, at the same time so complex.

One can believe that everything is chance, cause/outcome but there are other things about in this universe that are not explainable, sure we make up theories to justify our unbeliefs but does that make our theories true? or even provable? no, not all science is fact, does that make it true? no, there are as many leaps of faith in science as there are in believing the existence of God, maybe even more, I once heard somebody say they didn't have enough faith to believe in evolution, hows that for hilarious?

You all support scientific claims as your basis for evolution, but doesn't the fact that SO many things had to be perfectly in place for our planet to even exist as it does not throw even a tiny wrench into the works? Why do we have brains that function at the level we do, and nothing else on the planet does? There are a lot of holes in the "theory" of evolution, and yes you will say there are holes in the "theory" of the existence of God, but I say, Of course there are, they are there for a reason, it comes down to choice, you make your choices, and others are allowed to make theirs. Do you wish to be loved by others by force, or by the fact they love you? (if you choose force I feel sorry for you) Is it not possible God believes in choice also, and that He gives you the ability or right to choose to love Him or not?

Scottmax, I'm not here to dissuade you anyway, you have made your choice, as others here have, I am here hopefully to maybe persuade just one person, to make them look deeper into the discussion, to truly seek the answer, then they can make their own decisions, thats all that anybody can do.


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That was a really good post

That was a really good post too.. Sticking out tongue


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scottmax wrote:jabwocky

Its not working, oh well...


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jabwocky wrote:

jabwocky wrote:

The fact that it is possible that there is a false record of things planted on earth is not to "deceive people intentionally" it is possible there to deceive those that wish to be deceived?

Planted = intention. You are dodging and it would be good for you to admit this to yourself. Why should God have any interest in helping us deceive ourselves into not believing in Him so we will go to Hell which is the last place He wants us to go? If He actually provides evidence to assist us in not believing, then that must be His intention if He is all-knowing.

jabwocky wrote:
Or maybe it is not God, perhaps Satan?

Yeah, "the devil did it" is the ultimate backup when the evidence denies the reality you wish to perceive. If you believe this then you can believe that anything is possible. Maybe we live in the Matrix.

It is far more sensible to simply believe that our senses don't lie and reason is reasonable.

jabwocky wrote:
The funniest part to me of this whole discussion is that neither side is actually provable according to scientific PROOF/FACT,

We are not making the claim. You are. You claim God is a fact and you admit that it is not scientifically provable.

Do you feel a need to defend scientifically your assertion that there is not an incorporate invisible pink elephant in your bedroom?

jabwocky wrote:
I guess my biggest wonder is how can somebody look at the world around them, and think this is all just chance?

It is not chance. Natural selection combined with random mutation has led to this world of green grass, ticks, beautiful trees, lice, powerful tigers and parasitoid wasps. It has probably even led to the beautiful rivers you see since biology radically changed even the composition of our atmosphere.


jabwocky wrote:
there are as many leaps of faith in science as there are in believing the existence of God, maybe even more

Nope. Science can have wild hypotheses but these serve only as a launching off point until they are backed by evidence. Science is designed to be self-correcting. Religion is not.

jabwocky wrote:
I once heard somebody say they didn't have enough faith to believe in evolution, hows that for hilarious?

Very, very funny, in a sad uneducted sort of way.

jabwocky wrote:
You all support scientific claims as your basis for evolution, but doesn't the fact that SO many things had to be perfectly in place for our planet to even exist as it does not throw even a tiny wrench into the works?

With perhaps 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10e24) stars in the known universe? Not really. Watch the Privileged Planet. It lays out the incredible numbers trying to make exactly the point you are making. Some of their numbers are based on false premises but others, if you divide them into the estimated number of stars, actually argue against their theory. Big numbers make many things possible.

jabwocky wrote:
Scottmax, I'm not here to dissuade you anyway, you have made your choice, as others here have, I am here hopefully to maybe persuade just one person, to make them look deeper into the discussion, to truly seek the answer, then they can make their own decisions, thats all that anybody can do.

Then we are here for the same purpose. It might help if you research evolution before you try to disprove it, though. Many here have done the hard work and many have left religion as a result. You can't teach truth without first acquiring knowledge.

Oh, and I mean real evolution books.  Read Behe if you like but be sure to read all of the refutations as well.  Read all sides.

 


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daddymatt33ih

daddymatt33ih wrote:
Jcgadfly that was a weak response evidently you know nothing about the Bible I suggest you get one and read it

 

:YAWN: 

- Brian Sapient


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formerfaithhead

formerfaithhead wrote:

It's good that you've come to realize this. Now question why religions are formed- fear, control of people, the need to explain why the storm destroyed your house but not the neighbor's house etc.... The concept of "faith" was propogated through the meme-scape in order to make blind conjecture seem noble. It's a clause in the rule book of reason we normally play by which eradicates intellectual honesty, and makes the ignorant feel superior.

Great post FormerFaithHead.


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Veils of Maya

Veils of Maya wrote:


Actually, I'd say that, in the beginning, "caring" had nothing to do with our survival. It really was survival of the fittest that helped us evolve into complex life forms and eventually the dominate species on the planet. While animals do seem to show altruism, I think it's more instinctual than intentional. However, as we evolved to become conscious, the concept of caring began to play an important part in our respect for mankind. In other words, consciousness works in parallel with our genetic instructions to help direct future of human development.

One of my favorite authors is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In his book, The Evolving self, Csikszentmihalyi extends his concept of Flow into a framework for creating a more complex and harmonious existence though consciously guiding evolution. My user name is based on one of the chapters in this book which describes the primary three "veils of illusion" that tint our view of reality: genetics, culture (which religion would fall under) and self/ego.

Here's a great interview in Csikszentmihalyi which gives a brief outline his theory.

http://www.wie.org/j21/csiksz.asp?page=2

I'd highly recommend the book to anyone interested in social and moral development in the absence of religion.

http://tinyurl.com/2zjfmg

That sounds very interesting. I am also a fan of Csikzentmihalyi's concept of flow and its implications regarding education and the learning experience based on the ability to acheive "flow" in that setting. Nice to see that other people are aware of his work.

Kelly 


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jabwocky wrote:

jabwocky wrote:

I see people espouting a lot of "theories" remember they are just that, theories...

One of these theories, is evolution, have any of you read Darwin's Black Box? Basically for those of you that haven't it blows evolution out of the water SCIENTIFICALLY, is that not what you wanted ? Scientific response to your questions, even Darwin said that his 'theory' was based upon observation, and that it WAS POSSIBLE in the future that he could be proven wrong, Michael Behe in his book explains that using a biochemical challenge of Darwins theory it fails.

Darwin in his time did not have the availability to access the labs/microscopes, etc that we have today, in short when broken down to the biochemical make up, we could not have EVER came from the same place as a lot of animals, or they from the same place as us. That being said there had to hundreds of starting points that just happened to evolve to a point that had similar parts... that would be a far stretch...

There are singular points, and Ray and Kirk missed the chance, possibly from lack of knowledge on those points, but there are probably others that might have argued certain points to a better conclusion. The main one, the eye, the eye is dependant the optic nereve, as well as other parts to work perfectly (so that one can see) if part a doesn't work, part b doesn't work, so if the eye is not working correctly cornea>retina>optic nerve. one does not see, this is not an evolable part, it works as it is, if anything isn't working, no sight, no sight - dead meat.. just something to think about...

Another interesting point (I will distinguish here between Christians (those that believe there is a God -even satan/demons believe in God/Jesus, and Born-again Christians, Those that believe the Bible and have a relationship with Christ) 100% of the people that have sought the truth of wether or not God/Jesus/Holy Spirit exist have become Born-Again Christians... a notable one being a former atheist writer Lee Strobel. I have NEVER heard of a Born-Again Christian becoming an atheist (although I will admit it is possible).

Enough for now..just a few things for thought, you mention you are thinkers.. I am too, butI also find it is extremely to overthink also, may the answer is the easy one..

My_2_Cents...

P.S. There are no winners in this debate... depending on which one is wrong there can be big losers...

I haven't finished reading this thread, so forgive me if this post is redundant, but Behe has been entirely discredited by the scientific community (not to mention the Dover case smackdown). His entire theory is based on probablities and is just another pseudo-scientific attempt to make abiogenesis appear impossible to the average person who is intimidated by big numbers. Same argument from ignorance with a different slant and lots of big numbers.

Kelly

 

BTW - Nice little addition of Pascal's Wager there at the end. Yell


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Veils of Maya

Veils of Maya wrote:
gary7infiltrator wrote:


Step 4: The flagellum, seated in the "motor" (built up of useless mutations that did not hamper the existence of the ancestral bacteria that had them) continues to be shaped by natural selection until the perfectly functional flagellum/motor mechanism we observe today is formed.


Actually, during the Dover PA trial, Ken Miller was able to show that one of the intermediate steps of the bacterial flagellum was the type 3 secretary system.

Here's a clip from his American University presentation that illustrate this point in detail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQQ7ubVIqo4

 

Well, I never claimed to be an expert on flagella.  Eye-wink  But even my limited knowledge makes more sense and shows more of a knowledge of evolution than Behe shows in his various atrocities he calls "books."  And that is just sad. 


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jabwocky wrote: Its not

jabwocky wrote:

Its not working, oh well...

 

What, are you referring to the fact that nobody jumped on your post right away?  A few reasons for that:  1)  We all have lives outside the internet.  I know this is hard to believe, because you, apparently, do not.  2)  We've all already refuted the arguements you presented.  A zillion times before.  Look anywhere in these forums.  Nobody cares about your dumb non-points anymore, becaue they're so banal that they don't deserve comment.

 

Seriously - "if evolution were true, we'd have fossils of every species in every stage of its development..."  Do you have the mind of a child?  Do you know how rare is the process by which fossils are made?  Frankly, it's nigh on miraculous that we have any fossils at all, much less such a huge record.

Once again, YOUR personal lack of education and inability to imagine how evolution could be true doesn't mean that it is untrue.  Just as YOUR personal "experiences" that seem to support the existence of God do not prove anything other than the existence of your own brain.  See FFF's many fine posts in this thread for further enlightenment on this subject.

You are boring. 


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jabwocky wrote:

jabwocky wrote:

scottmax, gravity is a bad example of a 'theory' it is a fact, jump, u fall, not a theory...

Just like the "fact" that you fall is what proves the "theory of gravity"--and the fact that all of the evidence that demonstrates evolution verify the theory. That's how scientific theories work.

Quote:
Your link to Lehigh, all it says is the university's position is one of evolution, not ID, proves nothing, most scientists will not back ID, they've been taught evolution their whole lives, its all they know, one of the reasons most people will fight evolution tooth and nail is the major choice left is ID, and god forbid that is correct because it makes them wrong...

Of course, we all cling to evolution because we are afraid of the existence of your sky-daddy being proven. Ummm...yeah.

Quote:

But I still had other valid points I would like answers to...

Also 2 more points..

IF evolution was true, we would see MILLIONS of animals in flux.. ie we would see animals that cows came from, and animals that elephants came from, etc... because amoeba would be constantly evolving, therefore creating new and different animals in all stages of evolution, all the time, correct ?? not all animals on the planet would be at their full evolved state... i.e. if we came from apes, why are there still apes? where are all the forms in between??

Brian and I would like to know--if you came from your parents, why do you still have parents? Here's a little (very sloppy) diagram I made for another messageboard ignoramus:

Quote:
 

Point 2

If God is God, and capable of creating all we see..not only on earth, but in the universe, all that is, do you not think that He is capable of creating enough things, and planting them on earth to fool you? Just a thought...

 

My_2_Cents...

No, it's clearly been planted by Satan. Duh.

No, in all seriousness, if your god who supposedly wants all people to be saved, would purposely try to fool everybody and thus send them to hell, then he is evil indeed.

Nice try,

Kelly


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scottmax wrote: jabwocky

scottmax wrote:

jabwocky wrote:
Or maybe it is not God, perhaps Satan?

Yeah, "the devil did it" is the ultimate backup when the evidence denies the reality you wish to perceive. If you believe this then you can believe that anything is possible. Maybe we live in the Matrix.

 

Even better point:  If God is all-powerful, and if he doesn't want us to be lied to and tempted away from him, then why does he ALLOW Satan to put fossils in the ground to deceive us?  Isn't the very idea that God allows Satan to do deceitful things an obvious stamp of approval from God on Satan's evil?  Unless you're trying to say that Satan can do anything he wants and God actually has no power to stop him; in that case, why worship a deity who is not all-powerful?

jabwocky, the "Satan did it" excuse is even lamer than "God is trying to test us."  It's so full of logic holes that a wedge of Swiss cheese covets.  Seriously.  Use your head before you start talking about this stuff, please. 


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scottmax wrote: As I


scottmax wrote:
As I understand it, THIS universe that we occupy and observe can be eternal into the future but will eventually wind down and become very cold. I think the reason that I am not getting my point across is because I am using "universe" to refer both to the known universe and to a potential multiverse.


Yes, that is why THIS universe could not be eternal as I've already stated (if it existed in eternity past, it would already be cold). Your first sentence also implies this universe had a beginning, which is against what Brian stated in the original debate about "the universe being eternal". I'm sure that he did not have multiverses in mind when he made this comment (or if he did, he should have said so.)

Quote:
The entire theory of a multiverse is very new. We do not know what properties the multiverse might have if it exists. However, we can posit a number of properties. It is quite possible that the nature of the multiverse is essentially like a vacuum fluctuation. Perhaps when our universe erupted, an equal and opposite negative universe happened at the same time. Or perhaps every black hole that forms is the mother of a new universe. We do not know at this time.


Well that is all very interesting, but again, this really gets us no closer to the answer of Who or What formed the universe. I'm not sure why it's more logical to conclude that the universe arose from a multiverse rather than to postulate that a Supreme Being formed it. It seems that given the frequent occurrences of the "we do not know" statements in your explanation, you wouldn't be as quick to put down the "God did it" theory.

Quote:
All of the myriad theories have a couple of huge advantages over the God theory:

They are potentially testable. As with the weirdness we call quantum mechanics, we may be able to use some of the concepts behind the theories, together with math that is well beyond me, to predict very specific outcomes. If those outcomes are realized through experimentation, they lead credence to the theory. If they fail, they add support to the idea that the theory should be rejected. A God theory provides no predictions to test against as far as I can tell.


Yes, and the God theory is potentially testable. SETI has done quite a nice job of outlining their criteria to detect "Intelligence" which can be applied to our question of whether or not an intelligence was involved in the Creation of the universe. As they state on their FAQ page located at: www.seti.org/site/pp.asp?c=ktJ2J9MMIsE&b=178905#a1: "If we do succeed in finding a message, could we understand it? If the signal is intentional, it might be decipherable. In order to send or receive a signal over interstellar distances, a civilization must understand basic science and mathematics. Hence, a message from another civilization might use science and math to build up a common language with other socieites."

Now one question is, if it takes intelligence to "understand" science and math, then why not admit it took intelligence to invent the concepts of science and math? Why does no one question what Mind placed those original concepts within the universe itself? The fact that we must learn to understand these concepts that are inherent in our universe shows that they do not originate within our own mind, but are the product of a higher Intelligence.

Furthermore, our world is teeming with information that has been placed within the life found here. To say, as some posters on here have speculated, that the information arose from matter is nothing more than question begging. Just because information is conveyed through matter does not mean that orginated from it.

The Fibanocci sequence found in nature is also indicative of intelligence. Why should a mathematical formula be found in the arrangement of something as simple as flower petals or pine cones or in the mating habits of bees?


Quote:
They do not add any magical elements. A multiverse would operate under specific laws that are predictable, just as everything we know about energy and matter in our observable universe operates according to predictable natural laws. Under a god theory, we have to assume something profoundly different from what we observe in our ordinary universe.

Yes, but the original question still stands: Who or what formed the multiverse? Even such a thing existed, we have come no closer to answering the "how". Envoking a purely natural and physical explanation to answer the question merely leads to the infinte regression problem all over again.

Quote:
Since the multiverse would have natural laws, it would essentially be nothing more than an extension of the nature that we already know and see. That is why a multiverse theory is less ad hoc than a God theory. We have no way to understand what a god realm would be like. This proposed god has many, many properties (intellect, reason, desire for worship) that exist nowhere else in our experience but in Man. And then we usually embue this God with the all-alls. A multiverse needs none of this.

Just because you come up with a natural explanation does not mean that you are correct or even that it could be true. It's simply the best guess you can offer that fits the materialistic paradigm. The real irony is that the only difference between your argument and mine regarding the origin of the universe is that instead of stating that God "did it", you substitute the most powerful "natural" force you can think of (i.e. another universe). But as I've already stated, this creates more problems than it solves since it fails to address the origin of the other universe(s).

And you're right, in order to understand the "God realm" it require a revelation from God Himself and the bible touches on it in the book of Revelation. But that is neither here nor there.

Like you said, human experience allows us to understand the Person attributes and Character of God. But what I don't understand is why that is so inconsequential to you.


Quote:
Look around the universe, Sara. What do you see? Do you find intelligent black holes? Passionate galaxies? No. You see a mindless universe plodding along without any care for the complex carbon systems on this planet.

And if that is all I found, then you would have a point. But I see amazing thinking, reasoning, and moral beings such as you and me and find that I cannot attribute our existence to a mindless bunch of matter swirling in the cosmos.


Quote:
On average, I see virtually no intelligence in the universe. Count up the total atoms in all of humanity and weigh it against our own single sun and you will see that the universe hasn't expended much of its mass on intelligent systems. Power is simply another word for energy, which we know is simply matter in another form. Order comes from natural laws. We should not be surprised by a certain degree of order since if there was ought but chaos, we wouldn't be here to talk about it. I just can't see how any of this shows a need for an entity, much less a god.

This is like missing the forest for the trees... As I stated earlier, natural laws that create order are indicative of intelligence. To take them for granted as being just a "natural" occurrence whose origin requires no further inquiry seems intellectually lazy to me.


Quote:
Sara, I used to believe in God. Even after I stopped being a Christian, I still considered the concept of a Creator to be very likely. But this slowly faded as my emotional attachment to the idea receded. I have no "desire" to reject God. I am not biased against God because He did something bad to me. I have just lost the emotional attachment to the idea. But I still understand very well why God seems the simplest answer to you.

I usually don't like to argue this point with Atheists because they get really upset when I say that they probably never were Christians at all. I realize that you may have been familiar with Christian concepts or even believed some of them to be true at some point, but if you truly ever were a Christian, you would still be one today. But this is a pretty involved topic which would require lengthly biblical discussion. However, since you have now rejected even the concept of God, there seems little point in it.


Quote:
Please enumerate some of the questions and additional complexity. Certainly evolution and cosmology are more complex than "God did it" but we are fortunate to have some brialliant science in place to explain these things. We have very good explanations for how nearly everything originated. Once you eliminate magical thinking, everything makes sense. Life without the safety net seems scary at first but it is ultimately liberating.

Without God there is:

1. No answer for the origin of the universe that doesn't involve either infinite regression (a logical impossibility) or a violation of known natural laws.

2. No explanation for the origin of natural laws

3. No meaning behind my existence or the existence of anything else.

4. No basis for arriving at moral truth.

 

Quote:
The meaning of life is to live it as happily as we can. Since our biology insists on continuance, we are hard wired to be more happy if our decendents will continue after we are gone. So we receive greater happiness when we create an environment in which our children may prosper. What more meaning do you need? What more meaning do you deserve than this?

That is a very nice thought, but unfortunately reality does not bear it out. I don't know if you've noticed, but even we wealthy schmucks in America aren't very happy (as the drug makers of antidepressents can readily testify with their billions in profits.) It seems that are not satisfied with much of anything and do not succeed attaining happiness.

But I must say I find it ironic that you state I "don't deserve" a better explanation for meaning when you yourself question every aspect of God's existence and, because you find the answers inadequate, reject Him overall.


Quote:
Show me this axim. Stars beget radiation and ultimately heavier atoms. Gravity draws these atoms together into planets and other stars. Some of these planets are rocky and some are gaseous. How is any of this a discription of like begets like? Processes simply lead to other processes.

I already did. I stated that only minds beget minds. We are the proof of the axim. You have actually proved my point in this statement because by your examples you have illustrated that "dead" matter only produces more dead matter, just in a different form.

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Chimps ostracise antisocial chimps. We see degrees of morality in the higher mammals. No other animal approaches Sara or Scott but there are plenty of chimps who surpass many less gifted humans. Average human intelligence is 100. Chimps and orangutans may be around 40 and can be trained in sign language. This would be considered moderate retardation in a human.

I think that scientists tend to anthropomorphize the behavior of animals, so stating that they "ostracize" rude chimps is not very convincing to me. You would think that the evolutionist, if he or she were truly impartial, would simply say that they isolate the "less fit" organism. Instead they appeal to our concepts of social behavior and apply it to animal interactions.

Also, I'm sure that chimps are in no way close in intelligence to moderately retarded humans. Even moderately retarded humans can communicate to a greater capacity and with more efficiency than even the most "intelligent" chimp. The conceptual ability of primates is also extremely limted compared with humans, even those of impaired mental ability. So I don't think your analogy is an accurate comparison.

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But God would have an IQ of infinity. We have nothing close to an IQ overlap with God. We can have nothing in common with a timeless being of infinite knowledge.

Why? The bible states that we are made in the image of God. This is not a physical image, but a mental one. If God wanted to communicate with us, He, being infinte in knowledge, would surely know how. Jesus is described as the "image of the invisible God". If you want to know how God communicated with us in the past, look at Jesus.


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We are animals. We just happen to be the brightest. But we are not the strongest or fastest or the best visually. Some don't even think we are the best looking? Eye-wink

We are physical beings with some similarities to animals, but this is a far cry from saying we "are" animals. As you stated, our mental abilities and ingenuity separate us from all other life on the Earth. This should prove that evolution could not be responsible for our development.


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It starts with what we can see and measure. That is all we can know. Everything else is simply guessing. If that guessing does not yield useful, testable information, then we have no basis for continued belief. Otherwise we have no way to distinguish between those concepts we should take seriously and those we should discard.


What you assert does not seem like an alternative to materialism. It is simply materialism plus a magic deity.

I disagree with your conculsion. If all we could "see and measure..is all we can know", then there is no room for other forms of conceptual knowledge. For example, can you see or measure a number? Before you quickly answer "well of course", you must realize that a number is not a physical entity that can be seen (i.e. you can see two objects and understand the concept of there being more than one, but you cannot physically see the number itself.) Also, you can represent the concept with a symbol such as "2", but that is still not the number, but merely a physical way to view the abstract concept.

I realize this is very philosophic in nature and a little confusing, but it shows how a non-physical and therefore non-measureable entity can exist.


Quote:
You are conflating evolution with abiogenesis. I freely admit that we are still at the beginning stages of discovering a mechanism for abiogenesis. Yes, a gap still remains. But evolution is well established science so once we figure out the initial spark, God has no place left to hide in the story of life.

No conflating here. I'm just looking at the broad scope of evolution. Even if I concede that somehow the chemical soup made a microbe, there is still no evidence that said microbe would become a human over millions of years. In order to accomplish this, there would have to be a testable, repeatable and observeable way for organisms to GAIN meaningful genetic information. I've never seen this demonstrated scientifically. All we have are mutations that produce duplications or scrambling of old information which results nothing meaningful.


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Sara, I think you need to do a bit more research on evolution. You might want to spend some time over at talkorigins.org or read a Dawkins book or two. Evolution is the only theory that fits the available evidence but I cannot prove that to you in 3 sentences.


I've dedicated quite a bit of study to evolution and I must say it's a wonder that scientists are so dogmatic about such a flawed theory. But I agree, the minutia that one must delve into to discuss evolution can be quite overwhelming. I prefer not to go into it here, but I will gladly disclose the resources for some of my information that refutes evolution: http://www.answersingenesis.org and http://www.trueorigin.org

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Yes, lacking a proper understanding of all that science has discovered, it would not be surprising for people to come up with a God concept. But for a scientifically educated person to come to the God conclusion, I would assert that the idea would have to already have some hold on that individual's mind. Otherwise there is no reason to supplement known natural processes with the complexity of God.

Well, I guess you have to discount the numerous scientists who do believe in God as being somehow mentally deficient. But perhaps a better explanation is that they see no conflict whatsoever in maintaining that God exists and created the universe. I'm not sure why Atheists have such a hard time with it, but there are several highly educated scientists that do not. Instead of attributing their belief to a psychological defect, it would be more fair to allow they are entitled to their own view as much as you are yours.


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Name one prophecy in the Bible that came true after the Bible was written. It is not prophecy if you write the story after the event has occurred.

Well, Daniel's prophecies were written before the events occurred. Now I'm sure you won't agree with me and have some "scholars" to back up your opinion, but I would be grateful if you would do me the honor of reading this article on the authenticity of Daniel's prophecies at http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qwhendan3x.html .

Also, we know that the Old Testament was written before the birth of Jesus. He fulfilled several prophecies in His birth and death that could not have been "arranged" by Him. And I can already see where all this is going since every Atheist in this forum must "tow the party line" and deny the existence of Jesus, but I will try to deal with that more below.

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How has the Bible proven itself historically?

Now this is really a silly question. Even the Smithsonian Institute recognizes the bible to be historically accurate as to civilizations and dates.

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There are no extra-biblical mentions of Jesus or any of his incredible miracles by any contemporary writer.No mention of the earthquakes and risen saints in Jerusalem as mentioned in Matthew. Don't you think someone would have noticed that and commented on it? Even if you assume that Josephus is not a forgery, Josephus wasn't even born until 37 CE so he hardly counts as a contemporary.

Why should you expect there to be "extra-biblical" mentions of Jesus? Did Jesus often speak to Romans or perform miracles for them? No, He ministered to mostly the poor of His own nation. We don't find a lot of books from poor Jewish people in existence today...well except for the biblical writers which you have already discounted. Anyway. While several Jewish leaders took notice of Him, they dispised His lack of reverence toward them and that's why they sought to kill Him. They certainly weren't going to write about Him. Some Romans did witness his miracles, though, but they were mostly soldiers and not frequently in the book writing business.

Also, if Jewish saints i.e. believers in Christ Jesus were to raise from the dead, who would know it except other Jewish people??? And why would that need to be written it down right then? Isn't the person who rose from the dead testamony enough?

Another point to consider is that books attesting to the life of Jesus would not have to be written immediately after His resurrection anyway since most of the witness were still living and could give personal accounts to the fact.


So, I apologize for the incredible length of this post and for the delay (it seems everytime I come in here it's high traffic and I can't get the page to load.)

Anyway, thanks for the truly fascinating dialogue. It's nice to chat with a thinker.

Scientists, like others, sometimes tell deliberate lies because they believe that small lies can serve big truths." ~ Richard C. Lewontin


Veils of Maya
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jabwocky wrote: My point

jabwocky wrote:


My point that I seem to be getting across poorly, or may I point out, one they may twist so they don't have to answer it is: recorded written history only goes back around 4000 years ago, (that in itself is funny, we couldn't write or communicate then WHAM we all of a sudden can ?


Cavemen used drawings to describe events. We had oral forms of communication before that. How is this not a natural transition between drawings to written words? Some written languages still use composite pictorial glyphs to represent multiple words an concepts.

 
jabwocky wrote:

If evolution was true, and I am speaking true evolution, we would have fossil records of each animal (humans included) that showed its progression from each state to the next (we have lots of fossils of certain animals but none without HUGE gaps if you try to throw evolution into the picture) so that there are huge gaps and unknowns (leaps of faith?) that one must make to support ones belief in evolution, unlike gravity because I know that as far as on the surface of this planet is concerned exists by the fact that when I jump up, I come down again. My point being that gravity is a bad example of a theory to be put up against evolution.


Again, you're confused about what a scientific theory is supposed to do.

The theory of gravity is principle which helps explain and predict the nature of gravity. Based on this theory, we can predict how objects will react in the presence of a gravitational field. For example, based on the theory of gravity, we can use the mass of the earth and the mass of the International Space Station to find the correct distance and speed needed to keep the station in orbit around the earth. Since the space station is currently orbiting the earth based on these calculations, we can say that the theory of Gravity has accurately predicted how gravity effects at least one object in orbit around the earth. This is only one of an overwhelming number of examples where the theory of gravity has accurately predicted how gravity will behave and it's effects on objects in the universe.

The theory of evolution has a similar role. Evolutionary theory is a principle that lets us predict how life has evolved in the past and should evolve in the future. When we examine life on our planet, the theory of evolution accurately predicts and correlates with the overwhelming number of fossils, genetic and biological evidence found in the natural world. We have yet to find a case where the development of life conflicts with this principle, including the bacterial flagellum. As such, it's considered a scientific theory, just like gravity.

jabwocky wrote:

Part Duex: The fact that it is possible that there is a false record of things planted on earth is not to "deceive people intentionally" it is possible there to deceive those that wish to be deceived? Is it not possible that He is just giving you what you want? Or maybe it is not God, perhaps Satan? The world is the devils playground, perhaps he put them there? One of my favorite movie lines is the one in 'The Usual Suspects' when the main character states "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist."


Perhaps the Bible is a great forgery written by the Devil? God is really the "underdog" and you're playing right into the Devil's hand?

jabwocky wrote:

The funniest part to me of this whole discussion is that neither side is actually provable according to scientific PROOF/FACT, all we can do is make our own bed, and then lay in it.


Again, Evolutionary theory accurately predicts how life has evolved on this planet. It does so without then need for supernatural claims.

jabwocky wrote:

We can both enjoy our lives to its fullest point, some more than others, and then we will know, like I said before though, no winners, just the possibility of losers.


If we, as a species, are more concerned with what happens behind closed doors between to consenting adults than about global warming or religious violence, we could destroy our environment or die in a nuclear terroist attack. If Jesus never returns to redeem mankind, we would be stuck on a barren planet or be the cause of our own extinction? Sounds like quite a possibility of loss to me.

jabwocky wrote:

I guess my biggest wonder is how can somebody look at the world around them, and think this is all just chance? I guess somebody living in a city would say that, all they see is man made, I live on 300 acres in the country that God gave me, and I see His hand in a lot of things everyday. Lot at the simplicity of a flower, at the same time so complex.


I'm no stranger to nature. I grew up on an 80 acre farm. How is it that we are so sensitive to the difference between things of nature and those made by man? If they are both intellengely designed, shouldn't they be more difficult to differentiate? Also, if God purposely designed us down to the last detail, why are we so flawed? Why do we share 98% of our genome with Chimpanzees? The very genes our cells us to construct us also endows us with aggressive behavior that starts wars and results in the deaths of millions. How does this imply purpose or intelligence?

jabwocky wrote:

You all support scientific claims as your basis for evolution, but doesn't the fact that SO many things had to be perfectly in place for our planet to even exist as it does not throw even a tiny wrench into the works? Why do we have brains that function at the level we do, and nothing else on the planet does?


This sort of thinking is clearly geocentric. The factors that make up earths habitability and allow for life to exist are here because we're here? Isn't that a highly arrogant assumption on your part? Humans exist where they exist in the form they exist in because the factors were present to allow it to happen. If they were not in such exact precise alignment, we simply wouldn't be having this conversation. However, the concept of Man not existing at all is probably completely foreign to you since you think God willed us into existence with a specific purpose in mind.

jabwocky wrote:

There are a lot of holes in the "theory" of evolution, and yes you will say there are holes in the "theory" of the existence of God, but I say, Of course there are, they are there for a reason, it comes down to choice, you make your choices, and others are allowed to make theirs. Do you wish to be loved by others by force, or by the fact they love you? (if you choose force I feel sorry for you) Is it not possible God believes in choice also, and that He gives you the ability or right to choose to love Him or not?


If God is all knowing and all seeing, then God knew exactly what would happen when he gave us free will. He knows exactly what what words I will type next. He knows exactly who will die without being saved. Even if you claim that God doesn't know exactly what will happen, it doesn't take an omniscient being to figure out that, by giving us free will, some will reject him. In other words, God conceders his knowledge of who really loves and believes in him more important than the eternal suffering of his own creation. Do you really believe that?

I mean - sure, I'd want to know if my wife really loved me or not. But I certainly wouldn't chain her to the water heater in the basement for eternity if she didn't.

jabwocky wrote:

I am here hopefully to maybe persuade just one person, to make them look deeper into the discussion, to truly seek the answer, then they can make their own decisions, thats all that anybody can do.


That's exactly what were trying to do here as well.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


The Patrician
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Nice debate going on.  At

Nice debate going on.  At least people have had the intelligence not to raise the second law of thermodynamics as a barrier to evolution or abiogenesis or I would have had to take my blood pressure pills.

And that would be bad. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


gatogreensleeves
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Quote:Yes, and the God

Quote:


Yes, and the God theory is potentially testable. SETI has done quite a nice job of outlining their criteria to detect "Intelligence" which can be applied to our question of whether or not an intelligence was involved in the Creation of the universe. As they state on their FAQ page located at: www.seti.org/site/pp.asp?c=ktJ2J9MMIsE&b=178905#a1: "If we do succeed in finding a message, could we understand it? If the signal is intentional, it might be decipherable. In order to send or receive a signal over interstellar distances, a civilization must understand basic science and mathematics. Hence, a message from another civilization might use science and math to build up a common language with other socieites."

Now one question is, if it takes intelligence to "understand" science and math, then why not admit it took intelligence to invent the concepts of science and math? Why does no one question what Mind placed those original concepts within the universe itself? The fact that we must learn to understand these concepts that are inherent in our universe shows that they do not originate within our own mind, but are the product of a higher Intelligence."

You are arguing for a search for teleology in our universe that is similar to ours, not necessarily God.  He has plenty of opportunity to reveal Himself obviously (but not so much as to "overwhelm our free will"- just as He did to Old Testament characters)

Quote:

"Furthermore, our world is teeming with information that has been placed within the life found here. To say, as some posters on here have speculated, that the information arose from matter is nothing more than question begging. Just because information is conveyed through matter does not mean that orginated from it.

The Fibanocci sequence found in nature is also indicative of intelligence. Why should a mathematical formula be found in the arrangement of something as simple as flower petals or pine cones or in the mating habits of bees?"

All abstract knowledge is contingent upon the physical- they are qualifying parameters that don't exist objectively without it.  If they do, how can you prove that without invoking materialism in any way?  Speaking of bees...

From "The Selfish Gene"

by Richard Dawkins

     "Honey bees suffer from an infectious disease called foul brood.  This attacks the grubs in their cells.  Of the domestic breeds used by beekeepers, some are more at risk from foul brood than others, and it turns out that the difference between strains is, at least in some cases, a behavior one.  There are so-called hygienic strains which quickly stamp out epidemics by locating infected grubs, pulling them from their cells and throwing them out of the hive.  The susceptible strains are susceptible because they do not practice this hygienic infanticide.  The behavior involved in hygiene is quite complicated.  The workers have to locate the cell of each diseased grub, remove the wax cap from the cell, pull out the larva, drag it through the door of the hive, and throw it on the rubish tip.

     Doing genetic experiments with bees is quite a complicated business for various reasons.  Worker bees themselves do not ordinarily reproduce, and so you have to cross a queen of one strain with a drone (=male) of the other, and then look at the behavior of the daughter workers.  This is what W.C. Rothenbuhler did.  He found that all first generation hybrid daughter hives were non-hygienic: the behavior of their hygienic parent seemed to have been lost, although as things turned out, the hygienic genes were still there but were recessive, like human genes for blue eyes.  When Rothenbuhler 'backcrossed' first generation hybrids with a pure hygienic strain (again of course using queens and clones), he obtained a must beautiful result.  The daughter hives fell into three groups.  One group showed perfect hygienic behavior, a second showed no hygienic behavior at all, and the third went half way.  The last group uncapped the wax cells of the diseased grubs, but they did not follow through and throw out the larvae.  Rothenbuhler surmised that there must be [at least] two separate genes, one for uncapping, and one gene for throwing out.  Normal hygienic strains possess both genes, susceptible strains possess both allels- rivals- of both genes instead.  The hybrids who only went half way presumably possessed the uncapping gene (in double dose) but not the throwing out gene.  Rothenbuhler guessed that his experimental group of apparently totally non-hygienic bees might conceel a subgroup possessing the throwing out gene, but unable to show it because the lacked they uncapping gene.  He confirmed this most elegantly by removing the caps himself.  Sure enough, half of the apparently non-hygienic bees thereupon showed perfectly normal throwing out behavior. 

     This story illustrates a number of important points which came up in the previous chapter.  It shows that it can be perfectly proper to speak of 'a gene for behavior so-and-so' even if we haven't the faintest idea of the chemical chain of embryonic causes leading from gene to behavior.  The chain of causes could even turn out to involve learning. For example, it could be that the uncapping gene exerts its effect by giving bees a taste for infected wax [and therefore find the act rewarding so as to repeat it]...  Even if this is how the gene works, it is still truly a gene 'for uncapping' provided that, other things being equal, bees possessing the gene end up by uncapping, and bees not possessing the gene do not uncap.       Secondly, it illustrates the fact that genes 'cooperate' in their effects on the behavior of the communal survival machine.  The throwing out gene is useless unless it is accompanied by the uncapping gene and vice versa.  Yet the genetic experiments show equally clearly that the two genes are in principle quite separable in their journey through the generations.  As far as their useful work is concerned you can think of them as a single cooperating unit, but as replicating genes they are two free and independent agents."

Do bees have free will? 


Quote:

"Yes, but the original question still stands: Who or what formed the multiverse? Even such a thing existed, we have come no closer to answering the "how". Envoking a purely natural and physical explanation to answer the question merely leads to the infinte regression problem all over again."

because of the limits on our capacity for understanding I agree, so why do thiests constantly rehash a moot point and not get on to the more relevant emperically testable claims of theology? 



Quote:

"This is like missing the forest for the trees... As I stated earlier, natural laws that create order are indicative of intelligence. To take them for granted as being just a "natural" occurrence whose origin requires no further inquiry seems intellectually lazy to me.

 Of course there is further inquiry, it lies primarily in philosophy.  But an epistemology based on faith (as described in Heb 11:1-3) has no basis for determining truth from non-truth, other than circular confluence with the bible, so it does not belong in the realm of science.

Quote:

I usually don't like to argue this point with Atheists because they get really upset when I say that they probably never were Christians at all. I realize that you may have been familiar with Christian concepts or even believed some of them to be true at some point, but if you truly ever were a Christian, you would still be one today. But this is a pretty involved topic which would require lengthly biblical discussion. However, since you have now rejected even the concept of God, there seems little point in it.

 

You're right.  This is annoying.  The years I spent crying (literally) out to God for answers so I could defend His word reasonably when talking to non-Christians left me only to hear the trains whizzing by and it broke my heart.


Quote:

"Without God there is:

1. No answer for the origin of the universe that doesn't involve either infinite regression (a logical impossibility) or a violation of known natural laws."

 

Which is in the least, on par with theology, except non-theists don't have to explain the complex parameters inherent in purpose.

Quote:

"2. No explanation for the origin of natural laws"

As natural laws are conditions of materialism, this is the same as #1. 

Quote:

"3. No meaning behind my existence or the existence of anything else."

Why do theists think that being the slave (yes you are a slave- especially if you are a Calvanist [by your "you were never a Christian" response] "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" 1 Cor. 10:5) of a God creates meaning any more than a slave or a dog has meaning because it has a master?

Quote:

"4. No basis for arriving at moral truth."

As you know, this is a huge topic that I don't have time to get into right now.  Listen to this free podcast for a primer- "A Better Place" At The Debate Hour (Alonzo Fyfe): http://www.thedebatehour.com/download-search.html


Quote:

"I stated that only minds beget minds."

Only physical minds beget minds- show otherwise.

Quote:

I think that scientists tend to anthropomorphize the behavior of animals, so stating that they "ostracize" rude chimps is not very convincing to me. You would think that the evolutionist, if he or she were truly impartial, would simply say that they isolate the "less fit" organism. Instead they appeal to our concepts of social behavior and apply it to animal interactions.

Also, I'm sure that chimps are in no way close in intelligence to moderately retarded humans. Even moderately retarded humans can communicate to a greater capacity and with more efficiency than even the most "intelligent" chimp. The conceptual ability of primates is also extremely limted compared with humans, even those of impaired mental ability. So I don't think your analogy is an accurate comparison."

This is really the same logic Christians use when dealing with fossils.  How about an example of what you consider to be an intermediary intelligence (or fossil for that matter)?


Quote:

We are physical beings with some similarities to animals, but this is a far cry from saying we "are" animals. As you stated, our mental abilities and ingenuity separate us from all other life on the Earth. This should prove that evolution could not be responsible for our development.

How so?


Quote:

I disagree with your conculsion. If all we could "see and measure..is all we can know", then there is no room for other forms of conceptual knowledge. For example, can you see or measure a number? Before you quickly answer "well of course", you must realize that a number is not a physical entity that can be seen (i.e. you can see two objects and understand the concept of there being more than one, but you cannot physically see the number itself.) Also, you can represent the concept with a symbol such as "2", but that is still not the number, but merely a physical way to view the abstract concept.

I realize this is very philosophic in nature and a little confusing, but it shows how a non-physical and therefore non-measureable entity can exist.

There is viable potential and inviable potential.  One corresponds to reality, the other doesn't.


Quote:

No conflating here.

Yes you are.


Quote:


I've dedicated quite a bit of study to evolution and I must say it's a wonder that scientists are so dogmatic about such a flawed theory. But I agree, the minutia that one must delve into to discuss evolution can be quite overwhelming. I prefer not to go into it here, but I will gladly disclose the resources for some of my information that refutes evolution: http://www.answersingenesis.org and http://www.trueorigin.org

What about flawed Christian theism?  Scientists are demostrably more open ended than theists. 


Quote:
"How has the Bible proven itself historically?"

Now this is really a silly question. Even the Smithsonian Institute recognizes the bible to be historically accurate as to civilizations and dates.

Silly?  Again, as was stated, proving there is evidence that there was belief in an easter bunny, doesn't prove it existed- the same with archeological evidence for civilizations... but even those are suspect: http://www.talkreason.org/articles/exodus.cfm

Quote:

Why should you expect there to be "extra-biblical" mentions of Jesus?

Why should we "expect" to find a perfect order of intermediary fossils for every species?  Yours has a God that has motivation to preserve- evolution doesn't.

"If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway" -The Clash


detritusmaximus
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re: sarah

Sarah,

 You said:

"Without God there is:

1. No answer for the origin of the universe that doesn't involve either infinite regression (a logical impossibility) or a violation of known natural laws."

Would you care to elaborate on how God "solves" the "violation of known natural laws" problem, and on how an infinite chain of causes and events is "a logical impossibility"? 

 

_____
"Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood."
-H. L. Mencken


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Sara wrote:

Sara wrote:


Without God there is:

1. No answer for the origin of the universe that doesn't involve either infinite regression (a logical impossibility) or a violation of known natural laws.



You can't logically prove that God exists. All you can do is use logic to say that something necessary had to exist which is the original cause of everything. Without specific proof, you can't make claims about any of the properties of this necessity, other than it was in fact necessary. this includes all of the common properties that theists attribute to God.

We do not have a unified theory that explains how every force in the universe works at all levels and in all situations. It might be that we never will. But we can use scientific principles, such as quantum theory and atomic theory, to predict with great accuracy how parts of the universe behaves right now. However, you're suggesting is that, instead of simply saying "we don't quite know all the answers", we should select a supernatural unified theory created by men over 2,000 years ago - even though there isn't any evidence or a single experiment that we can perform which shows us it is valid under any level or situation. How is this in any way logical or rational?

Sara wrote:


2. No explanation for the origin of natural laws



Please see above...

Sara wrote:


3. No meaning behind my existence or the existence of anything else.



Correct. I don't think there is any meaning. Just as you may think the evidence for ID is everywhere, I think the evidence for a meaningless universe is everywhere.

For the purpose of discussion, lets say we have two parallel universes. Both of which are very similar to ours in that they have stars, planets, their own version of Earth and the same type of life, including human beings. However, universe A is created by nature and has no purpose. Universe B is created by an omniscient, omnipotent and incomprehensible God.

Now, you might say, "If both universes have such a radically different origin, they could not look or behave the same way." However, by positioning the God of universe B as all powerful and incomprehensible, he doesn't have to behave in any predictable or logical way and can do anything. As such, the results of his actions (or the lack there of) universe B could look and behave exactly like the purposeless universe A. They could be essentially indistinguishable from each other.

For example. In universe A, random events happen to random people. These events cannot be just or unjust, Good or Evil, because these imply a sense of fairness or malice, which is not present in a purposeless universe. Nor does it pick a particular person over another since universe A has no agenda.

In universe B, statistics show the exact same number of random events happen to the exact same number of random people. However, since this universe was created with a purpose, these same events must be interpreted within the absolute moral concepts of Good or Evil. Since the God of universe B is omniscient and omnipotent, he must have taken an active roll in deciding to give good things to some people but not others. To allow bad things to happen to some, but protect others. To punish some evil doers, but not others. Since statics show these events occur in the same number to believers and non-believers of the God of universe B, these choices must some how be part of his incomprehensible will, not because of their choice to believe in him or his purpose.

I could go on and on about the motivations, actions and flaws of the the life in both universes, the methods in which they were created, etc. The results could be the same, but the interpretation would be different.

Both universe A and B could be indistinguishable. We cannot say with absolute knowledge which universe we live in. Yet, implying some kind of purpose exists in universe B requires us to go out of our way for it to remain coherent. If God of universe B is sovereign, all-knowing and all-powerful, we must assume his will is incomprehensible, otherwise, the very reality of his universe would contradict these very same properties.

Sara wrote:


4. No basis for arriving at moral truth.



If God does not exist, then wouldn't man have created is own set of moral standards by creating the concept of God? Are people not living by these standards as if they were absolute?

Evolution is not a basis for morality. Evolution does not care about the quality of life. However, we have evolved to become conscious beings. From this development we can and have developed systems of morality.

Sara wrote:

I think that scientists tend to anthropomorphize the behavior of animals...



I think humans tend to anthropomorphize everything around us, including nature. After all, early man couldn't tell if that sound in the brush was just the wind or a predator that was about to eat him for dinner. Clearly, our tendency to anthropomorphize anything and everything has been beneficial to our survival in the past. But is this tendency beneficial in our modern day? Does yelling at your computer every time it crashes or trying to convince your car to start on a cold winter day do anything more than provide a way to vent your frustration?

Sara wrote:

Also, I'm sure that chimps are in no way close in intelligence to moderately retarded humans. Even moderately retarded humans can communicate to a greater capacity and with more efficiency than even the most "intelligent" chimp. The conceptual ability of primates is also extremely limted compared with humans, even those of impaired mental ability. So I don't think your analogy is an accurate comparison.



Only a very small amount of our DNA is acutely decoded into proteins. These are the direct areas that humans overlap with chimpanzees. However the rest of our genome (the non-coding section) is quit different that chimps. It's quite possible that this area defines what "software" is installed in the brain and has a direct effect on how intelligent each creature is.

http://brainethics.wordpress.com/2006/08/17/the-non-coding-dna-that-makes-us-human/

Sara wrote:


I disagree with your conculsion. If all we could "see and measure..is all we can know", then there is no room for other forms of conceptual knowledge. For example, can you see or measure a number? Before you quickly answer "well of course", you must realize that a number is not a physical entity that can be seen (i.e. you can see two objects and understand the concept of there being more than one, but you cannot physically see the number itself.) Also, you can represent the concept with a symbol such as "2", but that is still not the number, but merely a physical way to view the abstract concept.

I realize this is very philosophic in nature and a little confusing, but it shows how a non-physical and therefore non-measureable entity can exist.


I have access to the same "evidence" that man used to create mathematics. I can follow each step they used to decide that 1+1=2. The same cannot be said for the concept of God.


Sara wrote:

I've dedicated quite a bit of study to evolution and I must say it's a wonder that scientists are so dogmatic about such a flawed theory. But I agree, the minutia that one must delve into to discuss evolution can be quite overwhelming. I prefer not to go into it here, but I will gladly disclose the resources for some of my information that refutes evolution: http://www.answersingenesis.org and http://www.trueorigin.org


Why has religion singled out evolution from all of the theories of science? Science does not claim to dictate morality. What about all the other areas of science that could be "wrong"? Religion chooses to refute evolution not because it wants to contribute to science, but because evolution conflicts with it's claim that God created man in final form. Most of the "evidence" on the sites you've listed is either out of date or not peer reviewed science that has been refuted.

 

For more information above evolution from the persecutive of an cellular biologist, I'd recommend Ken Miller's presentation on ID in public schools.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg




[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes.... I hope]

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Looks like I left out a

Looks like I left out a quote in my last post. My responses are indented, but mixed in with the quote.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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The testimony of U.C.

The testimony of U.C. Berkeley paleontologist Kevin Padian during his appearance as an expert witness in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover case. Padian is also the president of the board of directors of the National Center for Science Education.

http://www.sciohost.org/ncse/kvd/Padian/Padian_transcript.html#day9am381 

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Bad logic, Sara

Sara, you were doing really well in the first couple of days of this debate and were holding your own on the materialism vs. supernaturalism and basic assumptions stuff, but then with this reply post it broke down and you went for the bad arguments.

Quote:
Now one question is, if it takes intelligence to "understand" science and math, then why not admit it took intelligence to invent the concepts of science and math?

It did take intelligence: human intelligence invented these concepts.

Quote:
Why does no one question what Mind placed those original concepts within the universe itself? The fact that we must learn to understand these concepts that are inherent in our universe shows that they do not originate within our own mind, but are the product of a higher Intelligence.

Science and math were not "placed" into the universe anymore than the color blue was "placed" on the daytime sky. "Blue" is a word invented by humans and used to describe that particular wavelength of light. Science and math are human concepts that we use to describe observations in the natural world. The fact that we can backtrack the development of these concepts in our own history shows that we invented them.

But this is probably a strawman reply. I think what you meant is that the fact that the universe conforms to consistent principles implies it was designed? Because that's what comes next:

Quote:
As I stated earlier, natural laws that create order are indicative of intelligence.

Post hoc fallacy. There's no evidence of a necessary causal relationship between order and intelligence. Sometimes there's a correlation, but sometimes--like again with crystals--order happens by chance or by natural processes (always at the cost of increased disorder somewhere else incidentally, which answers the thermodynamics objection).

Quote:
To take them for granted as being just a "natural" occurrence whose origin requires no further inquiry seems intellectually lazy to me.

This is an opinion, so I won't address it on logical grounds. I just wanted to throw in my opinion that I don't agree that trying to figure out how things work is more intellectually lazy than saying "God must have done it."

Quote:
I realize that you may have been familiar with Christian concepts or even believed some of them to be true at some point, but if you truly ever were a Christian, you would still be one today.

No true Scotsman fallacy.

I also fall into this category--a former evangelical Christian who very reluctantly deconverted after actually reading the bible and not being able to reconcile what it says with what I was being told by the church. My experience of salvation was as real as anybody's.

Quote:
I think that scientists tend to anthropomorphize the behavior of animals, so stating that they "ostracize" rude chimps is not very convincing to me.

Yeah, I guess all those thousands of respectable researchers studying these questions for decades didn't take any of the usual freshman biology class precautions against anthropomorphizing and experimental bias. It takes a casual non-scientist theist to really be able to point out these basic, elementary errors that invalidate all the experimental results of primate biology for the last fifty years.

Okay, that's kind of an ad populam argument. But I challenge you to actually look at the experiments done in primate behavior and evaluate for yourself the carefully quantifiable instruments that researchers use to evaluate behavior in empirical terms and then show how such a basic, elementary error could have biased their results. I recommend Melvin Konnor's "The Tangled Wing" as a good starting resource.

Quote:
Even if I concede that somehow the chemical soup made a microbe, there is still no evidence that said microbe would become a human over millions of years. In order to accomplish this, there would have to be a testable, repeatable and observeable way for organisms to GAIN meaningful genetic information.

The whole "no new information" line of argument is a semantic game based on a misapplication of legitimate information theory (which never says that information can't increase). Spetner and Gitt have defined "new" and "gain" in such a way that their conditions can never be fulfilled, and then defined "information" in tautological terms as something that must originate in intelligence. This is a joke of an argument.

In practice, organisms with genetic material combined in novel ways (mutations) out-compete organisms that lack these structures in well-documented experiments. The nylon-eating bacteria are probably the most famous example, but there are tons more of examples that would answer this claim if the claim weren't defined in such a way as to exclude the way mutations apparently actually work.

The creationist crowd's claims that these mutations don't represent new structures because they're just recombinations of existing elements is like claiming that the word "hyperambulate" (a word I just now made up, meaning "to walk fast&quotEye-wink is not a new word because it's just a recombination of existing letters of the alphabet. Bogus.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom, I worship you.

Textom, I worship you.


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gatogreensleeves: Quote: You

gatogreensleeves:

Quote:

You are arguing for a search for teleology in our universe that is similar to ours, not necessarily God. He has plenty of opportunity to reveal Himself obviously (but not so much as to "overwhelm our free will"- just as He did to Old Testament characters)

My point is that since Christianity explains we were made in the image of God, an intelligent Being, we should be able to detect signs of intelligence. Understanding natural laws and mathematics (as SETI explained) are such signs. Now, if I might make an analogy here. If we equate knowledge of math and science with the ability to read a common sign, shouldn't we wonder Who put the sign there in the first place?

Quote:

......Do bees have free will?

Well, that's not really the point of my comment about the Fibanocci sequence. I was thinking more along the lines of why should a mathematical sequence be in something as mundane as flower petals or bee mating rituals?

Quote:
because of the limits on our capacity for understanding I agree, so why do thiests constantly rehash a moot point and not get on to the more relevant emperically testable claims of theology?

Like what?


Quote:
Of course there is further inquiry, it lies primarily in philosophy. But an epistemology based on faith (as described in Heb 11:1-3) has no basis for determining truth from non-truth, other than circular confluence with the bible, so it does not belong in the realm of science.

How does detecting evidence of "things not seen" not fit with science? Isn't that what scientists attempt to do when they come up with origin theories?

Furthermore, this verse does not apply to general claims of truth or falsehood. The biblical writer of Hebrews is not asking for people to have "faith" in any unseen entity or concept. The author encouraging faith in a God Who has acted throughout history and in the Person of Jesus Christ. A God Who has revealed Himself over time and proven Himself in prophecy and miraculous events. Whether or not you believe those events occurred does not mean you can alter the meaning of the text to fit some random concept truth or fiction.

 

Quote:
You're right. This is annoying. The years I spent crying (literally) out to God for answers so I could defend His word reasonably when talking to non-Christians left me only to hear the trains whizzing by and it broke my heart.

I'm sorry, but I'm only speaking from a biblical view point. Since you seem to have some knowledge of scripture, I'm sure you are familiar with 1 John 2:19-20 "These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us. 20 But you [a true Christian] are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and all of you know the truth.." NIV.

I'm not trying to negate your experience, I am simply adhering to what the bible says on the matter.


Quote:
Which is in the least, on par with theology, except non-theists don't have to explain the complex parameters inherent in purpose.

Why is purpose complex? Does it upset you that you don't know why God made the universe so you like to have a "purely" natural explaination because it makes it easier?


Quote:
Why do theists think that being the slave (yes you are a slave- especially if you are a Calvanist [by your "you were never a Christian" response] "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" 1 Cor. 10:5) of a God creates meaning any more than a slave or a dog has meaning because it has a master?

I'm not a Calvinist, I just believe what the bible says. Furthermore, I have no problem being a slave of Christ. The problem is that you freely admitted, by quoting Dawkins, you are a slave to your genes. How is your position more admirable than mine?

Quote:

Only physical minds beget minds- show otherwise.

Again, this goes back to whether or not it can be proven intelligence or minds are products of matter. In order to prove that, you would have to show that thoughts are identical to a physical process in the brain. I don't think that's been established. You could also say that a thought "causes" a physical process in the brain.

Quote:

This is really the same logic Christians use when dealing with fossils. How about an example of what you consider to be an intermediary intelligence (or fossil for that matter)?

Animals have a form of intelligence, there's no denying that. But that does not mean humans are more evolved animals.

Your question about intermediary intelligence and fossils is interesting. It's sort of like asking you to provide a criteria for testing for an Intelligent Designer.

But if I were to conceive of an intermediary fossil, it would be one in which there is an appendage, with no apparent function, that seems to be morphing into a different appendage. I'm sure you don't like that answer, but it's the only one that could not be addressed with a theological answer.

I remember when the appendix was declared a "vestigial" organ (i.e. not having any function or apparent purpose) and thus touted as proof of "evolution". Since the appendix has now been found to have a very important function, it has been discarded as an evolutionary left-over. So if the criteria for an organ to be considered vestigial is loss of functionality, shouldn't portions of the intermediary fossil be similarly non-functioning?

Quote:
We are physical beings with some similarities to animals, but this is a far cry from saying we "are" animals. As you stated, our mental abilities and ingenuity separate us from all other life on the Earth. This should prove that evolution could not be responsible for our development.

How so?

Because animals have not been shown to become progressively intelligent over time.

Quote:

There is viable potential and inviable potential. One corresponds to reality, the other doesn't.

Huh?

Quote:

What about flawed Christian theism? Scientists are demostrably more open ended than theists.

No, they pretty much blast people who disagree with their pet theories even those of their own kind. I don't see that as being very open minded.

 


Quote:
Silly? Again, as was stated, proving there is evidence that there was belief in an easter bunny, doesn't prove it existed- the same with archeological evidence for civilizations... but even those are suspect: http://www.talkreason.org/articles/exodus.cfm

Yes, well I'm always open to hearing theories about why the Egyptians let a group of slaves go without much of a fight. What's your take on that?


Quote:
Why should we "expect" to find a perfect order of intermediary fossils for every species? Yours has a God that has motivation to preserve- evolution doesn't.

I'm sorry you don't agree with God's method of reaching the world.

Jesus came to the Jews first because they were God's chosen people through whom He revealed His law and prophecies. And after Jesus was resurrected, there was a large number of Gentile conversions. So it's not as if people don't have an opportunity to be saved. It's simply that they choose, as you did, not to believe.

Thanks for the reply and interesting thoughts, though.  I will be back tomorrow to check in on any responses.   

 Enjoy your weekend.

Scientists, like others, sometimes tell deliberate lies because they believe that small lies can serve big truths." ~ Richard C. Lewontin


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Humanism - Worshiping One's Own Self

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level--preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new--the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism."

--John Dunphy, A Religion for a New Age. The Humanist, January-February 1983, p. 26.

 

The theory of evolution has been used like a pawn in all of the sciences that have been built upon it to do exactly what John Dunphy has suggested in the quote above.

There you have one of your own sharing his opinion about how the religion of humanism recognizes and respects the spark of divinity in every human being.

In other terms, this is clearly worshiping one's own self. So atheists do have a God, their own self...Or... Me... God the Father, myself... the son and I... the holy spirit. Wow... you even have a Trinity to worship too... How about that? It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

And Brian, in the debate the other night, you promised all those watching that there is no Hell and because there is no Hell, no one is going there. Well... Who are you to make such a lofty promise? Are you some kind of God that we all should bow down to in worship and give you thanks for promising us that there is no HELL and that no one is going to HELL?

 


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Sara,

Sara,

I've been reading some of your posts here. You are obviously an intelligent person who is at least familiar with the terminology and have a very good grasp of language and are, therefore, able to articulate very well. But there is a fundemantal set of errors underlying your argumentation that I am not quite yet able to articulate myself. I will adress the points in your latest post and perhaps a sufficient critique will emerge--or not, we'll see.

Sara wrote:
gatogreensleeves:

My point is that since Christianity explains we were made in the image of God, an intelligent Being, we should be able to detect signs of intelligence. Understanding natural laws and mathematics (as SETI explained) are such signs. Now, if I might make an analogy here. If we equate knowledge of math and science with the ability to read a common sign, shouldn't we wonder Who put the sign there in the first place?

The error here is that you are implying that any information found implies that the information was desgned, intentional, or "put there." This does not necessarily follow.

Paley's classic argument for a designer of a complex object--in his case a watch--has merit for some types of complexity. But the fact that our intelligent ability to recognize patterns, processes, and mechanics behind the behavior/processes of things in the world do not necessarily imply that some intelligence is behond it.

Our brain is a pattern-recognition machine, and it is so for good reason. In order for our ancestors--as well as ourselves!--to avoid harm, we need to be able to detect where harm is. Had our ancestors not had the complex processes to detect sources ofdanger, they would not have reproduced.

Now, the fact that we can use the same pattern-recognition machinery to figure out how to make sense of how the natural world works is merely an accident. And the fact that when we try to assertain the laws or rules that govern things at the very small and very large (quantum and cosmological) should tell us that our brain had little use to understand these things, thus they are awkward concepts taht we don't intuit the same way as we do falling apples or running predators.

The intelligence comes, as said above by another poster (tex-something?), that it is simply our intelligence that imposes the abstraction of intelligence onto the world. That is, we recognize a pattern and thus infer that the pattern itself is indicative of an intelligence on the other side of the pattern. (I might hypothesize, here, that this is a result of the nature of the self-reflective consciousness which tends to also project itself onto the world...but that's another post for later).

I'll let that be a primer for the rest of my replies.

Quote:
Quote:

......Do bees have free will?

Well, that's not really the point of my comment about the Fibanocci sequence. I was thinking more along the lines of why should a mathematical sequence be in something as mundane as flower petals or bee mating rituals?

The natural processes that help structure the flower petal is based upon a simple mechanical pattern that happens as a result of a simple process happening over and over again to create a pattern. The fact that we can decribe the resulting structure based upon relationships of space and time using the symbolic logic of mathematics is a testament that even the "mundane" has immense beauty amd the ability to awe. This is why I think nature is so amazing, because of things such as beautiful patterns in flowers.

Why should this be? Because if the natural world, which works accordning to simple relationship rules based upon a small set of constituent parts, didn't show these kinds of patterns then that would be the surprising part.

If you've ever played with any simple programs such as life or similar simulation programs, you can see how a set of simple rules can generate very complex patterns. Dennett's recent work Freedom Evolves talks about this.

Quote:

Quote:
Of course there is further inquiry, it lies primarily in philosophy. But an epistemology based on faith (as described in Heb 11:1-3) has no basis for determining truth from non-truth, other than circular confluence with the bible, so it does not belong in the realm of science.

How does detecting evidence of "things not seen" not fit with science? Isn't that what scientists attempt to do when they come up with origin theories?

The differnece is that things in the natural world are, in principle, seeable. What hebrews seems to be saying, to me anyway, is that we are supposed to believe in things that cannot be seen. Perhaps my interpretation of the text is wrong, but this is what must happen when it comes to faith in the supernatural. The supernatural cannot be seen ir experience in principle because if it could, it would be natural. This is an ontological problem that is based in the interaction of nature and supernature--if any interaction were possible, then they would not be ontologically distinct and thus faith would not be necessary as we could simply use normal naturalistic means to investigate it.

Cosmologists look at the remnants of an evant to theorize abou the nature of the event, which is different than looking at the world an trying to deduce what something that competely transcends it might look like.

Quote:
Furthermore, this verse does not apply to general claims of truth or falsehood. The biblical writer of Hebrews is not asking for people to have "faith" in any unseen entity or concept. The author encouraging faith in a God Who has acted throughout history and in the Person of Jesus Christ. A God Who has revealed Himself over time and proven Himself in prophecy and miraculous events. Whether or not you believe those events occurred does not mean you can alter the meaning of the text to fit some random concept truth or fiction.

That's all well and good, but frankly the evidence for these historical events is lacking, at least insofar as linking any one of them to something supernatural.

I'll skip the lot about the Bible, as I've never been a Christian nor studied it thoroughly, thus my understanding of it is insufficient to discuss it with any authority.

Quote:
Quote:
Which is in the least, on par with theology, except non-theists don't have to explain the complex parameters inherent in purpose.

Why is purpose complex? Does it upset you that you don't know why God made the universe so you like to have a "purely" natural explaination because it makes it easier?

My answer is that all I know is the natural--it's all I can know by definition of how we know and what the natural is (and what the supernatural is supposed to be). There is nothing easy about naturalistic properties of the formation of the universe. But putting God in there certainly doesn't answer any questions.

In fact, I don't know what a god in there does at all to solve anything, even theoretically. It adds nothing.

Quote:

Again, this goes back to whether or not it can be proven intelligence or minds are products of matter. In order to prove that, you would have to show that thoughts are identical to a physical process in the brain. I don't think that's been established. You could also say that a thought "causes" a physical process in the brain.

Actually, the harder problem would be to show how a non-physical anything could interact with a physical anything. If thoughts are not physical, how do they influence, interact with, or have anything at all to do with the brain?

And if they don't, then why does removing parts of the brain, putting certain chemicals in the brain, or otherwise altering the brain change our thoughts?

 

I guess I can sum up to say that if intelligence is needed to create the laws of the universe, the patterns in the universe, and the universe itself, then why didn't that intelligence, which is a complex pattern itself, need an intelligence to create it.

At some point, complexity, intelligence, etc needed to come about on it's own or to have been there always. In either case, to choose that it must be something supernatural and not something natural is to beg the question. I know this point is made to you, and you've asked why we choose nature over god, the simple answer is this;

we know nature exists. It is all around us. To postulate something transending that is to add something that doesn't explain anything. We don't know it exists but some people infer it due to complexity, intelligence, etc. But if complexity and so forth could conceivably arise without a supernatural creator, then the supernatural creator thesis is unnecessary and ad hoc.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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gary7, have you responded

gary7, have you responded to my post yet? I challenged your unbased claims about: 

1) Religion being a mind disorder

2) The Middle-East conflict being PURELY about religion

3) Religion being always harmfull, regardless of how it is practiced.

 

So far, you've never provided a single coherent argument to support any of them.


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I am new to the board, so

I am new to the board, so hi Smiling

 First of all, I just watched the debate and I must say that the atheists looked like complete fools. They were disrespectful and rude, and could not even look Ray and Kirk in the face while they were talking to them. Rolled their eyes and made snide comments. Atleast Ray and Kirk were respectful towards their counterparts and had the decency to let Brian and Kelly finish what they were saying. All I heard from Kelly and Brian was sarcasm and just plain hate. They weren't real atheists, as I can tell one when I see one. They were adamantly AGAINST God the whole time, and honestly, I believe God could hit them on the head with a coconut themselves and they wouldn't listen. At the end, Kelly said, "Let's humble our hearts and pray to Poseideon." *sigh* You obviously were not at the debate to search for truth, but to spread your own hateful agenda because obviously, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Second of all, I find it ironic that Kelly mentioned God being a "baby killer" several times, yet Brian was arguing with Todd outside the debate about abortion and how the government wants to take away a woman's "choice". Don't worry, Brian, abortion is alive and well in this country and I don't believe it will stop anytime soon. 4,000 innocents are murdered everyday in the name of choice. Less than 1% are aborted due to the mother's safety. Most are murdered just because the baby is an inconvenience to the mother, father, or both. Now, how is this not selfish? One of the safest places to be, the womb, is now one of the most dangerous. You better thank God you were conceived to parents who chose to give you birth. I will quit now, as I know this subject is overdone as it is.

Third, I highly commend Ray in his closing remarks. Yes, the things of God are as foolishness to those who are perishing. (1 Cor. 1:18) And Brian's closing remarks... Wow. A complete distortion of history and twisting of Scripture. Religion is good, if you take out.. blah blah blah. Pedophile priests? Do you HONESTLY believe that God condones that? Slavery -- in the Bible slavery was NOTHING like it is today and has been in the recent past. It was actually a very helpful to those that had nowhere else to go, and "slaves" or servants were to be treated fairly, housed, clothed, fed, and many times were like a part of the family, like many nannies are today.

The Bible is THE highest selling book today. It was the first book ever printed. Over 150 million are printed every year, that surpasses every other book. Harry Potter, John Grisham, Stephen King.. Can't even come close.

Thousands of prophecies are within the Bible, including 300 that describe the birth, life, and death of Christ. The odds of 300 prophecies describing one person coming true is nearly scientifically impossible. For example, one prophecy in Psalm 22 describes Him being pierced in His hands and feet cleary describing crucifixion. I find this one most fascinating because this prophecy was written nearly 600 years before crucifixion was ever a form of death and punishment. And again, that is only one. The rest are on the Internet to look up. Or of course, in your nearest Bible.

And another thing. I'm not even going to touch on Kelly's statement that Jesus did not even exist. Seriously. A man who never existed is responsible for more national growth, charity, nursing, music, book history, art, than anyone else who ever lived? Why are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John not considered "history" to you? Ok, I guess I did touch on it. Smiling

I honestly have no idea why there is such hostility towards Jesus. I would like for one person to name ONE THING that He taught that was wrong, evil, not good for society.. whatever you want to call it.. One thing that was not about love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. He forgave the men who were nailing him to the Cross. The soldiers that slashed his skin to pieces. He forgave them even when the look of evil had yet to disappear from their faces. He told us to love the poor, the widows, the orphans, the CHILDREN, the least of these. Yes, Christians do a horrible job of this sometimes (but other times, we do a wonderful job) but that does not take away the effect the words of Jesus have had on the world. Are you telling me a country that would uphold these values (which I believe cannot happen until Jesus returns because like Ray stated, we simply live in a fallen, evil world of which Satan is the god of) would not be a wonderful place to live in?

 And about the comment that you can do whatever you want to do and Jesus will forgive you. This is correct, but in the wrong context. Ok. Say you are a murderer. You have killed someone on purpose. In your jail cell, you realize what you have done was wrong, so you repent (which does NOT just mean saying your sorry, but doing a 180 of sorts.. confessing you were wrong and sinned against God, and so you do not murder again) and ask Christ to forgive you. NO, you cannot go around murdering again because you would not want to. This is one of those things Ray talked about the manifesting of the Holy Spirit, and the experience of conversion. We Christians cannot explain it, but your feelings just CHANGE. The murderer hates his sin, and does not desire to murder anymore, but now desires to help others and love others. If the murderer continues to murder, he probably did not genuinely repent because the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Murder does not fit in with this description.

Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pard


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Nice, but the real issue is mankind's most evil invention, organized religion. God is only the excuse for most of them to exist. Of course, socialism - including Nazis & communists, has been a state religion, just like Islamists, Catholics, etc. How about the Flying Spaghetti Monster? And they didn't clarify which bible. Oh well.


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Quote:
I was thinking more along the lines of why should a mathematical sequence be in something as mundane as flower petals or bee mating rituals?

I'm not familiar with the bee example, but I do know that things like the shapes of cells in a honycomb or wasp nest or the ratio of the increasing size of spirals in a nautlus shell grow from the fact that those are efficient shapes that make the most economical use of materials--spheres (sea urchins) have maxed out interior space and small surface area, hollow cylinders (plant stems) have flexibility and compression strength. So evolutionary theory would predict that organisms that correspond to those mathematical forms would have a competitive edge.

But it's a chicken and egg question to say that the numbers determined the forms. The forms could just have easily come about because they are efficient, and then humans came along billions of years later and described those forms with mathematics.

Quote:
Again, this goes back to whether or not it can be proven intelligence or minds are products of matter. In order to prove that, you would have to show that thoughts are identical to a physical process in the brain. I don't think that's been established. You could also say that a thought "causes" a physical process in the brain.

Much of cognitive psychology are devoted to this question and there's ample evidence of correspondences between electrochemical brain processes and "thoughts." For example, they can put you into an MRI and ask you particular kinds of questions and know in advance which parts of your brain will light up based on the type of question. The strict answer to this question depends on what you mean by "thought," but so far the evidence indicates that what we experience as mental processes corresponds to consistent, predictable physical brain processes.

Quote:
But if I were to conceive of an intermediary fossil, it would be one in which there is an appendage, with no apparent function, that seems to be morphing into a different appendage.

Evolutionary theory says that genetic mutations become more frequent in a population as a result of environmental pressures. So you wouldn't expect to find this kind of appendage. The competitive cost of having such an appendage would tend to make the organism go extinct.

For example, humans are sometimes born with an overextended tailbone (which we might be allowed to call a tail). Having such an appendage would be likely to interfere with your chances of reproducing successfully, so it would extinguish pretty quickly in the population, and they are rare.

But junk DNA is this on a small scale. Lab experiments show that bacteria who adapt to novel conditions (like the nylon eating bacteria again) do so sometimes by drawing on unused DNA or psuedo-genes that doesn't serve any function in their normal environment. Since the cost
of carrying around extra DNA is apparently less than the potential benefit if the environment changes, that is something that has been observed.

The transitional forms that are observed in the fossil record are more typically changing from one environmental adaptation to another, not developing random appendages for no reason. For example, ambulocetus natans, which is thought to be a transitional form between terrestrial mammals and whales, has a middle ear structure that is partway between a terrestrial mammal's air-based hearing structure and a whale's water-based hearing structure.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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christaboveall wrote: I

christaboveall wrote:

I honestly have no idea why there is such hostility towards Jesus. I would like for one person to name ONE THING that He taught that was wrong, evil, not good for society..

 Well, there's the horrible descriptions of what happens to people who don't want to have blind faith in some old book.

Also, if you're into forgiveness, why not such give your life to  Al-Hallaj or Ghandi? Same stuff, different people.


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Paladin wrote: The theory

Paladin wrote:

The theory of evolution has been used like a pawn in all of the sciences that have been built upon it to do exactly what John Dunphy has suggested in the quote above.

The theory of evolution is scientific truth, determined using the most advanced and rigorous means at our disposal. It is embraced by anyone who is actually interested in the truth about nature. Let's hear your attempt to actually argue against evolution instead of bitch about its strength as a competing theory to "godidit."

 

Paladin wrote:
There you have one of your own sharing his opinion about how the religion of humanism recognizes and respects the spark of divinity in every human being.

Typical projection from a theist. Unlike Christian sheep, atheists are not required to all sing from the same hymnbook and think the same thoughts. You cannot hold up any one atheist's position and tar the rest of atheism with the same brush.

Paladin wrote:

In other terms, this is clearly worshiping one's own self. So atheists do have a God, their own self...Or... Me... God the Father, myself... the son and I... the holy spirit. Wow... you even have a Trinity to worship too... How about that? It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Atheists don't worship anything and the above quote doesn't show that even that atheist does. Dunphy is calling for teachers to be as passionate in their promotion of rationality as theists are in their promotion of faith. Essentially, he's calling for teachers to be in the vanguard AGAINST the primitive practice of worship.

Paladin wrote:

And Brian, in the debate the other night, you promised all those watching that there is no Hell and because there is no Hell, no one is going there. Well... Who are you to make such a lofty promise? Are you some kind of God that we all should bow down to in worship and give you thanks for promising us that there is no HELL and that no one is going to HELL?

You know damn well that there's no Hell and you are lying when you say that you believe there is. Your rational mind understands that Hell is an incoherent concept, for which there is no evidence. You understand that there is nowhere for Hell to be, and that the hysterical accounts of lakes of fire and demons were invented to scare simple medieval peasents into listening to their priest. You know all this. Quit faking. 

 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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christaboveall, "They

christaboveall,

"They weren't real atheists, as I can tell one when I see one"

That's an interesting variation of the "no true scotsman". I think you may be referring to "people who are just angry at god" vs. "people who really disbelieve". Is that about right? If so, then Hank Fox's primer on atheist types is useful for mention.

 

Almost all of the rest of what you've said has been responded to at length, and is an obvious regurgitation of some pop apologetics.  As such, the lack of originality and thought going into that post doesn't really deserve the effort of an individual response.

_____
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detritusmaximus

detritusmaximus wrote:

christaboveall,

"They weren't real atheists, as I can tell one when I see one"

That's an interesting variation of the "no true scotsman". I think you may be referring to "people who are just angry at god" vs. "people who really disbelieve". Is that about right? If so, then Hank Fox's primer on atheist types is useful for mention.

 

Almost all of the rest of what you've said has been responded to at length, and is an obvious regurgitation of some pop apologetics. As such, the lack of originality and thought going into that post doesn't really deserve the effort of an individual response.

Couldn't have said it better myself.  

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christaboveall wrote: I am

christaboveall wrote:

I am new to the board, so hi Smiling

First of all, I just watched the debate and I must say that the atheists looked like complete fools. They were disrespectful and rude, and could not even look Ray and Kirk in the face while they were talking to them. Rolled their eyes and made snide comments. Atleast Ray and Kirk were respectful towards their counterparts and had the decency to let Brian and Kelly finish what they were saying. All I heard from Kelly and Brian was sarcasm and just plain hate. They weren't real atheists, as I can tell one when I see one. They were adamantly AGAINST God the whole time, and honestly, I believe God could hit them on the head with a coconut themselves and they wouldn't listen. At the end, Kelly said, "Let's humble our hearts and pray to Poseideon." *sigh* You obviously were not at the debate to search for truth, but to spread your own hateful agenda because obviously, you have no idea what you are talking about.

So you have no actual problem with their arguments, you just don't think they were polite enough. Boo hoo.

How can you be against something you don't believe in?

Please enlighten us as to why you are more justified in praying to God than someone would be in praying to Poseidon? What more evidence do you have for God? 

christaboveall wrote:

Second of all, I find it ironic that Kelly mentioned God being a "baby killer" several times, yet Brian was arguing with Todd outside the debate about abortion and how the government wants to take away a woman's "choice". Don't worry, Brian, abortion is alive and well in this country and I don't believe it will stop anytime soon. 4,000 innocents are murdered everyday in the name of choice. Less than 1% are aborted due to the mother's safety. Most are murdered just because the baby is an inconvenience to the mother, father, or both. Now, how is this not selfish? One of the safest places to be, the womb, is now one of the most dangerous. You better thank God you were conceived to parents who chose to give you birth. I will quit now, as I know this subject is overdone as it is.

Blah blah blah innocents blah blah blah killed blah blah blah murder blah blah blah selfish. Please present just one reason why YOU should get to determine whether a fetus is a person or not and not the woman who is carrying it. 

christaboveall wrote:

Third, I highly commend Ray in his closing remarks. Yes, the things of God are as foolishness to those who are perishing. (1 Cor. 1:18) And Brian's closing remarks... Wow. A complete distortion of history and twisting of Scripture. Religion is good, if you take out.. blah blah blah. Pedophile priests? Do you HONESTLY believe that God condones that? Slavery -- in the Bible slavery was NOTHING like it is today and has been in the recent past. It was actually a very helpful to those that had nowhere else to go, and "slaves" or servants were to be treated fairly, housed, clothed, fed, and many times were like a part of the family, like many nannies are today.

Nothing like an impassioned defence of slavery to show us the error of our ways in feeling that the Bible is immoral. News flash: the only reason you feel that pedophila and slavery are wrong is because post-Biblical secular morality has told you that it is so. If we were still living according to the word of the Bible, both these things would be accepted parts of society. 

christaboveall wrote:

The Bible is THE highest selling book today. It was the first book ever printed. Over 150 million are printed every year, that surpasses every other book. Harry Potter, John Grisham, Stephen King.. Can't even come close.

Who the fuck cares? How is this relevant to anything? 

christaboveall wrote:

Thousands of prophecies are within the Bible, including 300 that describe the birth, life, and death of Christ. The odds of 300 prophecies describing one person coming true is nearly scientifically impossible. For example, one prophecy in Psalm 22 describes Him being pierced in His hands and feet cleary describing crucifixion. I find this one most fascinating because this prophecy was written nearly 600 years before crucifixion was ever a form of death and punishment. And again, that is only one. The rest are on the Internet to look up. Or of course, in your nearest Bible.

I find it fascinating that you are able to blind yourself to the historical fact, reported by theologians the world over, that the Bible was compiled and rewritten AS A WHOLE, OT and NT together, by Church scholars in the Middle Ages. The OT was carefully edited to ensure that the prophecies matched up with the NT, and even then they screwed up several times. 

christaboveall wrote:

And another thing. I'm not even going to touch on Kelly's statement that Jesus did not even exist. Seriously. A man who never existed is responsible for more national growth, charity, nursing, music, book history, art, than anyone else who ever lived? Why are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John not considered "history" to you? Ok, I guess I did touch on it. Smiling

How could Jesus be responsible for all this stuff when he was dead hundreds or thousands of years before any of it happened? I think what you meant to say is that the people who believed in Jesus were responsible for it, which in no way means that Jesus really existed. Every Christmas, someone does something generous in the spirit of Santa Claus. Does that mean Santa is a real guy? 

christaboveall wrote:

I honestly have no idea why there is such hostility towards Jesus. I would like for one person to name ONE THING that He taught that was wrong, evil, not good for society.. whatever you want to call it.. One thing that was not about love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. He forgave the men who were nailing him to the Cross. The soldiers that slashed his skin to pieces. He forgave them even when the look of evil had yet to disappear from their faces. He told us to love the poor, the widows, the orphans, the CHILDREN, the least of these. Yes, Christians do a horrible job of this sometimes (but other times, we do a wonderful job) but that does not take away the effect the words of Jesus have had on the world. Are you telling me a country that would uphold these values (which I believe cannot happen until Jesus returns because like Ray stated, we simply live in a fallen, evil world of which Satan is the god of) would not be a wonderful place to live in?

Sure. You can say the same thing about Buddha, or Ghandi, or Marx, for that matter. The difference being that those three all left more evidence for their actual existance than Jesus has. 

christaboveall wrote:

And about the comment that you can do whatever you want to do and Jesus will forgive you. This is correct, but in the wrong context. Ok. Say you are a murderer. You have killed someone on purpose. In your jail cell, you realize what you have done was wrong, so you repent (which does NOT just mean saying your sorry, but doing a 180 of sorts.. confessing you were wrong and sinned against God, and so you do not murder again) and ask Christ to forgive you. NO, you cannot go around murdering again because you would not want to. This is one of those things Ray talked about the manifesting of the Holy Spirit, and the experience of conversion. We Christians cannot explain it, but your feelings just CHANGE. The murderer hates his sin, and does not desire to murder anymore, but now desires to help others and love others. If the murderer continues to murder, he probably did not genuinely repent because the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Murder does not fit in with this description.

Bah. A person's feelings can change twenty times in an hour, depending what's going on. What you are trying to pass off as morality is the idea that all that matters is what your LAST feeling is before you die. The murderer could kill, repent, kill again, repent etc. As long as his last feeling is to repent...straight to heaven. On the other hand, if a baby doesn't get her original sin washed off, she goes to hell if she dies. What a crock of shit. 

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Maruta wrote:

Maruta wrote:

gary7, have you responded to my post yet? I challenged your unbased claims about:

1) Religion being a mind disorder

2) The Middle-East conflict being PURELY about religion

3) Religion being always harmfull, regardless of how it is practiced.

 

So far, you've never provided a single coherent argument to support any of them.

 

Oh, sorry - I must have missed your post.

 

1) You are correct that statistics will help determine "normalcy." However, YOU never denied that the only difference between some religious beliefs (such as the commonly held thoughts on God that I referenced with the Holy Cat story) and mental illness is the number of people who hold those beliefs. This tacitly implies that you agree with me on some level about the similarity between religious ideas of "skydaddy" watching you and paranoid mental disorders. 

Wouldn't a person who believes in the Holy Cat story be considered possessed of a mental disorder? If the only reason why we think it's "normal" to replace "cat" with "God" is because lots of people do it, then don't we owe it to all those we've diagnosed as mentally ill because they believe in essentially the same God story, but with different characters, to revise their diagnoses? Shouldn't they be considered totally normal because they believe an invisible being hears all their thoughts and is judging their every move and emotion? After all, most people on Earth feel that way, but we've decided as a society to accept that when you feel that "God" is watching and judging you, it's normal; when it's a cat in the heavens, it's abnormal.  Apparently, this decision has been at least somewhat arbitrary, since we will readily label somebody who believes in the Holy Cat as being mentally ill while somebody who replaces "Holy Cat" with "Holy Ghost" is totally a-okay.

Why does that make sense to you?

2) I still maintain that the Middle East conflict is PURELY about religion (and I am referring to the Israel/Palestine conflict here specifically, because it is the longest-running). Why? It's simple. Why are they FIGHTING so viciously over control of the particular land in dispute? Because each "side" believes that God promised it to them. How is that NOT purely about religion? The fact that they want to control some land is pretty much incidental when they both want to control land that they believe God gave to them and only them.

3) Religion is always harmful to the mind because it demands that one throw out logic in order to go along with the rituals. We are expected to be logical and reasonable in EVERY other aspect of our lives. Clearly we, as a human society, see value in reason and logic. But not when it comes to something that is inherently illogical and irrational.

I believe you are specifically taking umbrage with my assertion that even religious moderates harm society as a whole (when one would expect that only religious fundamentalists cause true harm). While it is true that probably no religious moderates are committing acts of suicide bombing or going on any Crusades to destroy those who don't believe the same way they do, moderates still pose a very great danger to society in that they demand unfailing, unquestioning respect for their beliefs. It's easy to give them that, too, when they don't actively do any harm to anybody else. However, if we make a "respect shelter" for those who don't kill and maim in the name of their religion, we quickly make ourselves unable to logically draw the line for fundamentalists.

In other words, if we say, "It's okay that you have totally unsubstantiated beliefs and we will not question, debate, or criticize them because you are moderate," then we make ourselves look like huge hypocrites when we say, "We WILL question, debate, and criticize YOUR beliefs" to fundamentalists who want to do real harm in the name of their religions.

I suppose I could have summed this up more succinctly by saying simply that I share Sam Harris' beliefs about the harmfulness of religion in modern society. If you haven't already read The End of Faith, you might want to pick it up. It's at the very least a well researched, well cited book that deserves a read even if you don't agree, just so you can understand where people like me are coming from.


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Maruta

Maruta wrote:
christaboveall wrote:

I honestly have no idea why there is such hostility towards Jesus. I would like for one person to name ONE THING that He taught that was wrong, evil, not good for society..

Well, there's the horrible descriptions of what happens to people who don't want to have blind faith in some old book.

Also, if you're into forgiveness, why not such give your life to Al-Hallaj or Ghandi? Same stuff, different people.

 

Also, christaboveall, there's Luke 19:27.  That's pretty wrong, evil, and/or not good for society.

 

Somewhere previously in this thread, somebody quoted at least a dozen direct statements from Jesus that explicitly promote slavery, murder of unbelievers, and spurning of the family in favor of religion.  Not generally considered good things for society.  Go back and scroll through the thread - you'll find the post. 

Makes me wonder if you've actually read the entire New Testament, christaboveall. 


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I am only going to address

I am only going to address your first three responses at this time.  As a REV.  I have many responsibilities on the weekend.  I will make my way through your questions and I will restate my positions where I thought there was any misunderstanding.

 

YOU WROTE:  I think Kelly can be forgiven for her obvious mistake of leaving off the words "in god."  However, her point was sound.  You do not believe in any other god than the one you call God.  Therefore, you are an atheist with regards to the other gods who have been thought up throughout human culture.  "atheist" doesn't mean "no Judeo-Christian God."  It means "no god," period, no matter what you define as "god."  When it comes to Zeus, you ARE an atheist. 

Kelly never postulated that one must be either a polytheist or an atheist.  You are simply stating that to try to shore up your weak-ass argument.

I don’t think I am going to give Kelly a free pass like you did.  This was not an off the cuff remark.  This was in her prepared opening comments.  She knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish.  Atheism is defined as one who believes that there is no deity.  Kelly simply wanted to call everyone at the debate an atheist so she redefined the term “anyone who rejects any deity.”  By her definition, one must believe in all gods, such as Zeus, Apollo, Thor, and any other god in order to be a theist.  My point is that if her definition was to stand, then one must be a polytheist (accept all gods) or an atheist (accept no gods).  Even if you do not agree with anything else I write – you must agree that Kelly’s attempt to redefine atheism was absurd.  This point is not about God.  It is OK if you (an atheist) and I (a theist – that is what this website labeled me) agree on this.

YOU WROTE:  Says you and your bible.  If you assert that all things MUST have been created, then ALL things must have been created.  To say that God is exempt from your rule is just a weak deflection of the logic trap you've sunk yourselves into.  "All things MUST have been created!  Oh, except for God.  That doesn't apply to him."  How can that make sense to you?  Just because YOU have chosen to label God as "the Creator" doesn't mean a thing.  Either all things require creation in order to exist, or all things do not require creation. 

 

Yeah, but the difference between science and dogma is that science feels free to change its collective mind when enough evidence comes along.  Dogma tries to change the evidence to fit itself. 

 

 

Scientists have figured out that there was a beginning to the universe AS WE KNOW IT TODAY.  Scientists also have not yet found any way to disprove the First Law of Thermodynamics, so scientists must assume that all the matter and energy in the universe has always existed - just in a DIFFERENT FORM.  

Carl Sagan was referring to the First Law of Thermodynamics in his Cosmos statement.

And again, Carl Sagan can be forgiven for providing the best information we had in the 1960s even if it turned out to be more complex than that once we learned more.  Again:  The beauty of science.

Neither you nor I can even comprehend this universe before the beginning.  You speculate (at best) with science and I have faith in God.  I do find it interesting that the first book of the Bible states "In the beginning" – and yet it took science up until the 60’s to come to the same conclusion.  The information was right in front of their face the whole time. 

You are right when you state that I have faith that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  You want me to put God in the same category as creation and He simply is not.  He has always been, even before time.  I can never prove this, which is why it is called faith.  On the other hand, the ultimate cause for the Big Bang apart from God has not been proven either, yet you assume (believe) that the universe was something before it became what it is today.  Your argument is that your understanding of the laws of nature leads to a conclusion that there was some form of matter unlike what exist today and through some catastrophic event it became what we have today.  You have NO IDEA what that form was and you have NO IDEA why it became what presently exists.  This will come into play later in my post to you, but you have no proof that this form even existed.  So let’s get this straight.  There is no proof that this pre-existent form existed.  There is no proof of a natural ultimate cause that made the pre-existent form become what it is today – and yet an atheist states, it is not God - these other things existed and happened.  One of the definitions of dogma - a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds.  You want me to prove God exists and yet you cannot prove that He does not exist.  

Just curious, which statement is dogmatic???

  1. I cannot prove the existence of God, but God does exist.
  2. You cannot prove that God does not exist, but God does not exist.

YOU WROTE:  PLEASE give me one example of a snake using its vestigial legs.  Kindly provide me with this information.  Humankind has been around snakes long enough that we ought to have observed some kind of use for their legs hundreds of years ago.

First, it's LIGHTNING, not LIGHTENING.  Lightening is a verb.  Lightning is a noun.  ("I THOUGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE AN INTELLECT!  YIKES!&quotEye-wink

Second, maybe there is a way in which lightning is useful to life on Earth (or a way we can make it useful).  However, there is no "purpose" to it.  Nature does not act with a conscience.  Nature doesn't say, "I need to accomplish X and Y today.  I think I need some lightning to get this done."  Nature just IS, and we're along for the ride.  To beleive otherwise is to be naive in the face of the current evidence.

Third, if and when a use for lightning is found, it won't be religion that finds is.  So what is your point, exactly?  Oh, and we DO know what causes lightning.

It is interesting that you bring up the snake vestigial legs, because the Bible also addresses this as well.  Do you think that the writers of scripture knew about the vestigial legs all those thousand of years ago, so they had to make up the story about the serpent being cursed? 

Sorry about my spelling (lightning).  It has never been one of my strong points.

You asked what my point was - Brian’s dogma that these things mentioned are unintelligent design.  You emphasized that we DO KNOW what causes lightning.  I am certainly aware of that.  BUT we do not completely understand it, and that is my point about Brian stating he sees unintelligent design.  The beauty of science as you put it, is that it changes.  And yet Brian makes a dogmatic statement that these things (male mammary glands, blind spot on the eye, eco system, and snake legs) are examples of unintelligent design.  Science has not stopped researching the human body (mammary glands and the eye), the eco system, nor snakes - because we know that there is so much we DO NOT know about them.  Basically, you stated that we have been around snakes long enough to know that the vestigial legs are worthless.  How long have we been studying the human eye???  Have we stopped researching it because we know everything about it, or is there still research going on?  Have we stopped researching any part of the human body.  I really am curious.  Do you know?  Just remember, 20 years ago we were throwing umbilical cords away because we thought they were useless after birth.  How unintelligent could God be to create a cord that is worthless after only being used 9 months AND THEN it leaves us with a scar.  BUT WAIT, we were wrong.  Maybe it was not so unintelligent after all. Umbilical cord blood is playing an important and growing role in the treatment of leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases.  So, is it possible to state with such certainty that these things are unintelligent when science can change tomorrow?  I think not.

BY THE WAY:  The phenomenon of male lactation occurs in one non-human species, the Dayak fruit bat (Dyacopterus spadiceus), and the lactating males may assist in the nursing of their infants.  Spontaneous male lactation and even nursing have occasionally been observed in humans.

I will get to the other points later.  Thanks, RevLyle

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


REVLyle
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 I do not want to enter

 I do not want to enter this discussion about the fossil record because I have enough going on myself BUT . . .  

What are the odds of no transitional pieces? 60,000,000 fossils just in the British Museum of Natural History and not 1 single transitional piece. 

That is somewhat incredible.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


DUG853
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1) You are correct that


1) You are correct that statistics will help determine "normalcy."

However, YOU never denied that the only difference between some religious beliefs (such as the commonly held thoughts on God that I referenced with the Holy Cat story) and mental illness is the number of people who hold those beliefs.

This tacitly implies that you agree with me on some level about the similarity between religious ideas of "skydaddy" watching you and paranoid mental disorders. 

Wouldn't a person who believes in the Holy Cat story be considered possessed of a mental disorder? If the only reason why we think it's "normal" to replace "cat" with "God" is because lots of people do it, then don't we owe it to all those we've diagnosed as mentally ill because they believe in essentially the same God story, but with different characters, to revise their diagnoses?

Shouldn't they be considered totally normal because they believe an invisible being hears all their thoughts and is judging their every move and emotion? After all, most people on Earth feel that way, but we've decided as a society to accept that when you feel that "God" is watching and judging you, it's normal; when it's a cat in the heavens, it's abnormal.  Apparently, this decision has been at least somewhat arbitrary, since we will readily label somebody who believes in the Holy Cat as being mentally ill while somebody who replaces "Holy Cat" with "Holy Ghost" is totally a-okay.

Why does that make sense to you?


[DUG853] NO, "arguement" from me regarding this 'comment'...

[/DUG853]

2)  I still maintain that the Middle East conflict is PURELY about religion (and I am referring to the Israel/Palestine conflict here specifically, because it is the longest-running). 

Why? 

It's simple. 

Why are they FIGHTING so viciously over control of the particular land in dispute? 

Because each "side" believes that God promised it to them. 

How is that NOT purely about religion? 


The fact that they want to control some land is pretty much incidental when they both want to control land that they believe God gave to them and only them.


[DUG853]

Actually, (IMO) there are some BIG differences between "Judaism" (Orthordox) and the "Zionism" that had been imposed upon that region, there was very-little to NO 'friction' between "Jews-and-Muslims" BEFORE the imposition of a "State-of-Israel" (AGAINST (ORTHODOX-JUDAISM) "biblical&quotEye-wink-(gods' supposed-mandate regarding the 'chosen-people))

Does anyone REALLY want to know-?

Ask a Rabbi-!-!   

Here's a google-search about Anti-Zionist Orthodox-Jews-!

http://tinyurl.com/26ylwu

Therefore, (IMO) it really is NOT the 'religion' of "Judaism" that had DEMANDED a "STATE", because it really is completely AGAINST the mandate of their (so-called) "god" ,.... it is something else completely-!

However, it most certainly underscores how a concept of 'religion' will 'most-certainly' be used for 'ulterior-motives', IMO

[/DUG853]


3)  Religion is always harmful to the mind because it demands that one throw out logic in order to go along with the rituals. 

We are expected to be logical and reasonable in EVERY other aspect of our lives. 

 Clearly we, as a human society, see value in reason and logic. 

 But not when it comes to something that is inherently illogical and irrational.

I believe you are specifically taking umbrage with my assertion that even religious moderates harm society as a whole (when one would expect that only religious fundamentalists cause true harm). 

While it is true that probably no religious moderates are committing acts of suicide bombing or going on any Crusades to destroy those who don't believe the same way they do, moderates still pose a very great danger to society in that they demand unfailing, unquestioning respect for their beliefs. 

It's easy to give them that, too, when they don't actively do any harm to anybody else. 

However, if we make a "respect shelter" for those who don't kill and maim in the name of their religion, we quickly make ourselves unable to logically draw the line for fundamentalists. 

In other words, if we say, "It's okay that you have totally unsubstantiated beliefs and we will not question, debate, or criticize them because you are moderate," then we make ourselves look like huge hypocrites when we say, "We WILL question, debate, and criticize YOUR beliefs" to fundamentalists who want to do real harm in the name of their religions.

I suppose I could have summed this up more succinctly by saying simply that I share Sam Harris' beliefs about the harmfulness of religion in modern society.

If you haven't already read The End of Faith, you might want to pick it up. 

It's at the very least a well researched, well cited book that deserves a read even if you don't agree, just so you can understand where people like me are coming from.


[DUG853]

I also have NO 'complaint/s' about the previous comment.

[/DUG853]


Textom
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REVLyle wrote: I do not

REVLyle wrote:

I do not want to enter this discussion about the fossil record because I have enough going on myself BUT . . .

What are the odds of no transitional pieces? 60,000,000 fossils just in the British Museum of Natural History and not 1 single transitional piece.

That is somewhat incredible.

Would be incredible if it were true.

Unfortunately it's factually incorrect. Every one of those 60 million fossils is a transitional form.

What I would find incredible is that someone could know what evolutionary theory actually says about "transitional forms" and continue to think that the fossil record doesn't have any.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


leor613
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gary7infiltrator wrote: 2)

gary7infiltrator wrote:

2) I still maintain that the Middle East conflict is PURELY about religion (and I am referring to the Israel/Palestine conflict here specifically, because it is the longest-running). Why? It's simple. Why are they FIGHTING so viciously over control of the particular land in dispute? Because each "side" believes that God promised it to them. How is that NOT purely about religion? The fact that they want to control some land is pretty much incidental when they both want to control land that they believe God gave to them and only them.

I would like to jump in and correct several fallacies that you stated about the Arab-Israeli wars.

1) This was not a religious war until the 1990's, after the Oslo Accords were signed, and Hamas made it a point to introduce suicide bombers and religious motifs to the war. Arafat adopted those motifs in the early 2000's, but let's be honest, he would have qualified as a borderline atheist by the standards you employ.

2) This is a war over land. A small strip of land, barely the size of New Jersey. Why fight over it? Because the Jews have no where else to go, and the Arabs refuse to allow the Jews to return to their ancestral home. The war began in 1920, when the British took over the Mandate from the League of Nations, and the Arabs started to riot. The British refused to protect the Jews, so they formed Haganah, Etzel and Lechi, and began to defend themselves. In 1937 the Peel Commission advocated dividing the land into two, with the Arabs getting the bigger slice. (75% of the mandate, namely everything east of the Jordan river had already been turned into the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan). The Jewish Agency accepted the Peel partition, the Arabs said no and continued to riot. So the Brits outlawed Jewish immigration into Palestine, sending hundreds of thousands of Jews who might otherwise have been spared back to their deaths at the hands of the Nazis, Yemach Shemam.

3) In response to the White Paper, the Jewish underground rebelled against the Brits, and in 1947 the UN voted to partition the land. Again the Jews accepted, and the Arabs said no. This time, the Brits decided to leave, and in 1948 David Ben Gurion (who would also meet your definition of an atheist) declared independance. Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq responded by invading. My grandfather, OBM, a Holocaust survivor barely in the country a year, fought in that war. He was not a trained soldier, his unit was poorly armed, yet the Israelis won. That's meets my definition of a miracle by the way.

4) Forty years ago, Gamal abdel Nasser (another pesky atheist in a supposedly religious war) blockaded the Straits of Tiran, and evicted UN peace-keepers from the Sinai. Israel responded to these acts of war by attacking (but only after Israeli PM Levi Eshkol dithered for days) and wiping out the Egyptian air force. After six days of fighting Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq (I'm not sure if Lebanon took part in '67) Israel was three time's it's size, holding Sinai, the Golan, the West Bank, and most importantly Jerusalem. Once again that meets my miracle definition.

Anyway, that's just a few facts, and my POV. Try to read a few books about the middle east, especially anything by Benny Morris (but Ilan Pappe. He's the worst historian, new or old, in Israel).


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This thread is WAY WAY too

This thread is WAY WAY too long for me to read in its entirety and check if something I want to say has already been said. I doubted my assumption and read the first two pages, but no, I really was right this thread is too long. Eye-wink (Michael Shermer was correct in saying pure skepticism is impossible because then you'd be skeptical of your own skepticism.)

Anyway, one fascinating element of belief is compartmentalized thought. Ever notice how theists can watch television programs on UFOs or homeopathy or any number of other completely unjustifiable paranormal / pseudoscientific claims, and with no compunctions point out the nonsense, lack of evidence, misplaced burdens of proof? Smart people believe in weird things because they are better skilled at defending their beliefs which they arrived at for not the smartest reasons.

Also, regarding what is at the moment the post above me, the remark by Kelly about everyone are atheists towards other gods—Zeus, Apollo, Thor—was an allusion (intentional or happy coincidence?) to Richard Dawkins' closing comments in Part-I of his "Root of All Evil?" documentary. Some people simply go one god further.


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There may be a lot of

There may be a lot of ID''ers who laugh at them but think about all the new born again christians who were going to pay their hard earned money they very possibly couldn't afford  to purchase their idiot witnessing tactics.   I have no doubt Brian and Kelly helped those new innocent victims to be more wiser by watching this debate and hearing Brian and Kelly bring them down with intelligent questions, common sense, facts and their honesty.  I don't see that Brian and Kelly were being conceited in fact I saw them as actually debating whereas the two christians weren't,  They gave testimony and preaching along with stupidity.  But you see we see their stupidity but many new christians, they call baby christians, would not think to question the way Brian and Kelly did. 

I don't see Brian and Kelly as trying to score points, what I saw in my mind was the audience was cheering their scoring points.  Most of the christians in the audience were quiet IMO because they are taught to be that way in church, given the fact that ray and kirk did all tesitmony and preaching more than anything else it was expected of the christian audience to be quiet and that may attribute to their appearing to be polite in thier minds in my mind they were just quiet little obedient sheeple. 

 I have been witnessed to by so many christians who use the same nonsense ray and kirk did and I tell them they wasted their money.  The evangelicals they purchased the books, videos from didn't research any other possible answers, they never thought it through. They use this witnessing baloney on people when they least expect to have those questions asked. They are blindsided on the street, work, shopping, in the hospital, at funerals, etc.  BTW thanks again Brian for pointing out a person doesn't have to be a christian to be a good person.

 One last thing what really got me about kirk was the half truth he told in his testimony about how he was an atheist.  I saw two tv interviews years ago with kirk saying "you have to have a lobobomy to believe in god" I quote it because that is exactly how I remember what he said.  He later did another interview regretting what he said in the first interview and explained how the evangelical christians & ray comofort got a hold of him and it was after being proselytized - brainwashed by them that he did the questioning god in his car.  He left out a lot of info. and truth about how he was changed from being an atheist to christian.  They are hiding that fact.  I remember those videos.  They won't admit no one beieves in the god until they are brainwashed by being told about the made up god.  I'd like to catch him blindsided and ask him if he ever told a lie and bring up those interviews.  If I could remember what talk show it was on I might be able to find it.  Though I wouldn't be surprised if they had the copies.  I wonder what happens to old videos, recorded tv programs?

Just my two centsSmiling  sorry if this was long.LOL.


Free Thinking
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I am most disappointed

I am most disappointed with the debate because Ray and Kirk claimed that they would not use the bible or faith in their arguments and had scientific proof of the existence of god. I was looking forward to lending my ears to them. If they had compelling arguments able to convince me that god existed, I wanted to hear them. In the end I'm still a skeptic and enough of one to be willing to reconsider my ideas about the existence of god.

I'm not surprised by my disappointment but I also feel conned. Ray and Kirk claimed to have such proof just so that they could use the debate as a platform to preach. in fact, they had no intention of ever giving proof. They had to resort to dishonesty and manipulated the network into giving them a national stage for their xtian sales pitch. A sales pitch, no doubt, preached hundreds of times with "personal testimonies" that equate to nothing more than variations on the same theme. The rest of us ignore it like we ignore advertisements and celebrity gossip.

Ray and Kirk deceived us. They had never had any proof. What they did was dishonest and unethical. It was wrong and I didn't need the 10 commandments to figure that out. It was devious and pre-meditated. It was a lie.

This debate meant nothing to Ray or Kirk . They lied in order to appear on television so that they could have another undeserving chance for our attention.

How do I know?

They admit to it.

Here

 

Frown

 

Thank you for your warm welcome RRS. Smile

Judge: god, you have been accused of existence! What do you have to say for yourself?

god: I am innocent until proven guilty, your honour!


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I have two questions for

I have two questions for Sapient and Kelly. I am honestly curious and open.

1. Where did the first atom come from? Where did the first shred of existence come from? Did it come from nothing (Did it just happen?)? Because if it did, then there is no other alternative than to accept that it was created. Right? If there is any other logical conclusion as to where that came from then I am open to hear it.

2. This isn't scientific, but why the blatant disrespect (especially Kelly)? The two men you debated against were respectful and kind and you treated them like scum. What justifies that behavior? Atheist friends of mine were disgusted at the debate because the only reason ya'll "beat" the WOTM was because ya'll were louder than they were.


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christaboveall

christaboveall wrote:

First of all, I just watched the debate and I must say that the atheists looked like complete fools.

Did you watch the full debate on the Internet or just the Nightline edit?


christaboveall wrote:
I would like for one person to name ONE THING that He taught that was wrong, evil, not good for society..

Here are some of my favorites:

Luke 14:26 - Hate your family

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

John 12:25 - Hate this life

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Matthew 21:18-24 - Jesus curses a fig tree for not having fruit out of season!

Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Luke 19:29-34 - Jesus Christ the Horse Thief

And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,

Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.

And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.

And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?

And they said, The Lord hath need of him.

Matthew 19:29 - Abandon your family

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

stillmatic put together a great list a number of posts back so I'll just quote him:

stillmatic wrote:

Mark 7:10 -- "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death" (Jesus criticizing the Jews for not killing disobedient children)

Matthew 15:3-4 -- "But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." (Jesus criticizing the Jews for not killing disobedient children)

Matthew 5:27-32 -- "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

1 Peter 2:18 -- "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward." (Repeating attitude towards slavery from the OT)

Matthew 10:34-37 -- "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

Matthew 10:20-22 -- "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."

Jesus clearly does not object to Old Testament law, killing, stoning, slavery, homophobia, misogyny, etc. I'm not even going to go into Revelations.