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!

 


HonestQuestioner
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todangst

todangst wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Ok, your argument is extremely convoluted, and it really is shifty in that it asserts things in vague terms that really beg the same question. You say:

ShaunPhilly wrote:
‘Information is encoded physical patterns, patterns which can transfer from one medium to another through physical means.’

 

Now think about that for a second. Information is physical patterns that are encoded. Ok, well, what are they encoded with? Uh, information?

He's telling you that information is encoded in physical patterns. You're rewording his statement as if the statement is circular when it is not.

I call that convoluted.

Now, can you tell me how information can be stored without any matter or energy? 

No, he said information WAS encoded physical patterns. He said information was patterns. You just said informaion was encoded IN physical patterns. You're misreading. I'm not being convoluted. By the way, I agree with what YOU said. Who did the encoding?


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 Intelligence comes from

 Intelligence comes from information.  Have you ever seen/experienced something that has intelligence without information? The god only adds an unneeded level of complexity where did a god get its information?

Sounds made up...
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Magus

Magus wrote:
HonestQuestioner wrote:
Magus wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Ok, your argument is extremely convoluted, and it really is shifty in that it asserts things in vague terms that really beg the same question. You say:

ShaunPhilly wrote:
‘Information is encoded physical patterns, patterns which can transfer from one medium to another through physical means.’

Now think about that for a second. Information is physical patterns that are encoded. Ok, well, what are they encoded with? Uh, information?

  You are missing the point information "is" the pattern.

WRONG. Man, you don't read anything I post. Patterns are not information outside of a code. You must have a code for a pattern to mean anything. And guess where codes come from? Intelligent information formation. So no, no 'bingo' for you.
SO what you are saying is the patterns of 1 and 0 are not what is the information in a computer?

This is where my grandmother would slap my hand and say 'no no'. You see, you are trying to sneak intelligence in the back door here. You are ASSUMING the computer already. You ASSUME the code that says 0 and 1 mean anything. The patterns mean something (are a medium for information) in the presence of a code. No, the pattern is not information, it transimits information to something or someone that knows the code. Got it?


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That wasen't a debate, that

That wasen't a debate, that was an intellectual bloodbath!


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Ok so how does the computer

Ok so how does the computer know how to "transimit" that information?  I am pretty sure that computers don't use things beyond the physical.

 

(removed spelling error: "computeres" what was I thinking)

Sounds made up...
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Ok so how does the computer

triple post?? I have no Idea what happend

Sounds made up...
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Magus
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Ok so how does the computer

double post

Sounds made up...
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Magus wrote: Ok so how

Magus wrote:

Ok so how does the computer know how to "transimit" that information?  I am pretty sure that computers don't use things beyond the physical.

 

(removed spelling error: "computeres" what was I thinking)

Because an intelligent designer (computer programmer) inputs the necessary informaton and formats the code for understanding it.


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HonestQuestioner

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Magus wrote:

Ok so how does the computer know how to "transimit" that information?  I am pretty sure that computers don't use things beyond the physical.

(removed spelling error: "computeres" what was I thinking)

Because an intelligent designer (computer programmer) inputs the necessary informaton and formats the code for understanding it.
  Missed my point again.  My point is this all happens on a physical level, nothing beyond the physical.  The claim is something intangible happens in the brain, and I said, that is an assertion that has no grounds.  By the fact that computers can communicate learn and do all the other things (some things are a more limited scale, than natural being) in just the physical world, is evidence that information is physical in nature, or can be physical in nature.

Sounds made up...
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No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


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Thanks for the warm welcome

Thanks for the warm welcome way back on page 7 scottmax.

Sorry I haven't had time to chime in yet. This thread is huge! I have not had time to read the whole thing so I apologize if I am repeating anything. That being said:

I was royally ripped off by ABC last night in my attempt to watch to whole debate. On my local affilliate it was also not on at the time they said it would be, so I had to endure 20 minutes of crud about Britney Spears fashion sense also. What is important to TV execs is truly odd, and I really hope it doesn't reflect what American culture wants to watch.

I was amazed to see that you atheists thought the edit job was biased against you, as I thought the exact opposite. Perception is a funny thing. Now I am going to attempt to find the whole debate and then read all this. Discussion is a wonderful thing.


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I'd like to say you guys did

I'd like to say you guys did a pretty decent job. Yeah, it wasn't a perfect performance. Not as well prepared as you could have been, but really, you didn't need it. For people who are use to being in front of the camera all the time, Cameron and Comfort sure came off like fish out of water (unedited version, not the sanitized version they showed on tv). It's a real shame that a national television show still can't bring itself to allow any semblance of pro-atheism for fear of a boycott by those 75% Dee Dee Dees.


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Thanks for the "theist" tag

Thanks for the "theist" tag also. I was wondering how to do that.


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blessed848 wrote: No

blessed848 wrote:
No offense guys but this website is very very childish. Im a firm believer in God and no lies will ever change that. Our youth group will be praying for all of you that before it's too late, you will come to know who God really his. He loves all of you. Before you guys start giving your souls away, i dare you to pray every day for 2 weeks, "God if your real, reveal yourself", If you really ask He will. God bless all of you.

No offense but that is one of the dumbest suggestions I get. There are two really big problems here:

  1. Atheists really don't believe in God. No fooling.
  2. Many of us were devout Christians and ditched religion when we realized there was no reason to believe. I felt that God had revealed himself to me. I couldn't imagine not believing. Then I did imagine it and He evaporated like the fog of a dream upon waking. No trauma. No upheaval. Just freedom.

I have an alternate suggestion for you, however. I dare you to pray every day for 2 weeks, "Thor if you're real, reveal yourself." Don't you owe it to yourself to try, just in case?

Please invite everyone in your youth group to visit this site. If God is true then there should be no danger that we will lead any astray through simple dialog. Every mouth should proclaim Him. We look forward to having you all around for some good discussion.


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HonestQuestioner wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Strangely, I agree with your statement that information cannot exist without at least some consciousness at some point. However, information does exist in living cells despite them being conscious of it or not. Bacterial DNA encodes loads of information, and bacteria, as far as we know, are not conscious. And yet, information is being transferred in them all day long. So what consciousness spawned that information? Information can be created by the human mind, and used to create other codes to pass information. But the information for how to produce a human mind (from DNA) did not originate from the human mind. I agree, however, that it must have originated from something similar. And finally, your last statement is just strange. ‘Please point to some information and tell me how much it weighs and how much work it can do’. You stated that information does not exist in the absence of consciousness. Well, we’ll use information in the context of consciousness to answer your question. By your very statement, you admit that information exists in the presence of consciousness. But you seem to be trying to say by your last statement that information does not exist?.?.or can’t exist unless it has weight or does work? So you tell me. You asserted it existed, so tell me how much it weighs and how much work it does. I don’t know. All I know is that it exists, and yet I can’t weigh it or make it work.

Bacteria do not exchange information, they exchange protein strings called DNA that have molecular structures that fit together in a certain way, physically. It is easier for us to describe how DNA works in terms of information exchange, but there is no actual substance called "information." If there were, we could weigh it or watch it do work.

My position is that matter and energy are the only two things in the universe. Everything else is our abstract concept that we use to categorize different configurations of these two things. Information is in this category - it is an abstract concept, not a real object, and therefore we need no explanation for where it came from outside of the human mind itself. 

Consciousness creates something that we call information when it interacts physically with the physical world. It is an artifact of our thought, like time and space.

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


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HonestQuestioner wrote: Did

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Did you even read what we were discussing? DNA. I assert that information, and the complexity of encoding that information, comes from intelligence. That is my experience, and the experience of science. Scientists DO NOT say that information is not contained in the coding of DNA. They assert that fact. And the deeper we understand this code, the more complex it seems. Now, either information is there or it is not. The poster I was responding to states that it is there. I ask, where did it come from? Science has not demonstrated that nonliving, inanimate matter produces information or understands it. So I stated that it would make more sense that information arose in the same way we view it arising: from intelligent, living beings. You want to say that it arose in some other fashion. I challenge you to produce that fashion. And you say, 'well we just don't know, but IT CANT BE A CREATOR'. Well, that's pretty closed=minded of you, and it rejects obvious realities that are easily perceivable. But hey, if you're dead set in your closed-mindedness, the why even discuss it.

Speaking for myself I am NOT saying it can't be a creator. I am saying I don't know. Regarding DNA, it is a difficult problem. However from my layman's understanding from reading various books, evolution provides a convincing explanation of how it happened. As you said earlier this opens the "can of worms" of why an unintelligent universe of matter would give birth to intelligence. Maybe that's just the way things are.

If what your suggesting is deism, I don't have too much beef with that. Personally I rather not make any unfounded claims. Even if there was some creative intelligence I don't see how people can believe they have personal knowledge about the characteristics of that intelligence. I find such a claim unsatisfying because it just moves the question outwards to asking why this creative intelligence exists.  Where did the information come from that makes up this intelligence? Again I rather not make any claims to answer the question "why is there something rather than nothing."

Here's one idea: What if the universe ends in a big crunch (I know they say this is unlikely now) and somehow in that infinitely crushed singularity a "seed" is pushed back through time, so that the universe gives birth to itself? I don't believe this! It's just an idea which I find interesting. Of course I would still wonder why any of it exists, and I'm certainly not jumping to believe it, but I find the idea  at least more believable than the idea of an eternal intelligence.

We can toss around cosmic ideas all night long, but again, I'm not going to believe any claim without good evidence.  


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I thought of all kinds of

I thought of all kinds of snarky answers to give you.  Instead, I'll focus on the fact that you're young enough to be in a youth group.  I hope you go to college and pay attention to your science classes with a wholly, truly open mind.  You may come to find then who has been telling you lies and who has not.  I used to be exactly like you.  Now I speak out against the lies of religion, because I asked God to open my mind and my heart so that I could know the truth. 

It wasn't God that opened my mind, though, as I now know.  But I am glad that it was opened enough that I could learn for myself to discern lies and truth.


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jesse wrote: Thanks for the

jesse wrote:
Thanks for the "theist" tag also. I was wondering how to do that.

 

I think you should get to choose the tag... 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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gary7infiltrator wrote: I

gary7infiltrator wrote:

I thought of all kinds of snarky answers to give you. Instead, I'll focus on the fact that you're young enough to be in a youth group. I hope you go to college and pay attention to your science classes with a wholly, truly open mind. You may come to find then who has been telling you lies and who has not. I used to be exactly like you. Now I speak out against the lies of religion, because I asked God to open my mind and my heart so that I could know the truth.

It wasn't God that opened my mind, though, as I now know. But I am glad that it was opened enough that I could learn for myself to discern lies and truth.

 

Very nice post. Well said. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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Maruta wrote:  "Religion

Maruta wrote:  "Religion isn't a mind disoder. Though some things can be diagnosed as clinical according to the DSM-IV (what you described is Paranoid Schizophrenia) and others point to malfunctive cognitions (such as Thought Action Fusion Morality), if you ever took a serious look at Clinical Psychology you'd realise that religion is not a disorder. It is only so when practiced to the extreme, but that goes for everything."

 

I believe that an all-knowing, all-powerful cat created me and everything I see.  It listens to my thoughts every single day and is constantly judging me for what I think, let alone what I say and do.  The cat has the power to watch me, and all other people alive, day and night, simultaneously, while at the same time running everybody's lives and determining the choices everybody will make.  Nobody can stop the cat!  The cat is too strong for you or me to comprehend!

At least once a week, I enter a special cat-worship place and devote many hours to talking and thinking about the cat.  I talk about how the cat plans to punish the souls of all who do not devote their lives to thinking about it and acting in its name.

I believe that when I die, I will meet the cat and get to sit live in its glorious, shedding presence for all eternity.  

I believe that some day, probably soon, the cat is going to take a physical form and come to Earth to scour all of its divine kitty creation with fire and brimstone, then it will send its favorite holy kitten to rule over Earth for 1,000 years.  I hope that I can help accelerate a war in the Middle East to hasten the cat's glorious day of return.

 

That doesn't sound like a mental disorder to you?

 

The only difference between what we choose to call "religion" and what we choose to call "delusion" - the ONLY difference - is numbers.  There are more people who suffer from the delusion of religion than do not; therefore, we have chosen for no good reason to not acknowledge the obvious mental illness of religious belief.

 

As for only speaking out against separation of church and state because religion harms no one - just look at the Middle East.  They've been murdering each other for hundreds - thousands - of years, purely in the name fo religion, and recently we invaded their country because our President believes that God told him to, thereby assuring thousands of more deaths in the name of religion.

 

Religion harms EVERYBODY.  Moderate and extreme.  Its time has come and gone.  It does no good to you or to anybody else that you cannot derive from a nonreligious source if you only care enough to educate yourself about what the world is really like. 


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I enjoyed the show. 

I enjoyed the show.  Though, of course what the theists arguments would be was obvious.  The theists had better voice skills, but, one of them (both of them?) being actors, that's to be expected.  And, they both do lots of public speaking, which also helps their presentation.  But, of course, their arguments were crap.

 I wish I was a better speaker so I could do oral debates.  I once gave it a try on a crappy Internet radio show, and I sucked, I'm just not good at thinking on my feet and speaking the right answer.  Whenever I hear other people's debates, I invariably think, "oh, I would have said 'X' and that would have been even better!"  But, I wouldn't.  I would freeze up and not think straight.

 So, thanks, Brian and Kelly.  I enjoyed it.

 


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If we consider only the

If we consider only the initial focus of the debate which was ostensibly for Ray and Kirk to prove the existence of God then the mistakes made by Kelly and Sapient were excusable because the godbotherers failed. However the debate was not restricted to the initial focus. The vast majority of the debate was Kelly and Sapient defending themselves against the Kirk and Ray show. Instead of pressing their advantage, Kelly and Sapient let Kirk and Ray take the offence. This was a mistake.

Most of the comments made by Kirk and Ray were opportunities missed to show how dishonest creationists such as Kirk and Ray really are. Kirk made a number of quote mines, expressed some obvious scientific disinformation, and made claims that have been debunked so frequently they are famous. Ray made so many logical errors I'm amazed he can tie his shoes. They were all missed.  Both Kelly and Sapient showed a horrible lack of science knowledge.

Please, people, before you take on any more slick, skilled con men such as Kirk and Ray, take the time to hone your skills at places like talkorigins and RichardDawkins.net. People like K&R will always focus on evolution - it is important that everyone, including you, learn as much about evolution and how to counter creationist arguments as possible. They are not only anti-athiest, they are anti-science. We, as a group, need to know as much as possible about science.

 

Science rationally modifies a theory to fit evidence, creationism emotionally modifies evidence to fit a specific interpretation of the bible.


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I just watched all the

I just watched all the clips on abc. I find it intersting that they clearly believe all people who never hear the gospel go to hell. They go to hell for not following every law in the bible without fail for their entire lives and not disbelief. Ray will not come right out and say that they all go to hell why the tap dancing? 

You break the law you go to hell. Jesus is the only one that can prevent this. Everyone breaks the law. Just try to take the good person test online and pass, its rigged. If you never heard of Jesus thats no defense. As far as I can tell from their sites WOTM even believes that the handicapped incapable of understanding the message go to hell. Scarier still is that they believe these people deserve to burn.

 The majority of people ever born are doomed to hell and could not have done anything to avoid it.  Its not gods fault that way of the master radio didnt exist in the Americas for thousands of years. Its all Satans doing but why does he own god in the soul war so hard if god is the superpower?


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Canadian RRS

Hi all,

Just in case anyone is interested, the newly forming RRS chapter in ontario (the first international chapter) can be found at http://www.myspace.com/184606538

Thanks all,

Zombie210

Morte alla tyrannus et dei


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Magus

Magus wrote:
HonestQuestioner wrote:
Magus wrote:

Ok so how does the computer know how to "transimit" that information?  I am pretty sure that computers don't use things beyond the physical.

(removed spelling error: "computeres" what was I thinking)

Because an intelligent designer (computer programmer) inputs the necessary informaton and formats the code for understanding it.
  Missed my point again.  My point is this all happens on a physical level, nothing beyond the physical.  The claim is something intangible happens in the brain, and I said, that is an assertion that has no grounds.  By the fact that computers can communicate learn and do all the other things (some things are a more limited scale, than natural being) in just the physical world, is evidence that information is physical in nature, or can be physical in nature.
I don't think I missed your point. I understand your point. Yes, the pieces of the computer, and the energy that is transmitted throughout it (in whatever form) are physical. BUT, a computer is nothing more than a collection of metal and plastic and wires without the input of intelligent information. You are honestly saying that the presence of the physical parts of a computer, all connected (nevermind the fact that they were connected by a designer) indicate that information is simply 'in nature', without a cause? The information comes from a source of intelligence (a human being) who creates this information and organizes it such that it can be fashioned into a code. This code, in turn, allows for the passing of this information within the computer in a meaningful way (in a way that can be understood). The information is not a physical part of the computer. It is 'put in' by the programmer. That's my whole point. Systems that contain meaningful information in the context of a code must have an 'inputer'. Therefore, we must. And, by the way, your argument (while wrong), doesn't even help your cause very much. To say that information exists intrinsically in nature (that there is naturally meaning and intelligence within the material world), is not very far off from claiming an intelligent Creator. You're saying that the universe, and our world (just matter and energy right?)are just 'naturally' intelligent. Think about that for a little while. What reason would oxygen and carbon and nitrogen have for turning into intelligence, unless.... Stephen Hawking has flirted with that idea, but he makes a very clear point to never assert that. He understands it as a slippery slope for his worldview.


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I like the idea, I don't

I like the idea, I don't necessarily like the end result.

I gotta say...seems as though the mediator made the best argument.

It could be my bias as I'm into Social Psychology and Anthropology who can easily explain the processes of religion both in the perspective of those in their "fog" and those outside. It does seem as though we're acknowledging arguments that don't deserve consideration logically. It's a losing battle.

 It seems more fruitful to explain the wonders of the sciences and realize that believers have generally been so for most of their lives. Especially considering the psychological processes involved, we're not going to change many minds. Moreover, it's even more unlikely to change minds while trying to dispute their ultimate truth. I'm afraid the only way to do away with dogma is to cope with it until it slowly (and literally) dies out.

Anyways, thanks both Brian and Kelly for getting the topic out there. You both seemed quite nervous and I'm sure I would be too. Two bits of advice...1.) No emotion...it makes it seem as though you could be illogical and 2.) Don't overstate (as it seems theists make a living off of overstatements or misunderstandings they perceive as overstatements.

My first post but most seem like good peoples. 


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DNA is not a code. While it

DNA is not a code. While it is often referred to as a code, this reference can only be metaphoric. A code must be independent of that which it represents. For example, if I change the sentence

"The cat ate cheese."

into

"Utr som der chaotd."

the fact of the furred animal eating the cheese does not change.

However, if I modify the DNA sequence

"TAC TTA GTC ACT" (which codes for "Methionine, Asparagine, Glutamine, stop)

into

"TAC ATC CAC TTT" (which codes for Methionine, stop) then the content of the amino acids is going to be different.

Thus, DNA is not a code. It carries information, but the translated information is directly correlated with the DNA itself. Thus, it can only be referred to as information metaphorically.

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.


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HonestQuestioner

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Magus wrote:
HonestQuestioner wrote:
Magus wrote:

Ok so how does the computer know how to "transimit" that information? I am pretty sure that computers don't use things beyond the physical.

(removed spelling error: "computeres" what was I thinking)

Because an intelligent designer (computer programmer) inputs the necessary informaton and formats the code for understanding it.
Missed my point again. My point is this all happens on a physical level, nothing beyond the physical. The claim is something intangible happens in the brain, and I said, that is an assertion that has no grounds. By the fact that computers can communicate learn and do all the other things (some things are a more limited scale, than natural being) in just the physical world, is evidence that information is physical in nature, or can be physical in nature.
I don't think I missed your point. I understand your point. Yes, the pieces of the computer, and the energy that is transmitted throughout it (in whatever form) are physical. BUT, a computer is nothing more than a collection of metal and plastic and wires without the input of intelligent information. The information comes from a source of intelligence (a human being) who creates this information and organizes it such that it can be fashioned into a code. This code, in turn, allows for the passing of this information within the computer in a meaningful way (in a way that can be understood). The information is not a physical part of the computer. It is 'put in' by the programmer. That's my whole point. Systems that contain meaningful information in the context of a code must have an 'inputer'. Therefore, we must.

 

Unfortunately, the analogy is not accurate. Yes, we know people make computers and without people computers would not exist, we do not know the same thing about universes. We have a finite amount of information on the universe, this is true, but the information we do have does not confirm nor deny the existance of some sort of vague diestic sort of god...I mean, in way, is it really even fair to label such a being "God" given the fact that when you say god most people automatically tend to associate it with the judeo-christian god. We know the evidence we do have about the universe does not coincide with that of the judeo-christian God, so that is easily dismissed, but what you are posing here is much more difficult because the only definition of god in this particular case is "thing that made the universe happen". Well...something made the universe happen obviously, but whatever that something is, you know it is part of a natural system. That is to say, even if there is an intelligence behind the "construction" of the universe, that intelligence would also be a construction of some sort of natural system of it's own...everything breaks down. So, the fault here really is just slapping the label of god on this something for no apparent reason whatsoever other than to make ridiculously ambiguous arguments on internet message boards that are not disprovable by any possible realistic means.

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You seem like someone who

to:  b_sharp 

 

You seem like someone who has high confidence in your understanding of science. Would you be agreeable to debating under similar circumstances?

Have you been following the posts of this thread? Would you be willing to respond to some of the posted assertions by theists here such as HonestQuestioner?


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Tilberian

Tilberian wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Strangely, I agree with your statement that information cannot exist without at least some consciousness at some point. However, information does exist in living cells despite them being conscious of it or not. Bacterial DNA encodes loads of information, and bacteria, as far as we know, are not conscious. And yet, information is being transferred in them all day long. So what consciousness spawned that information? Information can be created by the human mind, and used to create other codes to pass information. But the information for how to produce a human mind (from DNA) did not originate from the human mind. I agree, however, that it must have originated from something similar. And finally, your last statement is just strange. ‘Please point to some information and tell me how much it weighs and how much work it can do’. You stated that information does not exist in the absence of consciousness. Well, we’ll use information in the context of consciousness to answer your question. By your very statement, you admit that information exists in the presence of consciousness. But you seem to be trying to say by your last statement that information does not exist?.?.or can’t exist unless it has weight or does work? So you tell me. You asserted it existed, so tell me how much it weighs and how much work it does. I don’t know. All I know is that it exists, and yet I can’t weigh it or make it work.

Bacteria do not exchange information, they exchange protein strings called DNA that have molecular structures that fit together in a certain way, physically. It is easier for us to describe how DNA works in terms of information exchange, but there is no actual substance called "information." If there were, we could weigh it or watch it do work.

My position is that matter and energy are the only two things in the universe. Everything else is our abstract concept that we use to categorize different configurations of these two things. Information is in this category - it is an abstract concept, not a real object, and therefore we need no explanation for where it came from outside of the human mind itself. 

Consciousness creates something that we call information when it interacts physically with the physical world. It is an artifact of our thought, like time and space.

That's just TOTAL speculation, and it doesn't even make sense. First, any scientist you want to talk to will tell you that bacteria exchange information. DNA contains/transfers information. Information does exist. DNA is just protein structures that fit together in a certain way physically? Well that's just a TAD reductionist. So things that fit together physically impart meaningful interactions that produce complex actions that support life? So if you take the parts of a computer and just throw them together on the floor, nothing happens. But, if an intelligent being PUTS them together in a certain way, and then INTRODUCES information into the system in the form of both a code, and information to be understood in the context of a code, meaningful things suddenly happen. Your reductionist statement that DNA is just 'protein structures' that somehow fit together and SHAZAAM, is ludicrous.
Secondly, you may SAY that information is just an abstract concept and doesn't really exist. But DNA and the cells that contain it sure don't act that way. And neither do we. They ACTUALLY respond on the basis of something. Abstractions dont produce action. And if information is just an abstraction, then what in the world are we even talking for? What is this conversation? Just an abstraction? Are my thoughts and your thoughts not real? What is passing between us? Is it all nonsense?


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Quote: How about a graphics

Quote:
How about a graphics artist with a computer on a printer (this is basically what he held up)? How about a robot programmed by a programmer?

 

 Your vehement argument is that a print is not a painting, and so a print does not require a painter to come into existence, therefore god did not make the universe.

That is your response to the creation argument!? This isn't even good enough to be sophistry, for crying out loud! It's simply juvenile. And frankly, embarassing.

The creation argument is incredibly powerful. Not due to its logic or scientific support, but due to its emotional appeal, its intuitiveness and its powerfully clever rhetoric. To convince people it's wrong, you have to persuade them that what's been drilled into their heads since childhood by people they love and respect is a lie; that something that "feels" right to them is utterly wrong; and that in spite of the fact that just about everything they've ever seen in their lives does indeed have a creator, there's this one itty bitty thing that doesn't -- the entire bloody universe.

This is probably the single most difficult theist argument to successfully refute (in terms of actually convincing someone it's wrong), and you're relentlessly honing in on the vital and devastating point that prints are not painted.

Did it ever occur to you that there might have been more of a reason than simple expediency that Cameron and Comfort were relishing a debate specifically with you two, and not Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.?


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I thought you guys were supposed to be the intellects - Yikes

I THOUGHT YOU GUYS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE INTELLECTS - YIKES 

 

Atheism is merely the absence of any belief in God.  This is a quote by Brian and yet later Kelly stated that all of us are atheist because atheism is “a lack of a belief.” Atheist means “not God or no God” just the same way asymmetrical means “not symmetrical or no symmetry.” Kelly is very wrong in her definition. She then states that all of us are atheists because Christians do not believe in Zeus, Apollo, or Thor. So in her mind, you must either be a polytheist or an atheist. This is simply untrue. Any logical person knows that one can be a monotheist without being an atheist. You hurt your debate right out of the gate.

Who created God? God is not a creation. He is the creator. He has always been. He will always be. This line of thought should not be so foreign to science, since scientist once claimed the same for creation and scientists wanted all of us to believe it. Carl Sagan used to state on his show, Cosmos, what was - has always been. That was all the way until the 1960’s. Until scientist all of a sudden figured out that there was a beginning to the universe – Just like the Bible stated. God does not have a creator. This is beyond our comprehension, but it does not make it untrue.

The atheist makes this argument: Examples of unintelligent design includes: Nipples and mammary glands on men, Blind spot on the eye, and our ecosystem which includes the loss of life in order to sustain life and legs on snakes. AND YET, later Kelly talks about how science changes. Kelly stated, “The real beauty of science is that it is revisable and it continually changes with the addition of new information.” Everyday we find out something we did not know about our body, the world, and everything in it. So how is it that we, with certainty, claim that these things do not make sense or they are worthless when tomorrow we may find out that they do make sense and they are valuable? Let me give you one example. Our planet experiences the natural occurrence of lightening and thunder with storm systems. We know how the lightening happens and yet scientists are claiming that we have only scratched the surface as to the purpose of lightening. Why does it occur above the clouds into space as well as from ground to cloud? How does it benefit and harm the planet? Is life even possible without it? AND YET, we will get up on a platform and state that these things that you mentioned have no purpose. MAYBE we simply have not found that out. Just remember, 20 years ago we were throwing umbilical cords away because we thought they were useless after birth – we know that is not the case any longer. So, is it possible to state with such certainty that these things are unintelligent when science can change tomorrow? I think not.

What contribution has religion given to mankind in the same time frame as science has contributed to mankind AND what has religion given that atheist cannot give? Brian really needs to do some research when it comes to history. Science came from religious institutions. They were not separated. The scientific method came from religious men. A remnant of that comes from the fact that we have Methodist, Catholic and Baptist hospitals. The schism between religion and science happened during the time period known as The Great Awakening. I will not claim that religion has always responded to science correctly, but they have not been forever divorced from one another as you have assumed.

What has religion given that atheist cannot give: In a word – hope. Even though I have not gone to scripture, because you do not want to address the Bible, let me state as a Christian, “Hope comes from belief in Jesus Christ.” Religion has done some terrible things and people have done some horrible things in the NAME of God – but faith in Christ and true Christianity has done nothing but good. There is no doubt that people who do not believe in God do some good things in life, but an atheist cannot give man hope. The only thing that exists for the atheist is this world and our intellect. So what can mankind expect as an atheist, well certainly there are good things God has given us in this world but ultimately all that man can expect is . . . war, disaster, hurt, disease, and eventually death. You state that since you do not believe in God nor in an afterlife – that you live this life how you want without being hindered by the “rules of God.” God says that we are to love him with all our heart and then love others as yourself. So what is it, outside of what God tells us to do, that is “good.” These rules that you find repressive are how we are to love Him and others on this planet. How does someone lie, steal, commit adultery, dishonor father and mother, and murder and THEN say – “Now I am really living . . . This is life to the full.” All these things bring pain. What is repressive about living a life within the boundaries of what God said is good? What I am attempting to ask is - What is it that the atheist desires to do, outside of “God’s repressive rules,” that enhances ones life.

Brian claims that we are all born as atheists and we must be taught to be theist. I would state that quite differently. We are all born with the need to worship something. Every single society (not most of them, not the vast majority of them), both primitive and developed have had systems of worship. Developed societies did not go in and teach natives in America or natives in deep dark Africa to worship. They were already doing it. If you begin to think that you, as an atheist, are not worshipping something – incorrect again – it is self – it is the human intellect that you are putting on your throne. You cannot state that a 2 year is taught to worship (or brain washed) simply because when he or she is young, and he or she doesn’t act upon what is already created in them. A young child is not seeking sex, and yet they were created as sexual beings. We will not have to teach them to have sex later any more than we will have to teach them to worship. As a matter of fact, it is teaching them to WAIT until they are developed morally and intellectually to have sex. When it comes to worship we are not teaching them to become theist - we are teaching them to worship God (The one worthy of worship) and HOW to worship God.

Brian stated that one could prove the existence of a builder or car maker or painter because of documents and a factory or that you could see or touch the one who built. What if the builder was not around or if those things were never documented, would he then not believe that there is a maker. If Brian were to find himself on an island and he saw a hut. If he could not find the builder or because there was no documentation, would Brian then reject the idea that the hut was built and believe that somehow it was mysteriously and naturally formed? This was a very weak argument.

Kelly stated that “Science is the testing of explanations against the natural world. You can read about the tests and see the results, if one is so inclined. Direct experimentation and indirect experimentation is science BUT intelligent design is not science because you cannot test it in either of these ways.” AND YET, let’s look at a quote of one of the atheists out spoken representatives – Sir Richard Dawkins: “The other way (How our universe sustains life without God – my insert for context) is the multiverse way. That says that maybe the universe we are in is one of a very large number of universes. The vast majority will not contain life because they have the wrong gravitational constant or the wrong this constant or that constant. But as the number of universes climbs, the odds mount that a tiny minority of universes will have the right fine-tuning.” I hope you realize that your scientist is stating something that CANNOT be tested in your way and yet this is called science. When are you and others going to come to grips with the fact that this issue is not science vs. religion? This is philosophy vs. philosophy. Let me also point out Francis Collins’ response. “This is an interesting choice. Barring a theoretical resolution, which I think is unlikely, you either have to say there are zillions of parallel universes out there that we can't observe at present or you have to say there was a plan. I actually find the argument of the existence of a God who did the planning more compelling than the bubbling of all these multiverses. So Occam's razor--Occam says you should choose the explanation that is most simple and straightforward--leads me more to believe in God than in the multiverse, which seems quite a stretch of the imagination.”

Kelly states that God negates science completely. Again I would state this quite differently. God doesn’t negate science. He created it and is beyond it.

1. God created a world in which we could discover things about it, therefore creating a world in which science could be learned, understood and used. We do not live in a world of magic, as Kelly rightly states, but instead, God created a world in which laws exist that you can I can count on every single day and that you can I can use to create and grow. As an architect, I am glad that gravity exists and that it is a constant because then I can count on that law in order to created and build structures that stand based on that law.

2. The real problem that Kelly has . . . is that God is not limited to science. God is not testable in a test tube or by an experiment.

AH yes, the conscience. Kelly wants to know why parents have to teach children anything at all if they really have a conscience. Surely, you realize what you are doing here? You are invoking a philosophical question and then wanting Christians to answer it using only direct and indirect experimentation. This is not a fair game. You cannot have it both ways. Just like in the debate you don’t want the Christian to use the Bible then you misrepresent what it says in order to build your argument. Even though you want answers outside the Bible, I must use it to answer this question because this is a philosophical question and the Bible shapes my philosophy or world view. The Bible is clear that man is fallen. My children know that it is wrong to lie and wrong to steal. What I am teaching them is to obey their conscience. I do not have to teach them to have one. As far as mass murderers go (those that you state do not believe that it is wrong to kill) – we live in a fallen world in which our minds and bodies love sin and without the power of God to help you and me – we are capable of anything. But you do not believe in a fallen world, so discussion of good and evil is almost impossible. If you are correct in your assumption that the conscience is only necessary for gene proliferation as you state – then why doesn’t any other animal either have a conscience OR why have their species continued without it???? I would say this is an indirect scientific method of observation which destroys your view of “why the conscience evolved.” To put it simply, the observable problem with your statement is that apes have not died out because they did not have a conscience.

I was very disappointed with the lack of serious discussion on your part. When you were not making fun of God you were simply making statements that were not debatable, (Did democracy come from Captain America and your comment comparing God and the spaghetti monster – and I will say that Kirk’s example of the Croc-a-duck was no better). Also, Kelly, if you are going to point out scripture, please at least have an understanding of what you are quoting. Very poorly done.

Finally, Kelly attempts to point to the belief that Hitler went to heaven because he believed in Jesus and unbelieving Jews went to hell. Let’s be clear about something when it comes to belief. There is a difference in knowing about a person and knowing a person. I know about Michael Jordan, but I do not know him. The Bible points out that even the demons believe in God . . . and they shudder. They are afraid. They know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They identified Him when He walked the earth, but demons are not in heaven. I am sure that Hitler knew about Jesus, (even you know about Him) but I can assure you that Hitler did not KNOW Jesus. Hitler may have believed that Jesus existed, but HE did not believe in Him which would have been reflected in Hitler’s actions. No person who knows Christ would do what he did. The fact that he was Catholic does not matter any more than if he was Baptist or Methodist. Being affiliated with a religion does not save a person. It is a relationship with Christ that saves a person.

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


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Perhaps a better way to

Perhaps a better way to phrase this idea would be that the word "information" is a label. We as humans observe a situation and in order to relate to one another what is happening in a particular instance we must come up with common labels for various things. This is probably the need that gave birth to language. We label lots of different types of things information, just as we use lots of words to describe multiple things. For example, the word "Bridge" can be used in several different contexts and have completely different meanings. So lets not get too hung up on semantics here folks Tongue out

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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:

DNA is not a code. While it is often referred to as a code, this reference can only be metaphoric. A code must be independent of that which it represents. For example, if I change the sentence

"The cat ate cheese."

into

"Utr som der chaotd."

the fact of the furred animal eating the cheese does not change.

However, if I modify the DNA sequence

"TAC TTA GTC ACT" (which codes for "Methionine, Asparagine, Glutamine, stop)

into

"TAC ATC CAC TTT" (which codes for Methionine, stop) then the content of the amino acids is going to be different.

Thus, DNA is not a code. It carries information, but the translated information is directly correlated with the DNA itself. Thus, it can only be referred to as information metaphorically.

Interesting mental exercise, but it doesn't disprove the point. You can say that DNA is a code or that it contains a code. Either way, a code exists. The reading apparatus 'knows' that a 'stop codon' has been reached. How does it know? Because it acts according to a code. As I said, either way, a code exists within the living system, and my point is that codes require information input. So where did the code come from?


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question

(Yikes - had this comment all typed out, then lost it - maybe you're on to something with the Firefox recommend.  Here goes "take two.&quotEye-wink

As you might have discerned from my user name, I am a theist.  In fact, I am a Christian - thanks for allowing me to comment here...I know you don't have to do that.

While I'm certain my debating skills are inferior to those of many of you (not faux humility there - just a simple tip-of-the-hat), I am a career law enforcement officer (retired) and I never lost a court case in almost 20 years of service. Smiling

I'd like to pose a question regarding Bryon's rebuttal of Ray's building/builder, painting/painter, creation/Creator line of thinking if that's ok.

Bryon's rebuttal included the factually correct assertion that the builder could be located via building permits, etc., and that the painter could likewise be identified through various "natural" means whereas Ray could not take anyone to the "universe factory."

While those assertions are certainly factually correct, it seems to me that Bryon, perhaps unintentionally, moved the target so to speak.  What I mean is this:

I think Ray's point was that all that is necessary to know that "a" builder exists is the existence of the building itself, and the same for the painter.  In other words, there's no need to check the building permit or the phone directory in order to know "a" builder exists - but if one desired to know who "the" builder is - to identify him by name and so forth, more information would certainly be required.  Same with identifying "the" painter by name.  But to know nothing more than that "a" painter must exist, no further information beyond the existence of the painting is necessary.

If that logic holds (and obviously I think it does), then Ray's point is that creation itself is sufficient to demand the conclusion that "a" creator exists - but creation alone would not be sufficient for identifying "the" Creator - more information would be necessary to do that.

Does that make sense?

Also, I was intrigued by Bryon's point about the proposed eternality of the universe itself.  It seems to me that both theists and atheists face the same dilemma at this point - we are both faced with the difficulty of "first causes."  In other words, we both are faced with what to do with an infinite regression.

The question before us both is this: "from where did matter initiate?"  Atheists (or at least those who ascribe to the eternal universe proposition) say that it was always here.  Theists say that the Creator, Who made the matter, has always existed.  A difficult "matter" to wrap one's brain around in either case.

Again, thanks for the opportunity to join the discussion.

 


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Quote: Your vehement

Quote:
Your vehement argument is that a print is not a painting, and so a print does not require a painter to come into existence, therefore god did not make the universe.

That is your response to the creation argument!? This isn't even good enough to be sophistry, for crying out loud! It's simply juvenile. And frankly, embarassing.

The creation argument is incredibly powerful. Not due to its logic or scientific support, but due to its emotional appeal, its intuitiveness and its powerfully clever rhetoric. To convince people it's wrong, you have to persuade them that what's been drilled into their heads since childhood by people they love and respect is a lie; that something that "feels" right to them is utterly wrong; and that in spite of the fact that just about everything they've ever seen in their lives does indeed have a creator, there's this one itty bitty thing that doesn't -- the entire bloody universe.

This is probably the single most difficult theist argument to successfully refute (in terms of actually convincing someone it's wrong), and you're relentlessly honing in on the vital and devastating point that prints are not painted.

Did it ever occur to you that there might have been more of a reason than simple expediency that Cameron and Comfort were relishing a debate specifically with you two, and not Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.?

Have you read the entire thread? It was the OP who kept on going with the painting analogy even though other arguments were presented. Sorry to have "embarassed" you--maybe you should go out there and do what we do instead of sitting at home criticizing us for trying.  The reason that they challenged us was because of the original Nightline piece, and just FYI, Comfort challenged Dawkins to a debate on the BBC the other day. Dawkins will not do it, though, and we are willing to sacrifice a little bit of face at times to get this out into the arena of public discourse. We never put ourselves out there as the most intelligent people or the best debators in the world, but at least we are willing to do more for a cause that we feel is vitally important than sit around and scrutinize others with similar intentions. So, why don't you find your way to a less embarassing forum.

Thanks,

Kelly 


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Hey folks, the points from

Hey folks, the points from RevLyle a few posts back are very easy to pick apart (just long).  If any of you 15 or 16 year old freethininking teens want to give it a shot, feel free.  It's midnight here, we haven't eaten dinner, and we've got several hours of other work left before we can hit the sack.  We're hoping by the time we wake up tomorrow it will have been addressed.

 Mods, it seems like this thread is gaining a troll or two, keep an eye out.  

- Sapient and Kelly 

 

- Brian Sapient


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perfectlawministries

perfectlawministries wrote:

(Yikes - had this comment all typed out, then lost it - maybe you're on to something with the Firefox recommend. Here goes "take two.&quotEye-wink

As you might have discerned from my user name, I am a theist. In fact, I am a Christian - thanks for allowing me to comment here...I know you don't have to do that.

While I'm certain my debating skills are inferior to those of many of you (not faux humility there - just a simple tip-of-the-hat), I am a career law enforcement officer (retired) and I never lost a court case in almost 20 years of service. Smiling

I'd like to pose a question regarding Bryon's rebuttal of Ray's building/builder, painting/painter, creation/Creator line of thinking if that's ok.

Bryon's rebuttal included the factually correct assertion that the builder could be located via building permits, etc., and that the painter could likewise be identified through various "natural" means whereas Ray could not take anyone to the "universe factory."

While those assertions are certainly factually correct, it seems to me that Bryon, perhaps unintentionally, moved the target so to speak. What I mean is this:

I think Ray's point was that all that is necessary to know that "a" builder exists is the existence of the building itself, and the same for the painter. In other words, there's no need to check the building permit or the phone directory in order to know "a" builder exists - but if one desired to know who "the" builder is - to identify him by name and so forth, more information would certainly be required. Same with identifying "the" painter by name. But to know nothing more than that "a" painter must exist, no further information beyond the existence of the painting is necessary.

If that logic holds (and obviously I think it does), then Ray's point is that creation itself is sufficient to demand the conclusion that "a" creator exists - but creation alone would not be sufficient for identifying "the" Creator - more information would be necessary to do that.

Does that make sense?

Also, I was intrigued by Bryon's point about the proposed eternality of the universe itself. It seems to me that both theists and atheists face the same dilemma at this point - we are both faced with the difficulty of "first causes." In other words, we both are faced with what to do with an infinite regression.

The question before us both is this: "from where did matter initiate?" Atheists (or at least those who ascribe to the eternal universe proposition) say that it was always here. Theists say that the Creator, Who made the matter, has always existed. A difficult "matter" to wrap one's brain around in either case.

Again, thanks for the opportunity to join the discussion.

 

 

I'm going to go ahead and requote myself here BUT I'm going to change it to fit this situation.

 

Unfortunately, the analogy is not accurate. Yes, we know builders build buildings, and we know painters paint paintings, and we know people create things, but we do not know the same thing about gods and universes. We have a finite amount of information on the universe, this is true, but the information we do have does not confirm nor deny the existance of some sort of vague diestic sort of god...I mean, in way, is it really even fair to label such a being "God" given the fact that when you say god most people automatically tend to associate it with the judeo-christian god. We know the evidence we do have about the universe does not coincide with that of the judeo-christian God, so that is easily dismissed, but what you are posing here is much more difficult because the only definition of god in this particular case is "thing that made the universe happen". Well...something made the universe happen obviously, but whatever that something is, you know it is part of a natural system. That is to say, even if there is an intelligence behind the "construction" of the universe, that intelligence would also be a construction of some sort of natural system of it's own...everything breaks down. So, the fault here really is just slapping the label of god on this something for no apparent reason whatsoever other than to make ridiculously ambiguous arguments on internet message boards that are not disprovable by any possible realistic means.

 

In addition I don't think you will find many intellectual atheists of the belief that matter has always existed, personally I don't claim to know anything beyond that of what we know scientifically and we can get really really really close to the "beginning" of it all, but not quite...but no one claims to know what happened before that. God however, always seems to exist in some special sort of logical loop hole where he needs no one or no thing to exist.

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I'm sure someone with more

I'm sure someone with more patience than me will respond in detail to RevLyle.

May I just make a point about children not having to be taught to be theists. My children have been raised without any religious instruction in the home at all. Neither for or against. They have Catholic cousins and they've attended christenings and first communions. They know the stories behind Easter and Christmas. My daughter was invited to attend afterschool bible class with a friend and I let her. My eldest son attended Pentacostal meetings when he stayed with a friend's parents. All three of my children turned out to be atheists. They haven't been taught to be atheists. They are atheists by default. So if there is a theistic tendency, they must have missed out on it.


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I'm choosing to use a

I'm choosing to use a thread instead of direct contact to Kelly and Brian so as to generate a courteous debate between those on this forum.... 

 As a whole, I was very impressed with the collective passion that existed in the forum for this debate on the existence of God.  Both sides were determined to get the "true" point across. 

I myself am a wholehearted Christian girl.  However, I also have a couple of very dear friends who are devout atheists....(surprising?)...while it saddens me that in their great intellect they refuse to have "faith", I never shun the fact that they are good people with kind hearts.  Let me make that clear right now. 

Now, to touch on a comment that was made in regards to each "sides" intelligence, Kelly, you stated that there are very smart "believers" who just refuse to allow logic to seep into their little "God Box" (love the term!)  On that, why is it so difficult to just sit back and TRUST something on FAITH?  Wait, you do!  As Ray pointed out, you quote "history" like it's a gospel.  Now, while I'm not a history buff by any means...isn't it entirely possible that, since Christianity, like ALL THINGS, had to have a beginning, and in the BEGINNING, it wasn't a smiled-upon concept, because it took "power" away from the rulers of that time, that the historical "facts" that you rely so heavily on were modified to omit and degrade the teachings of Jesus Christ, in order to prevent His following from growing?  I myself have always found that there are three sides to EVERY story...version #1, version #2, and what REALLY HAPPENED.  What makes those history books "right" and the teachings of Jesus Christ "wrong"?

If I need proof that God exists, all I have to do is look in the mirror.  Because only a supreme being of immense powers and love could have created me.

Besides, the world is too much into having to know "all things" and explain every thing that happens "scientifically".  That's why they are called miracles.  They only have Heavenly explanations.

I appreciate your time in reading my humble thoughts.  I wish you well.

-Amanda 

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. - Les Brown


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TheSecularEvangelist

TheSecularEvangelist wrote:
HonestQuestioner wrote:
Magus wrote:
HonestQuestioner wrote:
Magus wrote:

Ok so how does the computer know how to "transimit" that information? I am pretty sure that computers don't use things beyond the physical.

(removed spelling error: "computeres" what was I thinking)

Because an intelligent designer (computer programmer) inputs the necessary informaton and formats the code for understanding it.
Missed my point again. My point is this all happens on a physical level, nothing beyond the physical. The claim is something intangible happens in the brain, and I said, that is an assertion that has no grounds. By the fact that computers can communicate learn and do all the other things (some things are a more limited scale, than natural being) in just the physical world, is evidence that information is physical in nature, or can be physical in nature.
I don't think I missed your point. I understand your point. Yes, the pieces of the computer, and the energy that is transmitted throughout it (in whatever form) are physical. BUT, a computer is nothing more than a collection of metal and plastic and wires without the input of intelligent information. The information comes from a source of intelligence (a human being) who creates this information and organizes it such that it can be fashioned into a code. This code, in turn, allows for the passing of this information within the computer in a meaningful way (in a way that can be understood). The information is not a physical part of the computer. It is 'put in' by the programmer. That's my whole point. Systems that contain meaningful information in the context of a code must have an 'inputer'. Therefore, we must.

 

Unfortunately, the analogy is not accurate. Yes, we know people make computers and without people computers would not exist, we do not know the same thing about universes. We have a finite amount of information on the universe, this is true, but the information we do have does not confirm nor deny the existance of some sort of vague diestic sort of god...I mean, in way, is it really even fair to label such a being "God" given the fact that when you say god most people automatically tend to associate it with the judeo-christian god. We know the evidence we do have about the universe does not coincide with that of the judeo-christian God, so that is easily dismissed, but what you are posing here is much more difficult because the only definition of god in this particular case is "thing that made the universe happen". Well...something made the universe happen obviously, but whatever that something is, you know it is part of a natural system. That is to say, even if there is an intelligence behind the "construction" of the universe, that intelligence would also be a construction of some sort of natural system of it's own...everything breaks down. So, the fault here really is just slapping the label of god on this something for no apparent reason whatsoever other than to make ridiculously ambiguous arguments on internet message boards that are not disprovable by any possible realistic means.

Well, I appreciate your response. However, I think it's flawed at a few points. One is that you assume some things that don't necessarily have to be true. I won't argue the Judeo-Christian God point at this time, although I believe your statements about Him are not accurate. I frankly just don't have the time right now, and would rather stick to my original assertion about information. So, to your argument: you say 'well...something made the universe happen, obviously, but whatever that something is, you know it is part of a natural system'. Why do I know that? If, as I have argued, there was an original source of information, this intelligence, it/he would likely be very different from us. This is obvious from the fact that he/it existed before us, and that he/it had the ability to introduce information into living bodies (which I would also assert he/it likely created). That would make him/it a different being on many levels, but a similar being in that he/it contained similar information. So, you say that the analogy would break down because this 'intelligence' would also be a construction of some sort of natural system. That's just your assumption, but I don't see why it necessarily must be true. As I said, he/it must be different on many levels than us, and as such, I would not attempt to make categorical statements about what he/it must be a part of or be constrained by. I don't think everything breaks down from this. I think there is good enough evidence that we can take it one step before us to an intelligent source of information, but I don't know how you could take it farther back than that. And if you take it back to that one source, then I would think knowing who/what that source is could be very very important. I personally think it's of the utmost importance. But I'm here at this time to argue logically sound scientific evidence that there is something present within nature that argues itself for an intelligent source, namely, information.


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Perfectlawministries, You

Perfectlawministries,

You seem honest and humble enough. I do follow your logic with what Ray was saying. I agree.

Here's the difference. Both building and painting are processes we understand given our culture. We "created" what building and painting means. Are there natural occurences of what might look like a building or a painting? Yes. Does this mean your god doesn't exist or that Ray's argument doesn't make sense in this light? Not at all.

The difference is...creation as we define it isn't a process we define culturally as in we did not "create" it. It is a process we've witnessed here on earth, especially when it comes to new born lifeforms. Do we have "creators" in our culture? I guess anyone who has sex could be considered a creator. When we apply this to a "time" we aren't fully aware of, however, it becomes a hypothesis at best. Does the universe demand a creation or would that only be a need for "life" as we define it here on earth and elsewhere and would that "creation" be in need of a "creator" or could it be a natural occurence we would personify in the case of belief in a god? Interesting question and quite difficult to consider.

From here, the only difference that remains is that science has theories of what might have happened and will continue to be provisional in seeking what could be tomorrow's truths of the universe. Religion already has a mystical answer that serves as their absolute truth.

It's the difference between science and mysticism. Mysticism demands an end point where some supernatural force takes over. If ignorance were to not exist anymore, thus would be the end of mysticism.

Science, in contrast, is motivated by what we don't know, maybe even in awe of it, but is determined to use the mind to the best of our capabilities to slowly diminish what all we don't "know". If ignorance were to not exist anymore, science would have succeeded (and by no stretch of the imagination do I ever see this happening, just a hypothetical to work through to explain the differences).

Thanks for your polite and humble contribution to the discussion. 


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These rules that you find

These rules that you find repressive are how we are to love Him and others on this planet. How does someone lie, steal, commit adultery, dishonor father and mother, and murder and THEN say – “Now I am really living . . . This is life to the full.” All these things bring pain. What is repressive about living a life within the boundaries of what God said is good? What I am attempting to ask is - What is it that the atheist desires to do, outside of “God’s repressive rules,” that enhances ones life.

I was really hoping you would clue me in on this question.  Don't leave it to a teenager Brian.  Come on - you can do it.  It is just a question.

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


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We do not need to have an

We do not need to have an answer for everything to justify denying god. Theists claim to have the answers so its up to them to prove it. When they respond to a question with "then how did it happen" or such I think it is best to just shift the burden of proof back where it belongs. 

Why argue over how the universe began. We dont have to propose a theory at all. They have made the claim so make them prove it.


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I think the point being

I think the point being made here is that information is subjective. For example, if I took the series of bits in this message and attempted to play them as a serious of audio samples, it would most likely sound like noise. However, if I interpreted them as notes in a scale, the results may be pleasing to ear.  If I attempted to interpret these bits as executable on a modern day CPU, it most likely would not run, but if I attempted to run them on a extremely simple, 4 instruction set CPU that ignored invalid instructions, who knows what the results would be?.  If I attempted to interpret these bits a 32bit raw bitmap image, it would likely look like nothing but visual noise. 
In other words, only when these  bits are interpreted in the context of an set of ASCII character codes, are they likely to be considered "information." However, a technique known as watermarking, allows the bits of an image to be changed in such away that it looks nearly identical, yet contains information about the copyright holder can be extracted - even when scaled.
The amount of non-coding DNA is significantly higher in human beings than in less complex complex life forms. In fact, over 95% of our DNA is never directly translated into proteins. However, it's now thought that this "non-coding DNA" may have a limited influence on how the coding DNA is interpreted. In other words, this "junk DNA" may have a subtle influence how coded DNA is interpreted. This could allow significant changes in the non-coded DNA to cause small changes on how coded DNA is converted into proteins.
It has been observed that while there is significant overlap in coded DNA between chimpanzee and humans, there were hardly any overlap in non-coded DNA sequences. In other words, large changes in non-coded DNA may act as a way for evolution to fine-tune a specific set of existing coded DNA sequences. This is contrast to making course grained changes via coded DNA sequences. 

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


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todangst wrote: jesse

todangst wrote:

jesse wrote:
Thanks for the "theist" tag also. I was wondering how to do that.

 

I think you should get to choose the tag...

 

I guess I don't really care, one way or the other, but how come you guys don't get a tag? I think we should both get different signs, like the Transformers and the Decepticons. Just Kidding. 


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Your children are still

Your children are still going to worship something.  It maybe themselves, jobs, money, material possessions or whatever.  It may not be a totem pole or a marble idol, but it will be something because people are born worshippers.  My point is that people will either worship Yahweh or they will create a god.  Brian worships himself and his intellect.  I simply teach my children where their worship should be directed.  They may reject God later in life.  I do not know, but your response does not negate the fact that people all over the world have worshipped without being forced or told to do so.  Where did that come from? The answer is, it was already in them.

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


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TheSecularEvangelist

TheSecularEvangelist wrote:
Perhaps a better way to phrase this idea would be that the word "information" is a label. We as humans observe a situation and in order to relate to one another what is happening in a particular instance we must come up with common labels for various things. This is probably the need that gave birth to language. We label lots of different types of things information, just as we use lots of words to describe multiple things. For example, the word "Bridge" can be used in several different contexts and have completely different meanings. So lets not get too hung up on semantics here folks Tongue out
This may seem trivial, but I think an important point must be made here. Your description of 'labels' for things, and another poster's description of information being simply some sort of projection of consciousness are interesting. However, they don't comport with reality. Let's face it folks. YOU DONT LIVE YOUR LIFE THAT WAY. Information does exist to you, and you ACT upon it. It isn't just a label. I think this gets to the point that words DO mean something. Your arguments, (and I think rightly so given your world view) are consistent with the idea that there are no absolute truths (moral or otherwise). But again, you don't live that way. If someone points a gun at you, and says, in the English language, 'if you don't duck, I'm going to shoot you in the head right now.' You duck. You don't say, 'my interpretation of that emanation of sound waves from that person's mouth is just a projection of my consciousness. I think I will place a label on it to categorize it in the realm of my consciousness and say that it contains 'information'. NO. You duck. Because words DO mean something. They do pass on something meaningful, and they do result in action, sometimes very complex action. I react differently to some energy than other energy. Is that a function of a difference in the physical waves of energy themselves, or the information they carry for me (in the context of my code)? And the same is true of cells. They act. DNA contains information that results in action. I've already discussed the ridiculousity of the assertion that simple structural proximity to other molecules encompasses the entirety of DNA's function and explains the results. So, I say all of that because 'semantics' matter. If words have no real meaning (contain no real information), then this discussion is as worthless as any other sound or collection of rays light in any meaningless pattern. So why bother. You will have argued your own argument into irrelevance. And the result is total random absurdity. But remember, you don't act that way.


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HonestQuestioner wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Well, I appreciate your response. However, I think it's flawed at a few points. One is that you assume some things that don't necessarily have to be true. I won't argue the Judeo-Christian God point at this time, although I believe your statements about Him are not accurate. I frankly just don't have the time right now, and would rather stick to my original assertion about information. So, to your argument: you say 'well...something made the universe happen, obviously, but whatever that something is, you know it is part of a natural system'. Why do I know that? If, as I have argued, there was an original source of information, this intelligence, it/he would likely be very different from us. This is obvious from the fact that he/it existed before us, and that he/it had the ability to introduce information into living bodies (which I would also assert he/it likely created). That would make him/it a different being on many levels, but a similar being in that he/it contained similar information. So, you say that the analogy would break down because this 'intelligence' would also be a construction of some sort of natural system. That's just your assumption, but I don't see why it necessarily must be true. As I said, he/it must be different on many levels than us, and as such, I would not attempt to make categorical statements about what he/it must be a part of or be constrained by. I don't think everything breaks down from this. I think there is good enough evidence that we can take it one step before us to an intelligent source of information, but I don't know how you could take it farther back than that. And if you take it back to that one source, then I would think knowing who/what that source is could be very very important. I personally think it's of the utmost importance. But I'm here at this time to argue logically sound scientific evidence that there is something present within nature that argues itself for an intelligent source, namely, information.

 

 

Everything that exists is part of existence, would you agree?

 

Science is the study of the natural universe, so the question now becomes how do you define the natural universe? To put it simply, eveything within existence is a part of the natural universe, we are not using the term universe in laymans terms any longer, we are using it in a scientific manner to describe everything in actual existence. So, the laymans universe has a boarder, what is beyond that boarder? Regardless of what it is, there is something beyond the boarder, and also regardless of what it is, it is still part of the natural universe. In short, just because we don't know doesn't mean we can't find out, because we can and will or most likely we will die trying. Wink

 

 

HonestQuestioner wrote:
This may seem trivial, but I think an important point must be made here. Your description of 'labels' for things, and another poster's description of information being simply some sort of projection of consciousness are interesting. However, they don't comport with reality. Let's face it folks. YOU DONT LIVE YOUR LIFE THAT WAY. Information does exist to you, and you ACT upon it. It isn't just a label. I think this gets to the point that words DO mean something. Your arguments, (and I think rightly so given your world view) are consistent with the idea that there are no absolute truths (moral or otherwise). But again, you don't live that way. If someone points a gun at you, and says, in the English language, 'if you don't duck, I'm going to shoot you in the head right now.' You duck. You don't say, 'my interpretation of that emanation of sound waves from that person's mouth is just a projection of my consciousness. I think I will place a label on it to categorize it in the realm of my consciousness and say that it contains 'information'. NO. You duck. Because words DO mean something. They do pass on something meaningful, and they do result in action, sometimes very complex action. I react differently to some energy than other energy. Is that a function of a difference in the physical waves of energy themselves, or the information they carry for me (in the context of my code)? And the same is true of cells. They act. DNA contains information that results in action. I've already discussed the ridiculousity of the assertion that simple structural proximity to other molecules encompasses the entirety of DNA's function and explains the results. So, I say all of that because 'semantics' matter. If words have no real meaning (contain no real information), then this discussion is as worthless as any other sound or collection of rays light in any meaningless pattern. So why bother. You will have argued your own argument into irrelevance. And the result is total random absurdity. But remember, you don't act that way.

 

Labels are applied to very real things that do in fact exist...I'm not sure how you understood otherwise...but yes, information is very real, I'm just saying the Word information is a label used to describe many different types of things, all of them dubbed information, but they aren't all the same kind of thing. I think you are getting observed information (DNA) confused with produced information (a computer program). Patterns exist and we see them because we are pattern seeking animals, but patterns are not evidence of a creator, it's evidence of our intelligence.

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REVLyle wrote:These rules

REVLyle wrote:

These rules that you find repressive are how we are to love Him and others on this planet. How does someone lie, steal, commit adultery, dishonor father and mother, and murder and THEN say – “Now I am really living . . . This is life to the full.” All these things bring pain. What is repressive about living a life within the boundaries of what God said is good? What I am attempting to ask is - What is it that the atheist desires to do, outside of “God’s repressive rules,” that enhances ones life.

I was really hoping you would clue me in on this question.  Don't leave it to a teenager Brian.  Come on - you can do it.  It is just a question.

 

Divorce is forbidden in the bible, is it not?  Yet BAC's  are supposed to have the highest divorce rate, so I'm guessing this is one 'rule' that many Christians feel pain in keeping.  And if you're gay, being told that your sexual orientation is an 'abomination' can't be all that heartwarming.  And if you are in terrible pain from a terminal illness, euthanasia is out of the question.  Suspending critical thinking is something I find particuarly painful.  And hell isn't a nice place either.  I mean, how would I know if I'm following the right god?  If I worship the Christian god, I might upset Allah who might be the real god.  According to some Christian sects, it's preordained who's going to heaven anyway, so the rest us might as well not bother.  I just don't want the stress.  Better to not believe in any of them.  At least I can say to the god in charge (if there is one) that I didn't discriminate.


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REVLyle wrote:Your

REVLyle wrote:

Your children are still going to worship something.  It maybe themselves, jobs, money, material possessions or whatever.  It may not be a totem pole or a marble idol, but it will be something because people are born worshippers.  My point is that people will either worship Yahweh or they will create a god.  Brian worships himself and his intellect.  I simply teach my children where their worship should be directed.  They may reject God later in life.  I do not know, but your response does not negate the fact that people all over the world have worshipped without being forced or told to do so.  Where did that come from? The answer is, it was already in them.

Do you mean worship or value?  You seem to be confusing the terms.  How do you know Brian worships himself and his intellect?  He may value his intellect as I think you do too, otherwise you wouldn't be here on an atheist forum inviting debate.  Maybe it's possible to worship more than one thing at a time?

You are actually giving your children little choice. They will have already been indoctrinated by the time they are adults.  I don't thank my parents for  bringing me up in the Christian faith.  The ideas that were instilled in me in early childhood were very hard to shrug off.  It's still hard.  I would much rather have been told about it when I was older and had developed the ability to think critically.  That would have been true freedom to make up my own mind.