A bunch of questions from an emailer. [YOU RESPOND]

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A bunch of questions from an emailer. [YOU RESPOND]
  1. What is evil?
  2. What is logic?
  3. How did the universe come to be?
  4. Do humans have a specific purpose in life? If so, what?
  5. Do humans have souls? If so, where did they come from and what happens to them when our fleshly bodies die?
  6. What is a conscience? Or do they exist?
  7. Why is music able to determine one’s feelings, moods, and actions?
  8. Does everything in the world have an opposite?
  9. Do you think there is more evidence for evolution or creation of the universe?

I am really curious as to what you think about these, so if you have time please write back! Smiling

 

{the original emailer has been alerted to this thread, like all "You Respond" posts)

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MattShizzle
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1. A way of describing

1. A way of describing something that morally offends us.

2. I'll defer this to someone who can answer better.

3. The big bang

4. No - each person has their own purpose.

5. No

6. What people use to describe the sense that keeps them from doing things that harm others

7. That would probably take an entire psychological study to answer (or more than 1) which I'm sure is out there somewhere.

8. No

9. WAYYYYYY more evidence for evolution - there is plenty. No evidence for creation whatsoever.

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Hambydammit
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1. What is evil? I don't

1. What is evil?  I don't know.  The theist definition is incoherent, since it refers to an incoherent being.  Colloquially, it refers to an act that is highly damaging to another human or humans, and violates standard morality models to a high enough degree to be considered really really bad.

2. What is logic?  There are two answers.  First, "logic" (with a lowercase "l&quotEye-wink is the way we think.  It is the process of moving from premises to conclusions by combining bits of data together.  "Logic" with a capital "L" is the formal codification of the way we think.  It is a language, like that of algebra or calculus, which allows us to write out the mechanisms of logic (with a lowercase).

3.  How did the universe come to be?  I dunno.  Nobody knows for sure.  We know there was a Big Bang, but it's pretty much impossible to tell what happened before it.  (No, that doesn't mean that God must have done it.  It could have been anything... anything at all.  Literally.  There could have been a cosmic monkey in a cosmic cage, and when he put on the magic purple hat, he exploded into the big bang.  When we say there's no way to know, that means we can't say that anything caused it... including god.  We just don't know.)

Having said that, there are lots of good theories out there, but they involve some pretty advanced math, and I'm no mathematician.  Deludedgod is our resident expert on cosmological theories.  Maybe you can ask him.  Just be prepared for a thorough scientific answer with lots of equations.

4. Do humans have a specific purpose in life?  Depends on what "purpose" means.  From the perspective of our genes, our purpose is to reproduce.  That's not really what you're asking, though.  I wrote an essay about this.  Rather than type out an answer here, I'll ask you to please just read the essay:

For New Atheists: Is This Really All There Is?

5. Do humans have souls?  Best evidence all says no.  First of all, what is a soul?  Please read these essays to understand why the question is not even meaningful:

'Supernatural' (and 'immaterial') are broken concepts

"God" is an incoherent term

6. What is a conscience?  It is the manifestation of beneficial behavioral patterns in our brains.  Essentially, human society works best when people aren't always completely selfish.  When we help each other, we create a nonzero-sum system in which it is possible for everyone to benefit more than if everyone was entirely self sufficient.  Through simple natural selection, those organisms that were better at reciprocal altruism strategies did better than those that didn't.  Emotions, and conscience, are our genes' way of getting us to do things for other people and feel good about it.  This is a very detailed science.  I've written one essay about it, and I'll recommend a couple of books.  It's not really something that you can have a good understanding of from one paragraph:

What Does Sugar Have To Do With Murder?!

 Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation  

The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation by Matt Ridley (Paperback - April 1, 1998)

 The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology  

The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology by Robert Wright

7. Why is music able to determine one's moods, etc?  Because we are chemical creatures that respond to external stimuli.  We're not alone in this.  All life, to one degree or another, is susceptible to external stimuli, and everything that is ever done in life is essentially a chemical reaction.  In birds, the male's courtship song literally releases a kind of drug in the female's brain.  That chemical makes the female more receptive to mating.  The same things happen in humans, but because our social systems (and our brains) are much more complex than birds, we see a wider variety of possible physiological responses to external stimuli.

8.  Does everything in the world have an opposite?  No.  What would be the opposite of "Stereo Speaker"?  Opposition is actually a lot rarer than most people think.  Christians use false dichotomies all the time to try to prove things that simply aren't true.  In most cases, there are many more than two possible options.

9. Do you think there is more evidence for evolution or creation?  The evidence for evolution is complete.  There is no question whatsoever that evolution is absolutely real, and that it is the way that life works.  Evolution is fact.  Where some people get confused is regarding the THEORY of evolution.  The theory is the set of equations or principles that scientists use to try to explain what they know is happening.  The theory of evolution is under constant revision and is often added to.  Sometimes, we find that something is completely different than what we thought.  In all cases, however, the reality of the occurrence of evolution has been undamaged in any way.

There is absolutely no legitimate evidence for creation.  Not a scratch.

 

 

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Cali_Athiest2
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RationalResponseSquad

RationalResponseSquad wrote:

  1. What is evil?
  2. What is logic?
  3. How did the universe come to be?
  4. Do humans have a specific purpose in life? If so, what?
  5. Do humans have souls? If so, where did they come from and what happens to them when our fleshly bodies die?
  6. What is a conscience? Or do they exist?
  7. Why is music able to determine one’s feelings, moods, and actions?
  8. Does everything in the world have an opposite?
  9. Do you think there is more evidence for evolution or creation of the universe?

I am really curious as to what you think about these, so if you have time please write back! Smiling

 

{the original emailer has been alerted to this thread, like all "You Respond" posts)

1. What is good?

 

2. A set of tools used in philosophy to prove if a proposition is true or false. Others could provide a more clear definition than I could. Todangst or Magillum should answer these.

 

3. I don't know, but stating god did it isn't much of an explanation either. Science has proposed a theory for the explanation but still stands as a scientific theory and not a verifiable known.

 

4. Yes, whatever you want it to be.

 

5. I say no, but some religions believe we have a seperate soul and a spirit. Hebrews 4:12 alludes to this thinking as well in a Binary Soul Doctrine.

 

6. My conscience mind is writing this I hope.

 

7. Perhaps our mood determines our music choices and not the other way around.

 

8. If by a complete bipolar opposite I would have to say no. Everything exists in degrees and relativity.

 

9. Evolution and creation in the universe does not exist. Evolution is a theory for the development of life and has nothing to do with the creation of the universe. If by meaning a literal 6 day creation of the heavens and Earth then I say there is more evidence to support evolution.

 

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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What is evil? I think the

1. That's a subjective answer

2. The opposite of illogic

3. A lot of evidence points to what happened as described in the Big Bang Theory

4. No humans don't. Why not just be the best possible person that you can be and not worry about a purpose?

5. No. The rest of the question is irrelavent

6. As in being awake and aware or not being a jerk to someone?

7. Because humans are emotional animals

8. Nope.

9. Two different things. To compare the amount of evidence for evolution against the Big Bang Theory is pointless.

 

 

Quote:

  1. What is evil?
  2. What is logic?
  3. How did the universe come to be?
  4. Do humans have a specific purpose in life? If so, what?
  5. Do humans have souls? If so, where did they come from and what happens to them when our fleshly bodies die?
  6. What is a conscience? Or do they exist?
  7. Why is music able to determine one’s feelings, moods, and actions?
  8. Does everything in the world have an opposite?
  9. Do you think there is more evidence for evolution or creation of the universe?