How is theism (belief in god) illogical?

desertwolf9
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How is theism (belief in god) illogical?

BEFORE YOU POST, PLEASE READ: THIS IS ONLY FOR A DEBATE BETWEEN ME AND ATHEISTS. NO FELLOW THEISTS ALLOWED HERE. I AM CONFIDENT THAT I CAN COMPLETELY DEMOLISH ATHEIST BIGOTRY IN THIS THREAD AND I DO NOT NEED ANY HELP. 2 OF MY THREADS GOT DERAILED ALREADY AND HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY LET ATHEISTS OFF THE HOOK FROM ANSWERING MY ARGUMENTS. PLEASE, ONLY PARTICIPATE IN THIS THREAD IF YOU ARE AN ATHEIST THAT WISHES TO ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE. NO THEISTS EXCEPT MYSELF ALLOWED! I DO NOT LIKE MY THREADS DERAILED!!!

 

Ok, to start off, this is not a topic about the existence of god. Rather, I am throwing out a challenge to all atheists out there to PROVE TO ME that my belief in god is illogical (or for that matter any more illogical than the big bang or whatnot).

I am particularly interested in what bobspence has to say.

Ok, first of all.

 

1) Some of you atheists do not believe in a prime mover or "beginning". However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned). Given this, explain to me why is the belief in a prime mover/beginning illogical?

 

I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.

 

2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear, in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Do you understand what this means? The universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation. This is illogical and irrational. Therefore it would logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being.

3) And so it follows from above that the first cause must have been intelligent. How is this illogical?

 

4) If god, a being of such immense intelligence, was powerful enough to create the universe, it would logically follow that he would be able to survive this creation, and hence still exists.

 

5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.

We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence, but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.

 

6) Now in the other thread some of you claimed that we can see infinite progression, and "therefore why is it not logical to believe in infinite regress". However, I would like to point out the fact that we have evidence that the so called "infinite" movement is slowing down.

 

Plus, numbers begin at zero, but can increase indefinitely. The inverse is not true. Same basic thing.

 

7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:


Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved. Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things. Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.

This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.

 

Cool Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang". Lets look at an analogy. Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain. Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.

9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

 

10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover, why it so much of a leap to think that he tried to commune with us, either by talking into someone's head or sending Christ down to Earth?

 

Alright, there you go. Please take the time and effort to fully demonstrate to me how it is not logical. Sure it may not have empirical data, but I don't see how the belief is illogical.

 

 

 

 

 


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desertwolf9 wrote:the

desertwolf9 wrote:
the universe had a beginning (the big bang)


Big Bang Theory posits that, a long time ago, the universe existed in a dense hot state called the singularity and it subsequently expanded and cooled, and the nucleosynthesis of the most basic bits of matter known to science had occurred during the time of expansion. It does not posit that the singularity itself—nor its potential to give rise to matter—came into existence. Many presentations of Big Bang Theory make the mistake of saying so, as a result of trying to oversimplify the concepts involved, but those presentations do not accord with Big Bang Theory.
 

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desertwolf9 wrote:1) Some of

desertwolf9 wrote:

1) Some of you atheists do not believe in a prime mover or "beginning". However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned). Given this, explain to me why is the belief in a prime mover/beginning illogical?

1)Actually, the Big Bang is better described as the apparent starting conditions of this form of the visible universe. This does not mean there was no precondition which gave rise to the Big Bang.

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I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.

1A)Currently, the evidence does not point to a 'Big Crunch', although if it did, there would be no energy lost to the environment, because all of the energy expended into waste heat would be recovered during the contraction phase.

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2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear, in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Do you understand what this means? The universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation. This is illogical and irrational. Therefore it would logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being.

2)The expansion following the Big Bang is an expansion of 3 spatial and 1 temporal dimension. What most credible experts will tell you is that we have no confidence in claims that space and time as we know them were present 'before' the Big Bang. Obviously, some conditions must have existed, but we lack the ability to test hypotheses on what those conditions would have been, and so cannot construct credible theories.

Wind and water can erode rock in suck a way as to cause a chasm. In some cases, the softer rock below erodes quickly enough that harder surface rock is not yet worn away by the time the water finds an outlet below, resulting in a natural bridge across the chasm. This did not require intelligence driving the process. Without knowing the precursor conditions that existed to give rise to the Big Bang, there is no way to credibly determine whether the processes at work in establishing those conditions required intelligence or not.

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3) And so it follows from above that the first cause must have been intelligent. How is this illogical?

3)Thus far, there is no credible evidence which requires an intelligence to be at work in order to explain the evidence. Thus, presuming an intelligence to be at work is adding an additional, unnecessary element to the data. This violates Occam's Razor, and is not logical. Logic would dictate that only those elements required to explain the observed data be claimed.

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4) If god, a being of such immense intelligence, was powerful enough to create the universe, it would logically follow that he would be able to survive this creation, and hence still exists.

4)Without knowing the preconditions necessary to give rise to the current form of the universe, we cannot make credible claims about what capabilities would be necessary in order to establish those conditions. Additionally, without a concrete and specific description of God, we cannot make credible claims about what capabilities such an entity would possess. Thus, we cannot make a credible claim about the ability of the undefined entity to survive the undefined process of establishing undefined conditions.

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5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.

We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence, but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.

5)It is illogical to assert claims about matters about which no credible claims may be made. Further, it is illogical to assert that  claims so made are founded in logic, as logic dictates that when we cannot make credible claims of knowledge, we are compelled to accept and acknowledge our ignorance. Thus: Does God exist? We don't know. Did God create the universe? We don't know. And without evidence to compel us to add this element to our explanation of the observable data, Occam's Razor again compels us to not add the increased complexity. Thus, by logic, we are unable to believe in the existence of God until and unless some compelling evidence were to be presented which supports such a claim.

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6) Now in the other thread some of you claimed that we can see infinite progression, and "therefore why is it not logical to believe in infinite regress". However, I would like to point out the fact that we have evidence that the so called "infinite" movement is slowing down.

6)Please cite this evidence, or it cannot be credibly used in discussion.

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Plus, numbers begin at zero, but can increase indefinitely. The inverse is not true. Same basic thing.

Numbers no more begin at zero than regression/progression begins at 'now'. And are you truly claiming that there are a finite numer of negative numbers? Counting down from zero, -1, -2, -3 etc, what's the final number?

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7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:


Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved. Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things. Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.

This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.

7)This is the Strong Anthropic Principle, and it is incredibly flawed. For instance: if the universe were created specifically with the intent of producing the only living things we have direct evidence for, ie: life on Earth, then it's a phenomenally inefficient way to do so. Why would only an infinitesimal fraction of the total volume of the universe be habitable?

Rather, the far more logical conclusion is the same one we find when looking at something as mundane as your parentage: Your parents do not possess their specific genetic codes so that they could create you. You are a result of the combination of their codes. If their codes were different, you would not be as you are.

The same applies to the universe: The universe is not 'tailor-made' to produce us, but rather we are 'tailor-made' to exist in this universe, because we are a result of it.

Which is the simpler answer? That the observer's surroundings suit him because they were specifically engineered to do so by an external force for which there is no compelling evidence, or that the observer's surroundings suit him because he is a result of his surroundings? Once again, Occam's Razor compels us to throw away any levels of additional complexity not explicitly demanded by the observable data.

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Cool Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang". Lets look at an analogy. Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain. Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.

8)Nonsense. What color socks am I wearing? How old is my sister? Who will win the Gold Medal in the Long Jump in the 2012 Summer Olympics? Do you know? If not, then 'I don't know' is in fact a factual answer. It is not a declaration of knowledge, but it does have the advantage of being the truth.

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9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

9)Except that as demonstrated above, there's no evidence compelling us to add this extradimensional intelligence to the observable data, and so we are compelled to not add him. (Note that I do not say 'exclude him from the data', because he was never demonstrated to be present in the data.)

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10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover, why it so much of a leap to think that he tried to commune with us, either by talking into someone's head or sending Christ down to Earth?

10)It's not, necessarily. But that requires the initial assumption, which as we've seen, is not logical.

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Alright, there you go. Please take the time and effort to fully demonstrate to me how it is not logical. Sure it may not have empirical data, but I don't see how the belief is illogical.

There you go.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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desertwolf9 wrote:I AM

desertwolf9 wrote:

I AM CONFIDENT THAT I CAN COMPLETELY DEMOLISH ATHEIST BIGOTRY IN THIS THREAD AND I DO NOT NEED ANY HELP.

Please explain this "bigotry" of which atheists are so possessed.

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1) Some of you atheists do not believe in a prime mover or "beginning". However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned). Given this, explain to me why is the belief in a prime mover/beginning illogical?

So, let's see if I get this right:

It is illogical to assume the universe (including space and time) has always existed (say, through big bang / big crunch cycles), or began spontaneously, or through some natural event (possibly from "budding off" from another universe, for instance).

It is logical to assume that God has always existed, or began spontaneously through some supernatural event, such as self-creation.

Is this more-or-less correct?

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I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.

Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Energy is not "[lost] to the environment."  It is transformed into a less-usable form of energy (in most cases, ultimately heat). However, that energy still exists. Therefore, a cyclic universe is entirely possible.

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2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear, in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Do you understand what this means? The universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation. This is illogical and irrational. Therefore it would logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being.

If "most experts" tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang, then "most experts" don't know what the hell they're talking about. The truth is, our best current models only take us back to a few femtoseconds after the big bang. We still don't know exactly what went into the big bang, or exactly what the big bang really was.

Also, there's a logical error here: if time did not exist until after the big bang, there could be no "before the big bang."

And here you make a leap in logic. Even if the universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation, you have neglected other potential natural explanations. For instance. one potential hypothesis suggests that universes are created at the collapse of matter into a black hole. So, our universe was created when a black hole collapsed in another, older universe. That older universe was created when a black hole formed in an even more ancient universe.

And so on.

So, yes, it might logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being. But you still are left with the problem of logically accounting for the creation of the intelligent being. Without a logical accounting of that intelligent being, you cannot logically conclude that the universe was created by an intelligent being.

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3) And so it follows from above that the first cause must have been intelligent. How is this illogical?

Good question.

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4) If god, a being of such immense intelligence, was powerful enough to create the universe, it would logically follow that he would be able to survive this creation, and hence still exists.

5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.

We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence, but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.

Again, until you can provide a logical framework for the existence of God in the first place, you are begging the question.

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6) Now in the other thread some of you claimed that we can see infinite progression, and "therefore why is it not logical to believe in infinite regress". However, I would like to point out the fact that we have evidence that the so called "infinite" movement is slowing down.

 

Plus, numbers begin at zero, but can increase indefinitely. The inverse is not true. Same basic thing.

I'm a bit fuzzy on what you're driving at here. Could you elaborate?

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7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:


Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

This is a false statement. The universe was not tailor-made for the evolution of living things; living things were "tailor-made" for the universe, through evolution.

As for the old canard about the universe not being able to form clumps of matter, or support nuclear fusion, or all sorts of other nonsense: of all the constants in the universe, only variation in a few of them have been modelled. As our knowledge is incomplete, we have no method of predicting which combination of constants would result in a universe hospitable to living things. However, recent models have indicated that there is an infinite number of combinations that would result in a universe hospitable to living things.

Further, these models have been restricted to our own laws of physics. There is nothing to say that a universe must form with the laws of physics we've been given.

Finally, in the "budding off" model I described above, the newly-formed universe would have physical laws and constants similar to the laws and constants of the "parent" universe. Universes that easily formed black holes would be the universes most likely to create new universes. Therefore, the new universes would be fairly similar to the parent universe.

Ergo, most universes would easily form black holes. As it turns out, the laws and constants of physics required to form black holes also turn out to be hospitable to life.

So now you have a completely naturalistic model that requires nothing beyond nature. It certainly doesn't require the illogical assumption of some self-creating or perpetual divine intelligence.

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Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved. Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things. Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.

This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.

So, it is illogical to assume an environment which is hospitable to life.

But, it is logical to assume an environment which spontaneously gives rise to a powerful, sentient being.

What's your definition of logic, again?

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8 ) Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang". Lets look at an analogy. Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain. Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.

Argument from bad analogy is one sign of bad thinking.

Your argument here is that you have to choose one or the other. You cannot admit ignorance over something, even something of which you are ignorant. Please explain how this is logical in the least.

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9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

Why is it logical to assume an extradimensionality to the prime mover? And, should it exist, why would this other dimension be the "afterlife?" Finally, even if this other dimension is an "afterlife," why should we be able to take part in it?

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10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover, why it so much of a leap to think that he tried to commune with us, either by talking into someone's head or sending Christ down to Earth?

It's a leap because if the prime mover was interested in communicating with us, He would've sent a more-coherent message. The world's conception of God would be more universal, instead of the hodge-podge of religious beliefs we have. I mean, the Christians can't even agree on much of anything.

And if His words can be so easily corrupted, then you can't make any assumptions about which words have remained pure and uncorrupted, thereby making the entire message untrustworthy.

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Alright, there you go. Please take the time and effort to fully demonstrate to me how it is not logical. Sure it may not have empirical data, but I don't see how the belief is illogical.

First, you start with the assumption of a Prime Mover, some powerful, intelligent being. This is begging the question, a logical fallacy. Then, you have failed to demonstrate either the necessity of the Prime Mover (as other hypotheses exist that don't require so many unexplainable assumptions), or the logical origin of the Prime Mover.

So, you have taken one mystery (the origin of the universe) and substituted an even greater, less explicable mystery (the origin of the Prime Mover).

Logic dictates that the more assumptions you have to make, the less likely your rationale. For a multiverse explanation of the universe, you only have to assume that new universes bud off when a black hole is created. For a cyclic universe, you only have to assume that the universe collapses into a quantum jumble, and the attractive forces become repelling forces, leading to a big bang (though not as big as the "singularity from nothing" big bang that is so popular with the kids these days). For a prime mover, you have to assume an environment in which he can spring up fully-formed, with the knowledge and power to create a universe; then you have to assume he is able to survive that creation; then you have to assume that he can move back-and-forth from "his" universe to ours; and then you have to assume that he'd even care about us in particular.

So, you see the problems? You have created an entire chain of unnecessary assumptions and illogical leaps, simply for the sake of explaining something that is fully explicable in natural terms.

Mostly, though, you have substituted one mystery with an even greater (and less-probable) mystery. This is the heart of the illogic of your reasoning.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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desertwolf9 wrote:BEFORE YOU

desertwolf9 wrote:
BEFORE YOU POST, PLEASE READ: THIS IS ONLY FOR A DEBATE BETWEEN ME AND ATHEISTS. NO FELLOW THEISTS ALLOWED HERE. I AM CONFIDENT THAT I CAN COMPLETELY DEMOLISH ATHEIST BIGOTRY IN THIS THREAD AND I DO NOT NEED ANY HELP. 2 OF MY THREADS GOT DERAILED ALREADY AND HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY LET ATHEISTS OFF THE HOOK FROM ANSWERING MY ARGUMENTS. PLEASE, ONLY PARTICIPATE IN THIS THREAD IF YOU ARE AN ATHEIST THAT WISHES TO ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE. NO THEISTS EXCEPT MYSELF ALLOWED! I DO NOT LIKE MY THREADS DERAILED!!!
Fucking priceless!

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Ok, to start off, this is not a topic about the existence of god. Rather, I am throwing out a challenge to all atheists out there to PROVE TO ME that my belief in god is illogical (or for that matter any more illogical than the big bang or whatnot).
Yay!

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I am particularly interested in what bobspence has to say.
Because he's so much more articulate and intelligent and worth your time than the rest of us?

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Ok, first of all.

 

1) Some of you atheists do not believe in a prime mover or "beginning". However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned). Given this, explain to me why is the belief in a prime mover/beginning illogical?

The universe did not exist prior to the big bang.  We can surmise quite accurately right now what happened in the first Planck time of the universe.  Nothing can be known about anything which does not exist within the universe.  We can't know what happened before the universe began to exist.  Certainly our observations about the nature of reality lead us to conclusions on the likelihood of what happened prior to the formation of the universe, but necessarily, there can never be any evidence of what happened, if indeed, it can even be explained as 'happening'.  Time, after all, did not exist.  For the very purpose of the discussion and as much as language can encompass the idea, nothing existed before the universe existed.  It is not a concept that anyone, I think, can actually conceive better than that.

Now, your belief in a prime mover is illogical.  It first makes a number of presumptions, none of which are necessary, have any explanatory power, or indeed, are true or necessarily true.

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I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.
That's wonderful, but what has that got to do with the universe beginning?  I don't believe the universe collapses upon itself and starts anew.  It has nothing to do with 'energy loss' (which can't happen in a closed system).  It has to do with the reality of entropy;  the universe will expand and 'cool' until it reaches heat death.

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2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear,
No, it most certainly didn't and you characterize the big bang poorly.

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in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Do you understand what this means?
In fact, the universe did not exist before the big bang and I understand exactly what that means.

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The universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation.
Indeed, it can't.  It didn't exist until it did.

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This is illogical and irrational.
Yes, and who believes that?

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Therefore it would logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being.
Umm....

Premise 1: The universe cannot be the instrument of it's own creation.

Conclusion: Therefor it the universe can have been the creation of an intelligent being.

You're missing a premise.  How can you draw the conclusion that something necessarily more complex than the universe existed before it, infinitely, without another premise to lead you to the conclusion?  Your logic is incomplete.  There is nothing that necessarily leads to the conclusion that there can have been an intelligent being that created the universe.

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3) And so it follows from above that the first cause must have been intelligent. How is this illogical?
Ummm...

Premise 1: The universe cannot be the instrument of it's own creation.

Conclusion: Therefor the universe can have been the creation of an intelligent being.

Conclusion: Therefor the universe must have been the creation of an intelligent being.

Are you stupid?

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4) If god, a being of such immense intelligence, was powerful enough to create the universe, it would logically follow that he would be able to survive this creation, and hence still exists.
Define your god coherently.  Don't presume that it existed and exists.  Don't presume to have knowledge about it unless you can provide evidence of your knowledge.  All you've done is posit a number of presuppositions that follow presuppositions.

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5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.
Are you serious?  You posit presuppositions, invent two conclusions, one of which somehow follows from one premise and a conclusion, posit more presupposition, admit that your presuppositions are unsubstantiated and you don't see how you've been illogical?  Are you mad?

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We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence, but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.
But you've not used any logic worth the name.  There is no logic behind your claim.

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6) Now in the other thread some of you claimed that we can see infinite progression, and "therefore why is it not logical to believe in infinite regress". However, I would like to point out the fact that we have evidence that the so called "infinite" movement is slowing down.
'infinite movement'?  What evidence?  What are you talking about?

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Plus, numbers begin at zero, but can increase indefinitely. The inverse is not true. Same basic thing.
I can conceive of a number infinitely less than zero.

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7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:
Okay!

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Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once.
Mhmm.
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However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things.
No, the universe was not 'tailor-made'.  The universe merely can, and obviously, does support living things.
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The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself.
But the variables are a part of the universe.  Inextricably so.  The universe is the variables.  It is everything that exists.  That is the universe.
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The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.
A part from your misunderstanding, the odds of the universe existing as it does are exactly 1:1.  Evidence: the universe exists as it does and is the only known universe.

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Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created.
Why do you presume this?
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It learned and evolved.
That's feasible, but why are we supposing something else existed prior to the universe that was more complex than it?
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Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things.
Huh?
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Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.
No, the big bang looks exactly like the start of this universe.  It does not look like a complex intelligence that exists prior to it initiated it for life to evolve on Earth.

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This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.
I just did.  You make a number of presupossitions using no logic whatsoever.

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8) Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang".
That's certainly the intellectually honest position to take!
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Lets look at an analogy.
Please.
Quote:
Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain.
Yes, but why would someone presume to know something they don't know unless they have a good reason to believe that the outcome they've predicted is true?  I can say it will rain tomorrow will a certain degree of certainty after seeing a forcast, but I could still be proven incorrect.
Quote:
Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.
Exactly, it's admitting that you do not have the information necessary to make a prediction worth making.  You cannot be proven correct or incorrect if you decline to make a prediction by being honest.  This is not analogous to what happened prior to the existence of the universe.  That's not a prediction that can be made and tested.  There is simply no way to honestly know what existed before the universe existed.  Before the universe existed it did not exist!

Quote:
9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical.
Now we're talking about the afterlife?
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Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms.
What the fuck!? How is that logical?  YOu've just made another presupposition.  Everything you have written comes from ignorance!
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This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".
What?  How do you know this?  It's not logical to simply make a presumption and intone that it is necessary or requisite.  That's very illogical!

 

Quote:
10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover, why it so much of a leap to think that he tried to commune with us, either by talking into someone's head or sending Christ down to Earth?
We have to presume there is in the first place.  Why would we do that?  It's not a leap for the imagintion to conceive of such a thing, but that does not make it real.  Again, you're presenting a presuposition and creating a hypothetical.  It's not logical!

 

Quote:
Alright, there you go. Please take the time and effort to fully demonstrate to me how it is not logical. Sure it may not have empirical data, but I don't see how the belief is illogical.
All you do is make presuppositions, invent hyptothetical and argue from ignorance.  It's completely illogical!  You can't be serious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:desertwolf9

Thomathy wrote:

desertwolf9 wrote:

I am particularly interested in what bobspence has to say.

Because he's so much more articulate and intelligent and worth your time than the rest of us?


Well, he is pretty damned good.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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That is true, Nigel.  I

That is true, Nigel.  I guess it's as good a reason as any to ignore everyone else.  I mean, it's not as though he's actually got an argument to refute.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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I have to admit, I'm usually

I have to admit, I'm usually pretty interested in what Bob and DG have to say too, yeah. Eye-wink


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Quote: I don't believe the

Quote:
I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.

So? If this is a scientific objection, that deals with science, not the absurd.

That is the same stupid argument used about the second law, "Energy can neither be created or distroyed". Yea? AND?

If "Poof" logic always fills in the gap, then because of that I can fart a full sized Lamborginni out of my ass.

How does your argument justify claims of virgin births? How can you demonstrate and falsify 3 day old dead flesh surviving rigor mortis?

All debunking a scientific claim does, is debunk the claim. It DOES NOT default to magical absurdity rooted in mythology existing by default.

All you are doing is creating an elaborate mind scam on yourself.

SCIENTISTS SHOULD NEVER CLAIM TO KNOW EVERYTHING.

SCIENTIFIC METHOD is not a human or an ideology. It is a quality control system. Pointing out a flaw in it's implementation is not an excuse to claim that you will get 72 virgins by default, anymore than the earth was created in 6 days.

Your preceived "flaw" is on you because YOU default to magic existing, just like every other superstitious person.

If anything is possible because your example, FOR ARGUMENT'S SAKE ONLY, is true, then Harry Potter CAN fly around on a broomstick, AND I will have sex with Angelina Jolie in 5 mins.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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1. You'll find many, if not

1. You'll find many, if not most atheists, are open to the existense of some type of creator. I myself am open to the idea, but I do not BELIEVE in a god. There is a huge difference in belief in a god and knowing that a god exists. Personally, I don't find belief in a god illogical. No one can prove with 100 percent certainty rather or not a god type creator exists and scientists cannot prove any ultimate cause for the beginning of the universe. You are assuming all atheists prescribe to the same beliefs and this is not the case.

2. Why couldn't a creator create the universe using the Big Bang? Sure, the big bang could've been caused by an intelligent being, but who? I've just started reading some really good articles on space and time and it is a lot to digest. Science cannot detect the presence of design in nature.

3. Like I have said, I am open to the idea. Something had to exist before the beginning. I just find matter and energy existing before the big bang more probable than an intelligent designer.

4. If god didn't have a "beginning" then it stands to reason that god could survive the creation of the universe. I don't see the point of this part of your post.

5. A generic god is meaningless so why even bother bringing this up? Remember atheism is a lack of belief in god and very few atheists state unequivocally that there is NO god. Atheism is based on degrees justa as religions can be. Atheism has no dogmas attched to it.

6. What about negative numbers? Actually, isn't this like stating that the odds of evolution happening are like 1 to 100 ^100000? If we only look at a snap shot in time and space then the odds are slim, but with a universe billions of years old and with the number of possible planets ordering in the trillions it is not impossible. Remember science reasons with probability and not with emotion.

I don't see any of your cited evidence that the "infinite" movement is slowing down. The new emerging string theory may hold the clues to the creation of the universe. This is the beauty of science over religion in that it can change as new data becomes available to prove or disprove older ideas.

7. Touched on this somewhat in 6. How can science detect design? We are natural creatures and we live in a natural universe. Implying god did something is just taking the easy way out. The first scenario I find more plausible, but that is because we are making natural observations and not supernatural observations. Maybe the second scenario is right, but using scientific methods to measure attributes of god is meaningless. The short answer is (I know you don't want to hear it) I don't know, but neither do you. Science and religion are not equals and opposites. They are two very different animals entirely. No one knows what happened before the big bang. Scientists theorize what the beginning may have been like, but it takes the arrogance of religion to know without a shadow of a doubt that a sky daddy came into being on it's own with a need to create. Face it....... NO ONE knows for sure. I have no problems with "I don't know" from either side and I find it the best stance on the issue. Even if science comes up with an explanation it would be just a scientific theory because it cannot be tested conclusively.

9. My body is composed of matter, which cannot be destroyed. When I die my carbon may be recycled into new life so the thought of an afterlife makes sense to me. With that being said, heaven and hell are silly stories and nothing more. No one has ever died and come back to test the existence of an afterlife so it is still an unknown. Not sure I would call it illogical or not as the fear of death is pretty powerful. I myself, find no comfort in living in eternity when no one has ever come back to tell what it's really like. Personally I think I would get bored at some point and kill myself (if it's possible).

10. Now you show your true colors. You've gone from some vague sky faery to jesus. Just because I, like many/most atheists, accept the possibility of some generic creator does not mean that I agree that a personal god exists. At best, I could accept a deistic god, but not the myth of allah, ahura mazda or bible god.

Are you saying that it's possible mohammed rode into heaven on a winged horse? At what point does someone's religious claim just seem to ignorant to be true?

The more specific your arguments become the more evidence you have to provide to defend your position. Beliefs aren't necessarily illogical, but when that belief starts to get presented as fact then I have a problem with it. We hold beliefs often based on fear or superstition, which may be illogical, but it can be difficult to seperate the two. Logic is useful to prove facts as emotion is often counter intuitive to rational thinking.

 

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


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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, to

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok, to start off, this is not a topic about the existence of god. Rather, I am throwing out a challenge to all atheists out there to PROVE TO ME that my belief in god is illogical (or for that matter any more illogical than the big bang or whatnot).

I am particularly interested in what bobspence has to say.

Ok, to start off, I will be bringing up the existence question, because the irrationality of the belief is inextricably tied to the plausibility of the God hypothesis.

Quote:

Ok, first of all.

1) Some of you atheists do not believe in a prime mover or "beginning". However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned). Given this, explain to me why is the belief in a prime mover/beginning illogical?

The only part of that statement relevant to the 'prime mover/beginning' is, obviously, the beginning. So of course it is logical that belief in a 'beginning' is consistent with the Universe having a beginning... d'uh! Really profound assertion there, foxie!

As for "prime mover", if you mean an uncaused 'first cause', Ok.

Quote:

I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.

As has already been pointed out, that is totally illogical, since the Universe is by definition a closed system - there is nowhere for its energy to go.

Quote:

2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear, in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Do you understand what this means? The universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation. This is illogical and irrational. Therefore it would logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being.

3) And so it follows from above that the first cause must have been intelligent. How is this illogical?

A bald assertion has nothing to do with logic - you have not presented any argument, logical or otherwise, why this first cause must be intelligent.

Quote:

4) If god, a being of such immense intelligence, was powerful enough to create the universe, it would logically follow that he would be able to survive this creation, and hence still exists.

No logical argument here, just assumptions. Intelligence doesn't necessarily protect against the power of raw physical destructive energy.

Quote:

5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.

We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence, but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.

Logical only implies that your conclusion is consistent with your assumptions, so it is insufficient to justify your assumptions. Without DATA, you cannot make knowledge claims about reality. Knowledge about reality, which is inevitably tentative 'balance of probabilities' knowledge, which is all we can have about non-deductive claims. Philosophy is just word games.

Quote:

6) Now in the other thread some of you claimed that we can see infinite progression, and "therefore why is it not logical to believe in infinite regress". However, I would like to point out the fact that we have evidence that the so called "infinite" movement is slowing down.

The evidence actually seems to be pointing to an acceleration in the expansion.

Infinite regress does not necessarily imply infinite time or energy, so long as each preceding 'cause' takes less time and energy that the next link in the chain. It is therefore perfectly logical.

Quote:

Plus, numbers begin at zero, but can increase indefinitely. The inverse is not true. Same basic thing.

Totally illogical, incorrect.

Quote:

7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:


Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

We have no evidence that the odds of this are all that small. We have no way to assess the odds of any of these parameters being within the critical range, and calculations based on the probabilities of "islands" of viability, where variations in more than one parameter compensate for each other, suggest that estimates based on the effect of changing each parameter in isolation vastly underestimate the size of the region of viability.

No one is suggesting that the universe is changing these parameters itself, that is as nonsensical as the idea of anything 'bringing itself into existence".

Quote:


Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved. Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things. Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.

This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.

It may not be illogical given your assumptions, it is just totally unnecessary and less likely than a spontaneous Universe.

Quote:

Cool Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang". Lets look at an analogy. Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain. Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.

Totally illogical. "I don't know" is a statement of fact, when someone says that, it is usually a true statement. It is a stance - I am saying I have insufficient information to take a postion either way on the proposition. This is one of your more stupid assertions.

Quote:

9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

This is not a logical argument, just a sequence of unjustified assertions.

Quote:

10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover, why it so much of a leap to think that he tried to commune with us, either by talking into someone's head or sending Christ down to Earth?

If an all-powerful being wanted to communicate with us, it is illogical that his efforts would be so ineffective and ambiguous, and that He wouldn't be able to or wish to straighten out the confusing mix of beliefs that has resulted.

Quote:

Alright, there you go. Please take the time and effort to fully demonstrate to me how it is not logical. Sure it may not have empirical data, but I don't see how the belief is illogical.

That's it?

A collection of non-sequiters, straight out errors of fact, un-justified assumptions with zero evidence...

To justify that a belief is logical, by such a list, is illogical.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Quote: BEFORE YOU POST,

Quote:

BEFORE YOU POST, PLEASE READ: THIS IS ONLY FOR A DEBATE BETWEEN ME AND ATHEISTS. NO FELLOW THEISTS ALLOWED HERE. I AM CONFIDENT THAT I CAN COMPLETELY DEMOLISH ATHEIST BIGOTRY IN THIS THREAD AND I DO NOT NEED ANY HELP. 2 OF MY THREADS GOT DERAILED ALREADY AND HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY LET ATHEISTS OFF THE HOOK FROM ANSWERING MY ARGUMENTS. PLEASE, ONLY PARTICIPATE IN THIS THREAD IF YOU ARE AN ATHEIST THAT WISHES TO ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE. NO THEISTS EXCEPT MYSELF ALLOWED! I DO NOT LIKE MY THREADS DERAILED!!!

Who died and made you God?

Quote:

Ok, to start off, this is not a topic about the existence of god. Rather, I am throwing out a challenge to all atheists out there to PROVE TO ME that my belief in god is illogical (or for that matter any more illogical than the big bang or whatnot).

I guess that it is perfectly logical for me to believe in a magickal pixie that dies if I say I don't believe in her but resurrects if I clap my hands and can let me fly if I have a happy thought and guide me to a magickal place in the sky where I will never grow old.
Funny thing, we actual have evidence of the Big Bang, its called the Cosmic Background Radiation.
Also Funny, I’ve seen the Pixie of which I speak. You still cannot say the same for your magick sky-daddy.

Quote:

1) Some of you atheists do not believe in a prime mover or "beginning". However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned). Given this, explain to me why is the belief in a prime mover/beginning illogical?

Believing there might have been one? Sure. Believing there is one and you know anything at all about it? Retarded.
And once again, your problem is you are thinking of time as a linear progression from the past to the future.

Furthermore, Heat Death is by no means the 'end' of the Universe in the sense that it will cease to exist. What it does mean is that all life will cease to exist and the Universe will become a homogenous void with no energy at all. How that would look I have no idea, however it does not mean it will end in the traditional sense.

Quote:

I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.

Why? Perhaps when the Universe Collapses it transitions however briefly into a state in which the change in entropy is negative. It thus builds up energy from an unusable to usable form until it has too much energy at too high of a density and explodes. For all we know this has always happened. I of course cannot prove that this happened, however it is possible.
Furthermore, If Theism is Logical, then what about the many Eastern Religions that propose a constant death-rebirth cycle like I have just described with no creative force behind it, simply a constant existence.
Again, your problem is that you are thinking of Time as a Global constant that pertains to all of existence, both inside and outside of this universe. Infinite Regression ceases to become a problem once you start imagining time as a local variable that ceases to have meaning before and after this Universe.

Quote:

2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear, in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Do you understand what this means? The universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation. This is illogical and irrational. Therefore it would logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being.
3) And so it follows from above that the first cause must have been intelligent. How is this illogical?

Um, wrong. While it does follow that anything created must have been created by something, it does not under any circumstances mean that something has to be intelligent. If a bunch of gasoline is in a mostly contained area and is struck by lightning it will explode (or burn, or something), no intelligence involved. I don't see why it is impossible that the Universe had a non-intelligent cause stemming from whatever Multi-Verse the Universe may be contained within. This MutliVerse is eternal, and the situation within it just happened to be right for the creation of the Universe. It may have been right in other places in the MultiVerse thus leading to other Universes, or our Universe could spider web into other Universes, or what have you. We don't know, We're Working on it. Check back in a couple of Decades.

Quote:

4) If god, a being of such immense intelligence, was powerful enough to create the universe, it would logically follow that he would be able to survive this creation, and hence still exists.

Sounds fair. Of course you haven't proven that such a being exists or even proven that such a being is necessary.

Quote:

5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.

It is illogical because there is a Non-Sequitur in premises two and three. Namely, there is no connection between the universe being created and it requiring an intelligence to be so created. It is entirely possible that the Universe is simply the result of a creative Process in a larger Multi-Verse that has a different set of physical laws, including a different sense of Time and Space.

You’re going from Stealing Underpants to Profit without step two young man.

Quote:

We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence, but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.

Quit Capitalizing the entire word, its annoying and makes you look like a 13 year old who's trying to scream his way to victory. Furthermore, as I have just shown, there is no logical connection between the Universe having a beginning (something that itself is unproven in that the Universe could simply have transitioned from a different state to this one) and there needing to be an intelligence behind it.

Quote:

6) Now in the other thread some of you claimed that we can see infinite progression, and "therefore why is it not logical to believe in infinite regress". However, I would like to point out the fact that we have evidence that the so called "infinite" movement is slowing down.

Actually the current Evidence points towards the Universe's expansion speeding up. However if it were slowing down, that may actually lend more evidence to the idea of a set of collapses and expansions infinitely progressing, like a Sin wave. Because if its slowing down it will eventually stop, and then it might start to shrink.
Before you try to latch onto this, depending on what part of the Sin Wave we are currently on, it could still be speeding up only to later slow down and collapse again. Personally I think the Universe's Expansion acts like a Spring. We are currently closer to the source of the force than the Equilibrium Point, and thus are being pushed away. I have nothing to back this up, and it is illogical to assert it as fact or even believe it to be the case, however it is my hypothesis.

Quote:

Plus, numbers begin at zero, but can increase indefinitely. The inverse is not true. Same basic thing.

negative Infinity exists as a number, this claim is retarded to anyone who has passed Algebra I. You sir, have not passed Algebra I, you probably haven't even passed basic math. You Certainly haven't passed Logic 101. Go back to school and learn some things before you try to play in the big leagues.

Quote:

7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:

Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved. Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things. Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.

This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.

Your entire argument in Scenario One amounts to the tautalogical statement "If things were different, then Things would be different." I've heard a lot of retarded Creationists state, with full confidence, that if the gravitational constant were one perent different then life could not exist. Of course we have not evidence of this whatsoever. Perhaps life as we know it could not exist, however that is meaningless unless you consider life as we know it to be the end desire, in which case you are already assuming there to be an intelligence behind the Universe and are thus Begging the Question.

You make a common mistake. Namely, the Universe is not 'Tailor Made' for life, Life evolved to fit it. Furthermore, if your 'powerful, sentient being' was spontaneously created then it doesn't solve the problem of what created it. It also necessarily means that this being must not be eternal, and must not be Omniscient, Omnipotent, or Omnipresent as it is impossible for anything to transition from a state of non-perfection to a state of perfection, just as it is impossible for anything to actually arive at Infinity, it may only approach Infinity.

My personal refutation of this argument goes as follows;
"Suppose you take 50000 coins of various values and drop them off the top of the Empire State Building. They land in a certain configuration. How probable is it that they would have landed in that single configuration? Astronomically small, impossibly small.

How does that change the fact that they did?"

Quote:

Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang". Lets look at an analogy. Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain. Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.

Patently retarded claim. If I make a prediction and it is wrong, then that by definition proves that 'I Didn't Know'. Saying "I Don't Know" is the only 100% honest response one can give to any question for a prediction. That being said, we can predict things based on past experiences, however there is always some measure of uncertainty involved, even if it is so amazingly small as to be negligible.

Quote:

9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover, why it so much of a leap to think that he tried to commune with us, either by talking into someone's head or sending Christ down to Earth?

Again, it is logical if you are already assuming a Prime Mover exists, which as I have shown does not logically follow from the evidence or even your own premises. If you assume a Prime Mover exists and created us with some intent for our future, then it is logical that he would try to communicate with or influence us in some way, even if it is just a black Monolith somewhere. The existence of a Prime Mover has not been proven however, Empirically or Logically.

You, Sir, are patently retarded. Good Day Sir.

BobSpence1 wrote:
To justify that a belief is logical, by such a list, is illogical.

{Dies Laughing or Salutes, one of the two, possibly both.}

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...


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I'm sure I'm going to say

I'm sure I'm going to say things that have already been said, but I want to say them.

desertwolf9 wrote:
However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned).
No scientists agree with you.

 

desertwolf9 wrote:
I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever
Neither do most scientists.

 

Quote:
2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear, in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang.
Kind of, but not really. Time and Space and Energy existed some form, there are laws of conservation that prove that.

No need explaining three and four, since they rely on 1 and 2.

Quote:
5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.
Believing unsubstantiated claims is illogical.

Quote:
We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence,
Hell yeah, we do.

Quote:
but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.
Logic is philosophy, I agree with you. That doesn't mean it is open to interpretation. Logic is very exact, almost mathematical. Your logic is flawed. There is flawed logic behind these claims.

 

Skipped infinite regress bullshit...

 

 

Quote:
7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:


Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved. Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things. Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.

This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.

Occam's razor. Get rid of that pesky step in the middle where you don't need it. Also, your description of the universe as "tailor-made" for life is laughable. There are billions of planets and we only know of one that supports life. Plants can only take in 1% of the total energy they recieve from the sun, and so on. Lots of little things a tailor would fix. The odds of a great poker hand are infinitely small, but they happen. You cannot use probability in this manner.

 

Quote:
8) Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang". Lets look at an analogy. Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain. Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.

You can't insert knowledge of something where there is none. That is exactly what you are doing.

Quote:
9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".
Your whole life and personality is in your brain. When it is gone, there is nothing to enjoy your afterlife with.

 

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10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover
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Quote:9) The idea of an

Quote:
9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

The idea of an infinitely long (eternal) afterlife is abhorrent. It is horrifying.

Think about this really, really hard for a moment. You aren't talking about extended your life for some appreciable period. You aren't talking about living fow a few thousand years or even a few million years. You're suggesting that you would continue to be consciously aware of your surroundings FOREVER.

We can't even intuit numbers much beyond a few thousand, much less intelligibly comprehend what it would be like to be around for that long. And there would always still be an infinite amount of time stretched-out ahead of you! It would never, ever end! An entire googleplex of centuries later, and you'd be no closer to closing the chapter of your existence than when you were just a few seconds old.

 

Thank goodness that the notion of life beyond brain death is a flawed notion.

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Kevin R Brown wrote:Quote:9)

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

The idea of an infinitely long (eternal) afterlife is abhorrent. It is horrifying.

Think about this really, really hard for a moment. You aren't talking about extended your life for some appreciable period. You aren't talking about living fow a few thousand years or even a few million years. You're suggesting that you would continue to be consciously aware of your surroundings FOREVER.

We can't even intuit numbers much beyond a few thousand, much less intelligibly comprehend what it would be like to be around for that long. And there would always still be an infinite amount of time stretched-out ahead of you! It would never, ever end! An entire googleplex of centuries later, and you'd be no closer to closing the chapter of your existence than when you were just a few seconds old.

 

Thank goodness that the notion of life beyond brain death is a flawed notion.

Isn't it interesting how often a given theist apologist will claim the universe had a god-made beginning, and will have a god-caused end - but we (or our souls) will have a god-made beginning and have no end? I think that's telling.


 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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 WOLF You little shit you

 

WOLF You little shit you are illogical because you contradict yourself and don’t understand definitions of complex things. And if you make me copy my answers to your copy pasted questions I will start using the caps lock.

desertwolf9 wrote:

Let me spell it out for you then.

Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

 

Translation : wolf is full of shit and doesn’t understand evolution because evolution is the adapting to the surroundings not the other way around so there can not be a universe pre made for evolution. Nice way of self humiliating yourself about not understanding evolution.

desertwolf9 wrote:

Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved.


 

Wait a second didn’t you assume a few sentences before that everything needs to have a evolution ready universe for itself so how the fuck did this  powerful being get this evolution ready universe to evolve ? Nice way of contradicting yourself boy.
 

Warning I’m not a native English speaker.

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Ok, if a belief is

Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom. It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational. We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs. If these things are irrational, then I don't want to be rational.

Anyways, the universe creating itself or always existing is both untestable and does not make any predictions, and is therefore unscientific. The universe always existing or creating itself is firmly in the same category as "Goddidit." Furthermore, the belief that God does not exist is irrational, because after all, we have demonstrated that it is merely a belief.

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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, if a

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom. It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational. We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs. If these things are irrational, then I don't want to be rational.

Anyways, the universe creating itself or always existing is both untestable and does not make any predictions, and is therefore unscientific. The universe always existing or creating itself is firmly in the same category as "Goddidit." Furthermore, the belief that God does not exist is irrational, because after all, we have demonstrated that it is merely a belief.

Thank you for playing ya'll, come again!

Oh, please.

No one said that beliefs were irrational - just beliefs without evidence. Whip out that evidence for God and I'll believe all over it.

I remember when we had evidence of human rights, liberty and freedom (pre-Bush cabal).

The moral relativist claptrap you are trying to put on us (we can't say rape, murder, coercion, etc.  is wrong) has already been discussed and you choose not to see it (must be those Allah issued blinders). Those incidents you raise are wrong because they aren't beneficial to individuals or society.

That seems a lot more reasonable than the theist view of "X is wrong unless God says I can do it".

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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, if a

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom. It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational. We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs. If these things are irrational, then I don't want to be rational.

Umm... regarding your specific belief, it is irrational.  A belief (any belief) is not necessarily irrational.  Your specific belief is irrational.  Just because your specific belief is irrational does not mean that beliefs in things like the concepts of rights, liberties or freedoms are irrational. 

Quote:
Anyways, the universe creating itself or always existing is both untestable and does not make any predictions, and is therefore unscientific.
What?
Quote:
The universe always existing or creating itself is firmly in the same category as "Goddidit."
It does?
Quote:
Furthermore, the belief that God does not exist is irrational, because after all, we have demonstrated that it is merely a belief.
Wait, because your specific belief is irrational, all beliefs are 'merely' beliefs and are irrational?

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I doubt you'll appreciate the humour, but I'll write it anyhow: I believe you are stupid, but not independantly of the veracity of that belief.

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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, if a

desertwolf9 wrote:
Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom. It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational. We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs. If these things are irrational, then I don't want to be rational.
Straw-man.

desertwolf9 wrote:
Anyways, the universe creating itself or always existing is both untestable and does not make any predictions, and is therefore unscientific. The universe always existing or creating itself is firmly in the same category as "Goddidit." Furthermore, the belief that God does not exist is irrational, because after all, we have demonstrated that it is merely a belief.
Argument from ignorance.

desertwolf9 wrote:
Thank you for playing ya'll, come again!
Get a new game.

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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, if a

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom. It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational. We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs. If these things are irrational, then I don't want to be rational.

I must have missed something, but who claimed that belief is inherently irrational? Some beliefs are based on irrational assumptions, some can be shown to be consistent with known evidence, even if not actually provable, so rational to that degree. Some beliefs are based purely on personal prefernces or inclinations, and do not contradict known facts, so are neither rational nor irrational, better described as something like non-rational.

Obviously there are rational arguments for objecting to rape and murder, in that it is not conducive to a society which people most people will feel comfortable in. Rape and murder are by definition acts perpetrated on individuals against their will, which by definition is not what they would desire to happen.

Quote:

Anyways, the universe creating itself or always existing is both untestable and does not make any predictions, and is therefore unscientific. The universe always existing or creating itself is firmly in the same category as "Goddidit." Furthermore, the belief that God does not exist is irrational, because after all, we have demonstrated that it is merely a belief.

Thank you for playing ya'll, come again!

I'll assume that when you persist in using the nonsense phrase "creating itself" you mean to refer to the idea of "spontaneously coming into existence" which is not intrinsically 'illogical'. The observable Universe had a immediate origin in the Big Bang, which is would erase any evidence of its origin if it was truly a singularity, which is not the only scientific view. There are theoretical differences in what we would expect to observe in a infinitely existing universe as compared to one with a finite history, so that is not necessarily untestable.

The belief that God does not exist is more justifiable than the opposite , therefore it is rational. Belief is not automatically irrational, but it does not require absolute proof, otherwise we could label it knowledge. To be rational, it only requires to be consistent with the available evidence, and a justifiable assessment of the balance of probabilities.

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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, if a

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom. It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational. We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs. If these things are irrational, then I don't want to be rational.

You are comparing two completely different things: a supernatural explanation (God) of a naturalistic event (the origins of the universe), versus the logical behaviours in an organized, cooperative society. These are quite obviously very different things. Conflating them won't strengthen your case for God.

For a rational reason for the restrictions against murder, rape, theft, and so on, all you have to do is look at the phrase "cooperative society." Should you desire the benefits of a cooperative society, you must abide by the rules that make cooperative society possible.

That is the most rational, least emotional guide to morality you have. Then, you can start layering on top of that the emotional morality, a result of empathy, love, and understanding.

Quote:

Anyways, the universe creating itself or always existing is both untestable and does not make any predictions, and is therefore unscientific. The universe always existing or creating itself is firmly in the same category as "Goddidit." 

Nobody said the universe "created itself." As far as potential models of the origins of the universe being testable or not testable: that remains to be seen. We currently have a few areas of ignorance in physics that need filled before we can tackle the origins of the universe (the uniting of gravity and quantum mechanics, for example). However, it is a bit premature to say that our models will always be too incomplete. As for predictions, almost all our physics-based models of the origins of the universe make predictions. These predictions may not be testable at this moment, but they are predictions, nontheless, and will be testable as our knowledge continues to grow.

Quote:

Furthermore, the belief that God does not exist is irrational, because after all, we have demonstrated that it is merely a belief.

This is a confusing sentence, but I'll answer it as I think you intend it.

The default assumption in science (and rationality) is that things don't exist until there is evidence they do exist. For instance, we can assume that invisible pink unicorns do not exist. Now, this is a bold statement, one which cannot ever be proven, as to "prove" it, you'd have to do an instantaneous inventory of all invisible creatures across the universe, throughout all time, and certify that none of them are pink unicorns, as invisible as they may be.

As you might imagine, this is a prohibitively difficult task.

However, I can assert with some certainty that there are no invisible pink unicorns.

Now, this leads us to the idea in rationalism of "burden of proof." This is merely the concept that the one making extraordinary positive claims has the responsibility of providing evidence supporting the extraordinary positive claims. Here, "extraordinary" is anything outside the accepted ontology (in our case, scientific knowledge). "Positive" means a claim that something exists, rather than a claim that something doesn't exist.

As you are the one making an extraordinary positive claim, the rationality of your position is predicated solely on your ability to provide logic or evidence supporting your claim.

On the other hand, the negative claim ("God does not exist" ) needs no supporting logic or evidence. This is because, if the claim is untrue, simple logic or evidence will show that God does exist.

See how that works? This is the way rationality works. You accept things for which there is evidence, and do not accept things for which no evidence exists. This isn't "belief" or "not-belief." It is acceptance.

So, no, a lack of belief in God is not irrational because "it is merely a belief." In fact, it is the exact opposite of belief: it is a lack of belief.

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desertwolf9 wrote:BEFORE YOU

desertwolf9 wrote:

BEFORE YOU POST, PLEASE READ: THIS IS ONLY FOR A DEBATE BETWEEN ME AND ATHEISTS. NO FELLOW THEISTS ALLOWED HERE. I AM CONFIDENT THAT I CAN COMPLETELY DEMOLISH ATHEIST BIGOTRY IN THIS THREAD AND I DO NOT NEED ANY HELP. 2 OF MY THREADS GOT DERAILED ALREADY AND HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY LET ATHEISTS OFF THE HOOK FROM ANSWERING MY ARGUMENTS. PLEASE, ONLY PARTICIPATE IN THIS THREAD IF YOU ARE AN ATHEIST THAT WISHES TO ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE. NO THEISTS EXCEPT MYSELF ALLOWED! I DO NOT LIKE MY THREADS DERAILED!!!

 

Ok, to start off, this is not a topic about the existence of god. Rather, I am throwing out a challenge to all atheists out there to PROVE TO ME that my belief in god is illogical (or for that matter any more illogical than the big bang or whatnot).

I am particularly interested in what bobspence has to say.

Ok, first of all.

 

1) Some of you atheists do not believe in a prime mover or "beginning". However, as far as I know, the universe had a beginning (the big bang), a middle (right now), and it will definitely have an end (as far as usable energy energy is concerned). Given this, explain to me why is the belief in a prime mover/beginning illogical?

 

I don't believe the universe can infinitely exist re-collapsing upon itsself forever because theres too much energy loss to the environment for this to continue.

 

2) The big bang is an expansion of SPACE and TIME. But a fireball of space/time and energy did not just randomly appear, in fact most experts will tell you that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Do you understand what this means? The universe cannot be the instrument of its own creation. This is illogical and irrational. Therefore it would logically follow that the universe can be a creation of an intelligent being.

3) And so it follows from above that the first cause must have been intelligent. How is this illogical?

 

4) If god, a being of such immense intelligence, was powerful enough to create the universe, it would logically follow that he would be able to survive this creation, and hence still exists.

 

5)Now these claims are unsubstantiated, I agree, but I don't see how they are "illogical". Prove to me how my claims which lead to my beliefs are illogical.

We know theres no corroborative DATA to support god's existence, but that doesn't mean there is no LOGIC behind the claim. DATA focuses on empiricism, LOGIC on the other hand is philosophy.

 

6) Now in the other thread some of you claimed that we can see infinite progression, and "therefore why is it not logical to believe in infinite regress". However, I would like to point out the fact that we have evidence that the so called "infinite" movement is slowing down.

 

Plus, numbers begin at zero, but can increase indefinitely. The inverse is not true. Same basic thing.

 

7)Explain why is the following argument for sentience creating the universe is illogical:


Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved. Eventually it learned what a reality needs to sustain living things. Therefore it created these things in one fell swoop, which is EXACTLY what the big bang looks like.

This 2nd scenario could certainly be wrong. But I don't think it's illogical. Demonstrate how it is.

 

Cool Also, from the other thread, some of you claimed to have the position that you "don't know" what happened in the beginning of the universe or "before the big bang". Lets look at an analogy. Someone asks you, "do you believe it will it rain tomorrow"? By saying yes it will or it will not rain tomorrow you are taking a stance on whether or not it will rain. Saying "I don't know" is not a stance - it can't be proven true or false.

9) The idea of an afterlife is also logical. Logically, the prime mover is extradimensional; he did not just hang around when the universe was a hodge-podge of primordial atoms. This other dimension that he resides in is the "afterlife".

 

10) Assuming there is an all-powerful prime mover, why it so much of a leap to think that he tried to commune with us, either by talking into someone's head or sending Christ down to Earth?

 

Alright, there you go. Please take the time and effort to fully demonstrate to me how it is not logical. Sure it may not have empirical data, but I don't see how the belief is illogical.

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
I AM CONFIDENT THAT I CAN COMPLETELY DEMOLISH ATHEIST BIGOTRY

What bigotry? The same bigotry you have in merely stating your postion that Allah isn't real?

I am confident that you make the same mistake that muslims make or Jews make or Hindus make in claiming that their dieties are real. None of you consider that it is myth that you like believing. That is about as bigoted as telling a child that Santa isn't real.

The politically correct are not for freedom. The same ilk that blew a gasket over a Danish cartoonist depicting Muhammed with a bomb in his turbin, are in the same camp that demand the silence of those who would suggest that Jesus is a work of fiction.

I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson a bigot as well:

"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."

Jefferson's letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

 

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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, if a

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom. It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational. We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs. 

Wow, you're not going to be able to enact a philosophical beat-down on all the atheists with an obvious strawman non sequitur like that. 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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nigelTheBold wrote:You are

nigelTheBold wrote:

You are comparing two completely different things: a supernatural explanation (God) of a naturalistic event (the origins of the universe), versus the logical behaviours in an organized, cooperative society. These are quite obviously very different things. Conflating them won't strengthen your case for God.

For a rational reason for the restrictions against murder, rape, theft, and so on, all you have to do is look at the phrase "cooperative society." Should you desire the benefits of a cooperative society, you must abide by the rules that make cooperative society possible.

That is the most rational, least emotional guide to morality you have. Then, you can start layering on top of that the emotional morality, a result of empathy, love, and understanding.

This doesn't follow though. For example people will make exceptions for those they feel are "unlike" them (Guantanamo Bay, for example, or non-citizens). If you believe in freedom it should not matter where somebody is from. Another example people don't believe in torture even when it's possible that not torturing could lead to further attacks, is this irrational? If so, lets take it a step further, and use torture to prevent crime, is this irrational? Is the belief in freedom/liberty still rational?

What about another case, lets say a soldier is fighting for his country, or what he is told "fighting for freedom." If this fighting causes his death, was his decision rational? What about a politician who stands up for the right thing even when it costs him votes, is this rational?

nigelTheBold wrote:

Nobody said the universe "created itself." As far as potential models of the origins of the universe being testable or not testable: that remains to be seen. We currently have a few areas of ignorance in physics that need filled before we can tackle the origins of the universe (the uniting of gravity and quantum mechanics, for example). However, it is a bit premature to say that our models will always be too incomplete. As for predictions, almost all our physics-based models of the origins of the universe make predictions. These predictions may not be testable at this moment, but they are predictions, nontheless, and will be testable as our knowledge continues to grow.

What kind of predictions are made from a universe that always existed or one that created itself? Would it look different from the universe we currently observe? And more importantly, does that make absolutely any sense at all?

Thats like saying Godditit makes predictions. Why, do we have another universe that God didn't create that we might compare to? Likewise, do you have a God-created universe that you would compare your non-God created universe to? Obviously no predictions can be made in that specific sense.

You are talking about the origins after the big bang, but that is just a side-step. I could answer those very same questions with "Goddidit." Who cares what the initial conditions were like? Would certain conditions prove that God didn't create those initial conditions? I don't think so, so it's irrelevent. And I like what you said earlier about our knowledge of the universe being incomplete, and that it's too early to dismiss the idea that they will one day be solved. However, you too are guilty of believing that there even will be a grand unification theory (maybe the universe just doesn't make sense? maybe we will never fully understand it? maybe our knowledge will always be limited?). I agree completely that it's too early to dismiss anything, which is why God remains in the picture until then.

 

nigelTheBold wrote:

This is a confusing sentence, but I'll answer it as I think you intend it.

The default assumption in science (and rationality) is that things don't exist until there is evidence they do exist. For instance, we can assume that invisible pink unicorns do not exist. Now, this is a bold statement, one which cannot ever be proven, as to "prove" it, you'd have to do an instantaneous inventory of all invisible creatures across the universe, throughout all time, and certify that none of them are pink unicorns, as invisible as they may be.

Because it is unproven I take the position that we should not rule it out. Now this doesn't really work for everyday common occurances, and it would lead to absurdity in real life, but thats ok. Our knowledge and understanding of the universe is limited, and therefore I consider it to be very presumptious for us to assume that God doesn't exist just because we don't currently have evidence for him.

 

Let me give you an example: Prior to the discovery of germ theory we had no proof for the existence of tiny unseeable microscopic living organisms, therefore it is "rational" and "logical" to say they don't exist, right?

 

So in conclusion: I take it you are acknowledging the fact that the limits of human knowledge make it possible for something to exist even when we don't have evidence for it (like germs, for example). And even if you were being "rational" by denying the existence of germs, you would still ultimately be wrong. So that brings us to the limits of rationality, in which atheism and religion both fall into that category of unknown. Because one position may be more "rational" does not necessarily make it the correct one.

 

nigelTheBold wrote:

As you might imagine, this is a prohibitively difficult task.

However, I can assert with some certainty that there are no invisible pink unicorns.

Now, this leads us to the idea in rationalism of "burden of proof." This is merely the concept that the one making extraordinary positive claims has the responsibility of providing evidence supporting the extraordinary positive claims. Here, "extraordinary" is anything outside the accepted ontology (in our case, scientific knowledge). "Positive" means a claim that something exists, rather than a claim that something doesn't exist.

As you are the one making an extraordinary positive claim, the rationality of your position is predicated solely on your ability to provide logic or evidence supporting your claim.

On the other hand, the negative claim ("God does not exist" ) needs no supporting logic or evidence. This is because, if the claim is untrue, simple logic or evidence will show that God does exist.

See how that works? This is the way rationality works. You accept things for which there is evidence, and do not accept things for which no evidence exists. This isn't "belief" or "not-belief." It is acceptance.

So, no, a lack of belief in God is not irrational because "it is merely a belief." In fact, it is the exact opposite of belief: it is a lack of belief.

 

It is a belief, because in this case you are believing in rationality (and earlier in this post you have been shown the limits of rationality, and how a position can be both rational and wrong at the same time). I don't need to prove God exists because it's a belief, and I don't have to prove my belief. The fact that I'm telling you is proof that I believe in God. Beyond that, nothing else is required. In the end, we are only stacking up one set of beliefs against another. You believe that because your position is the most rational that makes it the correct one. However, my position is that we don't know. I can prove that we don't know, but you can't prove that God doesn't exist.

BobSpence1 wrote:

I'll assume that when you persist in using the nonsense phrase "creating itself" you mean to refer to the idea of "spontaneously coming into existence" which is not intrinsically 'illogical'. The observable Universe had a immediate origin in the Big Bang, which is would erase any evidence of its origin if it was truly a singularity, which is not the only scientific view. There are theoretical differences in what we would expect to observe in a infinitely existing universe as compared to one with a finite history, so that is not necessarily untestable.

What are they? And furthermore, if it has always existed why did it decide to start expanding one day? Remember that a singularity occupies zero space according to them, so how do we have space now? Isn't that space coming from non-space, i.e. something from nothing? What should we expect to see from a universe that always existed? What should we expect to see from a universe that created itself? Please try not to be circular, and when you come up with an answer try to see if it has just as much explanatory power (if not less) than Goddidit.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

The belief that God does not exist is more justifiable than the opposite , therefore it is rational. Belief is not automatically irrational, but it does not require absolute proof, otherwise we could label it knowledge. To be rational, it only requires to be consistent with the available evidence, and a justifiable assessment of the balance of probabilities.

 

Ok, but as you have been shown earlier in this post in my response to Nigel, the more rational position is not necessarily the correct one (just like something can be both logical and false at the same time).

In short, you're the guy saying germs don't exist and I'm the one saying our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.

 


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I'm not going to argue

I'm not going to argue against the idea that your belief in god is logical or not, as it has been done to death in this thread already.

It is my position that all faith is illogical. Careful however not to assume that a given "faith" based belief is not true. Lack of evidence is not enough to establish a belief as untrue. It is however enough to establish said belief as irrational, unjustifiable, or illogical. A logical argument requires a set of premises established by coherent evidence.

As far as the morality of God goes I have a test so simple I have a hard time figuring out how even a mental midget such as you has not already thought of it. Ask yourself how you would feel about events in the bible if a human were responsible. For example, how would you feel about the great deluge if it were brought about by a single man? Would you say that a person systamtically drowning the entire population of the earth (save for a boat load of life) is morally just? And please refrain from using the "mysterious ways" cop-out. That shit doesn't fly around here.

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desertwolf9 wrote: In

desertwolf9 wrote:



In short, you're the guy saying germs don't exist and I'm the one saying our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.

Nope, youre the one saying invisisble pink unicorns exist because our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.


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desertwolf9 wrote:BobSpence1

desertwolf9 wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

I'll assume that when you persist in using the nonsense phrase "creating itself" you mean to refer to the idea of "spontaneously coming into existence" which is not intrinsically 'illogical'. The observable Universe had a immediate origin in the Big Bang, which is would erase any evidence of its origin if it was truly a singularity, which is not the only scientific view. There are theoretical differences in what we would expect to observe in a infinitely existing universe as compared to one with a finite history, so that is not necessarily untestable.

What are they? And furthermore, if it has always existed why did it decide to start expanding one day? Remember that a singularity occupies zero space according to them, so how do we have space now? Isn't that space coming from non-space, i.e. something from nothing? What should we expect to see from a universe that always existed? What should we expect to see from a universe that created itself? Please try not to be circular, and when you come up with an answer try to see if it has just as much explanatory power (if not less) than Goddidit.

In general, observation of the structure and progression of events in a universe may give clues as whether it appears to be in a steady state, which would support the idea of an indefinitely old Universe, as was proposed by Sir Fred Hoyle for our Universe, whereas any process analogous to the expansion of our currently observable universe would imply a starting event. Hoyle suggested the idea of 'continuous creation', where matter was  formed spontaneously between galaxies at a rate which would keep the average density of the Universe constant. When no hint of this process was detected, and observations of very distant objects which were of earlier states of the Universe, due to the time their light would take to reach us, showed differences from the current state, all consistent with a finite origin.

The fact that the sky is dark is also a clue, since if the universe was both very large and infinitely old we would have expected that light from all the stars in the universe would have had time to reach us. This is not an perfect argument, since there could be something attenuating the distant light, but it is significant part of the evidence.

Now if we are thinking of a 'metaverse' which triggered the Big Bang which spun off our universe from some event occurring within that larger context, that is pretty much purely speculative at the moment, but based as always on extrapolation from our knowlege of physics gained within our own universe. One scenario has higher dimensional objects moving around in a manner analogous to the stars within one of 'our' galaxies, and occasionally colliding and thereby initiating a Big Bang singularity, which would expand within its own space-time. Quantum theory seems to prevent a true zero-size singularity, so there is no paradox there.

What is it with you and this insane "universe that created itself" phrase?? No-one thinks in those terms except confused medieval-minded theologians.

Of course any concept based on extrapolation from current theories and observations has more explanatory power than "GodDiIt", which has zero.

As to your point that a rational argument is not necesessarily true, due to being based on inadequate evidence, well sure. But in the long run, it is the only approach which by definition is likely to converge on the truth, insofar as we have any chance of getting close to such a thing in any particular case

A random guess does have a finite possibility of being exactly correct, but unless we can actually test it as we would for a scientifically derived hypothesis, we have no way of actually knowing that it is in fact correct.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

The belief that God does not exist is more justifiable than the opposite , therefore it is rational. Belief is not automatically irrational, but it does not require absolute proof, otherwise we could label it knowledge. To be rational, it only requires to be consistent with the available evidence, and a justifiable assessment of the balance of probabilities.

Ok, but as you have been shown earlier in this post in my response to Nigel, the more rational position is not necessarily the correct one (just like something can be both logical and false at the same time).

In short, you're the guy saying germs don't exist and I'm the one saying our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.

The concept of germs, like that of atoms, was proposed by rational argument before they were actually directly observable.

You are the one making really dumb analogies and repeating insane nonsense about self-creating entities.

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desertwolf9 wrote:Ok, if a

desertwolf9 wrote:
Ok, if a belief is irrational then it is irrational to believe in things like rights, liberty, or freedom.

I'm not qualified to judge whether or not you're insane, it's just a hunch. Anyway ...

Rights are policies kept in mind by a governing body like the judicial system. Liberty and freedom are concepts, held in the brains of people or communicated on paper between the brains of people. In the absence of brains that can accommodate these concepts, the concepts fail to exist. These are all demonstrable things. These things exist very plainly in our reality. A belief in something that exists outside of that reality is irrational.

desertwolf9 wrote:
It's irrational to say that coercion and the initiation of force is bad, because that is simply a belief, and therefore irrational.

Beliefs don't have to be irrational. Where did you get that?

desertwolf9 wrote:
We also shouldn't believe in things like we shouldn't murder innocent children for instance, or that rape is wrong, because again these are irrational beliefs.

No, those are practical moral judgments. Rape and the murder of innocent children cause intense emotional pain and could lead to chaos in a small group. Extrapolated to a larger group, it's simply a good policy to discourage that kind of behaviour. Again, something that can be demonstrated.

desertwolf9 wrote:
If these things are irrational, then I don't want to be rational.

It seems like you've made your decision already.

desertwolf9 wrote:
Anyways, the universe creating itself or always existing is both untestable and does not make any predictions, and is therefore unscientific. The universe always existing or creating itself is firmly in the same category as "Goddidit."

You're amazing. You realize that we don't know exactly how the universe began, right? We don't KNOW. Science is all about knowing. Scientifically, we don't know. I keep repeating it so that you can understand the humility of the scientific position, which is an admission of ignorance. We don't know.

BUT

What we do know is that the laws of physics are amazingly consistent. They don't include ghosts or magical dads. So there's no reason to consider a hypothesis that includes a magical dad, because a magical dad has never been observed. Believing in something that has never presented itself is irrational.

desertwolf9 wrote:
Furthermore, the belief that God does not exist is irrational, because after all, we have demonstrated that it is merely a belief.

Didn't you just finish saying that all beliefs are irrational? I can't even fathom how your mind works.

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desertwolf9 wrote:This

desertwolf9 wrote:

This doesn't follow though. For example people will make exceptions for those they feel are "unlike" them (Guantanamo Bay, for example, or non-citizens). If you believe in freedom it should not matter where somebody is from. Another example people don't believe in torture even when it's possible that not torturing could lead to further attacks, is this irrational? If so, lets take it a step further, and use torture to prevent crime, is this irrational? Is the belief in freedom/liberty still rational?

Do I believe in freedom as an ideal?

No, I do not. I believe there is no such thing as freedom. We are al restricted in the choices we can make, some of us more than others. Some people have very little freedom at all, in that their decisions and choices are restricted by being born into poverty, by being born with no legs (or losing limbs fighting for "freedom" ), and so on.

I do wish to have liberty, though. That is, within the limits of my life, I wish to be able to make choices for myself. Now, for me to accomplish that, I need one of two things: I either need to be one of the ruling class (not likely), or I need to make sure that as many people as possible also desire liberty, so that those of us not in the ruling class are able to excersize liberty as well.

For the rest: it's possible that torture is required to extract information to prevent an attack.

However, it is positively known that torture has led to an increase in recruitment in the Iraqi resistance. It's also led to an decrease in respect and trust abroad.

So again, the moral decision is also the logically-correct decision.

Quote:


What about another case, lets say a soldier is fighting for his country, or what he is told "fighting for freedom." If this fighting causes his death, was his decision rational? What about a politician who stands up for the right thing even when it costs him votes, is this rational?

This is a value judgement. Do you believe the Iraqis are fighting for their freedom? Do you believe Americans are fighting for the Iraqis' freedom? If so, you have a situation in which two people are fighting each other for the freedom of one.

Who's wrong in this case?

In these situations, there is no "moral" answer. The moral answer would've been to not get into the war in the first place.

However, WWII was definitely a moral war.

Quote:

What kind of predictions are made from a universe that always existed or one that created itself? Would it look different from the universe we currently observe? And more importantly, does that make absolutely any sense at all?

*sigh*

First, I urge you to read up on research into the origins of the universe. Even Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time would be good, though there are better.

It isn't the predictions made from "a universe that always existed." This is a statement of existence, and not a scientific statement. You have to ask, "In what way has the universe always existed?" or, "In what way did the universe come into being?" These are questions that can be answered with specific explanations, and these specific explanations will have predictions.

That is why I referred to models in my post. These are mathematical models based on the current best knowledge in physics and astronomy. As an example, the theory of the big bang made some predictions about the character of cosmic background radiation. One prediction: we'd be able to see variations in cosmic background radiation that was, in essence, the sound of the big bang. This prediction turned out to be correct.

In the same way, specific models of the origins of the universe will necessitate certain features that we currently haven't observed, or have observed but not been able to take a good accounting (such as dark matter and dark energy).

Quote:


Thats like saying Godditit makes predictions. Why, do we have another universe that God didn't create that we might compare to? Likewise, do you have a God-created universe that you would compare your non-God created universe to? Obviously no predictions can be made in that specific sense.

You are talking about the origins after the big bang, but that is just a side-step. I could answer those very same questions with "Goddidit." Who cares what the initial conditions were like? Would certain conditions prove that God didn't create those initial conditions? I don't think so, so it's irrelevent. And I like what you said earlier about our knowledge of the universe being incomplete, and that it's too early to dismiss the idea that they will one day be solved. However, you too are guilty of believing that there even will be a grand unification theory (maybe the universe just doesn't make sense? maybe we will never fully understand it? maybe our knowledge will always be limited?). I agree completely that it's too early to dismiss anything, which is why God remains in the picture until then.

But that's just it: God doesn't remain in the picture. God answers no questions without bringing about even greater questions. God answers no questions that aren't answered more satisfactorily by other answers. In logic, God is neither necessary nor sufficient. He's not necessary, because we have answers for these questions that don't require God; and he's not sufficient, because introducing him introduces even greater questions that have no answers.

I don't believe there will be a grand unification theory. I hope there will, but it's entirely possible the universe is not comprehensible, and not coherent, and not consistent.

From what we've observed, though, the universe is coherent and consistent. That means that everything fits together, like a puzzle. This is the basis of science, and that fact that science works indicates that these base assumptions are correct. So, I have observation and data and logic to back up my hope that we will some day unravel the last puzzles of the universe.

In that respect, I have quite a bit of empirical data that God does not.

Quote:

Because it is unproven I take the position that we should not rule it out. Now this doesn't really work for everyday common occurances, and it would lead to absurdity in real life, but thats ok. Our knowledge and understanding of the universe is limited, and therefore I consider it to be very presumptious for us to assume that God doesn't exist just because we don't currently have evidence for him

Let me give you an example: Prior to the discovery of germ theory we had no proof for the existence of tiny unseeable microscopic living organisms, therefore it is "rational" and "logical" to say they don't exist, right?

So in conclusion: I take it you are acknowledging the fact that the limits of human knowledge make it possible for something to exist even when we don't have evidence for it (like germs, for example). And even if you were being "rational" by denying the existence of germs, you would still ultimately be wrong. So that brings us to the limits of rationality, in which atheism and religion both fall into that category of unknown. Because one position may be more "rational" does not necessarily make it the correct one.

There seems to be some misapprehension about the nature of scientific understanding here.

The proper stance about germ theory prior to the discovery of germs was, "I don't know." Now, because of the current state of affairs at the time, most people didn't accept germs as an explanation. But that's because "most people" then (as now) were ignorant of the scientific method, and the philosophic restrictions the scientific method places on knowledge.

For instance, Anton van Leeuwenhoek discovered microorganisms in the 1670s. However, it took almost 200 years until Louis Pasteur showed that microorganisms weren't spontaneously created in the air, and to definitively link them to infections and diseases.

During that 200 years, there was plenty of evidence linking germs to disease. There was simply no investigation into it. Why? Because the "common knowledge" was that germs (and life) were spontaneously created. Although this myth had no scientific evidence or research, this belief held back scientific research. By application of belief rather than science, the study of disease was held up almost 200 years. In spite of the evidence and data (including Leeuwenhoek's excellent data concerning microorganisms), myth kept knowledge at bay.

Don't confuse lack of knowledge with lack of evidence. In the history of science, once an idea is presented, it is generally very quickly put to the test.

Quote:

It is a belief, because in this case you are believing in rationality (and earlier in this post you have been shown the limits of rationality, and how a position can be both rational and wrong at the same time). I don't need to prove God exists because it's a belief, and I don't have to prove my belief. The fact that I'm telling you is proof that I believe in God. Beyond that, nothing else is required. In the end, we are only stacking up one set of beliefs against another. You believe that because your position is the most rational that makes it the correct one. However, my position is that we don't know. I can prove that we don't know, but you can't prove that God doesn't exist.

A rational stance is one built on a given ontology. Rationality is limited by the completeness, cohesiveness, and consistency of the ontology. As it is, we know we have an incomplete scientific ontology. Therefore, it is entirely possible a rational position today will be irrational tomorrow, as our ontology expands.

Here's the difference:

Science is self-correcting. As the amount of data increases, our understanding of the data may change. This happened with physics at the beginning of the 20th century. It turned out that Newton's Laws were not universal after all. They weren't wrong, they were just not a complete description of the way gravity and inertia works within the universe.

Now, what I'm getting at is this:

We've had the concept of God for a long, long time. The God hypothesis has never answered any problems satisfactorily. There has been no evidence, or even logical necessity, for God. Therefore, it is irrational to assume God.

Basically, God presents more problems than he supposedly answers.

Quote:

Ok, but as you have been shown earlier in this post in my response to Nigel, the more rational position is not necessarily the correct one (just like something can be both logical and false at the same time).

Yes, but the irrational position is never correct.

Quote:

In short, you're the guy saying germs don't exist and I'm the one saying our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.

As I pointed out, germs were never questioned once they were discovered. Their existence was easy to prove: "Look through this microscope."

What took a while was the association of germs with infection and disease. The reason it took a while was because of the commonly-held myth of spontaneous generation of life. There was not much of a debate once Pasteur did his experiments. There was never a "teach to the controversy."

Science and evidence won out, and in short order, once myth had been tossed out.

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Badbark wrote:desertwolf9

Badbark wrote:

desertwolf9 wrote:

In short, you're the guy saying germs don't exist and I'm the one saying our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.

Nope, youre the one saying invisisble pink unicorns exist because our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.

I think this cuts to the heart of the matter.

Rationalism and the scientific method require the default stance of scepticism concerning any claim of knowledge where no knowledge previously existed. Otherwise, everything is possible, everything allowed. That leads to chaos, not knowledge.

desertwolf9's default stance is acceptance, at least where God and invisible pink unicorns are concerned. If it seems possible, it must be possible.

I don't have a prescription. All I know is, science has produced results. Nothing else has.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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1) you little ignoring shit


1) you little ignoring shit Stop dogging my replies that show your errors in the most basic areas of life and peace address my response to your bullshit ,  warning this will be repeated until you address this  :

carx wrote:

 

desertwolf9 wrote:

Let me spell it out for you then.

Scenario: The universe was spontaneously created. From what we've seen, the universe was only created once. However, the universe has been tailor-made for the evolution of living things. The universe couldn't have set these variables by itself. The odds of it doing that by itself are so small that they should basically be considered zero.

 

Translation : wolf is full of shit and doesn’t understand evolution because evolution is the adapting to the surroundings not the other way around so there can not be a universe pre made for evolution. Nice way of self humiliating yourself about not understanding evolution.

desertwolf9 wrote:

Scenario: A powerful, sentient being was spontaneously created. It learned and evolved.


 

Wait a second didn’t you assume a few sentences before that everything needs to have a evolution ready universe for itself so how the fuck did this  powerful being get this evolution ready universe to evolve ? Nice way of contradicting yourself boy.
 

desertwolf9 wrote:

Let me give you an example: Prior to the discovery of germ theory we had no proof for the existence of tiny unseeable microscopic living organisms, therefore it is "rational" and "logical" to say they don't exist, right?

 

So in conclusion: I take it you are acknowledging the fact that the limits of human knowledge make it possible for something to exist even when we don't have evidence for it (like germs, for example). And even if you were being "rational" by denying the existence of germs, you would still ultimately be wrong. So that brings us to the limits of rationality, in which atheism and religion both fall into that category of unknown. Because one position may be more "rational" does not necessarily make it the correct one.


2) You sir are a complete retard why don’t you kill yourself  , maybe if you would poses some other ability then acting retarded you would comprehend that you can actually test the existence of bacteria and other micro organisms without seeing them simply take some row fruit and put it under a sealed container the fruit will be eaten by bacteria and this will be manifest in the macro world. Now take a similar fruit in a sealed jar and boil it in 100 C after this the fruit will not rot maybe it will lose consistency and melt do to evaporation of water from it however it will not rot.
Dude are you so retarded that you don’t understand this ? How can you presume people would suppose actually respect your other idiocies if you are so stupid that you don’t understand basic proofs in science.

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok, but as you have been shown earlier in this post in my response to Nigel, the more rational position is not necessarily the correct one (just like something can be both logical and false at the same time).

In short, you're the guy saying germs don't exist and I'm the one saying our limited knowledge forces us to say we don't know whether they exist or not.

 


No you are the retard that is not understanding biology or proofs and this simple proof of mine would suggest that the bacteria hypothesis haze some validity therefore is testable therefore falsifiable and therefore logical if the experiment is repeated multiple times.  , you are simply retarded and have no idea what you are talking about.
Here is the difference germ theory or previously germ hypothesis is falsifiable if something is not falsifiable its nonexistent irrational bullshit like your god concept.
 

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Ah... lovely... looks like

Ah... lovely... looks like this thread is going to end up completely demolishing the RRS members that set foot in here. Smiling

BobSpence1 wrote:

In general, observation of the structure and progression of events in a universe may give clues as whether it appears to be in a steady state, which would support the idea of an indefinitely old Universe, as was proposed by Sir Fred Hoyle for our Universe, whereas any process analogous to the expansion of our currently observable universe would imply a starting event. Hoyle suggested the idea of 'continuous creation', where matter was  formed spontaneously between galaxies at a rate which would keep the average density of the Universe constant. When no hint of this process was detected, and observations of very distant objects which were of earlier states of the Universe, due to the time their light would take to reach us, showed differences from the current state, all consistent with a finite origin.

This is not even close to being a valid reply, try again.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The fact that the sky is dark is also a clue, since if the universe was both very large and infinitely old we would have expected that light from all the stars in the universe would have had time to reach us. This is not an perfect argument, since there could be something attenuating the distant light, but it is significant part of the evidence.

See above.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Now if we are thinking of a 'metaverse' which triggered the Big Bang which spun off our universe from some event occurring within that larger context, that is pretty much purely speculative at the moment, but based as always on extrapolation from our knowlege of physics gained within our own universe. One scenario has higher dimensional objects moving around in a manner analogous to the stars within one of 'our' galaxies, and occasionally colliding and thereby initiating a Big Bang singularity, which would expand within its own space-time. Quantum theory seems to prevent a true zero-size singularity, so there is no paradox there.

Again, how does your explanation fare better than Goddiddit? What specific predictions does it make?

BobSpence1 wrote:
What is it with you and this insane "universe that created itself" phrase?? No-one thinks in those terms except confused medieval-minded theologians.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Of course any concept based on extrapolation from current theories and observations has more explanatory power than "GodDiIt", which has zero.

You've been asked several times now to present said "extrapolations," which you have failed to do for several posts now. Hell, even a summary for why your theory is better would suffice, but you can't even do that. By the way, I'm sorry you don't seem to be able to understand something as simple as "universe creating itself" but what we mean by that is there is definitely a creation point, and if God didn't create it then it must have created itself (unless created by some other pre-universe state).

BobSpence1 wrote:
As to your point that a rational argument is not necesessarily true, due to being based on inadequate evidence, well sure. But in the long run, it is the only approach which by definition is likely to converge on the truth, insofar as we have any chance of getting close to such a thing in any particular case

A random guess does have a finite possibility of being exactly correct, but unless we can actually test it as we would for a scientifically derived hypothesis, we have no way of actually knowing that it is in fact correct.

Thats false, one could take the irrational approach and say that germs exist, and be right. How is your incorrect position "more likely to converge on the truth" when it's wrong? That doesn't make any sense.

nigelTheBold wrote:

Quote:


What about another case, lets say a soldier is fighting for his country, or what he is told "fighting for freedom." If this fighting causes his death, was his decision rational? What about a politician who stands up for the right thing even when it costs him votes, is this rational?

This is a value judgement. Do you believe the Iraqis are fighting for their freedom? Do you believe Americans are fighting for the Iraqis' freedom? If so, you have a situation in which two people are fighting each other for the freedom of one.

Who's wrong in this case?

In these situations, there is no "moral" answer. The moral answer would've been to not get into the war in the first place.

However, WWII was definitely a moral war.

Ok but you haven't answered my question. Lets use WW2 as an example. Lets say a soldier is fighting for this country, or what he is told "fighting for freedom." If this fighting causes his death, was his decision rational?

 

Also, what about a politician who stands up for the right thing even when it costs him votes, is this rational?

nigelTheBold wrote:

*sigh*

First, I urge you to read up on research into the origins of the universe. Even Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time would be good, though there are better.

 

I bought that book about 4 years ago, along with "The universe in a nutshell." I was always interested in astronomy throughout middle and high school. Anyways, the book makes absolutely no predictions about what a non-God created universe would look like versus a God-created universe, as they would be for all intents and purposes indistinguishable.

I think it's funny though how people on the internet suddenly become astrophysicists and experts in their various fields when they are arguing on a forum. As far as this subject is concerned, we're probably evenly matched. I doubt you have any more experience or knowledge than me that would be relevent to the issue.

nigelTheBold wrote:

It isn't the predictions made from "a universe that always existed." This is a statement of existence, and not a scientific statement. You have to ask, "In what way has the universe always existed?" or, "In what way did the universe come into being?" These are questions that can be answered with specific explanations, and these specific explanations will have predictions.

That is why I referred to models in my post. These are mathematical models based on the current best knowledge in physics and astronomy. As an example, the theory of the big bang made some predictions about the character of cosmic background radiation. One prediction: we'd be able to see variations in cosmic background radiation that was, in essence, the sound of the big bang. This prediction turned out to be correct.

In the same way, specific models of the origins of the universe will necessitate certain features that we currently haven't observed, or have observed but not been able to take a good accounting (such as dark matter and dark energy).

I think you are just side-stepping now, some I'm gonna have to assume that you conceed the fact that a universe creating itself (or one that always existed) would be indistinguishable from a God-created universe, in that neither make predictions. Now to clear up any misconceptions when we are saying "universe always existing" in this sense we are talking about the initial conditions as always having existed, or otherwise an oscillatory or some other mechanism, not the universe as we know it (which clearly was created).

So what was the point of your post then? To say that belief in God is unscientific? In other news, shit is brown.

nigelTheBold wrote:

But that's just it: God doesn't remain in the picture. God answers no questions without bringing about even greater questions. God answers no questions that aren't answered more satisfactorily by other answers. In logic, God is neither necessary nor sufficient. He's not necessary, because we have answers for these questions that don't require God; and he's not sufficient, because introducing him introduces even greater questions that have no answers.

Which answers are "more satisfactory?" You have not given us a single one, so in the absence of evidence, can we say that these "more satisfactory" answers don't really exist outside of your head?

As for your argument that God is not necessary, we have answers for these questions that don't require the universe creating itself (instead, God created it!). As for him not being sufficient, let's not even get started with the many questions that must be raised about the big bang spontaneously happening for no reason whatsoever. What, should we just accept as a matter of faith that there was no cause or creator? That it just happened for no reason or explanation?

 

nigelTheBold wrote:
I don't believe there will be a grand unification theory. I hope there will, but it's entirely possible the universe is not comprehensible, and not coherent, and not consistent.

From what we've observed, though, the universe is coherent and consistent. That means that everything fits together, like a puzzle. This is the basis of science, and that fact that science works indicates that these base assumptions are correct. So, I have observation and data and logic to back up my hope that we will some day unravel the last puzzles of the universe.

In that respect, I have quite a bit of empirical data that God does not.

Oh really? You are saying that it makes sense for me to both be typing this sentence right now and not be typing it at the same time (see: Copenhagen Interpretation). You are saying that it makes sense for me to be typing this right now and at the same time be standing behind you with a gun to your head, but once you turn around I am doing cartwheels in Africa?

Think about what you are saying Nigel. If it made sense, we wouldn't need a GUT. So no, you do not have a single shred of empiracle data that proves God does not exist (that is, outside of your head, which according to your logic means it doesn't exist at all).

nigelTheBold wrote:

Quote:

Ok, but as you have been shown earlier in this post in my response to Nigel, the more rational position is not necessarily the correct one (just like something can be both logical and false at the same time).

Yes, but the irrational position is never correct.

Yes it is, because germs exist.

nigelTheBold wrote:
There seems to be some misapprehension about the nature of scientific understanding here.

And I supposed you, the resident expert of science, would be happy to show me, yes?

nigelTheBold wrote:
The proper stance about germ theory prior to the discovery of germs was, "I don't know." Now, because of the current state of affairs at the time, most people didn't accept germs as an explanation. But that's because "most people" then (as now) were ignorant of the scientific method, and the philosophic restrictions the scientific method places on knowledge.

For instance, Anton van Leeuwenhoek discovered microorganisms in the 1670s. However, it took almost 200 years until Louis Pasteur showed that microorganisms weren't spontaneously created in the air, and to definitively link them to infections and diseases.

During that 200 years, there was plenty of evidence linking germs to disease. There was simply no investigation into it. Why? Because the "common knowledge" was that germs (and life) were spontaneously created. Although this myth had no scientific evidence or research, this belief held back scientific research. By application of belief rather than science, the study of disease was held up almost 200 years. In spite of the evidence and data (including Leeuwenhoek's excellent data concerning microorganisms), myth kept knowledge at bay.

Now you are changing your argument. First you were saying that the rational belief would be to deny the existence of germs (God) until evidence was provided. Now you are saying the rational position is that we don't know. Glad you conceeded that point, thank you.

Anyways, we are talking about something that has no evidence, so again you are going off on this tangent about the discovery of germs which has absolutely nothing to do with what we are talking about, similar to how you were trying to explain evidence for the big bang as if anybody were arguing against that.

What we are really talking about here is believing in something without evidence. In this case we are talking about germs. I think it's kinda funny how you brought up Leeuwenhoeks findings since that would constitute evidence, and thus would not be relevent to the discussion. Maybe I should start talking about Galileo discovering moons on Jupiter so long as we are bringing up irrelevent facts that have absolutely no impact on the argument itself, and don't even begin to address it.

Here is what we are talking about, so try to stick with me:

1) Belief in something without evidence, in this case germs.

2) Of course if you introduce evidence, it would not be relevent to this argument, so we are going to ignore any further distractions.

3) Earlier you were saying that it is irrational to believe in something without evidence (when talking about God), but now you are saying it's more rational to say "we don't know"(when I brought up germs).

4) I agree more with your original position, that believing in something without evidence is irrational.

5) That being said, somebody could irrationally believe in germs and still be right, and somebody else could rationally deny their existence and still be wrong.

6) The point still remains, completely intact and not even approached, that the rational belief is not necessarily the correct one.

 

carx wrote:
You sir are a complete retard why don’t you kill yourself  , maybe if you would poses some other ability then acting retarded you would comprehend that you can actually test the existence of bacteria and other micro organisms without seeing them simply take some row fruit and put it under a sealed container the fruit will be eaten by bacteria and this will be manifest in the macro world. Now take a similar fruit in a sealed jar and boil it in 100 C after this the fruit will not rot maybe it will lose consistency and melt do to evaporation of water from it however it will not rot.
Dude are you so retarded that you don’t understand this ? How can you presume people would suppose actually respect your other idiocies if you are so stupid that you don’t understand basic proofs in science.

nigelTheBold wrote:
As I pointed out, germs were never questioned once they were discovered. Their existence was easy to prove: "Look through this microscope."

What took a while was the association of germs with infection and disease. The reason it took a while was because of the commonly-held myth of spontaneous generation of life. There was not much of a debate once Pasteur did his experiments. There was never a "teach to the controversy."

Science and evidence won out, and in short order, once myth had been tossed out.

This does not even begin to address the argument. I have to take it that you simply conceed the argument, since it is indestructable. It's like you are arguing that 2+2 does not = 4 just because you don't want me to have $4. I'm sorry but I'm 100% absolutely right when I say that the rational belief is not necessarily the correct one. It would have been rational to say that germs don't exist but it would not be correct.

What in the hell were you trying to prove anyways? Introducing evidence and proof automatically invalidates your counter-argument, since the argument is "believing in something without evidence." You then went off on this tangent about there being proof for germs, well no shit sherlock, we have things called microscopes now. What we were talking about was belief prior to the existence of evidence. If that is too hard for you to understand, try to keep going back further and further in time, however long it takes you, to understand. If you get past the evolution of man then you've gone too far, and should turn around.

At some point in time there was no evidence for the existence of germs. Now I know this might be hard for you to imagine with that tiny brain of yours that is incapable of abstract thought, but just pretend like you understand me for a second. During this time, it is quite possible that someone could irrationally believe that infection is caused by germs, even though he had no evidence whatsoever for this irrational belief. Though his belief is irrational, he is still right.

There, I've broken it down as far as humanly possible for you to understand. So go ahead and put away those straw men you created and come back to the discussion.

nigelTheBold wrote:
A rational stance is one built on a given ontology. Rationality is limited by the completeness, cohesiveness, and consistency of the ontology. As it is, we know we have an incomplete scientific ontology. Therefore, it is entirely possible a rational position today will be irrational tomorrow, as our ontology expands.

Here's the difference:

Science is self-correcting. As the amount of data increases, our understanding of the data may change. This happened with physics at the beginning of the 20th century. It turned out that Newton's Laws were not universal after all. They weren't wrong, they were just not a complete description of the way gravity and inertia works within the universe.

To say it wasn't wrong would violate one of the fundamental principles of logic, which is the rule of non-contradiction. If Newtons Laws don't work at the quantum level then by definition he was wrong when it comes to the universe at the quantum level. Otherwise, you are just making excuses. I agree that scientific knowledge continues to progress and that is a good thing. But of course it doesn't help your argument, since you are not the representative of either science or human knowledge. Science will not vindicate your position because your position is essentially unscientific.

nigelTheBold wrote:
Now, what I'm getting at is this:

We've had the concept of God for a long, long time. The God hypothesis has never answered any problems satisfactorily. There has been no evidence, or even logical necessity, for God. Therefore, it is irrational to assume God.

Basically, God presents more problems than he supposedly answers.

Name those problems.

nigelTheBold wrote:

I think this cuts to the heart of the matter.

Rationalism and the scientific method require the default stance of scepticism concerning any claim of knowledge where no knowledge previously existed. Otherwise, everything is possible, everything allowed. That leads to chaos, not knowledge.

desertwolf9's default stance is acceptance, at least where God and invisible pink unicorns are concerned. If it seems possible, it must be possible.

I don't have a prescription. All I know is, science has produced results. Nothing else has.

Again, you are not a representative of science. God and science can co-exist peacefully, so enough with the false dilemmas.

 

Also carx, please be friendly. We've moved on into a slightly different discussion than the original post here and I would really appreciate if you cool it a bit. From now on I promise to respond to every one of your posts and rip you apart in this thread. So go ahead, if you can come to the defense of BobSpence or Nigel against this post, I will more than welcome it, you arrogant little slime.

 

 Edit: Nigel, lets try this. I was saving this for the big bang (no pun intended) but I feel the time is ripe to completely destroy your argument using your own logic by making a simple proposition.

By you logic, this would be the logical belief: Because there is no evidence for life outside of Earth, there is no life anywhere else in the universe.

Pretty fucking presumptious don't you think?


RatDog
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Guessing at random

desertwolf9 wrote:

First you were saying that the rational belief would be to deny the existence of germs (God) until evidence was provided.

It is irrational to believe something without evidence

desertwolf9 wrote:

Now you are saying the rational position is that we don't know. Glad you conceeded that point, thank you.

It is the rational position when you don’t have evidence to admit that you don’t know.  These two statements don’t contradict each other.  When you don’t have evidence it’s rational to except that you don’t know and not believe something you just make up.

desertwolf9 wrote:

5) That being said, somebody could irrationally believe in germs and still be right, and somebody else could rationally deny their existence and still be wrong.

That’s true a person can believe something irrational and still be right, but their belief is still irrational.  Let’s use your example of germs to see why.  Imagine that during the time before we knew about germ every single person in the world picked one random belief without taking any evidence into account.  What are the chances that one of those people would just happen to pick germs?  Very low considering all the different things people can imagine.  It would probable be far more likely for them to pick something like dragons or unicorns which are more in keeping with the workings of the human mind. 

Now tell me why your belief in god is any different then guessing hoping to choose germs at random? Even if you refuse to consider a universe that was not created by god/gods, there would still be infinite possible god/gods to choose from.   Let me give you an example.  There are four being named Namic, Goric, Torma, and Skeel.  Namic created the universe, Goric governs the universe, Torma will destroy the universe, and Skeel is responsible for all life in the universe.  You’re argument works just as well for justifying the belief in these four gods as it does for justifying belief in your own. 
 


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Quote:Again, you are not a

desertwolf9 wrote:
God and science can co-exist peacefully

Kind of. For instance, observing the Earth, we know that a worldwide flood did not and could not have occurred; studying biology and the human body, we know that virgin births are impossible. However, the idea of a God itself simply cannot be debunked by science since it doesn't even possess any coherent meaning, and, when it does, its very definition precludes it from knowledge. On the other hand, the very fact that the God concept is not bound by dimension or logic forces it to be philosophically unworkable and absurd.   

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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desertwolf9 wrote:I'm sorry

desertwolf9 wrote:
I'm sorry but I'm 100% absolutely right when I say that the rational belief is not necessarily the correct one. It would have been rational to say that germs don't exist but it would not be correct.

So what is your contention? That your belief in the irrational is justified because you have a one in a googolplex chance of being right? Why? What makes you think that your belief in God is about to be proven true like germ theory instead of like the virtually infinite number of irrational beliefs championed throughout history that turned out to be bull****?

Furthermore, it's kind of misleading to compare God theory with germ theory. You're not going to conduct an experiment to prove the existence of God. God, by definition, is supposed to be impossible while germ theory was simply an idea that didn't receive adequate backing yet.

Quote:
If Newtons Laws don't work at the quantum level then by definition he was wrong when it comes to the universe at the quantum level.
 

In quantum mechanics, everything is changing, dynamic, while in general relativity, everything is smooth, perfect. Reconciling the two areas is a matter of understanding the difference in size and, I don't know, string theory? Meh.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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desertwolf9 wrote:Ah...

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ah... lovely... looks like this thread is going to end up completely demolishing the RRS members that set foot in here. Smiling

Early celebrations are foolish.

Quote:

Again, how does your explanation fare better than Goddiddit? What specific predictions does it make?

I'm not well-versed in physics/cosmology, but I would posit that any theories that explain the universe in terms of physics are automatically more credible than the "god did it" explanation because they are not adding unnecessary factors into their explanation. What I mean is that we have no reason to believe or to even assume that there must be any kind of god out there. But we know the universe as it currently exists does in fact exist. It is perfectly logical to examine the footprints left by our universe and attempt to rewind them in order to understand where the universe (as it currently exists) came from. However, it is not logical to completely ignore those footprints and say that some other variable which we only believe in by assumption was the cause. Nor is it logical to examine those footprints and say that the universe (as it currently exists) had a natural origin, but also god did it too.

That's just adding in unnecessary variables. You don't need it. You just want it.

There is another problem with the god assumption that I'll address below.

 

Quote:

I'm sorry you don't seem to be able to understand something as simple as "universe creating itself" but what we mean by that is there is definitely a creation point, and if God didn't create it then it must have created itself (unless created by some other pre-universe state).

That's a false dichotomy. It's incorrect to posit that either the universe created itself or a god created it. Just replace God with a wildcard: either the universe created itself, or X created it. See? We could play this game with pretty much any assumption we wanted to entertain. (And this does not exclude all other gods.)

Also, I don't know that anyone has suggested that the universe as it currently exists created itself. I think the idea is that we can only trace the universe in its current form back to a certain point and then try to determine what sort of instance might have triggered the current universe. But I don't think this rules out any other conditions existing before the current universe. It's just that we can't know what those conditions were, and they could have been completely different and unrecognizable compared to the types of conditions we know now. Or at least that's my understanding of the gist of it.

But before you cheekily retort that that is an illogical assumption, take note: While it would be an assumption to posit that some other unknown, possibly unknowable, conditions existed prior to the current universe, it would be LESS of an assumption than assuming that God caused the whole thing. The former, even if it makes an assumption, does not necessarily violate physics or material reality, nor does it add any more variables into the equation. The god theory, on the other hand, necessarily does all three.

I accept criticism on the above from atheists and theists alike.

Quote:

Thats false, one could take the irrational approach and say that germs exist, and be right. How is your incorrect position "more likely to converge on the truth" when it's wrong? That doesn't make any sense.

I don't think you were listening to what Bobspence was saying. Look at it this way:

I posit that germs are real. You posit that God is real. Okay, we've both made assertions. And we can fairly say that both assertions have a finite, though not necessarily equal, probability of being true.

However, we can test my germ theory and determine that is either A) false, or B) true. Therefore, even though I started with a mere guess, I was able to test the guess and determine that, amazingly, I was right. Who would have thought?

With god on the other hand, the idea is by definition untestable, and so it never moves beyond the domain of a naked assertion or a shot in the dark. It will never be more than someone's hunch.

Quote:

Ok but you haven't answered my question. Lets use WW2 as an example. Lets say a soldier is fighting for this country, or what he is told "fighting for freedom." If this fighting causes his death, was his decision rational?

This is a completely different area of discourse, since we're no longer talking about beliefs in the sense of what is real about physical reality. Now we're talking about beliefs in the sense of what we value and hold dear. Just because we use the word "belief" to talk about both things does not mean that we can equivocate them.

A soldier who dies fighting for the freedom of his country is not necessarily being irrational. If he values the freedom of his country, which includes the people he loves and holds dear, then he might go to that war knowing full well that he may very well die. And if he doesn't die, he fought bravely for something he cares about. And if he does die, he made a noble sacrifice, even if his side does not win. To call his actions irrational based on the fact that he died is to assume that all rational decisions are based on whether we're still alive at the end, which I would argue is not a valid assumption. Being rational is not synonymous with acting in your own self-interest. Same answer applies to your politician.

Quote:

I'm gonna have to assume that you conceed the fact that a universe creating itself (or one that always existed) would be indistinguishable from a God-created universe, in that neither make predictions.

It could be the case that a sun that came into existence as a result of a collapsing gas cloud was indistinguishable from a sun that came into existence because a god created it by making a gas cloud collapse.

However, one of these two things is pointlessly, and without any grounds, adding in unnecessary variables. I don't think I need to say which.

 

nigelTheBold wrote:

But that's just it: God doesn't remain in the picture. God answers no questions without bringing about even greater questions. God answers no questions that aren't answered more satisfactorily by other answers. In logic, God is neither necessary nor sufficient. He's not necessary, because we have answers for these questions that don't require God; and he's not sufficient, because introducing him introduces even greater questions that have no answers.

A very good point. I would encourage desertwolf to reflect on it.

Quote:

As for your argument that God is not necessary, we have answers for these questions that don't require the universe creating itself (instead, God created it!). As for him not being sufficient, let's not even get started with the many questions that must be raised about the big bang spontaneously happening for no reason whatsoever. What, should we just accept as a matter of faith that there was no cause or creator? That it just happened for no reason or explanation?

God does not sufficiently answer the universe question, because we must then ask where God came from---a question we don't have to answer if we leave him out. If the theist posits that we don't need to answer this question about God, because God is eternal, then the theist has contradicted himself, since he was only moments before saying that we couldn't make claims like that about the universe. If the theist offers an explanation of where God came from, then he will have to answer the question as to where THAT origin came from. Also, if we assume the god explanation, it doesn't explain HOW god created the universe. The only possible thing a person positing the "god did it" explanation could do would be to look at what science has established and then say "God did it that way", but that would be bullshit, because if science has already explained it, then you don't need to put God in there. So there are a few problems to start with.

And actually, as I said earlier, I don't think scientists are arguing that the big bang created itself out of literally nothing, regardless of whether or not they know what triggered it or what came before it. And again, I welcome criticism on this point from atheists and theists alike.

 

Quote:


What we are really talking about here is believing in something without evidence. In this case we are talking about germs.

Actually, now that I think about it, it is more rational to believe in germs than to believe in god, even in a world where no evidence yet exists for either. The reason being that even if no evidence has yet been collected for either, it is conceivable and possible to collect data and establish evidence about the existence or non-existence of germs. God, by definition, is not testable. So it seems to me that believing in germs would still be MORE rational in comparison to believing in god in that situation, even if not entirely irrational in and of itself.

Quote:

 

I agree more with your original position, that believing in something without evidence is irrational.

Again, I would posit degrees of rationality here. It is more irrational, for example, to believe---without evidence---in flying pink penguins with seven eyes that can speak fluent Spanish and vaporize predators with mind-bullets than it is to believe there are spiders on Mars.

This is what Carl Sagan was referring to when he suggested that the more extraordinary the claim, the more extraordinary the evidence that is required.

(More accurately: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.&quotEye-wink

Quote:

6) The point still remains, completely intact and not even approached, that the rational belief is not necessarily the correct one.

I believe I just addressed it. Just because a rational belief can be wrong, it doesn't mean that God now has more ground to stand on. That is, pointing out the fact that a rational belief can be wrong (e.g. see every scientific hypothesis that has ever been rejected) doesn't mean that the next available explanation is automatically correct. It just means the last one was wrong.

 

Quote:

 It would have been rational to say that germs don't exist but it would not be correct.

Respectfully, per my above comments: so?

Quote:

God and science can co-exist peacefully

Kind of. As I was trying to point out with the example of the creation of the sun earlier in this post, it is possible for them to co-exist, but they don't need to. If you want God to be in there, you'll find a way to put him in there and you'll be satisfied. However, nothing requires him to be in there, and so no atheists are going to go out of their way to squeeze him in.

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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desertwolf9 wrote: Ok but

desertwolf9 wrote:

Ok but you haven't answered my question. Lets use WW2 as an example. Lets say a soldier is fighting for this country, or what he is told "fighting for freedom." If this fighting causes his death, was his decision rational?

Also, what about a politician who stands up for the right thing even when it costs him votes, is this rational?

It depends on the ontology from which your are judging "rational." In morality, there are various frameworks from which you can judge moral actions. For instance, if the politician can do more good by caving on "the right thing" (which is hard to judge, as you've given no specifics) and getting voted into office, then it is a moral judgement. If that "right thing" is important enough to the politician, then it is morally correct to stand up for it, and lose the election. It depends on her judgement on how she can do the most good for society.

As for WW2, if the soldier values the circumstances of his life, then he will fight to maintain those circumstances. This includes the possibility of death. However, the choice to not fight is to choose to lose the circumstances of your life, and change your quality of life, and the quality of life of those you love. So that choice to fight and potentially die is both logical and moral.

Quote:

I bought that book about 4 years ago, along with "The universe in a nutshell." I was always interested in astronomy throughout middle and high school. Anyways, the book makes absolutely no predictions about what a non-God created universe would look like versus a God-created universe, as they would be for all intents and purposes indistinguishable.

I think it's funny though how people on the internet suddenly become astrophysicists and experts in their various fields when they are arguing on a forum. As far as this subject is concerned, we're probably evenly matched. I doubt you have any more experience or knowledge than me that would be relevent to the issue.

Have you studied physics in a formal setting? I mean, at all? Say, in college or something?

I'm no expert, but I'd wager I have a bit more knowledge on this subject. So, no, we're not evenly matched, as you've more than adequately demonstrated through your false dichotomies and lack of understanding that there are some things for which it's OK to admit ignorance.

And I'd go one further: I suspect Bobspence1 has significantly more knowledge than either of us.

So, let's get to the meat of the issue you present here:

If a naturalistic universe is indistinguishable from a God-created universe, and we have naturalistic models that potentially account for the origin of our current universe, the you have basically given a very complex explanation when a much, much simpler explanation will do. By Occam's Hammer (yes, I know it's supposed to be a razor, but in this case, a razor will not do justice), there is no reason to assume God. In fact, there are reasons to not assume God, in that then you have to account for the origins of God.

Quote:

I think you are just side-stepping now, some I'm gonna have to assume that you conceed the fact that a universe creating itself (or one that always existed) would be indistinguishable from a God-created universe, in that neither make predictions. Now to clear up any misconceptions when we are saying "universe always existing" in this sense we are talking about the initial conditions as always having existed, or otherwise an oscillatory or some other mechanism, not the universe as we know it (which clearly was created).

So what was the point of your post then? To say that belief in God is unscientific? In other news, shit is brown.

Not sidestepping. You seem to be twisting to try to avoid the central meaning: the assumption of God is illogical. By claiming a "sidestepping" is to avoid the heat of the argument.

Our only knowledge of reality is gained through observation. The scientific method is a formalized method of synthesizing observation into a logical physical framework for those observations. This is done by using further observation to bolster or disprove proposed hypotheses.

So, the fact that the belief in God is unscientific implies that the belief in God is a belief in something outside reality.

What do we call people who believe in things that are unreal? Delusional.

Quote:

Which answers are "more satisfactory?" You have not given us a single one, so in the absence of evidence, can we say that these "more satisfactory" answers don't really exist outside of your head?

You suggest that you have read A Brief History of Time. It presents a model for the origin of the universe, and outlines some of the ramifications ("predictions" ) of that model. I considered that enough, but there are others:

There's the "evolutionary multiverse" proposed by Lee Smolin, which makes specific predictions about physical constants that line up perfectly with observed reality. There's the "bouncing universe" model that is  suggested by current research into quantum gravity, which, if true, makes specific, testable predictions about quantum mechanics.

Neither of these require God.

Quote:


As for your argument that God is not necessary, we have answers for these questions that don't require the universe creating itself (instead, God created it!). As for him not being sufficient, let's not even get started with the many questions that must be raised about the big bang spontaneously happening for no reason whatsoever. What, should we just accept as a matter of faith that there was no cause or creator? That it just happened for no reason or explanation?

Did you understand A Brief History of Time?

I don't know why you are hung up on "the universe creating itself." You seem to have a specific idea of how the universe came into being without the slightest concept that there are proposed models that account for the beginning of the universe, and not one of them suggests a "universe creating itself." This has been pointed out by several people here.

It's a nonsensical statement. Of course, it makes sense, considering your nonsensical conclusion of God.

Quote:

Oh really? You are saying that it makes sense for me to both be typing this sentence right now and not be typing it at the same time (see: Copenhagen Interpretation). You are saying that it makes sense for me to be typing this right now and at the same time be standing behind you with a gun to your head, but once you turn around I am doing cartwheels in Africa?

Again, you are showing your ignorance of physics.

The Copenhagen Interpretation concerns quantum events, not events on the scale of you typing or not typing a sentence. It's a simple interpretation of the seeming-randomness in quantum events, which says simply this: "Quantum events appear random because they are random." That's it, and that's all.

Of course, it's been altered slightly due to the mathematical study of chaos. Replace "random" with "chaotic," and you've got the right idea.

Quote:

Think about what you are saying Nigel. If it made sense, we wouldn't need a GUT. So no, you do not have a single shred of empiracle data that proves God does not exist (that is, outside of your head, which according to your logic means it doesn't exist at all).

Now you're just twisting words.

My logic states simply: if you are ignorant of something, then you are ignorant of something. It's a simple axiom.

You asked why theism is irrational. I (and several others) have demonstrated that theism is irrational. You, on the other hand, have simply said, "Is not!" You have not presented a single case in which God is rational.

Quote:

 Edit: Nigel, lets try this. I was saving this for the big bang (no pun intended) but I feel the time is ripe to completely destroy your argument using your own logic by making a simple proposition.

By you logic, this would be the logical belief: Because there is no evidence for life outside of Earth, there is no life anywhere else in the universe.

Pretty fucking presumptious don't you think?

This is completely different than a belief in God, and you know it.

We have evidence of life in the universe (us). That's a pretty good indication that life can exist in the universe. Therefore, it is logical to assume there may very well be other life in the universe.

See how that works? You have evidence of something (that life exists in the universe), and you can draw rational conclusions (that there may be other life in the universe).

See also how I worded that? I made no claim of knowledge, other than obliquely referring to probabilities.

You've so far managed to avoid presenting a cogent argument against anything I've said. So far, you've presented strawmen and non sequiturs, and demonstrated a lack of understanding of the scientific method, logic, and physics.

However, that's all beside the point.

You asked why theism is irrational. We've presented a case. Your attack on the naturalistic origins of the universe has amounted to, "Well, sure, but God could've done it too, and you wouldn't know the difference!"

And that's entirely true. Hell, God could've created the universe just now, with me typing mid-sentence. But what does that proposition gain us? Nothing. It gives us neither knowledge, nor wisdom. In fact, if you go off on these flights of fancy, we could all just be a figment of God's imagination, and not real at all.

Do you see this problem? If you begin to assume God, then suddenly there's no such thing as reality. My proposition that we're just God's dream is just as valid as God creating our universe. This isn't knowledge. It's psuedo-intellectual masturbation. Sure, it might feel good, but the results are messy, and you should be slightly embarrassed to talk about it in polite society.

Finally, there's the issue of the added complexity of your God proposal, which I brought up in my first post, and which you still have to address.

We have one mystery: how did the universe come into being? The universe is a naturalistic thing. Everything we have observed about the universe has a naturalistic explanation. We have used a formalized method of observation and logic to glean a few facts about the universe. These facts are used to further our knowledge of the universe. There is no reason to assume that our naturalistic framework will not be able to account for the origins of our naturalistic universe.

Now, you start by making the assumption that our naturalistic knowledge will not be able to account for the origins of the universe. Then you state that there existed before the universe a being of near-infinite power, with the intelligence to create a universe driven by simple rules that will result in other intelligence. This God exists outside the universe which he created.

So, here's the problem. You are proposing another "universe" (for lack of a better word) that is more complex than our current universe, that was able to give rise to a being that is infinitely more complex than us, all to explain how our universe came into being and gave rise to us.

You see how you've substituted one mystery (the origins of a naturalistic universe) with another, far greater mystery (the origins of a supernatural God)?

This is irrational.

QED.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Ghosts and lions

desertwolf9 wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

I think this cuts to the heart of the matter.

Rationalism and the scientific method require the default stance of scepticism concerning any claim of knowledge where no knowledge previously existed. Otherwise, everything is possible, everything allowed. That leads to chaos, not knowledge.

desertwolf9's default stance is acceptance, at least where God and invisible pink unicorns are concerned. If it seems possible, it must be possible.

I don't have a prescription. All I know is, science has produced results. Nothing else has.

Again, you are not a representative of science. God and science can co-exist peacefully, so enough with the false dilemmas.

"Science" is a concept, not an organization. There are no "representatives." There are practitioners, followers, and fans. I am a follower and a fan. What I have stated about science (the epistemology) is true. If it isn't, you are welcome to refute it.

God and science can coexist the same way that ghosts and lions can coexist. They have nothing to do with each other. Which is why I claim that a belief in God is irrational. A belief in anything for which there is neither logical necessity nor physical evidence is irrational.

Which is a point you have yet to address.

 

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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someone famous

once said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." for those of you citing physics issues, read up on your history.  For OP, read up on the history of religion. I feel you are all wrong, actually. you are all utilizing your own perceptions of the same argument to "disarm" the other, which is both illogical and irrational, since neither can provide anything but theory to prove your statements. "science is but theory in practice" is another wonderful quote, though I doubt many of you know whom said it.

 

Don't get me wrong, as there are many, many solid scientific theories as to how the universe in which we live began. more than even religious theories, I would guess, but how many in this room were there. and how many scientists have actually seen a universe born unto existence with their own eyes? can OP provide evidence he has knowledge of god, talked to god, did you get a picture? what's he look like? does he still use the mach 3 to shave?

 

Point is, science has never proof positive provided evidence god does or does not exist, nor has religion ever proven that science is or is not an equally valid argument for "reality".

 

"logically and rationally" both sides of this argument have been very illogical and irrational, as neither can stick to the original topic of "how? belief in "subject A" is any more illogical or irrational than belief of "subject B", other than to provide circles of theory upon and against circles of theory.

 

I will repose the question now.

 

If there are no accidents, nor coincidences, (butterfly effect theory) is belief in a being we have no way of confirming or denying exists irrational or illogical?

 


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Welcome to the

Welcome to the forum.

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
Don't get me wrong, as there are many, many solid scientific theories as to how the universe in which we live began.

Solid scientific theories about how the universe began? I would think that there are currently zero such theories. The Big Bang is not technically an explanation of origin, and I don't think anything is supported by enough evidence yet.

Quote:
more than even religious theories, I would guess,

A scientific "theory" is not the same as a religious "theory." You are equivocating.

A scientific theory is not a "guess" or "speculation," it is an explanation constructed to describe empirical observations.

Quote:
but how many in this room were there. and how many scientists have actually seen a universe born unto existence with their own eyes? can OP provide evidence he has knowledge of god, talked to god, did you get a picture? what's he look like? does he still use the mach 3 to shave? 

Point is, science has never proof positive provided evidence god does or does not exist, nor has religion ever proven that science is or is not an equally valid argument for "reality".

Science does not rely merely on direct observation. That is a strawman of science.

If there is no evidence for something, then the rational position is non-belief. I do not think that a "God" exists, but nor do I assert that he certainly doesn't, unless his characteristics were logically inconsistent.

Quote:
If there are no accidents, nor coincidences, (butterfly effect theory) is belief in a being we have no way of confirming or denying exists irrational or illogical?

Yes. It is irrational and illogical to believe in something that you cannot justify the existence of.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Anonymouslyyours1900s

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:

once said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

That's a non sequitur of ginormous proportions.

Transpose that:

Science without the meme of a lucky rabbit's foot is lame, the meme of a lucky rabbit's foot without science is blind.

Or:

Science without horoscopes meme is lame, the horoscopes meme without science is blind.

 

Some of the more intelligent people will know that both horoscopes (astrology) and lucky rabbit's feet are patently stupid memes.

 

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
for those of you citing physics issues, read up on your history. 

Where's the punch line?

You're a shitty comedian...

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
For OP, read up on the history of religion.

Thanks for throwing me a bone, but there's no meat on it...

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
I feel you are all wrong, actually.

Your feelings have nothing to do with the topic, so STFU about them, already.

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
  you are all utilizing your own perceptions of the same argument to "disarm" the other, which is both illogical and irrational, since neither can provide anything but theory to prove your statements.

Patently absurd.

I can speak very precisely, about the effects of gravity, and make 100% reliable predictions, without having ANY fucking clue about what it is, where it comes from, and what it's origins are.

It just IS.

Even a fucking retarded child can do that.

Yet you people can't. You just have to fucking mentally jerk off in every conceivable direction, and hope that 'even a blind squirrel gets a nut every once in a while' plays out in your favor.

Instead of just admitting , it IS what it IS, and I don't know much more than that.

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
 "science is but theory in practice" is another wonderful quote

No.

It's ignorant.

Falling down, is fucking scientific, you dufus...

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
..though I doubt many of you know whom said it.

I've never been to church, so, no I don't know which one of you fucking people said it...

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
Don't get me wrong, as there are many, many solid scientific theories as to how the universe in which we live began.

There's not 1 that I know of.

They only ones I know are theories of the mechanics of what happened at 10−40. . But I've never heard or read of anyone speculating much before that.

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
  more than even religious theories

Religious theories is an oxymoron.  

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
 I would guess, but how many in this room were there.

What would 'being there' have to do with how I know monkeys can't fly out your butt?

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
 and how many scientists have actually seen a universe born unto existence with their own eyes?

Ummm....they can 'see' the wake left behind by the particles, on their journey. 

Kinda like footprints in the snow.

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
 Point is, science has never proof positive provided evidence god does or does not exist

It doesn't have to.

It just follows the footprints, if there are any.

Theists just navel gaze, in between jerking off to their bibles. 

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
 nor has religion ever proven that science is or is not an equally valid argument for "reality".

Science is reality being 'actualized', you dufus...

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
 "logically and rationally" both sides of this argument have been very illogical and irrational

Incorrect.

It's over your pea sized intellect.

It's not a mystery why you don't even know it.

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
I will repose the question now.

That's your euphemism for "I will publically demonstrate how far up my ass my head is".

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
If there are no accidents, nor coincidences, (butterfly effect theory) is belief in a being we have no way of confirming or denying exists irrational or illogical?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Can a dog lick his balls?

Is it still possible for you to breath, even with your head that far up your own ass?

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Science cannot prove

Science cannot prove anything with 100% certainty, but it can establish to a useful degree what level of confidence any theory deserves, by assessing the quality of the evidence for it, does it make testable predictions, does it provide a more useful, more comprehensive explanatory framework than alternatives, etc.

God is not even a theory, it is wishful thinking, or something invented to 'explain' what was then inexplicable. Whatever the uncertainties of Science, they are rock-solid in comparison to the subjective intuitions of religious ideas such as God.

So of course belief in something for which we have no evidence, and is supposed to have attributes completely beyond anything we actually have verifiable experience of, or could even measure indirectly, is quite irrational.

Whatever the unsolved problems of science, they are trivial compared to the task of explaining why and how a God would exist.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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butterbattle wrote:Welcome

butterbattle wrote:

Welcome to the forum.

Anonymouslyyours1900s wrote:
Don't get me wrong, as there are many, many solid scientific theories as to how the universe in which we live began.

Solid scientific theories about how the universe began? I would think that there are currently zero such theories. The Big Bang is not technically an explanation of origin, and I don't think anything is supported by enough evidence yet.

Quote:
more than even religious theories, I would guess,

A scientific "theory" is not the same as a religious "theory." You are equivocating.

A scientific theory is not a "guess" or "speculation," it is an explanation constructed to describe empirical observations.

Quote:
but how many in this room were there. and how many scientists have actually seen a universe born unto existence with their own eyes? can OP provide evidence he has knowledge of god, talked to god, did you get a picture? what's he look like? does he still use the mach 3 to shave? 

Point is, science has never proof positive provided evidence god does or does not exist, nor has religion ever proven that science is or is not an equally valid argument for "reality".

Science does not rely merely on direct observation. That is a strawman of science.

If there is no evidence for something, then the rational position is non-belief. I do not think that a "God" exists, but nor do I assert that he certainly doesn't, unless his characteristics were logically inconsistent.

Quote:
If there are no accidents, nor coincidences, (butterfly effect theory) is belief in a being we have no way of confirming or denying exists irrational or illogical?

Yes. It is irrational and illogical to believe in something that you cannot justify the existence of.

 

A flat vaccum state inwhich there is a quantum tunneling does not require a big bang/ big crunch scenario.  A multiverse universe does not require a big bang/crunch. These answers your first 2 numbers of your outline. It is quite simple that the theistic god proposed is  Christian and therefore logically inconsistent in its definition. This in turn has generated a few centuries of a theodicy debate. The fact that it is not resolvable within the context of theistic dialogue speaks to its implausibility. Simple and logically provable that no-theistic god. I would say scientifically provable as well. This answers your 3) and 4) and 5)points. This really answers your other points if you want further dialogue.

 

Eleven Non-Commandments

1) There is a possible world of only well-being (p). 

2) A capable limitless good being (x) knowing of this world (p) would actualize (necessarily) it over  possible worlds with evil and suffering (q).

3)x necessarily would not allow  q

4)p--> not q

5) It is possible that god is x

6)q --> not p

7) Our world=q therefore not p

8)not p

9)not p--->not x

10)not x

11)god= not x

 Our world entails there is no capable limitless good being. If there is a god he is not that being.

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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BobSpence1 wrote:Science

BobSpence1 wrote:

Science cannot prove anything with 100% certainty, but it can establish to a useful degree what level of confidence any theory deserves, by assessing the quality of the evidence for it, does it make testable predictions, does it provide a more useful, more comprehensive explanatory framework than alternatives, etc.

God is not even a theory, it is wishful thinking, or something invented to 'explain' what was then inexplicable. Whatever the uncertainties of Science, they are rock-solid in comparison to the subjective intuitions of religious ideas such as God.

So of course belief in something for which we have no evidence, and is supposed to have attributes completely beyond anything we actually have verifiable experience of, or could even measure indirectly, is quite irrational.

Whatever the unsolved problems of science, they are trivial compared to the task of explaining why and how a God would exist.

Hey Bob. I think that even without evidence the posited attributes of god by theism is such that we need no more verifiable evidence than say a square circle. The attributes while not mutually exclusive in a possible world necessarily do not supervene, entail or intersect with the actual world showing perhaps that the necessity of god fails from a possible world to the actual world in its premise. If god exists he necessarily exists actually demonstrates that god does not exist. For the premise fails in my other post as to the attributes that are even lessened for the theodicy argument.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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TGBaker wrote:Hey Bob. I

TGBaker wrote:

Hey Bob. I think that even without evidence the posited attributes of god by theism is such that we need no more verifiable evidence than say a square circle.  

I don't even know what point they're trying to make with the 'square circle' non sequitur.

Are they trying to make a category error illustration, with that?

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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redneF wrote:TGBaker

redneF wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Hey Bob. I think that even without evidence the posited attributes of god by theism is such that we need no more verifiable evidence than say a square circle.  

I don't even know what point they're trying to make with the 'square circle' non sequitur.

Are they trying to make a category error illustration, with that?

No I'm guilty. I was using it this time to say that the attributes of a limitless god such as omniscience, omnipotence, and all goodie goodie can not obtain to this world any more than a square circle.  Omniscience vs freewill, all powerful and good vs evil in the world. These are square circles in the cogs of theism. This is why their clock no longer ticks. You can have their god at the expense of reality only. You must disregard all the understanding and experiences of the the world. Bambi's mother burns up in a fire.  What about old yeller. What about all those voices constantly screaming from torture, rape , murder, and assault throughout the world.  Thus my other post 11 non-Commandments.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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Oh, you mean how it's

Oh, you mean how it's contradictory that we are 'of' him, but 'apart' from him?

Born of him, but not made from any of him?

 

That kinda thing?

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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redneF wrote:Oh, you mean

redneF wrote:

Oh, you mean how it's contradictory that we are 'of' him, but 'apart' from him?

Born of him, but not made from any of him?

 

That kinda thing?

 

The contradiction lies in the fact that if he is an all good god and an all powerful god he would have created a world of well being. But our world has suffering and evil. So either he is not all powerful or not all good. Since this is like a square circle the premise of a theistic god is false. Your point is worth pursuing too. How can we be part of the perfect imperfectly. How can a perfect create imperfectly. 

Eleven Non-Commandments

1) There is a possible world of only well-being (p). 

2) A capable limitless good being (x) knowing of this world (p) would actualize (necessarily) it over  possible worlds with evil and suffering (q).

3)x necessarily would not allow  q

4)p--> not q

5) It is possible that god is x

6)q --> not p

7) Our world=q therefore not p

8)not p

9)not p--->not x

10)not x

11)god= not x

 Our world entails there is no capable limitless good being. If there is a god he is not that being.

 No perfect world no perfect creator.  An evolving world no creator.  An all knowing god does mean that his creation would be completely deterministic as well.This argument does not rule out a bumbling or incompetent god but it does the classic theistic god.

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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If there is some sort of

If there is some sort of 'higher being', then logic and empirical observation suggests that the most likely attributes are that it is finite, though with access to and control of some pretty significant resources, and either indifferent to us, or arguably regards us as its playthings, to torment and tease.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology