Anthropic Principle: Not really anthropic at all?

Madmax958
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Anthropic Principle: Not really anthropic at all?

 I have commonly seen theists use the anthropic principle to defend the belief in a creator and to attempt to justify the idea that this being created the universe with life in mind.

I have yet to see this argument against this principle being used for said purposes and I would like to hear some answers to this idea by those who might better know the anthropic principle than I. I am familiar with other arguments that supply possibilities of parallel universes and such but I am curious if there actually is a fatal error in the very basis of this principle that has clearly arisen due to an obvious presupposition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

I have heard many of the specifics regarding this principle and the cosmological constants that were supposedly "fine-tuned" for life, but I have not found any rational reason as to why these specifics actually show an intention of life. All I have seen are many scenarios where, if these constants were slightly changed, there would be a lack of stars and diversity of elements. These are indeed necessary for life, but why would they show at all that some creator intended to create life? If there truly is a God behind the creation of our universe, then why must we be the main attraction? This God would more likely be concerned with all the amazing gigantic (relative to us) formations and such that are created due to a diverse range of elements and stars that are able to create many of the elements necessary for these formations to occur. So how is the cosmological aspect of the anthropic principle anthropic at all? Is there a specific scenario of cosmological constant fiddling that could show a true intention of life that I missed?


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No. The Anthropic Principle

No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles. See my signature.

In fact, the anthropic principle can be said to contradict an intelligent designer/god. For if this god is truly all powerful, he could have created us *without* having to twiddle any cosmological constants. *That* would be the true miracle. "Hey look, the laws of the universe seem to preclude life existing, but here we are anyway, against these laws. Must have been a god." (Actually that's not a rock-solid argument either, but it's better than their current one.)

The fact that the universe exists with these particular constants which *happen* to support life *as we know it* is not a miracle by any stretch. Who knows what other kinds of universes might support *other* kinds of life? Maybe this is the only possible universe, period. Who knows? We sure don't.

The fact that the universe exists, that life exists, that humans exist, that you yourself exist, should not be a surprise to anyone. For if any of these things did NOT exist, neither would you, and you wouldn't be able to contemplate the question. But who's to say some other being, somewhere else might not have asked the same question: Why do *I* exist?

The simple answer is, you exist because you do. Get over it. It's not a miracle. Tone down that ego.

The religious argument based on the Antrhopic Principle should be called the Anthropocentric Argument, not the Anthropic Argument. "Wow, we're so awesome! An all powerful being must have wanted us to exist! Wow, we're even more awesome! I bet it wanted us to rule the entire universe! Aren't we so awesome!?"

Maybe it should be called the Megalomaniacal Argument for the Existence of God. "I'm so awesome! Therefore God exists."

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Madmax958
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I'm an atheist, you completely missed the point.

natural, I was pretty sure I was going to get some replies like that but I believe you completely misunderstood my question. Before I go any further I should mention that I am most definitely an atheist and yes I am quite familiar with the arguments you gave and I completely 100% agree with them. My question is more one of how the cosmological theistic anthropic principle argument even got started in the first place. Every specific part of that "anthropic" principle argument only seems to show that (if the rest of the argument even had merit) the alleged creator only wanted to create stars and a diverse range of elements. Most of the arguments say that if some constant were changed, there would be no stars or only hydrogen and therefore no life, so some creator must've meant for life to exist. My problem lies in how people can even come close to saying that because some creator meant for stars and a diverse range of elements to exist, that this creator directly intended for life to exist. Basically, what I am asking is why couldn't this alleged creator have just meant for stars and awesome astronomical formations to occur without intending for the insignificat freak accident that created us on our puny little planet? I'm just curious if there actually is anything cosmologically anthropic about the anthropic principle at all.

And btw, a good way to shut down theists claiming this argument has merit is to wait until they start telling you all the crazy odds and shit about how life could not have existed and then give them this statistic: The odds of us living in and observing a universe that is able to support our life is 100%.


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You are right Madmax958,

You are right Madmax958, but I think the point would be totally lost on the Theist, not least because the whole belief system assumes at such a fundamental that the motivations of the God thing are intimately connected with us, that it will go straight over their heads.

In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

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BobSpence1 wrote:You are

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are right Madmax958, but I think the point would be totally lost on the Theist, not least because the whole belief system assumes at such a fundamental that the motivations of the God thing are intimately connected with us, that it will go straight over their heads.

In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

I believe you are right about the point being lost on a theist, which is why I came to this website to see if it had any merit haha. I know of many Christian defense books who attempt to use this anthropic principle to their advantage and although there are the run of the mill philosophical arguments against it, I felt that the validity of my original point completely exposes the authors' presuppositions of their God and lack of good reasoning. What makes me most curious is whether or not Barrow and Tipler actually made this terrible mistake themselves or if, perhaps, I missed something.

And I too have considered questions about how we can even trust God himself. A common question for religious people is how they can trust their religion's doctrine (especially given how primitive some of its content is), but the best part about the uncertainty of God's intentions is that it avoids the doctrine altogether and applies to all religions at the very source. One example: how can we truly know that the supposed Christian God has not lied to us? Perhaps Satan is truly the good one and tried to contest God's evil, but was less powerful and so God has spread lies about him, slandering his name and his home(hell). If this scenario truly happened, then it is almost certain this God would pretend to be the best and good and make his enemy look like the evil one who should be hated. Or, how can we even trust a creator in general, perhaps he created us as some kind of experiment and delights in our sorrow. It's interesting to me that theists will believe God when he tells them he's the shit and is always right, even though he makes plenty of mistakes in his own book, but if anybody else were to tell them they were infallibe, they wouldn't believe them. Why can they not apply this own skepticism when it comes to religion?

I know a lot of Christians like to talk about how God made man in his own image and what this really means is that God gave man a free will, just as God has a free will. Well this notion about not being able to trust God is a perfect response to this comment, because if God has a free will just like us, and our free will is always the response to why evil happens, then how could God not be evil? It's quite simple really and it uses two of their own beliefs against them. God made man to have free will just as God does, and evil exists because man has free will, therefore God is quite possibly evil. That's the problem with theists, they can come up with all sorts of thoughts, but can't put em all together and make a sensible picture. The sad reality of the situation is that this argument will only get you a "God's logic doesn't work like our mistaken human logic" or "You are a human so you suck and I hate you and God is right" or maybe even a "But God loves us."

Only those who actually try to seek truth, will be able to find it.


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 Dunno about Barrow, but

 Dunno about Barrow, but Tipler does lean toward the religious side, so he seems to look for ways to support some version of Christian theology from science, especially cosmology. I have heard enough of his stuff on this topic to not take him seriously, to the point of being a bit suspicious of his science in general - he has an agenda...

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Madmax958 wrote:I have heard

Madmax958 wrote:

I have heard many of the specifics regarding this principle and the cosmological constants that were supposedly "fine-tuned" for life, but I have not found any rational reason as to why these specifics actually show an intention of life. All I have seen are many scenarios where, if these constants were slightly changed, there would be a lack of stars and diversity of elements. These are indeed necessary for life, but why would they show at all that some creator intended to create life? If there truly is a God behind the creation of our universe, then why must we be the main attraction? This God would more likely be concerned with all the amazing gigantic (relative to us) formations and such that are created due to a diverse range of elements and stars that are able to create many of the elements necessary for these formations to occur. So how is the cosmological aspect of the anthropic principle anthropic at all? Is there a specific scenario of cosmological constant fiddling that could show a true intention of life that I missed?

 

 

Simple answer is I don't know.

 

 

 

 


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Madmax958 wrote:natural, I

Madmax958 wrote:

natural, I was pretty sure I was going to get some replies like that but I believe you completely misunderstood my question. Before I go any further I should mention that I am most definitely an atheist and yes I am quite familiar with the arguments you gave and I completely 100% agree with them.

I was aware you were not a theist, and no, I don't think I *completely* missed the point of your post.

You asked, "Is there any merit to the argument?". And the first word of my response was "No". I then went on to ridicule the argument altogether.

But I see that you also asked, "Why do they think it has merit?" And I did fail to answer that.

I believe that the intuition is that by showing that the cosmological constants are so finely and precisely tuned, in such a way that if they were different *we* wouldn't exist, that *therefore* they must have been tuned specifically *for* our existence.

In other words, if it could be shown that 90% of the possible configurations for the universe would have allowed 'life as we know it', then it's not such a remarkable thing that we *do* happen to exist. But if only 1 in 10^100000 possible universes could have allowed us, then it *seems* to the theist that this is a solid case that *this* particular universe was selected *for* us specifically.

I agree that there is nothing in this argument of merit (which was the point of my first post). But *why* they keep thinking that this argument has merit is something else altogether.

It is really a matter of flawed intuitions, hidden assumptions, and lack of critical thinking.

It is very similar to the Monty Hall Problem (wiki):

The problem is that humans are very severely disabled when it comes to probabilistic reasoning.

Another issue is that humans see 'agency' where there is none. We often mistake shadows for intruders, but rarely mistake intruders for shadows.

Another issue is that humans have a built-in 'design intuition'. When we see something 'unnatural', i.e. unusual, or unlikely, we *assume* that a mind must have been the cause of it, *because* we assume that only minds can 'design' things, and *also* because we assume that unusual or unlikely things *must have* been designed.

So, you add up all these false assumptions, flawed intuitions, and toss in a lack of critical thinking, and voila! you have crappy arguments like the Megalomaniacal Argument for the Existence of God.

Nearly all theistic arguments fall in the same camp.

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No, natural, you still misunderstand.

If you are going to reply, read the entire post please.

I did not want to know anything about the merit of the theistic cosmological anthropic principle argument. I already know many of the flaws present in this argument. The question was whether or not a different argument against that theistic argument that I thought up has any merit. That alternative argument is the lack of any true anthropic cosmological constants actually being anthropic (meaning they don't give any intention of life). There are indeed many coincidences but most of these can be simply explained by different locations in the universe. Such as the claims that our sun needs to be the right temperature or that our planet needs to be the right distance from the sun, etc. These arguments are easily dismissed by the observation of over trillions of other planets and other possibilities that give proper justification to the idea that we can only evolve where suitable and such.

The current theist arguments are that of cosmological coincidences. Like neutron-proton mass ratios, fundamental force ratios and such. They usually help their confidence in these assertions by observing the lack of evidence for multiple universes (of course lack of evidence doesn't necessarily disprove anything, but it sure seems to help theists a lot in their biased misdirection). The argument against this I am proposing (the one I wanted comments about) is that the only scenarios I have seen are ones where changing a cosmological constant only creates a lack of stars and diversity. And even conceding to the theist their belief that cosmological constants prove a creator's existence and reveal his intentions, there is still no reason to believe this creator's intentions were that of life. His only intentions were to create stars and a diversity of elements (which is necessary for all the formations of the universe).  Of course these things are also necessary for life but in no way do they reveal an intention to create life in the slightest way. This reveals that anyone who truly uses this as an attempt to rationalize the existence of their life-giving God is clearly presupposed and biased towards their idea (as most theists are anyways).

K, that's the last time I am going to restate it. If you brush over it again this time and miss the point, then you should really stop trying to read people's posts. Not to mention you should try to figure out titles a little bit better... Either that or you don't know what the word anthropic means...

Also, I would suggest that you

natural wrote:
Tone down that ego
considering you seem to think you know what people are talking about and that they are wrong without even fully understanding their posts. Not to mention you clearly attempted to insult me in your lack of understanding. I even gave you a second chance and restated my post and you once again did the same thing. This reminds me of theist behavior, presupposing you are right and better than others without even giving a full understanding of the reality of the situation a chance.

 


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Madmax958 wrote: I have

Madmax958 wrote:

 I have commonly seen theists use the anthropic principle to defend the belief in a creator and to attempt to justify the idea that this being created the universe with life in mind.

I have yet to see this argument against this principle being used for said purposes and I would like to hear some answers to this idea by those who might better know the anthropic principle than I. I am familiar with other arguments that supply possibilities of parallel universes and such but I am curious if there actually is a fatal error in the very basis of this principle that has clearly arisen due to an obvious presupposition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

I have heard many of the specifics regarding this principle and the cosmological constants that were supposedly "fine-tuned" for life, but I have not found any rational reason as to why these specifics actually show an intention of life. All I have seen are many scenarios where, if these constants were slightly changed, there would be a lack of stars and diversity of elements. These are indeed necessary for life, but why would they show at all that some creator intended to create life? If there truly is a God behind the creation of our universe, then why must we be the main attraction? This God would more likely be concerned with all the amazing gigantic (relative to us) formations and such that are created due to a diverse range of elements and stars that are able to create many of the elements necessary for these formations to occur. So how is the cosmological aspect of the anthropic principle anthropic at all? Is there a specific scenario of cosmological constant fiddling that could show a true intention of life that I missed?

The burden of proof to provide empirical evidence for such claims such as:
1) The existence of god(s).
2) That life exists as the result of the intentions of
god(s)

... All of it rests upon the shoulders of the Thiest to substantiate with empirical evidence which can be subjected to testing via the Scientific Method.

As an Atheist who believes in science... it's pointless to carry on discussions, debates, etc. about topics based on "faith", or based upon the acceptance of statements that are utterly without any proven scientific basis. Such as to anthropomorphize or ascribe a purpose or intent to matter, or the existence of matter.


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Madmax958 wrote:If you are

Madmax958 wrote:

If you are going to reply, read the entire post please.

I did. Just to be sure, I read it again just now. And it's the same post I read the first time.

What is occurring here is a case of violent agreement. You misinterpreted my post as being against you, when in fact I was agreeing with you. Now you're pissed at what you think is a disagreement when in fact I agree.

Quote:
I did not want to know anything about the merit of the theistic cosmological anthropic principle argument. I already know many of the flaws present in this argument. The question was whether or not a different argument against that theistic argument that I thought up has any merit.

And I answered this indirectly by answering the following questions you posed:

Madmax958 wrote:
I have heard many of the specifics regarding this principle and the cosmological constants that were supposedly "fine-tuned" for life, but I have not found any rational reason as to why these specifics actually show an intention of life. All I have seen are many scenarios where, if these constants were slightly changed, there would be a lack of stars and diversity of elements. These are indeed necessary for life, but why would they show at all that some creator intended to create life?

To which I replied that there is no reason to suspect that this is the case:

natural wrote:
No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles.

And:

Madmax958 wrote:
Is there a specific scenario of cosmological constant fiddling that could show a true intention of life that I missed?

Which is covered by the same answer:

natural wrote:
No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles.

I expanded on this by ridiculing the theist's argument. I suspect that you thought I was ridiculing you. I wasn't.

natural wrote:
The simple answer is, you exist because you do. Get over it. It's not a miracle. Tone down that ego.

The 'you' in this paragraph is generic, indicating the generic theist, not you, Madmax958. I'm telling the theists to get over themselves.

Apparently this answer wasn't to your satisfaction, and so you asked:

Madmax958 wrote:
My question is more one of how the cosmological theistic anthropic principle argument even got started in the first place.

...

Most of the arguments say that if some constant were changed, there would be no stars or only hydrogen and therefore no life, so some creator must've meant for life to exist. My problem lies in how people can even come close to saying that because some creator meant for stars and a diverse range of elements to exist, that this creator directly intended for life to exist.

To which I replied:

natural wrote:
But I see that you also asked, "Why do they think it has merit?" And I did fail to answer that.

I believe that the intuition is that by showing that the cosmological constants are so finely and precisely tuned, in such a way that if they were different *we* wouldn't exist, that *therefore* they must have been tuned specifically *for* our existence.

...

It is really a matter of flawed intuitions, hidden assumptions, and lack of critical thinking.

Q: How did the theist's argument get started in the first place?

A: Flawed intuitions, hidden assumptions, and a lack of critical thinking.

Q: How can people even come close to saying that because some creator meant for stars and a diverse range of elements to exist, that this creator directly intended for life to exist?

A: Flawed intuitions, hidden assumptions, and a lack of critical thinking.

 

As you can see, I am attempting to directly answer questions that were part of your posts. I don't see why you're getting so upset, unless you have misinterpreted me, which I suspect is the case.

Now, you somehow have not seen my answers for what they are, because you think I have not answered your main question. You restate it thus:

Madmax958 wrote:
The question was whether or not a different argument against that theistic argument that I thought up has any merit. That alternative argument is the lack of any true anthropic cosmological constants actually being anthropic (meaning they don't give any intention of life).

I have already answered that: "The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god". In other words, I agree with you that cosmological constants do not support the idea that humans are the product of a divine intention (i.e. a god).

I further explained that this whole idea of a divine intention is an example of "Flawed intuitions, hidden assumptions, and a lack of critical thinking."

 

So, I have answered your initial questions, and I don't see what the problem is. However, I notice that you perhaps have a misunderstanding of the Anthropic Principle:

Quote:
That alternative argument is the lack of any true anthropic cosmological constants actually being anthropic (meaning they don't give any intention of life).

The Anthropic Principle is *not* that there was an intention of some kind for the universe to give rise to us. It is also not the idea that the cosmological constants reveal such intention.

The anthropic principle, strictly speaking, is what I portray in my signature. It is the idea that the universe *must* support human life, *because* human life exists. It reveals *nothing* about any intention or end-goal or directedness at all. It is simply a statement of the obvious (though somewhat counter-intuitive to some people) fact that if the universe could not support us, we wouldn't be here to talk about it.

That's it. Anthropic is not the same as anthropocentric. That is why I made the comment about the theist's argument being renamed to the Anthropocentric Argument, because it wrongly portrays the Anthropic Principle in an anthropocentric light.

The argument about cosmological constants is also not the same as the anthropic principle. It is the Fine Tuning Argument.

So, when you say that "That alternative argument is the lack of any true anthropic cosmological constants actually being anthropic (meaning they don't give any intention of life)", you are equivocating on the word 'anthropic' to be equivalent to 'anthropocentric'. They are not the same.

The universe is indeed anthropic. After all, we do exist.

The universe is *not* anthropocentric. We are not the end-goal or purpose of the universe. The universe (or a god) did not intend for us to exist.

The Anthropic Principle is that we should expect that the universe (and indeed our time and place in the universe) is conducive to the existence of human life. Theists try to switch this around, ass backwards, and say that this implies that the universe was created for just this purpose.

This is the false intuition, the hidden assumption, and the lack of critical thinking I was talking about.

And this is why I said that "No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles."

It simply does not support it. End of story.

So, after all this, can you see that we are in violent agreement?

Quote:
K, that's the last time I am going to restate it. If you brush over it again this time and miss the point, then you should really stop trying to read people's posts.

Be careful not to be hypocritical (i.e. missing the points of my posts) when you give people advice.

Quote:
Not to mention you should try to figure out titles a little bit better... Either that or you don't know what the word anthropic means...

I'm pretty sure it is your own confusion over anthropic vs. anthropocentric.

Quote:
Not to mention you clearly attempted to insult me in your lack of understanding.

I did no such thing. You will be hard pressed to find any insult directed at you in my earlier posts. I did ridicule theists, which you may have misinterpreted as being directed at you.

Please be aware that you yourself may also misunderstand others, and do not be so quick to accuse next time.

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Just a cop out.

natural wrote:

No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles. See my signature.

In fact, the anthropic principle can be said to contradict an intelligent designer/god. For if this god is truly all powerful, he could have created us *without* having to twiddle any cosmological constants. *That* would be the true miracle. "Hey look, the laws of the universe seem to preclude life existing, but here we are anyway, against these laws. Must have been a god." (Actually that's not a rock-solid argument either, but it's better than their current one.)

The fact that the universe exists with these particular constants which *happen* to support life *as we know it* is not a miracle by any stretch. Who knows what other kinds of universes might support *other* kinds of life? Maybe this is the only possible universe, period. Who knows? We sure don't.

The fact that the universe exists, that life exists, that humans exist, that you yourself exist, should not be a surprise to anyone. For if any of these things did NOT exist, neither would you, and you wouldn't be able to contemplate the question. But who's to say some other being, somewhere else might not have asked the same question: Why do *I* exist?

The simple answer is, you exist because you do. Get over it. It's not a miracle. Tone down that ego.

The religious argument based on the Antrhopic Principle should be called the Anthropocentric Argument, not the Anthropic Argument. "Wow, we're so awesome! An all powerful being must have wanted us to exist! Wow, we're even more awesome! I bet it wanted us to rule the entire universe! Aren't we so awesome!?"

Maybe it should be called the Megalomaniacal Argument for the Existence of God. "I'm so awesome! Therefore God exists."

Why do you seem to tell me that which I already explained I knew?

Madmax958 wrote:
I am familiar with other arguments that supply possibilities of parallel universes and such but I am curious if there actually is a fatal error in the very basis of this principle that has clearly arisen due to an obvious presupposition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

So I still don't see any connection between my actual reason for posting this and what you said in the second post at all. In fact you seem to misunderstood me asking if my argument had any merit as me asking if the anthropocentric principle had any merit and you most certainly replied in a manner suggesting that you believed that to truly be my question. In you seemingly answering the question you thought I posited. In this respect you most certainly failed at attempting to insult the general theist in that you were the very first reply and you clearly directed your answering of the wrong question at me. So I must disagree completely that you did not accuse me of anything, who the hell else were you talking to and why were you saying those things in a thread created not to further understand the merits of the anthropocentric principle but to understand the merits of my argument against it, which would be valuable as another refutation of this when debating the point with theists.

Now, I must concede that I did miss your anthropocentric comment in your first post and it is indeed a very good name to refer to this theistic argument, so for that, nice work. I was using something along the lines of the cosmological theistic anthropic principle (hardly rolls of the tongue quite as nice lol).

So you gave the excuse that the "you" was more of a general you, but could you possibly explain the entire content of your first reply if you truly didn't misunderstand my post?


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Madmax958 wrote:So I still

Madmax958 wrote:

So I still don't see any connection between my actual reason for posting this and what you said in the second post at all. In fact you seem to misunderstood me asking if my argument had any merit as me asking if the anthropocentric principle had any merit and you most certainly replied in a manner suggesting that you believed that to truly be my question.

I think we can all see that you guys had a miscommunication, but you're also not used to the site yet, which has a brusque tone. I can assure you, being familiar with natural's writing style, that he meant no offense, and has no intention of frustrating your questions. If you're having a hard time getting back to the question you want addressed, you might want to try it one step at a time.

You obviously object to the anthropic principle. In my opinion, it's not an argument for anything at all, so when natural dismisses it out of hand, I have to sympathize. But you'd like to take issue with just one part of it (I think), so if there's a way you can re-phrase that briefly, that might help.

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BobSpence1 wrote:In recent

BobSpence1 wrote:

In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

Is that on another thread? I'd like to join in.

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Madmax958 wrote:Why do you

Madmax958 wrote:
Why do you seem to tell me that which I already explained I knew?

Madmax958 wrote:
I am familiar with other arguments that supply possibilities of parallel universes and such but I am curious if there actually is a fatal error in the very basis of this principle that has clearly arisen due to an obvious presupposition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.

On this website we tend to riff on ideas, to spark discussion. You proposed your question/argument, I answered briefly, and then I went on to riff with some of my own ideas:

Quote:
In fact, the anthropic principle can be said to contradict an intelligent designer/god.

The "In fact," is intended to extend the conversation. I'm adding a new point that I did not see mentioned in the OP. This new point is that not only does the Anthropic Principle not support the argument for an intentional god, it can also be used to contradict such a god.

I noticed you hadn't mentioned this idea, so I added it as something additional to discuss.

We tend to do this all the time on this board. It's a way of sharing ideas and arguments and approaches. I might start a topic on X, and someone will say something like, "Yeah, X. But also Y." That's essentially what I was doing. My very first line was answering your basic questions briefly, and the remainder of the post was me going on a riff into the additional arguments that I have used before.

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So I still don't see any connection between my actual reason for posting this and what you said in the second post at all.

You mean my second post? That was explaining the various ways people can jump to false intuitions, hidden assumptions, and lack of critical thinking.

Quote:
In fact you seem to misunderstood me asking if my argument had any merit as me asking if the anthropocentric principle had any merit and you most certainly replied in a manner suggesting that you believed that to truly be my question.

I had already answered in agreement with your first statement of your argument.

Remember, you had asked:

Madmax958 wrote:
Is there a specific scenario of cosmological constant fiddling that could show a true intention of life that I missed?

To which I answered:

natural wrote:
No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles. See my signature.

Do you not see how this is a direct answer to your question? Perhaps not. But it was absolutely intended as such.

Q: Is there a scenario showing intention that you missed?

A: No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles. See my signature.

No, there is no scenario you missed, and additionally you should know that the Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles. For reference, you should examine my signature.

Here is my signature for posterity's sake:

natural wrote:
Q: "Isn't it a miracle that the universe/life/consciousness/myself exists?"
A: "No."
----
For any person P, question Q, and concept X
If the asking of Q depends on the existence of X, and P asks Q
Then X exists, and P should not be surprised of that

This is the Anthropic Principle in loose logical format. It shows that there is nothing miraculous or special (e.g. intended) about the nature of the universe such that human life can be supported.

I suspect that you have misunderstood the word 'anthropic' to mean 'anthropocentric'. The *Anthropic* Principle has nothing to do with intent, design, end-goals, specialness, or anything like that.

In fact -- and this is the point I was making in my first post in the second paragraph when I said "In fact," -- the Anthropic Principle argues *against* apparent intent, design, end-goals, specialness, and all other things like that.

Anthropic =/= anthropocentric.

With this understanding, can you see why I responded with "No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles. See my signature."?

Your original post was asking if there was an argument to be made that the theist's argument of fine tuning is fatally flawed because it makes the *hidden assumption* that fine tuning implies intent (of any kind).

You asked if you were missing some scenario that you hadn't thought of.

I responded, no, you were not missing such a scenario, because the Anthropic Principle has *nothing to do with* intention, and it is the theist's hidden assumptions that were the problem (explained in my second post).

Admittedly I was terse, and obviously you didn't get my meaning. But I assure you, that was my meaning.

I have dealt with the theist's flawed argument dozens of times before. That's why I dedicated my signature to it, after all.

I suspect that it is your confusion over the word 'anthropic' that has caused most of the cross-talk here. It makes no sense to say that the universe is not 'truly' anthropic. It is. We exist in it. It *must* be anthropic. That is exactly what the Anthropic Principle states.

What the universe is not, is anthropocentric. We are not the end-goal of the universe. There are no miracles indicated, no intention indicated. In no way does the Anthropic Principle support the idea of god, gods, miracles, design, intent, purpose, etc. etc. etc.

To highlight the absurdity of the theist's argument, I proposed renaming it to the Anthropocentric Argument. Now that you know the distinction between the two words, can you see how I was ridiculing the theistic argument?

I want to make it very clear to you: Re-read my first post. All of this was in there. Perhaps a little terse, fine. But my main response to you has not changed from the very beginning. What I am saying now is exactly what I was saying then.

Quote:
In this respect you most certainly failed at attempting to insult the general theist

Ridicule is not the same as insult. Just as satire is not the same as fart jokes. I was not intending to insult theists, but to ridicule their argument. If I wanted to insult them I would have just said, "Theists are assholes."

Quote:
in that you were the very first reply and you clearly directed your answering of the wrong question at me.

The entire extent of my answer to you was the first paragraph only:

natural wrote:
No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles. See my signature.

The remainder was an extension, adding additional ideas to discuss, which I prefaced with the phrase "In fact,", which is the equivalent to "I agree. And also,".

Quote:
So I must disagree completely that you did not accuse me of anything

If you insist on being offended, that's your own prerogative. Have fun with that.

Quote:
who the hell else were you talking to

Here's who: The general theist, the passerby who's interested in learning about the anthropic principle, the regular RRS members who might be interested in additional insight, the on-the-fence theists who might be persuaded by an additional twist on the idea, et al.

Quote:
and why were you saying those things in a thread created not to further understand the merits of the anthropocentric principle but to understand the merits of my argument against it,

There is no actual principle called the 'anthropocentric principle'. The principle under discussion is the Anthropic Principle. It is the *theist* who mistakes this principle as lending weight to their arguments. They put an anthropocentric twist on the Anthropic Principle. You also seem confused as to what the Anthropic Principle states, which I suspect is because the theists keep misusing it, and you've never heard the original formulation of it.

Quote:
which would be valuable as another refutation of this when debating the point with theists.

I agree that pointing out that the Anthropic Principle in no way supports the idea of intention, purpose, god, goal-directedness, miracles, etc. is a good counter-argument against the Fine Tuning Argument. That's why I said so in my first post. That's why my signature has been exactly such an argument for the past three years.

Hopefully this 'violent agreement' is now capable of dying down.

Quote:
So you gave the excuse that the "you" was more of a general you, but could you possibly explain the entire content of your first reply if you truly didn't misunderstand my post?

Okay, one last time. This will be my final comment on our violent agreement. Afterwards, if you're still offended, that's entirely your choice.

Quote:
No.

No, you're not missing something.

Quote:
The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles.

Or intent (requries a god), or goal-directedness, or purpose, or meaning, or *anything* beyond the simple idea that a universe containing humans *must* be capable of supporting them. (It also says that where and when we find ourselves must also be so capable. For instance, we do not exist 5 nanoseconds after the Big Bang, because we *couldn't* exist then, as the universe at that time could not have supported human life.)

In other words, the theists are mistakenly (false intuitions, hidden assumptions, lack of critical thinking) using the Anthropic Principle to support the Fine Tuning Argument when in fact it in no way supports this argument.

Quote:
See my signature.

Which contains my little distillation of this concept.

Quote:
In fact,

In addition to my agreement with you,

Quote:
the anthropic principle can be said to contradict an intelligent designer/god.

This is an argument which I find interesting and which you did not mention, and which I do not hear very often, and so I would like to promote it as something worthy of discussion.

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For if this god is truly all powerful, he could have created us *without* having to twiddle any cosmological constants. *That* would be the true miracle.

This is the basic argument that the Anthropic Principle actually argues *against* the Fine Tuning Argument.

Quote:
"Hey look, the laws of the universe seem to preclude life existing, but here we are anyway, against these laws. Must have been a god."

I'm pantomiming what a theist *could* argue if the universe was such that it *could not* support human life, and yet magically did.

The fact that we do *not* live in such a universe strongly implies that God is limited in power. For why would he bother to create an Anthropic universe when he can literally defy the Anthropic Principle and just poof man into existence? The fact that we live in an Anthropic universe is actually a fairly good argument that a 'god' does not exist.

Quote:
(Actually that's not a rock-solid argument either, but it's better than their current one.)

I'm pointing out that even this hypothetical theist's argument wouldn't really argue *for* a god. It would just be another unknown to investigate.

Quote:
The fact that the universe exists with these particular constants which *happen* to support life *as we know it* is not a miracle by any stretch. Who knows what other kinds of universes might support *other* kinds of life? Maybe this is the only possible universe, period. Who knows? We sure don't.

Stating the obvious that nobody really knows why the universe is the way it is. All that we can know is, according to the Anthropic Principle, that it *must* be able to support human life, because of the *mere fact* of our actual existence. No implication of design, intent, or anything like that. We simply don't know.

Quote:
The fact that the universe exists, that life exists, that humans exist, that you yourself exist, should not be a surprise to anyone. For if any of these things did NOT exist, neither would you, and you wouldn't be able to contemplate the question.

Explaining the formulation of my signature.

Quote:
But who's to say some other being, somewhere else might not have asked the same question: Why do *I* exist?

Imagining the scenario that the universe was in fact different than this one, but also happens to support conscious life. *That* life would find itself pondering the same questions the theist ponders, and it would be equally foolish to say that "The universe must have been designed specifically with the intent of supporting Flooblag life." In this case, it would not be an Anthropic universe, it would be a Flooblaggian universe, and the Flooblaggians would have their scientists who would articulate their Flooblaggian Prinicple: That the universe *must* be one that can support Flooblaggian life *because* of the mere fact that Flooblags exist. As with the Anthropic Principle, the Flooblaggian Principle would also *not* support the Flooblaggian theist's arguments of Fine Tuning, that the Flooblaggian God exists.

Quote:
The simple answer is, you exist because you do. Get over it. It's not a miracle. Tone down that ego.

After showing that the Flooblaggian theists would be foolish, I turn my attention to *any* theist who might be reading this post: You (the theist) exist because you do. Get over it, you foolish theist. It's not a miracle (nor a sign of intent, or purpose or meaning, or anything). Tone down that ego (realize that the existence of an anthropic universe *does not* support your anthropocentric notions that the universe was therefore created for just that purpose, to support human life).

Quote:
The religious argument based on the Antrhopic Principle should be called the Anthropocentric Argument, not the Anthropic Argument. "Wow, we're so awesome! An all powerful being must have wanted us to exist! Wow, we're even more awesome! I bet it wanted us to rule the entire universe! Aren't we so awesome!?"

Further highlighting just how full of themselves theists must be to be convinced by this theistic argument.

Quote:
Maybe it should be called the Megalomaniacal Argument for the Existence of God. "I'm so awesome! Therefore God exists."

Concluding with some ridicule.

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HisWillness wrote:BobSpence1

HisWillness wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

Is that on another thread? I'd like to join in.

Not in any one thread, but I have made the point in posts in various threads where it seemed to be at least vaguely relevant. Probably should make it a separate thread, where it can't be missed, overlooked, or simply ignored.

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Another way of putting it is

Another way of putting it is (I forget who said this originally): If the existence of humans is supposed to be evidence that God wanted to create humans, it seems more likely that God wanted to create black holes. After all, there are far more black holes than there are humans.

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natural wrote:Another way of

natural wrote:

Another way of putting it is (I forget who said this originally): If the existence of humans is supposed to be evidence that God wanted to create humans, it seems more likely that God wanted to create black holes. After all, there are far more black holes than there are humans.

Even if we limit it to just this here planet: what with 350,000 species of beetle... I don't think humans are central to diddly squat.

 

"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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natural wrote:Another way of

natural wrote:

Another way of putting it is (I forget who said this originally): If the existence of humans is supposed to be evidence that God wanted to create humans, it seems more likely that God wanted to create black holes. After all, there are far more black holes than there are humans.

Hydrogen is the most valuable element in existence! There's more hydrogen than anything!

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Vastet wrote:Hydrogen is the

Vastet wrote:

Hydrogen is the most valuable element in existence! There's more hydrogen than anything!

Doesn't that make it the least valuable?

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JillSwift wrote:Even if we

JillSwift wrote:
Even if we limit it to just this here planet: what with 350,000 species of beetle... I don't think humans are central to diddly squat.

But Jill, if you knew God like I do, he doesn't like variety. He likes beetles the least, see? He punished them by making too many different kinds. We only got a couple of vague skin-colour differences, but they got thousands of different species. That's because he hates them. He hates them with love.

See how simple it all is?

...

Fuck, after a couple of days of reading that shit on TheologyWeb, I'm starting to turn into a Poe Machine.

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 Well what about the number

 Well what about the number of beetles? There surely are more beetles than humans, plus "god" has given them a vastly longer lifespan than us. Lol humans started about 200,000 years ago, and beetles like 300 ma.

And to natural, sorry if I misunderstood your posts and such. This argument is pretty worthless, to be honest, but I still don't see at all how you answered my question. My actual first question is whether or not there was any part of the cosmological anthropocentric principle that truly relates  to life, rather than just stars and diversity of elements. Not anything about whether it is valid or not, so perhaps you misunderstood me and I misunderstood you and from there we argued. Even if you didn't answer me I still think you did a poor job answering my question. Let me put it even more specifically, is there any cosmological constant that one could theoretically change that would not allow for our kind of life but at the same time not completely wipe out stars or all the elements except hydrogen? Given that your first reply had not much to do with cosmological constants, I think it is reasonable to think you misunderstood me:

natural wrote:
No. The Anthropic Principle in no way supports a god or any miracles.

And I do believe now that you weren't insulting me. I am new to this forum and I guess I am just not use to so much general religion bashing in one place, it's awesome . Afterall, I do live in a country where 50% of the people deny science for their faith and another 30% doesn't get how long 3.5 billion years is so they make up an intelligent designer... God bless america! haha


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HisWillness wrote:JillSwift

HisWillness wrote:

JillSwift wrote:
Even if we limit it to just this here planet: what with 350,000 species of beetle... I don't think humans are central to diddly squat.

But Jill, if you knew God like I do, he doesn't like variety. He likes beetles the least, see? He punished them by making too many different kinds. We only got a couple of vague skin-colour differences, but they got thousands of different species. That's because he hates them. He hates them with love.

See how simple it all is?

...

Fuck, after a couple of days of reading that shit on TheologyWeb, I'm starting to turn into a Poe Machine.

Don't they have a topical cream for that? I mean really, you should have a doctor take a look at that. Sticking out tongue


 

"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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Unfortunately, metaphysical

Unfortunately, metaphysical stupidity (um... as opposed to metaphysical smartness, I guess?) is uncurable. And gives you a hell of a rash. Don't ask how I know.

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HisWillness wrote:Vastet

HisWillness wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Hydrogen is the most valuable element in existence! There's more hydrogen than anything!

Doesn't that make it the least valuable?

Nope. God made more of it than anything else, so obviously it is more good than everything else, hence it is more valuable than anything else.

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JillSwift wrote:HisWillness

JillSwift wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Fuck, after a couple of days of reading that shit on TheologyWeb, I'm starting to turn into a Poe Machine.

Don't they have a topical cream for that? I mean really, you should have a doctor take a look at that. Sticking out tongue

I hope to God they do.

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Vastet wrote:Nope. God made

Vastet wrote:

Nope. God made more of it than anything else, so obviously it is more good than everything else, hence it is more valuable than anything else.

Oh! Oh yeah! Right. Well done.

...

Ugh.

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Well if God actually makes

Well if God actually makes things he loves more rare, then he sure as shit loves antimatter lol. So that must mean there are some antimatter humans somewhere. Man that would suck for them to stumble upon all the abundant normal matter and explode into a huge burst of radiation.

I guess that would mean he didn't love those antimatter humans in that case...

Hmmmmm... trying to do religious thought leads to so many contradictions it hurts the logic part of my brain.

Does that mean god doesn't love me since he genetically predisposed my brain to hurt when I tried to be religious?


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 Version:1.0

OK madmax, I am guessing that what you wanted was a relatively short argument that can be thrown back at a theist to refute the basic argument that they have just made. So here, let me give you one:

 

Premise 1: There is not god and the universe was not made for some grand purpose.

Premise 2: The universe just happens to be exactly right for us to be here having this discussion.

 

P1 requires that it be impossible to prove that god exists, if for no better reason than the fact that he doesn't.

 

Now let's reconsider the first premise thusly:

 

Premise 1': There is a god and he had the power to make the universe in any way he felt like making it.

Premise 2 can remain unchanged and in fact, I prefer that such be the case so that we can look at P1' in isolation.

 

Here P2 becomes a problem for god as he clearly made the universe exactly as it must have existed if the original P1 is true. So if P1' holds, then it also leads us back to the original P1 being equally valid.

 

Mind you, I just typed that up in a few minutes and with some luck, bobspence will clean up whatever my sloppy logic is. Even so, please allow me to continue.

 

Pretty much, I really don't like to have that type of argument with theists. They are all too often masters of making shit up and to allow them that much control of the argument only gives them sufficient foolish confidence to push their ideas.

 

I much rather prefer to come on strong from the beginning and keep them destabilized. If you can get them on uncertain ground early on, then keep the pressure on, one of two things will happen. Either they will eventually give up or you can play the game until you get tired and dismiss them.

 

For example, a couple of my favorite arguments:

 

“So the bible is really true? As in if it says something in the bible, it must have happened in exactly that way?” Literalists always fall for this one BTW.

 

“So the bible says that Solomon built the temple?” General agreement follows.

 

“So if that is right, what were the Israelites doing standing around watching him? Really, some of those huge stone columns must have weighed many tons. Didn't anyone bother to say to Solomon 'hey that one looks kind of heavy, let me give you a hand'?”

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

“OK, you say that Jesus was/is god. And he was a man at the same time. Do you know how many of the early bishops voted for that version of doctrine at the first council of Nicaea?”

 

When confronted with this, theists tend to retreat into crap like “Well I don't know much about that but”. At this point, simply cut them off with “Well, don't you think that you ought to know important stuff like that before you go off telling people the result of the vote as if it really described the situation that you are advancing?”

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Heheh I like that one about

Heheh I like that one about the council of Nicaea because you don't even ask them about whether they know about the council of Nicaea directly, but rather ask a question that asserts the fact that Nicaea happened without even leaving it up for debate. You would have no clue how many theists straight out of nowhere (well maybe cause of their damned faith) claim that the council of nicaea is bullshit and some conspiracy or something.

I was more looking for a quick argument against the anthropic principle and I know what you mean about giving the theist that much ground in an argument, but tbh I really like it if I can even say well let's just assume for a moment there is a creator, your argument is still bullshit nonetheless. To me that really shows the complete lack of validity their argument has even more than arguing against the existence of a creator in the first place. 

I have had trouble trying to convince people of the bullshit contradictions in the bible. Usually they say things like: "you interpreted it wrong" or "you took things out of context" or "the bible was written by people who were inspired by god." I even retort these and say, no there is no other way to interpret some of these things, no it definitely was not out of context, or the if it was written by fallible people, how can you trust any of it?

Usually after i throw at least one of those at em it usually seems to go in one ear out the other. It's like they are able to just ignore things in an argument. That must be how they can be so ignorant their whole lives, believing in so much non evidence while refusing to believe in real evidence.


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 Oh, this is what you're

 Oh, this is what you're looking for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1cKD93W3yg


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BobSpence1 wrote:You are

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are right Madmax958, but I think the point would be totally lost on the Theist.

Well, as a theist, and a Christian Theist, I'm hardly impressed with the anthropic principle. 

Quote:
In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

Well, as a Christian, we believe in the God that revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and we perceive in him the Truth, and the meaning of our existence. 

 

 


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manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are right Madmax958, but I think the point would be totally lost on the Theist.

Well, as a theist, and a Christian Theist, I'm hardly impressed with the anthropic principle. 

Quote:
In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

Well, as a Christian, we believe in the God that revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and we perceive in him the Truth, and the meaning of our existence. 

But of course I know that is what you believe, and you are accurately describing your worldview, and we understand the psychology of it, but that is quite irrelevant to the validity of my argument.

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

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manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are right Madmax958, but I think the point would be totally lost on the Theist.

Well, as a theist, and a Christian Theist, I'm hardly impressed with the anthropic principle. 

Quote:
In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

Well, as a Christian, we believe in the God that revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and we perceive in him the Truth, and the meaning of our existence. 

That is the kind of stupid talk that BobSpence meant when he said the point would be lost on the theist.

You believe Jesus to be the truth why? How did he reveal the meaning of your existence? He revealed that men are worthless and so sinful that God had to come down in the form of man and die in one of the worst ways possible so that you could be forgiven for all the terrible acts you perform. God made you imperfect and then punishes you for being imperfect, wtf is that? Why did God have to do all that just so he could be able to himself forgive you? That makes absolutely no sense, if he can do everything then why wouldn't he be able to forgive you for sins without sacrifice? I forgive people all the time for having done wrong to me and I do it without them sacrificing anything whatsoever, does that make me more powerful than your God?

Jesus was supposedly all forgiving and no matter what he forgave everyone, but he got pissed off when the Jews were getting money and he freaked out and flipped all their tables over spilling out their money all over the place. That sounds like complete perfection and forgiveness to me.

Do yourself a favor and read the book you are devoting your whole life to with a little bit more skepticism.


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BobSpence1 wrote:In recent

BobSpence1 wrote:

In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

Quote:

But of course I know that is what you believe, and you are accurately describing your worldview, and we understand the psychology of it, but that is quite irrelevant to the validity of my argument.

Well, let's look at your question again, you asked "even if there were a God....", but this requires the question of what was revealed to lead us to this belief. Speaking of the anthropic principle, if it were compelling enough to lead an individual to believe there was a god, what was revealed was an intelligent sort of hand in creation. Your question is if God only revealed himself in a supposed intelligent hand in our creation, how would we know anything else about him? and my answer would be that if this was only way God revealed himself, that we would know nothing at all about him beside that.

You're speaking of God who reveals himself in the cosmos, I don't believe in such a God at all, I believe in a God who revealed himself in Jesus Christ, who revealed himself in the true meaning of love, as sacrificial and all encompassing. A god who revealed himself in the purpose and meaning revealed in the person and message of Christ. It's the endearing nature, what compels me to him, the revealing of my own misery, and dignity, my hopes, and despairs, and the redemptive power of love. i believe in a God who revealed himself in these things, revealed himself in a motive, revealed himself in love, not in the composition of the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

In recent weeks, I have been hammering the basic point, which is related to your argument,  that even if there were a God, how could you know with any certainty what his motives with regard to us are, whether he wishes us good or ill, or even cares.  I haven't seen any responses which really take me up on this point, altho I may have missed one.

Quote:

But of course I know that is what you believe, and you are accurately describing your worldview, and we understand the psychology of it, but that is quite irrelevant to the validity of my argument.

Well, let's look at your question again, you asked "even if there were a God....", but this requires the question of what was revealed to lead us to this belief. Speaking of the anthropic principle, if it were compelling enough to lead an individual to believe there was a god, what was revealed was an intelligent sort of hand in creation. Your question is if God only revealed himself in a supposed intelligent hand in our creation, how would we know anything else about him? and my answer would be that if this was only way God revealed himself, that we would know nothing at all about him beside that.

You're speaking of God who reveals himself in the cosmos, I don't believe in such a God at all, I believe in a God who revealed himself in Jesus Christ, who revealed himself in the true meaning of love, as sacrificial and all encompassing. A god who revealed himself in the purpose and meaning revealed in the person and message of Christ. It's the endearing nature, what compels me to him, the revealing of my own misery, and dignity, my hopes, and despairs, and the redemptive power of love. i believe in a God who revealed himself in these things, revealed himself in a motive, revealed himself in love, not in the composition of the stars. 

I was not restricting the idea of God in any way to what inspired you to the belief. All you have is a particular set of personal experience which you have felt compelling enough to accept a particular narrative which resonated with you.

You just have even less real justification for your belief than one inspired by contemplation of the cosmos, which at least demonstrably exists. Contemplation of your own feelings and fantasies is a much less substantial reason for belief in an actual God, unless you mean it in a metaphorical sense. A 'revelation' may or may not have useful content about reality or different ways to regard reality or your internal world, until validated by further experience. Everything you experience, including revelation, is via your finite fallible mind, so it is folly to put deep trust in such ideas before vaiidating them against reality.

EDIT: Don't really see why you need to add the Jesus Christ factor to inspire of justify your contemplation of your very real experiences, positive and negative, and of love, etc, which would seem to me to be quite sufficient in themselves. I personally find the idea of blood sacrifice and salvation somewhat repulsive and pointless, especially as described in the Biblical Crucifixion story. But each to his own, I guess.

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

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Madmax958 wrote:That is the

Madmax958 wrote:

That is the kind of stupid talk that BobSpence meant when he said the point would be lost on the theist.

This is almost comical. It's funny what you call stupid is you speaking on my behalf. So the words of the idiot here are not my one, but yours. 

Quote:
He revealed that men are worthless and so sinful that God had to come down in the form of man and die in one of the worst ways possible so that you could be forgiven for all the terrible acts you perform.

Really? no shit? get out of here? Did i say this? Does the bible say this? Does the new testament anywhere claim that Jesus revealed that men are so worthless in the sight of God? What it does say about the worthless, is that they are loved. What the crucified innocent reveals, is that he forgives us, those who abandon him, and even those who nailed him, even if they reject him, or spit it on him, he still forgives us. 

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God made you imperfect and then punishes you for being imperfect, wtf is that?

I never knew I was being punished for being imperfect, I alway though my imperfect life was a gift, a testament to my freedom.

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Why did God have to do all that just so he could be able to himself forgive you? That makes absolutely no sense, if he can do everything then why wouldn't he be able to forgive you for sins without sacrifice?

An acceptance of forgiveness requires a change of heart, a change of heart requires a conviction. And what convicts us? Besides God's own sacrificial love for us?If He's willing to suffer and die because he loves me, than I'm willing to live for him, because I love him. 

Quote:
I forgive people all the time for having done wrong to me and I do it without them sacrificing anything whatsoever, does that make me more powerful than your God?

No person can accept forgiveness unless he has a change of heart, and unless he has a conviction that empowers that transformation. Christ only convicts us to accept that forgiveness. 

Quote:
Jesus was supposedly all forgiving and no matter what he forgave everyone, but he got pissed off when the Jews were getting money and he freaked out and flipped all their tables over spilling out their money all over the place. That sounds like complete perfection and forgiveness to me.

He got pissed off at the injustice of the temple practices, for the turning of the temple into a den of thieves. What does this have to do with forgiveness? Should he have just allowed the injustice to continue? 

Quote:
Do yourself a favor and read the book you are devoting your whole life to with a little bit more skepticism.

I suggest you read the book, because I for sure have, and I know, I have a far better knowledge of it than any individual I've seen expound on it here. Your idiotic claims sure don't reveal a sense of knowledge of the text that's for sure, all you seem to know is what the idiot fundamentalist expounds, but not what the text itself seems to be saying. 

I've been on this forum long enough, to know that the atheist idiots who post on here so frequently, know as much about the Gospels, as Ken Hovind knows about the sciences. I mean I would love to find a single atheist on this forum, who even has a clue as to what's going on in the Gospel narratives, what the message and life of Jesus Christ was about. When you've actually found one let me know. 


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BobSpence1 wrote: All you

BobSpence1 wrote:
 All you have is a particular set of personal experience which you have felt compelling enough to accept a particular narrative which resonated with you.

You just have even less real justification for your belief than one inspired by contemplation of the cosmos, which at least demonstrably exists. Contemplation of your own feelings and fantasies is a much less substantial reason for belief in an actual God, unless you mean it in a metaphorical sense. A 'revelation' may or may not have useful content about reality or different ways to regard reality or your internal world, until validated by further experience. Everything you experience, including revelation, is via your finite fallible mind, so it is folly to put deep trust in such ideas before validating them against reality.

This is kind of silly if you think about it, atheist seem to have this sort of derision for personal experience, which in fact is the basis for most of our beliefs to begin with. Notions such as justice, morality, beauty, truth, a worldview are composed by personal experience, even our acceptance of much of science is based on personal experience, very few of us have the ability to examine and test scientific findings on our own, we afford a certain trust to the scientific community, to the composers of our textbook, that they convey to us an accurate picture, but such "trust" is based on our personal experience with other human beings, if we didn't have that we'd be paranoidingly skeptical like 9/11 truthers, and creationist, and global banking conspiracy nuts. 

Secondly, a deep trust "in such ideas" wasn't produced before the questions were asked. Reality produced the questions most pertinent to my life, and I found the gospels to be the most profound response to it, to be the worldview most accurate to what I perceive reality to be. And I've said this often times, that even if I were to lose my faith tomorrow, I'd find the symbolic meaning of the cross to be the must accurate depiction of the human condition there is. I find every other worldview more caught up in the clouds than my own. If you know of a worldview far more accurate in painting the woes and hopes of the human condition you let me know. The one most often trumped by atheist, humanism, is by far the biggest joke. 

Quote:
Don't really see why you need to add the Jesus Christ factor to inspire of justify your contemplation of your very real experiences, positive and negative, and of love, etc, which would seem to me to be quite sufficient in themselves. I personally find the idea of blood sacrifice and salvation somewhat repulsive and pointless, especially as described in the Biblical Crucifixion story. But each to his own, I guess.

Love is not sufficient in itself, it has to be revealed and made sense of, to have any meaning at all. And I don't need Jesus Christ to justify my contemplation, I need Jesus Christ for the sake of conviction. Anyone can talk a mean game. The human creature is an ironic one, both instinctual and self-conscious, capable of contemplating what's wrong, and do it regardless. Capable of saying he should love others, and yet wallow in his indifference. Without conviction our instinctual nature has the ability to take us to all sorts of places, even to those many places we don't want to go. 

Well, I find the idea of blood sacrifices repulsive as well, in fact Isaiah claims they reek in God's nose. Christ did not die cause he had magical blood, that sent fairy dust flying everywhere, he died for a principle, that if you do not love your dead, and if you love they'll kill you.

 

 


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manofmanynames wrote:This is

manofmanynames wrote:

This is kind of silly if you think about it, atheist seem to have this sort of derision for personal experience, which in fact is the basis for most of our beliefs to begin with.

How does this make personal experience more reliable for determining truth? 

Quote:
...I'd find the symbolic meaning of the cross to be the must accurate depiction of the human condition there is.

What is the symbolic meaning of the cross? How is it the most accurate depiction of the human condition?

Quote:
If you know of a worldview far more accurate in painting the woes and hopes of the human condition you let me know.

Accurate how? In what ways?

Quote:
The one most often trumped by atheist, humanism, is by far the biggest joke.

How?

Quote:
Christ did not die cause he had magical blood, that sent fairy dust flying everywhere, he died for a principle, that if you do not love your dead, and if you love they'll kill you.

If you do not love your dead, and if you love they'll kill you? What does that mean?

 

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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manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
 All you have is a particular set of personal experience which you have felt compelling enough to accept a particular narrative which resonated with you.

You just have even less real justification for your belief than one inspired by contemplation of the cosmos, which at least demonstrably exists. Contemplation of your own feelings and fantasies is a much less substantial reason for belief in an actual God, unless you mean it in a metaphorical sense. A 'revelation' may or may not have useful content about reality or different ways to regard reality or your internal world, until validated by further experience. Everything you experience, including revelation, is via your finite fallible mind, so it is folly to put deep trust in such ideas before validating them against reality.

This is kind of silly if you think about it, atheist seem to have this sort of derision for personal experience, which in fact is the basis for most of our beliefs to begin with. Notions such as justice, morality, beauty, truth, a worldview are composed by personal experience, even our acceptance of much of science is based on personal experience, very few of us have the ability to examine and test scientific findings on our own, we afford a certain trust to the scientific community, to the composers of our textbook, that they convey to us an accurate picture, but such "trust" is based on our personal experience with other human beings, if we didn't have that we'd be paranoidingly skeptical like 9/11 truthers, and creationist, and global banking conspiracy nuts. 

And perhaps believers in Jesus Christ as anything more than a symbol, whether or not some guy with that name actually existed.

We do not have 'derision' for personal experience - that indeed would be 'silly' you 'idiot'. What would be silly would be to regard personal experience alone as justification for beliefs about the reality of things outside your internal mental world. 

Of course "trust" is required for things we do not have direct personal experience of or access to, but it still must be based on something more than just personal experience, such as comparing different sources of information, and their 'track record' on other things which have since been well validated.

Quote:

Secondly, a deep trust "in such ideas" wasn't produced before the questions were asked. Reality produced the questions most pertinent to my life, and I found the gospels to be the most profound response to it, to be the worldview most accurate to what I perceive reality to be. And I've said this often times, that even if I were to lose my faith tomorrow, I'd find the symbolic meaning of the cross to be the must accurate depiction of the human condition there is. I find every other worldview more caught up in the clouds than my own. If you know of a worldview far more accurate in painting the woes and hopes of the human condition you let me know. The one most often trumped by atheist, humanism, is by far the biggest joke.

In your subjective personal opinion, no more empirically valid that my opinion of the absurdity of justifications based on to appeal to a figure who cannot even be positively confirmed to have existed, especially in anything like the form described in whatever personal synthesis of the conflicting testimony of the 'Gospels' you have decided upon. You have zero warrant for the objective truth of such ideas.

Quote:

Quote:
Don't really see why you need to add the Jesus Christ factor to inspire of justify your contemplation of your very real experiences, positive and negative, and of love, etc, which would seem to me to be quite sufficient in themselves. I personally find the idea of blood sacrifice and salvation somewhat repulsive and pointless, especially as described in the Biblical Crucifixion story. But each to his own, I guess.

Love is not sufficient in itself, it has to be revealed and made sense of, to have any meaning at all. And I don't need Jesus Christ to justify my contemplation, I need Jesus Christ for the sake of conviction. Anyone can talk a mean game. The human creature is an ironic one, both instinctual and self-conscious, capable of contemplating what's wrong, and do it regardless. Capable of saying he should love others, and yet wallow in his indifference. Without conviction our instinctual nature has the ability to take us to all sorts of places, even to those many places we don't want to go. 

Well, I find the idea of blood sacrifices repulsive as well, in fact Isaiah claims they reek in God's nose. Christ did not die cause he had magical blood, that sent fairy dust flying everywhere, he died for a principle, that if you do not love your dead, and if you love they'll kill you.

You don't really know that as a fact, but if you apparently need to believe in the symbolism in such an action, and perhaps you 'need' to believe that it was an actual historical event. Even if there was an event which did correspond in rough details to the Crucifixion, you have zero warrant for any confidence in asserting just what were the thoughts and motivations of the people involved in the 'real' event.

You will need more than a superficially clever sounding slogan that doesn't actually quite work make when examined more carefully to impress us with the depth and wisdom of your ideas.

The other point is that we know such beliefs are not necessary for everyone to have deeply held convictions of comparable nature.

For someone who elsewhere got indignant at Hamby's impatience with a poster's wish for us to respect his superstitious taboo against spelling out the full name of his God, to throw around terms like 'silly' and 'idiotic' regarding people who don't happen to draw the same conclusions from the Biblical texts that you do is the height of hypocrisy and arrogance. 

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