I am a Christian, and I need you to poke holes in my argument.

sec014
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I am a Christian, and I need you to poke holes in my argument.

Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Morality is simply a description of reality:  It is saying that the universe should look a certain way.  Whatever is moral keeps that order in the universe.  For example, it is morally right to love your neighbor.  If everyone loved their neighbor, then we’d have no wars and everyone could live in peace.  But if everyone did the opposite, then no one could live within society; we would all kill each other.  Everyone’s moral system is designed to keep the order of the universe.  But in order to say what is ordered, you’d have to also say that you know what the best order of the universe should be.  No human can say how the universe should be ordered because we did not design it nor order it in the first place.  We are only working within our own perspective; therefore we can only say how we can make the universe work for us.  But then, you have everyone saying different things trying to make the universe work for them.  So whose moral system is the best?  No one can say.  The only person who can legitimately say that the universe should look any certain way is the person who gave it order.  The only person who can say what a piece of art should look like is the artist.

Now, if you say that the best moral system is the one where we are all in agreement, I would ask the question, are we really any closer to reaching full societal agreement?  What you ask for in this society of harmony is a utopia.  We would like to believe that we are closer now than we were before because of our global society, but there will always be dissenters.  I think that points to show that there is something unnatural about the way that human beings are living.

 

Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

I would have to state first that there is a purpose to life.  Everything which is designed and created by will has a purpose.  There are things which are made that have no purpose in and of themselves, and they are called accidents.  The only way an accident can have a purpose is if its creator is smart enough to make it work somehow, or if the accident creates a purpose for itself.  If indeed we are accidents, then we could create for ourselves any purpose we wanted.  But if something is not an accident, but created intentionally, then its best purpose is whatever it was designed for.  If someone else comes along and tries to change the function, chances are, it’s not going to be living up to its full potential.  A computer can function very well as a paperweight or a door stop, but that’s not what it’s best for.  In the same way, if we humans are created beings, then when we try to create a purpose for ourselves apart from what our creator made us for, then we are going to fall short.  I don’t think we could make a better purpose because we’re not smarter than the all-knowing God.  So in order to find our purpose, we have to go back to our creator.  And that, I believe, is the purpose of life:  To go to our creator and have that relationship with him, and then he will guide us to finding what we were meant to be.

 

Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

I think it would be an absurd statement to say that there is no absolute truth at all.  If not, then why are any of us here debating?  I think atheists do believe in absolute truth, you just define it differently.  You might define absolute truth as something which can be observed and proven through science, and anything outside of that is only subjective.  I would find that a lot easier to agree with, except that there are truths which are absolutely true, but not scientific and can only be known through experience.  Two examples are logic and reason.  They are self-evident truths in that you cannot prove them outside of themselves.  Science is based upon them.  Yet you cannot deny that they are not true, because to do so, you would have to use them.  Even to say that they aren’t true is false because you are claiming to make a true statement.  Logic and reason are the only truths which use themselves as referents.  There are absolutes based upon them, like the order of numbers.  We don’t make judgments about them; we make judgments based on them.

 

Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

I think it’s a rather simple thing to demonstrate order in the universe, but it’s much harder to explain the implications.  It’s very difficult to perceive order on a grand scale because our perception is constantly changing.  A few years ago, the order of the universe was that there were 9 planets, but now there are 8 apparently.  And then there are matters of pure opinion, like taste, style of music, etc.  With so many things that can change, and with so many different viewpoints out there, the universe may seem very chaotic.  But I believe there is an underlying order in all things, which can be demonstrated in the order of numbers.  7 plus 3 equal 10, and not just today, but it’s always equaled ten and always will.  And this is not just a matter of opinion, either.  Anyone who thinks is capable of grasping this concept, and the concept is the same for everyone.  But this also shows order:  Ten is equal to seven and three, but is greater than seven and greater than three, and seven is also greater than three.  This is the order and it does not change.  There are relationships in numbers, and I think that the whole universe shows that it was built upon relationships.  The moon revolves around the earth, the earth around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy.  But it’s not just with things; I believe it’s with people, too, since we are within the universe.  Human beings are just as relational as everything else.  Parents are over their children, friends and friends are side-by-side, husbands and wives are joined together, and I believe all of us are under God.  I think that human beings were built to have relationships just like everything else, because we’re not alone in the universe and it’s not natural for anyone to be alone.  But when relationships are disrupted, the universe goes from order to chaos.  If the earth were to lose its orbit around the sun, the moon’s orbit would be affected as well.  People suffer because of broken families and broken marriages.  I think that ultimately all chaos comes from the broken relationship with God, because he made relationships in the first place.  And I believe that Christ came for that very reason, to re-establish that relationship between God and man.  When that relationship is fully and finally restored, I think there will be the right order in the universe.

 

Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.  If he hadn’t, I don’t think I would have any reason to believe.  Now of course, experience isn’t the test of truth, because people have false experiences all the time.  So along the way I’ve questioned and examined it all, critically and even doubting sometimes.  But thankfully the more I learn, the more it only confirms what God has been doing in my life all along, even against my own expectations.  I like how C.S. Lewis put it, “I know that God is not a figment of my imagination because he’s not at all what I would imagine him to be.”

 

Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Well, to be honest, if I’m wrong then I hope someone shows me what’s right.  If someone thinks I’m wrong, I’ll listen to them and consider their argument as long as they’re reasonable about it.  I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.  And if I’m wrong about Christianity, then I guess I’d have to start figuring out a better purpose to life.  But even if I do find out that Christianity is wrong, that Jesus was not the Son of God, then I think I would probably still follow His example anyway.  I would still obey his teaching as if he were God incarnate.  The only way I wouldn’t follow Jesus is if someone showed me that he wasn’t perfect.  See, we (Christians) don’t claim that we know everything, and we certainly don’t claim that we’re perfect.  We’re just as messed up as anyone else.  Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about Christ.  We don’t claim that we’re perfect, we proclaim that He is.  So showing me everything that’s wrong about Christians won’t change anything; to really prove me wrong you’d have to show me what’s wrong about Jesus.


cj
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okay, I'll bite

sec014 wrote:

Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Bully for you.  I'll keep my answers short.

sec014 wrote:

Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Human beings are social animals and we can only survive by cooperating with each other.  Thus, morals are to keep society running.

sec014 wrote:

Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

Life doesn't have any purpose except to reproduce.  The goal of all living entities is to have grandchildren.

sec014 wrote:

Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

No.  There is only our current understanding of what appears to work.

sec014 wrote:
 

Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

Nope.  Pure random.

sec014 wrote:

Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

I'm an atheist.  I am an atheist because there is no proof of god/s/dess, or of miracles - it's all in your head, dearie.

sec014 wrote:
 

Question 6: What if you're wrong?

If - if - I should happen to meet a "maker" when I die, I have a question for him/her/it.  "You gave me a brain, lots of curiosity, literally tons of physical evidence and a 3,000 year old book supposedly dictated to a bunch of goat herders.  And you are sending me to hell because I used to brain you gave me?  Thanks, which way is hell?"

Much better to just sleep away into oblivion without any arguments.

I'm guessing you are just going to post and run.  Tah-Tah!

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


latincanuck
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I will take a shot at

I will take a shot at this

sec014 wrote:

Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Hello and welcome to the forums

sec014 wrote:

Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Morality is simply a description of reality:  It is saying that the universe should look a certain way.  Whatever is moral keeps that order in the universe.  For example, it is morally right to love your neighbor.  If everyone loved their neighbor, then we’d have no wars and everyone could live in peace.  But if everyone did the opposite, then no one could live within society; we would all kill each other.  Everyone’s moral system is designed to keep the order of the universe.  But in order to say what is ordered, you’d have to also say that you know what the best order of the universe should be.  No human can say how the universe should be ordered because we did not design it nor order it in the first place.  We are only working within our own perspective; therefore we can only say how we can make the universe work for us.  But then, you have everyone saying different things trying to make the universe work for them.  So whose moral system is the best?  No one can say.  The only person who can legitimately say that the universe should look any certain way is the person who gave it order.  The only person who can say what a piece of art should look like is the artist.

Now, if you say that the best moral system is the one where we are all in agreement, I would ask the question, are we really any closer to reaching full societal agreement?  What you ask for in this society of harmony is a utopia.  We would like to believe that we are closer now than we were before because of our global society, but there will always be dissenters.  I think that points to show that there is something unnatural about the way that human beings are living.

Well in regards to morals it is about what we agree about what is right and wrong. As a society, we all agree to live within certain rules and get punished for breaking those rules. Now 1000 years ago the church/rulers decided what was morally right or wrong and if you disagreed with the church/ruler you could be put to death, of course those rules changed depending on who was in power at the time, friends became enemies, enemies became friends, and the jews/minority group/other religious affiliation, where hated all around. forward 1000 years later, the jews aren't as hated by the church any more, various religions are more accepted now (wiccan or any of the pagan religions), old friends are now enemies and old enemies are friends. Depending on the church or which religious sect you believe in and which interpretation of the bible you use, then it will dictate what is morally acceptable and what is not, for example the catholic church takes a very hard stance against gays while the anglican church does not and actually will marry them. Moral differences right there. what is right for one church is not right for another, however this is just a smaller scale of it all. The reality is morals that help a society thrive will be considered beneficial, while morals that destroy it will not be considered beneficial, hence the difference between not just countries but even provinces/states in regards to the death penalty. Some view it morally correct others morally incorrect. However they all agree that killing innocent people is morally wrong, just like stealing, etc, etc, etc.

Murdering those of ones own society and stealing from members of your own society does not help the society thrive, on the contrary it tends to breed mistrust and hatred towards others, which will only increase the violence towards others of the same society which will ultimately destroy that society if there is no form of punishment for those deeds. This is quite true among various social species that require others to survive, from birds to apes and monkey's. They all have their own social codes on what is acceptable and not acceptable. Now individual morals do not need to mirror social morals either, as our own morals are shaped by our experiences and our understanding/education of what society expects of each individual.

No we are no where near reaching full societal agreement and we will never will, those in India have different views and experiences than those living in the US, just like people born and raised in japan have different morals views on different topics than those born and raised in Ireland

I will have to say that the universe itself doesn't care for morals, the universe itself doesn't care if we live or die, the universe does not care at all. So no need to add the part that the universe should look a certain way.

 

sec014 wrote:

Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

I would have to state first that there is a purpose to life.  Everything which is designed and created by will has a purpose.  There are things which are made that have no purpose in and of themselves, and they are called accidents.  The only way an accident can have a purpose is if its creator is smart enough to make it work somehow, or if the accident creates a purpose for itself.  If indeed we are accidents, then we could create for ourselves any purpose we wanted.  But if something is not an accident, but created intentionally, then its best purpose is whatever it was designed for.  If someone else comes along and tries to change the function, chances are, it’s not going to be living up to its full potential.  A computer can function very well as a paperweight or a door stop, but that’s not what it’s best for.  In the same way, if we humans are created beings, then when we try to create a purpose for ourselves apart from what our creator made us for, then we are going to fall short.  I don’t think we could make a better purpose because we’re not smarter than the all-knowing God.  So in order to find our purpose, we have to go back to our creator.  And that, I believe, is the purpose of life:  To go to our creator and have that relationship with him, and then he will guide us to finding what we were meant to be.

Of course this is assuming that there is actually a creator, the purpose of life, to continue on living and passing on the genetic information so that our species/life will continue. Other than that it's up to you to decide what your purpose in life is. Your making the assumption that there is a creator, the reality of it all is that there is no reason to believe there is a creator, in fact all the evidence points towards a natural phenomena that occurred without the help of a creator and that after a few billion years all life is the current evolutionary product and a few hundred thousand years who knows what species will have evolved.

sec014 wrote:

Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

I think it would be an absurd statement to say that there is no absolute truth at all.  If not, then why are any of us here debating?  I think atheists do believe in absolute truth, you just define it differently.  You might define absolute truth as something which can be observed and proven through science, and anything outside of that is only subjective.  I would find that a lot easier to agree with, except that there are truths which are absolutely true, but not scientific and can only be known through experience.  Two examples are logic and reason.  They are self-evident truths in that you cannot prove them outside of themselves.  Science is based upon them.  Yet you cannot deny that they are not true, because to do so, you would have to use them.  Even to say that they aren’t true is false because you are claiming to make a true statement.  Logic and reason are the only truths which use themselves as referents.  There are absolutes based upon them, like the order of numbers.  We don’t make judgments about them; we make judgments based on them.

Of course there are absolute truths, the sun gives off energy and light....there is no denying this.  I don't get why your asking this question.

sec014 wrote:

Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

I think it’s a rather simple thing to demonstrate order in the universe, but it’s much harder to explain the implications.  It’s very difficult to perceive order on a grand scale because our perception is constantly changing.  A few years ago, the order of the universe was that there were 9 planets, but now there are 8 apparently.  And then there are matters of pure opinion, like taste, style of music, etc.  With so many things that can change, and with so many different viewpoints out there, the universe may seem very chaotic.  But I believe there is an underlying order in all things, which can be demonstrated in the order of numbers.  7 plus 3 equal 10, and not just today, but it’s always equaled ten and always will.  And this is not just a matter of opinion, either.  Anyone who thinks is capable of grasping this concept, and the concept is the same for everyone.  But this also shows order:  Ten is equal to seven and three, but is greater than seven and greater than three, and seven is also greater than three.  This is the order and it does not change.  There are relationships in numbers, and I think that the whole universe shows that it was built upon relationships.  The moon revolves around the earth, the earth around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy.  But it’s not just with things; I believe it’s with people, too, since we are within the universe.  Human beings are just as relational as everything else.  Parents are over their children, friends and friends are side-by-side, husbands and wives are joined together, and I believe all of us are under God.  I think that human beings were built to have relationships just like everything else, because we’re not alone in the universe and it’s not natural for anyone to be alone.  But when relationships are disrupted, the universe goes from order to chaos.  If the earth were to lose its orbit around the sun, the moon’s orbit would be affected as well.  People suffer because of broken families and broken marriages.  I think that ultimately all chaos comes from the broken relationship with God, because he made relationships in the first place.  And I believe that Christ came for that very reason, to re-establish that relationship between God and man.  When that relationship is fully and finally restored, I think there will be the right order in the universe.

ordered in what sense? Many will tell you it's actually quite chaotic and very inhospitable to life, so I don't get why the universe would be considered ordered really.

sec014 wrote:

Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.  If he hadn’t, I don’t think I would have any reason to believe.  Now of course, experience isn’t the test of truth, because people have false experiences all the time.  So along the way I’ve questioned and examined it all, critically and even doubting sometimes.  But thankfully the more I learn, the more it only confirms what God has been doing in my life all along, even against my own expectations.  I like how C.S. Lewis put it, “I know that God is not a figment of my imagination because he’s not at all what I would imagine him to be.”

Good for you, i am a life long atheist, mainly due to the fact that even though  I was raised in a christian society, I actually grew up with non religious parents, as well as a great education, and was able to explore various religions throughout my many travels, and in the end, figured they were all BS.

sec014 wrote:

Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Well, to be honest, if I’m wrong then I hope someone shows me what’s right.  If someone thinks I’m wrong, I’ll listen to them and consider their argument as long as they’re reasonable about it.  I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.  And if I’m wrong about Christianity, then I guess I’d have to start figuring out a better purpose to life.  But even if I do find out that Christianity is wrong, that Jesus was not the Son of God, then I think I would probably still follow His example anyway.  I would still obey his teaching as if he were God incarnate.  The only way I wouldn’t follow Jesus is if someone showed me that he wasn’t perfect.  See, we (Christians) don’t claim that we know everything, and we certainly don’t claim that we’re perfect.  We’re just as messed up as anyone else.  Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about Christ.  We don’t claim that we’re perfect, we proclaim that He is.  So showing me everything that’s wrong about Christians won’t change anything; to really prove me wrong you’d have to show me what’s wrong about Jesus.

If you are wrong, so what, now the question is what if your wrong and it's another god or gods that exist.....then what? your fucked, Just like the rest of us. However my little death experience for me showed me no afterlife....nothing at all, but then again that's kinda what I expected. So it might be a more biased views, much like hindu's that have had near death experiences (NDE) have seen shiva or brahama, or Buddhists that saw their next life, etc, etc, etc.


darth_josh
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sec014 wrote:Hello!  I am a

sec014 wrote:

Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Well... to start with... which atheists? Atheism denotes only one facet of my entire ideology. It is one label among many.

I'm sure that you will get that from reading the responses to your questions. Quite often, we(internet users who are atheists) are attacked for lumping all christians into one category based upon our own experiences. We, RRS, strive to separate the individual based upon his/her own perception of christianity.

Different strokes for different folks.

Likewise, if we perceive your brand of religion to have too much disparity with others we have encountered than we'll most likely tell you.

sec014 wrote:
Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Morality is simply a description of reality:  It is saying that the universe should look a certain way.  Whatever is moral keeps that order in the universe.  For example, it is morally right to love your neighbor.  If everyone loved their neighbor, then we’d have no wars and everyone could live in peace.  But if everyone did the opposite, then no one could live within society; we would all kill each other.  Everyone’s moral system is designed to keep the order of the universe.  But in order to say what is ordered, you’d have to also say that you know what the best order of the universe should be.  No human can say how the universe should be ordered because we did not design it nor order it in the first place.  We are only working within our own perspective; therefore we can only say how we can make the universe work for us.  But then, you have everyone saying different things trying to make the universe work for them.  So whose moral system is the best?  No one can say.  The only person who can legitimately say that the universe should look any certain way is the person who gave it order.  The only person who can say what a piece of art should look like is the artist.

Now, if you say that the best moral system is the one where we are all in agreement, I would ask the question, are we really any closer to reaching full societal agreement?  What you ask for in this society of harmony is a utopia.  We would like to believe that we are closer now than we were before because of our global society, but there will always be dissenters.  I think that points to show that there is something unnatural about the way that human beings are living.

Case in point. Mainstream christianity says all morality comes from god. You've obviously seen the flaw in that thinking. However, I would ask you to go a step further and remove your opinion from the argument.

What if order was simply a construct of human cognition? What if the idea of order was simply laziness by innovation?

Citing the alleged jesus for an example, In Matt. 5:27-28 it says: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

To me, this is laziness by innovation for morality because the commandment against adultery was already loosely interpreted. Ergo, religion needed to curtail the emotion that fed the 'sin'. Why???... Disease, jealousy, strife, miscegenation all were of concern for the ancient world because they witnessed those things destroying other civilizations from within.

Fast forward to modern times... there are many thriving relationships involving polygamy, polyandry, et al. (Example: The Zo'e tribe of Brazil) We have learned from the past and placed order to attempt to control those problems up to and including the staunch teachings of the bible.

Is there still 'adultery'? Oh yes. Because unlike the bible's idea of utopian sexual relations(new testament only) we have left room for the individual.

If there were truly an objective morality from a supernatural source then wouldn't it be intrinsic to all humans?

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

I would have to state first that there is a purpose to life.  Everything which is designed and created by will has a purpose.  There are things which are made that have no purpose in and of themselves, and they are called accidents.  The only way an accident can have a purpose is if its creator is smart enough to make it work somehow, or if the accident creates a purpose for itself.  If indeed we are accidents, then we could create for ourselves any purpose we wanted.  But if something is not an accident, but created intentionally, then its best purpose is whatever it was designed for.  If someone else comes along and tries to change the function, chances are, it’s not going to be living up to its full potential.  A computer can function very well as a paperweight or a door stop, but that’s not what it’s best for.  In the same way, if we humans are created beings, then when we try to create a purpose for ourselves apart from what our creator made us for, then we are going to fall short.  I don’t think we could make a better purpose because we’re not smarter than the all-knowing God.  So in order to find our purpose, we have to go back to our creator.  And that, I believe, is the purpose of life:  To go to our creator and have that relationship with him, and then he will guide us to finding what we were meant to be.

Life is living. period.

If we had a creator giving us purpose then why would we stray into other fields?

For instance, Ted Haggard's purpose was allegedly preaching against homosexuality. However, we find that he was buying meth from a gay masseur. Was his purpose changed to test the faith of his followers? Why would that work? Would it not stand to reason that the purpose of preventing homosexuality by a god would be better served by an excellent role model rather than a sinful preacher?

 

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

I think it would be an absurd statement to say that there is no absolute truth at all.  If not, then why are any of us here debating?  I think atheists do believe in absolute truth, you just define it differently.  You might define absolute truth as something which can be observed and proven through science, and anything outside of that is only subjective.  I would find that a lot easier to agree with, except that there are truths which are absolutely true, but not scientific and can only be known through experience.  Two examples are logic and reason.  They are self-evident truths in that you cannot prove them outside of themselves.  Science is based upon them.  Yet you cannot deny that they are not true, because to do so, you would have to use them.  Even to say that they aren’t true is false because you are claiming to make a true statement.  Logic and reason are the only truths which use themselves as referents.  There are absolutes based upon them, like the order of numbers.  We don’t make judgments about them; we make judgments based on them.

My favorite quote on this actually comes from a t-shirt... "The absolute truth will set you free... maybe."

If numbers were an absolute truth then why are there so many different systems of measurement, different calendars, different symbols for numbers, different base systems for numbers. I believe this to be another example of laziness by innovation. We had to make objective human values in order to communicate with other cultures.

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

I think it’s a rather simple thing to demonstrate order in the universe, but it’s much harder to explain the implications.  It’s very difficult to perceive order on a grand scale because our perception is constantly changing.  A few years ago, the order of the universe was that there were 9 planets, but now there are 8 apparently.  And then there are matters of pure opinion, like taste, style of music, etc.  With so many things that can change, and with so many different viewpoints out there, the universe may seem very chaotic.  But I believe there is an underlying order in all things, which can be demonstrated in the order of numbers.  7 plus 3 equal 10, and not just today, but it’s always equaled ten and always will.  And this is not just a matter of opinion, either.  Anyone who thinks is capable of grasping this concept, and the concept is the same for everyone.  But this also shows order:  Ten is equal to seven and three, but is greater than seven and greater than three, and seven is also greater than three.  This is the order and it does not change.  There are relationships in numbers, and I think that the whole universe shows that it was built upon relationships.  The moon revolves around the earth, the earth around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy.  But it’s not just with things; I believe it’s with people, too, since we are within the universe.  Human beings are just as relational as everything else.  Parents are over their children, friends and friends are side-by-side, husbands and wives are joined together, and I believe all of us are under God.  I think that human beings were built to have relationships just like everything else, because we’re not alone in the universe and it’s not natural for anyone to be alone.  But when relationships are disrupted, the universe goes from order to chaos.  If the earth were to lose its orbit around the sun, the moon’s orbit would be affected as well.  People suffer because of broken families and broken marriages.  I think that ultimately all chaos comes from the broken relationship with God, because he made relationships in the first place.  And I believe that Christ came for that very reason, to re-establish that relationship between God and man.  When that relationship is fully and finally restored, I think there will be the right order in the universe.

In the base 8 system, 7+3=12 because the numbers are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,20...

Is it orderly for meteors to smash into planets we'll never see? Is it well-ordered to have elliptical orbits? Is it well-ordered to watch galaxies collide?

Chaos, not order rules the cosmos, in my estimation. However, there are patches where we can assign just enough order exists to fool ourselves.

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.  If he hadn’t, I don’t think I would have any reason to believe.  Now of course, experience isn’t the test of truth, because people have false experiences all the time.  So along the way I’ve questioned and examined it all, critically and even doubting sometimes.  But thankfully the more I learn, the more it only confirms what God has been doing in my life all along, even against my own expectations.  I like how C.S. Lewis put it, “I know that God is not a figment of my imagination because he’s not at all what I would imagine him to be.”

Soooo, you're not going to take credit for anything you've done good or bad?

I have to face the consequences of bad decisions and I get to accept the accolades/rewards for good decisions. That is why I sometimes view myself as superior to religious people. Their religion has them fooled into believing that they can't change their own environment without help from 'god'.

Are the consequences of your bad actions/decisions imminent or will you just be forgiven never having to face anything you may or may not have done?

What if saying "Oops, my bad." to your deity isn't enough to stop those whom you've wronged from exacting revenge?

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Well, to be honest, if I’m wrong then I hope someone shows me what’s right.  If someone thinks I’m wrong, I’ll listen to them and consider their argument as long as they’re reasonable about it.  I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.  And if I’m wrong about Christianity, then I guess I’d have to start figuring out a better purpose to life.  But even if I do find out that Christianity is wrong, that Jesus was not the Son of God, then I think I would probably still follow His example anyway.  I would still obey his teaching as if he were God incarnate.  The only way I wouldn’t follow Jesus is if someone showed me that he wasn’t perfect.  See, we (Christians) don’t claim that we know everything, and we certainly don’t claim that we’re perfect.  We’re just as messed up as anyone else.  Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about Christ.  We don’t claim that we’re perfect, we proclaim that He is.  So showing me everything that’s wrong about Christians won’t change anything; to really prove me wrong you’d have to show me what’s wrong about Jesus.

Ahhhh. Google 'Pascal's wager'. What if allah is the right god to be praying to? We die and you have to explain that you followed the wrong god. I simply get to say that I was unaffiliated.

What if Vishnu, Ganesha, and the hindu pantheon were the correct gods? I don't get tortured, I get recycled. However, they have a special place for the likes of you. lol.

 

 

How jesus is not perfect... it wasn't a sacrifice. If a divine entity proved to you that you would sit at the right hand of god after a day's worth of torture then would you do it? My answer: In a heartbeat.

The crucifixion was a condition of his alleged reward. Ergo, not altruistic at all. jesus was in it to win it, if he even existed at all.

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sec014
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Cj, thank you for

Cj, thank you for commenting, but you made claims, not arguments.  A claim is simply a statement, whereas an argument has a logical flow with premises and a conclusion and can be either validated or refuted.  You say that the universe is "purely random," yet you give no reason for why this is true.  I know that in my answers I am not giving full-proof arguments, but their soundness and cogency can still be tested, whereas yours cannot.


B166ER
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???

sec014 wrote:
Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Welcome! If your looking for atheists to poke holes in your "arguments" for Christianity, then you came to the right place!

sec014 wrote:
Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

You make a mistake in thinking that morals are anything other then social norms created by the animals involved to strengthen social cohesion. You seem to put WAY too much importance on the moral (or otherwise) actions of individuals. Your belief in the Christian fairy tale makes you think that different animals acting differently seems somehow unnatural, yet in a universe without any cosmic dictator, that's exactly what you would expect since they wouldn't be getting orders from on high.

sec014 wrote:
Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

You make the mistake of starting from the point you wish to prove (invisible sky daddy), then trying to make the evidence fit your belief in it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no purpose in life other then for whatever particular animal in question to procreate and keep it's species going. You have no special cosmic mission. You are not special. Your purpose in life is to do what you think is important, nothing more.

sec014 wrote:
Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

If by "absolute truth" you mean is there truth in this universe, then yes there is. The universe exists, therefore true. The planet of our birth DOES revolve around the sun that gives us the energy, therefore it is true. If you mean by "absolute truth" what I think you mean, then no. There is no cosmic plan or planner. There is no system or way of life that could work for everyone. So no, there is no absolute answer for you or me. All we can do is learn more about the universe and our place in it and pass it on to the ones who will live after us.

sec014 wrote:
Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

If by ordered you mean it that physical laws make things happen certain ways instead of others, then for the most part, yes. If by ordered you mean planned, then no. It's just your mind, which is capable of planning events, not being able to shut off that evolutionary adaptation from applying it to things unplanned.

sec014 wrote:
Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

Because you took the crazy ravings about the world of some genocidal, misogynistic goat herders seriously. It's not like there's any evidence for the insane claims in that, or any other, religious book.

sec014 wrote:
Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Pascal's Wager FAIL! There are so many ideas that people have had about the universe throughout our short period on planet earth that it could mean anything if I'm wrong. It could be any number of deities that the human mind has conjured up and it could be something never thought of by any human mind. The problem is, without any evidence that a person like Jesus ever existed, you take the claims of the book hinging on his existence at face value. With those epic fails of logic and reasoning, it's almost impossible for you to not be wrong.

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


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Ok, now that several people

Ok, now that several people here have taken the time to deconstruct your argument, I will cut to the chase.

Before you can even make these arguments you have to first establish beyond naked assertion, that an invisible brain that floats out in the cosmos everywhere and nowhere at the same time, which has magical super powers, exists(by any name).

Secondly the two core stories that Christianity pins itself on are scientifically absurd claims.

Science has discovered DNA, and humans need two sets of DNA to form. The virgin birth story in the bible therefor has no evidence of truth.

Then there is the alleged death of the Jesus character. There is absolutely no evidence that a human body, after having all it's blood drained from it, after brain death, after all organ failure and death, can after hours and days survive rigor mortis.

So while others are willing to entertain your arguments, I see no point when neither the god you claim itself, has any evidence for it, much less the alleged fantastic stories of the bible.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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sec014 wrote:Hello!  I am a

sec014 wrote:

Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Morality is simply a description of reality:  It is saying that the universe should look a certain way.  Whatever is moral keeps that order in the universe.  For example, it is morally right to love your neighbor.  If everyone loved their neighbor, then we’d have no wars and everyone could live in peace.  But if everyone did the opposite, then no one could live within society; we would all kill each other.  Everyone’s moral system is designed to keep the order of the universe.  But in order to say what is ordered, you’d have to also say that you know what the best order of the universe should be.  No human can say how the universe should be ordered because we did not design it nor order it in the first place.  We are only working within our own perspective; therefore we can only say how we can make the universe work for us.  But then, you have everyone saying different things trying to make the universe work for them.  So whose moral system is the best?  No one can say.  The only person who can legitimately say that the universe should look any certain way is the person who gave it order.  The only person who can say what a piece of art should look like is the artist.

Now, if you say that the best moral system is the one where we are all in agreement, I would ask the question, are we really any closer to reaching full societal agreement?  What you ask for in this society of harmony is a utopia.  We would like to believe that we are closer now than we were before because of our global society, but there will always be dissenters.  I think that points to show that there is something unnatural about the way that human beings are living.

 

Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

I would have to state first that there is a purpose to life.  Everything which is designed and created by will has a purpose.  There are things which are made that have no purpose in and of themselves, and they are called accidents.  The only way an accident can have a purpose is if its creator is smart enough to make it work somehow, or if the accident creates a purpose for itself.  If indeed we are accidents, then we could create for ourselves any purpose we wanted.  But if something is not an accident, but created intentionally, then its best purpose is whatever it was designed for.  If someone else comes along and tries to change the function, chances are, it’s not going to be living up to its full potential.  A computer can function very well as a paperweight or a door stop, but that’s not what it’s best for.  In the same way, if we humans are created beings, then when we try to create a purpose for ourselves apart from what our creator made us for, then we are going to fall short.  I don’t think we could make a better purpose because we’re not smarter than the all-knowing God.  So in order to find our purpose, we have to go back to our creator.  And that, I believe, is the purpose of life:  To go to our creator and have that relationship with him, and then he will guide us to finding what we were meant to be.

 

Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

I think it would be an absurd statement to say that there is no absolute truth at all.  If not, then why are any of us here debating?  I think atheists do believe in absolute truth, you just define it differently.  You might define absolute truth as something which can be observed and proven through science, and anything outside of that is only subjective.  I would find that a lot easier to agree with, except that there are truths which are absolutely true, but not scientific and can only be known through experience.  Two examples are logic and reason.  They are self-evident truths in that you cannot prove them outside of themselves.  Science is based upon them.  Yet you cannot deny that they are not true, because to do so, you would have to use them.  Even to say that they aren’t true is false because you are claiming to make a true statement.  Logic and reason are the only truths which use themselves as referents.  There are absolutes based upon them, like the order of numbers.  We don’t make judgments about them; we make judgments based on them.

 

Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

I think it’s a rather simple thing to demonstrate order in the universe, but it’s much harder to explain the implications.  It’s very difficult to perceive order on a grand scale because our perception is constantly changing.  A few years ago, the order of the universe was that there were 9 planets, but now there are 8 apparently.  And then there are matters of pure opinion, like taste, style of music, etc.  With so many things that can change, and with so many different viewpoints out there, the universe may seem very chaotic.  But I believe there is an underlying order in all things, which can be demonstrated in the order of numbers.  7 plus 3 equal 10, and not just today, but it’s always equaled ten and always will.  And this is not just a matter of opinion, either.  Anyone who thinks is capable of grasping this concept, and the concept is the same for everyone.  But this also shows order:  Ten is equal to seven and three, but is greater than seven and greater than three, and seven is also greater than three.  This is the order and it does not change.  There are relationships in numbers, and I think that the whole universe shows that it was built upon relationships.  The moon revolves around the earth, the earth around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy.  But it’s not just with things; I believe it’s with people, too, since we are within the universe.  Human beings are just as relational as everything else.  Parents are over their children, friends and friends are side-by-side, husbands and wives are joined together, and I believe all of us are under God.  I think that human beings were built to have relationships just like everything else, because we’re not alone in the universe and it’s not natural for anyone to be alone.  But when relationships are disrupted, the universe goes from order to chaos.  If the earth were to lose its orbit around the sun, the moon’s orbit would be affected as well.  People suffer because of broken families and broken marriages.  I think that ultimately all chaos comes from the broken relationship with God, because he made relationships in the first place.  And I believe that Christ came for that very reason, to re-establish that relationship between God and man.  When that relationship is fully and finally restored, I think there will be the right order in the universe.

 

Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.  If he hadn’t, I don’t think I would have any reason to believe.  Now of course, experience isn’t the test of truth, because people have false experiences all the time.  So along the way I’ve questioned and examined it all, critically and even doubting sometimes.  But thankfully the more I learn, the more it only confirms what God has been doing in my life all along, even against my own expectations.  I like how C.S. Lewis put it, “I know that God is not a figment of my imagination because he’s not at all what I would imagine him to be.”

 

Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Well, to be honest, if I’m wrong then I hope someone shows me what’s right.  If someone thinks I’m wrong, I’ll listen to them and consider their argument as long as they’re reasonable about it.  I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.  And if I’m wrong about Christianity, then I guess I’d have to start figuring out a better purpose to life.  But even if I do find out that Christianity is wrong, that Jesus was not the Son of God, then I think I would probably still follow His example anyway.  I would still obey his teaching as if he were God incarnate.  The only way I wouldn’t follow Jesus is if someone showed me that he wasn’t perfect.  See, we (Christians) don’t claim that we know everything, and we certainly don’t claim that we’re perfect.  We’re just as messed up as anyone else.  Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about Christ.  We don’t claim that we’re perfect, we proclaim that He is.  So showing me everything that’s wrong about Christians won’t change anything; to really prove me wrong you’d have to show me what’s wrong about Jesus.

We did not have morals long ago. It is something that has developed socially, and is still developing today. It is a small bit of evolution you can see in action. Anti slavery, acceptance of gays, womens lib etc etc are examples in the way society changes. We would not progress well without it.

The purpose of life is what you decide on, with that said, the basic purpose is to advance our species.

I don't personally think there is an absolute anything. I would like to be absolutley certain that that sun will rise tomorrow, well you never know what could happen to change that.

The universe has an order that has been defined from it's chaotic beginning. Consider all the debris in space and realize it took a long time for things to stabilize into what we have now. Yes there is some sort of order now. This is simple and kind of a silly question. Throw a handfull of dice, watch them tumble and hit each other. In the end there is an order of sorts. Only example I could think of this morning /yawn.

I'm not a christian, I used to be due to programming but "god" never intervened in my life because he is not real, only imaginary. I could pray to a screwdriver and get the same results.

And if I am wrong then I go to a hell which I don't believe in, if you are wrong you lived your only life as a lie, joining into the biggest lie in human history. People in ancient times who knew little of what was going on needed a god. Our society has advanced enough and will continue to advance and leave this myth behind.

Whats wrong with Jesus? He died for your sins, 2000 years ago, you are born into sin, sinful babies. I don't think I or anyone was born into sin, this is an old idea. Our morals have advaned past this thinking of the son should suffer the sins of the father. Or is this something you actually believe? Because without this, Jesus was pointless.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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Guys...I think a few of us

Guys...
I think a few of us are guilty of not reading him properly.
Point 6 didn't bring up Pascal's Wager at all.
He was saying that if he was wrong then he'd like to be shown so, although he'd still follow Jesus' teachings even if he wasn't real.

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Morality is simply a description of reality:  It is saying that the universe should look a certain way.  Whatever is moral keeps that order in the universe.  For example, it is morally right to love your neighbor.  If everyone loved their neighbor, then we’d have no wars and everyone could live in peace.  But if everyone did the opposite, then no one could live within society; we would all kill each other.  Everyone’s moral system is designed to keep the order of the universe.  But in order to say what is ordered, you’d have to also say that you know what the best order of the universe should be. No human can say how the universe should be ordered because we did not design it nor order it in the first place.  We are only working within our own perspective; therefore we can only say how we can make the universe work for us. But then, you have everyone saying different things trying to make the universe work for them.  So whose moral system is the best?  No one can say.  The only person who can legitimately say that the universe should look any certain way is the person who gave it order.  The only person who can say what a piece of art should look like is the artist.

Now, if you say that the best moral system is the one where we are all in agreement, I would ask the question, are we really any closer to reaching full societal agreement?  What you ask for in this society of harmony is a utopia.  We would like to believe that we are closer now than we were before because of our global society, but there will always be dissenters.  I think that points to show that there is something unnatural about the way that human beings are living.


Nice start.
Firstly I'd like to disagree with what you said that the designer can see how something should function. (The bit in bold)
I often buy products to find design flaws, when I can see the purpose of the thing and that the designer hasn't met it.
Incidently, if I had the power to perfectly design the universe, don't get me started on how much horrible shit wouldn't have happened...
Being a designer makes no difference to mastering purpose.

Your argument correctly points out that morality is a complicated issue and that no one seems to have absolute answers.
In my experience, morality isn't so much about "knowing facts" or "having answers", it's more about your personal attitude and conduct to the world around you. Morality is rewarding because it builds good relationships with other people, which in turn brings us happiness. We also have instincts that cause us to dislike suffering so wish to reduce it where possible. So we try to make life the best we can for ourselves and the people around us, but it's very difficult and we're often not successful.
 

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

I don't think there is a particular ultimate purpose.
Sometimes our life is purposeless, and it's just about enjoying the moment as it is.
Sometimes we find ourself with a purpose. Circumstance puts us in a situation where there's a problem we want to solve or something that needs to be done. In those situations we are with purpose.

sec014 wrote:
I would have to state first that there is a purpose to life.  Everything which is designed and created by will has a purpose.  There are things which are made that have no purpose in and of themselves, and they are called accidents.  The only way an accident can have a purpose is if its creator is smart enough to make it work somehow, or if the accident creates a purpose for itself.  If indeed we are accidents, then we could create for ourselves any purpose we wanted.  But if something is not an accident, but created intentionally, then its best purpose is whatever it was designed for.  If someone else comes along and tries to change the function, chances are, it’s not going to be living up to its full potential.  A computer can function very well as a paperweight or a door stop, but that’s not what it’s best for.  In the same way, if we humans are created beings, then when we try to create a purpose for ourselves apart from what our creator made us for, then we are going to fall short.  I don’t think we could make a better purpose because we’re not smarter than the all-knowing God.  So in order to find our purpose, we have to go back to our creator.  And that, I believe, is the purpose of life:  To go to our creator and have that relationship with him, and then he will guide us to finding what we were meant to be.

Okay... so here you're saying that if there's a God then he's likely to have designed us with a purpose.
So it's an argument for people who believe in God, that they also have a purpose too.
I disagree with the bit in bold though - I don't think we choose our purpose.
I think our purposes are dictated by our circumstance, our choices instead determining on how well we fulfill it.

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

Yep. We agree on this one.

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

Yes. The planets, for example, do rotate around the sun in accordance with the laws of gravity.

sec014 wrote:
There are relationships in numbers, and I think that the whole universe shows that it was built upon relationships.  The moon revolves around the earth, the earth around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy.  But it’s not just with things; I believe it’s with people, too, since we are within the universe.  Human beings are just as relational as everything else.  Parents are over their children, friends and friends are side-by-side, husbands and wives are joined together, and I believe all of us are under God.  I think that human beings were built to have relationships just like everything else, because we’re not alone in the universe and it’s not natural for anyone to be alone.  But when relationships are disrupted, the universe goes from order to chaos.  If the earth were to lose its orbit around the sun, the moon’s orbit would be affected as well.  People suffer because of broken families and broken marriages.  I think that ultimately all chaos comes from the broken relationship with God, because he made relationships in the first place.  And I believe that Christ came for that very reason, to re-establish that relationship between God and man.  When that relationship is fully and finally restored, I think there will be the right order in the universe.

Here it looks like you're trying to make an analogy.
We all agree that the universe is ordered, e.g. the plans revolve around the sun.
We agree that things would be crazy if this order was disrupted.
You then try and compare that to morality, that moral problems are due to people disrupting the "order" they were designed to follow. I don't think that this matches a realistic picture of morality at all. For starters, problems happen to even people who try their hardest to follow the correct "order".

True morality is less regulatory and more creative.
We have problems in society and in our lives.
Simply following some mindless code of conduct won't simply solve these problems. While codes of conduct do have their uses and their place, it's ultimately a matter of our skill and creativity to try and solve the problems life throws at us as best as we can. Good relationships don't come through abiding to strict rules, they come through skillful action, making other people feel happy and comfortable in your presence and being able to solve differences and conflicts with minimal harm.

My argument for this: (Sorry, you caught me blindly asserting there! Eye-wink )
Mostly this comes from my own observation in real life on what good morality is and isn't.
That said, I think I can construct an argument by comparing morality to more conventional skills.

Knowing and doing are two different things.
In sports, managers and commentators know all about the different skills, tricks and tactics that players can do to win the game. The players themselves don't necessarily know about these skills, tricks and tactics, but through practice and training they can use them naturally. Their training isn't to "follow an order", instead they're given skills and tricks to practice, and through experience they get a natural nack for applying these in a game, without necessarily having to think about. I think that in the same way that morality is more about skillfully interacting with other people and the world around you, that we get good at it by develloping skills and gaining experience rather than gaining knowledge of 'dos' and 'don'ts'.
It also explains why people who have not studied morality can naturally be amazingly good people, while people who have studied it might not be so good.
 

Does that correlate with your own understanding/experience of morality?

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.  If he hadn’t, I don’t think I would have any reason to believe.  Now of course, experience isn’t the test of truth, because people have false experiences all the time.  So along the way I’ve questioned and examined it all, critically and even doubting sometimes.  But thankfully the more I learn, the more it only confirms what God has been doing in my life all along, even against my own expectations.  I like how C.S. Lewis put it, “I know that God is not a figment of my imagination because he’s not at all what I would imagine him to be.”


Interesting.
I suspect that if we were to thoroughly inspect your memories we'd find methods and assumptions (e.g. confirmation bias), and non-supernatural sources for your experience. That said, such introspection is usually done personally. On this board, we'd debate against the objective existence of God and perhaps expose you to some of the psychology and common ways people are fooled into believing things. Then perhaps you'd find yourself naturally applying these to your past experiences and see them in a new light.
 

As for the C.S. Lewis quote, the idea that our imagination only shows us what we expect it to is just ignorant of proper psychology.

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Well, to be honest, if I’m wrong then I hope someone shows me what’s right.  If someone thinks I’m wrong, I’ll listen to them and consider their argument as long as they’re reasonable about it.  I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.  And if I’m wrong about Christianity, then I guess I’d have to start figuring out a better purpose to life.  But even if I do find out that Christianity is wrong, that Jesus was not the Son of God, then I think I would probably still follow His example anyway.  I would still obey his teaching as if he were God incarnate.  The only way I wouldn’t follow Jesus is if someone showed me that he wasn’t perfect.  See, we (Christians) don’t claim that we know everything, and we certainly don’t claim that we’re perfect.  We’re just as messed up as anyone else.  Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about Christ.  We don’t claim that we’re perfect, we proclaim that He is.  So showing me everything that’s wrong about Christians won’t change anything; to really prove me wrong you’d have to show me what’s wrong about Jesus.


I'm the same as you.
If I'm wrong, I hope to be shown so through reasoning so I can change accordingly.
And like you, changing my opinion on God wouldn't necessarily affect my other beliefs.
Believing in God wouldn't make me a Christian and becoming a Christian wouldn't change my belief that morality is secular.

If I was to persuade you that Jesus wasn't "the man", I'd use the Bible.
I'd try to show that he was like any other thinker/character, with both good ideas and bad ideas.
I also think that a lot of modern Christians find themselves having to interpret a lot of what he says in order to fit with "real morality".
We've got enough on our plate with the other points, so how about we save that for another thread?


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1. We are social animals. 

1. We are social animals.  Without morality individuals would never form societies.  Since social animals also display morality, it seems to be an evolutionary trait.  I think your description of morality is a bit vague, order != morality and chaos != a lack or morality.

2. There are two facets to this question.  One, is the big "P" purpose, as usually understood.  I don't think there is one.  The little "p" purpose is just whatever our needs and desires give us.  My life has whatever purpose I choose to give it.

3. It depends on how you define truth.  I don't believe in capital T 'Truth' but I do believe in knowledge...that is, things that we determine to exist do exist.  I don't have any way to prove I'm not a brain in a jar imagining reality, but since I don't have any frame of reference outside of my own it makes sense to operate under the assumption that reality is true, and exists.

4. Well, all the recent quantum theory talk has made me doubt myself on this one, because it confuses me.  Outside of that though, I believe the universe is 'ordered', but by that I mean there is causation for events.  For practical purposes though the system is too complex and chaotic to ever be described, so we might as well treat it as being unordered in some instances.  For example, human behavior.  We can model and predict but we can never create scientific prophecy.

5. I was raised as a Christian, but issues about morality, 'evil' and the afterlife caused me to doubt my faith.  When I investigated the issues and searched for answers I found that the deeper I dug the less foundational material there was for believing in the supernatural.  Now I am an atheist because I realize there is no evidence for any deity and the only reason I believed in that particular God was because I was raised in that environment.

6. Then I'll ask the deity why he left humanity to figure things out for itself, instead of getting shy once science started poking at it.

-----------------

For me now, probably the most damning aspect of theism is that from an objective standpoint there is no way to separate the big T Truth claims of different religions.  Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Mormons, Lutherans and Scientologists all use the same rationalizations and the same arguments but they make mutually contradictory claims.

That, and the fact that a deities physical interaction with the universe is inversely proportional to the number of cell-phone cameras in circulation.

-----------------

You seem fairly reasonable.  I imagine that means you won't stick around.  Liberal Christians don't usually remain here very long, only the kooks do.  So I hope you stay and provide your input, even when it gets tough.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I need to ask though: What

I need to ask though: What is perfect about Jesus, besides the Bible claiming he was perfect?

I don't think Jesus gives enough source material to base your life and morality around...too many gaps, and interpreting what he says is too subjective.  Certainly I don't mind using some of the things he said as a character reference.

Jesus was a great character reference for society 2,000 years ago, but I think we can do better now.  We've already incorporated the best bits into our societies.  Unfortunately we also incorporated the worst bits from the rest of the church.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Here are my answers.sec014

Here are my answers.

Edit: Welcome to the forum.

sec014 wrote:
Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Our evolution as a social animal.

Quote:
Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

Life has no purpose. Humans, however, do have purposes.

Btw, the purpose of life is NOT to reproduce. Purpose, as I define it, requires an intelligence and intent. Life is not trying to reproduce. Reproduction is merely a function of life.

Quote:
Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

Yes.

Quote:
Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

What does that mean? You mean it's deterministic? It could be.

Quote:
Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

I suppose I'll answer the question, why don't I believe in God?

Well, not enough evidence.

Quote:
Question 6: What if you're wrong?

What I do if I were wrong? I would change my belief.

What would be the consequences? That depends on what's right.

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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sec014 wrote:Cj, thank you

sec014 wrote:

Cj, thank you for commenting, but you made claims, not arguments.  A claim is simply a statement, whereas an argument has a logical flow with premises and a conclusion and can be either validated or refuted.  You say that the universe is "purely random," yet you give no reason for why this is true.  I know that in my answers I am not giving full-proof arguments, but their soundness and cogency can still be tested, whereas yours cannot.

I gave you my answers, not intending to discuss or argue them.  Waste of my time and yours.

Either we agree with each other or we don't.  If we don't, what is the use of arguing?  If we agree, what do we need to discuss?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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sec014 wrote:Hello!  I am a

sec014 wrote:

Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Welcome. I'll try to answer your questions.

sec014 wrote:

Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Morality is simply a description of reality:  It is saying that the universe should look a certain way.  Whatever is moral keeps that order in the universe.  For example, it is morally right to love your neighbor.  If everyone loved their neighbor, then we’d have no wars and everyone could live in peace.  But if everyone did the opposite, then no one could live within society; we would all kill each other.  Everyone’s moral system is designed to keep the order of the universe.  But in order to say what is ordered, you’d have to also say that you know what the best order of the universe should be.  No human can say how the universe should be ordered because we did not design it nor order it in the first place.  We are only working within our own perspective; therefore we can only say how we can make the universe work for us.  But then, you have everyone saying different things trying to make the universe work for them.  So whose moral system is the best?  No one can say.  The only person who can legitimately say that the universe should look any certain way is the person who gave it order.  The only person who can say what a piece of art should look like is the artist.

Now, if you say that the best moral system is the one where we are all in agreement, I would ask the question, are we really any closer to reaching full societal agreement?  What you ask for in this society of harmony is a utopia.  We would like to believe that we are closer now than we were before because of our global society, but there will always be dissenters.  I think that points to show that there is something unnatural about the way that human beings are living.

Morality is subjective, based on the culture in question to enable the people involved to coexist under agreed upon rules. It has nada to do with the Universe or any gods. People may use their interpretation of ancient archaic books as a means or basis for creating these rules but long before these ancient texts were penned even older cultures had rules as well, see Code of Hammurabi for example. Or see Code of Ur-Nammu for an even older one.

The rest of your question is assertions regarding the nature of the Universe in your attempt to apply a creator as the origin of morals.

 

sec014 wrote:

Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

I would have to state first that there is a purpose to life.  Everything which is designed and created by will has a purpose.  There are things which are made that have no purpose in and of themselves, and they are called accidents.  The only way an accident can have a purpose is if its creator is smart enough to make it work somehow, or if the accident creates a purpose for itself.  If indeed we are accidents, then we could create for ourselves any purpose we wanted.  But if something is not an accident, but created intentionally, then its best purpose is whatever it was designed for.  If someone else comes along and tries to change the function, chances are, it’s not going to be living up to its full potential.  A computer can function very well as a paperweight or a door stop, but that’s not what it’s best for.  In the same way, if we humans are created beings, then when we try to create a purpose for ourselves apart from what our creator made us for, then we are going to fall short.  I don’t think we could make a better purpose because we’re not smarter than the all-knowing God.  So in order to find our purpose, we have to go back to our creator.  And that, I believe, is the purpose of life:  To go to our creator and have that relationship with him, and then he will guide us to finding what we were meant to be.

All life that we have observed on this planet has the purpose of surviving and reproducing. In the case of humans, we are involved in secondary pursuits in addition to the primary one of reproduction that vary depending on the subjective desires of the individual. In your case, you seem to have a secondary pursuit of preaching the word, though you claim that's not why you are here, it still oozes out in your writing.

The rest of your discussion in this question again is assertion of that which you have interpretated presumably from the Bible, an ancient archaic book of unreliable, unknown, and at times ignorant writing.

 

sec014 wrote:

Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

I think it would be an absurd statement to say that there is no absolute truth at all.  If not, then why are any of us here debating?  I think atheists do believe in absolute truth, you just define it differently.  You might define absolute truth as something which can be observed and proven through science, and anything outside of that is only subjective.  I would find that a lot easier to agree with, except that there are truths which are absolutely true, but not scientific and can only be known through experience.  Two examples are logic and reason.  They are self-evident truths in that you cannot prove them outside of themselves.  Science is based upon them.  Yet you cannot deny that they are not true, because to do so, you would have to use them.  Even to say that they aren’t true is false because you are claiming to make a true statement.  Logic and reason are the only truths which use themselves as referents.  There are absolutes based upon them, like the order of numbers.  We don’t make judgments about them; we make judgments based on them.

There may be absolute truth that applies to our observed reality in this dimension or Universe or it may be so in others as well. Since we are still learning, there are things that appear to be absolutely true, but that may just mean we haven't understood all there is to understand as of yet. All things should be questioned, because that is how new ideas and discovery occurs. Stagnation of knowledge happens when that which is known to be true dominates and suppresses investigation and research. Examples of such are strewn throughout our history. The world is flat, the Earth is the center of the Universe, and god did it.

 

sec014 wrote:

Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

I think it’s a rather simple thing to demonstrate order in the universe, but it’s much harder to explain the implications.  It’s very difficult to perceive order on a grand scale because our perception is constantly changing.  A few years ago, the order of the universe was that there were 9 planets, but now there are 8 apparently.  And then there are matters of pure opinion, like taste, style of music, etc.  With so many things that can change, and with so many different viewpoints out there, the universe may seem very chaotic.  But I believe there is an underlying order in all things, which can be demonstrated in the order of numbers.  7 plus 3 equal 10, and not just today, but it’s always equaled ten and always will.  And this is not just a matter of opinion, either.  Anyone who thinks is capable of grasping this concept, and the concept is the same for everyone.  But this also shows order:  Ten is equal to seven and three, but is greater than seven and greater than three, and seven is also greater than three.  This is the order and it does not change.  There are relationships in numbers, and I think that the whole universe shows that it was built upon relationships.  The moon revolves around the earth, the earth around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy.  But it’s not just with things; I believe it’s with people, too, since we are within the universe.  Human beings are just as relational as everything else.  Parents are over their children, friends and friends are side-by-side, husbands and wives are joined together, and I believe all of us are under God.  I think that human beings were built to have relationships just like everything else, because we’re not alone in the universe and it’s not natural for anyone to be alone.  But when relationships are disrupted, the universe goes from order to chaos.  If the earth were to lose its orbit around the sun, the moon’s orbit would be affected as well.  People suffer because of broken families and broken marriages.  I think that ultimately all chaos comes from the broken relationship with God, because he made relationships in the first place.  And I believe that Christ came for that very reason, to re-establish that relationship between God and man.  When that relationship is fully and finally restored, I think there will be the right order in the universe.

Whether astronomy designates 9 planets or 8 didn't change that Pluto is still orbiting the Sun.

As pointed out by others, 7 + 3 =12 in base 8. In base 10 you are right, but the base of the number system is subjective as well. Most computers use binary because of logic gates.

Number systems have little to do with moral relationships, I don't get how you morphed into that here. You assert quite a lot of your beliefs in this question. Friends can be equal or one can dominate another, which is more likely. Humans were built to reproduce like all other life on this planet and use relationships as the means. Parents whether humans or lions help their young to learn how to survive in the world as part of reproducing.

Is the Universe ordered. In that it appears there are laws of physics that are universal yes. In that it was a designed creation, nope.

 

sec014 wrote:

Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.  If he hadn’t, I don’t think I would have any reason to believe.  Now of course, experience isn’t the test of truth, because people have false experiences all the time.  So along the way I’ve questioned and examined it all, critically and even doubting sometimes.  But thankfully the more I learn, the more it only confirms what God has been doing in my life all along, even against my own expectations.  I like how C.S. Lewis put it, “I know that God is not a figment of my imagination because he’s not at all what I would imagine him to be.”

So, you are a convert because you had a SEE, Significant Emotional Event? That's how I take the statement I underlined above.

You need further explanation why you accept ancient archaic writing about a tribal god to have merit.

I'm an atheist because the supposed truth of the Bible is not. It is blantantly clear that it is developed from legends, ignorance and misunderstood ideas. I was once a believer and went to parochial schools and have a grad degree from a Jesuit University. The more I learned about religion, Christianity and God the less it made any sense.

 

sec014 wrote:

Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Well, to be honest, if I’m wrong then I hope someone shows me what’s right.  If someone thinks I’m wrong, I’ll listen to them and consider their argument as long as they’re reasonable about it.  I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.  And if I’m wrong about Christianity, then I guess I’d have to start figuring out a better purpose to life.  But even if I do find out that Christianity is wrong, that Jesus was not the Son of God, then I think I would probably still follow His example anyway.  I would still obey his teaching as if he were God incarnate.  The only way I wouldn’t follow Jesus is if someone showed me that he wasn’t perfect.  See, we (Christians) don’t claim that we know everything, and we certainly don’t claim that we’re perfect.  We’re just as messed up as anyone else.  Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about Christ.  We don’t claim that we’re perfect, we proclaim that He is.  So showing me everything that’s wrong about Christians won’t change anything; to really prove me wrong you’d have to show me what’s wrong about Jesus.

If you are wrong you are wasting your time and effort in the same way as someone who thinks the world of Star Wars is real.

You may have picked the wrong god, Allah could be the true god, what then infidel?

Jesus is quoted as saying in Mark 10:18 "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."
 

Good enough?

Didn't think so.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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strafio wrote:Guys...I think

strafio wrote:
Guys...
I think a few of us are guilty of not reading him properly.
Point 6 didn't bring up Pascal's Wager at all.
He was saying that if he was wrong then he'd like to be shown so, although he'd still follow Jesus' teachings even if he wasn't real.

I applied Pascal's to it because if he/she follows the teachings of jesus then the outcome is the same. Wrong teachings = Wrong ideology = Wrong god = Wrong heaven/hell as opposed to atheism being No teachings = No set ideology = No god belief = No heaven/hell

The afterlife bar fight if you will.

Angry drunk : Are you with him?

Bouncer : Are you with him?

Christian : Why yes. Yes I am.

Atheist : Nope. Just here to party.

The angry drunk and the bouncer proceed to either buy drinks for the christian or beat him like a redheaded stepchild, while I continue to go about my merry way unmolested as it were.

 

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mellestad,You make a really

mellestad,

You make a really good point.  It's not someone else's burden of proof to show that Jesus wasn't perfect.  I'm making the claim, therefore it's my burden of proof to show that he was perfect.  Well done; I'll reexamine my argument.

 

Now as for everyone else,

I am well aware of Pascal's Wager.

I am aware that my "Purpose to Life" argument was presupposing that there is a God.  If you read it again, you'll see that I realize that, without a God, we could make whatever purpose for ourselves we wanted.  My point was simply that, IF we are not accidents, then our creator would be necessary to finding our best purpose.

A few people have argued against my use of ratio et veritas numeri (the order and truth of number).  You say that, in a base-8 counting system, 7+3=12.  But that's only how it is represented on paper; it does not change the physical number being represented.  (I have even used a base-5 numeral system before, by the way.)  But this is only a different language for representing numbers.  Now if we weren't dealing with theoretical numbers, but dealing with actual objects and representing them on paper with dots for each object, then the ratio et veritas numeri would be the same for everyone.  To count in a base-10 counting system would only arrange the dots in rows of 10, and a base-8 counting system would arrange the dots in rows of 8, but the number of dots would be the same for both.

There were a lot of other very interesting points brought up, but unfortunately I have neither the time nor the energy to address them all.  (Moreover, I cannot address some counterpoints because I did not understand all of them, and others I found completely irrelevant to my points.)  But to everyone who participated in this discussion genuinely and with a good attitude, I thank you!


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sec014 wrote: Question

sec014 wrote:

Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.

I, for one, applaud the honesty of admitting that you believe for completely non-intellectual reasons. You have no idea how many theists come to these boards and pretend (mostly to themselves) that they reasoned their way to their particular brand of faith.


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sec014 wrote:Hello!  I am a

sec014 wrote:

Hello!  I am a Christian participating in a friendly debate with a group of atheists.  If anyone would be so kind, I would like to find out more about what atheists believe and how they think.  If you would poke holes in my argument by giving your best rebuttal, it would help me out a lot.  My only purpose in asking this is simply to learn and expand my mind;  Whatever you say will stay here on this forum.  I invite you to give me your best shot, but please keep it to rational and logical arguments.  Thanks for your time!

Sure, and here we go!

sec014 wrote:
Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

Morality is simply a description of reality:  It is saying that the universe should look a certain way.  Whatever is moral keeps that order in the universe.  For example, it is morally right to love your neighbor.  If everyone loved their neighbor, then we’d have no wars and everyone could live in peace.  But if everyone did the opposite, then no one could live within society; we would all kill each other.  Everyone’s moral system is designed to keep the order of the universe.  But in order to say what is ordered, you’d have to also say that you know what the best order of the universe should be.  No human can say how the universe should be ordered because we did not design it nor order it in the first place.  We are only working within our own perspective; therefore we can only say how we can make the universe work for us.  But then, you have everyone saying different things trying to make the universe work for them.  So whose moral system is the best?  No one can say.  The only person who can legitimately say that the universe should look any certain way is the person who gave it order.  The only person who can say what a piece of art should look like is the artist.

Now, if you say that the best moral system is the one where we are all in agreement, I would ask the question, are we really any closer to reaching full societal agreement?  What you ask for in this society of harmony is a utopia.  We would like to believe that we are closer now than we were before because of our global society, but there will always be dissenters.  I think that points to show that there is something unnatural about the way that human beings are living.

Slow down there. You have first to prove that there is order in the universe. If you're going to argue that humans can't even work out morals within themselves, how can they even determine the nature of the universe in which they live in? Sorry, but that's such a huge leap. Second off, as far as I know, the universe is getting more disorganized (less ordered).  Finally, it assumes there's some intelligent creator that's capable of defining morals--not to mention the assumption that said Creator would even bother revealing the "true" morals to us.

Also, simply having moral agreement doesn't promise some utopia. Conflicts will still arise. However, moral common ground would merely make them easier to resolve. Besides, arguing that something sounds like an Utopia, and therefore cannot exist makes no sense. You'd first have to prove that Utopias cannot exist.

One last thing, you seem to be arguing that morals exist because of God. If that is so, then is something good because it IS good or because God thinks it is good? If the former, then, regardless of God's existence, anyone can find morality. If the latter, morals are actually relative and arbitrary.

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

I would have to state first that there is a purpose to life.  Everything which is designed and created by will has a purpose.  There are things which are made that have no purpose in and of themselves, and they are called accidents.  The only way an accident can have a purpose is if its creator is smart enough to make it work somehow, or if the accident creates a purpose for itself.  If indeed we are accidents, then we could create for ourselves any purpose we wanted.  But if something is not an accident, but created intentionally, then its best purpose is whatever it was designed for.  If someone else comes along and tries to change the function, chances are, it’s not going to be living up to its full potential.  A computer can function very well as a paperweight or a door stop, but that’s not what it’s best for.  In the same way, if we humans are created beings, then when we try to create a purpose for ourselves apart from what our creator made us for, then we are going to fall short.  I don’t think we could make a better purpose because we’re not smarter than the all-knowing God.  So in order to find our purpose, we have to go back to our creator.  And that, I believe, is the purpose of life:  To go to our creator and have that relationship with him, and then he will guide us to finding what we were meant to be.

Alright, this is tricky. What do you mean by "purpose"? I can design a maze from which there is no escape (something created by will) and it wouldn't have a "purpose". I mean, after all, a maze should have some sort of exit, yet by my will, something senseless can still be created. Of course, you can argue that the purpose was to amuse myself, and thus, even if there is no practical purpose, one exists nonetheless. So for this argument to be effective, you first have to define what you mean by "purpose".

Other than that, here are a few objections to such a statement: How do you know that there is a purpose? How do you know that we aren't an accident that has now gained a purpose? How do you know that we aren't the senseless creation of an All-knowing God? Or how do you know that God has a defined purpose for creating us? Or that he even wants to reveal what our purpose is?

There isn't really  much for the Atheist to argue here when you don't even prove that we have a purpose...

sec014 wrote:
Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

I think it would be an absurd statement to say that there is no absolute truth at all.  If not, then why are any of us here debating?  I think atheists do believe in absolute truth, you just define it differently.  You might define absolute truth as something which can be observed and proven through science, and anything outside of that is only subjective.  I would find that a lot easier to agree with, except that there are truths which are absolutely true, but not scientific and can only be known through experience.  Two examples are logic and reason.  They are self-evident truths in that you cannot prove them outside of themselves.  Science is based upon them.  Yet you cannot deny that they are not true, because to do so, you would have to use them.  Even to say that they aren’t true is false because you are claiming to make a true statement.  Logic and reason are the only truths which use themselves as referents.  There are absolutes based upon them, like the order of numbers.  We don’t make judgments about them; we make judgments based on them.

The relativist can argue that even the person labeled as "insane" thinks that the voices in his head and demons chasing him are "logical" and "self-evident". This is a question more in the realm of philosophy than whether or not God does or doesn't exist...

sec014 wrote:
Question 4:  Is the Universe ordered?

I think it’s a rather simple thing to demonstrate order in the universe, but it’s much harder to explain the implications.  It’s very difficult to perceive order on a grand scale because our perception is constantly changing.  A few years ago, the order of the universe was that there were 9 planets, but now there are 8 apparently.  And then there are matters of pure opinion, like taste, style of music, etc.  With so many things that can change, and with so many different viewpoints out there, the universe may seem very chaotic.  But I believe there is an underlying order in all things, which can be demonstrated in the order of numbers.  7 plus 3 equal 10, and not just today, but it’s always equaled ten and always will.  And this is not just a matter of opinion, either.  Anyone who thinks is capable of grasping this concept, and the concept is the same for everyone.  But this also shows order:  Ten is equal to seven and three, but is greater than seven and greater than three, and seven is also greater than three.  This is the order and it does not change.  There are relationships in numbers, and I think that the whole universe shows that it was built upon relationships.  The moon revolves around the earth, the earth around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy.  But it’s not just with things; I believe it’s with people, too, since we are within the universe.  Human beings are just as relational as everything else.  Parents are over their children, friends and friends are side-by-side, husbands and wives are joined together, and I believe all of us are under God.  I think that human beings were built to have relationships just like everything else, because we’re not alone in the universe and it’s not natural for anyone to be alone.  But when relationships are disrupted, the universe goes from order to chaos.  If the earth were to lose its orbit around the sun, the moon’s orbit would be affected as well.  People suffer because of broken families and broken marriages.  I think that ultimately all chaos comes from the broken relationship with God, because he made relationships in the first place.  And I believe that Christ came for that very reason, to re-establish that relationship between God and man.  When that relationship is fully and finally restored, I think there will be the right order in the universe.

Uh...mathematical order doesn't go hand in hand with other types of order. Yes, human relationships may be ordered into different categories and subcategories, and if we go by bases of 10 then 3+7=10, but this says nothing about the disorder found in the universe and the simple fact that at it is very likely that, eventually, our moon will be lost as it gradually pulls away from Earth's gravitational pull. You can't compare the order of human mathematics to something like the universe.

 


sec014 wrote:
Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

To be honest, none of my reasoning, studying, or searching had anything to do with it.  All of those things came after the fact; I wasn’t searching for God when I found him.  The only reason why I follow Christ is because he personally intervened in my life.  If he hadn’t, I don’t think I would have any reason to believe.  Now of course, experience isn’t the test of truth, because people have false experiences all the time.  So along the way I’ve questioned and examined it all, critically and even doubting sometimes.  But thankfully the more I learn, the more it only confirms what God has been doing in my life all along, even against my own expectations.  I like how C.S. Lewis put it, “I know that God is not a figment of my imagination because he’s not at all what I would imagine him to be.”

This isn't very helpful or thorough at all...

 

sec014 wrote:
Question 6: What if you're wrong?

Well, to be honest, if I’m wrong then I hope someone shows me what’s right.  If someone thinks I’m wrong, I’ll listen to them and consider their argument as long as they’re reasonable about it.  I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.  And if I’m wrong about Christianity, then I guess I’d have to start figuring out a better purpose to life.  But even if I do find out that Christianity is wrong, that Jesus was not the Son of God, then I think I would probably still follow His example anyway.  I would still obey his teaching as if he were God incarnate.  The only way I wouldn’t follow Jesus is if someone showed me that he wasn’t perfect.  See, we (Christians) don’t claim that we know everything, and we certainly don’t claim that we’re perfect.  We’re just as messed up as anyone else.  Christianity isn’t about Christians, it’s about Christ.  We don’t claim that we’re perfect, we proclaim that He is.  So showing me everything that’s wrong about Christians won’t change anything; to really prove me wrong you’d have to show me what’s wrong about Jesus.

I'm afraid that I can't show you whether Jesus was perfect or not because, thus far, humanity has failed to even settle the debate of what is perfect. And I don't understand why you would think Jesus to be perfect if you don't even know what he did or didn't do, all you have are accounts by other people who WEREN'T Jesus. Also, since you are the one claiming that Jesus is perfect...the burden of proof lies on you.

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sec014 wrote:A few people

sec014 wrote:

A few people have argued against my use of ratio et veritas numeri (the order and truth of number).  You say that, in a base-8 counting system, 7+3=12.  But that's only how it is represented on paper; it does not change the physical number being represented.  (I have even used a base-5 numeral system before, by the way.)  But this is only a different language for representing numbers.  Now if we weren't dealing with theoretical numbers, but dealing with actual objects and representing them on paper with dots for each object, then the ratio et veritas numeri would be the same for everyone.  To count in a base-10 counting system would only arrange the dots in rows of 10, and a base-8 counting system would arrange the dots in rows of 8, but the number of dots would be the same for both.

Correct. I think you've poked through your own argument. WE put order into the dots. WE represent things with dots. WE strive to understand the way in which others assign order to things. If it were already ordered then we wouldn't have to do these things. Right?

sec014 wrote:
There were a lot of other very interesting points brought up, but unfortunately I have neither the time nor the energy to address them all.  (Moreover, I cannot address some counterpoints because I did not understand all of them, and others I found completely irrelevant to my points.)  But to everyone who participated in this discussion genuinely and with a good attitude, I thank you!

Please just the individual to clarify and keep an open mind as I feel we have.

 

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darth_josh,You said that WE

darth_josh,

You said that WE put order into the dots... correct!  But where do we get this sense of order from?  From where do we learn order which we then apply to our perception of the universe around us?  From logic and reason, the very universal truths which I was proving.  Logic and reason teach us order because they are ordered, and then we apply it by making a system for counting number.


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survival

sec014 wrote:

darth_josh,

You said that WE put order into the dots... correct!  But where do we get this sense of order from?  From where do we learn order which we then apply to our perception of the universe around us?  From logic and reason, the very universal truths which I was proving.  Logic and reason teach us order because they are ordered, and then we apply it by making a system for counting number.

"We" put order in the dots because it is a survival trait.  You see that not quite a shadow over there?  Quick!  It's a leopard - RUN!!!!  See?  Survival.  Humans are very, very good at putting order into nothing.  Better to run even if that shadow isn't a leopard than to stand around and get eaten by a shadow that turns out to be a leopard. 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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I would also point out, in

I would also point out, in defense of what most of us wrote, it seemed like you were simply stating what you believed and why, and I think that is what most of us did as well without putting any effort into debate.

 

If you have specific points you would like us to 'attack' you might want to lay out your belief in a different way, or pick different facets of your dogma to put on the table.

Or you could always just say you believe in Noah's ark or something, that usually gets us riled up Eye-wink

 

Just my 2 cents.

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cj wrote:sec014

cj wrote:

sec014 wrote:

darth_josh,

You said that WE put order into the dots... correct!  But where do we get this sense of order from?  From where do we learn order which we then apply to our perception of the universe around us?  From logic and reason, the very universal truths which I was proving.  Logic and reason teach us order because they are ordered, and then we apply it by making a system for counting number.

"We" put order in the dots because it is a survival trait.  You see that not quite a shadow over there?  Quick!  It's a leopard - RUN!!!!  See?  Survival.  Humans are very, very good at putting order into nothing.  Better to run even if that shadow isn't a leopard than to stand around and get eaten by a shadow that turns out to be a leopard. 

You should realize that if you feel some quality or ability we possess can't have arisen without some external influence, we have to ask how did that external agent ( 'God (?) ) get it?

How did something even more complex or conscious than us come to exist without external help?

So God is not an ultimate explanation of anything, if you can't explain how God came to exist, a much bigger mystery than how we came to be.

Evolution does a pretty good job of explaining us, but evolution can't explain a one-of-a-kind being.

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

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cj wrote:sec014 wrote:Cj,

cj wrote:

sec014 wrote:

Cj, thank you for commenting, but you made claims, not arguments.  A claim is simply a statement, whereas an argument has a logical flow with premises and a conclusion and can be either validated or refuted.  You say that the universe is "purely random," yet you give no reason for why this is true.  I know that in my answers I am not giving full-proof arguments, but their soundness and cogency can still be tested, whereas yours cannot.

I gave you my answers, not intending to discuss or argue them.  Waste of my time and yours.

Either we agree with each other or we don't.  If we don't, what is the use of arguing?  If we agree, what do we need to discuss?

CJ, you're still missing his point. He has testimony as to why the universe is ordered. Even if you do not believe it. He was looking for you to say, "it isn't ordered because (logical solution)" which you've failed to do.


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cj wrote:sec014

cj wrote:

sec014 wrote:

darth_josh,

You said that WE put order into the dots... correct!  But where do we get this sense of order from?  From where do we learn order which we then apply to our perception of the universe around us?  From logic and reason, the very universal truths which I was proving.  Logic and reason teach us order because they are ordered, and then we apply it by making a system for counting number.

"We" put order in the dots because it is a survival trait.  You see that not quite a shadow over there?  Quick!  It's a leopard - RUN!!!!  See?  Survival.  Humans are very, very good at putting order into nothing.  Better to run even if that shadow isn't a leopard than to stand around and get eaten by a shadow that turns out to be a leopard. 

 

What makes you afraid of the leopard? If this universe is chaotic, than there is no reason as to why you'd assume that ALL leopords would try to eat you, that would mean that there was order if they were all like that, that's a little unfair, why can't he know your language, sit down, and enjoy a nice cup of tea with you? Maybe he wants to go and play the xbox with your kids, or maybe he thought that you were attractive and was trying to make a pass at you.


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strafio wrote:Guys...I think

strafio wrote:
Guys...


I think a few of us are guilty of not reading him properly.
Point 6 didn't bring up Pascal's Wager at all.
He was saying that if he was wrong then he'd like to be shown so, although he'd still follow Jesus' teachings even if he wasn't real.

darth_josh wrote:
I applied Pascal's to it because if he/she follows the teachings of jesus then the outcome is the same. Wrong teachings = Wrong ideology = Wrong god = Wrong heaven/hell as opposed to atheism being No teachings = No set ideology = No god belief = No heaven/hell

All Christians interpret what Jesus said in accordance to their zeitgeist.
Not all believe that non-believers burn in hell.
Even if he does, (which he probably does) that doesn't mean he was looking to use it for a wager-style argument.
I just thought we weren't properly addressing his question by assuming he was bringing up the wager.
 


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That is all the point I have

TheNickZema wrote:

cj wrote:

sec014 wrote:

Cj, thank you for commenting, but you made claims, not arguments.  A claim is simply a statement, whereas an argument has a logical flow with premises and a conclusion and can be either validated or refuted.  You say that the universe is "purely random," yet you give no reason for why this is true.  I know that in my answers I am not giving full-proof arguments, but their soundness and cogency can still be tested, whereas yours cannot.

I gave you my answers, not intending to discuss or argue them.  Waste of my time and yours.

Either we agree with each other or we don't.  If we don't, what is the use of arguing?  If we agree, what do we need to discuss?

CJ, you're still missing his point. He has testimony as to why the universe is ordered. Even if you do not believe it. He was looking for you to say, "it isn't ordered because (logical solution)" which you've failed to do.

You know, I don't care what he was looking for.  I gave him what I felt up to providing.  If he wants more, he gets to harass someone else.  Everything point he brought up has been argued to death elsewhere by people who are a lot more into that sort of thing than I am.

Also, he gets to provide only "testimony" and I have to provide "logical solutions".  What is fair about that?  He gets to skip over logic by playing his god/s/dess card, while I have to do all the work.  Pfffffttttttt..........

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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leopards

TheNickZema wrote:

What makes you afraid of the leopard? If this universe is chaotic, than there is no reason as to why you'd assume that ALL leopords would try to eat you, that would mean that there was order if they were all like that, that's a little unfair, why can't he know your language, sit down, and enjoy a nice cup of tea with you? Maybe he wants to go and play the xbox with your kids, or maybe he thought that you were attractive and was trying to make a pass at you.

What makes me afraid of the leopard?  Because Auntie Jane got ate by one last week!!  I was talking about ancient man, and how humans who make patterns out of random dots are the ones that survived.  Not about having a cuppa at the local tea shop.  Assuming a leopard is out to eat you is a much safer default position - if all you have is a fire-sharpened stick and your own two feet - than waiting around to see if said leopard is feeling hungry or just wants to chat you up.  It ain't order, it's survival.

As for that last sentence, are you trying to be funny?  Are you talking about the leopard or sec014?  If the leopard, you have been watching too much Disney.  If sec014 wanted to make a pass at me, I'd seriously consider sending him to hospital for psychiatric help.  See my avatar?  The old lady is not an internet persona, I AM an old lady.  If you are trying to be funny, you missed.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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cj wrote:TheNickZema

cj wrote:

TheNickZema wrote:

What makes you afraid of the leopard? If this universe is chaotic, than there is no reason as to why you'd assume that ALL leopords would try to eat you, that would mean that there was order if they were all like that, that's a little unfair, why can't he know your language, sit down, and enjoy a nice cup of tea with you? Maybe he wants to go and play the xbox with your kids, or maybe he thought that you were attractive and was trying to make a pass at you.

What makes me afraid of the leopard?  Because Auntie Jane got ate by one last week!!  I was talking about ancient man, and how humans who make patterns out of random dots are the ones that survived.  Not about having a cuppa at the local tea shop.  Assuming a leopard is out to eat you is a much safer default position - if all you have is a fire-sharpened stick and your own two feet - than waiting around to see if said leopard is feeling hungry or just wants to chat you up.  It ain't order, it's survival.

As for that last sentence, are you trying to be funny?  Are you talking about the leopard or sec014?  If the leopard, you have been watching too much Disney.  If sec014 wanted to make a pass at me, I'd seriously consider sending him to hospital for psychiatric help.  See my avatar?  The old lady is not an internet persona, I AM an old lady.  If you are trying to be funny, you missed.

Not trying to be too funny. But assuming that a certain situation would occur means that you assume an order. You assume that a leopard would kill/eat you. That means that there is an order. You become afraid of it, that's also a natural reaction, I'd be quite afraid of one myself. You having that certain reaction means that there's an order and design to the way you act. Why would you fear being killed by an animal? Why when you die your body no longer functions, because your body was designed to no longer work after you've died, you see my point?


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no

TheNickZema wrote:

Not trying to be too funny. But assuming that a certain situation would occur means that you assume an order. You assume that a leopard would kill/eat you. That means that there is an order. You become afraid of it, that's also a natural reaction, I'd be quite afraid of one myself. You having that certain reaction means that there's an order and design to the way you act. Why would you fear being killed by an animal? Why when you die your body no longer functions, because your body was designed to no longer work after you've died, you see my point?

No, I don't see your point.  There is no order to survival.  There is no order to wishing to survive.  There is no order to seeing consequences and then planning for the possibility of similar consequences happening in the future.  That isn't order, that is intelligence.  Humans are not born to fear leopards - or any other predator.  There appears to be some innate fears, like spiders, but not everyone has those fears either.  I don't fear spiders and never have.   And I come from southern Arizona, the land of the black widow.  My father-in-law asks my mother-in-law to kill the spiders in his house.  Go figure.  If you think fear of predators is innate, just hit the zoo on a weekend when there are hundreds of little kids wanting to pet the "kitties".

I don't fear being killed.  I fear being mauled.  Big difference.  I am way not into pain and I would not like to die at just this moment, thanks.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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cj wrote:TheNickZema

cj wrote:

TheNickZema wrote:

Not trying to be too funny. But assuming that a certain situation would occur means that you assume an order. You assume that a leopard would kill/eat you. That means that there is an order. You become afraid of it, that's also a natural reaction, I'd be quite afraid of one myself. You having that certain reaction means that there's an order and design to the way you act. Why would you fear being killed by an animal? Why when you die your body no longer functions, because your body was designed to no longer work after you've died, you see my point?

No, I don't see your point.  There is no order to survival.  There is no order to wishing to survive.  There is no order to seeing consequences and then planning for the possibility of similar consequences happening in the future.  That isn't order, that is intelligence.  Humans are not born to fear leopards - or any other predator.  There appears to be some innate fears, like spiders, but not everyone has those fears either.  I don't fear spiders and never have.   And I come from southern Arizona, the land of the black widow.  My father-in-law asks my mother-in-law to kill the spiders in his house.  Go figure.  If you think fear of predators is innate, just hit the zoo on a weekend when there are hundreds of little kids wanting to pet the "kitties".

I don't fear being killed.  I fear being mauled.  Big difference.  I am way not into pain and I would not like to die at just this moment, thanks.

 

Why do you feel pain? It seems our bodies were designed to feel different things, if that is so, if there is difference in anything than there must be something that ordered it to be different.


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TheNickZema wrote:cj

TheNickZema wrote:

cj wrote:

TheNickZema wrote:

Not trying to be too funny. But assuming that a certain situation would occur means that you assume an order. You assume that a leopard would kill/eat you. That means that there is an order. You become afraid of it, that's also a natural reaction, I'd be quite afraid of one myself. You having that certain reaction means that there's an order and design to the way you act. Why would you fear being killed by an animal? Why when you die your body no longer functions, because your body was designed to no longer work after you've died, you see my point?

No, I don't see your point.  There is no order to survival.  There is no order to wishing to survive.  There is no order to seeing consequences and then planning for the possibility of similar consequences happening in the future.  That isn't order, that is intelligence.  Humans are not born to fear leopards - or any other predator.  There appears to be some innate fears, like spiders, but not everyone has those fears either.  I don't fear spiders and never have.   And I come from southern Arizona, the land of the black widow.  My father-in-law asks my mother-in-law to kill the spiders in his house.  Go figure.  If you think fear of predators is innate, just hit the zoo on a weekend when there are hundreds of little kids wanting to pet the "kitties".

I don't fear being killed.  I fear being mauled.  Big difference.  I am way not into pain and I would not like to die at just this moment, thanks.

 

Why do you feel pain? It seems our bodies were designed to feel different things, if that is so, if there is difference in anything than there must be something that ordered it to be different.

Lol, what?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Got to fit that magic in

Got to fit that magic in there some way.


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Sorry about that.

 Yeah, that was worded terribly, I'm trying to say that order can not come from randomness and chaos. If we came from something chaotic, how would we know what order is, seeing as how it was never shown to us? And if there's a "normal" reaction for anything that means that it has a certain order.


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TheNickZema wrote: Yeah,

TheNickZema wrote:

 Yeah, that was worded terribly, I'm trying to say that order can not come from randomness and chaos. If we came from something chaotic, how would we know what order is, seeing as how it was never shown to us? And if there's a "normal" reaction for anything that means that it has a certain order.

 

Why not?

 

We can skip through this though.

You: Order cannot exist without design

Me: Order exists in nature all the time, due to the laws of the universe

You: But someone had to create those laws

Me: Why?

You: Because everything must have a cause, there cannot be infinite regress, there must be a prime mover

Me: Three things.  1) You are speculating about the nature of time before time existed, which is just speculation.  2) The only way for your argument to work logically is to make a special case for God not having a cause, which is not logical.  If it is logical that God does not need a cause, than the event that preceded the Big Bang does not need a cause either.  3) Your ex-nihilo cause is a complex, anthropomorphized deity.  If something had to come out of nothing, I imagine it would be something simple, rather than a full fledged mystical consciousness that exists without any matter or energy associated with 'it'.

 

Proceed.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Claim:TheNickZema

Claim:

TheNickZema wrote:
Yeah, that was worded terribly, I'm trying to say that order can not come from randomness and chaos.

Evidence to the contrary: snow flake.

Conclusion: You fail.


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KSMB wrote:Claim:TheNickZema

KSMB wrote:

Claim:

TheNickZema wrote:
Yeah, that was worded terribly, I'm trying to say that order can not come from randomness and chaos.

Evidence to the contrary: snow flake.

Conclusion: You fail.

Can you explain that to me?


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Sure, as soon as you fix

Sure, as soon as you fix your annoyingly large avatar.


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KSMB wrote:Sure, as soon as

KSMB wrote:

Sure, as soon as you fix your annoyingly large avatar.

You are just jealous that your avatar isn't that big.

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KSMB wrote:Sure, as soon as

KSMB wrote:

Sure, as soon as you fix your annoyingly large avatar.



Do your best to ignore it. that's not the central issue here.
 


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Interesting. That is exactly

Interesting. That is exactly what I would say if I didn't know how to resize an image.


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TheNickZema wrote:KSMB

TheNickZema wrote:

KSMB wrote:

Sure, as soon as you fix your annoyingly large avatar.



Do your best to ignore it. that's not the central issue here.
 

In your defense, I don't think people are asking you to fix it because they are judging you on your merits, but merely because it is disjointing to the flow.

I am a horrible speller as anyone who has known me on this board for a long time knows. So sure, your point shouldn't be lost in the distraction, sure, but there is something to be said for flow.

There is nothing wrong with being yourself, but it is hard to focus in any case on any issue if the message is lost in distractions.

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Moving on...

 True, I don't how to, I could figure it out, but I'm in the middle of something, if you'd like to tell me, that's cool to, but please... can we not get lost in the distractions, I'll fix it later, now please. Explain that snowflake thing.


Jormungander
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TheNickZema wrote:KSMB

TheNickZema wrote:

KSMB wrote:

Claim:

TheNickZema wrote:
Yeah, that was worded terribly, I'm trying to say that order can not come from randomness and chaos.

Evidence to the contrary: snow flake.

Conclusion: You fail.

Can you explain that to me?

Ordered structures arise from disordered sources all the time. And this does not involve any kind of consciousness or intelligence ordering them. A good example of this is a liquid cooling until it forms a crystalline material.

As an example:

Let's say you have a large pool of pure molten silicon. Let's say you cool it until it is at the temperature that solid and liquid silicon can coexist at. Then you carefully place a single crystal piece of silicon onto the top of the pool and draw out a solid column of silicon. That column will be composed of a single massive crystal of silicon. It will have an extremely ordered structure. Except for the presence of extraordinarily rare atomic vacancies and impurities, it is a near flawless ordered structure. The atoms composing it are spaced out evenly in a repeating 3D pattern. And it was produced by cooling down a much less ordered pool of liquid and exposing the pool to a tiny single crystal of silicon. The random motions of the atoms in the pool produce the nearly perfect atomic order and pattern in the solid silicon crystal. And this works out thermodynamically since the act of solidification is exothermic and the total entropy of the universe has increased even though there is a decrease in the entropy of the silicon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWVywhzuHnQ watch from 2:00 to 3:00 to see that in real life. It's pretty neat that you can see a pool of molten silicon with no order and each atom moving randomly being converted into a structure that is almost perfectly ordered on an atomic level.

And this same concept works in all cases of solidification, except that polycrystalline structures are usually formed. They still have that near-perfect ordering and repeating pattern on an atomic level that was produced from a liquid with no order on an atomic level, but they are composed of lots of tiny crystals rather than one massive one.

So if you see saltwater drying into crystalline salt or water freezing, you are watching an unordered liquid producing something that has a near-perfect order on an atomic level.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


Gauche
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TheNickZema wrote:KSMB

TheNickZema wrote:

KSMB wrote:

Sure, as soon as you fix your annoyingly large avatar.



Do your best to ignore it. that's not the central issue here.
 

Hi, I'm Earl Scheib, and I'll resize that image for $39.95!

If you can't figure out MsPaint then you could at least learn how to use Google.

First search result for image resize: http://www.picresize.com/

 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


mellestad
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Jormungander

Jormungander wrote:

Ordered structures arise from disordered sources all the time. And this does not involve any kind of consciousness or intelligence ordering them. A good example of this is a liquid cooling until it forms a crystalline material.

As an example:

Let's say you have a large pool of pure molten silicon. Let's say you cool it until it is at the temperature that solid and liquid silicon can coexist at. Then you carefully place a single crystal piece of silicon onto the top of the pool and draw out a solid column of silicon. That column will be composed of a single massive crystal of silicon. It will have an extremely ordered structure. Except for the presence of extraordinarily rare atomic vacancies and impurities, it is a near flawless ordered structure. The atoms composing it are spaced out evenly in a repeating 3D pattern. And it was produced by cooling down a much less ordered pool of liquid and exposing the pool to a tiny single crystal of silicon. The random motions of the atoms in the pool produce the nearly perfect atomic order and pattern in the solid silicon crystal. And this works out thermodynamically since the act of solidification is exothermic and the total entropy of the universe has increased even though there is a decrease in the entropy of the silicon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWVywhzuHnQ watch from 2:00 to 3:00 to see that in real life. It's pretty neat that you can see a pool of molten silicon with no order and each atom moving randomly being converted into a structure that is almost perfectly ordered on an atomic level.

And this same concept works in all cases of solidification, except that polycrystalline structures are usually formed. They still have that near-perfect ordering and repeating pattern on an atomic level that was produced from a liquid with no order on an atomic level, but they are composed of lots of tiny crystals rather than one massive one.

So if you see saltwater drying into crystalline salt or water freezing, you are watching an unordered liquid producing something that has a near-perfect order on an atomic level.

 

And here we go Eye-wink

mellestad wrote:

 

We can skip through this though.

You: Order cannot exist without design

Me: Order exists in nature all the time, due to the laws of the universe

You: But someone had to create those laws

Me: Why?

You: Because everything must have a cause, there cannot be infinite regress, there must be a prime mover

Me: Three things.  1) You are speculating about the nature of time before time existed, which is just speculation.  2) The only way for your argument to work logically is to make a special case for God not having a cause, which is not logical.  If it is logical that God does not need a cause, than the event that preceded the Big Bang does not need a cause either.  3) Your ex-nihilo cause is a complex, anthropomorphized deity.  If something had to come out of nothing, I imagine it would be something simple, rather than a full fledged mystical consciousness that exists without any matter or energy associated with 'it'.

 

Oh, and KSMB, you're the first person to make me laugh today!

KSMB wrote:
Interesting. That is exactly what I would say if I didn't know how to resize an image.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Gauche wrote:TheNickZema

Gauche wrote:

TheNickZema wrote:

KSMB wrote:

Sure, as soon as you fix your annoyingly large avatar.



Do your best to ignore it. that's not the central issue here.
 

Hi, I'm Earl Scheib, and I'll resize that image for $39.95!

If you can't figure out MsPaint then you could at least learn how to use Google.

First search result for image resize: http://www.picresize.com/

 

You must be older than me. Because when I saw his adds in the early 80s it was "I will paint any car for $99.95"

Wow, and I thought I was a dinosaur on this website. You know of Earl Shieb? I mentioned recently to a co-worker who was a teen who Katharine Hepburn was, and I got a deer in the headlights look. Boy are we old.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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ALL. TOO. EASY.

This some kinda joke, right?

sec014 wrote:

Question 1: What is the origin of morals?

The Moral Complex of the Brain.

Quote:

Question 2:  What is the purpose of life?

Entropy.

Quote:
Question 3:  Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

hahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

In your wildest fantasies, maybe....

Quote:
Question 4:Is the Universe ordered?

Hardly... never was there a more chaotic or more unpredictable existence then the Universe!

Quote:
Question 5: Why are you a Christian?

"MEH!"

Quote:
Question 6: What if you're wrong?

There's no way I could be wrong............ I DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING EXCEPT MYSELF!

Quote:
I’m not afraid of being challenged about my beliefs; I ask for it.

Neither am I... I get up in the morning because I expect someone to to challenge ME!

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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mellestad, you have

mellestad, you have correctly predicted the future! You clearly are a true prophet, and if I didn't live in the 21st century, I'd offer you all my cattle and my virgin daughter.


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mellestad wrote:Jormungander

mellestad wrote:

Jormungander wrote:

Ordered structures arise from disordered sources all the time. And this does not involve any kind of consciousness or intelligence ordering them. A good example of this is a liquid cooling until it forms a crystalline material.

As an example:

Let's say you have a large pool of pure molten silicon. Let's say you cool it until it is at the temperature that solid and liquid silicon can coexist at. Then you carefully place a single crystal piece of silicon onto the top of the pool and draw out a solid column of silicon. That column will be composed of a single massive crystal of silicon. It will have an extremely ordered structure. Except for the presence of extraordinarily rare atomic vacancies and impurities, it is a near flawless ordered structure. The atoms composing it are spaced out evenly in a repeating 3D pattern. And it was produced by cooling down a much less ordered pool of liquid and exposing the pool to a tiny single crystal of silicon. The random motions of the atoms in the pool produce the nearly perfect atomic order and pattern in the solid silicon crystal. And this works out thermodynamically since the act of solidification is exothermic and the total entropy of the universe has increased even though there is a decrease in the entropy of the silicon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWVywhzuHnQ watch from 2:00 to 3:00 to see that in real life. It's pretty neat that you can see a pool of molten silicon with no order and each atom moving randomly being converted into a structure that is almost perfectly ordered on an atomic level.

And this same concept works in all cases of solidification, except that polycrystalline structures are usually formed. They still have that near-perfect ordering and repeating pattern on an atomic level that was produced from a liquid with no order on an atomic level, but they are composed of lots of tiny crystals rather than one massive one.

So if you see saltwater drying into crystalline salt or water freezing, you are watching an unordered liquid producing something that has a near-perfect order on an atomic level.

 

And here we go Eye-wink

mellestad wrote:

 

We can skip through this though.

You: Order cannot exist without design

Me: Order exists in nature all the time, due to the laws of the universe

You: But someone had to create those laws

Me: Why?

You: Because everything must have a cause, there cannot be infinite regress, there must be a prime mover

Me: Three things.  1) You are speculating about the nature of time before time existed, which is just speculation.  2) The only way for your argument to work logically is to make a special case for God not having a cause, which is not logical.  If it is logical that God does not need a cause, than the event that preceded the Big Bang does not need a cause either.  3) Your ex-nihilo cause is a complex, anthropomorphized deity.  If something had to come out of nothing, I imagine it would be something simple, rather than a full fledged mystical consciousness that exists without any matter or energy associated with 'it'.

 

Oh, and KSMB, you're the first person to make me laugh today!

KSMB wrote:
Interesting. That is exactly what I would say if I didn't know how to resize an image.

 

 

So, we're going to obviously move past that part of the argument, you modeled it pretty well what would have happened, so it boils down to, where did laws of nature come from. I believe that a God existed before and that transcends time. You believe that something came from nothing. Both are pretty hard to understand, depending on what you chose to believe. But I would like to agree that we both have a faith position that's just grounded in different areas.


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KSMB wrote:mellestad, you

KSMB wrote:

mellestad, you have correctly predicted the future! You clearly are a true prophet, and if I didn't live in the 21st century, I'd offer you all my cattle and my virgin daughter.

How about a slutty daughter and some liqueur?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.