One on one discussion

TGBaker
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One on one discussion

Given that I am stuck in a hospital with a lot of time on my hands ( as well as other parts ) I am interested in having a meaningful one on one discussion with a theist. I do not care for debate as I agree with DAWKINS THAT THE LIMITING FACTORS that define debate also prohibit dialectic advance and discovery. The purpose of such dialogue is to understand why there is a belief in god, whether it is rational and finally whether the propositional claim made from the belief that there is a god is valid. I will state that my atheism is subject to defeat with any sufficient body of evidence that would obtain justified true belief. I am not interested in modal logic apart from it as a need to determine the validity or flaw of a claim or proposition. My approach would be inclusive of philosophical, scientific and scriptural claims by theism. Anyone interested please submit a resume to my hospital room as well as a generous amount of blood platelets.

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

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


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I don't get why you'd need a

I don't get why you'd need a discussion with a theist for this. Couldn't you discover this information on your own?


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Ciarin wrote:I don't get why

screwed up and deleted duplicate


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Ciarin wrote:I don't get why

Ciarin wrote:

I don't get why you'd need a discussion with a theist for this. Couldn't you discover this information on your own?

The presumption is that I have this information.  But then I am subject to fucking up. So I could be wrong.  I see variations for example in theisitic approaches that while do not satisfy my warrant for a belief in a classical theism that give grounds to a possible panpsychism or panenetheism.  So I do entertain a dialectic in which my limitations are overcome by antitheitical discource or syntheisis for that matter.   There is also an aesthetic dimension of human experience in which mytho-poetics gives meaning that is not literal but nonetheless true. For example I like Tibetan Buddhism and neo-Druidism. I think such constructs supply a rich psychological and narrative world in which the mammalian act of play can be fulfilled without recourse to real world responsibilities.  Does that make sense in my own rambling harange?

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

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welcome back, hope you get

welcome back, hope you get better Smiling


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Ktulu wrote:welcome back,

Ktulu wrote:

welcome back, hope you get better Smiling

thanks.  me too.  i've responded well to chemo so far. I'm still waiting for my white cells to go to a zero count.

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

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Ktulu wrote:welcome back,

another freakin' duplicate... sorry


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TGBaker wrote:Ciarin wrote:I

TGBaker wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

I don't get why you'd need a discussion with a theist for this. Couldn't you discover this information on your own?

The presumption is that I have this information.  But then I am subject to fucking up. So I could be wrong.  I see variations for example in theisitic approaches that while do not satisfy my warrant for a belief in a classical theism that give grounds to a possible panpsychism or panenetheism.  So I do entertain a dialectic in which my limitations are overcome by antitheitical discource or syntheisis for that matter.   There is also an aesthetic dimension of human experience in which mytho-poetics gives meaning that is not literal but nonetheless true. For example I like Tibetan Buddhism and neo-Druidism. I think such constructs supply a rich psychological and narrative world in which the mammalian act of play can be fulfilled without recourse to real world responsibilities.  Does that make sense in my own rambling harange?

 

I don't get what you're saying.


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Ciarin wrote:TGBaker

Ciarin wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

I don't get why you'd need a discussion with a theist for this. Couldn't you discover this information on your own?

The presumption is that I have this information.  But then I am subject to fucking up. So I could be wrong.  I see variations for example in theisitic approaches that while do not satisfy my warrant for a belief in a classical theism that give grounds to a possible panpsychism or panenetheism.  So I do entertain a dialectic in which my limitations are overcome by antitheitical discource or syntheisis for that matter.   There is also an aesthetic dimension of human experience in which mytho-poetics gives meaning that is not literal but nonetheless true. For example I like Tibetan Buddhism and neo-Druidism. I think such constructs supply a rich psychological and narrative world in which the mammalian act of play can be fulfilled without recourse to real world responsibilities.  Does that make sense in my own rambling harange?

 

I don't get what you're saying.

When you obtain information from you're own studies there are inherent presuppositions that you have from your prior experience that can and does bias your understanding. I have years of both academic and personal research in the God question.  My degree is in it. Yet one who does research privately lacks a dialogue which broadens the field of research and brings to questioning those things that you may and do assume are settled. Science caN NOT FUNCTION APART FROM IT AS A DISCIPLINE WITHIN A COMMUNITY which is subject to challaenge, testing, and falsibility by peers. I therefore assume that I am corrrect and believe my information and years of research to be valid. But for example a prominent professor was in my hospital room for several hours a couple days ago.  Some of that conversation modified both our assumptions about several issues that could ultimately have an impact 30 years of research.  So either I may have answered you correctly or still have failed to understand your question.

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

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TGBaker wrote:Ciarin wrote:I

TGBaker wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

I don't get why you'd need a discussion with a theist for this. Couldn't you discover this information on your own?

The presumption is that I have this information.  But then I am subject to fucking up. So I could be wrong.  I see variations for example in theisitic approaches that while do not satisfy my warrant for a belief in a classical theism that give grounds to a possible panpsychism or panenetheism.  So I do entertain a dialectic in which my limitations are overcome by antitheitical discource or syntheisis for that matter.   There is also an aesthetic dimension of human experience in which mytho-poetics gives meaning that is not literal but nonetheless true. For example I like Tibetan Buddhism and neo-Druidism. I think such constructs supply a rich psychological and narrative world in which the mammalian act of play can be fulfilled without recourse to real world responsibilities.  Does that make sense in my own rambling harange?

I hear you loud and clear.  And while most arguments such as TAG and OA are used to intellectually intimidate others into doubting their skepticism, they show creativity and reveal how compartmentalization can be so effective, at the very least.  These are by no means weak approaches to theism.  As for a Buddhist/Taoist approach, while it may seem more appealing morally as well as intellectually to a certain degree, they do originate from  the same basic drive to mystify the seemingly unexplained.  It is a self defeating approach at explaining empirical sensory data.  

I'll agree with you that there are a lot of gaps/oddities in todays understanding of quantum mechanics and even cosmology.  Or rather, seeming oddities when attempting to explain in terms that fit our rich 'psychological and narrative world'.  The truth is, we don't have enough information, these archaic philosophies and belief systems have nothing to offer but the beauty of the fairytale itself.  In the end, having the most reliable information available is the best one can accomplish, you may arrive at an Einsteinian god conclusion, which at this point in time in our current scientific paradigm is almost justified.  It's the polar opposite, radically naive theistic approaches that have so poisoned our current memes.  

I wish you well brother Smiling rest and gather your strength so we may take apart absurdities as they arrive on this site.  We missed your theological input.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Ktulu wrote:TGBaker

Ktulu wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

I don't get why you'd need a discussion with a theist for this. Couldn't you discover this information on your own?

The presumption is that I have this information.  But then I am subject to fucking up. So I could be wrong.  I see variations for example in theisitic approaches that while do not satisfy my warrant for a belief in a classical theism that give grounds to a possible panpsychism or panenetheism.  So I do entertain a dialectic in which my limitations are overcome by antitheitical discource or syntheisis for that matter.   There is also an aesthetic dimension of human experience in which mytho-poetics gives meaning that is not literal but nonetheless true. For example I like Tibetan Buddhism and neo-Druidism. I think such constructs supply a rich psychological and narrative world in which the mammalian act of play can be fulfilled without recourse to real world responsibilities.  Does that make sense in my own rambling harange?

I hear you loud and clear.  And while most arguments such as TAG and OA are used to intellectually intimidate others into doubting their skepticism, they show creativity and reveal how compartmentalization can be so effective, at the very least.  These are by no means weak approaches to theism.  As for a Buddhist/Taoist approach, while it may seem more appealing morally as well as intellectually to a certain degree, they do originate from  the same basic drive to mystify the seemingly unexplained.  It is a self defeating approach at explaining empirical sensory data.  

I'll agree with you that there are a lot of gaps/oddities in todays understanding of quantum mechanics and even cosmology.  Or rather, seeming oddities when attempting to explain in terms that fit our rich 'psychological and narrative world'.  The truth is, we don't have enough information, these archaic philosophies and belief systems have nothing to offer but the beauty of the fairytale itself.  In the end, having the most reliable information available is the best one can accomplish, you may arrive at an Einsteinian god conclusion, which at this point in time in our current scientific paradigm is almost justified.  It's the polar opposite, radically naive theistic approaches that have so poisoned our current memes.  

I wish you well brother Smiling rest and gather your strength so we may take apart absurdities as they arrive on this site.  We missed your theological input.

Hey Ktulu, I am right in line with you. I think one hesitancy that I would have is that the Buddhist/Eastern approach has a phenomenological value with regard to issues about mind and consciousness. I think along with David Chalmers that our first person language is primitive in nature compared to third person formaalisms. Buddhism and such philosophy as Husserl may have vaue in formalizing some aspects of  what consciousness may or may not be phenomenologically.  The various gods and symbols for example in Tibetan Buddhism are really understood by the Buddhist philosopher to be  but symbols of or actual experiential states of consciousness. This leaves Buddhism as an atheistic practice which is generally not grasped by the WEST. My main concern is with the relationship of the epistemic to the ontic and whether that posits a dualism ( of only property rather than Cartesian). Or is it such that a monism requires a non particularized field from which objects actualize as information or experience as distinct from another object that experience. The whole problem of consciousness is bound with things like the two slit experiment, a conceptually based complimentary theory and perhaps the projections of mental constructs upon events that do not ACTUALLY have such properties.  I agree there is nothing I have found in any written scriptural tradition that warrants anything other that A NATURAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL origination. I can see the possibility of an eternal field state from which all meaning or boundary conditions actualize as formal ( or informational ) and as such having no real distinction between mental and physical property. This would be a panentheism with no personal mind as a theism. Rather it would seem to have parallels with Eastern thoughts about undifferentiated or infinite cionsciousness. This makes meaning itself physical and makes a distinction between spiritual and physical a language game regarding human behavior. I have some sympathy with Sam Harris regarding Eastern mental practices as significant for studies in neural correlates of consciousness (NCC).  As to fairy tales I love believing in Santa Claus, Celtic and Druid myths. I think that Joseph Campbell did show us that we can do away with any actual meaning of myth yet participate in the fiction as character, find our bliss and still derive truth. We do this with any great movie now days anyway. They are often our myths. Hey Live Free Die Hard...no way for real. Bur suspend reality responsibility and get into the aCTION, DRAMA AND COMEDY.... fun bliss EVEN LEARNING SOME MEANING AND TRUTH. Avatar, Wizard of Oz, Being There, Matrix....whatever... That which creates a state that is actual within you (qualia) that can not be conveyed but is what it is like to be (the experience).  The old Christ myth worked with Mythros better than it did with the Jesus figure in that the myth became grounded and claimed as  historical. OTHERWISE an interpretation of a dying to an old self with frsh new life of vision is a nice bliss myth that is actually psychologically curative and rtransformative. Buddhism as practiced atheism can be a powerful means to improve consciousness and psychological well-being,   Many forms of mysticism have beneficial results. Bottom line theistic religions are dangerous  because they claim to be literal rather than poetic and mythic.

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

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TGBaker wrote:Given that I

TGBaker wrote:

Given that I am stuck in a hospital with a lot of time on my hands ( as well as other parts ) I am interested in having a meaningful one on one discussion with a theist. I do not care for debate as I agree with DAWKINS THAT THE LIMITING FACTORS that define debate also prohibit dialectic advance and discovery. The purpose of such dialogue is to understand why there is a belief in god, whether it is rational and finally whether the propositional claim made from the belief that there is a god is valid. I will state that my atheism is subject to defeat with any sufficient body of evidence that would obtain justified true belief. I am not interested in modal logic apart from it as a need to determine the validity or flaw of a claim or proposition. My approach would be inclusive of philosophical, scientific and scriptural claims by theism. Anyone interested please submit a resume to my hospital room as well as a generous amount of blood platelets.

I'd love to.


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Mr_Metaphysics wrote:TGBaker

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Given that I am stuck in a hospital with a lot of time on my hands ( as well as other parts ) I am interested in having a meaningful one on one discussion with a theist. I do not care for debate as I agree with DAWKINS THAT THE LIMITING FACTORS that define debate also prohibit dialectic advance and discovery. The purpose of such dialogue is to understand why there is a belief in god, whether it is rational and finally whether the propositional claim made from the belief that there is a god is valid. I will state that my atheism is subject to defeat with any sufficient body of evidence that would obtain justified true belief. I am not interested in modal logic apart from it as a need to determine the validity or flaw of a claim or proposition. My approach would be inclusive of philosophical, scientific and scriptural claims by theism. Anyone interested please submit a resume to my hospital room as well as a generous amount of blood platelets.

I'd love to.

Hello Meta. Got the platelets :&gtEye-wink What are your primary interests? Where would you like to begin? Why do we believe or not?  What is the core of belief?  I am game.  My interest is whether  theism is sustained only because of tradition or whether there is any substantial reasons cum  a natural theology, science or phenomenological (classic) grounding. Personally the beginning of the end of my theism was the result of scriptural analysis.  That was followed by philosophical and scientific problems regarding monism/dualism and the failure of a theism to sustain in either apart from a relativising of the classical attributes to a process type theology if that helps. I have found nothing ontological or epistemological that can entail  the classical god though we both agree that OA allows it as a rational topic. I also think that of all of Plantinga's grand work the conclusion that can be derived from it is that the classical view of god is a long evolved construct that has attributes that are idealized as reverence but fail as contradictory in fact.

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

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TGBaker wrote:Mr_Metaphysics

TGBaker wrote:

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Given that I am stuck in a hospital with a lot of time on my hands ( as well as other parts ) I am interested in having a meaningful one on one discussion with a theist. I do not care for debate as I agree with DAWKINS THAT THE LIMITING FACTORS that define debate also prohibit dialectic advance and discovery. The purpose of such dialogue is to understand why there is a belief in god, whether it is rational and finally whether the propositional claim made from the belief that there is a god is valid. I will state that my atheism is subject to defeat with any sufficient body of evidence that would obtain justified true belief. I am not interested in modal logic apart from it as a need to determine the validity or flaw of a claim or proposition. My approach would be inclusive of philosophical, scientific and scriptural claims by theism. Anyone interested please submit a resume to my hospital room as well as a generous amount of blood platelets.

I'd love to.

Hello Meta. Got the platelets :&gtEye-wink What are your primary interests? Where would you like to begin? Why do we believe or not?  What is the core of belief?  I am game.  My interest is whether  theism is sustained only because of tradition or whether there is any substantial reasons cum  a natural theology, science or phenomenological (classic) grounding. Personally the beginning of the end of my theism was the result of scriptural analysis.  That was followed by philosophical and scientific problems regarding monism/dualism and the failure of a theism to sustain in either apart from a relativising of the classical attributes to a process type theology if that helps. I have found nothing ontological or epistemological that can entail  the classical god though we both agree that OA allows it as a rational topic. I also think that of all of Plantinga's grand work the conclusion that can be derived from it is that the classical view of god is a long evolved construct that has attributes that are idealized as reverence but fail as contradictory in fact.

I'm interested in natural theology and the nature of God.  I believe that God can be known without the aid of special revelation.  I'm really interested in Scholasticism and the natural theology that went on during that period.  I would say that my favorite philosopher is St. Thomas Aquinas.

I'm also a big fan of Leibniz and Immanuel Kant.


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Mr_Metaphysics wrote:TGBaker

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Given that I am stuck in a hospital with a lot of time on my hands ( as well as other parts ) I am interested in having a meaningful one on one discussion with a theist. I do not care for debate as I agree with DAWKINS THAT THE LIMITING FACTORS that define debate also prohibit dialectic advance and discovery. The purpose of such dialogue is to understand why there is a belief in god, whether it is rational and finally whether the propositional claim made from the belief that there is a god is valid. I will state that my atheism is subject to defeat with any sufficient body of evidence that would obtain justified true belief. I am not interested in modal logic apart from it as a need to determine the validity or flaw of a claim or proposition. My approach would be inclusive of philosophical, scientific and scriptural claims by theism. Anyone interested please submit a resume to my hospital room as well as a generous amount of blood platelets.

I'd love to.

Hello Meta. Got the platelets :&gtEye-wink What are your primary interests? Where would you like to begin? Why do we believe or not?  What is the core of belief?  I am game.  My interest is whether  theism is sustained only because of tradition or whether there is any substantial reasons cum  a natural theology, science or phenomenological (classic) grounding. Personally the beginning of the end of my theism was the result of scriptural analysis.  That was followed by philosophical and scientific problems regarding monism/dualism and the failure of a theism to sustain in either apart from a relativising of the classical attributes to a process type theology if that helps. I have found nothing ontological or epistemological that can entail  the classical god though we both agree that OA allows it as a rational topic. I also think that of all of Plantinga's grand work the conclusion that can be derived from it is that the classical view of god is a long evolved construct that has attributes that are idealized as reverence but fail as contradictory in fact.

I'm interested in natural theology and the nature of God.  I believe that God can be known without the aid of special revelation.  I'm really interested in Scholasticism and the natural theology that went on during that period.  I would say that my favorite philosopher is St. Thomas Aquinas.

I'm also a big fan of Leibniz and Immanuel Kant.

Cool. Ya wanna start with a natural theological approach?  If I suspend all my cultural and inherited revelatory ideas about a god I am left with an imagined state in which I might  or might not speculate a theism.  Is there anything in nature that would tend to cause such a virgin mind to wonder about a theism. Or does such a state at most open a mind to the question of a dualism in which the mental and physical are contrasted. I guess it boils down to how presuppositionaless can one start with a natural theology.  I do believe that if there is a god it is knowable without special revelation.  Aquinas ultimately thought his summa folly and found mystic peace so I am told. Most of my studies were 19th and 20th century theologies so I am not real learned in Scholasticism. I kinda think I'll be learnin' a bit more 'bout it for some reason. I would have to say my best attempts at a natural theology have be attempts at overcoming Cartesian dualism with a monism that grants at most only a relative property dualism regarding mind/body issues.  For me theodicy is fatal tomost if not all high theisms. That may be arrogant on my part but 40 years of study moves me to a conclusion that it is improbable that a model of god that entails all the attributes we want to attribute can in fact exist.

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

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TGBaker wrote:Cool. Ya wanna

TGBaker wrote:

Cool. Ya wanna start with a natural theological approach?  If I suspend all my cultural and inherited revelatory ideas about a god I am left with an imagined state in which I might  or might not speculate a theism.  Is there anything in nature that would tend to cause such a virgin mind to wonder about a theism.

It should be a fun discussion, though my guess is that this thread is going to be hijacked by a bunch of atheists as soon as I go into details.  I will say that I find you to be pleasant to talk with and appreciate a good intelligent discussion.  For my purposes, then, I shall ignore anyone else who will attempt to object to what I say.  

I think there are a few things that are indicative of a creator.  Firstly, we know that the existence of the universe was literally a miracle; this realization has been referred to by physicists as the "Flatness Problem" and it was first pointed out in the late 60's.  For the universe to exist, matter must maintain a specific level of density, known as the 'critical density' of matter.  If the density of matter deviates from this value, then the universe either collapses in a Big Crunch or freezes in a Big Chill.  Now think of all the possible values that would have prevented the universe from existing, and think of the limited values that allow the universe to persist.  Divide them, and you have a very low probability of the universe.  Making matters worse is that the universe is known to have decompressed from a chaotic indeterminate singularity.  There have been many proposed solutions to this, and the most popular is the inflationary model of the universe according to which the universe started expanding at a rapid rate early in its history and made a flat universe more likely.  However, even inflation has gaps, specifically the fact that initial conditions allowing for inflation would themselves have to be finely tuned.  This isn't God of the Gaps; all I am saying is that such an issue could easily lead someone to speculate that it may involve a creator, and I think this addresses your question.

Secondly, most humans are also conscientious of each other's value, and I think if someone stopped to think about this, s/he could infer that it's because we were created for a specific purpose by a higher power.  Think about it:  Wouldn't you agree that it is wrong for a dentist to molest a patient while s/he is under anesthesia, even if there are no physical injuries and nobody finds out?  I think anyone would be totally justified in assuming that humans objectively have value and have moral obligations to one another, and that such moral obligations were conferred to us by a higher power. 

Third, we are also familiar with mathematics, and we intuitively accept that these are always true without exception.  I think this can easily lead someone to infer that such principles cannot be mere human creations. Since they are seem to be transcendent, one may very well infer the existence of a transcendent infallible highly intelligent being who gave these principles to us.

 


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Mr_Metaphysics wrote:It

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

It should be a fun discussion, though my guess is that this thread is going to be hijacked by a bunch of atheists as soon as I go into details.   

I, for one, won't hijack this thread, even though you hijacked mine.

Not out of any respect for you, or what you have to say, but out of respect for TG's interest to have an honest dialogue.

 

I think we should all stay out of this thread, and leave it a 1 on 1 dialogue between you two.

It would be interesting to hear you elaborate on your personal position for a change, instead of what you've been doing...

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

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

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


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 This thread has been moved

 This thread has been moved to One on One debate with Metaphysics and TGBaker granted permission to the forum.

Please keep this a discussion between those two individuals from this point forward.

- Brian Sapient


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Mr_Metaphysics wrote:It

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

It should be a fun discussion, though my guess is that this thread is going to be hijacked by a bunch of atheists as soon as I go into details. 

Very few people have access to post in the portion of the site I placed your post.  You should have a fair chance now.

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Mr_Metaphysics wrote:TGBaker

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Mr_Metaphysics wrote:TGBaker

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

Cool. Ya wanna start with a natural theological approach?  If I suspend all my cultural and inherited revelatory ideas about a god I am left with an imagined state in which I might  or might not speculate a theism.  Is there anything in nature that would tend to cause such a virgin mind to wonder about a theism.

It should be a fun discussion, though my guess is that this thread is going to be hijacked by a bunch of atheists as soon as I go into details.  I will say that I find you to be pleasant to talk with and appreciate a good intelligent discussion.  For my purposes, then, I shall ignore anyone else who will attempt to object to what I say.  

I think there are a few things that are indicative of a creator.  Firstly, we know that the existence of the universe was literally a miracle; this realization has been referred to by physicists as the "Flatness Problem" and it was first pointed out in the late 60's.  For the universe to exist, matter must maintain a specific level of density, known as the 'critical density' of matter.  If the density of matter deviates from this value, then the universe either collapses in a Big Crunch or freezes in a Big Chill.  Now think of all the possible values that would have prevented the universe from existing, and think of the limited values that allow the universe to persist.  Divide them, and you have a very low probability of the universe.  Making matters worse is that the universe is known to have decompressed from a chaotic indeterminate singularity.  There have been many proposed solutions to this, and the most popular is the inflationary model of the universe according to which the universe started expanding at a rapid rate early in its history and made a flat universe more likely.  However, even inflation has gaps, specifically the fact that initial conditions allowing for inflation would themselves have to be finely tuned.  This isn't God of the Gaps; all I am saying is that such an issue could easily lead someone to speculate that it may involve a creator, and I think this addresses your question.

Secondly, most humans are also conscientious of each other's value, and I think if someone stopped to think about this, s/he could infer that it's because we were created for a specific purpose by a higher power.  Think about it:  Wouldn't you agree that it is wrong for a dentist to molest a patient while s/he is under anesthesia, even if there are no physical injuries and nobody finds out?  I think anyone would be totally justified in assuming that humans objectively have value and have moral obligations to one another, and that such moral obligations were conferred to us by a higher power. 

Third, we are also familiar with mathematics, and we intuitively accept that these are always true without exception.  I think this can easily lead someone to infer that such principles cannot be mere human creations. Since they are seem to be transcendent, one may very well infer the existence of a transcendent infallible highly intelligent being who gave these principles to us.

 

I think these are three important areas for natural theology well chosen for distinct dimensions of human experience.  As to the first which is something to take seriously and which has been: the fine tuning issue.  Obviously we can take several senarios. One is Wheeler's which focuses on conscious necessity for collapse of the wave function. Only universes that evolve a potential consciousness can become aware of themselves and "self actualize". Odd ball stuff but considered by some. As for the classic one presented by you here several conflicting theories compete with it. The most popular is the inflationary theory (probably adopted by most physicists).  I would need to re-read Weinberg who does also present  some good defeaters of the fine tuning argument but I think he presents an inflationary scenario showing that the critical density seems to be a secondary phase that presents more as accidental to the inital states as opposed to neessary.  The inflationary theory has much merit in that many have along with Hawkings abandoned a singularity as the source of a big bang. Hawkings I think posited the singularity in 1978 and with a different author wrote a paper more along the lines of inflationary.  I think that some attention need be given to the necessary conditions that are called fine tuned. Obviously there could be universes that are not fined tuned and we would not be there. Since we are then we are in one with those conditions.  There are several multiple world theories that move the idea of this from miralce to inevitiable.  The Big Chill is a consideration in which timespace is specifically a false flat vacuum.  The initial state of the universe is the same as the end state. No Big Crunch....simple entropy, a flat state that maintains the same energy as the inital condition, virtual particles, tunnelling and big bang/inflation.  The multiverse senario is just as plausible as a god.  You haver an eternal potentiality field from which big bangs are constantly bubbling off.  We are in one of an infinite series which is conducive to life. So the tuning is a matter of eventuality and probably over and over again. What has been even more uncomfortable to me is a Matrix based idea that seems logically likely more so than a limitlesss god.  Given a multiverse there are an infinite amount of worlds in which intellegent creatures have developed computers that simulate big bangs. They run various initial conditions to see what evolves from each bang. Given the infinite amount of time almost every universe is really big bangs simulated by many world aliens. The world we live in has good and bad, evil and transcendence as one of many infinite tuned universes.  An alien is likely to have designed it rather than an all powerful lovingly good god. My problem is that we tend to give physics an uncritical eye.  When in fact we can find almost any presentation to fit a particular philosophy (since philosophy is inherent in physics anyway). I do find worthy the idea of a unified field or boundless condition being a potentiality that ontologically is being and physically the same as  consciousness. Self reference of such a field of mathematical or logical struction perhaps is the collapse of its own boundless wave function. Do we wanna stay on this first topic or should I address the next two?  I think the third topic will naturally bleed into this first???

I think the simplist explanation of why one considers the possibility of a god is that  a monotheism developed through primitive cultures interaction. These ideas developed into organized religion and continue as beliefs today though not warranted.  I think if we seek a natural theology we must at least settle the pyschological and anthropological grounds that bring forth and condition our inquiry. In reflecting on my experience with quantum physics and philosopy it seems to me that parallels of metaphysics and physics  allign more in Eastern thought (particularily Buddhism) rather than with Western theistic belief.  I remember reading The Tao of Physic,The Dancing Wu Li Masters and several other works in the 70's. These books tended to run off the fuel of matters concerning consciousness and matter, complimentarism, superposition, and interdependency.

 So I would say to inquire about a theism requires us to admit we have a presupposition that was formed by our cultural traditions rather than some thing or facts of nature that causes us pause and ponder a limitless being as an agent of that natural item or event. This does not negate a limitless being (person) from being a rational cause of the universe. It simply helps us objectify and control our bias in a project that seeks a TRUTH. It does effect our valuing of plausibility on the other hand in that it may make a rational possibility less likely.

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

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Sapient wrote: This thread

Sapient wrote:

 This thread has been moved to One on One debate with Metaphysics and TGBaker granted permission to the forum.

Please keep this a discussion between those two individuals from this point forward.

Thanks dude. I appreciate it I think

 

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TGBaker wrote:I think these

TGBaker wrote:

I think these are three important areas for natural theology well chosen for distinct dimensions of human experience.  As to the first which is something to take seriously and which has been: the fine tuning issue.  Obviously we can take several senarios. One is Wheeler's which focuses on conscious necessity for collapse of the wave function. Only universes that evolve a potential consciousness can become aware of themselves and "self actualize". Odd ball stuff but considered by some. As for the classic one presented by you here several conflicting theories compete with it. The most popular is the inflationary theory (probably adopted by most physicists).  I would need to re-read Weinberg who does also present  some good defeaters of the fine tuning argument but I think he presents an inflationary scenario showing that the critical density seems to be a secondary phase that presents more as accidental to the inital states as opposed to neessary.  The inflationary theory has much merit in that many have along with Hawkings abandoned a singularity as the source of a big bang. Hawkings I think posited the singularity in 1978 and with a different author wrote a paper more along the lines of inflationary.  I think that some attention need be given to the necessary conditions that are called fine tuned. Obviously there could be universes that are not fined tuned and we would not be there. Since we are then we are in one with those conditions.  There are several multiple world theories that move the idea of this from miralce to inevitiable.  The Big Chill is a consideration in which timespace is specifically a false flat vacuum.  The initial state of the universe is the same as the end state. No Big Crunch....simple entropy, a flat state that maintains the same energy as the inital condition, virtual particles, tunnelling and big bang/inflation.  The multiverse senario is just as plausible as a god.  You haver an eternal potentiality field from which big bangs are constantly bubbling off.  We are in one of an infinite series which is conducive to life. So the tuning is a matter of eventuality and probably over and over again. What has been even more uncomfortable to me is a Matrix based idea that seems logically likely more so than a limitlesss god.  Given a multiverse there are an infinite amount of worlds in which intellegent creatures have developed computers that simulate big bangs. They run various initial conditions to see what evolves from each bang. Given the infinite amount of time almost every universe is really big bangs simulated by many world aliens. The world we live in has good and bad, evil and transcendence as one of many infinite tuned universes.  An alien is likely to have designed it rather than an all powerful lovingly good god. My problem is that we tend to give physics an uncritical eye.  When in fact we can find almost any presentation to fit a particular philosophy (since philosophy is inherent in physics anyway). I do find worthy the idea of a unified field or boundless condition being a potentiality that ontologically is being and physically the same as  consciousness. Self reference of such a field of mathematical or logical struction perhaps is the collapse of its own boundless wave function. Do we wanna stay on this first topic or should I address the next two?  I think the third topic will naturally bleed into this first???

I think the simplist explanation of why one considers the possibility of a god is that  a monotheism developed through primitive cultures interaction. These ideas developed into organized religion and continue as beliefs today though not warranted.  I think if we seek a natural theology we must at least settle the pyschological and anthropological grounds that bring forth and condition our inquiry. In reflecting on my experience with quantum physics and philosopy it seems to me that parallels of metaphysics and physics  allign more in Eastern thought (particularily Buddhism) rather than with Western theistic belief.  I remember reading The Tao of Physic,The Dancing Wu Li Masters and several other works in the 70's. These books tended to run off the fuel of matters concerning consciousness and matter, complimentarism, superposition, and interdependency.

 So I would say to inquire about a theism requires us to admit we have a presupposition that was formed by our cultural traditions rather than some thing or facts of nature that causes us pause and ponder a limitless being as an agent of that natural item or event. This does not negate a limitless being (person) from being a rational cause of the universe. It simply helps us objectify and control our bias in a project that seeks a TRUTH. It does effect our valuing of plausibility on the other hand in that it may make a rational possibility less likely.

I would like to note that I am not arguing here for the impossibility of the contrary.  The question is whether the existence of God can be inferred without the aid of special revelation; is it reasonable to conclude the existence of God solely from a reflection of human experience?  If I am to be consistent with my religion, the answer would have to be in the affirmative.  As it states in Romans, after all, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."  This does not mean that no other answers are available; indeed, I think God would rather have us come to him in the face of uncertainty, rather than accepting him on the basis of science or mathematics.  In the same way, I have no scientific proof that a close friend loves me; however, our relationship is based not on proof, but on trust.  I think that it works the same way with God.

I think the flatness problem tells us that the universe is fine tuned, a point which is surprisingly still denied by many atheists.  The question now seems to be not whether the universe really is fine tuned, but whether unlikelihoods can be made more likely.  Alan Guth's inflationary theory is plausible, but it still has holes in it.  One of the most famous is the graceful exit problem, which involves explaining the smooth transition that took place between the universe's inflationary phase to the phase of the universe comporting with the Friedmann equations.  The problem is that a smooth transition requires the violation of energy conditions.  This, coupled with many other issues, has lead to different inflationary models of the universe.  So, inflation is by no means incontrovertible.  Again, I'm not arguing for the impossibility to the contrary; I'm arguing how reflections of nature and human experience *could* lead someone to God belief, and I think that was your question.  The multiverse theory is a highly speculative idea and it is entirely faith based.  Putting all of the pieces together, which includes my other examples, it is definitely not more likely than God.  Knowing that God exists, from a purely rational standpoint, is based on mounting evidence, and the multiverse does not even come close.  The fact that we are here to observe the miracle that is this universe does not change the fact that it was a miracle, anymore than actually being a lottery winner does not change the fact that what happened had a very low probability.  So I do not think the Anthropic Principle stands as a strong objection.

I need to point out that it is inherent in the methodology of science to deny the involvement of God, because nonphysical spiritual beings are not part of its methodology.  Ultimately, if you want to be an atheist, there will always be threads for you to hang by.  Given any theological account, you can always give an atheistic account of the same thing.  Your atheism will always stand as a rational possibility; it will be there for you.  I think to assume that only theists have presuppositions is a myth.  Atheists are not operating from a position of neutrality; they've consciously made the decision to become atheists even though they have not precluded the possibility of the existence of God (except when arguments, such as the modal ontological argument, are presented to them and they manage to figure out how such arguments work).  

I'm going to be busy all week and may not respond until 7 days from now.  By then, you'll probably be out of the hospital, but I hope that you'll still be interested in this dialogue.


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Mr_Metaphysics wrote: I

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

 

I would like to note that I am not arguing here for the impossibility of the contrary.  The question is whether the existence of God can be inferred without the aid of special revelation; is it reasonable to conclude the existence of God solely from a reflection of human experience?  If I am to be consistent with my religion, the answer would have to be in the affirmative.  As it states in Romans, after all, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."  This does not mean that no other answers are available; indeed, I think God would rather have us come to him in the face of uncertainty, rather than accepting him on the basis of science or mathematics.  In the same way, I have no scientific proof that a close friend loves me; however, our relationship is based not on proof, but on trust.  I think that it works the same way with God.

I think the flatness problem tells us that the universe is fine tuned, a point which is surprisingly still denied by many atheists.  The question now seems to be not whether the universe really is fine tuned, but whether unlikelihoods can be made more likely.  Alan Guth's inflationary theory is plausible, but it still has holes in it.  One of the most famous is the graceful exit problem, which involves explaining the smooth transition that took place between the universe's inflationary phase to the phase of the universe comporting with the Friedmann equations.  The problem is that a smooth transition requires the violation of energy conditions.  This, coupled with many other issues, has lead to different inflationary models of the universe.  So, inflation is by no means incontrovertible.  Again, I'm not arguing for the impossibility to the contrary; I'm arguing how reflections of nature and human experience *could* lead someone to God belief, and I think that was your question.  The multiverse theory is a highly speculative idea and it is entirely faith based.  Putting all of the pieces together, which includes my other examples, it is definitely not more likely than God.  Knowing that God exists, from a purely rational standpoint, is based on mounting evidence, and the multiverse does not even come close.  The fact that we are here to observe the miracle that is this universe does not change the fact that it was a miracle, anymore than actually being a lottery winner does not change the fact that what happened had a very low probability.  So I do not think the Anthropic Principle stands as a strong objection.

I need to point out that it is inherent in the methodology of science to deny the involvement of God, because nonphysical spiritual beings are not part of its methodology.  Ultimately, if you want to be an atheist, there will always be threads for you to hang by.  Given any theological account, you can always give an atheistic account of the same thing.  Your atheism will always stand as a rational possibility; it will be there for you.  I think to assume that only theists have presuppositions is a myth.  Atheists are not operating from a position of neutrality; they've consciously made the decision to become atheists even though they have not precluded the possibility of the existence of God (except when arguments, such as the modal ontological argument, are presented to them and they manage to figure out how such arguments work).  

I'm going to be busy all week and may not respond until 7 days from now.  By then, you'll probably be out of the hospital, but I hope that you'll still be interested in this dialogue.

 

Meta if I may call you so or however you wish please let down your guard and pretend we are 2 guys that are talkin' obviously with some folks eavesdropping  I understand a good bit of where you are coming from. I think that my point is not that the data can not be used to argue for fine tuning. I think though as you point out if you can not suspend say a presupposition of faith then the evidence will be affirming. I sat on the fence for  along time in which given uncertainty data did not drive me either way.  I do think that with the fine tuning you wind up minimum with a tautology : unless those cinditions were there we would not be here to observe those conditions. Some of the other aspects is the lack of precision in the fine tuning. Hydrogen could have come about earlier etc, Obviously we are neither physicists and are dependent upon how much variety of literature from multiple stances we have read and have judged.   And I can understand your position if you start with the hypothesis a supreme intellegence designed the initial boundary conditions or a priori state of the universe.  It is certainly a RATIONAL proposal for research 

' I do disagree that science actively denies the involvement of god but it may so if the definition is non-physical as you say since science is a physical discipline. But then consider our approach of a natural theology. That I assume is in effect an attempt to determine god from the physical/natural.  AND JUST AS IT COULD MAKE LOGICAL AND OR TRANSCENDENT JUMPS so can science at times ( paradigm shifts) based upon the concepts of fundementals or laws wich are themselves non-physical, logical and or abstract.  Does that seem right?  I think we often make boogey men of each other in that our generalizations are always strawmen.  The fact is my friend James Sennett and I have these conversations that we are now having and the distincction of the information at many points is aesthetic shifting from theistic to non-theistic metaphysics. I agree with him that we live in a present state where is no working metaphysics.  I also would like younto at least consider that atheisim tends to actively only negate theism. There are multiple other types of metaphysics that are rational which might obtain as a hermeneutic of the universe. I agree that the multiverse view is pure theory but I do think it is more weighty than a theism again because of theodicy.  I think you make a very good point that we atheists have made a decision that there is no god though perhaps with an openness for reconsideration with strong evidence.  The same may be said in reverse of some but not all theists because of the difference in posturing of faith.  Atheism tends to have an antithetical : skepticism which I think weighs better toward objectivity than the presumption of faith. Would you agree with this point?  I understand if you are busy. Let me suggest that we become more informal and dialogue in shorter if need be ditties. depending on your business.  I will telll you that we both have sufficent knowledge to carry the discussion without recourse to further research of wiki like quotes if you are game. Please imput your tastes as wanted. As to me I will be here if you wanna chat. I think that the necessity of dealing with bible and the nature of logic and mathematics as possible transcndence will have to follow soon. We haven't beat dead the horse of natural theology yet.   I willl not be leaving the hospital and have enjoyed the discusssion so far.  I may leave in about 4 to 6 weeks or never So later dude.  

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

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TGBaker wrote:Meta if I may

TGBaker wrote:
Meta if I may call you so or however you wish please let down your guard and pretend we are 2 guys that are talkin' obviously with some folks eavesdropping  I understand a good bit of where you are coming from. I think that my point is not that the data can not be used to argue for fine tuning. I think though as you point out if you can not suspend say a presupposition of faith then the evidence will be affirming. I sat on the fence for  along time in which given uncertainty data did not drive me either way.  I do think that with the fine tuning you wind up minimum with a tautology : unless those cinditions were there we would not be here to observe those conditions. Some of the other aspects is the lack of precision in the fine tuning. Hydrogen could have come about earlier etc, Obviously we are neither physicists and are dependent upon how much variety of literature from multiple stances we have read and have judged.   And I can understand your position if you start with the hypothesis a supreme intellegence designed the initial boundary conditions or a priori state of the universe.  It is certainly a RATIONAL proposal for research 

' I do disagree that science actively denies the involvement of god but it may so if the definition is non-physical as you say since science is a physical discipline. But then consider our approach of a natural theology. That I assume is in effect an attempt to determine god from the physical/natural.  AND JUST AS IT COULD MAKE LOGICAL AND OR TRANSCENDENT JUMPS so can science at times ( paradigm shifts) based upon the concepts of fundementals or laws wich are themselves non-physical, logical and or abstract.  Does that seem right?  I think we often make boogey men of each other in that our generalizations are always strawmen.  The fact is my friend James Sennett and I have these conversations that we are now having and the distincction of the information at many points is aesthetic shifting from theistic to non-theistic metaphysics. I agree with him that we live in a present state where is no working metaphysics.  I also would like younto at least consider that atheisim tends to actively only negate theism. There are multiple other types of metaphysics that are rational which might obtain as a hermeneutic of the universe. I agree that the multiverse view is pure theory but I do think it is more weighty than a theism again because of theodicy.  I think you make a very good point that we atheists have made a decision that there is no god though perhaps with an openness for reconsideration with strong evidence.  The same may be said in reverse of some but not all theists because of the difference in posturing of faith.  Atheism tends to have an antithetical : skepticism which I think weighs better toward objectivity than the presumption of faith. Would you agree with this point?  I understand if you are busy. Let me suggest that we become more informal and dialogue in shorter if need be ditties. depending on your business.  I will telll you that we both have sufficent knowledge to carry the discussion without recourse to further research of wiki like quotes if you are game. Please imput your tastes as wanted. As to me I will be here if you wanna chat. I think that the necessity of dealing with bible and the nature of logic and mathematics as possible transcndence will have to follow soon. We haven't beat dead the horse of natural theology yet.   I willl not be leaving the hospital and have enjoyed the discusssion so far.  I may leave in about 4 to 6 weeks or never So later dude.  

 

I promise you that I am approaching this conversation as a friendly dialogue.  If I should happen to mention something that you are unfamiliar with, know that I will not ridicule you if you profess to being unaware of it and requiring further explanation.

The first point that I disagree with you on is the idea that furnishing a theological interpretation of the scientific evidence requires a preexisting bias to religion.  I disagree, because you can point to people like Robert Jastrow, a preeminent physicist and cosmologist, and also a self-professed agnostic, who openly stated that the Big Bang Theory is practically identical to the Biblical account of the universe's birth.  So we have at least one example where the evidence is viewed with theistic underpinnings sans any religious predisposition.

The objection you seem to be raising to the fine tuning argument is the Anthropic Principle, but I don't find that to be adequate.  I would use Richard Swinburne's objection, where he gives the example of the man who manages to not be killed despite being held up by a firing squad:  How is the Anthropic Principle explanatory of what went on; is the fact that he is still alive not better explained, perhaps, by the dispositions of the firing squad?  In the same way, the fact that we are here to observe the universe does not explain why it is still here, nor does it discount the fact that the conditions for its continued existence require precise specifications with respect to the density of matter.

I am not aware of every scientific method that exists, but I know that there is a popular method called "methodological naturalism".  Accordingly, all scientific investigations are done under the presumption that naturalism is true, even if naturalism is in fact not true.  So, even if the best explanation seems to be God, most scientists are under hegemonic orders to abandon such ideas.  As such, you will not find "God" in any peer reviewed publication, and people like Michael Behe and William Dembski shall find themselves ostracized by their peers.  

Natural theology is not restricted to science.  It may also involve logical argumentation via metaphysical principles, such as the law of causality, the principle of sufficient reason, the nature of consciousness, the nature of God, the grounding of knowledge, moral absolutes, and so forth.  God may even be argued via historical evidence, such as with the evidence for the life and resurrection of Jesus.   

I think we can agree to disagree on the issue of the universe, because you can interpret the evidence any way you wish.  My only point was that it could be given a theistic interpretation, especially when considered in tandem with various other issues such as morality and the history of Jesus.  

What is your stance on morality?  Do you believe that objective morality could exist without God?  Or do you deny that objective morality exists, and that it is functionally useless anyway?

 


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Mr_Metaphysics wrote: I

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

 

I promise you that I am approaching this conversation as a friendly dialogue.  If I should happen to mention something that you are unfamiliar with, know that I will not ridicule you if you profess to being unaware of it and requiring further explanation.

The first point that I disagree with you on is the idea that furnishing a theological interpretation of the scientific evidence requires a preexisting bias to religion.  I disagree, because you can point to people like Robert Jastrow, a preeminent physicist and cosmologist, and also a self-professed agnostic, who openly stated that the Big Bang Theory is practically identical to the Biblical account of the universe's birth.  So we have at least one example where the evidence is viewed with theistic underpinnings sans any religious predisposition.

The objection you seem to be raising to the fine tuning argument is the Anthropic Principle, but I don't find that to be adequate.  I would use Richard Swinburne's objection, where he gives the example of the man who manages to not be killed despite being held up by a firing squad:  How is the Anthropic Principle explanatory of what went on; is the fact that he is still alive not better explained, perhaps, by the dispositions of the firing squad?  In the same way, the fact that we are here to observe the universe does not explain why it is still here, nor does it discount the fact that the conditions for its continued existence require precise specifications with respect to the density of matter.

I am not aware of every scientific method that exists, but I know that there is a popular method called "methodological naturalism".  Accordingly, all scientific investigations are done under the presumption that naturalism is true, even if naturalism is in fact not true.  So, even if the best explanation seems to be God, most scientists are under hegemonic orders to abandon such ideas.  As such, you will not find "God" in any peer reviewed publication, and people like Michael Behe and William Dembski shall find themselves ostracized by their peers.  

Natural theology is not restricted to science.  It may also involve logical argumentation via metaphysical principles, such as the law of causality, the principle of sufficient reason, the nature of consciousness, the nature of God, the grounding of knowledge, moral absolutes, and so forth.  God may even be argued via historical evidence, such as with the evidence for the life and resurrection of Jesus.   

I think we can agree to disagree on the issue of the universe, because you can interpret the evidence any way you wish.  My only point was that it could be given a theistic interpretation, especially when considered in tandem with various other issues such as morality and the history of Jesus.  

What is your stance on morality?  Do you believe that objective morality could exist without God?  Or do you deny that objective morality exists, and that it is functionally useless anyway?

 

I understand and am sympathetic to your first point.  I read Jastrow and Paul Davies since the 80's. I think to put it better is if their were no Genesis story would a theological interpretation of the big bang be made? I think that Jastrow had a religious story to attach even though he himself was agnostic.  And this may go to some type of methodology or hermeneutic. If there was no Genesis story would Jastrow derive (or anybody for that matter) a theological interpretation of the Big Bang? Obviously one of the big catches would be to find intent like fine tuning in the first moment.  So I don't discount fine tuning but we have really a nexus of subjects that effect the other. Lets grant the fine tuning for a moment. There is the Matrix argument.  Evolved Aliens use their computers to simulate and experiment with big bangs. And we are simply one of those experiments. Hokey  but to the point.  What if the creator is not god. Or another way what if the creator is not an all loving, omni everthing kinda guy. I do think that many people beside Behe etc.; are not recieved well by the scientific community.  Francis Collins is picked upon but not his work. Paul Davies is widely respected.  But that same filter also is skeptical of such things as Penrose and Hameroff's Quantum Consciousness. I think the rigid moral of skepticism is required for science. The theory of Hammeroff and Penrose (who is a widely respected scientist) is interesting but requires a lot of assumptions about other theories that are not conclusive.  I think Fine Tuning is in the same category as is frankly String Theory. And that is the sneaky things our minds do to us. We are looking for something that is not apparent on the surface so we go looking at the gaps we have...and this is not just with theism.

I know that natural theology encompasses the list you mentioned.  I was reading Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich and Wolfhart Pannenberg when my classmates were gaga over Karl Barth.  Quite frankly my slow walking away from theism is because of my 4 years of Greek studies, a focus on the synoptic problem and the Historical Jesus.  The evidence for the resurrection became more and more unconvincing as I compared various scholars. I moved to a panentheistic worldview to try and incorporate what I understood from my studies.  My atheism is a result of concluding that theism developed over a period of time because homo sapien looks for causes.  It seems less plausible than panentheism.  I am studying consciousness most days when I am up to it and NCC.  I see a far more satisfactory view about consciousness and qualia from David Chalmers than Daniel Dennett though I like Dennett's work. I see consciousness as another gap in which we must look.  Chalmers work makes it rational to look at consciousness as a fundamental physical property . In effect you have only a property dualism. He is not boasting that his theory is correct only that it explains best what we see. His theory as implications for a panpsychism and in turn panentheism.

I agree we can agree to disagree on the cosmological bang. I would say it is rightly used for a theistic argument.  Though, I want that something that makes me want to use it so to speak. And I think that is why I view theism as a modern belief an artifact or antique that we keep around because it has been in the family for generations.  As to objective morality do you mean it in general or an atheistic one? I would as Sam Harris compare it to good health. We can  know what good health is but it will be unique to the individual. A basis for morality is well-being and we know what that is. So we can know for the most part what moves away from suffering to well being.

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

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TGBaker wrote: I understand

TGBaker wrote:
 I understand and am sympathetic to your first point.  I read Jastrow and Paul Davies since the 80's. I think to put it better is if their were no Genesis story would a theological interpretation of the big bang be made? I think that Jastrow had a religious story to attach even though he himself was agnostic.  And this may go to some type of methodology or hermeneutic. If there was no Genesis story would Jastrow derive (or anybody for that matter) a theological interpretation of the Big Bang? Obviously one of the big catches would be to find intent like fine tuning in the first moment.  So I don't discount fine tuning but we have really a nexus of subjects that effect the other. Lets grant the fine tuning for a moment. There is the Matrix argument.  Evolved Aliens use their computers to simulate and experiment with big bangs. And we are simply one of those experiments. Hokey  but to the point.  What if the creator is not god. Or another way what if the creator is not an all loving, omni everthing kinda guy. I do think that many people beside Behe etc.; are not recieved well by the scientific community.  Francis Collins is picked upon but not his work. Paul Davies is widely respected.  But that same filter also is skeptical of such things as Penrose and Hameroff's Quantum Consciousness. I think the rigid moral of skepticism is required for science. The theory of Hammeroff and Penrose (who is a widely respected scientist) is interesting but requires a lot of assumptions about other theories that are not conclusive.  I think Fine Tuning is in the same category as is frankly String Theory. And that is the sneaky things our minds do to us. We are looking for something that is not apparent on the surface so we go looking at the gaps we have...and this is not just with theism.

I know that natural theology encompasses the list you mentioned.  I was reading Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich and Wolfhart Pannenberg when my classmates were gaga over Karl Barth.  Quite frankly my slow walking away from theism is because of my 4 years of Greek studies, a focus on the synoptic problem and the Historical Jesus.  The evidence for the resurrection became more and more unconvincing as I compared various scholars. I moved to a panentheistic worldview to try and incorporate what I understood from my studies.  My atheism is a result of concluding that theism developed over a period of time because homo sapien looks for causes.  It seems less plausible than panentheism.  I am studying consciousness most days when I am up to it and NCC.  I see a far more satisfactory view about consciousness and qualia from David Chalmers than Daniel Dennett though I like Dennett's work. I see consciousness as another gap in which we must look.  Chalmers work makes it rational to look at consciousness as a fundamental physical property . In effect you have only a property dualism. He is not boasting that his theory is correct only that it explains best what we see. His theory as implications for a panpsychism and in turn panentheism.

I agree we can agree to disagree on the cosmological bang. I would say it is rightly used for a theistic argument.  Though, I want that something that makes me want to use it so to speak. And I think that is why I view theism as a modern belief an artifact or antique that we keep around because it has been in the family for generations.  As to objective morality do you mean it in general or an atheistic one? I would as Sam Harris compare it to good health. We can  know what good health is but it will be unique to the individual. A basis for morality is well-being and we know what that is. So we can know for the most part what moves away from suffering to well being.

 

Without the Book of Genesis, there is no way that Jastrow would have said what he said.  But he still said it without preexisting bias towards religion, as he was not a believer.  With regard to the fine tuning, bear in mind that it is only an argument for intelligent design.  I think the most powerful case for God is not made with a single argument, but with a family of arguments that support one another.  Also, and I realize atheists have heard this before and remain unconvinced, philosophers like William Lane Craig have put forth arguments advocating that a creator of all space, time, matter, and time would have properties normally attributed to the God of Abraham, in which case there seems to be no reason to believe that the creator would be an alien or a computer.  One issue is that the only conception of aliens and computers of which I'm aware is that of material things, and the universe that we now know to be finite encompasses all of materiality; thus, it would be logically contradictory to say that a material thing created all of matter.  Your only recourse would be if you had some sort of immaterial computer or alien in mind, in which case I would wonder why we would bother calling it an "alien" or a "computer".

So, is philosophy your background?  I take it that you've studied with Dr. Sennett.  Do you have a PhD like he does?

By 'objective morality', I mean a set of deontic statements that are true for everybody, in the same way that the laws of gravity are true for everybody.  For Sam Harris--to clarify, I have not read his book; I've only heard about it--deontic statements are objectively true in the sense that they merely refer to the production of well-being, and it is true for everybody that certain actions are conducive to well-being while others are not.  It seems that Sam Harris is advocating a sort of utilitarianism, but he is merely supplanting "happiness" with well-being.  I'm not sure what he means by "well-being", but I'll assume that what he has in mind is something similar to Aristotle's notion of Eudaimonia (found in his Nicomachean Ethics).   The problem, which William Lane Craig pointed out during their debate a few days ago, is that there are possible worlds where, say, committing murder produces well-being, not so much in the individual that is murdered but perhaps amongst other individuals in the society.  Moreover, perhaps one action will produce well-being in one individual but the same action will not produce well-being in another individual; in which case, Sam Harris falls short of his goal of coming up with an objective morality that everyone can follow.  (I wish that the Craig-Harris debate included a cross-examination, because Harris did not address this objection.)  

 


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Mr_Metaphysics wrote:TGBaker

Mr_Metaphysics wrote:

TGBaker wrote:
 I understand and am sympathetic to your first point.  I read Jastrow and Paul Davies since the 80's. I think to put it better is if their were no Genesis story would a theological interpretation of the big bang be made? I think that Jastrow had a religious story to attach even though he himself was agnostic.  And this may go to some type of methodology or hermeneutic. If there was no Genesis story would Jastrow derive (or anybody for that matter) a theological interpretation of the Big Bang? Obviously one of the big catches would be to find intent like fine tuning in the first moment.  So I don't discount fine tuning but we have really a nexus of subjects that effect the other. Lets grant the fine tuning for a moment. There is the Matrix argument.  Evolved Aliens use their computers to simulate and experiment with big bangs. And we are simply one of those experiments. Hokey  but to the point.  What if the creator is not god. Or another way what if the creator is not an all loving, omni everthing kinda guy. I do think that many people beside Behe etc.; are not recieved well by the scientific community.  Francis Collins is picked upon but not his work. Paul Davies is widely respected.  But that same filter also is skeptical of such things as Penrose and Hameroff's Quantum Consciousness. I think the rigid moral of skepticism is required for science. The theory of Hammeroff and Penrose (who is a widely respected scientist) is interesting but requires a lot of assumptions about other theories that are not conclusive.  I think Fine Tuning is in the same category as is frankly String Theory. And that is the sneaky things our minds do to us. We are looking for something that is not apparent on the surface so we go looking at the gaps we have...and this is not just with theism.

I know that natural theology encompasses the list you mentioned.  I was reading Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich and Wolfhart Pannenberg when my classmates were gaga over Karl Barth.  Quite frankly my slow walking away from theism is because of my 4 years of Greek studies, a focus on the synoptic problem and the Historical Jesus.  The evidence for the resurrection became more and more unconvincing as I compared various scholars. I moved to a panentheistic worldview to try and incorporate what I understood from my studies.  My atheism is a result of concluding that theism developed over a period of time because homo sapien looks for causes.  It seems less plausible than panentheism.  I am studying consciousness most days when I am up to it and NCC.  I see a far more satisfactory view about consciousness and qualia from David Chalmers than Daniel Dennett though I like Dennett's work. I see consciousness as another gap in which we must look.  Chalmers work makes it rational to look at consciousness as a fundamental physical property . In effect you have only a property dualism. He is not boasting that his theory is correct only that it explains best what we see. His theory as implications for a panpsychism and in turn panentheism.

I agree we can agree to disagree on the cosmological bang. I would say it is rightly used for a theistic argument.  Though, I want that something that makes me want to use it so to speak. And I think that is why I view theism as a modern belief an artifact or antique that we keep around because it has been in the family for generations.  As to objective morality do you mean it in general or an atheistic one? I would as Sam Harris compare it to good health. We can  know what good health is but it will be unique to the individual. A basis for morality is well-being and we know what that is. So we can know for the most part what moves away from suffering to well being.

 

Without the Book of Genesis, there is no way that Jastrow would have said what he said.  But he still said it without preexisting bias towards religion, as he was not a believer.  With regard to the fine tuning, bear in mind that it is only an argument for intelligent design.  I think the most powerful case for God is not made with a single argument, but with a family of arguments that support one another.  Also, and I realize atheists have heard this before and remain unconvinced, philosophers like William Lane Craig have put forth arguments advocating that a creator of all space, time, matter, and time would have properties normally attributed to the God of Abraham, in which case there seems to be no reason to believe that the creator would be an alien or a computer.  One issue is that the only conception of aliens and computers of which I'm aware is that of material things, and the universe that we now know to be finite encompasses all of materiality; thus, it would be logically contradictory to say that a material thing created all of matter.  Your only recourse would be if you had some sort of immaterial computer or alien in mind, in which case I would wonder why we would bother calling it an "alien" or a "computer".

So, is philosophy your background?  I take it that you've studied with Dr. Sennett.  Do you have a PhD like he does?

By 'objective morality', I mean a set of deontic statements that are true for everybody, in the same way that the laws of gravity are true for everybody.  For Sam Harris--to clarify, I have not read his book; I've only heard about it--deontic statements are objectively true in the sense that they merely refer to the production of well-being, and it is true for everybody that certain actions are conducive to well-being while others are not.  It seems that Sam Harris is advocating a sort of utilitarianism, but he is merely supplanting "happiness" with well-being.  I'm not sure what he means by "well-being", but I'll assume that what he has in mind is something similar to Aristotle's notion of Eudaimonia (found in his Nicomachean Ethics).   The problem, which William Lane Craig pointed out during their debate a few days ago, is that there are possible worlds where, say, committing murder produces well-being, not so much in the individual that is murdered but perhaps amongst other individuals in the society.  Moreover, perhaps one action will produce well-being in one individual but the same action will not produce well-being in another individual; in which case, Sam Harris falls short of his goal of coming up with an objective morality that everyone can follow.  (I wish that the Craig-Harris debate included a cross-examination, because Harris did not address this objection.)  

 

good morning Meta. I had a bad afternoon yesterday so I am just getting back to you.  I have difficulties seeing the computer screen and typing because of some chemo I am on and these hospital beds were made for the inquisition. To hone in on Genesis/Jastrow.  I was not focused so much on the bias as looking a the figures of fine tuning. Would I see a god in it or that we are the fine tuning?  Other faiths Eastern see parallels in their creation stories. As for Craig/Aliens the alien scenario goes forth such that eventually as more and more aliens in fine tuned virtual universes create more and more fine tuned universes the fine tuned ones out number the ones not suitable for life. The idea is based upon Lenny Susskind's holographic principle widely accepted by most physicists today.  As far as material/immaterial I think it is more of a question of dualism. Is  the information of the computers generating the big bangs physical or not?  Is it a property dualism verses the one you suggest?  These issues are important in the study of mind/consciousness and not resolved. That is why I am trying to get through David Chalmers works.

Bible and theology is my background. I haven't studied with James since high school. We went to the same Bible College.  I went to Emory's Candler School of Theology. James went to Lincoln.  James loved OT. I  I loved NT studies.  I went through a divorce and went no further other than personal studies. I do discuss "our favorite issues" presently with him.  He visits me on Wednesday's here at the hospital. We play guitar together.

Yes I studied a bit of ethics and understand denontological ethics. But as I mentioned earlier I was  impressed with Emil Brunner's stuff. I think that Sam Harris is properly trying to place morality within a scientific context as medicine has been.  I certainly would not go with an early hypothosis and he seems to seriously be working on its development.  He basically says imagine the worse possible world in which you can where suffering is maximum and length of its endurance maximum.  Any movement from thst is well being. Fill in the rest with animal and human studies.

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

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TGBaker wrote:good morning

TGBaker wrote:

good morning Meta. I had a bad afternoon yesterday so I am just getting back to you.  I have difficulties seeing the computer screen and typing because of some chemo I am on and these hospital beds were made for the inquisition. To hone in on Genesis/Jastrow.  I was not focused so much on the bias as looking a the figures of fine tuning. Would I see a god in it or that we are the fine tuning?  Other faiths Eastern see parallels in their creation stories. As for Craig/Aliens the alien scenario goes forth such that eventually as more and more aliens in fine tuned virtual universes create more and more fine tuned universes the fine tuned ones out number the ones not suitable for life. The idea is based upon Lenny Susskind's holographic principle widely accepted by most physicists today.  As far as material/immaterial I think it is more of a question of dualism. Is  the information of the computers generating the big bangs physical or not?  Is it a property dualism verses the one you suggest?  These issues are important in the study of mind/consciousness and not resolved. That is why I am trying to get through David Chalmers works.

Bible and theology is my background. I haven't studied with James since high school. We went to the same Bible College.  I went to Emory's Candler School of Theology. James went to Lincoln.  James loved OT. I  I loved NT studies.  I went through a divorce and went no further other than personal studies. I do discuss "our favorite issues" presently with him.  He visits me on Wednesday's here at the hospital. We play guitar together.

Yes I studied a bit of ethics and understand denontological ethics. But as I mentioned earlier I was  impressed with Emil Brunner's stuff. I think that Sam Harris is properly trying to place morality within a scientific context as medicine has been.  I certainly would not go with an early hypothosis and he seems to seriously be working on its development.  He basically says imagine the worse possible world in which you can where suffering is maximum and length of its endurance maximum.  Any movement from thst is well being. Fill in the rest with animal and human studies.

Sorry about your afternoon, and sorry about the delay.  I hope you get better.

With regard to fine tuning, I think that is a good argument for intelligent design.  Beyond that, we can make separate arguments for the nature of the creator, and I think there are reasonable arguments that one could make in favor of the idea that the creator is like what we would normally call "God".  Your aliens scenario seems to be a version of the idea of parallel universes, but I don't see how that's any more reasonable than belief in God, especially since arguments for God extend far beyond the mere Kalam.  I cannot comment on the Holographic Principle because I am unfamiliar with it.

I think the easiest defeater to Sam Harris's argument is to say that we can imagine a world where murder produces maximal well-being, in which case we would have to ask whether unlawfully killing someone is really wrong or if maximal well-being should be our only motivation for action.


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Hi Meta I've had a

Hi Meta I've had a pulminary, a lump biospy, a blood clot and a filter and an oil change. The filter is in my jugular to catch blood clots. Other than the fever I still walked about a half a mile. As to fine tuning (which I sorely need) I think along with Paul Davies who've I've read most obviously that a lot of the points can be called into question but not all.  I do find it a reason to consider the universe coming from mind or consciousness (itself a physical property). I do not see it as showing a theism of necessity.  I do not see that the universe necessarily comes from a mind.  There are several physicists who see the source as binary numbers 1, 0.  There is evidence  that struction, instruction, formation and information derive from that as well as logical , physical and mathematical law.I would agree that finding it as factual (sense the debate goes on by many physicists)would certainly be a fossil say of an animal but not proof of a specific animal. The whole problem is they can't get gravity to fit in a grand unified theory ergo the string theory.  I am skeptical of all supposed systems that are pardigms that are about to change.   The holograhphic principle  is most accepted because it over came Hawkings Blackhole Paradox about loss of information and therefore a violation of the  Law of Thermodynamics. Since this system of physics from what I can tell overcomes it sufficeintly thus its acceptance. The idea is that an event horizon projects information as the three dimensional world from its two dimensional surface as the blackhole evaporates.  Our universe is but one of these many event horizons event horizons.  I have niot found out whether the tests at Cern to confirm or deny this had been completed.  i have not looked in a couple months. The Matrix /Alien thing is just a thought experiemnt which some have applied and found it more likely to be the case than a theism.  Its sorta like  positing zombies to determine the nature of consciousness. As to not knowing it you can only eat an elephant a little at a time. I don't know a lot of stuff of whichj your interests were driven.  Ergo discussion right? or dialectic?    I guess I am a Hegelian and don't know it but from thesis, antithesis you can come up with viable synthesis. 

 I don't know what Harris would say but I'd say assuming well-being goes to all needs it would depend on circumstance and thus justification of war.  It is lawful to kill you enemy obviously can follow. I think the problem I had with deontological ethics was the inherent legalism that insued contrary to my concept of the New Covenant. There were to me too many actual life examples of placing rules in conflict which led to casuistry.  To place the morality in its human realm apart from revelation, or what have you, we see that we developed by having to decide such questions. They existed prior to The Old Covenent and have continued to evolve to the present. Obviously there are contextual and YES situational factorsThis brings me to your last statement about not seeing it any more reasonable than theism. I think it is as reasonable but not as plausable.  I think when you throw theodicy at the alter of theism ( normative ) no sign comes back that gives this world creedence with such a god. That certainly does not rule out Hinduism, Buddhism snf the like. But that's another story.

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TBaker, unfortunately I have

TBaker, unfortunately I have to pull out of this discussion. I have too many things going on right now. I would recommend asking Presuppositionalist to do this with you.

Feel better, and if anything should happen to you I hope someone you know can tell us.


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 I've got a few things

 I've got a few things going on too. bye. take care.....


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I was trying to read up on

I was trying to read up on Dembski mentioned by Mr.Metaphysics who I haven't heard nor do not know:

Tipler's writings on scientific peer review[25] have been cited by William A. Dembski as having formed the basis of the process for "peer review" in the intelligent design journal Progress in Complexity, Information and Design of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design, where both Tipler and Dembski served as fellows.[4]


Frank Jennings Tipler (born February 1, 1947 in Andalusia, Alabama[1]) is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University. [2] Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. It has been labeled as pseudoscience.[3] Tipler is a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, a society advocating intelligent design.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Tipler

 

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God is Love

Hello, my name is Vasiliki, my husband and I live in Australia, I am a christian, because I believe God is Love.  Thank you for  posting your rational question.  I am new to forums, I am ignorant of how to put in a post properly yet, but I will try anyhow, rather than staying silent any longer.  And I agree with you about debating, I have never found it helped at all, just responding rationally I have found to work instead.  I came from greek speaking parents and therefore my english is simple and basic, and was bought up in NZ.

I believe God is love ( as is written in 1 John 1:8 in the new testiment of the bible, because I believe Jesus Christ fulfilled the old testiment and came to prove who God is and what He is like and bridge the gap between mankind and God) not all the wrongdoing that has been done in God's name up till now otherwise, by the ignorance of mankind, especially in the church unfortunately, other than in and through Jesus Christ alone and His selfless followers who have laid down their lives up till now to prove God's selfless love.  My personal experience when it has come to God, has been from when I was about 7 years of age when I had started going to a thing called Rally, which was like girl guides and they shared the love of Jesus and God's Love there, and told us about Him, I became a christian and started to personally get to know Jesus and therefore God then, and found Him to be my best friend up till now, no matter how much I have let Him down (and I am 53 years of age now), 100% loving despite all of my mistakes, even though many, and true to me regardlessly of my weaknesses or problems as I had started to learn that Jesus came not for the righteous but wrongdoers like me, in myself even up till now - not perfect.  When I talk about Jesus and God, I believe they are in perfect unity, harmony and peace together, that's what I believe the trinity means - no wrongdoing, as God commands chrisitians to be with each other.  What I have written here is from my own personal experience, not out of a book. 

I use to wonder why there was so much wrong done in the church especially, I couldn't stand it and after many years found out through a testimony of a lady who had worked her way up to becoming one of the 6 brides of satan, who had been saved by Jesus, and I found out.  She said that satan's kindergarden for his witches was in the churches and then I  started to understood.  Another question that I desperately needed an answer for also, Dr Ebe a medical doctor answered, who died and went to heaven, was documented dead three hours, after he had fallen off a 3 storey building and his head split open, dead on impact, he went to heaven instantly and told of all the wonderful things there awaiting all who love Jesus and God.  Dr Ebe wrote it all in a book, (it may be able to be got through amazon.com, my book is still packed away), when Jesus told him he would come back to earth so more people could go to heaven to be with him for eternity who believed Him (Jesus Christ).  Dr Ebe asked the question to Jesus, and that was, "How can you send anyone to hell, and Jesus said, "By the confession of a persons mouth, they are justified or condemned".  I realized we have a God given free choice, that the Good Lord will not over-ride or force us to do good or right or love, it is up to us.  The Good Lords' will was always to love and do good and right from the beginning of time, and he can't change, regardlessly of all the wrong that has been done in His name as was proved by Jesus Christ and continues to be, to all who want the truth up till now.

I have been in and out of hospitals also, many times and had just about passed away a number of times, therefore I can identify with your stay in hospital, but I am working on overcoming my illnesses:  of mercury poisoning and an immune disease therefore, bowel inflammation and ulcerative colitis disease, and heart disease, and I can wholeheartly say that ignorance bought all these diseases upon me now, but I am overcoming it slowly but surely.  I had become very dependant on the social welfare for basic living expenses therefore, because the mercury poisoning had hurt my concentration and memory, and I lost 20 jobs therefore, because I couldn't remember what to do in my jobs next, and some of the bosses lost there tempers terribly, which was understandable of course, they were paying somebody to do the work properly.  Not to worry because I am working towards learning to work from home now, that is my goal.  It is very busy though here on the farm, but it is mainly for ourselves, so I am working towards it anywhere possible.

I hope this has started to answer some of your questions, and I hope I can find this forum again, as I am new to forums, and continue.

 

Take care and may the Good Lord continue to help you from Vasiliki and Gordon

 

 

 

 

 


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In the extremely unlikely

In the extremely unlikely event that there actually is a God, all the evidence from studying reality and history points to him being anything but "Love".

The  Bible is just a bunch of wishful thinking trying to deny this overwhelming reality, people trying convince themselves that everything is in fact ultimately 'fair and just'.

Understandable that people would like to believe that comforting nonsense, but unfortunately it just ain't so, and most of us here prefer to try to understand truth and reality.

Tell it to TGBaker, the OP, who has had a serious brush with cancer, which this "loving" God built into us, supposedly for the 'sin' of an ancient ancestor's disobedience to his arbitrary and pointless commands. That is a hateful, vengeful being, not a loving one.

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

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

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

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


Atheistextremist
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Welcome to RRS, Mrs Vasiliki.

 

 

Mrs Vasiliki Sollaye wrote:

 

...many years found out through a testimony of a lady who had worked her way up to becoming one of the 6 brides of satan, who had been saved by Jesus, and I found out.  She said that satan's kindergarden for his witches was in the churches and then I understood. 

 

 

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"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck