Who has the burden of proof?

william_374
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Who has the burden of proof?

If we were to discover a fully automated factory of some kind on the Moon or Mars, we would have to assume it is the product of design, at least until we could satisfactorily show that it is not.

This situation "defaults" to a designer, and the burden of proof resides on those who champion an alternate, much more complicated explanation. The existence of the designer *is* an explanation, in fact it is the simplest one. And please, no "who created the designer" questions, IF he is necessary, then he DOES exist, and he has the property of having always existed.

And even if you can show that life does not require a designer, you still need something at a very fundamental level to have "always existed". The fact that the Big Bang occurred means there was something before the Big Bang. If there was absolutely nothing before the Big Bang, there would be absolutely nothing right now. The universe needs an uncaused cause, the only question is whether this "uncaused cause" has intelligence or not.

Let's make one small thing clear though: none of the revealed religions are correct. If you spend any time researching the origin of the so-called sacred texts, you see that the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), the New Testament and the Koran were all written by MEN. They are *not* the "Word of God".

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2061773048178434620

So who's actually making the more extraordinary claim here, the idea that something that looks designed WAS designed, or the idea that life gives the astounding illusion that it was designed, but that in fact it was not. The second claim requires EXTENSIVE demonstration to be valid. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

So, as of 2007, what is the pathway, starting from rocks and water, that leads to the LUCA?


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Edison Trent wrote: Eight

Edison Trent wrote:
Eight Foot Manchild wrote:
...

Tell me how something with no physical attributes can interact with the physical world.

Ok then, I'll say it again. I don't know.

 Thank you for that frank admission.  Until such time as you do know, I think it best that you not preach about it.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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Edison Trent wrote:

Edison Trent wrote:

Ok then, I'll say it again. I don't know.

I know you don't. No one has ever or will ever come up with an ontology for "supernatural", "immaterial", "beyond nature" etc. that isn't internally contradictive.

Edison Trent wrote:
I'll give some thoughts though.

I hope so.

Edison Trent wrote:
If I am merely a natural human being, how can my natural brain understand what is beyond nature?

Where did you get the idea that there is anything at all "beyond nature"? Where is this assertion coming from?

Edison Trent wrote:
It may be able to comprehend that something may exist that is beyond its knowledge, but it cannot know what it is, because it is beyond the natural brain's comprehension.

If it can be perceived, it's natural.


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Eight Foot Manchild

Eight Foot Manchild wrote:

I know you don't. No one has ever or will ever come up with an ontology for "supernatural", "immaterial", "beyond nature" etc. that isn't internally contradictive.

It's because, as I said, our minds can't comprehend what created us.

Eight Foot Manchild wrote:

Where did you get the idea that there is anything at all "beyond nature"? Where is this assertion coming from?

From the belief that a higher power created our complex universe.

Eight Foot Manchild wrote:

If it can be perceived, it's natural.

I can't perceive it.  I can have thoughts about its existence, but I can't fully understand it.


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Edison Trent wrote:

Edison Trent wrote:

It's because, as I said, our minds can't comprehend what created us.

Then why make baseless assertions about our having a creator in the first place?

Edison Trent wrote:
Eight Foot Manchild wrote:

Where did you get the idea that there is anything at all "beyond nature"? Where is this assertion coming from?

From the belief that a higher power created our complex universe.

So you got the idea that there is something "beyond nature" from...... the idea that there is something "beyond nature".

Do you not see that your reasoning is circular?

Edison Trent wrote:
I can't perceive it. I can have thoughts about its existence, but I can't fully understand it.

And I can have thoughts about the existence of unicorns.


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Eight Foot Manchild

Eight Foot Manchild wrote:

So you got the idea that there is something "beyond nature" from...... the idea that there is something "beyond nature".

Do you not see that your reasoning is circular?

Ok, let me back up.  I was being circular, I apologize.  I'll rephrase, my belief that there is a higher power comes from the complexity of nature.  To me, nature itself speaks of some higher power having created it.

Quote:

And I can have thoughts about the existence of unicorns.

Agreed.  We can have thoughts about something no one has seen or fully described or characterized.


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william_374 wrote: If we

william_374 wrote:
If we were to discover a fully automated factory of some kind on the Moon or Mars, we would have to assume it is the product of design, at least until we could satisfactorily show that it is not.

This situation "defaults" to a designer, and the burden of proof resides on those who champion an alternate, much more complicated explanation. The existence of the designer *is* an explanation, in fact it is the simplest one. And please, no "who created the designer" questions, IF he is necessary, then he DOES exist, and he has the property of having always existed.

And even if you can show that life does not require a designer, you still need something at a very fundamental level to have "always existed". The fact that the Big Bang occurred means there was something before the Big Bang. If there was absolutely nothing before the Big Bang, there would be absolutely nothing right now. The universe needs an uncaused cause, the only question is whether this "uncaused cause" has intelligence or not.

Let's make one small thing clear though: none of the revealed religions are correct. If you spend any time researching the origin of the so-called sacred texts, you see that the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), the New Testament and the Koran were all written by MEN. They are *not* the "Word of God".

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2061773048178434620

So who's actually making the more extraordinary claim here, the idea that something that looks designed WAS designed, or the idea that life gives the astounding illusion that it was designed, but that in fact it was not. The second claim requires EXTENSIVE demonstration to be valid. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

So, as of 2007, what is the pathway, starting from rocks and water, that leads to the LUCA?

 The theory of evolution is really quite simple actually.  The only thing that needs to come about is a DNA molecule, once a DNA molecule forms, it can guide the process ot the creation of the first one cell life form.  The DNA can be relatively simple, but it must first create a one cell life-form with the ability to

1)obtain resources from its surroundings

2) use those resources to reproduce

3) have a certain level of an unstable genome--not too unstable or the population will mutate unnecessarily, but fairly unstable so that it can mutate.

Once you have a one cell organism that is this way (remember, not anything near as complex as, say, an eye) then that is when the process of evolution comes in.  That one cell organism replicates and replicates and replicates, some of them mutate, and when a mutated gene is more successful or can move to a differnt niche than the previous, then it does.  Over billions of years, this process continues, with mutated species competing against eachother, evolving to win out the competiton, eventually forming eyes, shells, fins, legs, etc. etc.  

 Again, not really that hard of a concept to understand.  The eye didn't just appear, it came about through a very slow process of evolution.  Species who had eyes beat out those without eyes, and the more complex the eye, the greater advantage that species had.

 Really, this assumption that there is no explanation for life, that we need a designer, is ridiculous. 


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Edison Trent wrote: my

Edison Trent wrote:
my belief that there is a higher power comes from the complexity of nature. To me, nature itself speaks of some higher power having created it.
What is a "higher power"? Higher than what? What kind of 'power' is it? Electrical? Muscular? Nuclear?

What evidence do you have to support your belief? 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Edison Trent

Edison Trent wrote:

[T]here are some things in personal experience that happen and cannot necessarily be explained easily without divine intervention.

This is rather unlikely. I imagine that if asked you would supply some stories with strange circumstances or unlikely coincidences. How are coincidences evidence for god? Strange (i.e. unexpected, suprising, and/or not easily explained) things happen all the time. Often the reasons they appear strange are because not all natural events are intuitive. 


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An evolved self replicating

An evolved self replicating factory would be completely different than a factory that was designed. If we found a factory that had evolved then there would be all kinds of evidence that it had evolved just like all the evidence we have that the species evolved on earth. There would be terrible designs, things that did not make any sense at all for a designer to do, terrible waste of resources, indications that things had mutated, We would not have to assume anything - it would be obvious.

 

 We know that a magical being did not magically create the universe because there is no such thing as magic and magical beings do not exist. We have searched for evidence of magic and magical beings for thousands of years and found no evidence of magic or magical beings anywhere.

 

The ad hoc explanation that we have not found them because they are hiding from us does not pass the laugh test.

 For everything that was ever unexplained, there were always two possible types of explanations - magic and something natural. For thousands of years and tens or hundreds of thousands of unexplained things that were eventually explained, the correct explanation was always something natural. Magic was never the right type of explanation. The origin of the Universe is just another unexplained thing - again there are two types of explanations - magic and something natural. Based on our experience, there is no real chance at all that the magical explanation is the correct one.

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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RationalDeist

RationalDeist wrote:

 

"The theory of evolution is really quite simple actually.  The only thing that needs to come about is a DNA molecule, once a DNA molecule forms, it can guide the process ot the creation of the first one cell life form.  The DNA can be relatively simple, but it must first create a one cell life-form with the ability to 1)obtain resources from its surroundings 2) use those resources to reproduce 3) have a certain level of an unstable genome--not too unstable or the population will mutate unnecessarily, but fairly unstable so that it can mutate."

 

magilum wrote:

 

"Theories of abiogenesis have been substantiated by lab tests replicating amino acids, and self-replicating molecules. Further testing will determine whether it remains a viable hypothesis or not (it's falsifiable)."

 

Also, william_374 listed a path for abiogenesis that was proposed many years ago. It seems that he was being disingenuous when he asked "what is the pathway, starting from rocks and water, that leads to the LUCA"?

 

RationalDeist, we can start life much more simply than that. All you need is an "initial system" of one or more molecules that replicate in a natural environment and the system can mutate into more complex self-replicating molecules until it eventually forms RNA which we already believe can eventually form DNA. The initial molecules do not even have to be self-replicating as long as they are replicated in the system.

 

We know of hundreds of molecules such as Enzymes that self-replicate in respective environments. We have found systems where a first molecule forms a second molecule that forms a first molecule and so on in an environment. There may be many such "initial systems" that can mutate into life, in a natural environment, we just have not found one yet. Its even possible that it happens all the time in every cubic in of water in all the ponds and lakes everywhere on earth. If there were a few thousand molecules in a pond that are evolving toward life it would be very difficult to detect.

    

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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aiia wrote: What is a

aiia wrote:

What is a "higher power"? Higher than what? What kind of 'power' is it? Electrical? Muscular? Nuclear?

What evidence do you have to support your belief?

A "higher power" would be one that is control of everything, one that is able to do anything they wish, and one that is able to create whatever they want. 


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Edison Trent wrote:

Edison Trent wrote:

aiia wrote:

What is a "higher power"? Higher than what? What kind of 'power' is it? Electrical? Muscular? Nuclear?

What evidence do you have to support your belief?

A "higher power" would be one that is control of everything, one that is able to do anything they wish, and one that is able to create whatever they want.

one=they?

Its an indication you are not thinking clearly. You're making this up as you go. So is it 1 thing or 2 or more things?

Now, explain what this 'one/they' is. How does 'it/they' control things? How does 'it/they' do anything 'it/they' wish? How does 'it/they' create? Why is there no evidence of this 'it/they'?

What evidence do you have?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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aiia wrote: one=they? Its

aiia wrote:

one=they?

Its an indication you are not thinking clearly. You're making this up as you go. So is it 1 thing or 2 or more things?

Sorry.  I'm using 'they' as a general term instead of writing 'he/she/it' everywhere, since I haven't quite figured out which of the three God is.

aiia wrote:

Now, explain what this 'one/they' is. How does 'it/they' control things? How does 'it/they' do anything 'it/they' wish? How does 'it/they' create? Why is there no evidence of this 'it/they'?

What evidence do you have?

Like I have said before numerous times, my mere mortal mind cannot comprehend God.  Evidence?  You are evidence.  I am evidence.  We are both living beings.  Life does not come from non-life.


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Edison Trent wrote: aiia

Edison Trent wrote:


aiia wrote:


one=they?

Its an indication you are not thinking clearly. You're making this up as you go. So is it 1 thing or 2 or more things?



Sorry. I'm using 'they' as a general term instead of writing 'he/she/it' everywhere, since I haven't quite figured out which of the three God is.
Whats a god?

Quote:
aiia wrote:


Now, explain what this 'one/they' is. How does 'it/they' control things? How does 'it/they' do anything 'it/they' wish? How does 'it/they' create? Why is there no evidence of this 'it/they'?

What evidence do you have?


Like I have said before numerous times, my mere mortal mind cannot comprehend God. Evidence? You are evidence. I am evidence. We are both living beings. Life does not come from non-life.
Then you don't know what you are talking about. And you made this shit up. Liar.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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aiia wrote: Whats a

aiia wrote:

Whats a god?

This is getting fun.  A 'god' would be defined as a creator and ruler of the universe.

aiia wrote:

Then you don't know what you are talking about. And you made this shit up. Liar.

Explain to me how life comes from non-life.  Now who's the liar?


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Edison Trent wrote: aiia

Edison Trent wrote:

aiia wrote:

one=they?

Its an indication you are not thinking clearly. You're making this up as you go. So is it 1 thing or 2 or more things?

Sorry.  I'm using 'they' as a general term instead of writing 'he/she/it' everywhere, since I haven't quite figured out which of the three God is.

aiia wrote:

Now, explain what this 'one/they' is. How does 'it/they' control things? How does 'it/they' do anything 'it/they' wish? How does 'it/they' create? Why is there no evidence of this 'it/they'?

What evidence do you have?

Like I have said before numerous times, my mere mortal mind cannot comprehend God.  Evidence?  You are evidence.  I am evidence.  We are both living beings.  Life does not come from non-life.

The evidence suggests life indeed comes from non-life; compositionally, we are at core non-life. I doubt you're arguing for dualism at the moment, so I'll assume it's an argument against the probability of whatever event initiated life as we know it. The most probable, and most precedented answer, is going to be natural, as there's no way to work with the supernatural as a variable. Until an A-Z example of amino acids, self-replicating molecules, and single-celled life is demonstrated, you can say the jury is still out, but the answer doesn't default to a more improbable one.

The general argument for ID/Creationism portrays a sudden, unprecedented blinking into existence, which can only be reinforced by a lack of evidence. This makes "evidence" for Creationism indistinguishable from a lack of evidence for anything, which I think makes it indefensible as an idea. If you have some suggestion of how the position can be reinforced by predicted discoveries, etc., let me know. And let the Creationists know while you're at it.


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The design assumption

william_374 wrote:

If we were to discover a fully automated factory of some kind on the Moon or Mars, we would have to assume it is the product of design, at least until we could satisfactorily show that it is not.

We would be forced to assume design if there was no known natural process by hwich such a factory could be shown to have come into existence.  But we would not be forced to assume a supernatural designer, most likely we'd either show that it was secretly built by a human agency, maybe time travelers, or extraterrestrials.  In such an event as such a clearly unnatural factory existed on Mars or the Moon we are suddenly free to speculate on these already unlikely possible causes.  Consequently it wouldn't be too difficult to determine which of these designers were responsible for the factory.

william_374 wrote:

This situation "defaults" to a designer, and the burden of proof resides on those who champion an alternate, much more complicated explanation. The existence of the designer *is* an explanation, in fact it is the simplest one. And please, no "who created the designer" questions, IF he is necessary, then he DOES exist, and he has the property of having always existed.

Of course this situation defaults to a designer if we know of no natural process by which the factory could have come into existence.  This isn't to say that no such natural process exists, it is only to say that design becomes more likely.  It is also true that IF a designer can be proven to be necessary at least with a reasonably high degree of certainty then it becomes less important where the designer came from.  But the best way to prove design is to prove that there is no natural process by which something could have come into existence.  Naturally this is not how Intelligent Design advocates like to define their problem.

william_374 wrote:

And even if you can show that life does not require a designer, you still need something at a very fundamental level to have "always existed". The fact that the Big Bang occurred means there was something before the Big Bang. If there was absolutely nothing before the Big Bang, there would be absolutely nothing right now. The universe needs an uncaused cause, the only question is whether this "uncaused cause" has intelligence or not.

Why is this a necessary question?  Why is it necessary that this "uncaused cause" have an intelligence?  What reason is there to take as axiomatic that there was an intelligent "uncaused cause" and who really says the Big Bang was completely uncaused?  It is currently unknown what caused the big bang, but many mechanisms of the very rapid expansion of the universe have been proposed, shown possible and remain extremely likely.  This doesn't really explain the source of all the quarks in the universe, but there are theories about even more fundamental particles called Preons, and other theories based on the Preon theories in which what makes the Preons are loops, and in at least one of these theories these Preon-like loops are braids within the fabric of spacetime itself.  So far these are all unproven and untested speculation as to the cause of the "uncaused causer", and eventually we come back to the fact that at least spacetime has always existed, but in what way is this different from saying that God has always existed?  In reality it comes down to creationists removing the unknown an extra level, and a level which no one has shown to be necessary.  Occam's razor requires all unnecessary axioms to be removed from any scientific systems.

william_374 wrote:

Let's make one small thing clear though: none of the revealed religions are correct. If you spend any time researching the origin of the so-called sacred texts, you see that the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), the New Testament and the Koran were all written by MEN. They are *not* the "Word of God".

Now on this we completely agree.

william_374 wrote:

So who's actually making the more extraordinary claim here, the idea that something that looks designed WAS designed, or the idea that life gives the astounding illusion that it was designed, but that in fact it was not. The second claim requires EXTENSIVE demonstration to be valid. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

How, when we know the natural processes by which cells reproduce, genes mutate, and protiens and enzyms are synthesized, should we see design in biology?  If you're referring to irreducible complexity, it is an idea far older than Michael Behe, and it is an idea which has been either misunderstood or misrepresented by Michael Behe.  Irreducible Complexity is, in reality the fact that certain complex biological systems are composed of many parts which perform necessary functions and if any part is removed from the system the entire system becomes nonfunctional.  From that Behe makes the leap that such a system could not have evolved.  This is not a logical assumption. 

Each of the parts perform their function in the complex system and can also perform other more or less similar functions in other precursor systems.  It all comes down to the fact that the only way to prove design through irreducible complexity is to show that there is absolutely no sequence of events that could possibly have occurred which would result in the natural evolution of an irreducibly complex system.  Behe never attempts to show this because it would mean he knew every possible sequence of events and that none of them lead to the natural evolution of an irreducibly complex system.  Instead he attempts to equivocate improbable with impossible.  These two things are not even close to the same.  Something that is improbable can still happen.

William Dembski very stupidly claims that there is some magical probabilitic number beyond which certain events are impossible.  What about the formation of the universe?  There were a potentially infinite number of possible configurations for which the universe, of which our bserved configuration is only one.  that's a probability of 1/infinity, almost zero, this is far less probable than Dembski's probability limit beyond which something should be considered impossible,  The only way his argument wins is if you assume design.  That's circular reasoning.  The argument is supposed to prove design, how can the argument prove design if you haven't already taken the fact of design as a premise?  In reality as long as the probability of an event is not 0 it is still possible, even though you definitely shouldn't bet on it.

I'd also like to add that I'm seriously curious as to how Behe calculates his odds to show that the evolution of, take his favorite example the Bacterial Flagellum, is even improbable?  Such a calculation of odds would require a lot of information we just don't have to even approach an accurate number.  Maybe the probability is extremely high, maybe it was extremely high back when it happened and has since become less likely due to different conditions?  Once again we come to a major assumption being made by an Intelligent Design advocate with no justification.

So in reality it's the Intelligent Design claim that requires EXTENSIVE demonstration and search to be valid, because the only way to prove design is to prove that in reality biological processes are NOT natural.  How would you propose we do that?

william_374 wrote:

So, as of 2007, what is the pathway, starting from rocks and water, that leads to the LUCA?

And this closing statement demonstrates your ignorance of abiogenesis.  The aminoacids and nuclaic acids which eventually became biological life did not result from rain on rocks.  It was most likely the product of a reducing atmosphere, that is an atmosphere with low O2 or O3 content and high carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen content.  This combined with an energy source like the sun, lightning.  Another proposed and viable source of life is deep in the oceans the nickel iron and heat of a hydrothermal deep ocean vents acting as chemical catalysts for the formation of nuclaic acids and amino acids when combined with compounds such as methane or amonium.  Both of these methods have been shown to produce, I believe, 19 out of the 20 amino acids used in all life on earth, and 4 out of the 5 nucleaic acids used in life on Earth (I know you're thinking there are only 4 nucleaic acids moron, actually DNA and RNA each only use 4 nucleaic acids, but RNA substitutes one which is found in DNA).  Basically life did not come from rocks and water, it came from energy and the atmosphere and water, since the water was the perfect medium for these components to come together in the form of the first cells.


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Edison Trent wrote:

Edison Trent wrote:
my mere mortal mind cannot comprehend God
Your confession.

If you say anything about a "god thing" you're clearly lying.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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aiia wrote: Edison Trent

aiia wrote:

Edison Trent wrote:
my mere mortal mind cannot comprehend God
Your confession.

If you say anything about a "god thing" you're clearly lying.

 

pwned.

 

After reading George H. Smith, I'm repeatedly shown how totally right he was when he said that most Christians are agnostics and they don't even know it. 

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


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Archeopteryx wrote:

oops, double post.


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aiia wrote: Edison Trent

aiia wrote:

Edison Trent wrote:
my mere mortal mind cannot comprehend God
Your confession.

If you say anything about a "god thing" you're clearly lying.

As in I can't fully understand God, no duh.  By comprehend I mean that I know everything about him.

Archeopteryx wrote:

pwned.

After reading George H. Smith, I'm repeatedly shown how totally right he was when he said that most Christians are agnostics and they don't even know it.

It's called faith dude.  Just because I don't know everything about God doesn't mean I can't believe in him.


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Edison Trent wrote: It's

Edison Trent wrote:

It's called faith dude. Just because I don't know everything about God doesn't mean I can't believe in him.

You don't know anything about god.  You know he's there like you know you're about to roll boxcars on two fair dice.


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BizzaroAzrael wrote: You

BizzaroAzrael wrote:

You don't know anything about god.  You know he's there like you know you're about to roll boxcars on two fair dice.

Yes, and you know he's not there just like you know what everything in the universe is doing at this moment in time.  We can go on with this point forever.


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Edison Trent

Edison Trent wrote:

BizzaroAzrael wrote:

You don't know anything about god. You know he's there like you know you're about to roll boxcars on two fair dice.

Yes, and you know he's not there just like you know what everything in the universe is doing at this moment in time. We can go on with this point forever.

Actually, I know he's not there because "he" is a meaningless, incoherent, internally contradictive, utterly contrived non-concept.


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Edison Trent wrote: Yes,

Edison Trent wrote:

Yes, and you know he's not there just like you know what everything in the universe is doing at this moment in time. We can go on with this point forever.

Back to square one.  Again.  Sheesh. 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
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Edison Trent

Edison Trent wrote:

BizzaroAzrael wrote:

You don't know anything about god. You know he's there like you know you're about to roll boxcars on two fair dice.

Yes, and you know he's not there just like you know what everything in the universe is doing at this moment in time. We can go on with this point forever.

 

Back to square one, indeed.

 

The most common atheist position (and the only defensible one) is NOT that God definitely does not exist. As you so correctly pointed out, this would require us to be omniscient, and we certainly are not.

 

By arguing against this position, you are arguing against a position that most atheists don't hold. That is, you're arguing against an argument that we have not made, and would not make.

 

The common atheist position is simply that there is no line of reasoning or empirical evidence that indicates the existence of God.

In other words, you have no reason to believe other than the fact that you WANT to believe. That is our one and only position.


 

Secondly, faith is not an acceptable means to knowledge, and if I may be completely blunt and honest, it is nothing but a cop-out. It is a term coined by theists that works as a "get out of jail free" card whenever they get backed into a corner.

Faith is not an actual means of acquiring knowledge, and even when faith is used, there is reasonable faith and unreasonable faith.

 

Let's talk about how faith is not an actual means to knowledge. If I tell someone that I met Jack Nicholson in the donut shop on the way home from work today, they will most likely not believe me. This is a reasonable position for them to hold, since this is an unlikely claim that I am making. Therefore, it is now up to me to prove to that I did, in fact, see Jack Nicholson. It is not up to my friend to prove to me that I did not.

Let's say that I can provide some empirical evidence for my claimed meeting at the donut shop. Say that I present a photograph showing Jack Nicholson genially throwing his arm over my shoulder. In the bottom corner is a signed autograph. The donut shop stands tall in the background. My friend would then have at least some basis for believing that I did, in fact, meet Jack Nichoslon at the donut shop today.

But suppose I told my friend that I had no such physical evidence. He would simply have to trust me. Since we are friends, he might actually trust me, since we might have a long history together that has taught him that I probably would not tell him a lie. But what if I was making this claim to a perfect stranger? They would not know if I was a liar, an honest man, a prankster, a crazy person with a Jack Nicholson obsession, or whatever. They probably would not "just trust me" that I met Jack Nicholson at the donut shop. At least not as quickly as a dear friend would.

The point is that faith is always... ALWAYS...

invoked only after reasonable acceptance has already been tried. There is not empirical evidence for my meeting Jack Nicholson, so faith is employed in the absence of empircal evidence.

But it is not just empirical evidence that faith tries to knock off the edge of the table before standing in its place. It is all types of reasoning. The only way faith makes sense is if reason fails.

It is impossible for you to prove that reason fails because, in order to do so, you would have to employ reason. So there is no way that you could make a place for faith without contradicting yourself. This is not just a clever trap I've laid to try and snare you. It's just true in the same way that, given the equation 2 + X = 4, you cannot substitute anything for X except for 2.

If we replace "2" with "myself" and 4 with "knowledge", we can only replace "X" with "reason", and nothing else, or else reality just does not make sense.

 

But is there reasonable faith? Sure.

Every time I go to the doctor, I have faith that he is going to prescribe me a bottle of pills that will help me stop puking and not a bottle of rat poison tablets.

Every time I ask my brother for a ride somewhere, I have faith that he is actually going to pick me up in time.

Every night I crawl into bed, I have faith that the sun is going to rise in the morning.

These are reasonable faiths. I can have faith that the sun is going to rise in the morning, because I have never known the sun not to rise. For the sun not to rise in the morning would be something incredibly unlikely, freaky, and just astronomically outrageous. However, that does not mean that I will always be right when I crawl into bed at night. It just means that it is only reasonable for me to believe what has always been shown to be true.

Similarly, when I ask my brother for a ride, I can faith that he will show up on time because 1) he always has, 2) we're close, and it would be really strange of him to just leave me stranged like that. If for some reason he didn't show up, it would be reasonable for me to assume that something came up that my brother had not expected, since it would be unreasonable to assume that he would just shrug me off. That's a reasonable faith.

What about faith in my doctor? I don't know him personally, and people are unpredictable, unlike celestial bodies. He could do anything he wanted to. How am I able to have reasonable faith that my doctor will prescribe me medicine instead of rat poison? The reason is because I know that doctors I bound by law, that they can be sued for malpractice, that they paid thousands of dollars to get to where they are and they probably don't want to let all that money and education go to waste, that doctors have to take the hippocratic oath, and so on. I would not have faith in a man on the street who said, "Here, take these pills of unspecified origin. Trust me, I'm a doctor." There is nothing in place to assure me that I CAN have reasonable faith in this man. But there are protective measures in place to assure that I CAN have faith in my certified doctor. Does that mean that he will always prescribe me medicine and will never, for unexplained reasons, snap and stab me to death with a scalpel? Absolutely not. But it is reasonable for me to assume that he probably will not.

 

But what about faith in God? Is that reasonable? Does that even make sense?

I can emprically observe the sun, my brother, and my doctor. I can see how the regularly behave and I can make predictions about how they will continue to behave. All of these faiths, though, are somehow based on empirical truths. They use a series of observable truths as axioms to make a reasonable conclusion about the questions:

will the sun rise tomorrow?

will my brother show up?

is my doctor going to snap and kill me?

 

Your faith in God does not do that. Your "faith" in god is a belief in a presupposed conclusion without---or in spite of---any reasonable evidence.

In other words, you don't have reasonable faith, you have BLIND faith, which is not something admirable, it is something shameful.

 

This is abundanctly clear by the fact that "faith" is only invoked once you have already tried reason and failed.

Reason works whether or not faith exists. I can believe that this computer in front of me exists without having faith, because I have reason to believe that it does. Similarly, even though I have never been to California in my life, or even seen it for that matter, I have reason to believe that there are computers in California. I don't need to "have faith" for that.

Faith only works if reason is shown to be inadequate, which I've already explained is impossible. Faith can only latch itself onto reason and say, "Me, too!"

 

So does our position require faith? NO.

Just like my friend doesn't have to have faith that I DIDN'T see Jack Nicholson, I don't have to have faith that your God is most likely not real. It's not faith, it's just reasonable skepticism toward an extremely unlikely event.

Can faith be used as a defense for God belief? NO.

That's just a cop-out, as demonstrated in the above.

 

If you are a typical theist, you will now probably try to scrutinize my post for all the reasons that I am wrong without considering that I might, in fact, be right.

 

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


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iits called faith

Edison Trent wrote:
It's called faith dude.  Just because I don't know everything about God doesn't mean I can't believe in him.

Religious faith is just a method of lying to yourself and others. Whenever anyone says they believe something becaue they have faith, then I know that whatever they believe is a lie.

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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This entire thread is

This entire thread is absolutely silly. There are numerous problems with analogies on both sides, but allow me to start from the very begining.

1. Life did not 'come out of nothing.' This is an errourness statement and assessment. There has never been 'nothing' and it is a projection of your own belief on to another.

 A. Current theory claims that there has always been matter in one form or another. Your belief states that there was nothing but a Creator. 

 B. Life came about from absolute perfect circumstances which include certain elements, temperatures, energy, etc. 

2. Finding something that appears designed does not indicate a designer. See bacterial flagella.

3. Finding a factory on another planet does denote a designer as factories are man made, or at the least, a creation of something intelligent. This is different than things such as planets, or life, or other celestial bodies, as we know exactly how such objects form.

 A. We do know how to create life and are doing so. The following article was made more than 10 years ago.

http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/1996/09.12/CreatingLifeina.html

The people who create life from scratch are called Synthetic Biologists. Do some research on them.

 B. We do have some very good ideas as to how things happened, including what it was probably like 'before' the big bang. Read this:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/lies_damn_lies_and_false_beliefs_about_ex_nihilo_and_its_relationship_to_thermodynamics  

Come on guys. Start from the ground up and don't dance around the issues.


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william_374 wrote:

william_374 wrote:
If we were to discover a fully automated factory of some kind on the Moon or Mars, we would have to assume it is the product of design, at least until we could satisfactorily show that it is not.

This situation "defaults" to a designer, and the burden of proof resides on those who champion an alternate, much more complicated explanation. The existence of the designer *is* an explanation, in fact it is the simplest one. And please, no "who created the designer" questions, IF he is necessary, then he DOES exist, and he has the property of having always existed.

this is just a bad argument. The reason we know a painting did not paint itself or a factory did not create itself is simple. It is made of chemicals that do not replicate themselves. Life, on the other hand, is--and thus the theory that chemicals replicated themselves, experienced mutations, and continued to replicate for billions of years is a very sound one, where the theory that a painting "evolved" is not a good theory. Really, I am sick of these kind of arguments.

 

Oh, and in response to the forum title--Atheists have the burden of proof, since I have seen no good reason not to believe in God, but many good (non-empiricle) reasons too believe in God. 

Note that they have provided many good reasons not to believe in religion, but this is beside the point. 


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  RationalDeist

 

RationalDeist wrote:
Oh, and in response to the forum title--Atheists have the burden of proof, since I have seen no good reason not to believe in God, but many good (non-empiricle) reasons too believe in God.

I know I've been unable to provide evidence proving you don't find bullshitting yourself that there's an afterlife satisfying. I believe you find it satisfying, and I also find it sad. Still, it's probably not what was meant by 'proof.'

RationalDeist wrote:
Note that they have provided many good reasons not to believe in religion, but this is beside the point.

Most awareness of a 'god' concept is introduced by religion, so I'm not sure the concepts are justifiably distinguished. That is, if such a concept doesn't present features of its own independent of religion, it could be reasonable to assume most such non-religious concepts are watered down versions of the religious ones. A bit like saying you like Spock for his work outside Star Trek. A more interesting question to me is where, before any myths or religions were established, concepts like gods -- and also parochial spirits, gremlins, fairies, angels, nature gods, etc. -- came from specifically: the thought processes that compelled so many people to independently (but non-corroboratively) anthropomorphize nature.

 


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magilum

magilum wrote:

 

RationalDeist wrote:
Oh, and in response to the forum title--Atheists have the burden of proof, since I have seen no good reason not to believe in God, but many good (non-empiricle) reasons too believe in God.

I know I've been unable to provide evidence proving you don't find bullshitting yourself that there's an afterlife satisfying. I believe you find it satisfying, and I also find it sad. Still, it's probably not what was meant by 'proof.'

I understand your objections magilum and thank you for your concern.

Quote:
 

RationalDeist wrote:
Note that they have provided many good reasons not to believe in religion, but this is beside the point.

Most awareness of a 'god' concept is introduced by religion, so I'm not sure the concepts are justifiably distinguished. That is, if such a concept doesn't present features of its own independent of religion, it could be reasonable to assume most such non-religious concepts are watered down versions of the religious ones.

just because religion uses the human desire for a God to gain power and create systems whereby they can control their followers (i.e. by claiming absolute value to the word of the pope, etc.) doesn't mean that everything they say is without value.  Many good ideas are exploited, such as aids relief in Africa.  Bribery, extortion, and stealing funds from such programs happen all the time, but this doesn't mean that aids relief is bad on principle.

 

Quote:
A bit like saying you like Spock for his work outside Star Trek. A more interesting question to me is where, before any myths or religions were established, concepts like gods -- and also parochial spirits, gremlins, fairies, angels, nature gods, etc. -- came from specifically: the thought processes that compelled so many people to independently (but non-corroboratively) anthropomorphize nature.

Wait, are you answering your own question?  Because I agree that that is one very good idea for the sources of god/s. 


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Archeopteryx, I agree with

Archeopteryx, I agree with the points you made. Blind faith is not acceptable when your soul and eternity (figuratively, I'm not going to get in an argument on defining a soul here) hang in the balance, or so to speak. I do not have blind faith in my God, I have seen prayers and requests answered and therefore have a reasonable faith. I can't prove that God is there, but I have a reasonable belief because of personal experiences that are beyond coincidence.

CrimsonEdge wrote:

A. We do know how to create life and are doing so. The following article was made more than 10 years ago.

http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/1996/09.12/CreatingLifeina.html

The people who create life from scratch are called Synthetic Biologists. Do some research on them.

B. We do have some very good ideas as to how things happened, including what it was probably like 'before' the big bang. Read this:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/lies_damn_lies_and_false_beliefs_about_ex_nihilo_and_its_relationship_to_thermodynamics

Come on guys. Start from the ground up and don't dance around the issues.

I read the article, pretty informative. It looks like they had a good idea on how life formed, but they apparently hadn't figured it out yet. I have read deludedgod's post on ex nihilo, and though I can understand about half of it I will say that it is well though-out and to the point, so no argument there about how the universe began.


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(I apologize for the length

(I apologize for the length of this post. I felt it was necessary to adequately address the issue raised by the topic-starter.)

Those who propose an answer to the question of how the universe came to exist have a burden of supporting their proposition. To illustrate the concept of the burden of proof, it's useful to place this discussion in the context of a court trial. In a court trial there are prosecutors who say, "This entity [John Doe] existed at this time [2007] and caused this event [of murder] through some means [such as strangulation]." The prosecutor has the burden of supporting their proposition to a degree that would justify the jury's acceptance of that proposition.

The theists are prosecutors in the theology trial. They say, "This entity [called God] existed at this time [before the planck time of the universe] and caused this event [of the spatiotemporal fabric of the universe beginning to exist and subsequently inflating outwards in all directions] through some means [such as divine decree or whatever the case may be]." The prosecutor--the theist--has the burden of supporting their proposition to a degree that would justify the jury's acceptance of that proposition. The jury is comprised of negative atheists, also known as agnostic atheists, who haven't accepted the prosecutor's proposition or the counter-proposition a-priori. If the prosecutor doesn't make a strong enough case for his or her proposition's truth, the jury is justified in continuing to not accept it.

The positive atheists, or strong atheists, would also be considered prosecutors in the theology trial. They are saying, "This entity [vacuum / components of multiverse / etc.] existed at this time [before the planck time of the universe] and caused some event [the formation of our universe and subsequently inflating outwards in all directions] through some means [vacuum fluctuation / collision of membranes in eleven-dimensional space]." The prosecutor--the positive atheist--has the burden of supporting their proposition to a degree that would justify the jury's acceptance of that proposition. The jury is comprised of negative atheists, also known as agnostic atheists, who haven't accepted the prosecutor's position or the counter-proposition a-priori. If the prosecutor doesn't make a strong enough case for his or her proposition's truth, the jury is justified in continuing to not accept it.

I'm an agnostic atheist. I'm a jury member on this theological trial. The theists (Christians, Islamists, Judaists, Deists, Pantheists, and so on) have yet to make their case strong enough to justify my acceptance of their proposition and the strong atheists have also not made their case strong enough to justify my acceptance of their proposition. I do not bear a burden of proof or disproof. I'm not obligated to disprove Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Deism, Pantheism, vacuum flunctions, collisions of membranes in eleven-dimensional space, or anything else to maintain my nonacceptance of those propositions.

The burden of proof is a very useful notion because it brings order to epistemology where there would be chaos if there wasn't such a notion. Some construe the burden of proof as meaning the same thing as a burden of disproof but epistemologically there is no such thing as a burden of disproof. The acceptance of a notion of a burden of disproof implies that people can make up whatever claims they want and insist on their truthfulness until they're shown to be false, which causes epistemological chaos in the form of invisible fire-breathing dragons in my basement that you can't disprove. There is no such thing as a burden of disproof.

With that said, most of the atheists on this forum are, as far as I'm aware, negative atheists. Very few atheists here, if any at all, would claim to know how the (post-planck time) universe came to be in the way that it is. As such, it is improper to try placing the burden of proof on them, as I've sufficiently demonstrated in my courtroom analogy.

(Antony Flew has received a lot of attention lately because of his recent conversion to Deism because of his hasty prejudgment of the validity of Intelligent Design arguments, which he later threw in the trash, and "his" new book that wasn't even written by him. It really is saddening to watch him in his mental plight being taken advantage of by fraudulent Christians [who are actually anti-Christianity and pro-Money in my honest opinion]. Disregarding this for the sake of the conversion, though, I would like to direct peoples' attention to the article he wrote when he was an atheist that presents essentially the same argument that I've presented above but in a more thorough-going and rigorous form, titled "The Presumption of Atheism," which is used in the same sense as the presumption of innocense in courtrooms. This is a must-read for theists and atheists alike, in my opinion.)

The only burden of proof one could (within your epistemic rights) place on the negative atheist is to say they must meet the burden of proof in justifying their nonacceptance of your proposition. Meeting that burden of proof could involve various approaches to the arguments or propositions presented, such as: (1) showing that the notions of supernatural, god, spirit, soul, pre-time creation, and so on are broken concepts; (2) showing whatever flaws may exist in your argument that make it a non-proof; (3) and/or showing that the counter-proposition is true or more probable or, in other words, showing that your proposition is false or improbable.

Many atheists here, such as Deluded God and Hambydammit, have taken route (1). They might have succeeded in meeting their burden of proof in this manner--I haven't personally evaluated that line of argument in any thorough manner so I don't know. I have given similar arguments a quick look-over in the past, such as "The Argument from Noncognitivism" and they do seem quite persuasive.

I don't recall any atheists here taking the extreme version of route (3) in trying to show the universe was created by something other than a being called God, or even putting forward such a proposition. Any atheist that has must meet a burden of proof regarding that proposition, and I'll leave it to them to defend their position.

I shall only take route (2). I intend to show that flaws exist in the argument as presented by the topic-starter that are significant enough to justify my nonacceptance of the conclusion the topic-starter derived from his argument or intended his argument to support. By doing so I shall have met the only burden of proof that can (within your epistemic rights) be placed upon me concerning this matter.

The argument is that it's reasonable to conclude that a fully automated factory on another celestial body was the product of intelligent design and seeing as how there are similarities between automated factories and autonomous organisms justifies the conclusion that because they things under question resemble one another that the causes will resemble one another, hence the conclusion that both were intelligently designed. The argument is essentially one of analogy and such arguments rely on inductive inference. I intend to show that they are disanalogous enough that the inference in the argument is unjustified.

It could be shown that it's extremely improbable that a factory would arise due to known natural processes unaided by intelligence. In the case of a factory, the gist of the "tornado in a junkyard" argument would be valid. After all, the components of the factory do not replicate and consequently the replicated parts (which don't exist) would not have small changes that can approach greater fitness in accordance with the context of whatever fitness landscape you're using. (For example, one imaginable fitness landscape is increased energy efficiency to make better use of whatever coal happens to be placed into the factory and another imaginable fitness landscape is increased efficiency in gathering coal.)

It very well could be shown that the most plausible explanation for the existence of such a factory would be the placement of parts by intelligence or the placement of parts by the nonintelligent that happen to be guided by something intelligent. (People who build factories are generally intelligent folk but some are downright stupid. I think we can all agree on that.)

Your argument is in the form of an argument from analogy in which the conclusion is a tentative inductive inference. (Some people will argue against induction, as illustrated in the philosophy forum here, but I think it's an extremely valuable way of finding truth and won't argue against it.) A proper analysis of an analogical argument consists of ascertaining: (1) the truth of the similarities between the two things being compared; (2) the relevance of those similarities; (3) the number of relevant similarities; (4) the diversity of the relevant similarities; and (5) the relevant dissimilarities.

Suppose we are making an argument from analogy that because two restaurants are analogous then the one restaurant we haven't ate at will probably serve good food just as the other restaurant did. The similarities presented include: (1) they are both Italian restaurants; (2) they use the same quality olive oil; (3) pasta sauce; (4) meat products; (5) and vegetables. Let's go ahead and grant the truthfulness of the presented similarities. Those similarities are certainly relevant in deciding whether we would want to eat at the second restaurant. That is also a data set of similarities large enough to build our confidence in this restaurant. This satisifies factors one through three.

The diversity of the similarities aren't that impressive, they're all concerned with the style of ingredients. That doesn't build our confidence much, considering the fact that we would be more confident in the restaurant if the known similarities were more diverse, such as including the expertise of the chefs, the sanitation protocols, and so on. If they were the same in that respect, or better, we would certainly be much more confident in the restaurant. That covers factor four.

What about factor five though? Suppose we knew they had less extensive sanitation protocols. That would devastate our confidence in the second restaurant being nearly as good as the one we've already experienced. I don't want to eat at a restaurant where the chef was more likely to pick his nose while making my food. Our confidence in the place would be further devastated if we learned that the employees were newly hired and without much experience, in contrast to the other restaurant. If those two dissimilarites weren't there, we'd probably check out the restaurant but because those dissimilarities are real, we'd probably avoid the restaurant.

Let us use the same criterion to evaluate your argument from analogy between {factories and/or the constituent parts that comprise the factory} and {life forms and/or the constituent parts that comprise the life forms}.

The topic-starter did not list any similarities between factories and life forms. As such, I'm left with the task of filling in the blanks. I think it's safe to say that some of the similarities you intended to bright to light include: (1) they are comprised of complex parts and (2) the organization of the parts are a means to an end, such as the organization of the factory parts is a means to the end of gathering or combusting coal for the production of energy and the organization of the life form's parts is a means to a similar end of gathering or "combusting" food for the production of energy.

I will grant the "successfully passed this criterion" status for factors (1) and (2) because the similarities are truthful and they are relevant to the matter. Factor (3) involves the number of relevant similarities, which is fairly small. However, factor (4) involves the diversity of the similarities, of which the two that immediately came to my mind were fairly diverse as it's not frequently the case that complexity and apparent purpose would be found together in two objects. The confidence level for the argument is good so far, but what about factor (5), the dissimilarities?

One very substantial distinction to be made factories and life forms is that life forms create near-copies of themselves while factories do not. Those near-copies are important because they are not exact copies. In other words, undesigned changes can be introduced into the blueprint for life forms. Because those changes are undesigned and there's apparently nothing intelligent choosing the changes, there is a range of possibilities: beneficial, neutral, and detrimental changes. If there is a large group of life forms creating near-copies of themselves with possibly beneficial, neutral, or detrimental changes, there is a large potential for change.

If there's an eliminative process that removes many of the detrimental changes, that's not guided by intelligence and leaves only the beneficial and neutral changes, it would follow that beneficial and neutral changes would accumulate. An accumulation of beneficial and neutral changes would represent needless changes and beneficial changes to the blueprint of the life forms.

We know life reproduces and creates near-copies of itself with small but important beneficial, neutral, and negative changes. We also know that if various life forms have beneficial, neutral, and detrimental changes then their odds of surviving, and thus creating more near-copies of itself, are not equiprobable. It follows, then, that life forms with detrimental changes are less probable to create near-copies of themselves, in which case the detrimental changes are less probable of making it into the blueprint of other life forms. If the detrimental changes are less probable then the accumulation of neutral and beneficial changes is more probable, thus making it more probable that future blueprints would consist of neutral and beneficial changes rather than detrimental ones.

If it is detrimental to a life form to be more simplistic--more rudimentary--then it follows that the accumulation of neutral and beneficial changes would result in being less simplistic--less rudimentary--more complex and intricately ordered.

This line of thought illustrates an unthoughtful process that can give rise to the two features--complex parts and an orderly arrangement of parts for means to an end--that are analogous between factories and life forms. If there is sufficient evidence in nature to suggest that such an unthoughtful process is at work, there is no justification for saying factories and life forms have causes that resemble one another in the matter of intelligence.

There is sufficient evidence in nature to suggest that such an unthoughtful process is at work. In fact, there's a mountain of evidence for such a process--or should I say a planet of evidence? We can see in cells that the blueprints are replicated with beneficial, neutral, and detrimental changes and we see that the success of each blueprint in replicating is not equiprobable. Those blueprints are the genes of DNA. Many such genes have been sequenced and there is such a divergence of change found in the genes as predicted by the existence of such an unthoughtful process.

In fact, there are characteristics found in the genes that make much more sense under the unthoughtful process than a process of intelligent design. One such characteristic is the blueprint portions that produce vestigial structures. The coccyx (tail bone) of humans is one prediction of the unthoughtful process that makes no sense at all under the viewpoint of an intelligently guided process. In the unthoughtful process it makes sense that once-useful features would slowly disappear instead of quickly disappear because the accumulation of those small beneficial changes requires many thousands of reproduction events, whereas intelligent design would predict the elimination of such characteristics. Why create life forms that can fall on their butt and break a bone, causing extreme pain, when a bone isn't even useful there? In order, why would a thoughtful creation result in extremely stupid design decisions?

I'm not going to go through all of the evidence--I've grown tired of writing on this subject for now. I think that any intellectually honest person who objectively considers the genetic, embryological, biogeographical, and fossil evidence of such divergence or branching of organisms will ultimately come to the conclusion that between the two choices of thoughtful design and unthoughtful processes that lead to apparent design that the second choice is extremely more probable than the first choice. (Look on the internet for arguments against creationism or articles that seek to present evidence for evolution and you'll find tons of genetic, embryological, biogeographical, and fossil evidence. The user Deluded God might have some good resources on this matter, considering his field of expertise is molecular biology.) As such, I'll go ahead and conclude that there is a substantial amount of evidence in favor of the unthoughtful process and a substantial amount of evidence against the notion of intelligent design.

The dissimilarity between factories and life forms that I've illustrated--the well-evidenced potentiality of an unthoughtful process giving rise to complex parts and intricate, purposeful, arrangements of those complex parts and the well-evidenced nonpotentiality of the other process--in consideration of factor (5) in evaluating arguments from analogy is so substantial that it not only leaves your inference from the analogous features of life forms invalid, but almost certainly wrong. (But don't worry, I do agree with you about such a factory.)

By showing that I am justified in my nonacceptance of your inference, I have met the only burden of proof that can (within epistemic rights) be placed on me with regard to this topic.

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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Edison Trent wrote: I read

Edison Trent wrote:
I read the article, pretty informative. It looks like they had a good idea on how life formed, but they apparently hadn't figured it out yet. I have read deludedgod's post on ex nihilo, and though I can understand about half of it I will say that it is well though-out and to the point, so no argument there about how the universe began.

I should have found a more recent article. We do know how to create life and have done so.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/oct/06/genetics.climatechange

Further: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/sep/06/2

Considering people have patented certain sets of genes... we'll be seeing artificial life playing a dominant and vital role in our every day doings.


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Archeopteryx

Archeopteryx, a delightful read. Very good, thank you for that.


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Edison Trent wrote: I do

Edison Trent wrote:

I do not have blind faith in my God, I have seen prayers and requests answered and therefore have a reasonable faith. I can't prove that God is there, but I have a reasonable belief because of personal experiences that are beyond coincidence.

It's doubtful that you've experienced anything that could be more easily explained with god than without.


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Fish wrote: It's doubtful

Fish wrote:

It's doubtful that you've experienced anything that could be more easily explained with god than without.

Like God keeping someone from commiting suicide three different times?  I think not...


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I'm a former Christian who

I'm a former Christian who is now an apostate ( see Hebrews 6:4-6 to see my fate ) but I would like to jump ahead just a bit and say that even if the Judeo-Christian God does exist he is totally unfit for worship.

Based upon scripture one could easily say that his behavior is strikingly similar ( see Hosea 13:16 ) to the other pagan gods who ruled the universe, who ruled not based upon "goodness" but upon threats of injury and pain. ( see Luke 19:27 where Jesus spells it out for you.)

I will not admire..let alone love any being who has to threaten me into worhipping him. Go ahead and "prove" God exists for even if does he's still a tempermental prick who tortures anyone who doesn't give him what he wants. I want nothing to do with any diety who has the emotional depth of Paris Hilton.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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Edison Trent wrote:

Edison Trent wrote:

Fish wrote:

 

Like God keeping someone from commiting suicide three different times? I think not...

If God "keeps" somebody from commiting suicide doesn't that violate their free will ?

Why didn't he then "keep" all other suicide victims from killing themselves as well?

Why is the God whom scripture describes as " no respecter of persons" playing favorites ?

God's compassion seems awfully arbitrary to me. Cry out to God in your moment of need and maybe he'll show up...and maybe he won't.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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Edison Trent wrote: Fish

Edison Trent wrote:

Fish wrote:

It's doubtful that you've experienced anything that could be more easily explained with god than without.

Like God keeping someone from commiting suicide three different times? I think not...

 

How exactly did god stop them from doing it? I bet you that psychologists would have an easy explantion for what happened.


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zntneo wrote: Edison Trent

zntneo wrote:
Edison Trent wrote:

Like God keeping someone from commiting suicide three different times? I think not...

 

How exactly did god stop them from doing it? I bet you that psychologists would have an easy explantion for what happened.

No, you see, the important thing is it was  "three different times" - which indicates the trinity. 

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zarathustra wrote: No, you

zarathustra wrote:

No, you see, the important thing is it was "three different times" - which indicates the trinity.

ha indeed that is obviously the most important thing. Nothing to do with the fact that a) its one instance in how many times? b) atheists have probably had the same thing happen to them (was going to kill themseleves but didn't) c)  There are unkown conditions that might have helped to but he just looked at one thing  aka confirmation bias

Really it's indeed just the fact that three different times makes it totally special.


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Quote: No, you see, the

Quote:

No, you see, the important thing is it was  "three different times" - which indicates the trinity.

That has nothing to do with it, there is no symbolism in the "three times", that's just how many times it has happened.

1. The person almost commits suicide because they believe that there is no one out there who loves them.  While they are on the floor with a knife held to their neck, God tells them to wait, and two weeks later I come into the picture and start helping them get through life.

2. This person and I have an argument about God/the Bible (I was still an agnostic atheist at this time).  That night I have this strange feeling that God is telling me he exists.  I post my commitment to deism on my blog, the person reads it and decides not to commit suicide, they were going to "go home to God" because he and I were pulling her apart.

3. This person and I have an argument (again, haha) about the end times preacher Harold Camping.  They think that I have deserted them because of something I posted on my blog and pass out.  Somehow a kid she is babysitting at her house finds her phone and calls me (I have never met this person), telling me that she is suicidal because of what she read on my blog.  I manage to call her and explain to her what is going on, and we resolve the issue.

So there are my three events so far, you can choose to believe them or not.  The first one is probably my strongest point, but again, you can choose to discredit them, I have chosen to believe in divine intervention. 


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How exactly did god "tell

How exactly did god "tell him he loves him" what process did this happen? Did he hear something or did he just "feel" it? Also, you must realize that people change their mind about committing sucide all the time with and without believeing in god? Also, he could very well be seeking attention by attempting suicide , which he got from you the second and third time. 

If the idea that god saved him was the only possible explantion then it seems to follow that any atheist who has thought about committing suicide would do so, without some outside help, but this is obviously untrue because as i have read on this site there is an atheist on these boards , who i think has way more reason to kill himself then "people not loving him" yet his atheism saved him. Does this prove atheism is true? because it saved his life? I doubt you would say yes. 


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Edison Trent wrote:That

Edison Trent wrote:

That has nothing to do with it, there is no symbolism in the "three times", that's just how many times it has happened.

Ungrateful, eh?

 

Edison Trent wrote:

1. ...

2. ...

3. ...

I wouldn't think to make light of this individual's plight, but your reasoning is quite the special plea.  This person read your blog and decided not to kill herself?  Perhaps you've heard recently  how a girl hung herself after being rejected by a fabricated myspace persona.  If failed suicides count as proof of god, successful ones should count as disproof.  

Edison Trent wrote:

So there are my three events so far, you can choose to believe them or not. The first one is probably my strongest point, but again, you can choose to discredit them, I have chosen to believe in divine intervention.

Of course.  Who needs burden of proof when you can simply choose to believe? 

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Quote: Ungrateful,

Quote:

Ungrateful, eh?

Nah, I just don't like to pull "new meanings" out of stuff, you know, stretching the truth.

Quote:

I wouldn't think to make light of this individual's plight, but your reasoning is quite the special plea.  This person read your blog and decided not to kill herself?  Perhaps you've heard recently  how a girl hung herself after being rejected by a fabricated myspace persona.  If failed suicides count as proof of god, successful ones should count as disproof. 

I had heard about that incident, it was rather disturbing.  But yes, she realized that God and I wouldn't keep pulling her apart.  Perhaps successful suicides are all a part of God's plan, I don't know everything, all I can say is that God works everything for eventual good, hard though it may seem at the time.

Quote:

How exactly did god "tell him he loves him" what process did this happen? Did he hear something or did he just "feel" it? Also, you must realize that people change their mind about committing sucide all the time with and without believeing in god? Also, he could very well be seeking attention by attempting suicide , which he got from you the second and third time.

The person felt that God was speaking to them, I'm not exactly sure, perhaps in their mind.

Quote:

If the idea that god saved him was the only possible explantion then it seems to follow that any atheist who has thought about committing suicide would do so, without some outside help, but this is obviously untrue because as i have read on this site there is an atheist on these boards , who i think has way more reason to kill himself then "people not loving him" yet his atheism saved him. Does this prove atheism is true? because it saved his life? I doubt you would say yes.

You make an interesting case.  In all my research here at the boards I don't think I've heard this story, would you mind telling me who it is so I can research this case further?  How would atheism stop one from comitting suicide? 


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Edison Trent

Edison Trent wrote:

Quote:

No, you see, the important thing is it was  "three different times" - which indicates the trinity.

That has nothing to do with it, there is no symbolism in the "three times", that's just how many times it has happened.

1. The person almost commits suicide because they believe that there is no one out there who loves them.  While they are on the floor with a knife held to their neck, God tells them to wait, and two weeks later I come into the picture and start helping them get through life.

2. This person and I have an argument about God/the Bible (I was still an agnostic atheist at this time).  That night I have this strange feeling that God is telling me he exists.  I post my commitment to deism on my blog, the person reads it and decides not to commit suicide, they were going to "go home to God" because he and I were pulling her apart.

3. This person and I have an argument (again, haha) about the end times preacher Harold Camping.  They think that I have deserted them because of something I posted on my blog and pass out.  Somehow a kid she is babysitting at her house finds her phone and calls me (I have never met this person), telling me that she is suicidal because of what she read on my blog.  I manage to call her and explain to her what is going on, and we resolve the issue.

So there are my three events so far, you can choose to believe them or not.  The first one is probably my strongest point, but again, you can choose to discredit them, I have chosen to believe in divine intervention. 

 

Couple questions to clarify...

1) This girl is your girlfriend?

2) In example 1, did you start dating this person 2 weeks later?  Is this the point you entered said persons life?

3) In example 2, said "This person and I have an argument about God/the Bible".  Was this argument about your lack of belief in her belief?

 

On a side note...

 

If this person actually exists, and you care about them, they need to see a mental health professional.  What you have said so far is a very disturbing way for someone to handle things.


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Quote: 1) This girl is

Quote:

1) This girl is your girlfriend?

Yes.

Quote:

2) In example 1, did you start dating this person 2 weeks later?  Is this the point you entered said persons life?

Yes.  I had been a friend of her's before this time for a while though.

Quote:

3) In example 2, said "This person and I have an argument about God/the Bible".  Was this argument about your lack of belief in her belief?

Yes.  I was an atheist because I felt that either God had abandoned me or he just didn't exist.  I came to realize that everything has a purpose, that life isn't random pointlessness, and that there is a God.

Quote:

On a side note...

If this person actually exists, and you care about them, they need to see a mental health professional.  What you have said so far is a very disturbing way for someone to handle things.

Indeed, this person exists.  I care very much about them and am concerned about some of the ways they handle things, but I am trying to work it out.


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Edison Trent

Edison Trent wrote:

Quote:

Ungrateful, eh?

Nah, I just don't like to pull "new meanings" out of stuff, you know, stretching the truth.

Quote:

I wouldn't think to make light of this individual's plight, but your reasoning is quite the special plea. This person read your blog and decided not to kill herself? Perhaps you've heard recently how a girl hung herself after being rejected by a fabricated myspace persona. If failed suicides count as proof of god, successful ones should count as disproof.

I had heard about that incident, it was rather disturbing. But yes, she realized that God and I wouldn't keep pulling her apart. Perhaps successful suicides are all a part of God's plan, I don't know everything, all I can say is that God works everything for eventual good, hard though it may seem at the time.

Quote:

How exactly did god "tell him he loves him" what process did this happen? Did he hear something or did he just "feel" it? Also, you must realize that people change their mind about committing sucide all the time with and without believeing in god? Also, he could very well be seeking attention by attempting suicide , which he got from you the second and third time.

The person felt that God was speaking to them, I'm not exactly sure, perhaps in their mind.

Quote:

If the idea that god saved him was the only possible explantion then it seems to follow that any atheist who has thought about committing suicide would do so, without some outside help, but this is obviously untrue because as i have read on this site there is an atheist on these boards , who i think has way more reason to kill himself then "people not loving him" yet his atheism saved him. Does this prove atheism is true? because it saved his life? I doubt you would say yes.

You make an interesting case. In all my research here at the boards I don't think I've heard this story, would you mind telling me who it is so I can research this case further? How would atheism stop one from comitting suicide?

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/kill_em_with_kindness/8026? 

It saved him because he realized that since this is the only life one has to live "dieing" isn't going to make things better except by removing every possible problem ever. Which as someone who was close to suicide a few times i can understand, thats basically what kept me form doing it.

 


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Quote: http://www.rationalr

Quote:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/kill_em_with_kindness/8026? 

It saved him because he realized that since this is the only life one has to live "dieing" isn't going to make things better except by removing every possible problem ever. Which as someone who was close to suicide a few times i can understand, thats basically what kept me form doing it.

A very inspiring story of atheism.  He has an excellent point, you have one life and one life only, and then as an atheist your one life is all you've got, so you'd better not waste it.  The way I see it as a Christian is this - sure, being in heaven with God would be good.  But if God wanted you in heaven with Him, he woulnd't have created this earth, he would have just made us all in heaven.  But that's not the way he wants it - he wants us to live fulfilled lives, helping others, making sacrifices, and above all living for him.  Either way, suicide is a waste of a precious life - we all can do great things in this world, whether they be seen or unseen.