Emotion did not cause me to accept God, evidence did. [YOU RESPOND]

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Emotion did not cause me to accept God, evidence did. [YOU RESPOND]

(we don't know who Martin is.  Maybe Bashir?)

 

From: follesurtoi@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:16 AM
Subject: [General Question] facts to answer your unanswered question on debate 

Holli sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

Dear Martin and Kelly,

I can only imagine the type of hate mail you must receive.  I do hope in
this discussion to set a better example.  My reason for writing was born
out of viewing your debate with Ray and Kirk, which I truly enjoyed.  I
felt afterwards there was much left to be desired, as your statement was
correct:  they did not provide you with any facts, aside from their faith
to why they believe in a creator.  And you Kelly, stated that you were
sorry that was not the case.  I hope to fill that with this discussion.

Anthony Flew, a world-known atheist, said “Follow the evidence wherever
it leads.” So true, except…Anthony rejected his atheistic beliefs, for
a belief in a creator.  Why?  Why waste all of that logic and reason, for
fairytales?   I believe I may have the answer, and simply put, it is in
the evidence.  You stated in your debate with Ray and Kirk that you were
given no proof of a creator.  This is a subject I am all too familiar
with, because I once was, as Anthony was, and you are:  an atheist.  I too
followed his statement to follow the evidence, and I found where it led.
Now you can close this email right now and discard it, or you can read it,
or read it while laughing…whatever you choose, the choice is yours.  I
wish not to argue with you, nor will I be disrespectful to you, nor do I
wish to badger you.  And I would even go so far as to say, nor do I wish
to convert you.  The belief, or nonbelief, is a choice every human being
must make, for themselves.  For my choice, I chose Christ.  Though I do
admit to you, that there are countless Christians out there that embarrass
me and my faith.  They claim to know the Lord, but live as heathens and
wife beaters and child molesters and self hatred and that for mankind.  So
personally, I don’t blame those who reject Christ; millions are such a
terrible example of the true faith, and after all, who would want to live
like that anyway?  You brought up many good points, that I do hope to
address.  And I do hope that we can have a respectful discussion, not
debate, on your views as opposed to mine.  Should you respond, I expect
the same respect I am showing to you in return.  And should you not
respond, I will accept that as a rational discussion is not possible, and
respect it.

You will find this email to be void of hellfire threats or
pulpit-preaching statements.  Too many “Christians” play on emotion,
not rational thought and logic.  “Emotion” did not cause me to accept
God; the evidence did.  Opinions will get us nowhere; facts are what
matter.  They can be proven, looked at, studied, in some cases seen, and
so on.  You cannot see emotion, you cannot prove emotion.  At the risk of
“getting right down to it”, I will now proceed to list in simple
fashion some of the facts that led me to the conclusion of a Creator.
Should you be so bold as to respond, each fact should be addressed with
only facts as a rebuttal.  Emotion will be ignored, just as I would expect
you would (and should) ignore emotion if I subject any to you, which I have
already stated I will not. 
The precise aligning of the more than 30 physical constants coming
together in order to sustain life on earth is stated by many to be
impossible.  Yet it is our reality.
Gravity is roughly 1039 times weaker than electromagnetism; if gravity had
been merely 1033 times weaker than electro magnetism, stars would be a
billion times less massive and would burn a million times faster.
Continuing, the nuclear weak force is 1028 times the strength of gravity.
Had the weak force been slightly weaker, all the hydrogen in the universe
would have been turned to helium (making water impossible, for example). 

A stronger nuclear strong force (by as little as 2 percent) would have
prevented the formation of protons, --yielding a universe without atoms.
Decreasing it by 5 percent would have given us a universe without stars.
The charges of the electron and proton have been measured in the
laboratory and have been found to be precisely equal and opposite. Were it
not for this fact the resulting imbalance would force every object in the
universe--our bodies, trees, planets, rocks, stars, to explode violently.

Stars are extraordinarily distant from one another. Were it not for these
vast reaches of empty space, violent collisions between stars would be so
frequent as to render the universe uninhabitable. 
The heat output of the Sun has changed much down through the ages, and yet
the temperature of our planet has maintained the narrow range necessary to
maintain life.  Further, the level of atmospheric gasses has also
remained, for the most part, a steady constant despite changing
conditions. If there were not enough oxygen in the atmosphere, human life
could not exist. If there were too much oxygen and not enough carbon
dioxide and methane, plants would die and the atmosphere would be so
flammable, fires would overrun the Earth.
Too much of both oxygen and carbon dioxide would also be fatal. But a
third gas, methane, (produced by termites and digestion) is just abundant
enough to keep the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in check.
The Planck Constant, which I am sure you are familiar with, is fixed at
6.6 X (10 to the power of -23) erg per second, a figure used in all major
equations used by nuclear physicists. The energy used by anything is
always some multiple of Planck's Constant. There is no natural reason why
the Planck's Constant is where it is, it could be a lot higher or a lot
lower, but it has been balanced at this level without any natural reason.
The PC (Planck's Constant) appears in an important formula used to
determine the "Fine structure Constant." If the Planck's constant had been
greater by just 0.00000001, all the stars in our system would be red. If it
was lower by just 0.00000001 all the stars in our system would be blue. The
problem with red stars is that they never erupt as supernova, and if there
are no supernova there are no higher level elements that are necessary for
life. If there were no supernova, there would be no carbon to start
carbon-based life like us. Blue stars on the other hand burn only for a
short time, i.e. around 150 million years. However, it took nearly 3
billion years or more for life to emerge on earth.

The speed of light is set at 3 X (108) meters per second. It is an
important constant which figures in Einstein's famous formula E=mc2, again
which I’m sure you are familiar with. "E" is the energy produced when
matter is converted to energy in thermonuclear reactions in stars. If the
speed of light had been just a tiny fraction higher (and there is no
natural reason why it isn't) then thermonuclear reactions would produce
over 10,000 times more energy and all the fuel in the star core would be
used up much quicker. Stars would die out much sooner than the 3 billion
years it took for life to emerge on earth. Hence life would never have
happened.  On the other hand if it was just a little tiny fraction lower,
the early universe expansion would have been much slower and long ago the
universe would have suffered a gravitational collapse. So both ways there
would be no life.

The universe could not have been much smaller than it is in order for
nuclear fusion to have occurred during the first 3 minutes after the Big
Bang. Without this brief period of nucleosynthesis, the early universe
would have consisted entirely of hydrogen. Likewise, the universe could
not have been much larger than it is, or life would not have been
possible. If the universe were just one part in 1059 larger, the universe
would have collapsed before life was possible. Since there are only 1080
baryons in the universe, this means that an addition of just 1021 baryons
(about the mass of a grain of sand) would have made life impossible. The
universe is exactly the size it must be for life to exist at all. 
The Earth is in an exact position so that the average temperature is
balanced between the freezing point of water (32 degrees F) and the normal
body temperature of humans (98.6 degrees F). If the average temperature
ever varied very far above or below these two extremes for very long, we
could not survive.
If the Sun disappeared, the temperature would drop to close to absolute
zero (-460 degrees F) and we would burn up all the Earth's reserves of
coal, oil, and natural gas in about three days just to keep ourselves
warm.
Scientists estimate that if the Earth were just 5% closer to the Sun, the
increase in the temperature would be enough to melt the ice caps at the
North and South poles. The water trapped in these caps of ice would raise
the oceans level by as much as 300 feet. That would be enough to put every
coastal city in the world under water.
The rotation of the Earth on it's axis causes us to have alternate periods
of day and night. During the day, the side toward the Sun warms up while
the other side cools down. While this may be obvious it still has a big
effect on the Earth's average temperature. The moon rotates only once
every 29 ½ days instead of daily. Because of it's slow rotation one side
of the moon gets very hot while the other gets very cold. If the Earth
didn't rotate every 24 hours but rotated every 36 hours the temperature at
noon would be well over 100 degrees farenheit and the temperature at
midnight would drop below freezing even in summer. We would also have
daily tornadoes, and storms due to the temperature changes stirred up by
the wind.
Whilst I do have many other facts to present, I concluded this would be
sufficient to begin (and perhaps end?) this debate.  After reviewing this,
and countless other proofs, I concluded that the evidence does indeed point
to an intelligent designer.  I leave you with a few quotes, as my response
to your statement that scientists today refute the existence of God.
These were also taken into consideration in the evidence I considered, as
many are great minds of science.  Thank you for allowing me the
opportunity to discuss this with you, and for reading these facts.

Quotes:
Fred Hoyle (British astrophysicist): "A common sense interpretation of the
facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as
with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth
speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem
to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."
George Ellis (British astrophysicist): "Amazing fine tuning occurs in the
laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity
of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word
'miraculous' without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the
word."
Paul Davies (British astrophysicist): "There is for me powerful evidence
that there is something going on behind it all....It seems as though
somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe....The
impression of design is overwhelming".
Paul Davies: "The laws [of physics] ... seem to be the product of
exceedingly ingenious design... The universe must have a purpose".
Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): "I find it quite
improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some
organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for
the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing."
John O'Keefe (astronomer at NASA): "We are, by astronomical standards, a
pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures.. .. If the Universe had
not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come
into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the
universe was created for man to live in."
George Greenstein (astronomer): "As we survey all the evidence, the
thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency - or, rather,
Agency - must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending
to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme
Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos
for our benefit?"
Arthur Eddington (astrophysicist): "The idea of a universal mind or Logos
would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of
scientific theory."
Arno Penzias (Nobel prize in physics): "Astronomy leads us to a unique
event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very
delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to
permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say
'supernatural&#39Eye-wink plan."
Roger Penrose (mathematician and author): "I would say the universe has a
purpose. It's not there just somehow by chance."
Vera Kistiakowsky (MIT physicist): "The exquisite order displayed by our
scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine."
Robert Jastrow (self-proclaimed agnostic): "For the scientist who has
lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad
dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer
the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted
by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."
Stephen Hawking (British astrophysicist): "Then we shall… be able to
take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the
universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate
triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God."
Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics): "When I began my career
as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never
in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book
purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are
in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws
of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these
conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics."
Note: Tipler since has actually converted to Christianity, hence his
latest book, The Physics Of Christianity. It’s a great read, one I
highly recommend.
Alexander Polyakov (Soviet mathematician): "We know that nature is
described by the best of all possible mathematics because God created it."

Ed Harrison (cosmologist): "Here is the cosmological proof of the
existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and
refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence
of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes
of universes or design that requires only one.... Many scientists, when
they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design
argument."
Edward Milne (British cosmologist): "As to the cause of the Universe, in
context of expansion, that is left for the reader to insert, but our
picture is incomplete without Him [God]."
Barry Parker (cosmologist): "Who created these laws? There is no question
but that a God will always be needed."
Drs. Zehavi, and Dekel (cosmologists): "This type of universe, however,
seems to require a degree of fine tuning of the initial conditions that is
in apparent conflict with 'common wisdom'.”
Arthur L. Schawlow (Professor of Physics at Stanford University, 1981
Nobel Prize in physics): "It seems to me that when confronted with the
marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The
only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the
universe and in my own life."
Henry "Fritz" Schaefer (Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and director
of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of
Georgia): "The significance and joy in my science comes in those
occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself, 'So
that's how God did it.' My goal is to understand a little corner of God's
plan."
Wernher von Braun (Pioneer rocket engineer) "I find it as difficult to
understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior
rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a
theologian who would deny the advances of science."
Carl Woese (microbiologist from the University of Illinois) "Life in
Universe - rare or unique? I walk both sides of that street. One day I can
say that given the 100 billion stars in our galaxy and the 100 billion or
more galaxies, there have to be some planets that formed and evolved in
ways very, very like the Earth has, and so would contain microbial life at
least. There are other days when I say that the anthropic principal, which
makes this universe a special one out of an uncountably large number of
universes, may not apply only to that aspect of nature we define in the
realm of physics, but may extend to chemistry and biology. In that case
life on Earth could be entirely unique."
Antony Flew (Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater)
"It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA
research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful
argument to design."
Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics): "From the perspective of
the latest physical theories, Christianity is not a mere religion, but an
experimentally testable science."
Well said, Frank.  Again, thank you.
Cordially,
Holli in Texas


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You went through all that

You went through all that to say nothing.

Design may mean a designer - It doesn't necessarily mean a God. 

Besides, which God are you talking about? Yahweh, Allah, the deistic God? Your quotes are all over the map in that regard.

I can't say for sure that a god exists or doesn't exist. The God of Deism I could almost go for - the God of the Bible (whether of the OT, NT, or Paul's work), forget it 

 If Christianity is a testable science, why the need for faith? Get those scientists cranking out those tests! 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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tl/dr

tl/dr


thingy
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MattShizzle

MattShizzle wrote:
tl/dr

I've seen that all over the place on many internet forums, and I still cannot for the life of me figure out what it means.

(sorry for being off topic, but I just have to find out) 

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It means "Too long/ didn't

It means "Too long/ didn't read." It's a response to people who have diarrhea of the fingertips.

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MattShizzle wrote: It means

MattShizzle wrote:
It means "Too long/ didn't read." It's a response to people who have diarrhea of the fingertips.

That's quite amusing considering some of the places I've seen it used is to posts about as long as your one.  That was on the Worlf of Warcraft forums though, so I wouldn't be surprised if even a sentence that short was too long for some peoples attention spans.

Anyway, just wanted to get this final off-topic reply out of the way.  Putting a reply to the OP in a new post to bring this back on topic. 

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Holli in Texas

Holli in Texas wrote:
Anthony Flew, a world-known atheist ... (snip for size) ... and I found where it led.


If you want to get a more realistic understanding on what happened to Anthony Flew, I suggest you read this post by Richard Carrier on the site. Richard actually knew Anthony and saw for himself what Anthony was going through. It is very sad indeed not only what happened to Anthony, but also how he was taken advantage of.

Holli in Texas wrote:
I will now proceed to list ... (snip for size) ... I concluded that the evidence does indeed point to an intelligent designer.


So you've quoted a lot of facts and figures. Good for you. Here, have a gold star. You may as well have saved yourself some time and said "a painting requires a painter". All you're doing is providing the old Ray Comfort argument in a more technological and long-winded way in the hope of bamboozling your opponent.

Extroadinary claims require extroadinary evidence. You make one very extroadinary claim when you say a being of some kind designated that all these constants, measurements etc would be just as they are, so prove it. If your proof is simply that these constants and measurements are what they are, then what you're saying is nothing more than a case of the good old "look around you at nature and life" argument.

As jcgadfly said, you went through all that to say nothing.

Holli in Texas wrote:
I leave you with a few quotes ... (snip for size) ... but an experimentally testable science."
Well said, Frank. Again, thank you.
Cordially,
Holli in Texas


Once again, all that just so you could cherry pick quotes and put in an appeal to authority. You haven't proven anything nor you haven't provided evidence of anything. I'm still eagerly awaiting both.

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I got the point, yeah, the

I got the point, yeah, the creator, I agree. But why do you think that the christianity describes him the best? The god, described in Bible is absolutely unable of creating such an intelligently designed universe. He's just not intelligent enough, you know, he's all about emotions, like obedience, fear of God, God's glory, worshipping, punishment by sudden electric discharges... If Yahweh would create the universe, there would be definitely more lightning and sacrifice altars in there.
The religional faith is based on unawareness. A believer believes in things, which doesn't give a sense. I believe they do, if they are honestly researched, but no christian really listens to the results.
Some people believe consider Bible as  God's word, and it is protected from bad translation, but most of it is a transcription of older records written by Sumerians. The translation of Bible is very exact, but with some exceptions -  like the primordial sumerian translation, which is, as we say, "sewn by a hot needle". Some misunderstood meanings even today forms quite a nonsenses, which nonetheless must be believed in, in order to have a strong faith. Just  several people on the world can read sumerian language, so these mistakes are quite unknown, but they're very interesting. I will surely mention one, when I'll get some sleep.

I'm OK with Jesus, that guy was right, unfortunately he had to work with people who couldn't understand what the hell is he talking about, and he had to adjust everything to the old, barbaric religion, based on the heritage of Yahweh. Today a mentality of humankind is entirely different. What they couldn't understand there, we can understand now, we don't need it wrapped in similes and metaphors.
For example, "There are many rooms in my father's house." could  today mean something like "There are other planets, inhabited by an intelligent life."

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Dear Holli,

Dear Holli,

That is a good bunch of quotes basically demonstrating the reality which is that many well educated people who study physical sciences in great depth find it quite natural to define a coherent god-like entity existing, through their findings. Briefly and concisely this entity which seems to be evidenced in the mathematical beauty of the physical universe is described by the question we must ask ourselves regarding the mysteriously simple order of it all, what (or who) gave it such elegance?

All up the quotes you've given do an excellent job of supporting the epistemological standpoint of philosophical deism; much better than WOTM's effort, for sure. But your argument does not nearly go far enough to warrant a conclusion of any theologically/biblically defined God, of any religion, and that was the problem with Ray and Kirks argument too.

Christianity's God, or another God for that matter, cannot be leapt to from this entity in any logical sense. This entity is defined by its providence, not by its character.

Some, like Ray and Kirk, would go on from there to press the notion that because an ordainer of providence appears to exist it follows that we must select from this book and this memetic following the aggregate of its character and expectations as well. What reason do they give for that leap? None (or Pascals Wager, same thing really). So why make it?

So in summary, your argument is good, but it does not reach far enough, it does not demonstrate, of itself, that it applies to a God of any text or tradition. That needs to be shown if it is what you are claiming.

 

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The only things that the

The only things that the article says is 'the universe is amazing'

 How the universe is amazing means an intelligent creature had  to have created it simply does not follow.

A human being while also amazing is also in many ways extremely badly 'designed' and with plenty of evolutionary left overs and flaws.

Of course is you were to say the universe was created by 2 meatballs and a plate of spaghetti I might have more sympathy with you as that is just FACT 

 


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All I got out of this post

All I got out of this post was that it is amazing that there is something rather than nothing. I like the arguement based on the watchmaker. If I find a watch on the ground then there must be a creator. However, the watch may be a complicated device, the creator must be infinitely more complicated. If the universe and everything in it is so complex then if there is a designer it must be even more complex correct? If god can be more complex than the universe and god has always existed, then why can't the universe exist unto itself if it is less complex? 

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As mentioned above. If you

As mentioned above. If you believe this is evidence of a god, it is still not evidence of the christian god.

Yes, these constants are a list of facts that allows our universe to work the way we need it to, otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation. It is possible that there are a billion parallel universes with different constants with no life, or different life. We can only see the one we are in.

Even if this is the only universe, I still think it more likely that it exists by itself than that an omnipotent, sentient being existed all by itself beforehand to create the universe.

Surely the odds of a bunch of (relatively) formless matter existing is more likely than that of an omnipotent, sentient being?

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Anthony Flew? Not that

Anthony Flew?

Not that shit again.


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Fine tuning then appeal to

Fine tuning then appeal to authority. Undecided

The more we know about the universe, the more it looks like it's "tuned" for no life.  Maybe the "tuner" likes exploding stars and black holes.


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stuntgibbon wrote: Fine

stuntgibbon wrote:

Fine tuning then appeal to authority. Undecided

The more we know about the universe, the more it looks like it's "tuned" for no life. Maybe the "tuner" likes exploding stars and black holes.


The universe seems to be set for maximal diversity in it's dynamics. This dynamics can ocassionally support a life, in most of of life span and regions of the universe, so it keeps the life relatively regularly appearing across the space and in time, though not in high concentrations, the life is rare.
It wouldn't be good if the universe's life creating potential would all be depleted in first milliards of years and all the rest of its existence it would be a big, cold, entirely dead place.

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Fine tuning again...

1. Fine tuning doesn't imply Christ

2. I think much of your argument is rendered moot by M-Theory, in which case this universe may be but one of an infinite number of universes, and of that infinite number only a fraction of infinity (which itself would be infinite, obviously) of these universes are "fine-tuned" enough, to use the terminology, to support life. Of course, there are an equally infinite number of universes, according to this theory, where life might never have developed.  So what we're talking  about here is the law of averages: run the experiment enough times (a loose metaphor, I assure you, for the grandeur of the multiverse) and you'll come out with places like ours, which seem to have just the right conditions for life to develop.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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I must say I'm also glad

I must say I'm also glad that real scientists, even those who do believe in a designer, don't throw in their towels as soon as they come up across a gap in our current understanding of how our universe is structured.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”