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A designer? The Teleological Argument

Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 11:37:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I personally don't believe in the teleological argument for several reasons although the arguments can be very convincing.

1) The theory of evolution shows that biological complexity can happen through non-design.
2) Just because one explanation for complexity that we know is design does not mean it is the only possible explanation.
3) The teleological argument does not really answer the question of where the designer got there.
4) Natural forces produce complex things all the time which have natural patterns.
Ramshutu
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3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 11:44:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.

Interesting argument. Why would he be fired?
Cliff.Stamp
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3/31/2011 11:45:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:37:17 AM, Dan4reason wrote:

1) The theory of evolution shows that biological complexity can happen through non-design.
2) Just because one explanation for complexity that we know is design does not mean it is the only possible explanation.
3) The teleological argument does not really answer the question of where the designer got there.
4) Natural forces produce complex things all the time which have natural patterns.

Consider all of these, and now consider instead of talking about life you are talking about a signal picked up from space. Think about how you would prove that was designed.
Ramshutu
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3/31/2011 11:59:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:44:59 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.

Interesting argument. Why would he be fired?

Because life is fundamentally flawed; it represents a bodge-job. If it was a car, it would highly machined carbon fibre and titanium struts; held together with duct-tape. This is why any human designer would be fired.
tkubok
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3/31/2011 12:07:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:59:31 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:44:59 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.

Interesting argument. Why would he be fired?

Because life is fundamentally flawed; it represents a bodge-job. If it was a car, it would highly machined carbon fibre and titanium struts; held together with duct-tape. This is why any human designer would be fired.

Its why Dawkins named his book "The blind watchmaker", because you really have to be blind, or horribly inept, to prouce what life has created thus far.
tkubok
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3/31/2011 12:23:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:37:17 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
I personally don't believe in the teleological argument for several reasons although the arguments can be very convincing.

1) The theory of evolution shows that biological complexity can happen through non-design.
2) Just because one explanation for complexity that we know is design does not mean it is the only possible explanation.
3) The teleological argument does not really answer the question of where the designer got there.
4) Natural forces produce complex things all the time which have natural patterns.

I would say that this argument fails, because the reason we recognize that cars, houses, boats are designed, isnt because we recognize design, but because we have examples, and are costantly seeing cars, houses and boats being created by people, and nowhere do we have examples of cars, houses and boats being produced naturally. We never see Nature paint, yet we see humans paint all the time. Therefore, we know that a painting must be done by a human.

By following this argument to its logical conclusion, everything in the universe was designed and created. So why is it that we are unable to pick up a rock, and recognize the complexity and design? Ask yourself, Why doesnt this argument work with a rock, instead of a car?

Furthermore, this argument relies on a limited view of personal experience. Basically, someone has been raised in the city, where they witnessed Ponds being constructed by men. Then, one day, they are sent to the countryside, and come across a lake that was created by nature. They basically say "Hmm, I've come across ponds and lakes before, and they were all constructed by Humans. Therefore, this lake must also have been constructed by Humans". This is the fundemental problem of this argument, and why it fails.
GeoLaureate8
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3/31/2011 1:47:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Anthropic Principle.

Teleological Argument defeated.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
unitedandy
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3/31/2011 2:36:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 1:47:27 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Anthropic Principle.

Teleological Argument defeated.

I once heard an atheist parody the strong anthropic principle by saying (roughly):

If an asteroid was headed for earth, destined to destroy all life, and then miraculously disappeared 1 second before impact, one could simply say (in accordance with the anthropic principle) that this needs no explanation, because without it, there would be no-one around to do the explaining.

The weak anthropic principle is more plausible, but still pretty speculative I think (although at least the idea of a multiverse has some models behind it).

My own objections to the fine-tuning argument would be more philosophical (probably because I ain't no physicist). Asking why we would expect fine-tuning for example, or why theists NEVER seemed to ever predict it (despite vague notions of design),asking what makes God a plausible explanation in this regard, and even using an argument from scale as an alternative take on the state of play.

The fine-tuning argument, is definitely IMO one of the better arguments for God, and one usually sees that with the replies from many atheists, such as (again IMO), such as the anthropic principle.
GeoLaureate8
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3/31/2011 2:57:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 2:36:44 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 3/31/2011 1:47:27 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Anthropic Principle.

Teleological Argument defeated.

I once heard an atheist parody the strong anthropic principle by saying (roughly):

If an asteroid was headed for earth, destined to destroy all life, and then miraculously disappeared 1 second before impact, one could simply say (in accordance with the anthropic principle) that this needs no explanation, because without it, there would be no-one around to do the explaining.

The weak anthropic principle is more plausible, but still pretty speculative I think (although at least the idea of a multiverse has some models behind it).

I was refering to the variation of the anthropoc principle that says that given a Multiverse, it is NOT statistically unlikely that our universe has this degree of complexity, because if it's 99% unlikely for this universe to have come about by chance, than our universe is in that 1%.

My own objections to the fine-tuning argument would be more philosophical (probably because I ain't no physicist). Asking why we would expect fine-tuning for example,

What do you mean by that?

or why theists NEVER seemed to ever predict it (despite vague notions of design),

Predict what?

asking what makes God a plausible explanation in this regard,

Agreed. That's one of the points I usually raise against Theists.

and even using an argument from scale as an alternative take on the state of play.

What argument is that?

The fine-tuning argument, is definitely IMO one of the better arguments for God,

Not really. It's an evidential argument rather than a proof such as the Ontological Argument or Argument from Contingency (this is one of the stronger ones IMO).

and one usually sees that with the replies from many atheists, such as (again IMO), such as the anthropic principle.

Uh, what's wrong with that answer? The Multiverse is very plausible, and contrary to popular belief, it is supported by evidence. It's not purely theoretical.

Also, simply demonstrating that something is unlikely, especially when we see it's existence I'm front of our eyes, is hardly a potent argument. Sure, maybe the existence of this complex world is unlikely to arise, yet here we are and it happened.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 3:09:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:45:51 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:37:17 AM, Dan4reason wrote:

1) The theory of evolution shows that biological complexity can happen through non-design.
2) Just because one explanation for complexity that we know is design does not mean it is the only possible explanation.
3) The teleological argument does not really answer the question of where the designer got there.
4) Natural forces produce complex things all the time which have natural patterns.

Consider all of these, and now consider instead of talking about life you are talking about a signal picked up from space. Think about how you would prove that was designed.

What signal are you talking about? Some people thought there were signals coming from outer space from aliens but were mistaken.
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 3:10:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:59:31 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:44:59 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.

Interesting argument. Why would he be fired?

Because life is fundamentally flawed; it represents a bodge-job. If it was a car, it would highly machined carbon fibre and titanium struts; held together with duct-tape. This is why any human designer would be fired.

I consider a human body to be way better than a car. It has a much larger life=time than a car and can even learn. A human being is far superior to any robot we have ever made.
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 3:13:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 12:07:07 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:59:31 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:44:59 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.

Interesting argument. Why would he be fired?

Because life is fundamentally flawed; it represents a bodge-job. If it was a car, it would highly machined carbon fibre and titanium struts; held together with duct-tape. This is why any human designer would be fired.

Its why Dawkins named his book "The blind watchmaker", because you really have to be blind, or horribly inept, to prouce what life has created thus far.

Life has flaws, but by focusing on these flaws, you are ignoring the incredible feat that life really is. Life is a computer that is self-aware, that has organs that allows it to manipulate the world, a several-decade life-span, that can learn by itself, etc. If someone made a computer like that today, she would be given a Nobel prize for something.
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 3:19:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 12:23:32 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:37:17 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
I personally don't believe in the teleological argument for several reasons although the arguments can be very convincing.

1) The theory of evolution shows that biological complexity can happen through non-design.
2) Just because one explanation for complexity that we know is design does not mean it is the only possible explanation.
3) The teleological argument does not really answer the question of where the designer got there.
4) Natural forces produce complex things all the time which have natural patterns.

I would say that this argument fails, because the reason we recognize that cars, houses, boats are designed, isnt because we recognize design, but because we have examples, and are costantly seeing cars, houses and boats being created by people, and nowhere do we have examples of cars, houses and boats being produced naturally. We never see Nature paint, yet we see humans paint all the time. Therefore, we know that a painting must be done by a human.

By following this argument to its logical conclusion, everything in the universe was designed and created. So why is it that we are unable to pick up a rock, and recognize the complexity and design? Ask yourself, Why doesnt this argument work with a rock, instead of a car?

Furthermore, this argument relies on a limited view of personal experience. Basically, someone has been raised in the city, where they witnessed Ponds being constructed by men. Then, one day, they are sent to the countryside, and come across a lake that was created by nature. They basically say "Hmm, I've come across ponds and lakes before, and they were all constructed by Humans. Therefore, this lake must also have been constructed by Humans". This is the fundemental problem of this argument, and why it fails.

I agree that the reason we often attribute complexity to design is because we have direct evidence of humans making things. That is a very very good point.

The reason why people generally don't jump to the conclusion that a rock is designed is because it lacks the type of complexity that is exhibited by a cell or a computer.

People do not attribute lakes to human design because we know that most lakes form naturally and only a few have ever been created by humans. When there is a proven natural explanation for something, this definitely takes the necessity of design away for that thing. This is why I brought up the theory of evolution;D.
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 3:21:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 1:47:27 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Anthropic Principle.

Teleological Argument defeated.

In some cases that is true. Of course you don't know the number of planets or universes, and don't know the diversity of conditions in them so you don't quite know how effective that explanation is exactly. It does make sense though.
Ramshutu
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3/31/2011 3:45:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 3:13:25 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 12:07:07 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:59:31 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:44:59 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.

Interesting argument. Why would he be fired?

Because life is fundamentally flawed; it represents a bodge-job. If it was a car, it would highly machined carbon fibre and titanium struts; held together with duct-tape. This is why any human designer would be fired.

Its why Dawkins named his book "The blind watchmaker", because you really have to be blind, or horribly inept, to prouce what life has created thus far.

Life has flaws, but by focusing on these flaws, you are ignoring the incredible feat that life really is. Life is a computer that is self-aware, that has organs that allows it to manipulate the world, a several-decade life-span, that can learn by itself, etc. If someone made a computer like that today, she would be given a Nobel prize for something.

Saying life is not designed is not the same that it is not incredible. Life is incredible, perhaps even more so because it isn't designed.

Of course it's incredible for us to consider how complex life is comparing it to our own acheivements as we can't engineer things to the same degree of complexity; although I think asking the same question in, say, thirty years, and the answer may well be different.

The flaws in life are what proove it's not designed.

For example, you have the amazing "design" of organs in, say, a giraffe. If you were smart enough to design the complex engineering required to power a Giraffes neck, you would not be stupid enough to make a nerve that goes from the brain to the vocal chords go all the way down the giraffess neck, around a major artery in chest, and then all the way back up to the top.

If you were smart enough to engineer an intelligent brain capable of self reflection and self awareness, would you really miss something as simple as requiring almost all animals to put large chunks of food into a hole that, if it accidently gets blocked by a large chunk of food, kills said animal.

If you were smart enough to design a self repair system capable of healing major structural damage, would you miss the fact that a relatively light tap to the brain can cause brain damage and death.

And finally, for serious, serious realz. Why, oh why is it necessary to pee out of your penis?

There not a single peice of technology, or equipment that is so vastly intelligent, but has so many glaring and fundamental flaws; not one. I can accept imperfection or trade-off's, but the design of life would look very different if it was actually designed.
mattrodstrom
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3/31/2011 3:51:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Unitedandy I gather you were saying things existing as they do seems unlikely..

I don't understand how people calculate the "likeliness" of things being as they are.

They Either ARE or Are Not.

How do you come up with calculations as to how likely it is that it would be that way?? what general standard do you compare it to??

how does it relate to that standard?

is there a list of possible realities you can fit our reality into?... and you somehow have assigned Percentage chances to these Things?? what are the other "possibilities"??

What are you talking about?!?!?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
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3/31/2011 4:02:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 3:10:35 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:59:31 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:44:59 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:39:47 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:33:48 AM, Dan4reason wrote:
This thread is about the teleological argument which states that the complexity we see in the universe can best be explained by a designer. Just look around you. We see cars, trees, people, stars, an ecosystem, and complexity is everywhere. How can these things have possibly have arisen by chance? Indeed this complexity that works together in harmony like a machine. What are the chances that all this complexity could have arisen without a designer? What are the chances that they are able to actually work together?

This is pretty must the gist of the teleological argument. The real question is whether this argument is all that convincing. What do you think?

If a human engineer had designed a car the way that life, the universe and everything is designed; he'd be fired within 15 seconds of handing the design over to his manager for review.

Interesting argument. Why would he be fired?

Because life is fundamentally flawed; it represents a bodge-job. If it was a car, it would highly machined carbon fibre and titanium struts; held together with duct-tape. This is why any human designer would be fired.

I consider a human body to be way better than a car. It has a much larger life=time than a car and can even learn. A human being is far superior to any robot we have ever made.

That's not what he is saying. He's saying that the human body is fundamentally flawed in it's design, a car is not. Yes, humans are better and more complex, but there so many simple design flaws that could've been avoided by even a dumb person.

If we were created by God, why do we have a blind spot in our eyes, why is the birth canal too small, why do our teeth grow crooked, why do we have worthless wisdom teeth that just get removed, and WHY THE FVCK DOES OUR FOOD GO DOWN THE SAME TUBE AS OXYGEN making us suspceptible to choking!!

Cars on the other hand, don't have such flaws. The design of the cars allow it to do what it's supposed to do and it's parts are there for a reason. For example, why do males have nipples?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
unitedandy
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3/31/2011 4:18:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Geo

The first point was on the anthropic principle. The problem with it is that one could use it justify almost anything. For instance, if I get the same hand at bridge 50 times in a row, I could say that as the number of universes are infinitely many, it must happen in at least one universe, which certainly alone does not satisfy any impartial audience, I would suggest. It seems to me that at best we have a small part of the rebuttal. Resting a whole rebuttal on the anthropic principle would, I think, fall victim to this suggestion.

Point 2 on asking why we would expect to equate fine-tuning with design sounds a little cryptic, and I should have elaborated. The fact that all these constants are a hair's breath from destruction would seem to be puzzling on either worldview. What purpose could God possibly have for making the universe this way, unless it was physically necessary (which leads to the problem of separating design from physical law). Also, as Carrier points out, the universe is more fine-tuned for black holes than human life. Heck, even things contingent upon human beings (books, guns or thoughts) would be more fine-tuned following the theist's own logic, because if it takes all these conditions for carbon-based life, think of the exact conditions it takes for things which are human specific, like language. It takes the probability of fine-tuning and multiplies it by a huge factor, resulting in the conclusion that the universe was fine-tuned for any number of things which require fine-tuning + an exact evolutionary cycle + the history of humanity.

On predicting fine-tuning, no theist ever said, for example: "if God exists, the gravitational constant should be infinitesimally small". The fact that one would use such an approach now is what I was angling at, and attaching a vague notion of design to it doesn't seem to warrant as strong an argument as, say, the watchmaker analogy of Paley, where the notion of design had particular historical and biblical significance. Indeed, if there where a TOE tomorrow, no theist would lose their faith, and no atheist would use this as argument against the existence of God (I hope).

The argument from scale is just an atheistic cosmological-type argument, basically asking what a God produced universe would look like, as opposed to one without a Designer. It's a pretty modest kind of argument, and even its proponents (like Nicholas Everitt) don't claim it to be a knock-down proof against God, but it's still (potentially) an important argument contextually, much like the argument from imperfection was/is against biological design.

As far as an argument, I think FT is far more persuasive than the ontological argument. I honestly don't know anyone who finds this argument pivotal in their faith (although I would be willing to accept that certain versions of it may be very difficult to refute). From the little I have read on the argument from contingency, I would agree that this is another strong argument for theism.

Last point - While I can accept that the multiverse is better in many respects than the theistic explanation, I would always try to use it in conjunction with many other criticisms of FT, because relying on this alone would only be sufficient to refute a logical FT. An evidential FT would still be rationally justifiable as a cumulative case for the existence of God, and would be far more persuasive to many than the multiverse.
mattrodstrom
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3/31/2011 4:26:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
dandy,

how do you calculate the probability/likelihood of the universe being as it is?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 4:47:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 4:26:55 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
dandy,

how do you calculate the probability/likelihood of the universe being as it is?

100%, assuming a causality-based universe.
Dan4reason
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3/31/2011 4:48:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 4:18:48 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Geo

The first point was on the anthropic principle. The problem with it is that one could use it justify almost anything. For instance, if I get the same hand at bridge 50 times in a row, I could say that as the number of universes are infinitely many, it must happen in at least one universe, which certainly alone does not satisfy any impartial audience, I would suggest. It seems to me that at best we have a small part of the rebuttal. Resting a whole rebuttal on the anthropic principle would, I think, fall victim to this suggestion.

Point 2 on asking why we would expect to equate fine-tuning with design sounds a little cryptic, and I should have elaborated. The fact that all these constants are a hair's breath from destruction would seem to be puzzling on either worldview. What purpose could God possibly have for making the universe this way, unless it was physically necessary (which leads to the problem of separating design from physical law). Also, as Carrier points out, the universe is more fine-tuned for black holes than human life. Heck, even things contingent upon human beings (books, guns or thoughts) would be more fine-tuned following the theist's own logic, because if it takes all these conditions for carbon-based life, think of the exact conditions it takes for things which are human specific, like language. It takes the probability of fine-tuning and multiplies it by a huge factor, resulting in the conclusion that the universe was fine-tuned for any number of things which require fine-tuning + an exact evolutionary cycle + the history of humanity.

On predicting fine-tuning, no theist ever said, for example: "if God exists, the gravitational constant should be infinitesimally small". The fact that one would use such an approach now is what I was angling at, and attaching a vague notion of design to it doesn't seem to warrant as strong an argument as, say, the watchmaker analogy of Paley, where the notion of design had particular historical and biblical significance. Indeed, if there where a TOE tomorrow, no theist would lose their faith, and no atheist would use this as argument against the existence of God (I hope).

The argument from scale is just an atheistic cosmological-type argument, basically asking what a God produced universe would look like, as opposed to one without a Designer. It's a pretty modest kind of argument, and even its proponents (like Nicholas Everitt) don't claim it to be a knock-down proof against God, but it's still (potentially) an important argument contextually, much like the argument from imperfection was/is against biological design.

As far as an argument, I think FT is far more persuasive than the ontological argument. I honestly don't know anyone who finds this argument pivotal in their faith (although I would be willing to accept that certain versions of it may be very difficult to refute). From the little I have read on the argument from contingency, I would agree that this is another strong argument for theism.

Last point - While I can accept that the multiverse is better in many respects than the theistic explanation, I would always try to use it in conjunction with many other criticisms of FT, because relying on this alone would only be sufficient to refute a logical FT. An evidential FT would still be rationally justifiable as a cumulative case for the existence of God, and would be far more persuasive to many than the multiverse.

So when do you think the anthropomorphic principal is appropriate?
mattrodstrom
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3/31/2011 4:49:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 4:47:03 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 3/31/2011 4:26:55 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
dandy,

how do you calculate the probability/likelihood of the universe being as it is?

100%, assuming a causality-based universe.

see... if I were to give any answer.. that'd be it.

that's not His answer though... which is the reason I directed the question to him :P
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
unitedandy
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3/31/2011 4:50:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 4:26:55 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
dandy,

how do you calculate the probability/likelihood of the universe being as it is?

That would certainly be something I would ask myself, although, not being a physicist, I wouldn't really expect an intelligible answer. But I would say that save a few, most people do recognise the universe is improbable the way it is (although this again opens up a huge can worms about the nature of probabilities). In fact, there's a paper by Garfield I think arguing that the fine-tuning may be such that it makes the conditions impossible, similar to an infinitely sharp dart board being unable to hit a target. All these and more are possibilities and questions and criticisms of FT.

However, the idea that the chance is 100% because we are living in it, or that multiple universes alone solve the problem would seem to me to be inadequate, at least without a bigger strategy in mind.
mattrodstrom
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3/31/2011 4:55:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 4:50:55 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 3/31/2011 4:26:55 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
dandy,

how do you calculate the probability/likelihood of the universe being as it is?

That would certainly be something I would ask myself, although, not being a physicist, I wouldn't really expect an intelligible answer.

Physicists study the world as it is... I don't see them studying other possible worlds.. or coming up with likelihoods of their being the case rather than this one.

But I would say that save a few, most people do recognise the universe is improbable the way it is

lol... Again...
what makes it improbable? what would be the norm to compare it to?

(although this again opens up a huge can worms about the nature of probabilities). In fact, there's a paper by Garfield I think arguing that the fine-tuning may be such that it makes the conditions impossible, similar to an infinitely sharp dart board being unable to hit a target. All these and more are possibilities and questions and criticisms of FT.

Any thing is just as improbable as another.

I don't know why Sh*t exists rather than Nothing.. but clearly it does.

However, the idea that the chance is 100% because we are living in it, or that multiple universes alone solve the problem would seem to me to be inadequate, at least without a bigger strategy in mind.

existence exists... I don't know why.. or that there's any reason.. but I don't see how it's any more or less likely than any other supposedly 'possible' existence.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cliff.Stamp
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3/31/2011 5:40:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 5:05:07 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 3/31/2011 1:47:27 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Anthropic Principle.

Teleological Argument defeated.

lol

Indeed.
Cliff.Stamp
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3/31/2011 5:49:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 12:23:32 PM, tkubok wrote:

I would say that this argument fails, because the reason we recognize that cars, houses, boats are designed, isnt because we recognize design, but because we have examples, and are costantly seeing cars, houses and boats being created by people, and nowhere do we have examples of cars, houses and boats being produced naturally.

Your argument is that someone who was completely ignorant of cars would see one and it would not be obvious that it was designed and further if one did not know what a car was it would be impossible to conclude so?

By following this argument to its logical conclusion, everything in the universe was designed and created. So why is it that we are unable to pick up a rock, and recognize the complexity and design? Ask yourself, Why doesnt this argument work with a rock, instead of a car?

Because a rock does not have intent of purpose compared to for example an arrowhead which is a rock which does.

Furthermore, this argument relies on a limited view of personal experience. Basically, someone has been raised in the city, where they witnessed Ponds being constructed by men. Then, one day, they are sent to the countryside, and come across a lake that was created by nature. They basically say "Hmm, I've come across ponds and lakes before, and they were all constructed by Humans. Therefore, this lake must also have been constructed by Humans". This is the fundemental problem of this argument, and why it fails.

I have many friends who grew up in the city and only saw swimming pools and man man facilities. I don't recall anyone who when we went hiking assumed I made the ponds we saw in the woods. You really think there are people who would make such a claim?
Cliff.Stamp
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3/31/2011 5:56:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 2:36:44 PM, unitedandy wrote:

If an asteroid was headed for earth, destined to destroy all life, and then miraculously disappeared 1 second before impact, one could simply say ....

Yeah and this is different from God exactly how? You have an idea which can explain anything - anything at all, no matter what is observed.