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The Dawkins Delusion

Romanii
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1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm aware that I have stolen the title of this forum from the title of a real book by Alister McGrath, but it's really catchy, and it's very relevant to the topic at hand.

So, I think Richard Dawkins is a bigot because he treats all theists as if they are religious fundamentalists, despite the fact that many are not. Some of his arguments are actually valid against certain religious sects with completely science-contradicting beliefs, but none are valid against more reasonable theists.

Thus, I'm going to do what I've been wanting to do ever since I read "The God Delusion": give a rebuttal to each of the major arguments presented in his book.

The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.

The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.
Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

An Interlude at Cambridge
Here, Dawkins argues against the very concept of God being metaphysical (i.e. beyond science, beyond materialism).
However, this is very ignorant, as our current scientific knowledge is actually fairly small in relation to the vastness of the Universe. What does he know about what's out there? How can he so boldly claim that there isn't something which is beyond our current comprehension of the universe?
He can't.

Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.
The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

Constructive criticisms and intelligent rebuttals are welcome.
Blind, Dawkins-like hate is not.
PotBelliedGeek
Posts: 4,298
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1/27/2014 11:10:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:
I'm aware that I have stolen the title of this forum from the title of a real book by Alister McGrath, but it's really catchy, and it's very relevant to the topic at hand.

So, I think Richard Dawkins is a bigot because he treats all theists as if they are religious fundamentalists, despite the fact that many are not. Some of his arguments are actually valid against certain religious sects with completely science-contradicting beliefs, but none are valid against more reasonable theists.

Thus, I'm going to do what I've been wanting to do ever since I read "The God Delusion": give a rebuttal to each of the major arguments presented in his book.

The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.

The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.
Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

An Interlude at Cambridge
Here, Dawkins argues against the very concept of God being metaphysical (i.e. beyond science, beyond materialism).
However, this is very ignorant, as our current scientific knowledge is actually fairly small in relation to the vastness of the Universe. What does he know about what's out there? How can he so boldly claim that there isn't something which is beyond our current comprehension of the universe?
He can't.

Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.
The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

Constructive criticisms and intelligent rebuttals are welcome.
Blind, Dawkins-like hate is not.

Couldn't have put it better myself.
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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1/28/2014 12:54:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:
I'm aware that I have stolen the title of this forum from the title of a real book by Alister McGrath, but it's really catchy, and it's very relevant to the topic at hand.

So, I think Richard Dawkins is a bigot because he treats all theists as if they are religious fundamentalists, despite the fact that many are not. Some of his arguments are actually valid against certain religious sects with completely science-contradicting beliefs, but none are valid against more reasonable theists.

Dawkins has his problems, to be sure. But I think you're missing the point of his criticisms. It's not that he doesn't draw a distinction, it's that he finds the "reasonable" position precludes the drawing of such a distinction.

If you believe that a god exists, and that his commandments are morally valid, how can you judge the "fundamentalists", who believe the same thing and only differ from you on the specifics?

Thus, I'm going to do what I've been wanting to do ever since I read "The God Delusion": give a rebuttal to each of the major arguments presented in his book.

The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

You're missing the point of the argument. The argument is that the universe cannot have "just happened", while god can "just be". The argument talks about the complexity of the universe, and says that there MUST have been a designer BECAUSE of that complexity. Yet, God is supposed to be EVEN MORE complex, and so the argument would extend, and it's special pleading to say it doesn't.

Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

I think you're missing his point here, too. If Evolution is a naturalistic process (and all evidence shows that it is), then where is God's direction? And if it's not present, if it's just in the starting, THAT'S what he's talking about. I don't really agree with THAT, because I think that if there is a god, his being lazy has no bearing on whether he exists. The point is to have justification for thinking he does.

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.

But some DO make the argument, you do know that, right?

In fact, on this very forum someone tried to throw out irreducible complexity recently.

The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.

You're missing his point. God has been used by many to spackle over gaps in knowledge. When we didn't know what lightning was, Goddidit. Now we know what it is, so we know that's not the case. The number of holes to spackle with a God concept has gone down, and he makes the point that, with the majority of holes now filled in rather than spackled with "goddidit", why should we think the remaining spackling is valid?

Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

But that would NOT mean that it was reasonable to conclude "goddidit", it would mean we don't know. Which certainly doesn't preclude god, but it does mean that the god ideas would be in with ALL THE OTHER ideas.

"I don't know" is a reasonable answer.

The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

Again, I think you're missing his point. There are MANY planets not within a habitable zone where life CAN exist. That one IS in the habitable zone, and that life has sprung up, isn't particularly surprising. As to the specifics of life ON Earth, in the habitable zone, it's not suprising that life would adapt to the conditions here. Arguing that the place was SET UP for life requires some evidence--there's evidence of adaptation, but not of design (of this specific sort, to be precise).

An Interlude at Cambridge
Here, Dawkins argues against the very concept of God being metaphysical (i.e. beyond science, beyond materialism).
However, this is very ignorant, as our current scientific knowledge is actually fairly small in relation to the vastness of the Universe. What does he know about what's out there? How can he so boldly claim that there isn't something which is beyond our current comprehension of the universe?
He can't.

He isn't. He's claiming that there's no reason to believe in a God, and that, further, there's no reason to suppose that we can't possibly discern god. If the latter were true, that would be even less reason to take the affirmative position, because the proper answer would be that we don't understand, NOT that X god claim is true.

Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.

I don't recollect that claim being directly made.

The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.

The god concepts he attacks ARE like that: If you think "goddidit" is a satisfactory explanation, you don't look deeper.
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bladerunner060
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1/28/2014 12:55:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

I question that, although I think it's generally the case in most things.

The problem is that, to the atheist, you have specifically adopted an unskeptical, irrational belief, and are saying that it doesn't affect your worldview in a generally unskeptical, irrational manner.
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2-D
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1/28/2014 1:05:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:
I'm aware that I have stolen the title of this forum from the title of a real book by Alister McGrath, but it's really catchy, and it's very relevant to the topic at hand.

So, I think Richard Dawkins is a bigot because he treats all theists as if they are religious fundamentalists, despite the fact that many are not. Some of his arguments are actually valid against certain religious sects with completely science-contradicting beliefs, but none are valid against more reasonable theists.

Great topic. I can be a little harsh with theists myself and I will try to more open-minded. I have a theist background and I do not think the ideas were helpful to me. I'll weigh in on your main points later.
bubbatheclown
Posts: 1,258
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1/28/2014 5:21:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:
I'm aware that I have stolen the title of this forum from the title of a real book by Alister McGrath, but it's really catchy, and it's very relevant to the topic at hand.

So, I think Richard Dawkins is a bigot because he treats all theists as if they are religious fundamentalists, despite the fact that many are not. Some of his arguments are actually valid against certain religious sects with completely science-contradicting beliefs, but none are valid against more reasonable theists.

Thus, I'm going to do what I've been wanting to do ever since I read "The God Delusion": give a rebuttal to each of the major arguments presented in his book.

The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.

The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.
Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

An Interlude at Cambridge
Here, Dawkins argues against the very concept of God being metaphysical (i.e. beyond science, beyond materialism).
However, this is very ignorant, as our current scientific knowledge is actually fairly small in relation to the vastness of the Universe. What does he know about what's out there? How can he so boldly claim that there isn't something which is beyond our current comprehension of the universe?
He can't.

Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.
The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

Constructive criticisms and intelligent rebuttals are welcome.
Blind, Dawkins-like hate is not.

So I believe in crap now, do I?
But instead of posting an angry rant, I'll ask you this: why would God direct evolution when He could simply create everything?
Romanii
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1/28/2014 5:32:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 12:54:54 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

Dawkins has his problems, to be sure. But I think you're missing the point of his criticisms. It's not that he doesn't draw a distinction, it's that he finds the "reasonable" position precludes the drawing of such a distinction.

If you believe that a god exists, and that his commandments are morally valid, how can you judge the "fundamentalists", who believe the same thing and only differ from you on the specifics?

Fundamentalists may have similar ideals to regular theists, but they take thousand year old scripture more seriously than scientific research. As a result, fundamentalists often do end up limiting their own world view.
That is why I have to draw a distinction between reasonable theists and religious fundamentalists.


The Ultimate Boeing 747

You're missing the point of the argument. The argument is that the universe cannot have "just happened", while god can "just be". The argument talks about the complexity of the universe, and says that there MUST have been a designer BECAUSE of that complexity. Yet, God is supposed to be EVEN MORE complex, and so the argument would extend, and it's special pleading to say it doesn't.

Who said that God is that complex?
I can't claim to know everything about the nature of God, but God could be a simple as the Universe's consciousness. If pantheistic beliefs are correct, than God IS the universe. That isn't actually terrible complicated.


Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser

I think you're missing his point here, too. If Evolution is a naturalistic process (and all evidence shows that it is), then where is God's direction? And if it's not present, if it's just in the starting, THAT'S what he's talking about. I don't really agree with THAT, because I think that if there is a god, his being lazy has no bearing on whether he exists. The point is to have justification for thinking he does.

I'm not sure if you understood what I was saying.
Theists don't believe that God was just the starting point of Evolution. They believe he was actively involved in it.
There is no scientific explanation for why DNA mutates when it does. Scientists have accepted it as "random" copying errors.
However, God could have caused those mutations to give individuals certain traits which natural selection would then favor without his direct involvement (i.e. it's still a naturalistic process; it just has some divine guidance).

Irreducible Complexity

But some DO make the argument, you do know that, right?

In fact, on this very forum someone tried to throw out irreducible complexity recently.

It is not fair to bash on all theists like they're idiots for the fundamentalists' mistakes.


The Worship of Gaps


You're missing his point. God has been used by many to spackle over gaps in knowledge. When we didn't know what lightning was, Goddidit. Now we know what it is, so we know that's not the case. The number of holes to spackle with a God concept has gone down, and he makes the point that, with the majority of holes now filled in rather than spackled with "goddidit", why should we think the remaining spackling is valid?

Like I said before, God isn't retreating; we are progressing. We are getting closer to the limits of knowledge.


But that [the limits of knowledge] would NOT mean that it was reasonable to conclude "goddidit", it would mean we don't know. Which certainly doesn't preclude god, but it does mean that the god ideas would be in with ALL THE OTHER ideas.

"I don't know" is a reasonable answer.

Yes, I realize just because we reach the limits of knowledge doesn't mean the default answer would be God. However, for those who have experienced God and know he exists, God would be the definite answer.

Additionally, there is a possibility accepted by many theists that God is energy.
No one knows exactly what energy is, and there is a good chance no one ever will. This is a very rational explanation of God's role in the Universe.
Again, I make no absolute claims about God' nature, since I'm no saint, but it is always the possibility.

Science and spirituality really have began to intertwine in modern science (if you want proof just google "quantum physics and spirituality" and read some of the articles that come up).


The Anthropic Principle

Again, I think you're missing his point. There are MANY planets not within a habitable zone where life CAN exist. That one IS in the habitable zone, and that life has sprung up, isn't particularly surprising. As to the specifics of life ON Earth, in the habitable zone, it's not suprising that life would adapt to the conditions here. Arguing that the place was SET UP for life requires some evidence--there's evidence of adaptation, but not of design (of this specific sort, to be precise).

Do you know how many variables had to be perfectly in place for there to even BE a "habitable zone"? Stephen Hawking himself affirmed to this. I accept that simply the sheer improbability of life isn't enough to prove God, but I do think that it makes the idea of God very plausible.

Of course, atheists argue that if all those constants weren't in line, then we wouldn't even be here to argue about it, so we shouldn't be surprised by it, but even scientists don't like that argument because it insinuates that our very existence is nothing more than a fluke.

Instead, scientists have began talking about a "Multi-Verse", where there are many, many universes and each one has its own laws of physics, so naturally one of them would have the correct conditions for a habitable zone to form.
However, that is not even a theory, as it is wishful speculation with no real research behind it.


An Interlude at Cambridge

He's claiming that there's no reason to believe in a God, and that, further, there's no reason to suppose that we can't possibly discern god. If the latter were true, that would be even less reason to take the affirmative position, because the proper answer would be that we don't understand, NOT that X god claim is true.

Actually, there IS a reason to believe in God: spiritual experiences.
I realize that we've had this discussion before, but it is only logical for someone to believe in something which they have seen with their own eyes.

Also, Dawkins's rebuttal to the personal experience argument for God is laughable. He basically calls half the population of Earth liars or mental patients.


Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.

I don't recollect that claim being directly made.

Indirectly is no better.


The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.

The god concepts he attacks ARE like that: If you think "goddidit" is a satisfactory explanation, you don'

No self-respecting theist accepts "goddidit" as an answer for everything they don't understand.
That is a very fallacious stereotype you atheists seem to have.
Romanii
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1/28/2014 5:40:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 5:21:20 PM, bubbatheclown wrote:
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.



So I believe in crap now, do I?
But instead of posting an angry rant, I'll ask you this: why would God direct evolution when He could simply create everything?

1) It wasn't an angry rant. It was a rebuttal.

2) The scientific evidence says that life evolved.
The dusty old book says that life has been in its present state since creation.

I prefer to believe the scientific evidence.

The Earth was God's laboratory. Life was one of his experiments.
So naturally, his creations got more complicated over time, rather than him simply making them perfectly on the first try.
bladerunner060
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1/28/2014 5:57:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 5:32:45 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/28/2014 12:54:54 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

Dawkins has his problems, to be sure. But I think you're missing the point of his criticisms. It's not that he doesn't draw a distinction, it's that he finds the "reasonable" position precludes the drawing of such a distinction.

If you believe that a god exists, and that his commandments are morally valid, how can you judge the "fundamentalists", who believe the same thing and only differ from you on the specifics?

Fundamentalists may have similar ideals to regular theists, but they take thousand year old scripture more seriously than scientific research. As a result, fundamentalists often do end up limiting their own world view.
That is why I have to draw a distinction between reasonable theists and religious fundamentalists.

That does not address the issue.


The Ultimate Boeing 747

You're missing the point of the argument. The argument is that the universe cannot have "just happened", while god can "just be". The argument talks about the complexity of the universe, and says that there MUST have been a designer BECAUSE of that complexity. Yet, God is supposed to be EVEN MORE complex, and so the argument would extend, and it's special pleading to say it doesn't.

Who said that God is that complex?
I can't claim to know everything about the nature of God, but God could be a simple as the Universe's consciousness. If pantheistic beliefs are correct, than God IS the universe. That isn't actually terrible complicated.

Pantheism is not theism, it is pantheism. IF god is nothing but the Universe's consciousness, then the arguments used by theists to support the necessity of god cannot apply. Unless you're adding something extra to that that would be beyond the universe, since the theists making the argument are saying the universe can't have created itself.


Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser

I think you're missing his point here, too. If Evolution is a naturalistic process (and all evidence shows that it is), then where is God's direction? And if it's not present, if it's just in the starting, THAT'S what he's talking about. I don't really agree with THAT, because I think that if there is a god, his being lazy has no bearing on whether he exists. The point is to have justification for thinking he does.

I'm not sure if you understood what I was saying.
Theists don't believe that God was just the starting point of Evolution. They believe he was actively involved in it.

You complain elsewhere about making sweeping generalizations. Yet here, that is exactly what your'e doing.

There are some theists who DO think that god merely started the process--you are simply wrong to make a sweeping assertion such as this.

There is no scientific explanation for why DNA mutates when it does. Scientists have accepted it as "random" copying errors.

Okay. What grounds do you have to dispute that?

However, God could have caused those mutations to give individuals certain traits which natural selection would then favor without his direct involvement (i.e. it's still a naturalistic process; it just has some divine guidance).

And fairies could have done it, too. Just asserting something could have happened is not the same as giving grounds to think it.

Irreducible Complexity

But some DO make the argument, you do know that, right?

In fact, on this very forum someone tried to throw out irreducible complexity recently.

It is not fair to bash on all theists like they're idiots for the fundamentalists' mistakes.

I didn't do that. I specifically said some DO.

Not every argument Dawkins makes is meant to apply to every theist.



The Worship of Gaps


You're missing his point. God has been used by many to spackle over gaps in knowledge. When we didn't know what lightning was, Goddidit. Now we know what it is, so we know that's not the case. The number of holes to spackle with a God concept has gone down, and he makes the point that, with the majority of holes now filled in rather than spackled with "goddidit", why should we think the remaining spackling is valid?

Like I said before, God isn't retreating; we are progressing. We are getting closer to the limits of knowledge.

We are progressing onto ground once asserted to be God's, which means the god hypothesis is shrinking as the naturalistic explanations expand.

But that [the limits of knowledge] would NOT mean that it was reasonable to conclude "goddidit", it would mean we don't know. Which certainly doesn't preclude god, but it does mean that the god ideas would be in with ALL THE OTHER ideas.

"I don't know" is a reasonable answer.

Yes, I realize just because we reach the limits of knowledge doesn't mean the default answer would be God. However, for those who have experienced God and know he exists, God would be the definite answer.

No, he wouldn't. Experience does not necessarily equal knowledge. It IS evidence. It is not necessarily the definitive evidence you think it is, unless you think that those who claim abduction by aliens have a definite answer that cannot be reasonable disagreed with.

Additionally, there is a possibility accepted by many theists that God is energy.

And, again, that it has been proposed does not mean it's rational. Which, to be very clear since you seem to me to be misreading much of what I'm writing, it doesn't necessarily mean it's not rational either. We determine that by assessing the grounds for the belief.

No one knows exactly what energy is, and there is a good chance no one ever will. This is a very rational explanation of God's role in the Universe.

No, it is not. 1, we have a pretty good idea of what energy is, though I by no mean assert we know everything totally. 2, not knowing everything about something does not necessarily make "god" a rational explanation.

Again, I make no absolute claims about God' nature, since I'm no saint, but it is always the possibility.

You do, however, make claims about what's "rational". But without having grounds for belief, it's not rational. And no, I'm not talking specifically about your experiences. Something like "god is energy", what's the basis for that being asserted as rational?

Science and spirituality really have began to intertwine in modern science (if you want proof just google "quantum physics and spirituality" and read some of the articles that come up).

Posting this betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the actual science involved. Please look critically at things.

"Spirituality" doesn't even have a concrete definition--it means something different to almost everyone. Is there some specific thing about quantum physics that you believe supports a specific thing about "spirituality".

The Anthropic Principle

Again, I think you're missing his point. There are MANY planets not within a habitable zone where life CAN exist. That one IS in the habitable zone, and that life has sprung up, isn't particularly surprising. As to the specifics of life ON Earth, in the habitable zone, it's not suprising that life would adapt to the conditions here. Arguing that the place was SET UP for life requires some evidence--there's evidence of adaptation, but not of design (of this specific sort, to be precise).

Do you know how many variables had to be perfectly in place for there to even BE a "habitable zone"?

What? No. Many stars have a habitable zone. Whether there are planets in it is another matter.
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bladerunner060
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1/28/2014 5:58:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Stephen Hawking himself affirmed to this. I accept that simply the sheer improbability of life isn't enough to prove God, but I do think that it makes the idea of God very plausible.

No, it doesn't. Because God requires an assessment of the plausibility of the claims about God, not the plausibility of other things.

Of course, atheists argue that if all those constants weren't in line, then we wouldn't even be here to argue about it, so we shouldn't be surprised by it, but even scientists don't like that argument because it insinuates that our very existence is nothing more than a fluke.

And we know "flukes" happen. We DON'T know "god" happens.


Instead, scientists have began talking about a "Multi-Verse", where there are many, many universes and each one has its own laws of physics, so naturally one of them would have the correct conditions for a habitable zone to form.
However, that is not even a theory, as it is wishful speculation with no real research behind it.

Well, there is speculative math which supports it as a concept, which is the parts about quantum physics that you were talking about earlier (I presume, since you didn't specify).

An Interlude at Cambridge

He's claiming that there's no reason to believe in a God, and that, further, there's no reason to suppose that we can't possibly discern god. If the latter were true, that would be even less reason to take the affirmative position, because the proper answer would be that we don't understand, NOT that X god claim is true.

Actually, there IS a reason to believe in God: spiritual experiences.
I realize that we've had this discussion before, but it is only logical for someone to believe in something which they have seen with their own eyes.

Only to a point. If you saw a purple zebra drinking a beer in your kitchen who turned to you say "hey", would your first reaction be "Well, it's clearly rational to believe in talking purple zebras," or would your reaction be to wonder if you're dreaming or hallucinating?

Also, Dawkins's rebuttal to the personal experience argument for God is laughable. He basically calls half the population of Earth liars or mental patients.

I dispute that "half" the population have had direct experience with God.

Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.

I don't recollect that claim being directly made.

Indirectly is no better.

So, he does NOT assert that, then.

The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.

The god concepts he attacks ARE like that: If you think "goddidit" is a satisfactory explanation, you don'

No self-respecting theist accepts "goddidit" as an answer for everything they don't understand.
That is a very fallacious stereotype you atheists seem to have.

Well, 1, I beg to differ, and 2, I find it amusing that you're willing to make sweeping claims, but it's okay when you do it, but if I make a claim that's pretty demonstrably true as to what SOME theists believe, somehow I have a "fallacious stereotype".
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bubbatheclown
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1/28/2014 5:58:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 5:40:10 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/28/2014 5:21:20 PM, bubbatheclown wrote:
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.



So I believe in crap now, do I?
But instead of posting an angry rant, I'll ask you this: why would God direct evolution when He could simply create everything?

1) It wasn't an angry rant. It was a rebuttal.

2) The scientific evidence says that life evolved.
The dusty old book says that life has been in its present state since creation.

I prefer to believe the scientific evidence.

The Earth was God's laboratory. Life was one of his experiments.
So naturally, his creations got more complicated over time, rather than him simply making them perfectly on the first try.

1. What I said was that I wasn't going to post an angry rant just because you deliberately insulted creationists everywhere.

2. There are scientific textbooks that endorse creationism. However, in any case, if your religion is bound by the cultural norms, is it worth practicing?
Think about it. If your God says "thou shalt not" something and you decide it's not to be taken literally what He said, then you're nitpicking your religion, deciding that what your senses are more trustworthy than the words of God, and the fictionalized idea of God that you serve is not worth serving.

3. So you're implying that God didn't know how to make it all perfect on one try. Well, if He's intelligent enough to determine the course of evolution then shouldn't He be smart enough to create everything? Plus, it would save a LOT of time.

P.S. I know your profile says you're a Sikh. I'm just saying.
Romanii
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1/28/2014 6:42:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is starting to drift from the original purpose of this forum.
Dawkins's main arguments were about pointing out the fallacies in the existence of God, and for the purpose of showing that, he assumes that God exists.
Thus, my rebuttals were operating on the same assumptions, with the sole purpose of showing that the concept of God is logically sound.

However, YOU are arguing that since we haven't even proven the existence of God yet, I can't even start going into the philosophical/theological/spiritual aspects of God and his nature.
That is not the purpose of this forum. I would never start a forum on the topic of God's existence because it is my belief that it is a dead-end discussion.

With that in mind, I will go ahead and answer your unrelated contentions, anyways:

At 1/28/2014 5:57:12 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

Experience does not necessarily equal knowledge. It IS evidence. It is not necessarily the definitive evidence you think it is, unless you think that those who claim abduction by aliens have a definite answer that cannot be reasonable disagreed with.

I haven't claimed at all that personal experience is definitive evidence of anything. I simply claimed that personal experience is ample evidence for an INDIVIDUAL to believe in something.
What do you not understand about that?

How is it unreasonable for someone to believe in something they have seen with their own eyes?

You gave the example of people who have claimed to be abducted by aliens.
It is definitely reasonable for me not to believe them, since I've never seen an alien.
However, it is NOT reasonable for me to tell them that THEY are being irrational to believe in aliens, since to them, their abduction was a major event their life.
From our perspective, we can speculate their experiences can be explained in some other way, but we can't dismiss the possibility that their abduction was by real aliens.
From their perspective, there is almost no doubt that their experiences were real.

The only atheistic argument that holds any merit is "lack of evidence", and even that argument does not warrant calling the people who believe in God because of personal experience delusional.
Romanii
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1/28/2014 6:49:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 5:58:19 PM, bubbatheclown wrote:
At 1/28/2014 5:40:10 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/28/2014 5:21:20 PM, bubbatheclown wrote:
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.



So I believe in crap now, do I?
But instead of posting an angry rant, I'll ask you this: why would God direct evolution when He could simply create everything?

1) It wasn't an angry rant. It was a rebuttal.

2) The scientific evidence says that life evolved.
The dusty old book says that life has been in its present state since creation.

I prefer to believe the scientific evidence.

The Earth was God's laboratory. Life was one of his experiments.
So naturally, his creations got more complicated over time, rather than him simply making them perfectly on the first try.

1. What I said was that I wasn't going to post an angry rant just because you deliberately insulted creationists everywhere.

Well, I'm sorry that you feel insulted, but it really is beyond me how people believe in Creationism rather than Evolution.

2. There are scientific textbooks that endorse creationism. However, in any case, if your religion is bound by the cultural norms, is it worth practicing?
Think about it. If your God says "thou shalt not" something and you decide it's not to be taken literally what He said, then you're nitpicking your religion, deciding that what your senses are more trustworthy than the words of God, and the fictionalized idea of God that you serve is not worth serving.

If by "words of God", you mean the Bible, then yes, I prefer my senses over that collection of ancient myths and folklore.

3. So you're implying that God didn't know how to make it all perfect on one try. Well, if He's intelligent enough to determine the course of evolution then shouldn't He be smart enough to create everything? Plus, it would save a LOT of time.

I didn't claim that God wasn't "smart" enough.
Simply that he was experimenting. Experimentation isn't a sign of dumbness. It's a sign of an innovative mindset.
bladerunner060
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1/28/2014 6:50:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 6:42:00 PM, Romanii wrote:
This is starting to drift from the original purpose of this forum.
Dawkins's main arguments were about pointing out the fallacies in the existence of God, and for the purpose of showing that, he assumes that God exists.
Thus, my rebuttals were operating on the same assumptions, with the sole purpose of showing that the concept of God is logically sound.

However, YOU are arguing that since we haven't even proven the existence of God yet, I can't even start going into the philosophical/theological/spiritual aspects of God and his nature.
That is not the purpose of this forum. I would never start a forum on the topic of God's existence because it is my belief that it is a dead-end discussion.

That's the entire point of Dawkins's book. That there is no reason to believe in god, and that the hypothesis, even if accepted, is still lacking.

I'm unsure how you could have missed that.

With that in mind, I will go ahead and answer your unrelated contentions, anyways:

At 1/28/2014 5:57:12 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

Experience does not necessarily equal knowledge. It IS evidence. It is not necessarily the definitive evidence you think it is, unless you think that those who claim abduction by aliens have a definite answer that cannot be reasonable disagreed with.

I haven't claimed at all that personal experience is definitive evidence of anything. I simply claimed that personal experience is ample evidence for an INDIVIDUAL to believe in something.

And I strongly disagree.

What do you not understand about that?

It's not what I don't understand. It's that YOU don't understand that it's not reasonably as definitive as you want to think.

How is it unreasonable for someone to believe in something they have seen with their own eyes?

Because we KNOW we can be fooled.

You gave the example of people who have claimed to be abducted by aliens.
It is definitely reasonable for me not to believe them, since I've never seen an alien.
However, it is NOT reasonable for me to tell them that THEY are being irrational to believe in aliens, since to them, their abduction was a major event their life.

It might be. If the person says, for example, "I took a bunch of mushrooms, then aliens came and abducted me, I'm not going to put too much stock in their experience, and they shouldn't either.

From our perspective, we can speculate their experiences can be explained in some other way, but we can't dismiss the possibility that their abduction was by real aliens.

This is an equivocation fallacy. We can't ever definitively prove that they didn't, no, but we can assess whether they're being rational in their claim.

From their perspective, there is almost no doubt that their experiences were real.

Which does not translate to "they're being rational".

The only atheistic argument that holds any merit is "lack of evidence", and even that argument does not warrant calling the people who believe in God because of personal experience delusional.

It does, if there are good grounds to call them delusional. That's what Dawkins is making the case of. I don't, personally, like to do that. Contrary to what you've said about me, I don't like making sweeping generalizations as a general rule. I'd rather take claims as they come, as a general rule.
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Romanii
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1/28/2014 7:17:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 6:50:51 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/28/2014 6:42:00 PM, Romanii wrote:
This is starting to drift from the original purpose of this forum.
Dawkins's main arguments were about pointing out the fallacies in the existence of God, and for the purpose of showing that, he assumes that God exists.
Thus, my rebuttals were operating on the same assumptions, with the sole purpose of showing that the concept of God is logically sound.

However, YOU are arguing that since we haven't even proven the existence of God yet, I can't even start going into the philosophical/theological/spiritual aspects of God and his nature.
That is not the purpose of this forum. I would never start a forum on the topic of God's existence because it is my belief that it is a dead-end discussion.

That's the entire point of Dawkins's book. That there is no reason to believe in god, and that the hypothesis, even if accepted, is still lacking.

I'm unsure how you could have missed that.

I did NOT miss that...
I am well-aware of the two major points in Dawkins's book:
1) There is no reason to believe in God
2) The God Hypothesis is lacking

However, he concentrated mainly on contention 2, and so that is also what I devoted this forum to.
I sufficiently refuted contention 2; rather than continue our discussion of that, you just switched the topic to contention 1, and now you're acting like I'm an idiot.

With that in mind, I will go ahead and answer your unrelated contentions, anyways:


I haven't claimed at all that personal experience is definitive evidence of anything. I simply claimed that personal experience is ample evidence for an INDIVIDUAL to believe in something.

And I strongly disagree.

With no real reason for doing so, I might add.

It's not what I don't understand. It's that YOU don't understand that it's not reasonably as definitive as you want to think.

It's definitive for the millions of people who have had those experiences.

How is it unreasonable for someone to believe in something they have seen with their own eyes?

Because we KNOW we can be fooled.

Over and over again, throughout our entire lives?
That sounds like a mental condition, and my doctor can assure you that my brain is in perfectly fine shape.

You gave the example of people who have claimed to be abducted by aliens.
It is definitely reasonable for me not to believe them, since I've never seen an alien.
However, it is NOT reasonable for me to tell them that THEY are being irrational to believe in aliens, since to them, their abduction was a major event their life.

It might be. If the person says, for example, "I took a bunch of mushrooms, then aliens came and abducted me, I'm not going to put too much stock in their experience, and they shouldn't either.

Are you insinuating that all theists with spiritual experiences really DO have mental conditions?
How can you make such a baseless, not to mention INSULTING, assumption?

From our perspective, we can speculate their experiences can be explained in some other way, but we can't dismiss the possibility that their abduction was by real aliens.

This is an equivocation fallacy. We can't ever definitively prove that they didn't, no, but we can assess whether they're being rational in their claim.

Have you ever assessed a theist's spiritual experience for rationality before?

The only atheistic argument that holds any merit is "lack of evidence", and even that argument does not warrant calling the people who believe in God because of personal experience delusional.

It does, if there are good grounds to call them delusional. That's what Dawkins is making the case of. I don't, personally, like to do that. Contrary to what you've said about me, I don't like making sweeping generalizations as a general rule. I'd rather take claims as they come, as a general rule.

I'm not trying to pin you as a bigot like Dawkins.
I'm sorry if I sounded like I was.
You have certainly proven to be much more reasonable and open-minded than him.

Let me try and refresh this, since I'm starting to feel that feeling in the back of my mind that usually hints the beginning of an online shouting match:

How do you justify the many spiritual experiences of other theists?
bladerunner060
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1/28/2014 7:55:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 7:17:01 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/28/2014 6:50:51 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/28/2014 6:42:00 PM, Romanii wrote:
This is starting to drift from the original purpose of this forum.
Dawkins's main arguments were about pointing out the fallacies in the existence of God, and for the purpose of showing that, he assumes that God exists.
Thus, my rebuttals were operating on the same assumptions, with the sole purpose of showing that the concept of God is logically sound.

However, YOU are arguing that since we haven't even proven the existence of God yet, I can't even start going into the philosophical/theological/spiritual aspects of God and his nature.
That is not the purpose of this forum. I would never start a forum on the topic of God's existence because it is my belief that it is a dead-end discussion.

That's the entire point of Dawkins's book. That there is no reason to believe in god, and that the hypothesis, even if accepted, is still lacking.

I'm unsure how you could have missed that.

I did NOT miss that...
I am well-aware of the two major points in Dawkins's book:
1) There is no reason to believe in God
2) The God Hypothesis is lacking

However, he concentrated mainly on contention 2, and so that is also what I devoted this forum to.
I sufficiently refuted contention 2; rather than continue our discussion of that, you just switched the topic to contention 1, and now you're acting like I'm an idiot.

I'm not trying to act like you're an idiot. I'm saying that the two contentions in his book are entwined. In most cases, he makes the argument that the god hypothesis's evidence is lacking, and then goes on to make the point that even if accepted it's lacking (well, he tries to, you are of course free to disagree).

I haven't claimed at all that personal experience is definitive evidence of anything. I simply claimed that personal experience is ample evidence for an INDIVIDUAL to believe in something.

And I strongly disagree.

With no real reason for doing so, I might add.

I have given several reasons why it's not necessarily ample evidence for an individual to believe in something. Personal experience cannot and should not be dismissed out of hand, but at the same time it needs to be looked at critically.

It's not what I don't understand. It's that YOU don't understand that it's not reasonably as definitive as you want to think.

It's definitive for the millions of people who have had those experiences.

But is it rationally definitive? (And I concede I didn't specify, but mea culpa, that was the point I was getting at).

How is it unreasonable for someone to believe in something they have seen with their own eyes?

Because we KNOW we can be fooled.

Over and over again, throughout our entire lives?

Depends on the specific claim.

Someone raised with a faith healer (who have nigh-universally been found to be frauds, and though I'm not precluding the possibility of a real one, I'm more speaking of the frauds), might not realize that they're being deceived, and have evidence from years and years that they THINK is definitive. The question is are they being rational about it.

That sounds like a mental condition, and my doctor can assure you that my brain is in perfectly fine shape.

Well, we haven't gotten into your personal experiences. That DOES seem a bit off-topic, although there isn't anything wrong with that, but you seem, to me, a bit reluctant to discuss your specific experiences or you'd have mentioned them explicitly already. If you'd like, we can talk about them.

You gave the example of people who have claimed to be abducted by aliens.
It is definitely reasonable for me not to believe them, since I've never seen an alien.
However, it is NOT reasonable for me to tell them that THEY are being irrational to believe in aliens, since to them, their abduction was a major event their life.

It might be. If the person says, for example, "I took a bunch of mushrooms, then aliens came and abducted me, I'm not going to put too much stock in their experience, and they shouldn't either.

Are you insinuating that all theists with spiritual experiences really DO have mental conditions?

No. I'm insinuating (and now outright saying) that even experiences should be questioned as to whether the "surface" interpretation is actually rational. The mushrooms thing was an example, a clear-cut case where the mushroom-eater would be irrational.

How can you make such a baseless, not to mention INSULTING, assumption?

But I'm not. I'm saying even experiences are subject to critical thinking.

If I were to make a general comment, I think that in MOST, and very likely ALL cases, there is a far more plausible answer. However, I don't dismiss personal experience out of hand, and each one should be taken on its relative merits.

From our perspective, we can speculate their experiences can be explained in some other way, but we can't dismiss the possibility that their abduction was by real aliens.

This is an equivocation fallacy. We can't ever definitively prove that they didn't, no, but we can assess whether they're being rational in their claim.

Have you ever assessed a theist's spiritual experience for rationality before?

Yes. Many times. The overwhelming majority of theists I've encountered who feel they've experienced the supernatural have much more plausible, mundane explanations that make more sense. However, that's anecdotal, of course.

I think you probably have, as well, because I think most people have, whether they're reading about the Son of Sam, or a friend tells them about how they met god that one time they got super high. But maybe you haven't.

The only atheistic argument that holds any merit is "lack of evidence", and even that argument does not warrant calling the people who believe in God because of personal experience delusional.

It does, if there are good grounds to call them delusional. That's what Dawkins is making the case of. I don't, personally, like to do that. Contrary to what you've said about me, I don't like making sweeping generalizations as a general rule. I'd rather take claims as they come, as a general rule.

I'm not trying to pin you as a bigot like Dawkins.
I'm sorry if I sounded like I was.
You have certainly proven to be much more reasonable and open-minded than him.

In general, I like Dawkins. But kind of like how you might like your crabby uncle.

Let me try and refresh this, since I'm starting to feel that feeling in the back of my mind that usually hints the beginning of an online shouting match:

How do you justify the many spiritual experiences of other theists?

In what sense? Each experience is different. I wouldn't presume to say that, for example, the explanation I'd give to a mushroom-eating-guy would be the same explanation that I'd give someone who WASN'T eating mushrooms...the mundane explanation for him is that it was a hallucination, because we know mushrooms cause hallucinations (well, I guess I didn't specify, but I am talking "Magic Mushrooms" here. I probably wouldn't make the same point to someone who just ate a portobello burger...)

In general, though, the overwhelming majority of religious experiences are consistent with the faith the believer already has, or at the very least consistent with the faith of the majority in the area from a statistical standpoint (and that is an assertion, I can look it up if you disagree). I think that doesn't preclude any individual case from being true, but lends weight to the idea that it's NOT an objective external force. At the same time, a savvy theist has a few arguments against that, so I already
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bladerunner060
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1/28/2014 7:56:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Whoops, some got cut off.

"So I already indicated it wasn't conclusive, but with that additional point it becomes...also...not conclusive?" is how I trailed that one off.
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Romanii
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1/28/2014 9:23:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 7:55:01 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/28/2014 7:17:01 PM, Romanii wrote:

How do you justify the many spiritual experiences of other theists?

In what sense? Each experience is different. I wouldn't presume to say that, for example, the explanation I'd give to a mushroom-eating-guy would be the same explanation that I'd give someone who WASN'T eating mushrooms...the mundane explanation for him is that it was a hallucination, because we know mushrooms cause hallucinations (well, I guess I didn't specify, but I am talking "Magic Mushrooms" here. I probably wouldn't make the same point to someone who just ate a portobello burger...)

In general, though, the overwhelming majority of religious experiences are consistent with the faith the believer already has, or at the very least consistent with the faith of the majority in the area from a statistical standpoint (and that is an assertion, I can look it up if you disagree). I think that doesn't preclude any individual case from being true, but le...

So it seems that you want to try and assess my own spiritual experiences...
I guess I can try taking a shot at describing it, although it is rather hard.

I think I'd rather PM it to you though.
After all, it is rather personal and I would rather not give it out for everyone to see without reason.
bladerunner060
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1/28/2014 9:43:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 9:23:12 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/28/2014 7:55:01 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/28/2014 7:17:01 PM, Romanii wrote:

How do you justify the many spiritual experiences of other theists?

In what sense? Each experience is different. I wouldn't presume to say that, for example, the explanation I'd give to a mushroom-eating-guy would be the same explanation that I'd give someone who WASN'T eating mushrooms...the mundane explanation for him is that it was a hallucination, because we know mushrooms cause hallucinations (well, I guess I didn't specify, but I am talking "Magic Mushrooms" here. I probably wouldn't make the same point to someone who just ate a portobello burger...)

In general, though, the overwhelming majority of religious experiences are consistent with the faith the believer already has, or at the very least consistent with the faith of the majority in the area from a statistical standpoint (and that is an assertion, I can look it up if you disagree). I think that doesn't preclude any individual case from being true, but le...

So it seems that you want to try and assess my own spiritual experiences...
I guess I can try taking a shot at describing it, although it is rather hard.

I think I'd rather PM it to you though.
After all, it is rather personal and I would rather not give it out for everyone to see without reason.

It's entirely your decision.
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bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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1/28/2014 9:54:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:
I'm aware that I have stolen the title of this forum from the title of a real book by Alister McGrath, but it's really catchy, and it's very relevant to the topic at hand.

So, I think Richard Dawkins is a bigot because he treats all theists as if they are religious fundamentalists, despite the fact that many are not. Some of his arguments are actually valid against certain religious sects with completely science-contradicting beliefs, but none are valid against more reasonable theists.

Thus, I'm going to do what I've been wanting to do ever since I read "The God Delusion": give a rebuttal to each of the major arguments presented in his book.

The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.

The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.
Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

An Interlude at Cambridge
Here, Dawkins argues against the very concept of God being metaphysical (i.e. beyond science, beyond materialism).
However, this is very ignorant, as our current scientific knowledge is actually fairly small in relation to the vastness of the Universe. What does he know about what's out there? How can he so boldly claim that there isn't something which is beyond our current comprehension of the universe?
He can't.

Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.
The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

Constructive criticisms and intelligent rebuttals are welcome.
Blind, Dawkins-like hate is not.

It's too bad Dawkins wasn't a true saint who has the knowledge of the past, present and future and learns that our flesh are only illusions formed by processed vibrations called energy. He would have thought much differently than God put in his mind during this age to confuse him.
AlbinoBunny
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1/29/2014 3:33:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/28/2014 5:32:45 PM, Romanii wrote:

Who said that God is that complex?
I can't claim to know everything about the nature of God, but God could be a simple as the Universe's consciousness. If pantheistic beliefs are correct, than God IS the universe. That isn't actually terrible complicated.

Maybe Thor is the universe too. Simples.
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Romanii
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1/29/2014 4:29:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/29/2014 3:33:55 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 1/28/2014 5:32:45 PM, Romanii wrote:

Who said that God is that complex?
I can't claim to know everything about the nature of God, but God could be a simple as the Universe's consciousness. If pantheistic beliefs are correct, than God IS the universe. That isn't actually terrible complicated.

Maybe Thor is the universe too. Simples.

Ancient religions were animistic. They slowly evolved over time into the complex mythologies we know today. Animism is more or less uneducated atheism.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/29/2014 5:17:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:
I'm aware that I have stolen the title of this forum from the title of a real book by Alister McGrath, but it's really catchy, and it's very relevant to the topic at hand.

So, I think Richard Dawkins is a bigot because he treats all theists as if they are religious fundamentalists, despite the fact that many are not. Some of his arguments are actually valid against certain religious sects with completely science-contradicting beliefs, but none are valid against more reasonable theists.


Thus, I'm going to do what I've been wanting to do ever since I read "The God Delusion": give a rebuttal to each of the major arguments presented in his book.


The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

I don't think that is exactly his argument here....

http://en.wikipedia.org...


Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

He could of, it could of, also it could be the case that there was no involvement from other beings in the evolution of life on earth.

Why would some one go out of their way to interject at best an unnecessary assumption ? I am guessing to reconcile it with a prior religious belief.


Irreducible Complexity
Here, Dawkins points out how some stupid creationists believe that evolution favors all the complexities of life coming about by pure chance. Dawkins correctly rebuts this absurd contention by saying that evolution favors natural selection , which is not random at all.
However, just as the creationist argument is based in a misunderstanding of evolution, Dawkins's argument is based in a misunderstanding of theistic beliefs.
Only some religious fundamentalists believe in such crap; many theists are very well-educated in evolutionary biology.


The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.

People used to have the concept of a God/Gods who were literally making this happen. God caused the earth quake, God made the sun go away.

It's a common theme, when people don't have an answer as to "why" they used invisible people with miracles powers as the explanation. eg God.

Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

So you see the limit of knowledge as some sort of justification for claiming God did it ? Back to God of the gaps.


The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

No they are no equally likely. Occams razor.


An Interlude at Cambridge
Here, Dawkins argues against the very concept of God being metaphysical (i.e. beyond science, beyond materialism).
However, this is very ignorant, as our current scientific knowledge is actually fairly small in relation to the vastness of the Universe. What does he know about what's out there? How can he so boldly claim that there isn't something which is beyond our current comprehension of the universe?
He can't.

Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.
The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

Yes they can. The problem is that when it comes to their own religious beliefs they don't apply the same rational tool kit.

Count up all the excuses you need to make "God" compatible with the evidence.

Excuses are a dime a doze. Go to any conspiracy theorist website. You will never prove their conspiracy wrong cause they can also inject another excuse. Ahhh yes BUT, the alien lizard people.........RUN THE GOVERNMENT WITH THEIR MIND RAYS !!!

And to me that is the deception of religion is generally. It demands that you use a different standard of reasoning when it comes to it's claims.

So you have excuse after excuse to make God compatible with the evidence ? good for you, doesn't impress me.

What would impress me is you using the same standard of reasoning on your own religious beliefs.

Till then, I for one welcome our new alien overlords.


Constructive criticisms and intelligent rebuttals are welcome.
Blind, Dawkins-like hate is not.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Romanii
Posts: 4,851
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1/29/2014 5:43:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/29/2014 5:17:25 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:

The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

I don't think that is exactly his argument here....

His argument was basically "who designed the designer, then?"
And according to religion, no one did. God has existed in a steady state since the beginning of eternity.


Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

He could of, it could of, also it could be the case that there was no involvement from other beings in the evolution of life on earth.

Yes. Open-minded theists do accept that possibility.


The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.

People used to have the concept of a God/Gods who were literally making this happen. God caused the earth quake, God made the sun go away.

It's a common theme, when people don't have an answer as to "why" they used invisible people with miracles powers as the explanation. eg God.

That is incorrect.
Most ancient religions were animistic at first. They slowly evolved over time into the complex mythologies we know today through literary and oral tradition.
Animism is basically uneducated atheism.
Many of the cultures currently practicing animism don't even have a WORD for "God".

Real, theistic religions have come about since then and have more or less replaced animism.


Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

So you see the limit of knowledge as some sort of justification for claiming God did it ? Back to God of the gaps.

I don't think you see the reason for why the limits of knowledge EXIST. The reason is, that those are the points where spirituality begins the intersect with science, and science simply cannot comprehend anything which is not governed by solid, mathematical laws.
We already can see this happening in Quantum Mechanics, befuddling even some of the greatest atheistic minds.


The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

No they are no equally likely. Occams razor.

Occam's Razor states that the most simplistic theory is more likely to be correct.
However, early evolutionary biology isn't really any more simplistic than Earth being specially made for life, so your point is invalid.


Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.
The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

Yes they can. The problem is that when it comes to their own religious beliefs they don't apply the same rational tool kit.

Count up all the excuses you need to make "God" compatible with the evidence.

Lets see... one.. two... oh, wait, those aren't excuses... soooooo... zero. Done!


Excuses are a dime a doze. Go to any conspiracy theorist website. You will never prove their conspiracy wrong cause they can also inject another excuse. Ahhh yes BUT, the alien lizard people.........RUN THE GOVERNMENT WITH THEIR MIND RAYS !!!

Except with conspiracy theories, there are always infinitely more rational and well-evidenced theories explaining what actually happened.


And to me that is the deception of religion is generally. It demands that you use a different standard of reasoning when it comes to it's claims.

Not necessarily.


So you have excuse after excuse to make God compatible with the evidence ? good for you, doesn't impress me.

Excuses? Where?


What would impress me is you using the same standard of reasoning on your own religious beliefs.

Try me.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/29/2014 6:11:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/29/2014 5:43:11 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/29/2014 5:17:25 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/27/2014 10:32:04 PM, Romanii wrote:

The Ultimate Boeing 747
Dawkins argues that a being as complicated as God could not have come about by natural processes.
However, no theist has ever claimed that God came about by natural processes. According to most religions, he is "without birth and without death".
As the being who created the laws of science, he is not bound by them.

I don't think that is exactly his argument here....

His argument was basically "who designed the designer, then?"
And according to religion, no one did. God has existed in a steady state since the beginning of eternity.


Natural Selection as a Consciousness-Raiser
Dawkins argues that Evolution is fact, which I agree with.
However, he goes on to say that if God is compatible with Evolution, then all he really would be responsible for is starting it up, and such a lazy deistic God has no purpose of existence at all.
But, as I will argue on the behalf of theistic evolution, God could have most definitely been actively involved in Evolution. He could have caused certain mutations within organisms' genomes. He could have brought upon Earth the major events which shaped the environment and set the stage for certain groups of species to become successful.
Theistic Evolution means that God directed Evolution; not just that God caused Evolution

He could of, it could of, also it could be the case that there was no involvement from other beings in the evolution of life on earth.

Yes. Open-minded theists do accept that possibility.


The Worship of Gaps
Dawkins argues that religious people often credit anything not explained by science to God, and that historically, God's role in the Universe has apparently shrank with every major progression of science.
However, this is untrue.
Science is the discovery of the workings of God's creation. It is not God's role in the universe which is shrinking, but our knowledge of the Universe which is expanding. God's role has not changed, We are just getting closer to understanding the full picture of the Universe.

People used to have the concept of a God/Gods who were literally making this happen. God caused the earth quake, God made the sun go away.

It's a common theme, when people don't have an answer as to "why" they used invisible people with miracles powers as the explanation. eg God.

That is incorrect.
Most ancient religions were animistic at first. They slowly evolved over time into the complex mythologies we know today through literary and oral tradition.
Animism is basically uneducated atheism.
Many of the cultures currently practicing animism don't even have a WORD for "God".

Real, theistic religions have come about since then and have more or less replaced animism.


Of course, open-minded theists do accept that there is a chance that science will reach the point that there is no more room for God.
However, atheists must also acknowledge the even bigger chance that science will eventually reach a point where it can progress no further.
Scientists often talk about the possible "limits of knowledge", which seem to be approaching rapidly on the extreme small scale (i.e. quantum mechanics, particle physics, string theory), as well as the extreme large scale (i.e. multi-verse, space-time).

So you see the limit of knowledge as some sort of justification for claiming God did it ? Back to God of the gaps.

I don't think you see the reason for why the limits of knowledge EXIST. The reason is, that those are the points where spirituality begins the intersect with science, and science simply cannot comprehend anything which is not governed by solid, mathematical laws.
We already can see this happening in Quantum Mechanics, befuddling even some of the greatest atheistic minds.


The Anthropic Principle
Dawkins argues that Earth was not specifically crafted for life, but life adapted to live on Earth.
However, neither Dawkins nor the theists can prove this one way or the other. Either form of speculation is equally likely, and obviously people will choose the form that best suites their beliefs.

No they are no equally likely. Occams razor.

Occam's Razor states that the most simplistic theory is more likely to be correct.
However, early evolutionary biology isn't really any more simplistic than Earth being specially made for life, so your point is invalid.


Conclusion

The main problem I have with Dawkins is how he constantly asserts throughout the book that it is impossible to have a rational mind as a theist.
The most ridiculous part of his entire book is his analogy that believing in God is like wearing a burka and limiting your world view.
A theist is perfectly capable of looking at the world critically/skeptically/rationally and learning the true workings of the Universe just as well as any atheist.

Yes they can. The problem is that when it comes to their own religious beliefs they don't apply the same rational tool kit.

Count up all the excuses you need to make "God" compatible with the evidence.

Lets see... one.. two... oh, wait, those aren't excuses... soooooo... zero. Done!


Excuses are a dime a doze. Go to any conspiracy theorist website. You will never prove their conspiracy wrong cause they can also inject another excuse. Ahhh yes BUT, the alien lizard people.........RUN THE GOVERNMENT WITH THEIR MIND RAYS !!!

Except with conspiracy theories, there are always infinitely more rational and well-evidenced theories explaining what actually happened.


And to me that is the deception of religion is generally. It demands that you use a different standard of reasoning when it comes to it's claims.

Not necessarily.


So you have excuse after excuse to make God compatible with the evidence ? good for you, doesn't impress me.

Excuses? Where?

Religion. Every excuse every made. Every special pleading done to justify some objection to a religious claim.



What would impress me is you using the same standard of reasoning on your own religious beliefs.

Try me.

What's the more rational belief.....

1) That aliens walk among us, yet we can detect them cause they are in disguises, even at the dna level

2) That such aliens walking among us do not exist, the claim that they are in disguise in just an excuse in light of the lack of evidence of such aliens.

What's more rational ?

If you accept that are humans the result of evolution by random mutation and natural selection what is the more rational belief concerning God here....

1) God exists and even though he could of made humans instantly he choose to take a more indirect route. Not to mention all the death, suffering, striving that evolution entails.

2) No such God made the decision to create humans in this way. The claim that God choose to do things this way it just an excuse in light of the evidence that we are the result of evolution and not an instantaneous creation act.

Whats more rational ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Romanii
Posts: 4,851
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1/29/2014 6:23:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/29/2014 6:11:18 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/29/2014 5:43:11 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/29/2014 5:17:25 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
So you have excuse after excuse to make God compatible with the evidence ? good for you, doesn't impress me.

Excuses? Where?

Religion. Every excuse every made. Every special pleading done to justify some objection to a religious claim.

Just because you don't like it doesn't automatically make it an excuse...


What's the more rational belief.....

1) That aliens walk among us, yet we can detect them cause they are in disguises, even at the dna level

2) That such aliens walking among us do not exist, the claim that they are in disguise in just an excuse in light of the lack of evidence of such aliens.

What's more rational ?

Option 2.
But this analogy isn't very accurate. To fix it, we must include that millions of people around the world have claims to seeing these hidden aliens in their true forms.


If you accept that are humans the result of evolution by random mutation and natural selection what is the more rational belief concerning God here....

1) God exists and even though he could of made humans instantly he choose to take a more indirect route. Not to mention all the death, suffering, striving that evolution entails.

Life was one of God's experiments. It is natural that he would start small and gradually make his way up to much more complex beings.


2) No such God made the decision to create humans in this way. The claim that God choose to do things this way it just an excuse in light of the evidence that we are the result of evolution and not an instantaneous creation act.

Like I've said before, science is the discovery of God's creation. Our knowledge of the Universe and its workings is progressing. God's role isn't changing.


Whats more rational ?

All things considered, option 1.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/29/2014 7:19:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/29/2014 6:23:24 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/29/2014 6:11:18 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/29/2014 5:43:11 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/29/2014 5:17:25 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
So you have excuse after excuse to make God compatible with the evidence ? good for you, doesn't impress me.

Excuses? Where?

Religion. Every excuse every made. Every special pleading done to justify some objection to a religious claim.

Just because you don't like it doesn't automatically make it an excuse...


What's the more rational belief.....

1) That aliens walk among us, yet we can detect them cause they are in disguises, even at the dna level

2) That such aliens walking among us do not exist, the claim that they are in disguise in just an excuse in light of the lack of evidence of such aliens.

What's more rational ?

Option 2.
But this analogy isn't very accurate. To fix it, we must include that millions of people around the world have claims to seeing these hidden aliens in their true forms.


If you accept that are humans the result of evolution by random mutation and natural selection what is the more rational belief concerning God here....

1) God exists and even though he could of made humans instantly he choose to take a more indirect route. Not to mention all the death, suffering, striving that evolution entails.

Life was one of God's experiments. It is natural that he would start small and gradually make his way up to much more complex beings.

That's the excuse making right there.

It is natural that the aliens would disguise themselves to not alarm us........



2) No such God made the decision to create humans in this way. The claim that God choose to do things this way it just an excuse in light of the evidence that we are the result of evolution and not an instantaneous creation act.

Like I've said before, science is the discovery of God's creation. Our knowledge of the Universe and its workings is progressing. God's role isn't changing.

Oh okey, so when confronted with evidence and reason you just operate on the principle..........okey how to I make this compatible with my prior religious belief.

That isn't very objective now is it ?



Whats more rational ?

All things considered, option 1.

Your wrong. All you did was make up an excuse to make option 1 compatible. That doesn't make it more rational to believe, and the fact that you had to make up ANOTHER excuse............

Don't waste my time talking about reason when all you can do is make up excuses for your own prior religious belief. You don't think we havn't heard that all before ?

Excuse, upon excuse, upon special pleading, upon special pleading and just taking a massive dump on occams razor.

We don't accept it for conspiracy theorist, we don't accept if for aliens,.................how about, we don't accept it for "God" and all religious beliefs eh ?

That's the double standard.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Romanii
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1/29/2014 7:58:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/29/2014 7:19:48 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/29/2014 6:23:24 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/29/2014 6:11:18 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:

1) God exists and even though he could of made humans instantly he choose to take a more indirect route. Not to mention all the death, suffering, striving that evolution entails.

Life was one of God's experiments. It is natural that he would start small and gradually make his way up to much more complex beings.

That's the excuse making right there.

Again, just because you don't like it doesn't make it an excuse.


It is natural that the aliens would disguise themselves to not alarm us........

That is actually not too bad of an explanation if we assume that they do exist.




2) No such God made the decision to create humans in this way. The claim that God choose to do things this way it just an excuse in light of the evidence that we are the result of evolution and not an instantaneous creation act.

Like I've said before, science is the discovery of God's creation. Our knowledge of the Universe and its workings is progressing. God's role isn't changing.

Oh okey, so when confronted with evidence and reason you just operate on the principle..........okey how to I make this compatible with my prior religious belief.

Don't waste my time talking about reason when all you can do is make up excuses for your own prior religious belief. You don't think we havn't heard that all before ?

Is there something so damn wrong with changing my beliefs when presented with new evidence?
Is that not what the scientists have been doing for the past 500 years?

Religion is the search for spiritual truth. Science is the search for materialistic truth.
They are both searching for the truth. Why the hell would they not be compatible!?

You can claim that "spirituality" doesn't exist, but have seen for myself that it does exist, and the scientists studying quantum theory are actually getting close to proving that there is something beyond the realm of the rational and mathematical.

Your wrong. All you did was make up an excuse to make option 1 compatible. That doesn't make it more rational to believe, and the fact that you had to make up ANOTHER excuse............
Excuse, upon excuse, upon special pleading, upon special pleading and just taking a massive dump on occams razor.

Are you an idiot?
Is mindlessly accusing me of making excuses the best that you can do?
Why don't you try to keep an open mind and actually try to comprehend what I'm saying?
Or is your desire to feel superior to the religious too strong to even try?


We don't accept it for conspiracy theorist, we don't accept if for aliens,.................how about, we don't accept it for "God" and all religious beliefs eh ?

That's the double standard.

I've had spiritual experiences proving the existence of God to me.
There is no evidence against the existence of God at all.
Thus is is logical for me to believe in God.

Dawkins attempted to disprove God by assuming his existence and using logic from there, but he epicly failed, because the majority of theists are much more reasonable than he suspects.

In essence, what you're basically saying is that I'm not ALLOWED to change my religious beliefs...
What kind of idiotic logic is that?
AlbinoBunny
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1/30/2014 7:32:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/29/2014 4:29:30 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/29/2014 3:33:55 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 1/28/2014 5:32:45 PM, Romanii wrote:

Who said that God is that complex?
I can't claim to know everything about the nature of God, but God could be a simple as the Universe's consciousness. If pantheistic beliefs are correct, than God IS the universe. That isn't actually terrible complicated.

Maybe Thor is the universe too. Simples.

Ancient religions were animistic. They slowly evolved over time into the complex mythologies we know today. Animism is more or less uneducated atheism.

Relevance?
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Romanii
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1/30/2014 8:44:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 7:32:41 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 1/29/2014 4:29:30 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 1/29/2014 3:33:55 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 1/28/2014 5:32:45 PM, Romanii wrote:

Who said that God is that complex?
I can't claim to know everything about the nature of God, but God could be a simple as the Universe's consciousness. If pantheistic beliefs are correct, than God IS the universe. That isn't actually terrible complicated.

Maybe Thor is the universe too. Simples.

Ancient religions were animistic. They slowly evolved over time into the complex mythologies we know today. Animism is more or less uneducated atheism.

Relevance?

BASICALLY, since you don't seem to be getting it... Those ancient "gods" weren't even viewed as gods by their believers. They were simply personifications of nature.
The ancients were atheists who didn't know science, hence the term "uneducated atheism".