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18 Things For Atheists to Think About

Conservative101
Posts: 191
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6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids? Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.

12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".

13. There are quite a few flaws in materialism. For example, matter seems "responsible" for our thoughts, emotions, and perhaps even our moral institutions. Why should I trust my own beliefs when I know that my beliefs are only made up of an arrangement of atoms? How can materialism account for the fact that we consider our accounts of the world to be not merely chemically generated reactions but true beliefs?

14. The universe follows mathematical laws, when it has no reason to. If there is no divine creator, then why do things in the universe follow a certain set of patterns and laws?

15. Whenever you encounter A, it has to be caused by B. But then B has to be accounted for, so let us say it is caused by C. This tracing of causes cannot continue indefinitely, because if it did, nothing would have ever come into existence. Therefore there must be an original cause responsible for the chain of causation in the first place. To this, we give the name God. But what caused God? Since God is by definition outside the universe, he is not part of the series. Therefore the rules of the series, including the rules of causation, would not logically apply to him.

16. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "miracle".

17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?

18. The anthropic principle states that the universe we perceive must be of precisely such a nature as will make possible living beings who can perceive it. Why are the universal conditions just right for life to exist?
When in doubt, start riots and scream racism
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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6/12/2014 7:28:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

The success of religion and believing in things that don't exist aren't at odds with natural selection. So I don't know why you would ask a question like this.

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

You're right, evolution doesn't explain the origin of life. So?

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids? Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

Evolution doesn't suppose any of that. Even if a god or alien or whatever started the first life on Earth, evolution would still occur.

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

I don't know. And there is nothing wrong with acknowledging when you don't know something. I would argue that just deciding your god is responsible is much less helpful.

5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

Morality and altruism are beneficial to survival. And they are traits exhibited in other animals like chimpanzees and bats.

6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.

That needs some further explanation. That's like saying humans can't explain themselves because they're humans.

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

Atheists don't claim that we've discovered everything.

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

Atheists don't necessarily claim miracles to be impossible.

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

I don't know of any atheists who claim anything about heaven or hell. Why should we think about this if we don't believe in these things?

10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.

How does faith "reach beyond the empirical realm?" Some of this post is starting to seem like word salad.

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.

This ignores the potential problems of worshiping the wrong god, or in the correct way, or eschewing the normal pleasures of life out of fear.

12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".

That's not at all what evolutionary theory says. And evolutionary theory has moved far beyond what Darwin posited.

13. There are quite a few flaws in materialism. For example, matter seems "responsible" for our thoughts, emotions, and perhaps even our moral institutions. Why should I trust my own beliefs when I know that my beliefs are only made up of an arrangement of atoms? How can materialism account for the fact that we consider our accounts of the world to be not merely chemically generated reactions but true beliefs?

Again, it's okay to say we don't know.

14. The universe follows mathematical laws, when it has no reason to. If there is no divine creator, then why do things in the universe follow a certain set of patterns and laws?

Again, it's okay to say you don't know.

15. Whenever you encounter A, it has to be caused by B. But then B has to be accounted for, so let us say it is caused by C. This tracing of causes cannot continue indefinitely, because if it did, nothing would have ever come into existence. Therefore there must be an original cause responsible for the chain of causation in the first place. To this, we give the name God. But what caused God? Since God is by definition outside the universe, he is not part of the series. Therefore the rules of the series, including the rules of causation, would not logically apply to him.

Special pleading.

16. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "miracle".

So what?

17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?

Human life is not a watch. The two aren't comparable.

18. The anthropic principle states that the universe we perceive must be of precisely such a nature as will make possible living beings who can perceive it. Why are the universal conditions just right for life to exist?

Again, it's okay to say you don't know.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/12/2014 7:55:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

Most species are adapted to bias false positives over false negatives. It's better to be overly cautious and accept things than it is not to be in the context if evolution. If you make a false positive, no big deal, if you make a false negative though, then you may well be lunch.

We're very good pattern seekers and apply explanations to things even tho they are true. The world being flat, the sun orbiting the earth, diseases being demons inhabiting the body, witches....

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life.

Correct, it doesn't pretend to.

There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life.

False. The field of abiogenesis is real.

The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

How so? How good is your knowledge of chemistry? Do you know what it would have taken to produce the simplest possible living organism? Abiogenesis doesn't seem to think it's a problem, in fact the presence of oxygen is adverse to many abiogenesis hypothesis.

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids?

Nope, and it's just as well We don't make that claim.

Who programmed the cell with its digital code?

"Who" presupposes personality, and code is just a description, DNA is a polymeric molecule first and foremost.

Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

No. No. No. You already said evolution doesn't address OOL so why are you now changing your assertion? The first living organism produced by abiogenesis would have been completely different to even the simplest of living organisms today... 4,( billions years is a long time for stuff to change. And most of these properties are emergent ones.

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

I don't know. Seems readonable that conciousness is an emergent property of the brain, like MS windows is an emergent property of the electrons in your RAM and CPU.

5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

We are a social species. Social species naturally survive better if they cooperate better, compassion is one such method.

6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.

That's why you have science (inductive natural philosophy), and pure philosophy. And nobody has made the claim the universe 'evolved' from NS.

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide.

Agreed.

Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous,

Not necessarily, but agreed.

because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

This is called an appeal to ignorance. Just because we don't know everything doesn't make something any more plausible.

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

Miracles are by definition a break in the natural laws... So the laws would have to be right in order for a miracle to actually be a miracle... It kind of defeats the point of labeling it such if it were within a natural explanation, lol.

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe,

How do you know that? Bald assertion.

so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

They don't have to exist either. Making extraneous assumptions is a sure fire way of getting an explanation wrong. Occurs razor.

10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence.

Opus propandi. The only evidence of absense IS absense of evidence. Albeit difficult to prove a negative, there is plenty if reason to accept the conclusion false.

Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.

Faith is accepting a conclusion that you would not otherwise accept by any rational method.

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.

Pascal's wager.

If God doesn't exist and I pretend to believe, then I have let it influence every aspect if my life, and seriously nevativitly impacted both it and my society. It's not just a metwphysical error. Plus with the inummersble mutually exclusive other religions, it's hardly likely I would pick the right one anyway.
steffon66
Posts: 240
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6/12/2014 7:56:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

what do you mean if there was a survival of the fittest? what does that have to do with the belief in religion. i dont understand what your saying. no point made. and the success of religion you speak of has been in the past convencing the majority of people that others need to be killed and tortured for victimless "crimes" which today arent considered to be wrong. if religion succeeded we would all have a good morality and we would all have the same morality but as it is we cant be judged by one morality as if people dont know somethings wrong they cant be judged for it. if there was going to be a judge who would punish everybody for wrong doing he should first make sure we know right from wrong. and every single precept is controversial and our moralities have changed almost completely if not completely over the years so which time did we have it right or have we ever had it right? if history has taught me anything its that not many men if any are competent enough to judge another person. not to mention if we can be retarded or genius or sane or insane because of the physical condition of the brain could we not also be bad or good because of the condition of our brains? why dont you think about that. religion offers no proof or any evidence that we have free will. and religions arent credable to rational people who know better than people who believe in religious pluralism because theres thousands of religions where only one can be true as most of them all claim to be the one true god and there all different and there is no reason a perfect god would want us to have opposing moralities and flawed moralities and you have to admit flaws because they have changed and whats right doesnt change. again if your a (rational person youll understand. and as for the christian religion and a few others... if nobody is perfect then we dont have the ability to be perfect so our imperfections shouldnt even be punishable as we have to be imperfect. we certainly dont deserve eternal torment for being imperfect when all men are imperfect. thats rediculous.
and the rest of what you said which i have read all of was from what i can see crap. and evolution being untrue still wouldnt prove the existence of a god. if there was a magic so great it could make a god out of nothing thats all knowing all powerful etc. it sould be a little more logical that this magical power came up with us. and maybe its beyond our understanding and i can garantee you it is beyond some peoples understandings so why dont you just say i dont know like a rational person instead of being one of the thousands if not millions of different kinds of lottery players (the religious) playing lottery for salvation.
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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6/12/2014 7:58:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm not an atheist, but I think that the position is highly reasonable and rational.

At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?


Religion fosters community, and it's a natural response to the unknown.

2. Evolution... preposterous.

3. The... cell?


Natural selection, but otherwise random mutation.

Even if you think those are insufficient, the best you get from this is a God of the Gaps. Just because something can't be explained by physical causes right now doesn't mean we assume the supernatural in the meantime, that's unwise.

4. How... us?


This is the best of your 18, I think.

But you have to remember, atheism is simply the lack of belief in a deity. It is not the lack of belief in the spiritual. Things like consciousness can exist without the One God posited by Judeo-Christianity. See Buddhism, which believes staunchly in spirits, but would deny your claims of your God.

5. Where... blood?


Altruism makes a lot of sense biologically. Read any biology textbook.

6. The... materialism.


What idiot thinks the universe is subject to natural selection? That doesn't even make sense.

Naturalism and materialism are "isms" or ideologies. A physical framework does not need to account for the ideologies that we use to describe it. Nature does not "make a case".

7. Immanuel... plausible.


The existence of a deity does not follow from epistemological skepticism.

I myself am a skeptic- I doubt whether we can know anything. How does that vindicate theism? Regardless of my epistemological stance, I will go with what I trust most. I trust what I can detect with my senses. I have no good reason to believe in a deity for the same reason that you have no reason to believe that Bugs Bunny is in my closet.

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.


Science is not often found to be erroneous. It has never once been found to be erroneous in our history as a human race. We, as fallible humans, have made mistakes in interpreting data, but the universe has always been consistent.

With that said, you're right that I can't be sure that miracles are "impossible". You're essentially just saying that I can't be sure that the universe will remain consistent- see the Problem of Induction.

But what's the better route to go if I hear a story about a guy who lived 2000 years ago who seemed to have magically risen from the dead and healed sick people and walked on water? Given that the universe has never even once been shown to be inconsistent or unpredictable (let's not get into quantum physics), I'd much rather assume consistency then trust an old book's account. You don't believe accounts of magic, do you? Look at Rasputin's death sequence and supposed powers. Do you believe that he had supernatural powers just because a few sources posit it? No, you look for physical explanations and assume that there is, in fact, a physical explanation until absolutely proven otherwise.

Why would it be any different with your specific miracles that you claim happen? I don't deny that they are possible, but I have no reason to posit that they actually have happened, do happen, or ever will happen, given that science has not found a single instance of inconsistency within nature.

9. There... universe.


True.

But because they are outside of our universe, why would I believe in them? I would have to get very good evidence to believe in such things.

10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.


I think you mistyped this, or I'm just stupid and don't get what you're saying :)

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.


Pascal's Wager.

1. How do I know this God doesn't like atheists and likes Christians better? Maybe you blaspheme Him even more than we do.

2. In the same line as the other, why am I assuming the Judeo-Christian God? Am I not in equal danger from Vishnu and Odin and Zeus?

3. I'm pretty sure God wouldn't take too kindly to me having fake belief in him just because I'm afraid he's going to punish me. I'm sure that God, if he as good as you say He is, would prefer me to be resolute in my nonreligious views rather than force belief in him so that I get presents from Santa, so to speak.

12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".


1. Overpopulation.

2. Homosexuality is found within nature, so I'm pretty sure nature is more subtle than you give it credit.

3. Humans, especially, have rationality. We can override primal instincts. You might have a legitimate argument if you referred to asexuals, who don't even have the instinct to reproduce, but I think we can both agree they are exceptions. There are exceptions and outliers and unintended results in all processes.

13. There... beliefs?


One simple answer would be, you don't have to trust your own beliefs. No one is forcing you to. But you have nothing better to go off of, so I would just go on that.

14. The universe follows mathematical laws, when it has no reason to. If there is no divine creator, then why do things in the universe follow a certain set of patterns and laws?


Why wouldn't they?

15. Whenever... him.


Why doesn't God have to have a cause? You say because He is outside of our universe and therefore not subject to its law of causation.

So, why do you deny the possibility of a greater space-time fabric whence our universe with its rules of causation and possibly other universes arose? That greater fabric would be outside our rules of causation, so I don't need to justify its existence any more than you justify the existence of God.

16. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "miracle".


But it wasn't.

17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?


A gold watch has virtually zero chance of being in the desert like that unless it is the work of humans.

Humans, on the other hand, could have arisen from biological processes, i.e. evolution.

18. The anthropic principle states that the universe we perceive must be of precisely such a nature as will make possible living beings who can perceive it. Why are the universal conditions just right for life to exist?

Why do the universal conditions only allow life in less than .000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the universe, so far as we have seen? Quite the shabby creation, I must say.
Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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6/12/2014 8:28:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
(1 through 5)
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?
I'd like to start by pointing out that Darwin never coined the term "survival of the fittest". He stated "survival of the most adaptable", and the alternative phrase was coined by Herbert Spencer and it's a shame that Darwin didn't demand adherence to his original wording which is much more accurate. The human race has utilized intelligence as such a successful survival method that we've more or less excluded ourselves from the common threats to survival. That has an unfortunate side-effect of allowing people to now survive relying heavily on the intelligence of others. In fact, this has resulted in a dramatic loss of brain mass (roughly equivalent to the size of a tennis ball) in homo sapiens over the past 25,000 years. The most intelligent members of our species are now capable of over-seeing the protection and survival of even the least intelligent. Have you noted that mental retardation in terms of intellect presents any dramatic challenge to survival among humans? In most non-human species, it spells an early death and very little chance of reproduction. We don't withdraw societies protection simply because a person is intellectually below the norm.

And if you think about it, and the fact that dozens of studies have confirmed that less intelligent people tend to be more religious, and that less religious people tend to be more intelligent, this also helps to explain the longevity of religion which now finally appears to be entering it's final phase prior to being surrendered to mythology.

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.
Evolution doesn't address the origin of life. It addresses the origin and diversification of species. The origin of life is addressed by the very promising and quickly progressing field of abiogenesis. Contrary to your suggestion, there is a great deal of evidence demonstrating not only that life likely did arise from non-life, but showing that to be - by far - the most promising likelihood. We have developed many different forms of proto-cells which - while not being fully qualified as "alive" - exhibit several of he various factors necessary to be defined as "alive".

Theists often choose to think of life as some kind of magical quality which possesses some structures of matter. But the reality is that life is simply a small collection of chemical processes. When 5 or 6 of these processes exist within a sample, the sample qualifies under the term "alive".

Your comments concerning the likely atmosphere of pre-biotic Earth demonstrate an ignorance in that oxygen is very often deadly to microbes. The white blood cells in your body often kill microscopic intruders through the use of oxygen. Just because we breathe oxygen and utilize it in cell metabolism, doesn't mean that oxygen is the necessary friendly gas to all life. Even today we have many forms of single-celled life which flourish in sulfur-rich environments, ammonia-rich environments, highly acidic environments, and many others which perish rapidly in oxygen-rich environments. The primary reason we don't tend to see new cell types arising today is that most such simple cells cannot flourish in an atmosphere rich in oxygen.

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids? Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?
When you talk about the "simplest cells" you're talking about the simplest cells today. It's wise to remember that those cells have undergone approximately 3.5 billion years of evolutionary advancements, making them some of the most highly evolved biological samples on the planet. And no, evolution does not claim today's cells arose fully formed - quite the opposite. The first cells likely had no DNA.

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?
Consciousness arises from the cross-monitoring of numerous cognitive processing centers in the brain. The two most prominent in the human brain are the ("old brain") amygdala and dopamine neurons, and the ("new brain") prefrontal cortex. One can direct cognitive processing to either of these centers or even to both. The actual direction takes place in the prefrontal cortex which also serves as the seat of rational cognition. But we can choose to direct processing to the old "emotional brain" instead. However, there is a difference in cognitive output. Processing performed in the prefrontal cortex tends to be highly rational and more devoid of emotional input, while processing in the amygdala and dopamine neurons is more emotionally charged and less rational. It pays to recognize that the appeals we get from theists to "listen with your heart", "decide with the heart", "let God into your heart", are all pleas to emotionalism and unwitting instructions to bypass rational processing and default to the emotional base of the "old brain".

However, in the fact that the prefrontal cortex can monitor the cognitive processes in the amygdala, and the amygdala can monitor the processing in the prefrontal cortex, we become aware of our own thought processes. And this is the seat of consciousness - awareness of being the product (personality) of our own thoughts. In addition, we have two distinct personalities in the two hemispheres of the brain. Each one tends to be dissimilar to the personality we exude, which is the culmination of the two personalities produced by the hemispheres. Ordinarily, these two hemispheres operate in unison, but disruption of the temporal lobe can result in each detecting the other as another presence. When this happens, people often describe the experience as "spiritual", because they feel very much as though there is another entity within them.

5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?
This is an evolutionary adaptation. Think about a society where no one gave an inch to anyone else, and everyone was always looking out, only for themselves. Such a society would tear itself apart, even before it formed. So to reap the significant benefits of living in social groups, man (and many, many other species), had to develop mutually acceptable behaviors wherein, they must act in a manner consistent with the benefit to the whole. Without this, you'd be living in a small, dark shelter, devoid of all but the few things you may have learned to make for yourself. You would have no medicine, only the food you could collect or steal, no electricity, and very little knowledge. All of the things you enjoy in modern life require people working together for common interests, and that could only happen upon the evolutionary adaptation of commonly accepted behaviors.

Might I add that these are some great questions which serve as points of confusion for many theists when attempting to understand the reality of the secular world in which they live. Thank you for the opportunity to present the answers.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Graincruncher
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6/12/2014 8:46:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

Because 'fittest' is a relative term. It is not 'perfect', just 'best suited to the environment'.

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

Evolution doesn't try to explain the origin of life. Try learning about it before you criticise it.

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids? Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

No, evolutionary theory does not suppose that. Again, educate yourself on the subject before trying to criticise it.

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

Easily and in a well-publicised manner. Again; educate yourself prior to attempting criticism.

5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

Another "educate yourself" response.

6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.

Natural selection in terms of evolution has nothing to do with the creation of the universe.

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

Atheists don't claim to know everything about the universe. Via our senses or otherwise.

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

No, miracles are by definition violations of laws of nature. Whatever those laws are.

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

Then they are not something we interact with, as our universe is our sphere of potential interaction.

10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.

It's a shot in the dark. An unjustified one. Therefore not persuasive.

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.

Pascal's Wager is so thoroughly debunked that you should be ashamed of trying to argue it.

12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".

Try studying genetics. You'll be surprised.

13. There are quite a few flaws in materialism. For example, matter seems "responsible" for our thoughts, emotions, and perhaps even our moral institutions. Why should I trust my own beliefs when I know that my beliefs are only made up of an arrangement of atoms? How can materialism account for the fact that we consider our accounts of the world to be not merely chemically generated reactions but true beliefs?

1) Why shouldn't you?
2) Trusting your beliefs appears to be a part of your problems.

14. The universe follows mathematical laws, when it has no reason to. If there is no divine creator, then why do things in the universe follow a certain set of patterns and laws?

Why wouldn't they? Anthropic principle.

15. Whenever you encounter A, it has to be caused by B. But then B has to be accounted for, so let us say it is caused by C. This tracing of causes cannot continue indefinitely, because if it did, nothing would have ever come into existence. Therefore there must be an original cause responsible for the chain of causation in the first place. To this, we give the name God. But what caused God? Since God is by definition outside the universe, he is not part of the series. Therefore the rules of the series, including the rules of causation, would not logically apply to him.

Causation is internal to the universe. Trying to extent it beyond it may not be a coherent position. This point is in direct conflict with point #9. You're arguing against yourself.

16. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "miracle".

Another contradiction of the previous points. And no. Because a miracle is a contravention of the laws of physics. If they did not exist, it would not be miraculous.

17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?

Yes; you haven't studied genetics and you don't understand statistics.

18. The anthropic principle states that the universe we perceive must be of precisely such a nature as will make possible living beings who can perceive it. Why are the universal conditions just right for life to exist?

... Seriously? You've just said "I don't understand the anthropic principle", which states that internal elements of a system will appear well-adapted to it because otherwise they would not have existed in the first place. That's proof of you not understanding the principle itself.
Beastt
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6/12/2014 9:21:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
(Questions 6 - 10)
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.
The universe didn't "evolve". Evolution is something which affects forms of life, not vast expanses of space-time sprinkled with matter/energy. "Natural selection" is a natural mechanism which acts as a filter to random mutations, and is not involved in the manifestation of the universe. I'm afraid you've committed the common fallacy of mixing origin of the universe, origin of life, and origin of species. The three are quite distinctly independent.

The use of the terms "naturalism" and "materialism" suggest that there is an existence beyond the physical, and as this has never been demonstrated at any objective level, one would better serve the facts to simply call it "reality".

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.
Who suggested to you that we know everything about the universe? Yes, it would be preposterous, but it is no less preposterous when presented as the strawman which it is. No one of any credibility, and certainly not the base of science knowledge, would propose any such thing.

We don't know everything there is to know about gravity (for example, we've not yet confirmed that gravitons exist). However, make no mistake in believing that this means we might suddenly float off the planet and into space. Don't confuse what we don't know, with what we do know to be false. We haven't drilled deep core samples on the moon, but that doesn't mean we don't have very valid reasons to suggest that it does not have a core of swiss cheese.

And while I grasp the intent of Kant, reality does "correspond" to our perception of reality. But they are not an exact match by any means. The fact that I don't perceive the top of my desk as a mist of atoms, doesn't mean that the desk top actually extends beyond the boundaries as held in my perception.

And no, the idea of a divine creator is ruled out by what we know to be false. You can't say with any qualification, "because we don't know how many atoms are in the sun, there may be only one". We know the idea of our sun being comprised of just one atom to be false, even though we don't know what the correct number would be at any given time. And this is the mistake being made when suggesting that what we don't know about the universe, opens the door for a divine creator. One of the things we do know is that matter/energy can't be created, nor can it be destroyed. And let me be specific; this First Law of Thermodynamics doesn't state that the universe can't create matter/energy. It's not a property of the universe which is being described. It is a property of matter/energy itself. And this most certainly does rule out a divine creator.

And finally, no; we are not limited to only our senses when it comes to perception of the universe. Can you sense neutrinos, RF signals, UV light rays, vacuum fluctuations, quarks, the Higgs field, etc, etc, etc.? Yet we can detect all of these things by building devices to extend our senses to that for which evidence exists. And no evidence exists for any divine creator.

Again: Don't mistake what we don't know, for what we do know to be false.

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.
A "scientific law" is not an assumption, but phenomena observed always to be true. In nearly all cases, these laws interlink with other laws, and were one to fall, it would bring down many others in the process. One can claim miracles are possible and no one can demonstrate absolutely that they are not possible, but to propose them as possible when you have no means to support the assertion is no more compelling than to suggest that perhaps elephants can fly; due to the fact that we assume they can't only on the basis of never having seen one fly, and our limited understanding of aerodynamics. Such an assertion is technically correct, but no less feeble than any other product of fanciful fairytales.

It is far more likely that the claim of miracles is wrong, than that the laws of science are wrong. Remember that many of these laws must be true for the universe to persist as it does. You can't simply remove one scientific law and leave the rest in tact.

If you want to provide plausibility for miracles, then present a miracle. Many people have offered phenomena for which they lacked understanding, and in most every case, as understanding was obtained, naturalistic explanations have been provided. Few are left unexplained. Not one has ever been confirmed.

I could claim that I could fire lasers from my eyes, stating that your likely belief that I can't is based only in the fact that you've never seen anyone do it. But to make a credible claim, I need to be able to demonstrate the ability.

Scientific laws rarely prove to be false. I believe you're thinking of "theories".

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.
There is no such thing as "outside of the universe". The word "universe" is all-encompassing. It means "everything that exists". To suggest "outside of the universe" is the same as saying, "aside from everything".

10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.
I assume you meant to say, "absence of evidence cannot be used as evidence of absence". Assuming I am correct, you are not correct. Absence of evidence is absolutely evidence of absence. How else do you think we conclude that fairies, Leprechauns, mermaids, gremlins and unicorns don't exist? There is no such thing as evidence of non-existence. The closest we can get is a lack of evidence for existence. And you use this principle so commonly, that it's part of your daily life. Have you ever thought you heard a knock at your door? How do you determine that you were mistaken? Have you ever opened the door and found evidence that no one was there? Or did you simply find a lack of evidence for anyone being there? When you drive your car, do you come to a stop sign and wait for eternity hoping for evidence for the non-existence of cross-traffic? Or do you proceed when you can find no evidence for the existence of cross-traffic?

If it were not for the fact that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, we would have no way to determine absence. And this is simply because, non-existence doesn't provide evidence. Engage in this little thought experiment with me. Imagine for a moment that I don't exist. I was never born, never conceived, and simply, didn't exist. What evidence would you be able to show for my lack of existence? The best you could do is show a lack of evidence for my existence. In other words; "you could show the absence of evidence for my existence, as evidence of my absence".
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
TheGreatAndPowerful
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6/12/2014 9:22:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

Because a predilection for superstition is beneficial to primal survival.


2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. Regardless, as a Christian you necessarily believe life arose from non-life.


3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids?

No, but who said it was random?

Who programmed the cell with its digital code?

No one

Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself?

No one

Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

We're figuring that out.


4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

How does god explain consciousness?


5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

You giving blood saves human lives and helps propagate the species. Seems like cooperation is a pretty good trait to have.


6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.

This is gibberish.


7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

Only theists claim to know everything about reality. The fundamental premise of science is that there is more to figure out.


8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

Miracles aren't impossible. They just don't happen.


9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

I agree. They aren't a part of our universe. They aren't a part of any universe. They aren't real.


10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.

Faith is wishful thinking. Nothing more.


11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.

Pascal's wager is so wrong even Pascal really didn't believe in it.


12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".

And?


13. There are quite a few flaws in materialism. For example, matter seems "responsible" for our thoughts, emotions, and perhaps even our moral institutions. Why should I trust my own beliefs when I know that my beliefs are only made up of an arrangement of atoms? How can materialism account for the fact that we consider our accounts of the world to be not merely chemically generated reactions but true beliefs?

Who said you should trust your beliefs? Don't trust them. Get rid of them. Start with your belief in God.


14. The universe follows mathematical laws, when it has no reason to. If there is no divine creator, then why do things in the universe follow a certain set of patterns and laws?

I don't know. My ignorance doesn't mean god did it.


15. Whenever you encounter A, it has to be caused by B. But then B has to be accounted for, so let us say it is caused by C. This tracing of causes cannot continue indefinitely, because if it did, nothing would have ever come into existence. Therefore there must be an original cause responsible for the chain of causation in the first place. To this, we give the name God. But what caused God? Since God is by definition outside the universe, he is not part of the series. Therefore the rules of the series, including the rules of causation, would not logically apply to him.

You call it God. I call it the unknown.


16. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "miracle".

Ok.


17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?

Nope.


18. The anthropic principle states that the universe we perceive must be of precisely such a nature as will make possible living beings who can perceive it. Why are the universal conditions just right for life to exist?

That's not the question you should be asking. The question you should be asking is if the purpose of the universe is to support life, why is it extraordinarily bad at doing so?

The observable universe is about 3.5"10^80 m3 in volume. The volume of Earth's biosphere is about 1.6x10^11 m3. That means life occupies about 4.5x10^-68 percent of the universe. If the purpose of the universe is life, then it is horrible at its job. The vast majority of the universe is antagonistic to life.
Drayson
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6/12/2014 9:34:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

Believing in something that doesn't exist is not necessarily a trait that would hinder the survival of a species. In fact, it could be quite the opposite - given that religion is a very effective means of control, that belief may have come about through evolution to make us subservient to authority, giving us the first forms of social structure, and giving humanity a survival advantage.

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

False. Firstly, of course evolution cannot explain the origin of life, in the same way that the theory of gravity cannot explain electricity. Two different subjects.
Secondly, it has been proven that non-living matter can give rise to living matter - not proven in terms of how and if it happened specifically on Earth, but not enough information is known about the conditions on Earth back then, so your claims are not substantiated.

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids? Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

Evolution supposes no such thing.
The use of the term "information" is an analogy only, not to be taken literally in terms of how you view other types of information, and the development of that "information" conforms very clearly to known physical processes.

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

Asking that question isn't much of an argument - if it turns out there IS no current explanation, it doesn't matter. The lack of explanation for something is in no way a weakness in the atheistic position.
It would also be worth pointing out here that as far as I can tell, God is supposed to have a consciousness too, without explanation. Essentially, the theistic position explains consciousness by saying it came from another consciousness.....which means its not even an explanation at all.

-More to come
"I'm not saying I don't trust you...and I'm not saying I do. But I don't"

-Topper Harley
Drayson
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6/12/2014 9:48:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

Because helping and supporting other members of the species helps the species as a whole - pretty straightforward. If nobody cared about anyone else AT ALL, how long do you think the human race would survive?
So it makes sense that something akin to morality would evolve - a species continuation depends on it once it reaches a certain population level.

6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.


The process of natural selection applies to biological systems. Not the universe as a whole.
And saying "science is not the whole truth" is irrelevant. Science doesn't claim to know everything, and the fact that it doesn't have all the answers does not in anyway indicate that your belief system does.

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

Once again, a nonsensical argument, since atheists don't claim we know everything about the universe - in fact, that's what theists do. Well, they claim to be privy to a "greater truth". But what's funny is that your argument from Kant dismantles your own belief system as much as anything else - is your view of reality not also "filtered through a lens"?

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

This is just semantics. Depending on how you want to apply the term "miracles", sure. But no atheist ever said anything was impossible. So your argument here is moot.

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

That's just supposition - not an argument

10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.

I don't know what this means. But it sounds like gobble-dee-gook

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.


Uh oh! Pascal's Wager! And you were doing so well :P

12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".

I don't even follow your point here. I don't actually know what you mean by "Darwinian Theory", but nothing I know of about it contradicts the notion of people choosing not to have children.
You'll need to explain further.

-More to come.....maybe
"I'm not saying I don't trust you...and I'm not saying I do. But I don't"

-Topper Harley
Beastt
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6/12/2014 10:20:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
(Questions 11 through 15)
11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.
This is known as "Pascal's Wager" and it was recognized to be fatally flawed by Blaise Pascal himself. It operates under the premise of only two options; God exists or God does not exist. Yet we have had literally hundreds of gods proposed (none of which have ever been shown to actually exist). Suppose there is a god but it is not the God in which you believe. Then each time you appeal to the false God in which you believe, you further separate yourself from the actual god which does exist. Meanwhile, the atheist adheres to the same evidence you use to determine that fairies, Leprechauns, unicorns, gremlins and mermaids don't exist. In fact, it's the same methodology you use to determine that the pride of lions in your living room doesn't exist. And I don't see you panicked about the possibility that the lions might actually exist. You seem pretty sure when it comes to every other proposal. Why reverse that methodology and the findings it holds, simply because you want God to exist?

12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".
Firstly, there is no "Darwinian theory". The "Theory of Evolution" has been modified numerous times since Darwin (for instance, he knew nothing about DNA). So to call it "Darwinian Theory" is incorrect. It is "The Theory of Evolution" and while the fundamentals are taken from Darwin's theory, his theory is not the "Theory of Evolution" today. And nothing about Darwin's original theory, or today's Theory of Evolution suggests in any way that we are programmed robots destined to reproduce whether we wish to or not. That's a complete fallacy.

13. There are quite a few flaws in materialism. For example, matter seems "responsible" for our thoughts, emotions, and perhaps even our moral institutions. Why should I trust my own beliefs when I know that my beliefs are only made up of an arrangement of atoms? How can materialism account for the fact that we consider our accounts of the world to be not merely chemically generated reactions but true beliefs?
One must remember that our perception of reality comes from the need to survive. The more we understand about reality in regard to how it affect our survival, the better equipped we are to survive. So it makes perfect sense to trust our perceptions of reality as they arose to provide us an ever-improved chance of survival. And if we look to our perceptions and our perceptions as extended through purpose-built devices and logical assessment, we find a very strong correlation at the level which might most affect our ability to survive. So the material world and "materialism" (as you're prone to calling it), are cross-confirmed. Meanwhile, the extensions in which you believe, beyond the material remain no more verified than the realms and fantasies of confirmed fiction.

14. The universe follows mathematical laws, when it has no reason to. If there is no divine creator, then why do things in the universe follow a certain set of patterns and laws?
Precisely because there is no creator to make decisions or control it. Matter and energy interact. That interaction must result in some effect and that effect cannot be determined by intelligent decisions unless there is an intelligence behind it to make those decisions. This is one of the keys to demonstrating that a universal intelligent hand does not exist. The universe operates always in a manner fully consistent with the properties of the components of the interactions, and never deviate as would be expected if it operated under the will of an intelligent agent.

Think about it. Compare a ride on a roller-coaster which is guided by wheels encircling a track from which the cars cannot escape; to a tour bus with a human driver. Which one operates with mathematical consistency and which one operates on the basis of intelligent decisions? The one operating under the guidance of an intelligent hand shows the greatest deviation, while the one operating on pure physical interactions demonstrates near perfect mathematical consistency. Everything about reality fits in a model of non-intelligent mathematical consistency, while demonstrating a distinct deviation from the products of intelligent decisions. There is no indication of an intelligent agent in any manner of natural mechanisms.


15. Whenever you encounter A, it has to be caused by B. But then B has to be accounted for, so let us say it is caused by C. This tracing of causes cannot continue indefinitely, because if it did, nothing would have ever come into existence. Therefore there must be an original cause responsible for the chain of causation in the first place. To this, we give the name God. But what caused God? Since God is by definition outside the universe, he is not part of the series. Therefore the rules of the series, including the rules of causation, would not logically apply to him.
That's a purely false premise. From where do you derive the rule that things outside of the universe somehow escape cause and effect? What you're presenting is a self-defeating presumption, which employs special-pleading on the basis of pure conjecture to attempt to escape the trap it sets for itself.
If everything requires a cause, then God would also require a cause. The whole reason people adhere to God is based on the claim that nothing as "complex" as the universe could exist without an intelligence to produce it. And yet, they then turn around and want to claim that the most complex possible theoretical existence (God), exists without the need for a creator. It's a self-defeating assertion.

And as far as your observation that nothing could have come into existence, that's already an observation of science - again; the First Law of Thermodynamics - "matter/energy can be neither created, nor destroyed". So there is absolutely no problem. One simply has to recognize that
1. That which exists
2. Yet cannot be created
3. Must have always existed

I'll let the arguments on that rage for a few moments before demonstrating the pure elegance of the observation and show that it does fit with big-bang, and every law of science today.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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6/12/2014 10:26:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
(Questions 16 through 18)
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
16. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "miracle".
Untrue. No matter what the nature of a physical system, it must have laws as it has no intelligent direction. No matter what those laws might be, they must demonstrate consistency with their physical nature. That means that even within a singularity where the physical laws with which we are familiar may not apply, there are still physical laws at work. And that means that all interactions are in accordance with a set of physical laws - even if they are different and/or contrary to the laws at work in the universe as we know it. And as long as we are adhering to a set of physical laws, no miracles are occurring.

17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?
"The Blind Watchmaker". *sigh*
Yes. You're assuming that if SOME things are designed, then ALL things are designed. That's a rather obvious fallacy. Do you think snowflakes, salt crystals and sand dunes are designed? If so, then why do the mathematics of chaos theory explain them so well, when chaos theory doesn't employ any intelligent designer?

18. The anthropic principle states that the universe we perceive must be of precisely such a nature as will make possible living beings who can perceive it. Why are the universal conditions just right for life to exist?
This is one of those times when even the question is incorrect. It's based on the assumption that the universe was designed to fit the needs of the life forms living there, rather than recognize that the life forms which develop, are only those which can survive in the environment which exists. Put more simply, the ground beneath a puddle doesn't form to exacting standards to match the shape of the water it holds. Instead, the water conforms to the shape of the ground in which it is contained. You're looking at it backward.

Looking at another example, would it be proper for a culture of bacteria to conclude that because it can exist on a piece of cheese, existing in stable temperatures and humidity suitable to that bacteria, inside your refrigerator, that the refrigerator and cheese were thus created with the intent of providing it a suitable environment for the bacteria?

Should the scum forming just inside the drain of your sink assume the sink, the water, and the food particles exist specifically so that it will have an environment suitable for its survival?

Should we be more amazed that life can emerge to match the environment in which it arises, or if life would arise in an environment in which it could not emerge? OF COURSE the life forms arising within an environment will be served by the environment in which it emerges. Otherwise, it will never emerge. And if you alter the environment, you will alter the forms of life which would be capable of emerging there.

Again; thank you for the opportunity to address these questions and common fallacies of theism. I predict that the thread will be very active and highly successful. Job well done!
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Drayson
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6/12/2014 10:42:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?
"The Blind Watchmaker". *sigh*
Yes. You're assuming that if SOME things are designed, then ALL things are designed. That's a rather obvious fallacy. Do you think snowflakes, salt crystals and sand dunes are designed? If so, then why do the mathematics of chaos theory explain them so well, when chaos theory doesn't employ any intelligent designer?


One thing that always baffled me about the watchmaker argument is that in a way, it actually destroys the theist's own argument. The thought experiment they're presenting is, in a sense, an admission that there is a fundamental and noticeable difference between that which is intelligently designed (a watch), and that which ISN'T intelligently designed (sand, rocks, twigs, dirt, etc).

So I get confused....in their analogy, the watch represents humans (or life in general).....what do the rocks and sand represent? Because I thought they claimed God designed EVERYTHING.....thus, there would be no "non-designed" things to make the comparison with.
"I'm not saying I don't trust you...and I'm not saying I do. But I don't"

-Topper Harley
Schzincko
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6/12/2014 11:31:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

Simple. The way we managed to survive was through the intelligence we had... or whatever could be called intelligent in those times. Basically, while human life formed there were likely other forming human species that were not physically fit for their environment, so through time, the humans with a larger learning capacity were able to keep reproducing while others could not. That's saying it without all the science language, anyways.

How did this lead to the success of religion?

Through time, as intelligence proved best through our form, we eventually were able to think more complex thoughts. This is where you start to see the cave drawings and stuff. Humans, or, neanderthals really, began forming more complex ways of communicating, hunting, etc. When we figured out it was best to live in groups, those groups needed leadership. Community rules. Whatever was bad for the well-being of the group ended up being against the accepted actions in the opinion of the groups. Now you see morals taking form. Eventually, humans were so free-minded that the leaders of the groups needed something to contain the groups' mindset. They came up with an idea of a god figure, one who was far more powerful than what the actual leader ever could be.
Beastt
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6/12/2014 11:33:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 10:42:03 PM, Drayson wrote:
17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?
"The Blind Watchmaker". *sigh*
Yes. You're assuming that if SOME things are designed, then ALL things are designed. That's a rather obvious fallacy. Do you think snowflakes, salt crystals and sand dunes are designed? If so, then why do the mathematics of chaos theory explain them so well, when chaos theory doesn't employ any intelligent designer?


One thing that always baffled me about the watchmaker argument is that in a way, it actually destroys the theist's own argument. The thought experiment they're presenting is, in a sense, an admission that there is a fundamental and noticeable difference between that which is intelligently designed (a watch), and that which ISN'T intelligently designed (sand, rocks, twigs, dirt, etc).

So I get confused....in their analogy, the watch represents humans (or life in general).....what do the rocks and sand represent? Because I thought they claimed God designed EVERYTHING.....thus, there would be no "non-designed" things to make the comparison with.

Very astute observation on your part. I'll have to remember that because it's a brilliant argument. You're correct. If all things are designed, then the watch should stand out no more than the sand the rocks, the lizards and the cacti. BRILLIANT! (Because it's so obvious, yet so commonly overlooked).
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
PeacefulChaos
Posts: 2,610
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6/12/2014 11:36:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:55:31 PM, Envisage wrote:

Pascal's wager.

If God doesn't exist and I pretend to believe, then I have let it influence every aspect if my life, and seriously nevativitly impacted both it and my society. It's not just a metwphysical error. Plus with the inummersble mutually exclusive other religions, it's hardly likely I would pick the right one anyway.

I let religion influence my life. It means that I regularly participate in service for humanity and develop my own spiritual qualities.

Is this seriously negatively impacting society?
Schzincko
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6/12/2014 11:41:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

This is true. And this is where you can draw the line between theism and atheism. Personally, I don't believe for a second that the origin of life came from a single cell source. Nothing could have created that cell, other than a god, if we backtrack it to that point. This is why you will only see atheist scientists say that there is a pattern leading to that, but nobody has any evidence that it narrows down to one microscopic life form.

The problem is, most people's idea of the origin of life is blind to the possibility that something put life on our young Earth. If we weren't so focused on our illusion of time, one might understand that we don't have confirmation that the universe ever began. There is just the assumption. That's my own belief, but it best identifies as atheist, regardless of how it calls for life on other worlds.
Schzincko
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6/12/2014 11:48:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids? Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

This is too deep in science for me to answer, but it is sort of answered by the answer to #2. Nobody programmed anything. Certain cells work differently to serve different purposes of an organism. If these cells do their jobs right, they will live longer.
Schzincko
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6/12/2014 11:53:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

Life adapts to it's surroundings, unlike machines. If these atoms were the resources surrounding life, then life will use those to live on and adapt. Mutate. Evolve.

If we didn't need to embrace these atoms, there would be no need to breathe. Sorta like the matrix. Sorry, I'm on this and watching the movie at the same time so I had to throw that in there.
Schzincko
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6/12/2014 11:56:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

This has also been answered by my number two response. Although, you giving blood does not directly tie in with morals. You were probably given the idea that donating blood was the right thing to do, as a spreading of an idea amongst people. Not saying it isn't the right thing to do, clearly I have been given the same idea.
bulproof
Posts: 25,274
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6/12/2014 11:56:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 11:33:06 PM, Beastt wrote:
At 6/12/2014 10:42:03 PM, Drayson wrote:
17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?
"The Blind Watchmaker". *sigh*
Yes. You're assuming that if SOME things are designed, then ALL things are designed. That's a rather obvious fallacy. Do you think snowflakes, salt crystals and sand dunes are designed? If so, then why do the mathematics of chaos theory explain them so well, when chaos theory doesn't employ any intelligent designer?


One thing that always baffled me about the watchmaker argument is that in a way, it actually destroys the theist's own argument. The thought experiment they're presenting is, in a sense, an admission that there is a fundamental and noticeable difference between that which is intelligently designed (a watch), and that which ISN'T intelligently designed (sand, rocks, twigs, dirt, etc).

So I get confused....in their analogy, the watch represents humans (or life in general).....what do the rocks and sand represent? Because I thought they claimed God designed EVERYTHING.....thus, there would be no "non-designed" things to make the comparison with.

Very astute observation on your part. I'll have to remember that because it's a brilliant argument. You're correct. If all things are designed, then the watch should stand out no more than the sand the rocks, the lizards and the cacti. BRILLIANT! (Because it's so obvious, yet so commonly overlooked).
I've been making that argument for years, unfortunately it's not possible for a theist to understand it.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Schzincko
Posts: 119
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6/13/2014 12:06:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago

6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.

Well, yeah, even any scientist will be happy to admit that. Science is known as the study of knowledge. It's only telling us what we can expect as a result of previous occurrences, on top of logic and reasoning. For example, we can observe two dog breeds. We know that these are clearly not the same kind of dog because the appearances are not the same. Therefore, it is likely that these dogs also do not share the same parents.
Kinda get what I'm saying?

The universe doesn't have to evolve. It's a term we created to cover the entirety of what exists. Life in the universe can evolve, because no two life forms are the exact same, therefore providing the possibility of mutation. The whole of nature is what these evolutions make up.
Schzincko
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6/13/2014 12:21:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

I just realized that these answers come from number 1, not 2. So sorry about the confusion coming from that..

It's not that I'm making the claim that only what I see exists. Clearly we haven't seen aliens anywhere but my belief suggests they exist.

As for the eyes/lenses thing, I'm sure that with us only being able to see in the colors we can, our eyes would simply pick up a false color representation of what is before us.

The mantis shrimp can see across a huge color spectrum, so nothing it sees is going to be remotely similar to what we do. But it's not like it reacts to things that are invisible to us. I can't remember what I read this from, but I have read that dogs can only see in shades of green and blue. And they can clearly see everything we can.

I would say it's preposterous to think that there are things in reality around us that do not in the slightest bit affect anything we do.
Schzincko
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6/13/2014 12:24:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

Miracles are possible. In fact, I agree with 100% of this statement.

But magic is impossible.
Schzincko
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6/13/2014 12:27:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

Which goes against the definition of a universe being anything and everything in existence. Which means it's probably magical. And magic is impossible.
Oromagi
Posts: 857
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6/13/2014 12:28:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Sunday Morning

I

Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound,
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.

II

Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul.

III

Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.
He moved among us, as a muttering king,
Magnificent, would move among his hinds,
Until our blood, commingling, virginal,
With heaven, brought such requital to desire
The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be
The blood of paradise? And shall the earth
Seem all of paradise that we shall know?
The sky will be much friendlier then than now,
A part of labor and a part of pain,
And next in glory to enduring love,
Not this dividing and indifferent blue.

IV

She says, "I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?"
There is not any haunt of prophecy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm
Remote on heaven"s hill, that has endured
As April"s green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow"s wings.

V

She says, "But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss."
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves
Of sure obliteration on our paths,
The path sick sorrow took, the many paths
Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love
Whispered a little out of tenderness,
She makes the willow shiver in the sun
For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze
Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears
On disregarded plate. The maidens taste
And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.

VI

Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set the pear upon those river banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.

VII

Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go
The dew upon their feet shall manifest.

VIII

She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay."
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.

Wallace Stevens 1915
irreverent_god
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6/13/2014 12:29:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/12/2014 7:11:51 PM, Conservative101 wrote:
If you're an open-minded atheist who wants to know more about the theist position, then guess what? You're in luck. I wrote 18 things for you all to think about and discuss. If you don't agree with what I have to say, then go ahead and rebut. The immature thing you can do is name call, and I'd rather not have any of that. So here ya go:

1. If there was a survival of the fittest, then why has the human race evolved to believe in things that don't exist? How do you account for the success of religion?

Because the term "survival of the fittest" was a term originally coined to describe physiological survival, not intellectual. Humans have only recently begun to use their brains for any higher purpose, and we are a "work in progress." If "success" is counted in numbers, then yes, religion is successful... Then again, all forms of scam businesses that become successful eventually become popular, as well. Let's see if "success" is a term that you are willing to apply to the following names:

The catholic church (religious scam artist and child molester protectors)
Robert Tilton (religious scam artist)
Joyce Myers (religious scam artist)
"Prophet" Peter Poppoff (religious scam artist)
Billy Graham (religious scam artist)
Oral Roberts (religious scam artist)
Joel Osteen (religious scam artist)
Jerry Falwell (religious scam artist)
Sonya Brown ("spiritual" scam artist)
Kenneth Coupeland (religious scam artist)

Are you starting to notice a pattern, here?

2. Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. There is no evidence that life could have risen from non-life. The atmosphere of the early earth was made out of carbon dioxide and ammonia so the chance that life was somehow made that way..is a bit preposterous.

There is evidence that life could have arisen without your gawd. That you choose to dismiss it will not make it any less true. Did the atmosphere of the earth remain carbon dioxide and ammonia? No? Can you breathe, today? How to you think that came about? Did your gawd wave his magic wand?

3. The simplest cells are so complex and carry tons of information in their strands of DNA and RNA. Is it reasonable to say that these intricate, basic templates of life formed from random combinations of amino acids? Who programmed the cell with its digital code? Who gave it the capacity to make copies of itself? Evolution supposes that it came fully formed with the first hint of life. How could random combinations of chemicals create so marvelous a thing as a living cell?

It is reasonable to state that we don't currently know, for a fact, how any of it came about, originally, or what conditions were present, when it happened. It is, however, more reasonable to assume that scientists are less likely to lie to us than religious leaders. It is also more reasonable than believing that the bible, kabbalah, or qur'an are even slightly believable. Answering your questions would require a microbiologist to answer, or a little bit of research. Stop playing William Lane Craig.

4. How does materialism explain consciousnesses? How could atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and so on somehow produce the capability for us to perceive the world around us?

Materialism does not, and has never made any attempt to explain consciousness. It isn't the atoms that do this, but how they are formed, and in what sequence. You already knew that, but are trying to be clever. Fail.

5. Where did morality (the press to help others who are strangers and act against our evident self-interest) come from? How does evolution and the "survival of the fittest" account for me giving blood?

Morality evolved in the same manner as brain development. Morality is a direct derivative of values, which produce ethics within each and every person. No gawd is required. The fact that some answer is better than "we don't know, yet" for the masses who prefer not to work does not mean that we are willing to simply accept the ridiculous. Morality does not need to account for you giving blood. Besides, how likely would you be to give blood, more than once, if your body was not capable of creating more?

6. The universe could not have evolved from natural selection, as the universe makes up the whole of nature. Also, science is not the whole truth. It cannot make the case for naturalism and materialism because it operates within naturalism and materialism.

No one has ever claimed that the "universe evolved from natural selection." You seem to be confusing the BBT with evolution. While science is not "the whole truth," it is at least the more honest truth. Saying that one need be outside of "naturalism and materialism" to explain both is a meaningless statement. If you think that the only way for a valid explanation to come about is to remove it from the hands of humanity, you're not really making a case for anything. You are simply trying to be clever. Fail.

7. Immanuel Kant famously made the point that the human perception of reality does not correspond to reality itself. Reality does not come directly to us but is filtered through a lens that we ourselves provide. Therefore, the idea that we know everything about the universe is preposterous, because humans can only experience the universe through their senses only. To say that we have discovered reality is incorrect. The idea of a divine creator then, is plausible.

No one has ever claimed to know everything about the universe. I discover reality every time I interact with it. You have suspended an assertion about some possibility on absolutely nothing. The premises you stated (especially using Kant as a source) do not make your gawd plausible. No gawd man has ever invented is plausible. They all boil down to some "holy" manuscript, written by the ignorant. Trying to tie all of the loose threads left behind by a bunch of iron and bronze age "mystics" with all of the valid facts being discovered by science will be an endless task for religion, and doomed to failure.

8. Miracles are possible because scientific laws are only assumed to be true through repetition. There is always the case that a scientific law could be wrong - they are proven wrong over and over. Therefore, one cannot say that miracles are impossible because of science because science itself is often found to be erroneous.

A scientific law being wrong would not automatically validate anything as a "miracle." When science proves something wrong, the community migrates to what is right (i.e. that which matches reality). The logical fail in this line of "reasoning" is simply too staggering to completely express in just a paragraph, but one can, indeed, say that miracles are impossible. Until something or someone has proven the existence of their gawd, miracle go on the shelf right next to fairies and Hogwart's. Scientific error does not automatically equate to miracle. You'll need something more plausible than "Uh-huh! Science could be wrong!" to support your claim for the veracity of miracles.

9. There are no laws of nature that operate outside the universe, so something such as heaven and hell are not "miraculous". Heaven and hell do not have to be a part of our universe.

Just how in the H3ll are you qualified to say what does and does not happen outside the universe? Even history's greatest scientists have never made such a brash assertion, and in no way supports the possibility of a heaven or a hell. Both came from "holy" manuscripts and, therefore, are relegated to "the shelf."

<End part 1 of 2>
Logic and Reason are the precursor to Justice.
Faith and zealotry are the precursor to Folly.
irreverent_god
Posts: 1,378
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6/13/2014 12:29:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
10. Beyond the reach of reason and experience, the absence of evidence cannot be used as absence of evidence. Faith is an attempt to reach beyond the empirical realm and illuminate those questions.

Yes, it can. What is "beyond the reach of reason and experience" is beyond the possibility of being used in debate. Faith is belief without evidence. Faith, in every religious sense, requires the suspension of reason. Suspending one's rational faculties is the ONLY way religious assertion and claims can be accepted. The one that is willing to suspend reason has no cause or business trying to debate, rationally. Faith is faith, and reason is reason. There is no such thing (contrary to Craig's idiotic assertion) as "reasonable faith."

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.

No, there is no risk involved in refusing to believe in human assertions and claims about a deity. There is no claim that has ever been made by any gawd. All claims and assertions regarding any gawd have all come from humans. Not one has ever been substantiated, and not one of the "holy manuscripts on which they rest has ever been proven more than a worthless collection of ignorance. Pascal's Wager is not a valid argument. It wasn't valid when Pascal made it, and it isn't valid, today. There is no heaven, and there is no hell.

12. If the Darwinian theory were true, than humans would be producing according to what their genes say. However, some humans decide against having children, regardless of "what they should be programmed to do".

Humans ARE producing according to "what their genes say." The fact that humans are the only creature that has the capacity to act toward its own destruction (by choice) does not invalidate Darwinian Evolution. Darwinian evolution does not state, anywhere, that individual members of a species cannot be self-destructive. This argument was just confusingly inept.

13. There are quite a few flaws in materialism. For example, matter seems "responsible" for our thoughts, emotions, and perhaps even our moral institutions. Why should I trust my own beliefs when I know that my beliefs are only made up of an arrangement of atoms? How can materialism account for the fact that we consider our accounts of the world to be not merely chemically generated reactions but true beliefs?

No, matter is not responsible for anything. The things you mentioned are electrical and neurological responses to stimuli. Your questions take you absolutely nowhere. Are you discussing beliefs, or the perception of data, acquired through your senses. Form a more coherent argument, then come back and talk to us, please. You have yet to outline a single one of the "...quite a few flaws..." you asserted in the opening sentence of that paragraph. We can only assume that this was a baseless assertion.

14. The universe follows mathematical laws, when it has no reason to. If there is no divine creator, then why do things in the universe follow a certain set of patterns and laws?

WHAT?! The universe has EVERY reason to follow mathematical laws! These laws are followed because they are physical laws. Inanimate matter has no will. Only a sentient creature even can attempt to disobey physical laws that govern our universe. Even the attempt to defy them fails. You are asking for causality where none even need be considered. I will ask, again, that you please form a reasonable and coherent argument before making such assertions.

15. Whenever you encounter A, it has to be caused by B. But then B has to be accounted for, so let us say it is caused by C. This tracing of causes cannot continue indefinitely, because if it did, nothing would have ever come into existence. Therefore there must be an original cause responsible for the chain of causation in the first place. To this, we give the name God. But what caused God? Since God is by definition outside the universe, he is not part of the series. Therefore the rules of the series, including the rules of causation, would not logically apply to him.

Again, I have to go with, "WHAT?!" If you are trying to put the argument of infinite regression into your own words, the attempt was valid, but fails. Something does, indeed, have to be eternal. It is safe to say that it is not your god. Why is it that all of the arguments for gawd's existence place him "outside of the logical?" Doesn't that just make your gawd "illogical?" It sure does to me...

16. If the universe was produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "miracle".

My first inclination was to say something to the effect of, "Dude, wait... wha..? Um... wow." That, however, would be quite an understatement. Are you really trying to use the creation of the universe, to validate miracles, starting with the word, "if?" Do you not realize that this statement says nothing, rests on nothing, and proves nothing? The only thing I can say, in response, is:
If the universe was not produced outside the laws of physics, then its origin satisfies the basic definition of the term "natural".
It is an equally ridiculous statement to make, but maybe it will clue you in to where you went wrong, and just how much you left out of that argument...

17. You are walking in the desert, when you find a gold watch on the ground. It is wound up to the exact right time. You ask yourself, "how did it get there?" Now replace the gold watch as the human race. See what I mean?

The watchmaker argument (yet again). You can find a sound refutation, here: http://www.update.uu.se...

18. The anthropic principle states that the universe we perceive must be of precisely such a nature as will make possible living beings who can perceive it. Why are the universal conditions just right for life to exist?

If, indeed, you are going to compile a list of website quotations, at least be courteous enough to use citation and credit the original authors. Of the "thoughts" that you have posted, those that were originated by you were too incoherent to really merit a serious response. It's clear that you have faith. Excellent. Have your faith. Hang on to your faith. Derive all the comfort you need from your faith. But pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease stop trying to pass this off as "reason" or "logic." It just isn't.

<End part 1 of 2>
Logic and Reason are the precursor to Justice.
Faith and zealotry are the precursor to Folly.
Schzincko
Posts: 119
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6/13/2014 12:29:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago

11. It's much less risky to believe in God. If he doesn't exist and we believe, then we've just made a metaphysical error. But if he does exist and we don't believe, then the more serious risk is to be separated from God.

I'm willing to take that chance. Especially since the wars we've had over religious matter has, throughout history, claimed countless lives.