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Old 07-16-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
.... I have simply been saying that this idea of the fine tuning of the universe (not life) is something that has been propagated by many notable minds (astrophysicists, astronomers, mathematicians). And simply the fact that these scientists mention things like fine tuning, design, super-intellect, universal mind - must at the minimum make us a little curios .....
Just to add...
in describing the universe, when people talk about things like fine-tuning, design, building, and 'put together' as I used in my previous post and even 'creation' at times, I would say by conjecture that the vast majority of the time, scientists don't actually have god in mind, it's just that it is extremely difficult to describe the formation of the universe without using using these terms. I think they are just terms commonly used in the English language as a descriptor of something, for emphasis or when we can't come up with a better word. I do my best to skirt around such terminology but every now and again, one slips through the net without me realising it. For example you might say 'birth of the universe' when talking about the big bang, when you are simply using it as a turn of phrase without meaning to imply you believe a creator was involved.
Trust me I have been picked up on this sort of thing many times.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:35 AM
 
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Let's look again at the OP

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Atheists and Theists: when debating each other, have you ever come across a question posed by the other side that has stumped you? Or at least made you pause and think?

And how did you answer it?
Evidently, after discussion, it seems that Sandman had this idea of evidence of a designing mind, with especial reference to universal constants and the amazing applicability of Pi to particle physics (don't blame me, chum: you started it) as being real stumpers for atheism, or to translate, evidence for God we couldn't refute.

However, it is also evident that, while it has stumped us as it may have done physicists in general (which doesn't mean that it will always stump them), it is not really evidence for God, but only a lack of evidence one way or the other.

Despite Sandman's efforts to dismiss argument from snowflake and extinction as 'irrelevant' or 'pettifogging' I maintain that these are indirect evidence that, whatever the explanation behind universal constants or the amazingness of Pi, it isn't going to be a cosmos -sized invisible designing mind.

That is why it is not a stumper for atheism, as such.

Your 2nd post was bang on the money:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
That's easy. The religious beliefs infringe into the non-believer's lives on a regular basis. To list a few:
- most religions condemn atheists to hell
- religions push policy (e.g. do not teach evolution in school, teach creationism)
- religions get special status and too much attention (e.g. tax exempt)

Therefore one side needs to lose the argument.
Yes. This town ain't big enough for the two worldviews.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-17-2013 at 04:51 AM..
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
.... this thread was not about any of the things you stated. We were trying to discuss some of the more puzzling aspects of ALL creation
You presume that theism has anything to do with answers to questions about reality. I'd say that it has a pretty poor track record compared to other approaches. So why the jump from finding some interesting questions about reality to assuming that theism has any part in finding the answers?
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:39 AM
 
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Yes. It is ingenuous to suggest that this thread is only about the puzzling aspect of 'Creation' (if one must apply that loaded title to the questions of cosmic and biological origins) and that the fact that it was directed to atheists in particular (there is no point in asking theists as we know what their answer will be) telegraphs like a tenth rate - karate kid where the blow is aimed and it is a bit insulting of Sandman to act like we didn't see it coming. -
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:39 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,997,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Yes. It is ingenuous to suggest that this thread is only about the puzzling aspect of 'Creation' (if one must apply that loaded title to the questions of cosmic and biological origins) and that the fact that it was directed to atheists in particular (there is no point in asking theists as we know what their answer will be) telegraphs like a tenth rate - karate kid where the blow is aimed and it is a bit insulting of Sandman to act like we didn't see it coming. -
Well, deists are interested in questions of cosmic and biological origins. Maybe you have spent too much time arguing with theists about talking snakes and burning bushes.

...... I have heard many atheists say that they find it difficult to debate ideas found in deism.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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Deism isn't a problem for us. I really see deists being on the same side of the barriers as atheists, agnostics and irreligious theists, because deists tend not to claim that they have personal revelations from God and thus think that everyone ought to take their word for its reality. Deists can debate the matter on a more impersonal and objective basis and thus really are prepared to let people believe what they want.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:54 PM
 
12,746 posts, read 14,106,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Atheists and Theists: when debating each other, have you ever come across a question posed by the other side that has stumped you? Or at least made you pause and think?

And how did you answer it?
I'm not a god believer, but I cannot imagine why I would want to debate a theist. I don't have the slightest interest in changing their beliefs as long as they do not try to intrude them into my life. And I return the favour of not intruding mine beliefs into theirs.

It is a waste of my time.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:06 PM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,997,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I'm not a god believer, but I cannot imagine why I would want to debate a theist. I don't have the slightest interest in changing their beliefs as long as they do not try to intrude them into my life. And I return the favour of not intruding mine beliefs into theirs.

It is a waste of my time.
Well, let me nudge your imagination a little .....
Unless you live in a bubble, you are affected by religion almost on a daily basis.

Like I had said earlier:
The religious beliefs infringe into the non-believer's lives on a regular basis. To list a few:
- most religions condemn atheists to hell
- religions push policy (e.g. do not teach evolution in school, teach creationism)
- religions get special status and too much attention (e.g. tax exempt)

Therefore one side needs to lose the argument.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:10 PM
 
7,378 posts, read 6,737,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I'm not a god believer, but I cannot imagine why I would want to debate a theist. I don't have the slightest interest in changing their beliefs as long as they do not try to intrude them into my life. And I return the favour of not intruding mine beliefs into theirs.

It is a waste of my time.
I am a testament that debate is not a waste of time. I once was a theist and I "thank god" that an atheist was willing to debate me and help me "see the light".
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:21 PM
 
39,207 posts, read 10,887,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Well, let me nudge your imagination a little .....
Unless you live in a bubble, you are affected by religion almost on a daily basis.

Like I had said earlier:
The religious beliefs infringe into the non-believer's lives on a regular basis. To list a few:
- most religions condemn atheists to hell
- religions push policy (e.g. do not teach evolution in school, teach creationism)
- religions get special status and too much attention (e.g. tax exempt)

Therefore one side needs to lose the argument.
I agree with you. While I am all in favour of letting people believe nonsense if they want to, the facts of science and the sound basis of reasoning are not up for a vote. They should be based on the facts and logical reasoning, not a majority vote.

That is why my mission -statement is a global rationalist worldview as the basis for all science, history, medicine, law, morals and ethics. That would leave art, music, poetry, dance, religion, mysticism and psychic activities open to anyone who wants them without any of the other lot telling them that they can't because their god doesn't like it.

It has been well observed (perhaps by Goldenrule, as I recall) that religion can supply something that humans need - a sort of colour and magical excitement such as we get at Christmas - and hallow-een, too. Nobody has to believe in the stuff or even pay lip service to it, and I can well imagine the new mythology of Harry Potter (1) being co -opted into Trick or Treat to make one hell of a festival.

And I have come to see the value of this and would preserve all the religions and encourage anyone who wanted to continue them, even if a lot of it was done for paying customers (like in Bali). But they would have no influence except in education where you could get a diploma in charismatic preaching or Dervish -whirling or playing the thighbone trumpet.

(1) I realized when I saw a painting of Minerva MaGonigall as a young student at Hogwarts that Rowling has done what Tolkien wanted to do but did not - create a modern mythology.
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