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Old 02-28-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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Because it's an unprovable proposition either way, unless you count an elaborate construct of Aristotelian logic.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Dix Hills, NY
120 posts, read 107,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modeerf View Post
I've never thought of it in terms of percentage, I come from the perspective that no house ever built itself, and that every seed produces from it's own kind. To me this brings order and design.
While that's nice rhetorical poetry, it doesn't jive with what we know now about how reality works.

For starters, there's a reason the "creation" analogy (houses, watches, cars into jets, etc) fails: because you can't compare a house to a living body.

If we could, by some miracle, get evolution by natural selection to work on a car, given enough time (a few million years, maybe), chances are we could get it to become a jet... after all, some cars are made with jet engines and other plane parts, so it isn't like there's that much of a disconnect between the two.

Quote:
100% certain? Hmmm. If there is a doubt to the existence of God (creator), i would have to say my doubt comes into play in regards to defining what / who God is. Not so much whether God or gods exist. I could even go so far as to say that i am a god in the making, in that i create things. Just not out of nothingness or cosmic energy. Yet.
I'd still say you aren't 100% certain. I might give you that you're more certain of a deity's existence than I am of a deity's non-existence, but it is impossible, at least at this point in time, to claim certainty because there's still much to learn about the nature of reality.

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The only evidence i have, is if i apply what i see and feel all around me as being incredible, and not being able to accept that it is by chance or accidental. I don't find accidental in anything that i see in the natural world.
See, that doesn't bother me at all. I have absolutely no problem with the explanation for the existence of the universe amounting to a totally random, accidental quantum fluctuation. I know that my existence is due more to natural and sexual selection than it is to random mutation, and I also know that I'm made out of star dust (elements). That's fine for me.

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It all looks like it was made with fore thought and purpose.
What purpose does this serve? I don't remember if Darwin coined it or stole it, but he's pretty famous for the phrase "nature red in tooth and claw". I have to question the "purpose" of some of the things I see in nature, such as HIV...

I find it easier to believe that nature itself is purposeless, and the only purpose I have is the one I give myself; namely, studying modern western music culture and attempting to discover the roots of ideological fanaticism...

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I've spent hours in discussion with people that interpret scriptures based on prophesy, and i always come away from them in awe.
Ah... prophecy...

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There is an arrogance about religion that becomes repellent. Especially those that say they believe in Jesus and his teachings, and then do nothing to live like his teachings.
Regardless, however the words came about that are attributed to him, i think we would be a much better people if we all lived them to the full degree, or at least a minor degree. I don't know if a normal person could have come up with such grand ideas of love and kindness. It certainly wasn't in the nature of the people during his attributed life.
But what's so "grand" about those ideas? There were already present in literature that existed long before Jesus is claimed to have lived. Ideas of "Love and kindness" were, in fact, central to some ancient Greek and Celtic civilizations. Indeed, among the Celtic civilizations, peace was a very big and grand idea. You may want to study up on Matriarchal societies. They were pretty big on it.

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I guess by living what they teach and then seeing if something extraordinary happens. So far i've failed in that undertaking, to a certain degree.

Granted. But i think we can say that the practice of ancient empires, and modern one's for that matter, was to not write history that is contrary to what the writers wanted to be known.
Pharoah, Pharisee's, Emperor's...
Agreed...

Quote:
yep, and the game goes on still today, with dozens of new bible translations and "corrections" which to me are more based on culture than anything else.

Yes, 900 yr. old prophets, earth flood, and multiplying loaves and fishes does come across as not normal daily experiences.

Though, it is not too difficult to match up prophesies to current events.
I won't bore you with a bunch, but a couple come to mind.
Jews get scattered all over the world, and then return to the land they exiled from. And it becomes fertile and over flowing with fruit trees and greenery. Which couldn't come about until modern pumps and irrigation techniques were invented.
But it could be considered self-fulfilling, could it not?

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And in Revelation it says that the earth moves out of her place because of the bombs and war in the middle east. Making the water bitter, and deadly. Which to me is nuclear holocaust.
One of the descriptions of missiles and rockets with war heads is especially interesting to me.
And yet some have attributed it to Hitler, and still others suggest it was not a prophecy at all, but a spiritual description of an event that had already occurred by the time the work was written: Nero and the fall of Rome.

Like the vast majority of so-called "prophecies", it's annoyingly vague...

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Not scientific, but interesting none the less. Especially if it happens in my lifetime.

Scientifically speaking, i think a bunch of nukes hitting the shallow oil reserves in the middle east would rock the world. Literally.
The Middle East would no longer exist, that's for sure...

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In some ways i think technological developments has drowned out our intuitive senses, and we have become dependent on the seen, over the unseen.

I'd like Science to explore more of the unseen aspects that make us human.
Agreed but, obviously, I question the existence of the unseen, with the exception of what is beyond the bounds of our visible pocket of the universe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
There is a significant philosophical difference between the now-existing proofs against all those oddball biblical stories and anything that speaks to an absolute God. In fact, our now-accumulated scientific knowledge speaks directly to there not being the God of The Olden Days, and probably no Jesus personality either. (NateHeven's "the world's longest game of Telephone!" Priceless!)
True. IMO, there is no way the Bible's Yahweh can exist. He is logically impossible.

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But now, a Pantheistic interpretation? Maybe, but again: WHY? WHY do we need such an explanation? To better understand our personal AWE levels? To give us that "I belong to a REALLY BIG CLUB!" feeling?!! Oh Whoo-hooo!!!"? All warm, inclusive and cuddly-like? Sorta like owning a Cuddle Me Elmo perhaps?
Gaps are tempting to fill. I tend to think that as long as we recognize that the idea of god as a "first cause" is just one of many hypotheses, that's fine. Once one tries to suggest that this is a proven fact... well...

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Or better yet: there's that persistent "Utter Magnificence of God's Creation" stuff. That only speaks to one's total lack of understanding of how things do work in the real world. Why?
I wonder what they find so utterly magnificent about viruses and parasites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Because it's an unprovable proposition either way, unless you count an elaborate construct of Aristotelian logic.
In what way is the assertion unprovable? It wouldn't be an argument from "I don't know how to do it, therefore it can't be done"... would it?

Last edited by NateHevens; 02-28-2012 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:44 PM
 
3,335 posts, read 2,708,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post

For starters, there's a reason the "creation" analogy (houses, watches, cars into jets, etc) fails: because you can't compare a house to a living body.

If we could, by some miracle, get evolution by natural selection to work on a car, given enough time (a few million years, maybe), chances are we could get it to become a jet... after all, some cars are made with jet engines and other plane parts, so it isn't like there's that much of a disconnect between the two.
Good point. I guess i may have been thinking in terms of the Planet itself, and not so much the life on it. Which is far more impressive, in regards to complexity. I mean, why does my heart beat, without me telling it too.

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I'd still say you aren't 100% certain. I might give you that you're more certain of a deity's existence than I am of a deity's non-existence, but it is impossible, at least at this point in time, to claim certainty because there's still much to learn about the nature of reality.
I can accept that. I've had some supernatural experiences that could be attributed to other life forms or time travel i guess. Science is working on those aspects, so maybe they'll find the answers someday.

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See, that doesn't bother me at all. I have absolutely no problem with the explanation for the existence of the universe amounting to a totally random, accidental quantum fluctuation. I know that my existence is due more to natural and sexual selection than it is to random mutation, and I also know that I'm made out of star dust (elements). That's fine for me.
Okay. So with natural selection, it is primarily a physical reality. What gives humans the ability to reason and create, where the natural selection of animals is vastly different, in purpose and function?
Why only one species developed far superior abilities?

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What purpose does this serve? I don't remember if Darwin coined it or stole it, but he's pretty famous for the phrase "nature red in tooth and claw". I have to question the "purpose" of some of the things I see in nature, such as HIV...
I thought HIV was created in a lab to cull the earth?
Like the new Bird Flu virus.

Quote:
I find it easier to believe that nature itself is purposeless, and the only purpose I have is the one I give myself; namely, studying modern western music culture and attempting to discover the roots of ideological fanaticism...
You mean like why are the beatles melodies timeless?
Why do humans need purpose and animals just seem to do what their DNA says?

Quote:
But what's so "grand" about those ideas? There were already present in literature that existed long before Jesus is claimed to have lived. Ideas of "Love and kindness" were, in fact, central to some ancient Greek and Celtic civilizations. Indeed, among the Celtic civilizations, peace was a very big and grand idea. You may want to study up on Matriarchal societies. They were pretty big on it.
Hmm, hadn't thought about that. I guess i thought Jesus had a better way of presenting it. More about how to overcome weak traits, than just experiential.


Quote:
But it could be considered self-fulfilling, could it not?
Absolutely. I did read that Israel was consulting Torah scholars on the best scriptural time to bomb Iran.
But the description of missiles with warheads is pretty chilling, seeing as they didn't even have electricity, or flight, or anything of the sort in those days.

Quote:
And yet some have attributed it to Hitler, and still others suggest it was not a prophecy at all, but a spiritual description of an event that had already occurred by the time the work was written: Nero and the fall of Rome.
Lots of false timings that is true.

Quote:
Like the vast majority of so-called "prophecies", it's annoyingly vague...
It is.

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Agreed but, obviously, I question the existence of the unseen, with the exception of what is beyond the bounds of our visible pocket of the universe...
One of the unseen entities to me is emotional vibration. Love, Hate, Anger, Happiness.
I mean we see it in some facial expressions and body language, but sans that we also feel it. Energy that is formed into a purpose.
Have you ever felt someone was watching you? Or walked into a room where a fight was about to take place. It is thick with emotional energy, even if you don't see the people about to fight.
Or my favorite, feeling a cop was ahead and slowing down just as you see him.
Or not and getting a ticket and being pissed off at yourself for not listening to the little man inside... (stole that from Kramer)...
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Dix Hills, NY
120 posts, read 107,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modeerf View Post
Good point. I guess i may have been thinking in terms of the Planet itself, and not so much the life on it.
Even the planet itself, as well as our entire solar system, and all solar systems, and galaxies, can be explained:
Formation and evolution of the Solar System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now, we haven't viewed this happening in real time (it takes too long), but there's plenty of evidence in favor of it (for example: it's a well-known fact that matter naturally tends to clump together in space... as proven by bags of salt in the ISS), and we've witnessed the various stages of Stellar Evolution in nebulae.

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Which is far more impressive, in regards to complexity. I mean, why does my heart beat, without me telling it too.
How does the heart beat?

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I can accept that. I've had some supernatural experiences that could be attributed to other life forms or time travel i guess. Science is working on those aspects, so maybe they'll find the answers someday.
I'm not sure I'd attribute it to time travel. I'm pretty sure that traveling into the past is impossible (I tend to think that time moves only forward, so outside of science, archeology, history books, pictures, videos, and memory, there is no past).

I think supernatural occurrences can be explained by hallucinations, faulty memory, and things like that. Faulty memory caused me to deal with nyctophobia (fear of the dark) until I was 21... my brain literally invented, out of thin air, a memory of a terrifying event, and it took me until I was 21 to confront the memory and realize it was false. I'd be willing to bet that if you could somehow travel back in time and re-experience the claimed supernatural events, the reality of what happened and your memories might be so incredibly different that you'd question your ability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

And don't take that as a bad thing. It's not. It's natural. Our brains are, naturally, faulty. If they weren't, the profession of "magician" would not exist. So if you ever want proof of what I'm talking about, just go see a magic show. A good magician can make you hallucinate, force you to misremember something that happened 5 minutes before, make you go blind, and make you think your crazy, all without ever even calling you out of your seat. and it's all because our brains misfire. It can be so bad that there are tricks that work, but even the magicians who perform them don't know how or why they work!

Here's an article you should probably read:
Science proves you're stupid

Quote:
Okay. So with natural selection, it is primarily a physical reality. What gives humans the ability to reason and create, where the natural selection of animals is vastly different, in purpose and function?
Why only one species developed far superior abilities?
But we aren't. Our closest evolutionary cousins, chimpanzees, exhibit signs of culture, hierarchy, reasoning skills, altruism, and more. In fact, these traits are present among the vast majority of social species. There's evidence that some species, including elephants, mourn for their dead. Dolphins, elephants, and chimpanzees are also self-aware (they recognize themselves in a mirror). And many animals, especially primates, have primitive language. Octopi and squid have shown logic and reasoning abilities.

And most primates exhibit some forms of artistic ability.

We just became the most advanced because we were able to exploit the ecological niche faster than our evolutionary ancestors and cousins and such could.

Quote:
I thought HIV was created in a lab to cull the earth?
Like the new Bird Flu virus.
...

What?!?

Now that's a conspiracy theory I've yet to hear.

No... HIV is a mutation of a naturally-occurring virus. We know because it originates in chimps.

Quote:
You mean like why are the beatles melodies timeless?
And Led Zeppelin's, and Pink Floyd's... these are subjective questions and can only be answered on an individual basis. I know people who think the Beatles are not just overrated, but criminally overrated and don't deserve even a little of the accolades they get. I only partially agree... their output before Rubber Soul (the mainstream, poppy crap) is, with a very few exceptions, utterly worthless to me, but everything after Rubber soul (the more psychedelic, musical, guitar-heavy compositions) is just plain genius.

Questions like this are questions about the nature of our experiences. They are, by definition, outside the realm of science, but only because they are subjective and will have different answers depending on who you ask.

Quote:
Why do humans need purpose and animals just seem to do what their DNA says?
a) How do you know that non-human animals don't have purpose?
b) What makes you think that the human drive for purpose is based on need as opposed to want? Maybe we don't need a purpose at all... maybe we just desperately want a purpose.

Quote:
Hmm, hadn't thought about that. I guess i thought Jesus had a better way of presenting it. More about how to overcome weak traits, than just experiential.
Again... it's nothing original. Jesus, if he even existed, may have been eloquent, but he was not discussing anything new or revelatory.

Quote:
Absolutely. I did read that Israel was consulting Torah scholars on the best scriptural time to bomb Iran.
But the description of missiles with warheads is pretty chilling, seeing as they didn't even have electricity, or flight, or anything of the sort in those days.
You'll have to refer me to where it describes missiles and such. I'd have to read that before commenting on it further...

Quote:
Lots of false timings that is true.
But why couldn't it be about Rome? That makes the most sense to me. Hell, the number of the beast, 666 (or 616), is the Roman numerological sign of both Nero and Domitian... that's pretty strong evidence that it's the fall of Rome Revelations is referring to.

Quote:
One of the unseen entities to me is emotional vibration. Love, Hate, Anger, Happiness.
All of which can be witnessed in all social animals, including primates.

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I mean we see it in some facial expressions and body language, but sans that we also feel it. Energy that is formed into a purpose.
Formed into a purpose, yes... by us.

Quote:
Have you ever felt someone was watching you?
Yes... when I'm actually being watched. But not when I know I'm alone.

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Or walked into a room where a fight was about to take place. It is thick with emotional energy, even if you don't see the people about to fight.
I never got that. If you notice that the room is unusually silent, there are scowls on faces, and, if there are any guards (bodyguards or cops), they are obviously on alert, then yeah, the tension will be obvious. But that's just intuition.

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Or my favorite, feeling a cop was ahead and slowing down just as you see him.
Usually only in places where you've seen cops before (even if you don't remember seeing them there).

Quote:
Or not and getting a ticket and being pissed off at yourself for not listening to the little man inside... (stole that from Kramer)...
Related to the above.

Don't underestimate your subconscious. It's pretty strong...
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,618 posts, read 11,897,727 times
Reputation: 3747
Default A Proxy Debater! Huzzah!

So...NateHevens... where the heck have you been? We could use you here in a tét-a-téte with our old philosophical sparing partner de jour, MysticPhD.

A wise but possibly spiritually mis-guided man (sorry, Mystic buddy, but I callz 'em as I seez 'em...) whose imagination and theistic creativity knows no reasonable bounds!

But now... your band of logical de-construction, on the other hand, so well arranged but also so polite, is pretty hard to ignore, and I may well have to put you on spiritual retainer (would, say... $200/hr put you on said contract?).

That would certainly make my life a lot easier, to just sit back and watch the magical de-constructions evolve.... (small "e"...)
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:25 PM
 
3,335 posts, read 2,708,456 times
Reputation: 921
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
Even the planet itself, as well as our entire solar system, and all solar systems, and galaxies, can be explained:
Formation and evolution of the Solar System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now, we haven't viewed this happening in real time (it takes too long), but there's plenty of evidence in favor of it (for example: it's a well-known fact that matter naturally tends to clump together in space... as proven by bags of salt in the ISS), and we've witnessed the various stages of Stellar Evolution in nebulae.

How does the heart beat?

I'm not sure I'd attribute it to time travel. I'm pretty sure that traveling into the past is impossible (I tend to think that time moves only forward, so outside of science, archeology, history books, pictures, videos, and memory, there is no past).

I think supernatural occurrences can be explained by hallucinations, faulty memory, and things like that. Faulty memory caused me to deal with nyctophobia (fear of the dark) until I was 21... my brain literally invented, out of thin air, a memory of a terrifying event, and it took me until I was 21 to confront the memory and realize it was false. I'd be willing to bet that if you could somehow travel back in time and re-experience the claimed supernatural events, the reality of what happened and your memories might be so incredibly different that you'd question your ability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

And don't take that as a bad thing. It's not. It's natural. Our brains are, naturally, faulty. If they weren't, the profession of "magician" would not exist. So if you ever want proof of what I'm talking about, just go see a magic show. A good magician can make you hallucinate, force you to misremember something that happened 5 minutes before, make you go blind, and make you think your crazy, all without ever even calling you out of your seat. and it's all because our brains misfire. It can be so bad that there are tricks that work, but even the magicians who perform them don't know how or why they work!

Here's an article you should probably read:
Science proves you're stupid

But we aren't. Our closest evolutionary cousins, chimpanzees, exhibit signs of culture, hierarchy, reasoning skills, altruism, and more. In fact, these traits are present among the vast majority of social species. There's evidence that some species, including elephants, mourn for their dead. Dolphins, elephants, and chimpanzees are also self-aware (they recognize themselves in a mirror). And many animals, especially primates, have primitive language. Octopi and squid have shown logic and reasoning abilities.

And most primates exhibit some forms of artistic ability.

We just became the most advanced because we were able to exploit the ecological niche faster than our evolutionary ancestors and cousins and such could.

...

What?!?

Now that's a conspiracy theory I've yet to hear.

No... HIV is a mutation of a naturally-occurring virus. We know because it originates in chimps.

And Led Zeppelin's, and Pink Floyd's... these are subjective questions and can only be answered on an individual basis. I know people who think the Beatles are not just overrated, but criminally overrated and don't deserve even a little of the accolades they get. I only partially agree... their output before Rubber Soul (the mainstream, poppy crap) is, with a very few exceptions, utterly worthless to me, but everything after Rubber soul (the more psychedelic, musical, guitar-heavy compositions) is just plain genius.

Questions like this are questions about the nature of our experiences. They are, by definition, outside the realm of science, but only because they are subjective and will have different answers depending on who you ask.

a) How do you know that non-human animals don't have purpose?
b) What makes you think that the human drive for purpose is based on need as opposed to want? Maybe we don't need a purpose at all... maybe we just desperately want a purpose.

Again... it's nothing original. Jesus, if he even existed, may have been eloquent, but he was not discussing anything new or revelatory.

You'll have to refer me to where it describes missiles and such. I'd have to read that before commenting on it further...

But why couldn't it be about Rome? That makes the most sense to me. Hell, the number of the beast, 666 (or 616), is the Roman numerological sign of both Nero and Domitian... that's pretty strong evidence that it's the fall of Rome Revelations is referring to.

All of which can be witnessed in all social animals, including primates.

Formed into a purpose, yes... by us.

Yes... when I'm actually being watched. But not when I know I'm alone.

I never got that. If you notice that the room is unusually silent, there are scowls on faces, and, if there are any guards (bodyguards or cops), they are obviously on alert, then yeah, the tension will be obvious. But that's just intuition.

Usually only in places where you've seen cops before (even if you don't remember seeing them there).

Related to the above.

Don't underestimate your subconscious. It's pretty strong...
You Sir, have a dizzying intellect. All perfectly good answers. I'll study some more and return.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:00 PM
 
47,578 posts, read 30,092,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
But see, to me, this is a complete cop-out. It's how believers wriggle their way out of the fact that there really is currently no evidence.
::Sigh: becasue you have absconded with it under false pretenses.
Quote:
I do not accept that the question of God's existence is outside the realm of science. Science, at its most basic, is the best tool we have to answer questions about the nature of reality. If the question of the existence of a god or gods is not a question about the nature of reality, then there is no such thing as reality.
Of course it is not out of the realm of science . . .nothing is.
Quote:
Fact is, it's the ultimate question about the nature of reality. I would even go so far as to say that the question of the existence of a god or gods is the reason we have science in the first place. Without people asking this question and questions like it, there probably would never have been a drive to understand reality to begin with.
Absolutely agree.
Quote:
Thus, if God's existence cannot be proven scientifically, then you're stuck with only one of two possibilities:
a) It's the Pandeists who are right, and God is the universe and all within it, or
b) We atheists are right and there is/are no god/s.
Wrong . . . PanENtheists are right. It is the limitations of our consciousness (requiring formation before we can even experience or measure reality and therefore at a level of being beyond our experiential one) that restricts us to a level of being that is inferior to that of God while our consciousness is nonetheless a part of God. We are like the cells of our body would be (were they aware as we are) trying to understand us . . . a most problematic perspective and enigma.
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And I think the final nail in the coffin of the personal god will be the finding of a viable, strong Theory of Abiogenesis- a viable, testable, understood explanation for the origin of life- which I do honestly expect to see within the next one or two (maybe three, but I doubt it) decades. Then, only Deism will be intellectually tenable by all but the most ardent fanatics (the people who already reject most of science, like evolution, the Big Bang, the scientifically determined ages of the earth/solar system and the universe, and so on) at that point.
The definition of "personal God" is the crucial delimiter here . . . but clearly the traditional religious understanding is doomed. In any case, finding out more about our God and how our reality works really does nothing to eliminate God. That is an oft-stated but untenable position.
Quote:
Atheism itself won't be scientifically justified until we find an explanation for the existence of the universe itself, and even then, that's assuming the explanation is purely natural and without intelligent aid (which, while I admit this is looking more and more true, it is no where near to being a definite)...
That's not to say that I think atheism is unjustifiable... I am an atheist myself, after all. I just think that realizing whether or not you believe is currently a philosophical/logical exercise at this point and will remain so until the Theory of Everything is finally discovered and verified as accurate.
Even this would not achieve your objective I'm afraid unless you butcher the concept of intelligent because that is what makes our reality intelligible. It is what most confounded Einstein . . . that our reality was capable of being understood. A far deeper issue than it might seem on the surface, btw.
Quote:
<snip>
Since science is how we answer questions about the nature of reality, and the question of the existence of a higher power or powers is the greatest question about the nature of reality, then it is a scientific question and can be answered scientifically. It hasn't, yet, and we may be generations away from answering it, but that does not mean it can never be answered.
Agreed.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:28 PM
 
Location: California
32,739 posts, read 36,190,343 times
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Backpeddling..lol.

Is agnostic closer to Christian than atheist? Apparently any other religion is closer to Christian to some people. So weird. They don't believe what you do, that's pretty much it no matter what else you say about it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Metromess
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Dawkins is an agnostic atheist, as most atheists are. That isn't at all close to being Christian.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:09 AM
 
5,460 posts, read 6,195,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Because it's an unprovable proposition either way, unless you count an elaborate construct of Aristotelian logic.
Yes, and therefore since there's no evidence the claim of god existing should be rejected just like every other baseless claim. It would be pretty straightforward, except for all of the emotional baggage that the concept carries around with it.
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