Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This just about says it all...

61 comments:

ValleyGirl said...

Haha, thanks for the chuckle!!

Logic Lad said...

Funny, sounds a lot like most creation myths to me, except ofcourse for the inexplicable appearance of a god on the scene, obviously the first thing to be created by nothing from nothing.

Nice little straw man you have there, I mean you manage to miss represent evoloution, physics and cosmology all in a short paragraph.

I agree with the first comment, it made me chuckle, though probably not for the same reasons.

Reynold said...

Nice strawman.

Where do atheists say that "nothing" exploded in the first place? Do some reading on the Big Bang.

ExPatMatt said...

That does just about say it all...

...it says it all about how some Christians are willing to misrepresent other people's positions if it serves their agenda.

...it says it all about the lack of intellectual honesty that afflicts some Christians that makes building straw man arguments OK.

...it says it all about the hypocrisy of claiming a relationship with the giver of all Truth and then breaking a specific Commandment about not lying.

...it says it all about the fact that, even though it has been explained numerous times, some Christians still do not (or will not) understand very basic concepts about science and/or atheism.

...it says it all that some Christians need to resort to such dishonest tactics to sell their religion.

Yep, says it all really.

Regards,

Matt

ExPatMatt said...

Cue the standard response of; "oooh, look how ferociously the Athiest defends his Faith!"

I'll be impressed if any Christian actually posts here and demonstrates that they understand what's wrong with the OP.

emram said...

Expat,

“even though it has been explained numerous times, some Christians /still/ do not (or will not) understand very basic concepts about science and/or atheism.”

When has the origin of life ever been explained by atheist “numerous times”?

Logic lad,

Talk about a straw man, not sure what religion you are talking about but Christianity does not teach the “appearance of a god on the scene”. You may chose to believe that it does, demand that it do so, but it does not. Each time you speak of God being created or some unscriptural concept such as that, you are wasting our time.

Reynold,

Talk about a straw man, we do not except the hypothesis of a big bang, all matter being gathered together in a small space that began to spin so fast that it suddenly exploded?? We ask a more basic question, where did the matter come from? Atheists do not know! Ironically, you can do all the reading you want and you will never read anything that explains the most fundamental questions of the cosmos. And WE are ignorant?? Sorry we just don’t read the same nonsense that you read.

Reynold said...

emram beaking off:
Reynold,

Talk about a straw man, we do not except the hypothesis of a big bang, all matter being gathered together in a small space that began to spin so fast that it suddenly exploded?? We ask a more basic question, where did the matter come from? Atheists do not know!

We ask a more basic question: "Where did your god come from"? Theists do not know!

Get the irony yet, genius?

Ironically, you can do all the reading you want and you will never read anything that explains the most fundamental questions of the cosmos.
Just as you will never read or even bother to find out the most fundamental question of (your idea of) the cosmos...where did your "god" come from?

And WE are ignorant??
Yes, you are. However unlike actual scientists, you are content to say things like "god always existed" and just dogmatically assert that't the end of that. Scientists are always probing for more answers, and unlike religion, science has a decent track record.

We at least work to reduce our ignorance as opposed to embracing it like people like you do.

Sorry we just don’t read the same nonsense that you read.
No, you read an entirely higher level of nonesense. A book with talking snakes, a woman being made from a man's rib, people rising from the dead, and all that jazz.

And your blinding ignorance of science as shown in your response shows that you don't read anything that deals with science at all, yet you call atheists ignorant?

Didn't I tell you once to park your attitude? You get what you recieve.

Reynold said...

To summarize the problem you theists have: "If human complexity requires a designer, what about a deity's complexity?"

emram said...

Reynold,

Are you saying that theistic scientists that teach at all the major universities, have Ph.D.’s, like Guillermo Gonzalez from Iowa (who’s research has led to the discovery of planets) are ignorant? Are you smarter than he is? We ask more fundamental questions.

The truth is that atheistic worldviews are nonsense because they have no infinite reference point for predication, period. Please tell why we should care to be honest about scientific discovery and research? Why should we care whether or not we are ignorant about the universe? Are you saying there is purpose in this chance universe? Please try answering these without relying on Biblical principles to do so. I do not believe you can do it.

Aquaria said...

theistic worldviews are nonsense because they have no infinite reference point for predication, period.

Fixed it for you. Now it's accurate.

Please tell why we should care to be honest about scientific discovery and research?

I do hope you get off this computer, cut off your electricity and phones, don't take any medicine, don't go to a doctor, don't drive a car, and don't eat any food that doesn't come from a source older than about 60 years. That might leave some fruits and nuts--appropriately.

This is but a brief list of the things science has given you, you ungrateful cur.

You take advantage of all of those things every single day with no gratitude for the hard work and intellectual rigor that developed them. You are a wretched excuse for a human being to take and take and take while disparaging the very people who make your life much more pleasant than it would have been otherwise.

Why should we care whether or not we are ignorant about the universe?

It's one thing to be ignorant because you simply don't know any better, but to know better and be proud of that ignorance is a very tragic thing. How terrible for you that you revel in being a moron.

Are you saying there is purpose in this chance universe?

Are you saying that you can't get out of bed unless the voices in your head tell you to do so?

Seriously, I get up because there are people to love and laugh with, there are things to do and see. This is a pretty incredible world, you know! I'm only here a limited amount of time. Why not enjoy it while it's here--and that doesn't mean the debauched fantasies you have of atheistic life.

I know it will shock you, but we atheists have families and work and homes. They have purpose in their lives that they don't have to get from an outside source. What will shock you even more is learning that none of those things are unique to Christianity. They existed long before a bunch of Bronze Age goatherders thought they could talk to a celestial lunatic, and they will continue to exist long after it joins the Greek, Roman and Norse pantheon as a charming but ultimately ridiculous fiction.

Please try answering these without relying on Biblical principles to do so. I do not believe you can do it.

EPIC FAIL

I just did.

And don't try to claim all the virtues in the world as unique to your Bronze Age mythology. It's not, no matter how much some of you want to believe it.

Aquaria said...

Oh--and Dr. Gonzales may be a believer, but you can bet that he does not let his crackpot beliefs interfere with his scientific investigations. Just like Ken Miller does not let his religious beliefs interfere with his evolution research.

They know how to keep the issues separate. Too bad the more deluded of the theists can't do the same. Nobody would find you so annoying then.

Javier said...

You take advantage of all of those things every single day with no gratitude for the hard work and intellectual rigor that developed them. You are a wretched excuse for a human being to take and take and take while disparaging the very people who make your life much more pleasant than it would have been otherwise.

Step off the soap box, we're not here to rant, you can take it somewhere else.

Stop acting as if science developed alone, there is a long religious history to science. You are painting a romantic view of our scientific history as if its struggled to fight for survival in the midst of religious battles. Its ahistorical, and perverse.


i) To question scientific research is itself scientific. So that if we don't question what science teaches, then according to our 'scientific' friends its actually religious, thus they have committed the very fault they charge religious people with. Accepting something without question.

ii)So its valid to question evolution on its own basis, because its 'unscientific' to accept 'dogma'. Its valid to question any accepted theory on this basis alone so such explosions of rhetoric only demonstrate what this Movement of Morons (now to be known as M.O.M) has become.

iii) I'm not debating the original post, I don't care too much for it. But, your Dawkinesque attitude isn't going to be tolerated.

iv) As for the rest of the MOM's please refrain from using such boisterous language. You will be banned.

Mark Morrison said...

Right on the money Trish !

Atheist tend to get angry when confronted with the truth.

Logic Lad said...

Emram

I know this has been asked before, in this thread perhaps, but kindly explain where your god came from. The whole point of the fairly childish start to this post was that apparently atheists belive something came from nothing, So where did your god some from? just because the bible does not tell of his orgins, by your own statements nothing can come nothing, he/she/it must have some from somewhere.

On the other hand as Carl Sagan points out if you can accept the concept god is eternal, then why can we not just cut out the extra unneeded entity and say the universe was eternal.

So either something can come from nothing and so we don't need a god, or soemthign can be eternal so we don't need a god, I eagerly await you response.

Please bare in mind that the above is entirly based on your own premis, so you need to point out where the argument is faulty, or you need to admit that your premis was faulty. And if anyone can point out any faulty logic here i am more than happy to be educated.

And I am with Reynold, park the attitude, this forum is one of the most polite places i have found on the web where there appears to be a genuine exchange of ideas. If you can't cope with the concept of people disagreeing with you and being prepared to defend their beliefs then you are the one who is wasting everyones time.

Oh and as a thought try actually answering some of the questions put to you rather than just ignoring them and waving a bible about.

You have been told before, and hopefully it may sink in at some point, we don't believe in your book of myth and legend so you have to try and defend your arguments with actual logic and evidence not just by quoting scripture and off hand dismissals.

Mark Morrison

yes, rational thinkers do tend to get annoyed when people think that strawmen arguments some how prove anything.

it has little to do with my opinion of the existence of god and more to do with my limited tolerance for faulty logic and poor arguments.

Logic Lad said...

Javier

While I agree that Aquaria is a little blunt and bombastic i think that a number of his points do deserve a little more credit.

To question research is scientific, but only when it is done with the genuine evidence and a new testable theory, there is a lot of 'it ain't in the bible so it ain't true' going on here, and i am sure that you will accept that is not in keeping with the scientific method.

The TOE (theory of evoloutuion) is constantly being tested and refined, the concept has been generally accepted but the details are under constant revision and correction. unfortunatly the subject is just too big for anyone to be able to say the understand all of it, so yes, the bits you don't know you have to take on faith, but that faith is based on the fact the all aspects are constantly being questioned and tested.

Please refrain from school yard insults, that is more Emram's style than yours, unless you are comfortable with being lumped in with the other People of Ignorance, hence forth to be known as POI, who simply rail against stuff that is not in there bronze age book.

Casual threats of banning, nothing like claiming to win an argument by making sure the other guy is not allowed to talk, a typical POI tactic.

Javier, please get back to the rational responses that I have read else where.

ExPatMatt said...

I said yesterday;

"I'll be impressed if any Christian actually posts here and demonstrates that they understand what's wrong with the OP."

and I'm still waiting. Pathetic.

Emram,

You said;

"Talk about a straw man, we do not except [accept?] the hypothesis of a big bang, all matter being gathered together in a small space that began to spin so fast that it suddenly exploded??"

And neither do we; that's why it's called a straw man - it's not what anyone says happened. You do know what a straw man is, right?

It doesn't matter if a atheism is right or wrong - the OP is not what anyone says happened.

There are at least 8 fallacies/misrepresentations in the OP. It doesn't matter if atheists are wrong and Christians are right - the OP does not honestly describe what an atheist believes/thinks.

Every post that goes by where a theists does not honestly look at the OP and describe what's wrong with it, my respect for Christianity in general goes down a peg.

Trish,

Care to explain yourself?

Reynold said...

emram said...

Reynold,

Are you saying that theistic scientists that teach at all the major universities, have Ph.D.’s, like Guillermo Gonzalez from Iowa (who’s research has led to the discovery of planets) are ignorant?

Only when, like Gonzalez, they let their religious beliefs guide them instead of scientific curiosity, then yes. Some theistic scientists in ages past like Galileo who had actual curiosity about the world, no.

Though on the bright side, you people can ride on the coat-tails of those guys to try to make the current crop of ID/creationist do-nothings look repectable.

Uh uh. Not unless you actually do the work.

Speaking of which, you may want to look at your hero Gonzales a bit more carefully, at the Expelled Exposed site, the The Truth behind the Fiction section about Gonzales. The man's scientific output fell once he got into that "intelligent design" hooey. Read this paragraph and the ones preceding it. Please note who wrote that about him.

That even Gonzalez’s former academic advisors expressed doubts about his performance at ISU suggests that this is a serious issue. It is worth noting that the decline in his publication rate corresponds to the time when he started putting time into an intelligent design project that has produced no peer-reviewed results. This includes his work on The Privileged Planet and his collaboration with old-earth creationist Hugh Ross from the ministry Reasons to Believe

Are you smarter than he is? We ask more fundamental questions.
It's nothing to do with intelligence, but ignorance. Like what you're demonstrating, again.

You say you ask "more fundamental questions" while ignoring the fact that scientists are themselves asking those same kinds of questions, like what was there before the big bang, etc? Then you go and ignore the fact that you do not ask the "more fundamental question" about what was there before your "god".

In reality, you people do NOT ask the more fundamental questions, at least not of yourselves, unlike actual scientists.

My statement about your willfull ignorance stands.


The truth is that atheistic worldviews are nonsense because they have no infinite reference point for predication, period.
What? No "infinite reference" point? What is that gobbledygook? Are you trying to say that atheism is nonsense because you don't have some outside father figure to guide you or something? I hope not, because that'd be stupid.

Here: an idea is nonsense or not based on whether there is evidence to back it up.

Please tell why we should care to be honest about scientific discovery and research? Why should we care whether or not we are ignorant about the universe? Are you saying there is purpose in this chance universe? Please try answering these without relying on Biblical principles to do so. I do not believe you can do it.
Why should I have to? All you're saying is that you NEED some "god" to exist in order for anything to have meaning. How pathetic. That's your problem; don't project it onto others.

If something is true, it's true not because it gives us "meaning", or "hope" or makes us feel good, but rather by the evidence for it. All you're doing is playing on people's emotions. Sorry. No workee.

Atheists don't need to have a "god" looking out for us for our lives to have meaning. We make it ourselves. For example, through our children, families, etc.

Or even just the thrill of scientific discovery, ie. learning something new, which is something you obviously don't care for at all judging by your last statement.

Reynold said...

Ah, nuts. I should have just said "ditto" to aquaria's comment. She said it better.

stranger.strange.land said...

@ Reynold, et al.

The self-existent, eternal being who is our Creator, could not have "come from" something else. Even though this is patently obvious, brilliant men like Russell and Hume missed it.

Craig B.

Reynold said...

Evolution, like every scientific theory, is continually tested. It's not like a theory in science is confirmed after a few experiments and is never tested again...see The 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution FAQ on the Talk Origins archive, which documents a bunch of tests that the theory has passed.

If, by the way, they were ever to find fossilized vertebrates in the precambrian, evolutionary theory as it is now, would be in some trouble...

Javier said...

To question research is scientific, but only when it is done with the genuine evidence and a new testable theory, there is a lot of 'it ain't in the bible so it ain't true' going on here, and i am sure that you will accept that is not in keeping with the scientific method.

Logic, its quite simple, to question scientific conclusions on the basis of the scientific method is very valid, and right. The issue is what is wrong with considering the scientific method, and questioning the method itself? The issue is not about evidence afterall someone need support the evidence that supports the evidence. And what evidence supports the evidence that supports the evidence?

The issue is deeper, and this is why I'm so flabbergasted that nincompoops would like to suggest that the scientific method is valid without considering the philosophical issues involved in making scientific conclusions about nature and the world around us. In this battle the issue is not who has evidence, but who is more consistent being able to explain everything, not just a theory of origins. Afterall, a biology presupposes a cosmology and a cosmology presupposes an epistemology. Some fools fail to see this, and thus begin with the assumption that empiricism is valid without addressing the issue. This is why the militant form of atheism is dangerous, and stupidly dangerous...perhaps we can even call these type of atheists who teach this to their children *gasp* child abusers.

Thus the dogmatic assertion that empiricism is valid on the basis of empirical study is ridiculous. If empiricism cannot validate itself without appealing to empiricism then empiricism is circular despite what any empirical scientist has concluded. Benefits to society or people in general do not establish an empirical epistemology as logical. And since you are logic lad I'd expect you to understand this (I've tried with Mr. Dense,and it hasn't worked).

Please refrain from school yard insults, that is more Emram's style than yours, unless you are comfortable with being lumped in with the other People of Ignorance, hence forth to be known as POI, who simply rail against stuff that is not in there bronze age book.

This is silly. Logic Lad, if I call you stupid and you are indeed stupid, then you're stupid and its a truth. Since Aquarius wants to act like a Five Star Member of MoM. I will respond to Aquarius in that manner. This is Biblical, and consistent. I feed sheep, shoot wolves, and occasionally kick goats. I treat different people differently in my engagement with them. If you're nice, I'm nice and if you're mean I maybe nice.

The prophets did it, Jesus did it, Paul did it, and God does it to this day.

That being said you are not in the same boat as your friends because you can engage in a sensible manner with other theists.

Reynold said...

stranger.strange.land said...

@ Reynold, et al.

The self-existent, eternal being who is our Creator, could not have "come from" something else.

Why not? Why can't the pre-big bang universe be like that? Do you really know enough about the universe to say that it couldn't?

Even though this is patently obvious, brilliant men like Russell and Hume missed it.
More like a patently obvious dodge if you ask me. Nothing but a double-standard: the universe had to have come from a "creator" but the "creator" himself can NOT have a cause him or herself. Nothing but an effort to dodge the "problem" you theists try to give to non-theists: the "first cause".

Reynold said...

ExPatMatt:

I did advise Emram to do some reading about the big bang, but as you can see, he's not the least bit interested in learning. Big surprise.

Then they wonder why they don't get the respect they think they deserve. See ExPatMatt's March 26, 2009 7:20 AM post.

ExPatMatt said...

Reynold,

That's the thing. I wouldn't mind if people described current Big Bang/Evolutionary Theory and said; "nope, I don't believe that happened because it contradicts my faith". That's fair enough.

But to skew that opinion so much and to attached it to a very diverse group of people as if they hold it as dogma...and then to bash it; that's not just dishonest - it's rude!

moakley said...

Javier said: "The issue is deeper, and this is why I'm so flabbergasted that nincompoops would like to suggest that the scientific method is valid without considering the philosophical issues involved in making scientific conclusions about nature and the world around us. In this battle the issue is not who has evidence, but who is more consistent being able to explain everything"

You have got us there. "God did it" is pretty consistent.

stranger.strange.land said...

Craig: The self-existent, eternal being who is our Creator, could not have "come from" something else.

Reynold: Why not? Why can't the pre-big bang universe be like that? Do you really know enough about the universe to say that it couldn't?


Are you really going to posit a pre-big bang universe that is it's own explanation. If you are, you had better think through the implications of your position before you start typing.

Craig: Even though this is patently obvious, brilliant men like Russell and Hume missed it.

Reynold: More like a patently obvious dodge if you ask me. Nothing but a double-standard: the universe had to have come from a "creator" but the "creator" himself can NOT have a cause him or herself. Nothing but an effort to dodge the "problem" you theists try to give to non-theists: the "first cause".


Not trying to send the "first cause" problem into your court at all, simply describing the God that we profess. We believe that the bible teaches that there are only two things, ultimately: God and that which God has created.

Of course there is a "double standard" if you want to phrase it like that. 1. A creation that needs an explanation outside of itself. 2. A self-existent creator who has the power of being in himself.

Craig

The Murphy's said...

I am a follower of Jesus and I think the OP has ZERO objectivity. This is the sad perception that most American "Christians" give to the world, that we don't care about science and the study there of. To all atheist posting here, there are some Christians that are rational and objective in thought, find some and I think you will be surprised by what you hear. We that are rational and objective tend to focus on spiritual and faith aspects, more that trying to sell Christianity through apologetics.

Reynold said...

Of course there is a "double standard" if you want to phrase it like that. 1. A creation that needs an explanation outside of itself. 2. A self-existent creator who has the power of being in himself.
Yes, there is a double standard, no quotes needed around those two words. What makes you think that this "creator" needs no explanation, but the "universe" requires one? Isn't this creator of yours more complicated?

MaskedMarauder said...

The issue is deeper, and this is why I'm so flabbergasted that nincompoops would like to suggest that the scientific method is valid without considering the philosophical issues involved in making scientific conclusions about nature and the world around us.
No mystery here. We are confident the scientific method is valid because it works, or haven't you noticed?

Science eliminated polio epidemics. Jesus didn't.

Science knows that the earth revolves around the sun. Jesus didn't.

Science extended average human life span 30 years. Jesus didn't.

Science knows that life evolves. Jesus didn't.

Science knows that the land is older than the seas. Jesus didn't.

Etc. Etc. Etc. ...

Science: Many
Jesus: Zero

Who has the best grasp of how things really work? Only a fool would not have confidence in the method that succeeds the most often and most reliably.

In this battle the issue is not who has evidence, but who is more consistent being able to explain everything, not just a theory of origins.

No, even partial and incomplete success is superior to consistent failure. Show where religion ever explained anything real before you try and claim it explains everything.

Everything! There's a concept to conjure with! You won't even know what "everything" is until science tells you. You'd still be quaking with dread in your hovel, cowering from eclipses, if science hadn't dragged you kicking and screaming out of your own self-inflicted ad gladly borne Dark Ages.

Josh Brisby said...

There is much to respond to here, and I was invited to give my two cents. So, let me say in brief:

(1) Science does not "know" that evolution is a "fact." Evolution is not something that can be observed. Evolution is a theory and a connection to the philosophy of naturalism. Scientists who are naturalists view the phenomena of the natural world through naturalistic lenses, whereas creationists and intelligent design theorists view the world through those lenses as well.

(2) Related to this, it seems wiser to me to ask the question which way of looking at the world makes the most sense out of the phenomena around us.

(3) Naturalism, in its broader forms, says that all that is seen is in the realm of the empirical, namely, that which can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard. Yet this falls on its own claim for the reasons that (a) we cannot empirically verify that statement, and (b) it fails to answer the question of what Darwin himself wanted to answer, namely, the *origin* of the species.

(4) There must be an ultimate somewhere. Some atheists who have commented have asked where God came from. We could in turn respond by asking where matter came from. Atheists are split on this question. Some say that matter just has always existed, others say it came about randomly.

(5) If matter always existed, then why is everything going to entropy? It is going to disorder. Where does order come from?

(6) If matter came about randomly, then that would have to violate the fundamental law of non-contradiction. It would have to both *be* and *not be* at the same time and in the same relationship. If something came from nothing, then *A* would have to be *non-A* at the same time and in the same relationship; yet the law of non-contradiction says that something cannot be both A and non-A at the same time and in the same relationship. ***Indeed, how can there even be law-like principles in an atheistic and naturalistic universe?*** This is quite the dialecic--the naturalist and atheist will say that this all came about through random chance and reshuffling of matter, yet they turn right around and look for law-like principles in science, using the principle of induction, which Bertrand Russell himself admitted is quite a problem to have in the atheistic worldview.

(7) Naturalism and atheism ask us to believe something which, on all other counts, others would not ask anyone to believe. If I picked up an arrowhead by the lake, I would certainly have warrant and justification to believe that it was made by an indian from a nearby indian tribe. Certainly, if I looked at an atheist and said "this arrowhead came about through the reshuffling of particles" they would rightly look at me like I was insane. Yet, this same atheist wants me to look at the intricacies of, say, snowflakes, and posit that no designer did that. So, what many atheists want me to believe on the one hand, they are not comfortable themselves believing on the other. Indeed, they cannot.

This is enough for now. It seems rather clear to me that if there is anything that is *not* true, and quite incredible to believe, it is any form of naturalism or atheism. It seems much more rational to me to believe that a Designer demonstrates His power everywhere.

Mark Morrison said...

Logic Lad said,

yes, rational thinkers do tend to get annoyed when people think that strawmen arguments some how prove anything.

it has little to do with my opinion of the existence of god and more to do with my limited tolerance for faulty logic and poor arguments.

Mark said,
faulty logic and poor arguments describes the fairytale that is evolution pretty good.

Mark Morrison said...

This is from the evidence Bible:

Encyclopedia Britannica documents that in 1845, a young doctor in Vienna named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after giving birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown. Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before examinations, and the death rate immediately dropped to 2 percent. Look at the specific instructions God gave His people for when they encounter disease: "And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself even days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean" (Leviticus 15:13). Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands. However, the Bible says specifically to wash hands under "running water."

There are many more if you care to take the time to look MaskedMarauder.

Tim Brown said...

Great post Trish!

stranger.strange.land said...

Reynold said:
Yes, there is a double standard, no quotes needed around those two words. What makes you think that this "creator" needs no explanation, but the "universe" requires one? Isn't this creator of yours more complicated? [emphasis added]

I did not say that he needed no explanation. I said that he needed no explanation outside of himself. Self-existent, independent beings seldom do.: )

Reynold, knowing what you do about me from our conversations, you must suspect that I am more interested in how Reynold fits in to this grand scheme of things than in abstract philosophical concepts. Am I right?

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

TheMurphey's,

To all atheist posting here, there are some Christians that are rational and objective in thought, find some and I think you will be surprised by what you hear.

Unfortunately though, you are not a true Christian (as demonstrated by your ability to grasp concepts such as rationality and objectivity) and so my gripe was not addressed to you.

You are what is known as a 'False Convert'.

Judas managed 3 years; how long have you been faking it?


That was my guess at the Way of the Master stock response to Christians, such as yourself, who don't fall in line with their draconian definition of what it is to be a True Christian(TM) and actually engage in honest discussion with atheists.

It must hurt you deeply to see your brothers & sisters behave this way, eh?

Javier said...

ExPatMatt (MoM member #2)
But to skew that opinion so much and to attached it to a very diverse group of people as if they hold it as dogma...and then to bash it; that's not just dishonest - it's rude!

Pat, I'm sure in your intellectual rigor and intense thinking, being 'rational' and all, you realized you committed the same fallacy you charged Christians with? You're so rude!

How dare you 'skew an opinion' (Christian conduct) and 'attach it to a very diverse group of people' (Christians) as if they hold it as dogma (Christian conduct in regards to misrepresentation of positions) and then bash it you're so rude!

MaskedMaruauder (MoM Member #3)
No mystery here. We are confident the scientific method is valid because it works, or haven't you noticed?

And, this is the typical fundamentalist atheist response. This is exactly my problem, you should go deeper, but because it is an infallible dogma of your faith you cannot. This makes you religious and a scientific failure. According to your own standards. As I said before, simply saying it works doesn't let it escape from the philosophical issues involved in proclaiming an Empirical epistemology as if its gospel. So, go back re-read what I said and if you can't respond don't bother.

Who has the best grasp of how things really work? Only a fool would not have confidence in the method that succeeds the most often and most reliably.

Who said I didn't have confidence in it? This is a straw man, there are many benefits we gain from this method but that doesn't solve the problems. Again you're thinking like a backwoods baptist - fundy.

Everything!
Congratulations, you are more zealous than the evangelicals.

There's a concept to conjure with! You won't even know what "everything" is until science tells you.


This is just ambigous, what exactly is 'everything' and how does science help? Can you tell me, do you know what 'everything' is?

ExPatMatt said...

Javier,

If you look at my initial comment, I was very careful to say some Christians.

In the specific comment that you quoted I was clearly referring to the sentiment expressed in the OP. Nowhere did I claim that all Christians are guilty of misrepresenting others.

I look forward to your apology and retraction.

Matt

Reynold said...

I did not say that he needed no explanation. I said that he needed no explanation outside of himself. Self-existent, independent beings seldom do.: )
How do you know he's "self-existent"? What makes you think that the pre-big bang universe is not? How does this "clarification" make any difference at all?

Reynold, knowing what you do about me from our conversations, you must suspect that I am more interested in how Reynold fits in to this grand scheme of things than in abstract philosophical concepts. Am I right?
No

Javier said...

If you look at my initial comment, I was very careful to say some Christians.

Yup. You're right. Sorry about that dude.

MaskedMarauder said...

javier: And, this is the typical fundamentalist atheist response.
So? Being typical doesn't discount its accuracy. Indeed, its counterproductive to give various answers at various times just for the sake of variety when there's really only one right answer.

I reread what you said and it still isn't clear what metric you're using to judge deep/shallow. Please try to be clear.

Science does work. That's why planes don't usually fall out of the sky and people flapping their own arms never ascend into it, regardless of how much faith they have to the contrary. Any philosophical issues that you may have with science are secondary and superficial to this obvious and pedestrian fact. Philosophy has never been critical for leading science or understanding it. That's history, not dogma.

Who said I didn't have confidence in it?
OK, I'll amend my statement to: Only a fool would not have confidence in the validity of the method that succeeds the most often and most reliably without needing to resort to philosophical equivocation.[additions in bold]
I think that should resolve your befuddlement.

This is just ambigous, what exactly is 'everything' and how does science help? Can you tell me, do you know what 'everything' is?
Well, you're the one who introduced the word here, so maybe you should define it if you're confused. Your original question for reference: "... but who is more consistent being able to explain EVERYTHING, not just a theory of origins."

To answer your more general question, science helps here because it excels at detailing and enumerating diverse phenomena whereas religion operates with a severely impoverished collection of facts and instances in this regard. I'm sure science will never describe everything in a literal sense, but it will always be many orders of magnitude ahead of your religion. Thus, if or when you ever do try to explain "everything" you will need to go to science to enumerate the myriad things needing explanations because religion is bereft of any such comparable information.

Morrison: There are many more if you care to take the time to look MaskedMarauder.
Leviticus is a very uneven source of knowledge about the real world. It says that rabbits chew their cud, but they have no cud to chew. And locusts have six legs, not four. Etc.

King and Stager's "Life in Biblical Israel" estimates life expectancy for males at that time as less than 40 years, women less. (if somebody knows a better estimate I'd very much like to hear it) So, even with the copious proscriptions in Leviticus and the special favorable attention of the One True God, they still didn't fare much better than their unenlightened contemporaries in the region.

All of that notwithstanding, following a rule, however salubrious, should never be confused with understanding the disease phenomenon, which is what we're interested in here. Science's germ theory of disease provides that for a large number of serious diseases. The theoretical framework additionally provides practical guidance in controlling contagion at the same time. Leviticus does not. That's all I'm trying to say.

Josh Brisby: Evolution is a theory and a connection to the philosophy of naturalism.
You do know that gravity is "just" a theory too, yes? So my question is: why aren't you equally agitated about protecting young minds from the philosophical ravages of Newton or Einstein by removing godless gravity theory from the science curriculum? Why do you guys only pick on Darwin? You don't like his beard? He had a bad tailor? What?

Josh Brisby said...

Masked Marauder,

I understand if you don't have time to respond to all that I wrote, but what I wrote certainly requires a sufficient response. You guys wanted an intellectual defense without name-calling, so I gave it to you. You responded by dealing with one statement from me and equivocating.

Namely, you equivocated on "theory" and "law." Having taught physical science myself and having studied science, both modern-day and earlier, something goes from the states of "hypothesis" to "theory" to "law." Science can only rely on induction, so, in the sense you stated, of course we can't know *for sure* in the "certitude" sort of sense about gravity, but when something passes after scientific study from the "theory" stage to "law" stage, it is something which is generally accepted by "all" scientists.

So, when considering that, it is quite incorrect and commits the fallacy of equivocation to say that gravity is a "theory" and not a "law."

The best way to interact in dialogue is to avoid equivocating on words and logical fallacies. I don't mean this to sound harsh. I know that's what you would want from Christian theists. I'm sure Christian theists would ask the same.

The Murphy's said...

ExPatMatt,

Yes it does hurt and your right, they do label me. I guess we are to check our rational thought at the door when we become a "Christian". I am reading some Immanuel Kant right now, that probably really makes me a liberal.

-Ryan

stranger.strange.land said...

Craig:
Reynold, knowing what you do about me from our conversations, you must suspect that I am more interested in how Reynold fits in to this grand scheme of things than in abstract philosophical concepts. Am I right?

Reynold: No

You may be right. My own heart may be as cold as a block of ice, and I may have no sincere concern about the salvation of anyone, but Jesus is not like that. He loves his sheep. Those whom he came to save are dearer to him than we can ever imagine.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Okay. Reynold.
Now that I have had time to let the reality sink in,(that you don't believe that I am all that interested in your salvation), I wonder if we can get back to your previous comment.

I think you were saying that if God exists, he must have come into existence at some point in time himself. Does that pretty much sum up what you believe? If so, can you tell me how you came to that conclusion. What is your reason for believing that?

I will let you explain your reasoning a little more fully before answering you. Fair enough?

Craig

Reynold said...

Why don't you explain your reasons for assuming that "god" always existed, while at the same time insisting that the known universe had to have been "created".

stranger.strange.land said...

To Reynold.

Sure, I'd be happy to. First, I would like for this to be an amicable discussion. Are you agreed to that?

I just reviewed this thread from the beginning, and my eagle-eye noticed what appeared to be some hostility among the participants. Of course, everyone has the right to express their attitude if they want, I just hoped it would be different between the two of us.

Would you like for us to share our thoughts in an irenic spirit of mutual respect? After all, we are guests on Trisha's blog.: )

Craig

Javier said...

So? Being typical doesn't discount its accuracy.

And as I said, you are already assuming an epistemic framework. But this is why you beg the question, you are assuming empiricism but can you then move forward and tell me how empiricism can validate empiricism without appealing to empiricism? If you cannot then you beg the question. Which is fallacious. I'm not talking simply about science, but the consistency of a worldview, and a worldview that begins with hardcore empircism is a disaster.


Indeed, its counterproductive to give various answers at various times just for the sake of variety when there's really only one right answer.

I have no idea what this means.

I reread what you said and it still isn't clear what metric you're using to judge deep/shallow. Please try to be clear.

The reason is because you fail to recognize that naturalism is a philosophy not a science. This is the problem as I've said.

Science does work. That's why planes don't usually fall out of the sky and people flapping their own arms never ascend into it, regardless of how much faith they have to the contrary.

And this is just retarded. Which is why you fail. Simply saying 'it works! It works!' does not make a worldview coherent or logical.

Any philosophical issues that you may have with science are secondary and superficial to this obvious and pedestrian fact. Philosophy has never been critical for leading science or understanding it. That's history, not dogma.

This is another retarded statement. Are you saying that people who are scientists assume nothing from epistemology to metaphysics to ethics?

As I said before, and you should answer now:
In this battle the issue is not who has evidence, but who is more consistent being able to explain everything, not just a theory of origins. Afterall, a biology presupposes a cosmology and a cosmology presupposes an epistemology. Some fools fail to see this, and thus begin with the assumption that empiricism is valid without addressing the issue.'

And by everything i mean all things regarding a worldview. Ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology and since empiricism fails epistemologically any conclusions fail as well.

Reynold said...

Amicable, sure. Now, will you answer?

Logic Lad said...

Mark Morrison

Please be so good as to point out all the faulty logic and poor arguments that are used to support evolution. I would be delighted to be corrected, only please don't resort to ' it ain't in the bible so it just ain't so' as a line of reasoning.


Javier

Consistency of answer implies complete knowledge, you seem to be suggesting that until we know everything we should not assume anything, that seems like a slightly limiting point of view. The whole strength of the scientific method rests on it's ability to take new evidence and use that to confirm, revise or discredit existing theories and theories plural is part of the point, becuase we don't know everything we have to allow that two theories could be valid until there is a proof that one fails. It is only people who believe they know everything (ie that god did it) that could ever give a completly consistant answer.

stranger.strange.land said...

To Reynold.

Reynold said...
Why don't you explain your reasons for assuming that "god" always existed, while at the same time insisting that the known universe had to have been "created".


First off, if we are talking about something that did not always exist, we are not talking about God. We are talking about something else. The God of Christianity is eternal by definition.

You asked for reasons. I assume that you believe that if anything exists, something has always existed. I also assume that you believe in and use the basic laws of logic.

If my assumptions are incorrect, stop me right here and we will pause to make some clarifications.
Stop, or go on?

ExPatMatt said...

Javier,

"Yup. You're right. Sorry about that dude."

No worries, it's hard to keep track of all the comments and easy to slip into an 'us-versus-them' attitude when you've heard the same lines a million times before.

I'm still not seeing any indication that any of the theists (except perhaps TheMurphys) understand what's wrong with the OP; anyone want to have a crack at it?

MaskedMarauder said...

Josh Brisby:

I don't agree its an equivocation. Typically laws and theories are distinguished by laws being terse and descriptive while theories tend to be more prolix and explanatory.

An example of a "pure" law might be Kepler's 3 laws of planetary motion which have absolutely no theoretical underpinnings. Such things are very scarce now. More usually laws now, as you say, are generalizations of theory-based concepts that have achieved widespread acceptance. Newton's law of universal gravitation is an example. Its a simple equation, yes, but it ultimately relies on Newton's theory of gravitation. I'd characterize the laws as the executive summaries of the theories.

In practice the laws are venerable theories we've habituated to and don't usually think deeply about in day to day work. But they don't receive special treatment, enjoy special protection or have special authority because of that. They're never any better than their underlying theory and can't be properly understood without it ('mass' in NLUG has no meaning without recourse to the theory that provides it's definition, for example). That's why they're always vulnerable. Indeed, that's how Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation was supersceded by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity which is, well, just a theory.

Its true that the law version can be used with confidence as is in practice, but whenever someone makes because-like statements, they're trafficking in theories.

Its in this sense that I said and still say that gravity, as an explanation of why I don't just drift off into outer space, is a theory, like evolution.

MaskedMarauder said...

Javier: And as I said, you are already assuming an epistemic framework.
And so are you. What's your point?

My position is simply that it makes more sense to use an epistemic framework that is known to work and is open to growth and correction rather one that who's truth claims can never be tested and so are never open to correction.

I'm not talking simply about science, but the consistency of a worldview, and a worldview that begins with hardcore empircism is a disaster.
The polio vaccine was a disaster? That's the first I've heard of it.

Whether you care to admit or not, its all empiricism. Querying your memory or sensing your reaction to a proposition are also empirical acts. The difference is that it is an observation of an entirely private event, inaccessible to public regard, whereas science uses publicly available information that anyone can see, if they choose to look. The former has proven itself fragile and unreliable time after time. The other has been shown itself to be successful and reliable in many, many, many, many, many cases over long periods of time.

The reason is because you fail to recognize that naturalism is a philosophy not a science.
Oh? And so what? Where have I advocated naturalism?

Which is why you fail. Simply saying 'it works! It works!' does not make a worldview coherent or logical.
It makes it coherent because it has to be compatible with observed phenomena and communicated intelligibly to other people. To the extent that the world is coherent our descriptions of it must be coherent also. We have no choice in this, it is forced on us by our worldview. Any fruits from that world view, its successes, are objective measures of its ability to grasp reality. Or are you saying that Salk just got lucky with a random guess?

It seems silly to me for you to claim that effective and productive engagements with the world isn't logical. Is religion's persistent failure in this domain then logical and so superior?

I don't concede the point, but if I have to choose one or the other, I'll choose to forgo polio, even if it does make me look illogical in your eyes. No offense, ol' hoss, but avoiding serious diseases is more important to me than conforming to your pet world view.

This is another retarded statement.
Statements aren't retarded, only people who say they are are.

Ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology and since empiricism fails epistemologically any conclusions fail as well.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Why do we succeed so often while you guys do bugger all?

Consider this, if science works so well, how can its philosophical underpinnings be so bad? If the philosophical foundation of science is as bad as you say it is, then of what value is a good philosophical foundation (at least as you personally choose to measure good)?

stranger.strange.land said...

To Reynold.

(No objections? Good. I am glad that my assumptions were correct.)

You initially said, "Where did your god come from? Theists do not know."

If everything must have a prior cause the question would be valid. But the law of causality states that every effect must have an antecedent cause, not everything.

The material, observable universe bears the primary characteristic of an effect, namely change (for example, decay). Also, it could not have brought itself into existence because to have done so would have required it to have existed and not existed at the same time and in the same relationship.

Reynold, I am not saying here that "this proves God," or anything like that; but when Christians speak of God, we are talking about someone who is at least a self-existing, eternal being.

If something exists, the idea of a self-existing, eternal being is not irrational. Again, I was not trying to "prove" God here, only showing you that our belief in such a being is not without reason.

What do you think?

Craig

Reynold said...

First off, if we are talking about something that did not always exist, we are not talking about God. We are talking about something else. The God of Christianity is eternal by definition.
By assertion, you mean. How can that be demonstrated? Why can't the same thing then be said of the pre-big-bang universe?

Like it or not, theists and athiests have the same problem. Only difference is, theists insist that their "god" has eternally existed, while usually demanding that atheists answer what was before the big bang.

Logically, the creator of something must be more complex than the creation, yes? Yet you people say that anything that's complicated must have had a designer. Except of course, your god.

By the way, has anyone addressed the lie in the OP that said that "nothing" exploded in the big bang?

You asked for reasons. I assume that you believe that if anything exists, something has always existed.
Do some reading on the big bang. You'll learn there.

I also assume that you believe in and use the basic laws of logic.
I hope you're not going to say that since the laws of logic are absolute and immaterial that they're proof of your god's existence. There's a guy named Sye TenBruggengate who does that.

Reynold said...

That "sheep" analogy is bad. Why? Guess what always happens to sheep that farmers raise in real life. They're sheared and/or slaughtered.

MaskedMarauder said...

Stranger: If everything must have a prior cause the question would be valid. But the law of causality states that every effect must have an antecedent cause, not everything.
I've never heard this before. How do you distinguish between caused things and uncaused things? And, how many of them are there on an average day, do you reckon?

The material, observable universe bears the primary characteristic of an effect, namely change (for example, decay).
I've never heard this before either. If something causes a caused thing to not change, is it a caused thing masquerading as an uncaused thing, or is it a genuine uncaused thing? Can uncaused things change? If so, how do you tell the difference between an uncaused thing and a caused thing caused to not change?

Is uncausedness perpetual? For example, can a caused thing, once it has been caused by one of the uncaused things, effect change in an uncaused thing?

You've the outline of a very, very, very odd physics here!

Also, it could not have brought itself into existence because to have done so would have required it to have existed and not existed at the same time and in the same relationship.
Sounds like conventional superposition to me, no big problem. Think of Schrodinger's poor cat: dead and alive at the same time.

And, isn't it so that without space there is no time, and vica versa? Then your "at the same time" above would make no sense at all. That is, it would be neither right nor wrong. I can't help noting in passing that without time there can be no antecedent event. Where does that leave the putative cause of the universe?

If something exists, the idea of a self-existing, eternal being is not irrational.
It is if you attribute magical powers to them without evidence.

stranger.strange.land said...

Okay, Good.

We are out of sequence here, but I think we can work with it. I won't copy your posts, but will refer to it by paragraph #. Hopefully this is appearing right under yours.

p.1
No, I took it that you were granting the existence of the Christian God for sake of argument and asking why such a being did not need an explanation outside himself.

p.2
I haven't demanded that, but now that you mention it, I can see that it would be a valuable avenue of inquiry. You probably do too.

p.3
I addressed that in my last comment, but I would put it this way: that which exhibits the characteristics of an effect must have a cause. I didn't get into intentionality in this discussion. Other points must be first established before bringing design into the discussion.

p.4
The OP looks like a spoof of something, Trish will have to handle that one. I have no idea.

p.5
I asked this from a cosmological viewpoint. The category here would properly be Being vs. Nothingness. / Yes, I've read articles about the big bang, and seen presentations of PBS.

p.6
LOL. Looking back at my choice of words there, I see why you might suspect that. No, I was just seeing if we were on the same track regarding the basic laws of thought. You know, the law of identity, law of (non-) contradiction, the law of causality, etc. Just plain old every-day logic. (Did Sye say that it proved God's existence? I don't remember his saying that:)

Christ's Sheep
Well, we are his sheep in one respect, but we are also described as his "bride", his "city", his "family" and there are other analogies.

Looking forward to seeing your responses to this and my previous comments. Take care.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Reynold.

Just print out my last comments and read from that. Something else has now appeared between my comment and yours. :0

Craig

Reynold said...

I dont' have a lot of time, so when it comes to origins, I'll just point out this, the thid post on the sixth page of the SkepticFriends Network post called From Javier, the xian concept of "morality", where I have links to sites that discuss the big bang and what may have occurred before it.

At least with the non-theistic view of the universe, scientists are honest enough to admit that they don't know what was before, and are thus actively studying it.

Religion assumes that their chosen deity was "pre-existing" and "pre-eternal" without providing any evidence for it. That, and they ignore the rule that they impose on non-thiests: that which is complicated must have been made by a designer, without taking into account the complexity of this "designer".


For point 3, what are the characteristics of an "effect", and why does the universe show that, yet your "god" does not?



For point 6, just go to Sye TenB's site "Sinner Ministries of the Proof of God" or go to Stephen Law blogspot page, go the left hand side and click on the label called "Sinner Ministries of the Proof of God". It'll lead you to a whole bunch of posts where Sye dishes that out.


I'll deal with the other points later, maybe.

stranger.strange.land said...

MM

Thanks. That was just a couple of basic principles that I thought might help Reynold understand what we believe about the eternal nature of God. Nothing new, really.

I have something else for you, though. I'm going to give you some oracles. Yes, oracles. They are really from my Lord, I'm just the messenger.

Here they are:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Don't lie) All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire.

You shall not commit adultery. (No sex outside marriage)Not even planning it out in your heart. If any man looks at a woman to lust after her he has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

You shall not steal. No thieves shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Do not ever use God's name in vain. Every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

You shall not murder. Murderers will have their place in the lake of fire. If you have been angry at someone without a cause, you have committed murder in your heart.

You shall not make any graven image. That is, don't make a "god" to suit your self. No idolater shall inherit the kingdom of God.

You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. That is, do not greedily desire something that doesn't belong to you.

God says, "You shall have no other gods before me." Love God with all of your heart, mind soul, and strength.

Remember the sabbath, to keep it holy. (Don't neglect the things of God.)
__________________________________
Obedience to these commandments is required of you. They are the standard by which you will be judged on the Last Day, when the thoughts, words and deeds of your entire life are revealed. Your guilty conscience will even condemn you. When you are found guilty, your own sins will sink you into hell for ever.

This doesn't have to be your fate, MM. Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures. He was buried, but raised to life for us after three days. The penalty has been paid for whoever will repent of his sins, and put their trust in Jesus.

MM, if you will come to Christ, confessing your sins and guilt, he will forgive you and you will be eternally saved.