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Switch to Forum Live View The idea of "Ego Death" is a hinderance.
3 years ago  ::  Oct 28, 2011 - 10:44AM #31
Seefan
Posts: 3,884

I like your analogy of man being inside and outside of nature.  It seems to fit with my idea of human nature quite well ...


Oct 28, 2011 -- 3:02AM, Namchuck wrote:

  "Let us suppose that the human anatomy was primordially different from its present form, that it was gradually transformed from one stage to another until it attained its present likeness, that at one time it was similar to a fish, later an invertebrate and finally human. This anatomical evolution or progression does not alter or affect the statement that the development of man was always human in type and biological in progression." (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 358)


Is Abdu'l-Baha suggesting here that evolution is purposeful or providential in that it had man in 'mind' from its very inception?  If this is the case, then I'm afraid he is very wrong.


Perhaps you will elaborate.  Good to discuss these things with you, Seefan.



"Man, physically an animal, is endowed with all the attributes of God, manifesting them on a much higher level than the animal. He is the apex and purpose of creation and rules over the entire range of life in this world. Yet, although created in the image and likeness of God -- meaning that all the attributes of God are manifested within him -- man can never transcend the bounds of limitation which are imposed upon him by the Creator."  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1, p. 2)


Attributes of God for a non-believer simply would be the endowment of or ability to develop spiritual qualities!  And the limitations placed upon man, I believe, would be the physical limitation and subject to all of the physical and spiritual laws as confined/defined through psychology and contained within nature!  My own personal reflection is that God created the universe/creation for the purpose of being known.  In this vein, He created physical and spiritual laws which got its impetus from God to develop towards those ends.  Being a created thing the universe is not a part of God but the power to manifest emanates from Him.  Through the evolutionary process it was ‘destined’ through these physical laws to produce man who would be able to fathom the secrets of creation in his innate search for knowledge, which is in essence the knowledge of God.  So while the evolutionary process is not in itself purposeful for it follows all of the physical laws associated with it, the power behind it was very purposeful ...


Oct 28, 2011 -- 3:02AM, Namchuck wrote:

  By the way, Seefan, the "sense of self" - or how we become subjects - is not difficult to explain or understand, nor is it simply a case of semantics. People tend only to invoke semantics when the evidence threatens their preferred view.  Again, it really has little or nothing to do with "becoming more god-like", or striving for some wholly imagined "divine ego".



I suspect you are hung up on religious terms like ‘god-like’.  Whether you believe in God or not, the idea that man has lofty and achievable goals beyond the abilites of any other created thing is a fact.  The divine ego simply means that as part of the makeup of man we strive to become lofty through spiritual values.  To me that is the meaning of divine ego.  You’re hung up on the word divine as well, which I believe is a game of semantics in such discussions.  I don’t see how it threatens your view except that you seem to see the origins of the ego being with nature.  I don’t disagree but I see the laws or the power for these laws to work as emanating from God (or the Universal Force/Power, or the Creative Force of the universe or any other name that may fit).  We are physical entities and of necessity need to live within the confines of the physical.  We can rise above the set of attributes that ties us to the earth and that are very self-serving through the positive spiritual values but still we are held within the confines of the physical!  Hope this makes sense to you .......


Oct 28, 2011 -- 3:02AM, Namchuck wrote:

  In fact, these two later notions (and a few others) have been shown by psychology and neuroscience working in conjunction to be the result of hi-jacked adaptive aspects of the brain. The mechanisms involved in this pirating are now well-known and supported by robust empirical evidence.  It is just no longer good enough to attempt to explain Man's nature in terms of any old world paradigm, and for obvious reasons.



I agree!  But there is no pirating!  And  I don’t see this as a reason for leaving out the God concept as the originator!  The use of the brain is part of the physical confines of the human species.  Simply put, we are physical being using physical means to attain God's ultimate purpose ......


PS: And I enjoy these conversations as well.  I’m not here to prove anything but to converse on subjects I’m interested in, in the hopes that a fair exchange can take place.  Have a good one ...

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2011 - 2:49AM #32
Namchuck
Posts: 11,345

Oct 28, 2011 -- 10:44AM, Seefan wrote:


I like your analogy of man being inside and outside of nature.  It seems to fit with my idea of human nature quite well ...


Oct 28, 2011 -- 3:02AM, Namchuck wrote:

  "Let us suppose that the human anatomy was primordially different from its present form, that it was gradually transformed from one stage to another until it attained its present likeness, that at one time it was similar to a fish, later an invertebrate and finally human. This anatomical evolution or progression does not alter or affect the statement that the development of man was always human in type and biological in progression." (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 358)


Is Abdu'l-Baha suggesting here that evolution is purposeful or providential in that it had man in 'mind' from its very inception?  If this is the case, then I'm afraid he is very wrong.


Perhaps you will elaborate.  Good to discuss these things with you, Seefan.



"Man, physically an animal, is endowed with all the attributes of God, manifesting them on a much higher level than the animal. He is the apex and purpose of creation and rules over the entire range of life in this world. Yet, although created in the image and likeness of God -- meaning that all the attributes of God are manifested within him -- man can never transcend the bounds of limitation which are imposed upon him by the Creator."  (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 1, p. 2)


Attributes of God for a non-believer simply would be the endowment of or ability to develop spiritual qualities!  And the limitations placed upon man, I believe, would be the physical limitation and subject to all of the physical and spiritual laws as confined/defined through psychology and contained within nature!  My own personal reflection is that God created the universe/creation for the purpose of being known.  In this vein, He created physical and spiritual laws which got its impetus from God to develop towards those ends.  Being a created thing the universe is not a part of God but the power to manifest emanates from Him.  Through the evolutionary process it was ‘destined’ through these physical laws to produce man who would be able to fathom the secrets of creation in his innate search for knowledge, which is in essence the knowledge of God.  So while the evolutionary process is not in itself purposeful for it follows all of the physical laws associated with it, the power behind it was very purposeful ...


All very interesting, Seefan, but where is the compelling evidence that even suggests that any of it is true?


How, for instance, does one get 'destiny' out of completely random processes?


And what "physical laws associated" with biological evolution suggest purposefulness?


What role, for instance did the great extinction events - certainly random calamities that came close, on occassion, to wiping life completely from the Earth - play in the supposed God's "purposes"?


Oct 28, 2011 -- 3:02AM, Namchuck wrote:

  By the way, Seefan, the "sense of self" - or how we become subjects - is not difficult to explain or understand, nor is it simply a case of semantics. People tend only to invoke semantics when the evidence threatens their preferred view.  Again, it really has little or nothing to do with "becoming more god-like", or striving for some wholly imagined "divine ego".



I suspect you are hung up on religious terms like ‘god-like’.  Whether you believe in God or not, the idea that man has lofty and achievable goals beyond the abilites of any other created thing is a fact.


No, I'm not 'hung" up on such terminology, I just don't see any reason to use it. 


And the "fact" that you speak of here is something that I, but not you, have given explanations for. 


The divine ego simply means that as part of the makeup of man we strive to become lofty through spiritual values.  To me that is the meaning of divine ego.  You’re hung up on the word divine as well, which I believe is a game of semantics in such discussions.


No, I reiterate, I am not "hung" up on such words, but any reasonable person would concede that such terms are loaded ones. There is simply no good reason to utilise them given this unarguable fact. 


  I don’t see how it threatens your view except that you seem to see the origins of the ego being with nature.


Why do you perceive my distaste for the use of loaded words as some sort of threat to my worldview? All the terms I have utilised, for instance, are grounded in reason, logic, and evidence. The term "divine" enjoys no such support from any of these.


  I don’t disagree but I see the laws or the power for these laws to work as emanating from God (or the Universal Force/Power, or the Creative Force of the universe or any other name that may fit).  We are physical entities and of necessity need to live within the confines of the physical.  We can rise above the set of attributes that ties us to the earth and that are very self-serving through the positive spiritual values but still we are held within the confines of the physical!  Hope this makes sense to you .......




Aside from the fact that the 'laws' you speak of may well have evolved as well, I think you are using the term "spiritual values" in a very load way as well.


What do you mean by "spiritual values"? How do they differ, say, from humanistic values that do not see the need to invoke either 'God' or the 'spiritual' (the latter being a largely gaseous domain of pious-sounding verbiage).


Oct 28, 2011 -- 3:02AM, Namchuck wrote:

  In fact, these two later notions (and a few others) have been shown by psychology and neuroscience working in conjunction to be the result of hi-jacked adaptive aspects of the brain. The mechanisms involved in this pirating are now well-known and supported by robust empirical evidence.  It is just no longer good enough to attempt to explain Man's nature in terms of any old world paradigm, and for obvious reasons.



I agree!  But there is no pirating!  And  I don’t see this as a reason for leaving out the God concept as the originator!  The use of the brain is part of the physical confines of the human species.  Simply put, we are physical being using physical means to attain God's ultimate purpose ......


As I said, there is now accumulative and very sound empirical evidence from both psychology and neuroscience that shows that god-beliefs and the like have arisen by religion hi-jacking brain adaptions, like the attachment propensity in all humans. 


And as I've said before, there is simply no epistemological justification for invoking God as "originator". No justification whatsoever. And as someone once wisely expressed it, 'One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant


"God's ultimate purpose" is simply a belief for which one cannot advance a scrap of good evidence. One may believe it, but one does so merely for personal and emotional reasons, and all the personal and emotional reasons in the world doesn't make it true (if it did, then we would all be obliged to believe in completely contradictory things).




PS: And I enjoy these conversations as well.  I’m not here to prove anything but to converse on subjects I’m interested in, in the hopes that a fair exchange can take place.  Have a good one ...


Same here, and the same to you.





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3 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:57PM #33
Seefan
Posts: 3,884

Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  All very interesting, Seefan, but where is the compelling evidence that even suggests that any of it is true?



I suspect Namchuct, this is once again becoming a circular argument!  But as I see it, here is the problem Theist and atheist/agnostics have, what you consider compelling evidence is not what is required for the Theist.  We, as believers, know that God is Spirit!  Man being physical, both cannot co-exist on the same level – hence creation, so we could get to know and reason together about being created, as the Christian might say, in His image!  The bottom line – to see evidence in the same way one needs the same frame of reference, a belief in God and a belief in science!  Both what you see and what I see can co-exist and be true ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  How, for instance, does one get 'destiny' out of completely random processes? And what "physical laws associated" with biological evolution suggest purposefulness? What role, for instance did the great extinction events - certainly random calamities that came close, on occassion, to wiping life completely from the Earth - play in the supposed God's "purposes"?



The operative word here for your ‘great extinction events’ is came "CLOSE".  I guess the chances that humanity and all live on this planet could have been completely destroyed many, many times but it hasn’t.  Random?  Maybe!  But I don’t think so.  Can you prove that God didn’t intervene or that His laws didn’t prevent these ‘great extinction events’ from taking place and demolishing humanity?


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, I'm not 'hung" up on such terminology, I just don't see any reason to use it.



You may be right about not being hung up but I suspect you are in denial >smiles< ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, I reiterate, I am not "hung" up on such words, but any reasonable person would concede that such terms are loaded ones.



I consider myself very reasonable!  What you term loaded I terms giving meaning ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  Why do you perceive my distaste for the use of loaded words as some sort of threat to my worldview? 



Because these meaningful terms you disagree with and have spent a lot of time trying to explain away ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  All the terms I have utilised, for instance, are grounded in reason, logic, and evidence. The term "divine" enjoys no such support from any of these.



Your evidence is only concrete which seems to me to shows prejudice and bias.  Your understanding of reason and logic is grounded in the tangible, what you can see, feel, smell, or touch.  As I see it, that’s not all there is to reality.  Because you can’t personally talk to God face to face you ‘assume’ He doesn’t exist.  To me that is not logical, or at least not full logical ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  Aside from the fact that the 'laws' you speak of may well have evolved as well, I think you are using the term "spiritual values" in a very load way as well.



And once again I use it in a meaningful manner according to my world view as you use terms relating to your view of the world ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  What do you mean by "spiritual values"? How do they differ, say, from humanistic values that do not see the need to invoke either 'God' or the 'spiritual' (the latter being a largely gaseous domain of pious-sounding verbiage).



The easier softer way is to look at the physical manifestation of spiritual laws and ‘assume’ that because science can point out electrical impulses and other operations of the brain that this is the real motiving force behind it.  The word spiritual is not a pious term, except in that it’s purpose is indeed designed for us to gain greater knowledge of God.  Not believing in God will prevent one from seeing this truth.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  As I said, there is now accumulative and very sound empirical evidence from both psychology and neuroscience that shows that god-beliefs and the like have arisen by religion hi-jacking brain adaptions, like the attachment propensity in all humans.



And I say that God’s power to motivate and give us knowledge of Him is through the activities of the brain and all of creation – both material and spiritual.  Again one cannot see the underlying reasons is one shuts one’s self off from this area of reality ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  And as I've said before, there is simply no epistemological justification for invoking God as "originator". No justification whatsoever. And as someone once wisely expressed it, 'One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant


"God's ultimate purpose" is simply a belief for which one cannot advance a scrap of good evidence. One may believe it, but one does so merely for personal and emotional reasons, and all the personal and emotional reasons in the world doesn't make it true (if it did, then we would all be obliged to believe in completely contradictory things).



I think I’ve already stated reason to believe in the existence of God but, of course, you rejected them.  Once again your concrete and tangible proof requires you to seek Him face to face.  Just one of the reason given over the course of our conversation was you and I, humanity is here.  We exist!  And we have risen above all of creation.  And to boot, we should have died off years, millenniums ago.  And as you freely admitted, the great extinction events have dictated that we should not be here ....


Also I don’t think I’m approaching the God question in an emotional manner.  However, I am enthusiastic in the same manner you approach your efforts at explaining your beliefs.  If that’s emotionalism, sobeit!  I guess then, we both suffer from it!  I think all of our disagreements would vanish into mist if you would do one of two things – either prove to me that there is not God or that God didn’t create the universe through His Will!  Take God out of the equation and you make much more sense ...

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2011 - 5:18PM #34
Namchuck
Posts: 11,345

Oct 29, 2011 -- 12:57PM, Seefan wrote:


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  All very interesting, Seefan, but where is the compelling evidence that even suggests that any of it is true?



I suspect Namchuct, this is once again becoming a circular argument!  But as I see it, here is the problem Theist and atheist/agnostics have, what you consider compelling evidence is not what is required for the Theist. 


It is no more a circular argument than it is a semantic one, Seefan. These are only invoked by a theist as an excuse to relieve himself from rational discourse.


We, as believers, know that God is Spirit!


Well, there is your first contradiction as you retreat from reason. You do not "know" that "God is Spirit", you merely believe it, and one only believes when one doesn't know.


  Man being physical, both cannot co-exist on the same level – hence creation, so we could get to know and reason together about being created, as the Christian might say, in His image!  The bottom line – to see evidence in the same way one needs the same frame of reference, a belief in God and a belief in science!  Both what you see and what I see can co-exist and be true ...


I'm sorry, Seefan, but that is unmitigated obsfuscation, which, incidentally, relegates your God to complete meaninglessness. It is an example of a believer attempting at all costs to save a cherished myth.


In summary, if the God hypothesis is simply a vague statement, it can be provisionally rejected as silly and unnecessary even though technically we cannot prove God's non-existence. If, on the contrary, it is meant as a relatively precise statement about the physical world, then we can investigate God's existence with the well-established hypothetical-deductive method. How do we do that? By enumerating the supposed attributes of such a God and treating them as testable hypotheses.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  How, for instance, does one get 'destiny' out of completely random processes? And what "physical laws associated" with biological evolution suggest purposefulness? What role, for instance did the great extinction events - certainly random calamities that came close, on occassion, to wiping life completely from the Earth - play in the supposed God's "purposes"?



The operative word here for your ‘great extinction events’ is came "CLOSE".  I guess the chances that humanity and all live on this planet could have been completely destroyed many, many times but it hasn’t.  Random?  Maybe!  But I don’t think so.  Can you prove that God didn’t intervene or that His laws didn’t prevent these ‘great extinction events’ from taking place and demolishing humanity?


The extinction events were not random? What, couldn't your God get it right the first time?


No, I can't "prove" that God didn't intervene or that His laws didn't prevent these extinction events from taking place and "demolishing mankind" (incidentally, 'mankind' wasn't around for any of those events), but then, epistemologically speaking, the burden of proof is not mine to shoulder. The events in question do not represent  a problem for the secularist. We have good and compelling explanations for such things. It is the theist who must explain why God's "purposes" require so much death and destruction.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, I'm not 'hung" up on such terminology, I just don't see any reason to use it.



You may be right about not being hung up but I suspect you are in denial >smiles< ...


"Denial" about what? Empty notions and baroque assumptions? Hardly.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, I reiterate, I am not "hung" up on such words, but any reasonable person would concede that such terms are loaded ones.



I consider myself very reasonable!  What you term loaded I terms giving meaning ...


I'd expect that a reasonable person would concede that such a term as 'divine' is a loaded one.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  Why do you perceive my distaste for the use of loaded words as some sort of threat to my worldview? 



Because these meaningful terms you disagree with and have spent a lot of time trying to explain away ...


You demonstrate great disrepect in claiming that I have been attempting to "explain away" such terms as 'divine'. Could it not be, rather, that you have utterly failed to give any substance to the term? 


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  All the terms I have utilised, for instance, are grounded in reason, logic, and evidence. The term "divine" enjoys no such support from any of these.



Your evidence is only concrete which seems to me to shows prejudice and bias.


Here you go again. Please explain to me how massive accumulative objective evidence translates into "prejudice and bias"?


It is another act of sheer, and dishonest, obsfuscation to malign such evidence as 'prejudice' and 'bias' while maintaining that contentless beliefs like the 'divine' are not.


  Your understanding of reason and logic is grounded in the tangible, what you can see, feel, smell, or touch.  As I see it, that’s not all there is to reality.  Because you can’t personally talk to God face to face you ‘assume’ He doesn’t exist.  To me that is not logical, or at least not full logical ...


The you do not understand the meaning of logic, which is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.


Look, for instance, at your posting of another gratuitous assumption! When have I ever said or claimed that what we "see, feel, smell, or touch" is all there is to reality? Your grasp of materialism seems as benighted as your grasp of logic. It is very difficult to have a reasonable and rational discussion with one who plays so cavalierly with both. 


You likely do not know this, but it is quite possible to be a materialist - in the sense of rejecting divine explanations and accepting that only stuff that exists is physical - without believing that mental and social phenomena can be explained in purely physical or mechanistic terms. Indeed, to fit mental phenomena into a mechanistic worldview requires materialists to deny subjectivity. The world is composed of physical, social, and mental phenomena.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  Aside from the fact that the 'laws' you speak of may well have evolved as well, I think you are using the term "spiritual values" in a very load way as well.



And once again I use it in a meaningful manner according to my world view as you use terms relating to your view of the world ...


The distinguishing difference being, of course, that your worldview is anchored in unjustified assumptions while mine rests on objective empirical evidence, or, to put it another way, mine is meritorious while yours quite obviously is not.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  What do you mean by "spiritual values"? How do they differ, say, from humanistic values that do not see the need to invoke either 'God' or the 'spiritual' (the latter being a largely gaseous domain of pious-sounding verbiage).



The easier softer way is to look at the physical manifestation of spiritual laws and ‘assume’ that because science can point out electrical impulses and other operations of the brain that this is the real motiving force behind it.  The word spiritual is not a pious term, except in that it’s purpose is indeed designed for us to gain greater knowledge of God.  Not believing in God will prevent one from seeing this truth.


You jest (one hopes), otherwise your meaning is that belief is a prerequisite of understanding!? One could spend quite some time in pointing out - with endless examples - how unutterably wrong this view actually is. It goes without saying, of course, that you only mean your beliefs.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  As I said, there is now accumulative and very sound empirical evidence from both psychology and neuroscience that shows that god-beliefs and the like have arisen by religion hi-jacking brain adaptions, like the attachment propensity in all humans.



And I say that God’s power to motivate and give us knowledge of Him is through the activities of the brain and all of creation – both material and spiritual.  Again one cannot see the underlying reasons is one shuts one’s self off from this area of reality ...


You've simply repeated your previous refrain which amounts to claiming that belief precedes understanding which is the very reversal of how reason and logic operate. This is why your worldview has no merit whatsoever. Look, for instance, at the sheer number of elaborate assumptions contained within your paragraph above!


Oct 29, 2011 -- 2:49AM, Namchuck wrote:

  And as I've said before, there is simply no epistemological justification for invoking God as "originator". No justification whatsoever. And as someone once wisely expressed it, 'One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant


"God's ultimate purpose" is simply a belief for which one cannot advance a scrap of good evidence. One may believe it, but one does so merely for personal and emotional reasons, and all the personal and emotional reasons in the world doesn't make it true (if it did, then we would all be obliged to believe in completely contradictory things).



I think I’ve already stated reason to believe in the existence of God but, of course, you rejected them.  Once again your concrete and tangible proof requires you to seek Him face to face.  Just one of the reason given over the course of our conversation was you and I, humanity is here.  We exist!  And we have risen above all of creation.  And to boot, we should have died off years, millenniums ago.  And as you freely admitted, the great extinction events have dictated that we should not be here ....


You've advanced no 'reasons' to believe in the existence of God. Not a single one.


And let's take your other absurd refrain to the affect that 'man' is still here in the face of possible extinction. Man has only been here for the last two or three million years, a mere fragment of Earth's deep time. Some of the creatures still here that survived an extinction episode or two have been here for hundreds of millions of years, like some of the reptiles. Was your God, in light of the deaths of countless thousands of species, particularly fond of these few creatures as opposed to the rest of those who were so mercilessly destroyed?


I suppose we can now list the history of life along with reason and logic to the list of things you have a rather poor grasp of.


Also I don’t think I’m approaching the God question in an emotional manner.  However, I am enthusiastic in the same manner you approach your efforts at explaining your beliefs.  If that’s emotionalism, sobeit!  I guess then, we both suffer from it!


No, we don't, but I don't - disappointingly - expect any sort of reasoned response from you anymore.


My beliefs are held in proportion to the evidence, while yours amount to nothing more than emotional preferences. There could not be any greater difference between two worldviews.


  I think all of our disagreements would vanish into mist if you would do one of two things – either prove to me that there is not God or that God didn’t create the universe through His Will!


Will you accept, if I cannor prove otherwise, the existence of unicorns and fire-breathing dragons?


And it is not a question of 'proof', but of probability. Look at it this way, if you can: There is a very clear inverse relationship between the amount of human knowledge and the credit (or blame) we are willing to give God for direct intervention in the universe: the more we know, the less we attribute to supernatural causes. Any reasonable person faced with such a remarkably consistent trend would not hesitate much to extrapolate just  abit and declare God very likely non-existent.


One also must keep in mind as one considers this remarkable trend, that absolutely nothing has come in the other direction!


  Take God out of the equation and you make much more sense ...


Take the unnecessary God (with his equally unnecessary ad hoc magic) out of the equation, then everything suddenly starts to make sense. And as we do this, we also suddenly find that we have removed one of the most parlous causes of division and violence among mankind.





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3 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2011 - 9:08PM #35
Seefan
Posts: 3,884

Four pages!  I’m sorry but I’ll have to cut it down ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  >We, as believers, know that God is Spirit!<


Well, there is your first contradiction as you retreat from reason. You do not "know" that "God is Spirit", you merely believe it, and one only believes when one doesn't know.



Now that’s just silly!  One believes when one doesn’t know?  Come on!  As someone put it, knowing is a higher level of believing!  But not the less it is believing.  Just maybe perception is undervalued.  Knowing as in something which has been proven by someone else is merely assumption that the right answers were found.  Assumption is belief no matter how it is obtained!  This is not the same as knowing as in feeling the essence of truth in something, as believing the facts.  You know something in science to be true even though the knowledge is beyond your comprehension because others you consider knowledgeable agrees and/or says so.  That is knowing through belief and what is considered logical assumption.  A Theist arrives at knowledge in similar way – comes to understand what an expert in their field says to be true, such an a founder of a religious system who claims through spiritual proof that He is a manifestation of God. 

Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

   In summary, if the God hypothesis is simply a vague statement, it can be provisionally rejected as silly and unnecessary even though technically we cannot prove God's non-existence.



Nonsense!  It means that you don’t truly know so you make assumption according to your ‘belief’ system ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  If, on the contrary, it is meant as a relatively precise statement about the physical world, then we can investigate God's existence with the well-established hypothetical-deductive method. How do we do that? By enumerating the supposed attributes of such a God and treating them as testable hypotheses.



That’s like saying that if I passed on certain characteristics to my son and by testing these attributes they will lead me to the conclusion, that indeed I exist. 


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  The extinction events were not random? What, couldn't your God get it right the first time?



Such questions and statements are a strawman question and have no relevance ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, I can't "prove" that God didn't intervene or that His laws didn't prevent these extinction events from taking place and "demolishing mankind" (incidentally, 'mankind' wasn't around for any of those events), but then, epistemologically speaking, the burden of proof is not mine to shoulder.



If you deign my statement then it is up to you to prove otherwise ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  The events in question do not represent a problem for the secularist. We have good and compelling explanations for such things. It is the theist who must explain why God's "purposes" require so much death and destruction.



To equate reasons for God's purpose and existence not being up to your liking is a strawman argument and has no bearing ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

   All the terms I have utilised, for instance, are grounded in reason, logic, and evidence. The term "divine" enjoys no such support from any of these. ... The you do not understand the meaning of logic, which is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.



You maybe right!  But your reason, logic, and evidence simply comes from a different direction.  One definition for logic is:  "Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity: ‘experience is a better guide to this than deductive logic’."


In my estimation the validity of my experience lead me to understand the truth of what I say and believe.  You seem to think that belief has no place in the world but everything is based upon this concept and very much relates to all.  It is what gives us confidence in the scientific method ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  You've advanced no 'reasons' to believe in the existence of God. Not a single one.



The appearance of humanity!  First Cause!  Disprove both ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, we don't, but I don't - disappointingly - expect any sort of reasoned response from you anymore.



Well?  What do I say to that?  Feel free not to respond I guess!  And if that’s your choice, it’s been fun.  Thanks for you patience ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  My beliefs are held in proportion to the evidence, while yours amount to nothing more than emotional preferences. There could not be any greater difference between two worldviews.



For sure!  The main difference between the two of us is that I see not only room for both world views but also the necessity ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And it is not a question of 'proof', but of probability. Look at it this way, if you can: There is a very clear inverse relationship between the amount of human knowledge and the credit (or blame) we are willing to give God for direct intervention in the universe: the more we know, the less we attribute to supernatural causes.



Amazing!  You’ve missed the whole point!  God does not directly intervene in the world.  All world religions, with the exception of Christianity, makes this amply clear.  The laws of nature are natural in the sense that they are physical laws, not supernatural.  Now where the universe came from and how it came into existence is a different matter ...


All the best ...

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2011 - 10:18PM #36
Namchuck
Posts: 11,345

Oct 29, 2011 -- 9:08PM, Seefan wrote:


Four pages!  I’m sorry but I’ll have to cut it down ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  >We, as believers, know that God is Spirit!<


Well, there is your first contradiction as you retreat from reason. You do not "know" that "God is Spirit", you merely believe it, and one only believes when one doesn't know.



Now that’s just silly!  One believes when one doesn’t know?  Come on!  As someone put it, knowing is a higher level of believing!  But not the less it is believing.  Just maybe perception is undervalued.  Knowing as in something which has been proven by someone else is merely assumption that the right answers were found.  Assumption is belief no matter how it is obtained!  This is not the same as knowing as in feeling the essence of truth in something, as believing the facts.  You know something in science to be true even though the knowledge is beyond your comprehension because others you consider knowledgeable agrees and/or says so.  That is knowing through belief and what is considered logical assumption.  A Theist arrives at knowledge in similar way – comes to understand what an expert in their field says to be true, such an a founder of a religious system who claims through spiritual proof that He is a manifestation of God. 


It would simply be too burdensome to respond to all the illogic and obsfuscation of this extensive paragraph. Let me simply say that you appear to have absolutely nothing of substance to advance in support of the proposition that God exists other than some utterly vague "feeling". The additional problem here, though, is that other believers have equally vague 'feelings' about different and even contradictory deities from yours.





Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

   In summary, if the God hypothesis is simply a vague statement, it can be provisionally rejected as silly and unnecessary even though technically we cannot prove God's non-existence.



Nonsense!  It means that you don’t truly know so you make assumption according to your ‘belief’ system ...


Now your illogic has attained escape velocity. If one "knows', then there is no need for belief.


I don't really think that this requires any more comment other than to add that you've simply dodged the real and essential question.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  If, on the contrary, it is meant as a relatively precise statement about the physical world, then we can investigate God's existence with the well-established hypothetical-deductive method. How do we do that? By enumerating the supposed attributes of such a God and treating them as testable hypotheses.



That’s like saying that if I passed on certain characteristics to my son and by testing these attributes they will lead me to the conclusion, that indeed I exist. 


Logic is just not your thing, huh, Seefan? That is likely the poorest analogy that I've come across in a long while. :)


But, yes, 'testing' the attributes of offspring can tell one a great deal about the progenitors of the offspring in question. There are a number of scientific disciplines devoted to just this sort of thing.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  The extinction events were not random? What, couldn't your God get it right the first time?



Such questions and statements are a strawman question and have no relevance ...


Hahaha...


You categorize them, mistakenly, but conveniently, as 'strawman' questions simply because your not up to responding to them in any sort of thoughtful way.


The obvious and completely non-strawman fact remains that, if there is a creator, then extinction events strongly suggest that he/she/it is just not very good at getting its 'purposes' accomplished.


And just what kind of God is it anyway that elects to bring about its purposes in such an enormously destructive and wasteful way?


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, I can't "prove" that God didn't intervene or that His laws didn't prevent these extinction events from taking place and "demolishing mankind" (incidentally, 'mankind' wasn't around for any of those events), but then, epistemologically speaking, the burden of proof is not mine to shoulder.



If you deign my statement then it is up to you to prove otherwise ...


If I "deign" your statement?


You are the one making the extraordinary claims, so the burden of proof is upon you to advance the extraordinary evidence. So far you haven't advanced any evidence at all.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  The events in question do not represent a problem for the secularist. We have good and compelling explanations for such things. It is the theist who must explain why God's "purposes" require so much death and destruction.



To equate reasons for God's purpose and existence not being up to your liking is a strawman argument and has no bearing ...


Aside from the fact that the above sentence doesn't make a great deal of sense, Seefan, it also represents a capitulation on your part that you can't justify your beliefs.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

   All the terms I have utilised, for instance, are grounded in reason, logic, and evidence. The term "divine" enjoys no such support from any of these. ... The you do not understand the meaning of logic, which is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.



You maybe right!  But your reason, logic, and evidence simply comes from a different direction.  One definition for logic is:  "Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity: ‘experience is a better guide to this than deductive logic’."


Personal experience cannot be used to empirically determine the existence or non-existence of God. This is where evidence comes in, and evidence for God is something you simply do not possess. You can't be blamed for this, of course, as such evidence simply does not exist, and for obvious reasons. I wouldn't blame anyone for not being able to advance any evidence for fire-breathing dragons either.


In my estimation the validity of my experience lead me to understand the truth of what I say and believe.  You seem to think that belief has no place in the world but everything is based upon this concept and very much relates to all.  It is what gives us confidence in the scientific method ...


No, there is a considerable place for rational belief, but your beliefs are simply not rational. 


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  You've advanced no 'reasons' to believe in the existence of God. Not a single one.



The appearance of humanity!  First Cause!  Disprove both ...


The appearance of humanity is now overwhelmingly attested. You conceded this in a post not so long ago. What humanity's appearance does not require is the invocation of some wholly imagined deity.


And I don't think you really ought to invoke the First Cause Argument either as it represents a deep hole for most theists that I've never known one to be able to get themselves out of. Aside from the fact that it is completely arbitrary argument, it was responded to and consummately destroyed by David Hume a long time ago. No educated theist raises it these days.


But to give the First Cause Argument the short shrift that it deserves, it begins by asserting that "every effect must have a cause" and ends up by claiming that "God is the uncaused cause of the universe". Thus, the premise of the argument is contradicted by its conclusion.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  No, we don't, but I don't - disappointingly - expect any sort of reasoned response from you anymore.



Well?  What do I say to that?  Feel free not to respond I guess!  And if that’s your choice, it’s been fun.  Thanks for you patience ...


But it's true, Seefan! The more we discuss these issues the more you substitute wishful thinking for reason and logic. It is always disappointing when one sees this in an otherwise intelligent human being.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  My beliefs are held in proportion to the evidence, while yours amount to nothing more than emotional preferences. There could not be any greater difference between two worldviews.



For sure!  The main difference between the two of us is that I see not only room for both world views but also the necessity ...


So, there is room for a worldview that is completely meritorious and one that has no merit at all? I believe the answer to that is actually "no", although I will fight for the right of one to embrace such a worldview if that is what they want. But I understand the psychological mechanisms that lie behind why some people adopt unmeritorious worldviews.


There is in reality, though, no "necessity" for worldviews that include God. They are museum pieces of historical and psychological interest only. We've had such worldviews for millenniums and all they have largely managed to achieve is to keep their respective believers at each others throats.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 5:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And it is not a question of 'proof', but of probability. Look at it this way, if you can: There is a very clear inverse relationship between the amount of human knowledge and the credit (or blame) we are willing to give God for direct intervention in the universe: the more we know, the less we attribute to supernatural causes.



Amazing!  You’ve missed the whole point!  God does not directly intervene in the world.  All world religions, with the exception of Christianity, makes this amply clear.  The laws of nature are natural in the sense that they are physical laws, not supernatural.  Now where the universe came from and how it came into existence is a different matter ...


No, I'm afraid that it is you that has missed the point, and that quite thoroughly. :)


If God does not "directly intervene in the world", then there is no good reason to believe that God exists at all, is there?


One could, I suppose, opt for deism, but that is not the kind of God that any of the world religions has ever found very satisfying. But as I have repeatedly said, God is epistemologically unnecessary and has, as you've virtually conceded, no utility function whatsoever. 


All the best ...


Same to you.





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3 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2011 - 2:17PM #37
Seefan
Posts: 3,884

Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  You categorize them, mistakenly, but conveniently, as 'strawman' questions simply because your not up to responding to them in any sort of thoughtful way. The obvious and completely non-strawman fact remains that, if there is a creator, then extinction events strongly suggest that he/she/it is just not very good at getting its 'purposes' accomplished. And just what kind of God is it anyway that elects to bring about its purposes in such an enormously destructive and wasteful way?



This is definitely a strawman argument.  It’s a manipulative way of avoiding the bigger problem of proving that God does not exist by being on the offensive and putting Theist on the defensive.  It’s main goal is to attack beliefs rather than looking for truth.  What you and other atheist call "an enormously destructive and wasteful way" in the operation of the universe may not be so.  Nothing is ever wasted.  If this were not so the universe would not be expanding but destroying itself and breaking apart.  The universe is the biggest recycling plant in existence.  The destruction referred to for the most part is simply matter changing forms for the betterment of the universe and ensuring the continuation of the evolutionary process, providing a classroom for the methodical study of evolution.  This process taken as a whole gives logical meaning to creation of which humanity needs in order to study and grow in the knowledge and wisdom mankind it destined to enjoy. 


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  >The appearance of humanity! First Cause! Disprove both ...<  The appearance of humanity is now overwhelmingly attested. You conceded this in a post not so long ago. What humanity's appearance does not require is the invocation of some wholly imagined deity.



The appearance of humanity as being the only species that has the capacity to think, reason, and manipulate nature without any species coming even close to our abilities is enough proof that it is an evolutionary planned event and not one coming from random happenings scientists believe was set in motion by the big bang ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And I don't think you really ought to invoke the First Cause Argument either as it represents a deep hole for most theists that I've never known one to be able to get themselves out of. Aside from the fact that it is completely arbitrary argument, it was responded to and consummately destroyed by David Hume a long time ago. No educated theist raises it these days.



Well since I must be one of those uneducated Theist humor me and explain to me why it is not possible for God to have created the universe!  How has science prove this assumption ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  But to give the First Cause Argument the short shrift that it deserves, it begins by asserting that "every effect must have a cause" and ends up by claiming that "God is the uncaused cause of the universe". Thus, the premise of the argument is contradicted by its conclusion.



I don’t get your reasoning!  Part of the cosmological argument (www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUPJnr-abPk) is that since the universe exist it must have had a cause.  And that cause is God!  Please fill why this is not so ...


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  One could, I suppose, opt for deism, but that is not the kind of God that any of the world religions has ever found very satisfying. But as I have repeatedly said, God is epistemologically unnecessary and has, as you've virtually conceded, no utility function whatsoever.



I said God is not personally involved in the universe not that He didn’t have "utility function"(?).  All of the power for creation to exist and develop emanates from God.  If God ceased to exist, so would creation.  There is a direct correlation between God, or whatever one perceives that motivating force which brought creation into being and sustains it to be, and creation itself, with God being the independent variable ...

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2011 - 4:38PM #38
Namchuck
Posts: 11,345

Oct 30, 2011 -- 2:17PM, Seefan wrote:


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  You categorize them, mistakenly, but conveniently, as 'strawman' questions simply because your not up to responding to them in any sort of thoughtful way. The obvious and completely non-strawman fact remains that, if there is a creator, then extinction events strongly suggest that he/she/it is just not very good at getting its 'purposes' accomplished. And just what kind of God is it anyway that elects to bring about its purposes in such an enormously destructive and wasteful way?



This is definitely a strawman argument.  It’s a manipulative way of avoiding the bigger problem of proving that God does not exist by being on the offensive and putting Theist on the defensive.


 


You obviously do not understand what constitutes a 'strawman' argument, Seefan. :)


There is no "manipulation" whatsoever in my question as to what kind of God is it that would utilise such destructive and wasteful processes to bring about its assumed purposes. But, as already surmised, it is not difficult to figure out why you'd categorise such a legitimate question as somehow being inappropriate. 


Moreover, now that the existence of the earth, the life that is upon it, and even the existence of the universe can be satisfactorily explained without recourse to invoking a deity, the burden of proof does fall upon the theist to defend his or her proposition that a God exists. It is a burden that you are, obviously, but undertandably, reluctant to assume.




It’s main goal is to attack beliefs rather than looking for truth.


Now this is bordering on the hysterical, not to mention the untruthful.


It is the search for truth that has done away with the need to fall back on primitive notions about some sort of 'creator'. That you perceive it as an "attack" might indicate a certain insecurity about your beliefs.


  What you and other atheist call "an enormously destructive and wasteful way" in the operation of the universe may not be so.  Nothing is ever wasted.


Hundreds of thousands of species wiped out in unimaginably painful ways is neither wasteful nor destructive, huh? How far will believers go in their trampling of logic and reason to justify their emotional need to believe that they are the apple of their God's eye?


  If this were not so the universe would not be expanding but destroying itself and breaking apart.


Based on what is known about the processes operative in the universe, this is exactly what will happen. Fortunately, it's good way off to worry anyone for a very very long time. 


The universe is the biggest recycling plant in existence.


Even the best recycling doesn't annul the pain experienced by numberless species destroyed in extinction events (the lucky one's are those destroyed immediately). Add to this the following brutal truth, which is that most creatures on this planet live in constant and justified fear of the rest, or pay their way as slowly dying hosts to unthinkable lodgers. Mind you, this is exactly what one would expect in a universe that is utterly indifferent to the life.


The destruction referred to for the most part is simply matter changing forms for the betterment of the universe and ensuring the continuation of the evolutionary process, providing a classroom for the methodical study of evolution.


Its the utter crassness of this particular notion - not to mention its complete lack of compassion - that never fails to astound me.


What it amounts to is the vacuous notion that four billion years of life on this planet is a mere pretext for conveying "wisdom" and "knowledge" to one particular species. This view has rightly been called the 'anthropomorphic conceit' and identifies, as little else does, the  utter egoism involved when people believe that they are, as already mentioned, the apple of their God's eye.


  This process taken as a whole gives logical meaning to creation of which humanity needs in order to study and grow in the knowledge and wisdom mankind it destined to enjoy. 


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  >The appearance of humanity! First Cause! Disprove both ...<  The appearance of humanity is now overwhelmingly attested. You conceded this in a post not so long ago. What humanity's appearance does not require is the invocation of some wholly imagined deity.



The appearance of humanity as being the only species that has the capacity to think, reason, and manipulate nature without any species coming even close to our abilities is enough proof that it is an evolutionary planned event and not one coming from random happenings scientists believe was set in motion by the big bang ...


What complete balderdash! 


Man's capacity "to think, reason, and manipulate nature" is a product of both the random processes of mutation and of non-random processes of natural selection. There is no evidence whatsoever that these evolutionary mechanisms are purposeful or goal-oriented. There is a mass of evidence that identify the very contrary. Evolution is a completely mindless process.


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And I don't think you really ought to invoke the First Cause Argument either as it represents a deep hole for most theists that I've never known one to be able to get themselves out of. Aside from the fact that it is completely arbitrary argument, it was responded to and consummately destroyed by David Hume a long time ago. No educated theist raises it these days.



Well since I must be one of those uneducated Theist humor me and explain to me why it is not possible for God to have created the universe!  How has science prove this assumption ...


It remains true that no educated theist would these days invoke the First Cause Argument. An educated theist, for instance, would be familiar with David Hume's complete demolition of this argument.


And nobody has claimed that it is not "possible" for some God to have created the universe. What science has shown, though, is that it is not necessary to invoke a God as an explanation for the existence of the universe.


On top of this, we have the fact that all the once good arguments for the existence of God have now utterly collapsed. If one couples this with the additional fact that we now have very compelling reasons to believe that such an entity as God doesn't exist, theism then finds itself anchored in nothing more than the shallows of emotional and personal belief. 


Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  But to give the First Cause Argument the short shrift that it deserves, it begins by asserting that "every effect must have a cause" and ends up by claiming that "God is the uncaused cause of the universe". Thus, the premise of the argument is contradicted by its conclusion.



I don’t get your reasoning!  Part of the cosmological argument (www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUPJnr-abPk) is that since the universe exist it must have had a cause.  And that cause is God!  Please fill why this is not so ...


You "don't get" my reasoning that the premise of the Cosmological Argument is contradicted by it's conclusion? You don't think, do you, that the problem here might have something to do with your capacity to reason?


The 'Cosmological Argument', Seefan, involves, as already demonstrated, a number of significant flaws.


Flaw number one is the unjustified demands that adherents of this argument make on the concept of cause. How do you know, for instance, that there was only one cause?


And who caused God?


Actually, the Cosmological Argument is a prime example of the fallacy of Passing the Buck: invoking God to solve some problem, but then leaving unanswered the very same problem about God himself. Consequently, the proponent of the Cosmological Argument must admit a contradiction to either his first premise - and say that, though God exists, he doesn't have a cause - or else a contradiction to his third premise - and say that God is self-caused. Either way, the theist is saying that his premises have at least one exception, but is not explaining why God must be the unique exception.


Once you admit of exceptions, you can ask why the universe itself, which is also unique, can't be the exception. The universe itself can either exist without a cause, or else be self-caused. Since the buck has to stop somewhere, why not the universe? At least there is little doubt that the universe exists.




Oct 29, 2011 -- 10:18PM, Namchuck wrote:

  One could, I suppose, opt for deism, but that is not the kind of God that any of the world religions has ever found very satisfying. But as I have repeatedly said, God is epistemologically unnecessary and has, as you've virtually conceded, no utility function whatsoever.



I said God is not personally involved in the universe not that He didn’t have "utility function"(?).  All of the power for creation to exist and develop emanates from God.  If God ceased to exist, so would creation.  There is a direct correlation between God, or whatever one perceives that motivating force which brought creation into being and sustains it to be, and creation itself, with God being the independent variable ...


This is all mere belief, Seefan. One could cite different beliefs about these matters from different theists. The only thing they have in common is a complete disregard for evidence. Perhaps, as some theists believe, Mbombo vomited up the universe and has now lost interest in it and has since moved on to more interesting ventures? 


On the other hand, as a result of what we now know about the universe and its processes, we are no longer obliged - according to the Law of Parsimony - to invoke insupportable and meaningless notions such as "God being an independent variable".


God has no utility function at all. In fact, there is just no justification to invoke the deity at all. We are now even getting a handle on the mechanisms in the brain that lead some folk to persist in believing otherwise unbelievable things.







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3 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2011 - 10:34PM #39
Seefan
Posts: 3,884

Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  Hundreds of thousands of species wiped out in unimaginably painful ways is neither wasteful nor destructive, huh? How far will believers go in their trampling of logic and reason to justify their emotional need to believe that they are the apple of some God's eye?



This is nothing more than an emotional appeal not to believe in God because He maybe 'perceived by some' as either cruel or unable to create a universe without such cruelty ......


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

If this were not so the universe would not be expanding but destroying itself and breaking apart.


  Based on what is known about the processes operative in the universe, this is exactly what will happen. Fortunately, it's good way off to worry anyone for a very very long time.



Exactly!  Based on "what is known" the universe will be on a path of destruction.  But that is not what is happening now!  While reason and logic dictates your statement what would be your thinking if your fatalistic assumption of the destruction of the universe does not come to pass.  Would this be proof that God exist?  If not why mention it?


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  Even the best recycling doesn't annul the pain experienced by numberless species destroyed in extinction events (the lucky one's are those destroyed immediately). Add to this the following brutal truth, which is that most creatures on this planet live in constant and justified fear of the rest, or pay their way as slowly dying hosts to unthinkable lodgers. Mind you, this is exactly what one would expect in a universe that is utterly indifferent to the life that is within it.



Again this is an emotional response.  Because of a lack of understanding and control of ourselves we can even find it difficult to get along with and understand those closest to us, and you think man is more capable of knowing how a universe should be designed.  And below you speak of conceit and egotism.  Are you not playing the same game?


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  What it amounts to is the vacuous notion that four billion years of life on this planet is a mere pretext for conveying "wisdom" and "knowledge" to one particular species. This view has rightly been called the 'anthropomorphic conceit' and identifies, as little else does, the utter egoism involved when people believe that they are, as already mentioned, the apple of their God's eye.



If you are right about the universe having no purpose and no direction this makes no sense.  But if it the universe has direction then this is indeed plausible, that man was created to be co-creator and through his acquired knowledge and wisdom makes life more pleasing to all creatures.  Man was and is the only species capable of helping this planet ...


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  Evolution is a mindless process.



So how would evolution, being a mindful process, manifest itself?


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And nobody has claimed that it is not "possible" for some God to have created the universe. What science has shown, though, is that it is not necessary to invoke a God as an explanation for the existence of the universe.



William Lane Craig says otherwise.  Science tells us the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe and further speculates that it began from nothing.  William Lane Craig and the Theist claim that it was God that created the universe out of nothing ...


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   The 'Cosmological Argument', Seefan, involves, as already demonstrated, a number of significant flaws.  Flaw number one is the unjustified demands that adherents of this argument make on the concept of cause. How do you know, for instance, that there was only one cause?



Even if there were more then one cause it would still all boils down to one cause ...


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And who caused God?



God is an uncaused cause.  Wm Hatcher (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_S._Hatcher essentially makes a case for the existence of a single self-caused cause of the universe that is not the universe itself.  Too deep for me but you may get something from it ...


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   Actually, the Cosmological Argument is a prime example of the fallacy of Passing the Buck: invoking God to solve some problem, but then leaving unanswered the very same problem about God himself. Consequently, the proponent of the Cosmological Argument must admit a contradiction to either his first premise - and say that, though God exists, he doesn't have a cause - or else a contradiction to his third premise - and say that God is self-caused. Either way, the theist is saying that his premises have at least one exception, but is not explaining why God must be the unique exception.



If there is one exception what is the difference if we call it God or universal power, or some other label science is comfortable with?  If it is the cause of the universe from what you are saying it is an uncaused cause ...


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   Once you admit of exceptions, you can ask why the universe itself, which is also unique, can't be the exception. The universe itself can either exist without a cause, or else be self-caused. Since the buck has to stop somewhere, why not the universe? At least there is little doubt that the universe exists.



Because it is not logical for the universe to create itself.  All thing within creation has been created.  It is logical to conclude that the universe which is material has to have a creator.  Also science says that it came out of nothing.  So the question is what created it out of nothing ...


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   On the other hand, as a result of what we now know about the universe and its processes, we are no longer obliged - according to the Law of Parsimony - to invoke insupportable and meaningless notions such as "God being an independent variable".



I don’t know what the Law of Parsimony has to do with the existence of God.  This talks about the evolution of species.  God is Spirit and not part of creation.  How would this have to do with explaining away the existence of God? 


But this is exactly what science is trying to come to grips within their assumption of such theories as the universe came from nothing.  Because of the difficulty with this assumption, some scientist also claim that the universe has always been here!  Others claim that there maybe other universes.  Still others believe that the big bang was a time when the universe collapsed into a point and before the big bang the universe also existed.  While I think reason and logic is very important it has its limitation and takes away of the credibility of the science of the origins of the universe.  If you put all your ‘faith’ in one area of investigation and don’t keep an open mind you may miss the truth.  Science is a trial and error discipline and really has no ability to study the God question as to the existence or non-existence of same!  It is very adapt at looking at the physical universe only but continue to say things that the universe doesn’t need God.  Even Stephen Hawking has his opponents.  And if logic is so dependable why so much controversy and disagreement within its own discipline ...

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2011 - 12:14AM #40
Namchuck
Posts: 11,345

Oct 30, 2011 -- 10:34PM, Seefan wrote:


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  Hundreds of thousands of species wiped out in unimaginably painful ways is neither wasteful nor destructive, huh? How far will believers go in their trampling of logic and reason to justify their emotional need to believe that they are the apple of some God's eye?



This is nothing more than an emotional appeal not to believe in God because He maybe 'perceived by some' as either cruel or unable to create a universe without such cruelty ......


No, it's a fact, and one that would certainly indicate that no god is involved in the processes of life.


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

If this were not so the universe would not be expanding but destroying itself and breaking apart.


  Based on what is known about the processes operative in the universe, this is exactly what will happen. Fortunately, it's good way off to worry anyone for a very very long time.



Exactly!  Based on "what is known" the universe will be on a path of destruction.  But that is not what is happening now!


No, it's not what is happening now because the universe is still in an inflationary stage. But so what?


  While reason and logic dictates your statement what would be your thinking if your fatalistic assumption of the destruction of the universe does not come to pass.  Would this be proof that God exist?  If not why mention it?


It's an extrapolation based on known physical laws. 


There is no evidence that any God exists.




Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  Even the best recycling doesn't annul the pain experienced by numberless species destroyed in extinction events (the lucky one's are those destroyed immediately). Add to this the following brutal truth, which is that most creatures on this planet live in constant and justified fear of the rest, or pay their way as slowly dying hosts to unthinkable lodgers. Mind you, this is exactly what one would expect in a universe that is utterly indifferent to the life that is within it.



Again this is an emotional response.  Because of a lack of understanding and control of ourselves we can even find it difficult to get along with and understand those closest to us, and you think man is more capable of knowing how a universe should be designed.  And below you speak of conceit and egotism.  Are you not playing the same game?


It is not "an emotional response", Seefan, but the identification of a literal fact that has undeniable implications for the notion that the evolution of life is the providential work of a God. It is a shame that you are so defensive that you can't recognize the difference. 


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  What it amounts to is the vacuous notion that four billion years of life on this planet is a mere pretext for conveying "wisdom" and "knowledge" to one particular species. This view has rightly been called the 'anthropomorphic conceit' and identifies, as little else does, the utter egoism involved when people believe that they are, as already mentioned, the apple of their God's eye.



If you are right about the universe having no purpose and no direction this makes no sense.


The anthropomorphic conceit doesn't make any sense, but things not making sense hasn't ever deterred believers from believing in non-sensical things.


  But if it the universe has direction then this is indeed plausible, that man was created to be co-creator and through his acquired knowledge and wisdom makes life more pleasing to all creatures.  Man was and is the only species capable of helping this planet ...


There is no evidence that the universe has any direction. In fact. immense evidence would indicate the very contrary.  Fortuitous evolutionary circumstances, though, has certainly given mankind the capacity to oth help himself and the planet.


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  Evolution is a mindless process.



So how would evolution, being a mindful process, manifest itself?


The same way that a snow crystal emerges out of a drop of water. Life, like consciousness, is an emergent property. All it requires, it seems, is the right conditions. In a universe as immense as our one, those conditions are bound to crop up here and there.


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And nobody has claimed that it is not "possible" for some God to have created the universe. What science has shown, though, is that it is not necessary to invoke a God as an explanation for the existence of the universe.



William Lane Craig says otherwise.  Science tells us the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe and further speculates that it began from nothing.  William Lane Craig and the Theist claim that it was God that created the universe out of nothing ...


Yes, but who in their right mind listens to William Lane Craig. There is, in fact, compelling evidence - especially concerning negative energy - that strongly indicates that the universe began from nothing. 


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   The 'Cosmological Argument', Seefan, involves, as already demonstrated, a number of significant flaws.  Flaw number one is the unjustified demands that adherents of this argument make on the concept of cause. How do you know, for instance, that there was only one cause?



Even if there were more then one cause it would still all boils down to one cause ...


You've simply dodged the problem again. Oh, well...


And why would several causes "all boil down to one cause"? Why couldn't there be, for instance, a fugue of causes akin to quantum entanglement?


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

  And who caused God?



God is an uncaused cause.  Wm Hatcher (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_S._Hatcher essentially makes a case for the existence of a single self-caused cause of the universe that is not the universe itself.  Too deep for me but you may get something from it ...


God as "an uncaused cause" is a statement, not an explanation. I've heard it all before. It, too, simply evades the fundamental issue.


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   Actually, the Cosmological Argument is a prime example of the fallacy of Passing the Buck: invoking God to solve some problem, but then leaving unanswered the very same problem about God himself. Consequently, the proponent of the Cosmological Argument must admit a contradiction to either his first premise - and say that, though God exists, he doesn't have a cause - or else a contradiction to his third premise - and say that God is self-caused. Either way, the theist is saying that his premises have at least one exception, but is not explaining why God must be the unique exception.



If there is one exception what is the difference if we call it God or universal power, or some other label science is comfortable with?  If it is the cause of the universe from what you are saying it is an uncaused cause ...


I'm not saying that at all. What I am pointing out is - and this may be too deep for you as well -  that the Cosmological Argument is demonstratively flawed. If one is going to be obliged to accept a First Cause - and no one is - than one may as well accept the universe as being it. At least there is no doubt that it exists. This is not the case for some hypothetical God.


The other flaw in this argument, of course, is that it invokes one mystery in an attempt to explain another mystery. It is a hole, I repeat, that no theist can get himself out of.


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   Once you admit of exceptions, you can ask why the universe itself, which is also unique, can't be the exception. The universe itself can either exist without a cause, or else be self-caused. Since the buck has to stop somewhere, why not the universe? At least there is little doubt that the universe exists.



Because it is not logical for the universe to create itself. 


Nonsense! You know nothing of logic. There is, I repeat, compelling evidence that the universe may have come from nothing.


All thing within creation has been created.  It is logical to conclude that the universe which is material has to have a creator.  Also science says that it came out of nothing.  So the question is what created it out of nothing ...


The answer to that was given by the Nobel laureate physicist Frank Wilczek who put it thus, "The answer to the ancient question 'why is there something rather than nothing?' would be that 'nothing' is unstable."


In the non-boundary scenario for the natural origin of the universe, the probability for there being something rather than nothing can actually be calculated; it is over 60 percent. I will elucidate further if you wish.


Oct 30, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Namchuck wrote:

   On the other hand, as a result of what we now know about the universe and its processes, we are no longer obliged - according to the Law of Parsimony - to invoke insupportable and meaningless notions such as "God being an independent variable".



I don’t know what the Law of Parsimony has to do with the existence of God.  This talks about the evolution of species.  God is Spirit and not part of creation.  How would this have to do with explaining away the existence of God?


Well, given your level of scientific knowledge, Seefan, I'm not surprised that you are unaware of the Law of Parsimony which, incidentally, has a good deal to say about the existence of God. William of Ockham, who incidentally was a scholastic theologian, proposed what is now known as Ockham's razor: "it is vain to do with more what can be done with less". In other words, supernumerary hypotheses (such as the existence of God) are to be avoided if we can explain the same facts with fewer assumptions. And that is exactly what science can do.


And one doesn't have to "explain away the existence" of God anymore than one has to explain away the claim that pink unicorns exist. There is no evidence for the existence of either God or pink unicorns.


That "God is Spirit" is simply a belief. One may as well claim, with as much weight, that God is an invisible super balloon.


But this is exactly what science is trying to come to grips within their assumption of such theories as the universe came from nothing.  Because of the difficulty with this assumption, some scientist also claim that the universe has always been here!  Others claim that there maybe other universes.  Still others believe that the big bang was a time when the universe collapsed into a point and before the big bang the universe also existed.  While I think reason and logic is very important it has its limitation and takes away of the credibility of the science of the origins of the universe.  If you put all your ‘faith’ in one area of investigation and don’t keep an open mind you may miss the truth.  Science is a trial and error discipline and really has no ability to study the God question as to the existence or non-existence of same!  It is very adapt at looking at the physical universe only but continue to say things that the universe doesn’t need God.  Even Stephen Hawking has his opponents.  And if logic is so dependable why so much controversy and disagreement within its own discipline ...


Yes, but that is how science works, Seefan. Science seeks explanations, and in this process there is bound to be different hypotheses until the weight of evidence for one eliminates contending but  insupportable ones. Science has made great headway in its understanding about origins, both for the universe and for life. What it doesn't do, unlike religion, is make baroque assumptions about it and then try to foist them off as established facts. Again, unlike religion, science is both evidence-based and self-correcting. This is why it has, again unlike science, made astonishing discoveries over the last century or so, one of the most important being the establishment of humanity's true historical context, something that no religion ever got right. 


God is, as someone once put it, a failed hypothesis and the concept is quickly running out of refuges in which to hide. If one marshals the convergent arguments from physics, astronomy, biology and a host of other disciplines simply makes the notion of God untenable. I doubt, though, that these facts will make the slightest difference to the true believer. The harder work of inquiry, proof, and demonstration has never been of any interest to the believer.





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