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#12790 - 08/20/05 05:04 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'll match your imagination and raise you three...

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#12791 - 08/20/05 02:35 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
finchbeak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 50
Loc: m=ρd
I agree that it's easy to find gross inconsistencies and cruelty and outright stupid philosophy contained in the bible (and other judeo-christian-islamic stories). There is a whole lot of crap (and worse) there. You're quite right to point out Genesis 19 as an example. Point taken.

I think it's important to remember that the bible is nothing more than a collection of stories, written by many authors and translated many times over. I would compare it to the body of literature we call Norse mythology. Those gods were nasty bastards and their heroes (e.g. Beowulf) were very contradictory, being simultaneously violent and gentle, loving and hateful, disgusting and beautiful. In short, they were metaphors for humanity in general and the gods can be seen as representing the entirety of nature. Today, virtually nobody believes these stories literally although many people find them captivating and instructive.

I also agree that it's impossible to logically consider biblical stories as both literally perfect and divinely inspired. Indeed, that was my point: the problem lies more in the interpretation than in the stories themselves. The trinity is actually an interesting example. So long as you don't try to understand it literally (and it is absurd to believe 1=3), there is an interesting metaphor there. For example, my wife and son and I can be seen as being both one and three at the same time. At a more general level, I tend to see the human situation as being one where there is both a conflict and a balance between individuals and the communities they comprise. There is a very interesting dynamic between individual needs and community needs; I see the trinity as a metaphor that illustrates the inherent dissonance and harmony in that situation. In no way do I believe in the trinity as literal truth, but it is an interesting story and an interesting theme permeating much of the biblical collection. Fiction and mythology, even when violent and ugly, have valid roles in human society. That doesn't mean every sentence should apply to all of us all of the time (or to any of us at any time, as you rightly point out).

To go back to the example of Genesis 19, let me ask this. What if we understand "God" to be a metaphor for the natural universe, instead of as a sentient being? Does nature behave violently, capriciously, and unjustly sometimes? Yes. Is it simultaneously breathtakingly beautiful? I think so. Does nature condemn innocents to horrible fates and allow for greed, cowardice, and corruption to gain an upper hand? Sometimes. Do greed and corruption always win? No. The natural universe provides both spectacular injustice and sublime beauty, often at the same time. I absolutely do NOT believe in any literal interpretation of "God" as a living, loving, sentient being; but I do think that it's interesting to tell stories about how we experience nature and the awe most people feel in its presence. Indeed, as a scientist and an educator, that's my job.

Thus, it is literal interpretation that I find most troubling. Not only do literalists fail to see the point in a society's stories, but they often act violently and stupidly because of that failure. The stories themselves, while they may contain horrendous episodes, are not to blame.

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#12792 - 08/20/05 03:31 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Rogue Physicist Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 42
Loc: Gulag Health Spa
Quote:
It will prove, conclusively, that our DNA was created by purely natural processes and not by any intelligent or sentient being.
What nonsense.
You can't have probabilities at all without hidden laws and unknown but predictable causes.
_________________________
Quantum Mechanics is a crashing Bohr.

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#12793 - 08/21/05 06:10 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
finchbeak ... you wrote:
"I think it's important to remember that the bible is nothing more than a collection of stories,"

But if you accept as true what you wrote ... and I've no reason to believe you a hypocrite. Then they have the same moral authority as any other work of fiction. No more ... and no less.

So why not tell everyone to pay 10% of their earnings to support those that preach the gospel of Harry Potter. Better miracles and far better written.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12794 - 08/22/05 12:59 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
finchbeak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 50
Loc: m=ρd
I quite agree with you, DA. I don't think the bible does have any special moral authority. (And I confess that Weasly is my king.)
Like I said, the problem is in the interpretation. Your example of tithing is an excellent illustration of foolish and corrupt people using the bible inappropriately. Please understand, in no way do I support taking the bible as anything more than a remarkably old and vivid piece of literature. Like all works of fiction, it must be understood as metaphor; anybody who tries to take it literally is behaving like an idiot.
What I have been trying to say is that I think people should be held accountable for their own idiocy, rather than laying blame on a book. I believe modern evangelical Christianity to be a disturbing and dangerous movement, and very few things anger me more than the people who are trying - and often succeeding - in foisting their twisted belief system on human society as a whole. In fact, I propose that nothing threatens American society (for I have trouble speaking for the rest of the world) more than these fundamentalist charlatans.
DA, don't you agree that the people, not the book, should be castigated?

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#12795 - 08/22/05 03:34 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Anonymous
Unregistered


Agree.The problem is not with the religion but with those who practice it.
The religion came into existence when we were confined to our geographical locations and time periods. The fundamental laws remain the same however there is a need to rewrite some part of it to make it more contemporary.Ofcourse the writer should an expert in religions and should have extraordinary understanding of what happens in daily life today. The rewritten part should not negate what was achieved earlier but should compliment to the original text as a newly discovered understanding by the returned light.
Religion evolves very slowly( Sometimes it
de-evolves as well.) Religious evolution can match the newly accepted reality more readily if and only if the concept of God is accepted by someone who knows Science very well(as most part of what we have today has been gifted to us by science)

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#12796 - 08/22/05 04:41 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"It will prove, conclusively, that our DNA was created by purely natural processes and not by any intelligent or sentient being."

Close. It might prove that a creator is not required. It won't prove there was no creator.

God is outside the realm of science, as are faeries and witchcraft.

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#12797 - 08/22/05 05:14 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Occam's Razor applies Mr. Fiend. If proven as fact that our DNA was originally based on a doublet that was later expanded to a triplet the only possibility for a creator is that the creator is flawed. And there is not a single religion on this planet willing to step up to the bar and take ownership of a flawed creator.

Even though any person with 1/2 a brain knows that the one they've been flogging for 2000 years is as flawed as those that promote him/her/it.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12798 - 08/22/05 05:44 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
finchbeak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 50
Loc: m=ρd
Actually, I think many Buddhists and Hindus feel comfortable with the notion of a flawed creator.
Many other Buddhists (Zen in particular) have no use for a deity concept whatsoever. In fact, many religion scholars consider the roots of Buddhism to be an atheist philosophy, rather than a religion per se. Some branches of Buddhism, in particular those that are heavily influenced by Hinduism (like Tibetan Buddhism), have since embraced the idea of a divine creator. Other branches - those that are more influenced by the Chinese Taoism - have never done that.

Here's an excellent book. The World's Religions, by Huston Smith.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0062508113/104-1659659-1651110?v=glance
As a non-religious person, I was very surprised to enjoy this book as much as I did. I still refer to it quite often.

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#12799 - 08/22/05 09:42 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"If proven as fact that our DNA was originally based on a doublet that was later expanded to a triplet the only possibility for a creator is that the creator is flawed."

Occam's razor applies in science. Theology or philosophy are outside the realm of science. Now my own view is that there is no God. I don't KNOW that there is no god, but I live my life as if there were no god of any kind and I really believe there is none exists. I acknowledge the possibility, though, that some kind of god exists. The christian-muslim, etc. conception, however, in addition to being repulsive, is utterly ridiculous. Christianity has about as much chance of being true as circles have of being squared.

I think the bible has some wisdom in it, some truth, and some beauty. It also has enough that is false, ugly, and stupid that I have to believe it's not inspired by any true god.

But these are all personal views. Science can't say anything about God. Maybe the "flaws" are only percieved on our part. Maybe the "flaws" are part of "The Plan." Of course I don't believe this. It's stupid to consider, imo. But science only deals with the physical and the how, not the metaphysical or the why. That I personally think that metaphysics is a useless cesspool is immaterial.

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#12800 - 08/23/05 10:42 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
While I totally agree that science and theology are polar opposites one can use the scientific method to falsify theological or philosophical statements presented as statements of fact.

So, for example, while I can not falsify that there is an undetectable purple rhinoceros in the middle of the room ... I can falsify a claim that an object was created by a sentient entity that is perfect.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12801 - 08/24/05 03:56 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Anonymous
Unregistered


Special = Intentional intervention by an anthropomorphic sentient entity.
REP:Tomorrow when you will create the Universe will they not call you the God!!??
Go ahead and disprove it.

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#12802 - 08/24/05 02:39 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"I can falsify a claim that an object was created by a sentient entity that is perfect"

I'm not sure how one would go about doing that, if the entity supposedly used supernaturalism to do it.

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#12803 - 08/25/05 09:07 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Anonymous
Unregistered


Supernaturalism??
What is supernatual to us today may become natural tomorrow.
The process may not confine itself to one branch of knowledge.
It is possible.

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#12804 - 08/25/05 09:37 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Johan Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 35
Loc: Norway
By dkv:
Quote:
In the next reply I hope to get a good defintion of life.
The definition of life is that it can die. Sorted.
_________________________
Johan VS

-Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a raindance.

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#12805 - 08/25/05 10:31 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
dvk wrote:
"Tomorrow when you will create the Universe will they not call you the God!!??"

A rhetorical question asked '... by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing': To quote Shakespeare.

The FalliableFiend:
A entity that is perfect, by definition, can not make a mistake. This isn't rocket science ... just simple Boolean logic. Even thousands of years ago this was well known and was the origin of artists intentionally making a mistake in their work so as not to anger a god by challenging his perfection.

Johan:
You wrote the definition of life is that it can die. No doubt your carefully crafted analysis will now define death as the end of life. Thus giving the impression of intellect where there is, in fact, a vacuum.

The truth is that no one has ever, unambiguously, defined what life is and you are not first. Neither can you unambiguously define death.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12806 - 08/25/05 10:44 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Anonymous
Unregistered


But so can the universe.
And what is meant by death.
If we are subjected to classical understanding of reality then it doesnt make any sense to discuss the life and death.There is nothing called as Life and nothing is called Death.
The illusion of life gets created because we are programmed to care of ourselves.
What is so special about Life?
Why cant Life be allowed to be an attribute of a sufficiently complex computing Machine?
The probability has its own limitations.
Otherwise a type wirter would have been enough to reproduce Shakespear.Some people actually performed this experiment and no useful sentence was created (forget about understanding it)..

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#12807 - 08/25/05 02:51 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 127
Loc: does it really matter?
Someone posted the question "what is truth"? The New York Times has truth, they tell you so; "All the news that's fit to print". In American schools it is generally taught that the American Revolution was fought in order to stop taxation by the British, and to end British "oppression". In Russia, however, the American Revolution is painted differently. There the young Russians are imparted with knowledge that the "Americans (to be)" fought with the British in order to keep slavery, while the British fought to end it.

Truth in a courtroom is what a judge and jury decide it is. Nothing else.
Truth can have bias, perspective, point-of-view, and vantage.
I am not talking about mathematics.

DKV,
If you use a computer to perform art, which is the artist: the user or the computer? To further complicate, what is "art"? lol
Sincerely
_________________________
"My God, it's full of stars!" -2010

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#12808 - 08/25/05 03:04 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"A entity that is perfect, by definition, can not make a mistake. This isn't rocket science ... just simple Boolean logic. Even thousands of years ago this was well known and was the origin of artists intentionally making a mistake in their work so as not to anger a god by challenging his perfection."

1) The definition of god doesn't necessarily include the notion of perfection.

2) What we percieve - and what we are capable of perceiving - might not be all there is. Just because we perceive that something is a mistake doesn't mean that God didn't plan it that way all along.

Science doesn't address god. Logic is used in science and in philosophy. Being logical is not the same thing as being scientific.

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#12809 - 08/25/05 03:23 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
j6p Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/05
Posts: 47
One definition of death could be "change". Personally, I look at death as energy changing from one form to another. It makes it easier, for me at least, to tolerate the passing of someone or something I hold dear.

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