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#18973 - 03/16/07 01:39 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Tim]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Tim. Nice poem and may be true. But how can we know how to "follow your infinite Creator! Turn to Him, and confess your deeds;"

There are so many groups who claim to know the true path how can we decide which is correct? They can't all be. Note my post at the top of the page (#18929 - March 14). For those reasons we can be sure the Creator you talk about is not the god of the Old Testament.

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#18981 - 03/16/07 02:51 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
DA Morgan Offline
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Tim wrote:
"God is living. He lives amongst us. His glance pierces our inmost being."

Tim ... on the chance that you are serious and over 15 years old please see your family physician. There is treatment available for people who see things that are not there. And yes I am being serious not sarcastic. You seem like a very troubled young man and with treatment modern medicine I've no doubt you can lead a normal life.

If your post is just another troll from a prosletyzer then please feel free to believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Invisible Purple Rhinoceros as that is your right and you are welcome to the self-deception of your choice. But if you are going to post at a science website statements that are irrational you will be treated as a troll.

While you are deciding whether you are a troubled young man or a troll ... and we will be awaiting your answer ... please humor us by explaining to us why male mammals have nipples. Thanks.
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#19015 - 03/17/07 04:57 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: DA Morgan]
Tim Offline
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Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 192
Loc: California
I am not a troulbed young man or a troll
and why wouldn?t male mammals have nipples?
y would it be irrational to beleive in God or a god?
on the contrary, beleiving that you just happened to exist due to millions of unexplained phenomenas that happened in just the right order is irrational
thinking that there is Something who created this frail existence is rational

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#19018 - 03/17/07 05:42 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Tim]
Ellis Offline
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Tim Wrote:-

on the contrary, beleiving that you just happened to exist due to millions of unexplained phenomenas that happened in just the right order is irrational
**************************************
Why is it more irrational to believe that as a result of marvellous chaotic events this planet, indeed this universe, has become what it was, what it is and what it will be? What is rational about believing that some one or some thing did it all?

I find that much easier to believe in a random beginning than that anything could plan it all, if only because there is so much to be fixed up- if it had been planned it's not a good job.

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#19019 - 03/17/07 05:46 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
Ellis Offline
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PS... Tim.. Male mammals shouldn't have nipples because they don't need them. Nipples are for feeding babies, girls need them (the human race needs them to need them!) boys don't need them. It's part of the bad planning I was on about!

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#19022 - 03/17/07 09:32 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Tim]
redewenur Offline
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Posts: 1840
Tim, you must be aware that a vast number of previously unexplained phenomena have been explained during the past few centuries. The number of unexplained phenomena continues to decrease with the accelerating advance of scientific knowledge. Science doesn't have all the answers, and it seems to me pretty certain that it never will - answers tend to open doors to new questions - but science moves forward continually. The proof of it's success is all around you. Historically, the response of the Christian church to scientific advancement has been, at best foot-dragging, at worst violent and hateful persecution of so-called heretics. I would ask you, in the friendliest way I can, please read about the scientific method. Argue about it if you like - that's one way to learn. If you can understand it well, then that's a first step through the door from ignorance to enlightenment.

Here's a sample from a very long list of links on the scientific method:

http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html
http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Courses/bio104/sci_meth.htm
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/project_scientific_method.shtml

Good Luck.
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#19024 - 03/17/07 03:35 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
Blacknad Offline
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Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Males, in some circumstances can produce milk for their young and supplement that of the Mother's. Male lactation is well documented.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_lactation

Why should male nipples present a problem to the theist?

It probably presents a problem to 'Six Day Creationists', but then so does everything else.

As for Ellis statement:

..............................................................

"Why is it more irrational to believe that as a result of marvellous chaotic events this planet, indeed this universe, has become what it was, what it is and what it will be? What is rational about believing that some one or some thing did it all?"

...............................................................

It interests me that you include the word 'marvellous'. Try as materialists might, they cannot get away from invoking such words when they talk about the universe. It interests me that when talking about random, meaningless actions we can barely restrain ourselves from using words associated with meaning.

"marvellous: being or having the character of a miracle "

Because of the degree of fine tuning involved in the universe, we can easily ask the question, "has some form of intelligence ordered it in such an improbable way?"

Because as the Theoretical Physicist, Professor Paul Davis says, "it is as if the universe knew we were coming," then why should it be irrational to ask the question, "is there something that has set this all up?"

So the idea that there is some previously existing entity that has created and precisely ordered all of this to achieve the eventual rise of sentient creatures does not seem out of the bounds of possibility.

The alternative is that this universe appeared from nothing and fortuitously came about with just the right balance of fundamental forces etc. involving odds of 10-120 that when combined with the odds of other properties occurring, rockets up to astronomic proportions of improbability. We then have further chance occurrences that result in life appearing, and all the while the laws of the universe work in just such a way that we obtain mind from base chemicals and suddenly the universe has produced something that is able to examine the nature of itself and even re-order the universe for its own ends, and seemingly break free of determinism and exert itself on its surroundings by free-will.

The material universe produces minds of almost unfathomable complexity by accident.

Believe that if you want, but then don't call the religious irrational.

Surely the only intellectually honest position is agnostic - following in the footsteps of the great Atheist Professor Anthony Flew who, after decades of aggressive atheism, renounced it all and said that advances in the understanding of cosmology and genetics made it clear that there was AN OVERWHELMING ARGUMENT TO DESIGN.

It is clearly not irrational to believe in a creator. I would concede that this in no way leads us to the Christian God. But I feel it takes an equally giant step of faith to jump to Atheism.


Blacknad.



Edited by Blacknad (03/17/07 03:37 PM)

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#19028 - 03/17/07 04:58 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
redewenur Offline
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Posts: 1840
Hi, Blacknad. Some bones to pick with you:

You said:

"It interests me that you include the word 'marvellous'. Try as materialists might, they cannot get away from invoking such words when they talk about the universe"

and

"marvellous: being or having the character of a miracle "

I found three definitions of marvellous (below). It's no coincidence that you chose No.2 is it? - when it's quite obvious that Ellis chose No.1. I, also, am inclined to use such words from time to time with reference to the cosmos or, equally, to it's more miniscule contents. Is there a problem with that, or must such words be reserved for religious experience?

1 : causing wonder : astonishing
2 : miraculous, supernatural ?Gothic tales of the marvellous and the bizarre?
3 : of the highest kind or quality : notably superior ?has a marvellous way with children?

You said:

"...Atheist Professor Anthony Flew who, after decades of aggressive atheism, renounced it all and said that advances in the understanding of cosmology and genetics made it clear that there was AN OVERWHELMING ARGUMENT TO DESIGN"

Given an hour or so, I could give a long list of links to the views of other professors who make it clear that there is AN OVERWHELMING ARGUMENT AGAINST [intelligent] DESIGN.

As for rationality, Intelligent Design adherents might be harmless enough if they didn't propagate opposition to rational scientific research. Unfortunately that?s exactly what they do.
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#19035 - 03/17/07 06:28 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: redewenur]
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Tim and Blacknad with respect to male mammals having nipples ... lets get serious here.

If a perfect, all knowing, sentient entity created nipples on males it had to be for a reason: god's don't make mistakes do they?

So when was the last time you saw a male dog nursing pups? or a male horse a foal? or a male wombat? shall I continue or do you get the point? Male polar bears are not nursing pups. Get real.

What you are clinging to is an anachronism. A belief system that only exists because of your upbringing. Had you been born in a different country to different parents in a different culture your belief system would be different. You have a book that has no author, that was cobbled together for political reasons, and a faith that demands of you that you disavow reason, disavow evidence, disavow rationality and put your life into the hands of someone who it would appear drowned every living being on this planet save the members of one family.

I thought England made major progress with the Magna Carta and the implementation of Parliament and the rule of law. Is there really still a need to bow to and worship and pray for foregiveness at the feet of the lord of the manor?
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#19038 - 03/17/07 06:42 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: redewenur]
Blacknad Offline
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Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Redwenur,

You have jumped on the particular and you are right - I used a definition to suit me, but only because it illustrates my point - no dishonesty intended. I was, however, pointing to the general use of these types of words.

Evolutionists (for the record, I am one) cannot help but talk in terms of 'purpose' no matter how much they try.

Einstein talked of 'God not playing dice' - it has to be asked (as the philosopher Mary Midgley rightly does), why would such a great man find the need to use such words to describe a purely material phenomena? He would not have uttered them without choosing them carefully and would have been well aware of their connotations.

I concede that it is overall a weak point but it does interest me. We cannot describe objective existence without these words with their subjective overtones.

1. If we knocked over some tins of paint and it accidently formed a beautiful painting then we might be surprised.

2. When we look at a painting by one of the great masters we are awed and moved emotionally. This is more akin to the religious experience of worshipping the designer behind the design.

When we look at the universe we experience number 2. We think in hyperbolic terms.



As for the professors you mention - of course they would state in the strongest terms that there is no evidence of design. This is partially because of the war of paradigms. Why would they allow an inch of ground to be offered to the religious who would be all over it like a rash? But I do not see how they can objectify this yet. Can they really objectively rule out design behind the makeup of the universe?

How?

Anyway, that was not my point and I am not looking for a democratic vote on the subject - one side wins because it has more believers and therefore Anthony Flew is irrational by democratic decree.

Ellis asked - "What is rational about believing that some one or some thing did it all?"

I pointed to two rational Professors and could list many more, who either belive that there is design in the universe (and it therefore follows 'a designer'), or just accept that it looks very much like it could be the case.

I could list many many more.

I submit that it is clearly not irrational to believe in a designer.

Blacknad.


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#19047 - 03/17/07 08:04 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Dan,

You really need to drop the male nipple thing. It just shouts out an inability to think widely enough to get the fact that the reason the theist would give for there being male nipples is exactly the same as the evolutionist would give.

And it has nothing to do with poor design.

Scientists marvel at the incredible process of evolution, but then scoff that it's not good enough when someone posits an intelligent entity that kicked it into action by creating laws that would accomplish intelligent life.

The poor design accusations made by atheists as proof of the lack of a god fails logically.

It assumes that anything that this god does should appear perfect in our eyes.

It is logically consistent that a creator could create something that is far from perfect but is still fit for the creator's purposes. Proove otherwise.

Blacknad.

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#19053 - 03/17/07 10:30 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Shame shame blacknad for writing:
"Evolutionists ... cannot help but talk in terms of 'purpose' no matter how much they try."

I don't try because it is unnecessary. There is no purpose to the universe. Not to the galaxies, the stars they contain, the molecules, atoms, force fields, planets, meteors, grains of sand, or those all so self-important two legged lifeforms on the third spinning rock orbiting Sol. If you are looking for purpose you need to find it inside of yourself.

blacknad asks:
"Einstein talked of 'God not playing dice' - it has to be asked (as the philosopher Mary Midgley rightly does), why would such a great man find the need to use such words to describe a purely material phenomena? He would not have uttered them without choosing them carefully and would have been well aware of their connotations."

Because he was (A) human and (B) raised in a Jewish family in accordance with Judiasm. Had he been raised a Hindu or in Japan with Shinto or in an animist society he'd have said something different. No physicist I have ever met has attributed meaning to that statement other than as a metaphor in the same way that many of us refer to the Higg's Boson as the 'God Particle'. Why don't you pray to the Higg's? Why doesn't anybody? Because the statement is harder to misconstrue.

blacknad wrote:
"I concede that it is overall a weak point but it does interest me."

good.

blacknad wrote:
"We cannot describe objective existence without these words with their subjective overtones."

Neither can we divorce ourselves from the cultures in which we were raised. When I suggest that someone "go to hell" I am most definitely not in doing so suggesting that such a place exists.

Blackad wrote:
"2. When we look at a painting by one of the great masters we are awed and moved emotionally. This is more akin to the religious experience of worshipping the designer behind the design."

Some react that way to Picasso. Some react that way to The Grateful Dead. I happen to like the works of the masters just as I like the work of J.S. Bach. But that says something about the artist ... not his inspiration. Van Gogh cut off his ear. He was a certifiable nut case. That doesn't affect how I react to his art. You are trying to paint the target after the arrow was shot.

blacknad wrote:
"I submit that it is clearly not irrational to believe in a designer."

Only if you posit that the designer was irrational. Male polar bears do not breast feed.
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#19054 - 03/17/07 10:43 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Blacknad.

Einstein and the dice is a popular argument, and it's not only a weak argument, it's no argument. What does it signify? At the very most it means that Einstein had a conception of God. Well? So, what? So, have you, right?

You said: "When we look at the universe we experience number 2. We think in hyperbolic terms"

Hyperbolic terms? No, just in straight forward terms; and the list of things that move us emotionally is practically endless, isn't it: a sunset, a newborn baby, a well acted drama...As you suggest, we can dispense with exclusivity for religious matters.

You said: "Evolutionists (for the record, I am one) cannot help but talk in terms of 'purpose' no matter how much they try."

What's amiss about the use of the word 'purpose'? It's commonplace is it not? For example, 'the purpose of my is pen is to enable writing', or, 'the purpose my fan is to keep me cool'. Can you clarify what you mean?

Correct me if I'm wrong:- you believe in a god that created the universe with all the requisite programming for evolutionary progression (as described in Darwinian evolution) built in. After which he left it to come to fruition of its own accord. Is that right?
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#19059 - 03/18/07 12:48 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: redewenur]
Ellis Offline
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I actually looked up the definition of marvellous as I was a bit queasy (as in "causing or feeling anxiety or uneasiness") about using it. But I do not think that a disinterest in the supernatural should preclude anyone from experiencing wonder. I just do not then make the leap "I feel wonder-therefore there is a god". I just enjoy it (hedonist that I am).

I have no personal views on Einstein but why is something he said supposed to bring such gravitas to an argument, that a remark of his is used to affirm a point of view absolutely? He may have been wrong, and his point of view was almost certainly in some way influenced by his own experiences, as we all are.

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#19060 - 03/18/07 12:50 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: redewenur]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
I actually looked up the definition of marvellous as I was a bit queasy (as in "causing or feeling anxiety or uneasiness") about using it. But I do not think that a disinterest in the supernatural should preclude anyone from experiencing wonder. I just do not then make the leap "I feel wonder-therefore there is a god". I just enjoy it (hedonist that I am).

I have no personal views on Einstein but why is something he said supposed to bring such gravitas to an argument, that a remark of his is used to affirm a point of view absolutely? He may have been wrong, and his point of view was almost certainly in some way influenced by his own experiences, as we all are.

( I think this is going to double post--sorry!)

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#19061 - 03/18/07 12:57 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
Ellis Offline
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That is such a nuisance---

However I also wanted to comment (but forgot to write!) that the fact that men can lactate only confirms my point of view that male nipples are even more of a mistake and sadder than I had thought.

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#19078 - 03/18/07 05:09 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Using Einstein as an argument related to theology is no different from using Paris Hilton as an argument for genetics.

Einstein was a mathematician and physicist ... not any more educated with respect to religion than many I can name. This is no different than Paris Hilton, an expert on self-promotion being asked about the genetic factors related to her abnormally small brain.

I find the argument related to marvelous or miraculous wholly disingenuous. I go to my telescope and turn it on the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and am left in total awe. At the beauty, at the distance, at the possibilities, and the thought that it is likely someone there is looking back toward me. And I would find it a real let down if I were to find out that we were nothing more than pawns in a bored and lonely entity's game of chess.
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#19091 - 03/19/07 04:33 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: DA Morgan]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
DA quoted blacknad:

"Evolutionists ... cannot help but talk in terms of 'purpose' no matter how much they try."

I guess that's true to some extent but it's because we're looking at the situation after the event. The giraffe appears to have grown a long neck for the purpose of reaching higher into the trees for it's food. (As a friend of mine says, "a liitle food goes a long way in a giraffe"). But that's not what really happened. Individuals with longer necks survived hard times better than those with shorter necks. Result? The genes for a longer neck survived and replaced other genes.

It's like fate. We only think something is a result of fate because we're looking at the situation in reverse.

Of course this doesn't provide us with evidence either for against the existence of a god.

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#19098 - 03/19/07 06:40 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
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Quoting Terry's example:

"The giraffe appears to have grown a long neck for the purpose of reaching higher into the trees for its food"

That sentence is adequate for anyone with an understanding of Darwinian evolution theory. To them, the use of the word 'purpose' is simply a convenient linguistic device. Languages contain many other examples.

For those who want to split linguistic hairs, however, here's an alternative without the word 'purpose':

"The process of evolution has resulted in the long neck of the giraffe, by virtue of the fact that it enables it to survive by reaching higher into the trees for its food."
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#19103 - 03/19/07 10:02 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: redewenur]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
That's true Rede. We tend to get a little careless with terminology when we assume everyone knows what we are talking about. Maybe we at SAGG should be more careful when dealing with fundies because they fall into the category of "those who want to split linguistic hairs".

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