Welcome to
Science a GoGo's
Discussion Forums
Please keep your postings on-topic or they will be moved to a galaxy far, far away.
Your use of this forum indicates your agreement to our terms of use.
So that we remain spam-free, please note that all posts by new users are moderated.


The Forums
General Science Talk        Not-Quite-Science        Climate Change Discussion        Physics Forum        Science Fiction

Who's Online
0 registered (), 217 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Posts
Is there anybody out there?
by True
01/07/20 09:26 AM
Top Posters (30 Days)
True 1
Page 34 of 35 < 1 2 ... 32 33 34 35 >
Topic Options
#21576 - 05/15/07 03:13 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: soilguy]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Revlgking wrote:

"Atheism is so unimaginative, boring and dull, and dead-end! Who can possibly be excited by the concept?"

I don't know about that. Have you tried it?



Top
.
#21582 - 05/15/07 07:41 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
NOT Sam, but redewenur comments: "Yes, I'll have to watch my semantics. Force, as in 'impetus', soilguy, but perhaps it would be better to say 'process'..."

The great mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
was a process philosopher and theologian. The idea of G0D fits well with "process philosophy and theology".

Ellis asks: "Are we now seeing the Christian religion evolving?"
YES!!!!!And there are as many species as there are Christians. Like snowflakes, cells, grains of sand, etc. no two are alike. What variety there is! smile Atheism is so unimaginative, boring and dull, and dead-end! Who can possibly be excited by the concept?

Hey Revl! You misquoted me (mis-attributed that to me). It was redewenur who you were quoting above!

-
It around 1980 that Whitehead's "Metaphysics" got me started on this path I now travel. Thanks for reminding me....

I was thinking there might be as many different kinds of Atheists as there are different kinds of Religions.

Anyway, I think it is a good point about depending on how one defines "God," evidence could possibly be found; but with some other definitions, evidence is "meaningless" or unrelated.

Revl. you said, "For me, theology is a science. "
Certainly the word (the-ology) is evidence that there is an attempt to study God scientifically (or should I say 'study religion scientifically?') (or both).

"Ellis asks: "Are we now seeing the Christian religion evolving?"
YES!!!!!" -Revl.

I used to see that religions evolved, and I took that fact to be evidence that religions bore little relation to God; but then again, depending on how you define God, it could go either way.

-
I also liked this point, "I'm not saying that they [Living things] actually violate any laws, just that they stand out as an example of what I wouldn't expect as a result of the laws." -rede

That was my point when I ~wrote, "So Life is virtually assured of originating because of the amazing entropy that [Living things] generate. -21543

...and also, "This was based on the idea that 'turning light into heat' was an expression of maximum entropy...
...and that 'life' was the most efficient way to do that."
-21543


Terry you wrote, "I agree with Blacknad: 'This thread is entitled 'Evidence for God' and there has been precious little presented....'"

Darn! As rede says, "...life is so complex that its origin is seen by many as "Evidence for God."
I knew (to be more 'on topic') I shoulda used my alternate tagline:

"Life is God's way of turning light into heat." -21543

~SA
wink
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

Top
#21591 - 05/15/07 04:44 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Learned theists have always used metaphors such as air, wind, breath, fire, light and life as metaphors, and as indirect evidence, for God. Only the un-learned--sincere ignorance is not a crime--tend to concretize God and think of him in a human-like form.

This is why, as a unitheist/neo-theist theologian, I prefer to use the symbol GØD. I do it to make sure people will ask: What are you trying to get across by that symbol?

This gives me the opportunity to respond to people who ask me,
what I mean by GØD, as follows:

Because I value freedom of belief, you are free to believe what you want to believe, especially if it makes you a better person and does not impinge on my freedom. But my free choice is to get rid of all idols, especially those we are tempted to create with the mind. This frees me from the constraints of dogma and encourages me to think.

Once we can do this, all things are possible, as long as it makes sense. I read a brief item in the Globe and Mail, today: It said, ineffect, that intellect helps us to distinguish between the possible and the impossible; reason helps us distinguish between that whiich makes sense and that which does not. Process theology sure stretches my intellect; and because of its emphasis on life as an eternal and joyful journey, it sure makes a lot of sense, to me.


Edited by Revlgking (05/15/07 05:00 PM)

Top
#21593 - 05/15/07 07:09 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
Revlgking wrote: "Atheism is so unimaginative, boring and dull, and dead-end! Who can possibly be excited by the concept?"

I don't know about that. Have you tried it?
Yes, for a short time. I think I was fifteen. It certainly felt like a dead-end street. Without eternal values life seemed without meaning.

Looking back, I now feel it is one of the reasons quite a few young people take their own lives. When they come to the conclusion that no one cares, not even a God who cares, they reach the point of despair and the feeling that life has no meaning.

It was the next year, at 16, that I decided to study for the ministry. I was in university at 17.

WHAT ABOUT SUICIDE LATE IN LIFE

And there is more than we will ever know.

I have met many people who dug their grave with their teeth. Look at the epedemic of obesity. I even took their funerals. Not to mention those who drugged themselves, in one way or another, to early graves.

Then there are those who suffer pain and loss, in old age. I write as one who was born in 1930. Loss of faith in GØD, and the eternal values of life, can cause some people to take their lives to get away from it all.

Ernest Hemmingway, in one of his war novels--I think it was Farewell to Arms--using the voice of the hero, wrote that "life is a dirty trick". When he came to a painful old age--and he was not that old, really--he killed himself.

BUT, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF PAIN, LIFE CAN BE MEANINGFUL
Dr. Victor Frankl, in his great book, Man's Search For Meaning, makes the point that when we find meaning and purpose in life such as that given by faith in, what I call GØD, we will find the way.

Interestingly, Frankl claims that his belief that life does have an ultimate meaning is what helped him survive the death-camp called Auschwitz. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

and http://www.geocities.com/~webwinds/frankl/frankl.htm

Great stuff!!!



Edited by Revlgking (05/15/07 09:34 PM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

Top
#21595 - 05/15/07 09:27 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Revlgking]
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Rev,

Serious question. What evidence do you have for God's existence?

Blacknad.

Top
#21596 - 05/15/07 09:43 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Blacknad, I was just busy revising my last post, here.
In the spirit of dialoguing until we understand what is being said: To what are you referring when you say: "Serious question".

BTW, my serious evidence is in Nature--that which is all around me as well as in and through all that is. For short, I call it GØD. Notice that I capitalize "nature". While agreeing that I could be wrong, I consider Nature and GØD as doublets of the same idea.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

Top
#21604 - 05/16/07 07:12 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: soilguy]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Revlgking wrote:

"there are as many species as there are Christians."

Ah. Evolution in action. Christianiy has evolved into numerous subspecies. Of course it is part of a genus that includes Judaism and Islam. Perhaps we could call this genus "Judeo-Christ-Islam" That genus evolved from Canaanite beliefs hybridised with Egyptian and Mesopotamian beliefs with a more recent overlay of Zoroastrian. Perhaps someone will be able to come up with a name for that order.

It would be interesting to see if we could follow it back further. Female figurines were common in Canaan until the reforms of Hezekiah and so it's possible there may be continuity back to the Gravettian Venus figurines of northern and western Europe.

Top
#21608 - 05/16/07 08:40 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
From day one in Christianity there has always been different interpretations. It has nothing to do with evolution.

Some die out - some remain - and new understandings of it arise. There is, however, no linear progression. They do not build upon each other with successive iterations. So no evolution in 2000 years of Christianity.

In the main, different denominations share the same core understandings and it is often in the detail that things differ. There are certainly not as many varieties of Christianity as there are Christians.

Blacknad.

Top
#21612 - 05/16/07 09:45 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Blacknad. I'll take the liberty of paraphrasing some of your comments.

"Some die out - some remain - and new versions of it arise." What is evolution then? "There is, however, no linear progression." Nor is there in biological evolution. "In the main, different subspecies share the same core genes and it is often in the detail that things differ." No comment necessary. "There are certainly not as many varieties of species as there are individuals." Evolution?

Top
#21614 - 05/16/07 10:57 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
I can think of some points against comparing evolution and religion; but I found many more points for a congruence. I've had fun with too many thoughts to write about on the pro side.

Like the commonalities between plants and animals (metabolic?), Eastern and Western religions still have things in common too.
or...Dissimilar, but related families and unrelated families with some parallels. Etc. Etc.

I can't believe I didn't include religion when I wrote,
'E.theory principles can be applied to other areas of human interest including politics, organizations, economics, chemistry, astronomy, families, psychology, art, and philosophy....' (post #21419)

...and to try staying on topic, I'll add:
Maybe commonalities across religions could be considered as evidence for something (God or Human Nature?).

Cheers,
~SA
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

Top
#21615 - 05/16/07 12:50 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: samwik]
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Terry,

Do I misunderstand evolution? From single-celled bacteria through to humans. Hasn't there been a progression of complexity? How could you have humans if there was no history of lifeforms becoming ever more complex? Could it have been possible for humans to arise before single-celled life? No.

Surely evolution is subject to progression.

Christianity has done nothing like this, and because you can frame it in the same language as evolution does not mean it shares common characteristics.

Blacknad.

Top
#21619 - 05/16/07 03:22 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
redewenur Offline
Megastar

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Blacknad: "From single-celled bacteria through to humans. Hasn't there been a progression of complexity? How could you have humans if there was no history of lifeforms becoming ever more complex?"

Although the increasing complexity of life forms is a result of adaptation through Darwinian evolution, does it necessarily follow that the adaptation always requires increased complexity? Black moths can evolve into white moths and vice versa, without increased complexity. Bacteria, still extant after billions of years, adapt to changes in the chemical environment, but does that change require increased complexity? Perhaps it does (someone here might know), but if so, the increase must be, erm, microscopic grin

I think its true to say that a culture reflects its religion, and a religion reflects its culture. There's no doubt in my mind that Christianity, as an aspect of culture, does evolve and adapt. Am I wrong in thinking that even the papacy has been responsible for some adaptations? Christianity adapts to cultural changes and to new cultures. Incidentally, for that reason, taken as a world-wide whole, I think it does actually increase in complexity.
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

Top
#21625 - 05/17/07 02:17 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: redewenur]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Blaknad wrote:
Surely evolution is subject to progression.

Not if you are a dragonfly. Haven't they been the same for millions of years?

Evolution is not linear is it? And sometimes lines stop or stagnate.

I am surprised at the ready acceptance of the idea of an evolving religion. How can the nature of God change since it represents perfection and is basically beyond human understanding unless there is faith? That is why God became man in the form of Jesus. And now we are back on the trinity thing and I know it was brushed off when I mentioned it before, but without it we do not have christianity, we have something else. A different religion, maybe not even christian. Without the death of Christ and the resurrection with its promise of eternal life through the sacrifice of God's own son, the religion almost becomes a code of conduct. A very good code of conduct, but many religions have similar rules, summed up in the Golden Rule- Treat others as you would have them treat you.





Top
#21626 - 05/17/07 03:16 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
Megastar

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Ellis: "I am surprised at the ready acceptance of the idea of an evolving religion. How can the nature of God change since it represents perfection and is basically beyond human understanding unless there is faith?"

You seem to saying that religion = God; but you do raise an important point about the definition:

Microsoft® Encarta® 2006 has several:

"religion

1. beliefs and worship: people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life
2. system: an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine
3. personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by
4. obsession: an object, practice, cause, or activity that somebody is completely devoted to or obsessed by
The danger is that you start to make fitness a religion.
5. christianity monk's or nun's life: life as a monk or a nun, especially in the Roman Catholic Church
"

In debating the evolution of religion (Christianity in particular), I refer to the first 3 definitions.

God is, of course, by definition, immutable; and it's no simple matter to determine if changes have occurred in personal concepts of God over the millennia; but changes in religious institutions are very apparent, as are attitudes and behaviours of believers.

"Social evolution, if taken as evolution of society, is exactly on a parallel to the biological evolution of new species, developing newer forms"

http://www.motherservice.org/Essays/Social%20Evolution.htm

Social evolution does occur, and it follows that religion, as a social structure, is also subject to evolution.
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

Top
#21629 - 05/17/07 04:01 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: redewenur]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Ellis wrote:

"A different religion, maybe not even christian."

And what would be wrong with that I ask?

Our individual ideas about existence develop from the ideas we are exposed to as we grow up, they evolve. I presume you are of Christian background. Your view of the past is influenced by your upbringing, as is everybody's.


Edited by terrytnewzealand (05/17/07 04:02 AM)

Top
#21631 - 05/17/07 05:50 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Religion is the system that delivers the recognition of the power/divinity/nature of the worship of the god. All religions have some recognition of totemic symbols. Christianity has one such main symbol, the risen Christ, whereas Hindus have many gods each representing a facet of divinity. Other religions have an affinity with Nature and imagine the divine all around them, as do the australian Aborigines with a form of animism. I think there has been a shift in the way that some who claim to be christians regard their god, because surely the whole point about god is that he/
she/it is immortal and unchanging however inconvenient that may be to us.

terry wrote:

A different religion, maybe not even christian."

And what would be wrong with that I ask?

Absolutely nothing--but it's not christianity. It may be an offshoot of it, but if the divivinity of Jesus as the son of God is not acknowedged he then becomes merely a prophet, and unable to offer eternal life. The message of life after death if you follow Jesus is the cornerstone of christianity, and until recently, when lives were very grim, it was an attractive promise.

I do not come from a religious background, but I realised early on, without any drama, that I had no belief in the christian religion or the supernatural. I have enjoyed exploring the beliefs and faiths of people generally, and I know that many people are inspired to do good things because of their beliefs in their god. It's all good! What I really dislike is that some of these people think that they have the right to insist that I should believe in their god/religion (the two are often seen as indivisible by such people.)

I hold no religious belief, but I think that I do have some understanding what I am rejecting. Luckily I live in Oz where we do not need to declare our religious faith and are not required to pray a lot in public!

Top
#21642 - 05/17/07 11:08 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
I ran across this site yesterday and thought it could be useful in this discussion.

http://www.iep.utm.edu/
the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Evidentialism:
There are competing ideas about which mental states count as evidence, different understandings of the notion of having evidence, various ways of understanding the crucial notion of support, and also various ways of relating these three central concepts....
Before turning to these issues, it is worth noting that evidentialism is also a prominent theory in the philosophy of religion. Evidentialism in the philosophy of religion has its own set of controversies, but this entry will not cover them. On evidentialism in the philosophy of religion, see Alvin Plantinga's classic article, "Reason and Belief in God." For a more extended discussion, see Plantinga's 'Warranted Christian Belief.'
...The sort of evidence that interests the evidentialist, however, is not just anything whatsoever that is relevant to the truth of the proposition in question. The evidentialist denies that such facts about mind-independent reality are evidence in the sense relevant to determining justification....
The standard view of evidentialism, however, is that at least beliefs and perceptual states are evidential states. Not only what you believe but also what you experience can provide you with reason to believe that something is the case. Yet one does not have to stop there. One, for example, might also count memories, apparent memories, or seemings-to-be-true as kinds of evidence. In the end, what sorts of states one takes to be evidential will depend both on one's intuitions about what sorts of things can provide one with genuine reason to believe and also on one's strategy for responding to objections.

...and on the same page:
Epistomology, Feminist:
Feminist epistemologies take seriously the ways in which knowers are enmeshed in social relations that are generally hierarchical while also being historically and culturally specific. In addition, feminist epistemologies assume that the ways in which knowers are constituted as particular subjects are significant to epistemological problems such as warrant, evidence, justification, and theory-construction, as well as to our understanding of terms like "objectivity," "rationality," "and "knowledge."

Overall good advice?
~samwik
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

Top
#21652 - 05/18/07 03:47 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: samwik]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Blacknad wrote:

"Surely evolution is subject to progression."

As I've said elsewhere the confusion of biological evolution with progress is a hangover from its origin in Victorian England. The Industrial Revolution had convinced people that society was in a state of steady upward progress Of couse the ultimate product of progress was "Man", especially European if not specifically Englishman. Women seem to have missed out, which is surprising. For a start any human evolution is impossible without them.

Ellis, I think I misunderstood your point. I'm not sure I get it yet. Any subspecies of Christianity could be defined as accepting the resurrection. But some extinct subspecies such as Gnostics, Arians and Albigenses may not have. They can be regarded as an offshoot. Perhaps it's just our understanding of God that evolves rather than God Him/Her self. But God is almost certainly a human construct and so an evolving concept is the same as an evolving God.

I agree we're both lucky to live in a part of the world where religion is not important. My ancestors came from Ireland in the 1860s to escape the stupidity there. Great grandparents married in a Catholic Church and buried in an Anglican. Shows their commitment to The Faith.

Top
#21656 - 05/18/07 04:24 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Women used to be told that the terms 'man' and 'mankind ' included women. Unfortunately I think men sometimes were not also told that!

Terry-
My point is that there has to be some adherence to the tenets of a particular faith in order for you to claim that you are a member of it. The point about God being a human construct occurred to me too, and probably does dilute my argument, and certainly could lead to a constantly evolving God. I think I was claiming that the possibility would then be that the resulting divinity would not automatically be a christian god. It is the divinity of Jesus that allows him to be the conduit for souls. He would still be a powerful figure, a prophet like Mohammed or a divinity in his own right, without the backing of God the Father. In christianity however Jesus has his divinity BECAUSE he is the Son of God, not because he is Jesus, a very good, wise person.

samwik
I do not even begin to understand what on earth Feminist Epistomology is! However I am going to find out and will comment later!

Top
#21658 - 05/18/07 12:22 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Revlgking]
bgmark Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 17
Interesting thread yes evolution does not disprove God, in fact science adds to the fact that God exists. But some people have taken Darwins theories as evidence there is no God, When Darwin was concerned he might be tried for blaspepmy or face public ridicle and rejection becasue of what he proposed, he proposed them with a 'religous flavour'
_________________________
HT
http://judgement-against-the-nations.com

Top
Page 34 of 35 < 1 2 ... 32 33 34 35 >



Newest Members
debbieevans, bkhj, jackk, Johnmattison, RacerGT
865 Registered Users
Sponsor
Facebook

We're on Facebook
Join Our Group

Science a GoGo's Home Page | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Features | News | Books | Physics | Space | Climate Change | Health | Technology | Natural World

Copyright © 1998 - 2016 Science a GoGo and its licensors. All rights reserved.