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Old 03-29-2007, 12:08 PM   #83
Mike Doolittle
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
You claim that my position is based upon "blind assumptions" and that I "have no standard of belief." I find this too much of a hindrance to our debate to go on, so I hope to clear this matter up once in for all.
It's a question of semantics. You're defining belief in a way that frankly has nothing to do with belief. You do not need to "believe" in anything that is scientifically provable. You don't have to have faith that the chair you're sitting in can hold you up (well... unless you have a really crappy chair ). I'm defining belief as a question of faith. Faith means believing with conviction that which cannot be truly known.

As I've stated before, I have no qualms with stating that God's existence is unprovable. Where I disagree is with the notion that faith is in itself arbitrary and unreasonable, and with the notion that the existence of God -- a being or consciousness that is by definition supernatural -- must be falsifiable according to natural law. The nonsensicality of that idea should be readily apparent.

First of all, I have made it abundantly clear that I think that an active belief in anything unknowable is unjustifiable.
I know you have. I just think you're wrong.

I should go no further than this because that alone proves that I have at least some standard for belief. You may not agree with it, but to say that I lack any is false and you should take it back. Seriously.
Again it just goes back to what "belief" actually is. The dictionary defines "belief" thusly:

Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.

Going by that definition, which I think is safe to say is a pretty ubiquitous definition of the word, you do indeed lack belief.

Secondly, and hopefully for the last time, there is nothing "blind" about observable premises.
Of course not. What is "blind" is the assumption that this is the ultimate truth. Although you have frequently insisted that you don't deny the possibility of the supernatural or transcendent, it's clear that naturalism is your ultimate truth simply because you would never acknowledge the existence or logical necessity of the supernatural unless you could quantify these phenomena via natural law. That is what is so clearly circular.

It is your "supernatural"--which you must admit we have no means of observing in any critical sense--which is infinitely times more "blind" then the natural world we are bound too, seeing as we can't, in any sense, "see" it.
Certainly we can't "see" it. The very idea is absurd. But based on what physicists have discovered about the universe over the last few hundred years, we can infer its existence as a logical necessity. If as Hawking said we can ever prove that the universe is self-contained and infinite, then there would be no moment of creation or "birth" of the universe, thus no need for a creator or a supernatural cause for our existence.

I find it very interesting though that even though scientists have been discussing such concepts for over 100 years and even attempted to quantify them with theories such as the Oscillatory Universe, what we have learned about the universe has not supported such ideas. Indeed our universe is finite, and spacetime began its expansion from a singular point.

I just wish you would concede that your appealing to the so-called "boundaries" of the natural world does not, by itself, mean there is anything else worth considering, lest we consider the Nosgothic Realm (equal plausibility).
You say "so-called 'boundaries'" as though I'm making it up, when it's an established tenant of modern physics. If the universe is not infinite and cannot perpetuate its existence by its own self-contained laws, then a supernatural cause is not a possibility, but a necessity. Now, perhaps we are, as some string theorists have postured, just one of an infinite number of universes in an infinite multiverse filled with universes that spawn other universes -- though most people would not find that to be much less of a stretch of the imagination than faith in God. There are any number of other possible supernatural causes, and we have no way of knowing what actually caused and constructed our universe since we can only quantitatively measure that which is within our universe...

...Which brings me back to the first point I made. It's this unknowable truth that serves as a foundation for faith, and it's why faith in God is not subject to the scrutiny of the scientific method. Ultimately, we can see that some 15 billion years ago, our universe popped into existence and began "expanding". All matter and energy came out of nothing, as did spacetime itself and all physical laws that have governed the universe in such a way as to allow for our miraculous world's existence. That may not be "proof" that God exists, but for billions of people including myself, it is such a profound thought that we simply cannot fathom that our existence is without intrinsic design, purpose, and meaning. Certainly the notion that such an amazing and complex universe popped into existence merely out of some supernatural "chance" is no less a stretch of the imagination than any belief in God.
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