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Old 04-03-2007, 01:52 AM   #88
Mike Doolittle
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

You've noticed that I referred to your god as "your god" but did you ever think about why? It is, in part, because your god is distinct from all other gods; and because there is mutual incompatibility between most gods, not every one can logically exist.
In what way do you find my God to be incompatible with or distinct from all other gods?

Now, by what process do we go about filtering out all impossible gods?
I addressed this earlier in the discussion. Theology is not static and absolute but, much like science, changes as our knowledge grows. It's not necessary to "filter" out any "impossible" gods, but as our understanding of the world grows, our understanding of God must grow with it. While religion serves many valuable functions, our understanding of God must not be restrained by its narrow boundaries.

Here is your argument in the abstract:

1. X is not bound the the laws of Y.
2. The laws of Y dictate that everything--except that which caused Y--has a cause.
3. Therefore, X caused Y.

1. Yes
2. Everything within the universe must have a cause. No reaction happens without an action. "X", the action that brought our universe to be, cannot be contained within this universe because if it were, it would have to have its own cause, in which case the universe would have to be infinite, which it is not.
3. No. I simply asserted that the cause of the universe must be supernatural because the universe cannot be self-causing or self-perpetuating. I made no assertion that this proves the existence of God. You seem to be desperately grasping at straws here, hoping that I will try to posture some naturalistic proof of God that you can shoot down. On the contrary my whole point is entirely different: that, unlike your old pal Dawkins asserts, the existence of God is not a scientific claim (it is a statement of faith) and thus is not subject to scrutiny under the scientific method.

Yeah, you're going to have to elaborate.
The process is not aimless, because of the very physical foundations of the universe that have allowed evolution to take place. The universe is immaculately organized and permeated by divine intelligence. Being the obvious Dawkins fan you are, you of all people should know that evolution, even from a secular perspective, is not aimless and random but, in fact, predictable.

If (1)
If (2)
Like most cynics, you make the mistake of assuming that the human consciousness is the pinnacle of all understanding, and that if God has a consciousness he must be thinking just like a human would. The fact that humans have a unique place in this universe and a unique capacity to understand it does not make our existence the sole purpose of God's will.

Even if you are a believer who believes that God performs miracles and intervenes in the affairs of man, it would be misguided to assume that God created the entire universe just for us. Clearly there is much beyond our understanding.

If (3) then where, in the cosmological history of the universe, is there evidence of planning? Asteroids randomly collide with planets, galaxies randomly collide with galaxies, entire solar systems are swallowed by black holes, and ultimately the whole thing is going to expand so far as to make the exercise pointless.
By what measure do you consider any event to be "random", when the laws of the universe dictated its inevitability?

If (4) then the long sequence of events were, in fact, aimless.
You'll have to ask a Deist.

And let's get real, when you are making an objective claim about the universe
I am losing count of how many times I have corrected this nonsense. If you're just going to put words in my mouth, go blog about this stuff instead of wasting my time.

Once again, Mike, you are wrong. That definition is not ubiquitous by any measure. In fact, your definition seems more fitting for faith
"My" definition was pulled straight from the dictionary. True, "belief" is semantically distinct from "faith", but the two are closely related and often used interchangeably. What you have is not a system of belief, but a system of acknowledgment and affirmation. Feel free though to use whatever definition of "belief" you want for the sake of your self-affirmation needs. I won't be recanting, though.

What's needed here is a clarification. You've often used the phrase "active belief". I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that. I can think of a couple of possibilities based on your use of the term:

1. A statement of qualitative fact
2. A statement of faith

Yes, asserting God's existence as the former is misguided. As I've stated repeatedly throughout this thread, I've no problem with an atheist saying that God's existence is "unprovable". Big shocker! What I have a problem with is the notion that faith is "delusional". I'm not trying to prove that God exists. I've spent plenty of time explaining why that is futile and illogical anyway. My focus is on demonstrating that belief in God is intrinsically tied to our perceptions of the physical universe, and is not arbitrary and certainly not delusional. From my perspective, the biggest obstacle to your own understanding is that you cannot seem to reconcile the fact that (2) is not (1), as you frequently use the concepts interchangeably. Moreover, you seem to have difficulty with the idea that faith uses reason as a tool, but is not reducible to it since reason itself points us to that which is beyond reason.
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Last edited by Mike Doolittle; 04-03-2007 at 11:39 AM.
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