About Us | Game Reviews | Feature Articles | Podcast | Best Work | Forums | Shop | Review Game

Go Back   GameCritics.com Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > Everything Else

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-09-2007, 07:16 PM   #106
Nicato
Next-Gen Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3,575
Rep Power: 0 Nicato is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Doolittle View Post
It would be constrained to the boundaries of the natural world, not supernatural, and thus not God.
You are dense.

I am saying that if your conclusion is ever found to be true, then your god would have to be acknowledged by science. Further, if your god is a logical necessity, as you say it is, then science should have already endorsed your theory.

Quote:
Well then, you need to brush up on your physics. Maybe studying string theory and/or M theory wouldn't be a bad idea. There is strong, logical evidence for other realities.
I had asked you if you could figure out the common thread between your god hypothesis, string hypothesis and the multiverse hypothesis but apparently you can't so I'll spell it out: they are all in principle unknowable.

Quote:
Nice pointless dig. I'm sorry, I'll clear that up: I've read much (not all, I admit) of The God Delusion, excerpts from The Selfish Gene, as well as watched numerous debates and read numerous articles by Dawkins. I've studied numerous major world religions including Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shinto, and Islam in addition to my upbringing as a Christian. I'm a regular reader of Infidels.org and talkorigins.org. I've read countless books on theology, both religious and secular. So yeah, I think I am doing my part. It wouldn't kill you to watch a freakin' DVD. But whatever, it's your mind. Keep it as closed as you want.
I have to say that the complete incoherency of your argument shows more evidence of illiteracy than it does the knowledge "countless" books. But yeah, I suppose I'd take the word of a guy who doesn't even know how to use a dictionary to answer a completely "pointless dig" that he started.

Quote:
That doesn't make any sense. How could we see that there's evidence for divine intelligence without understanding the universe?
If your god can't be examined logically or scientifically, then how can we conclude from science and logic that it exists? This all goes back to the core fallacies in your god hypothesis. You invoke science and drop names whenever benefits you then turn around wipe your hands everytime I point out the core inconsistencies in your reasoning.

Quote:
I'm not arguing for a different God than one that answers prayers, keeps tabs on Earthly affairs, yada yada yada. In fact, I haven't even gotten to that kind of subject matter. Right now I'm simply discussing evidence for the mere existence of a Creator God using tenants that are virtually ubiquitous in religions.
Ha! So your intelligent designer created a universe 13-15 billion years ago just to help little Johnny find his lost puppy?

Yeah, there have been numerous studies (double blind, the whole nine) which have indicated that there is zero effect for prayer. If, in fact, you do believe that prayer works then your more deluded than I thought.

Quote:
I'm suggesting that science has allowed us a better understanding of the reality of God.
Now, how can that be seeing as science is the very thing which is, in principle, incapable of examining your god? Again, this get's back to the core fallacy in your claim, which is that you are using science and logic to conclude your god's existence, but not allowing science and logic to examine your god's existence. This line of reasoning would be on it's face flawed if we were talking about anything else.

Quote:
I suppose I'll have to take your word for that O Wise Nicato, since you haven't been able to concoct a rebuttal for any of the core tenants of my argument.
What argument? They're all fundamentally fallacious and whenever I point that out you use the pathetic dodge of saying that your god is "beyond logic."

Here is the core tenant of your argument: God is inferred from the science and logic--a logical necissity, in fact--but science and logic can't, in principle, examine it. That you don't get dizzy every time you do that dance amazes me.

Quote:
Maybe this will sound familiar: How do you know that dinosaurs are extinct? In order for scientists to prove that dinosaurs are extinct, they'd have to find every animal on the planet, then prove that it's not a dinosaur. Obviously that's impossible. Scientists use logical inference based upon observable evidence to conclude that dinosaurs are extinct. They assume dinosaurs are extinct because we don't see them walking around these days.
Wow. Just Wow.

The point is that--unlike your god--we have positive evidence for dinosaurs. That I can't prove that they aren't extinct is a complete non-sequitor--no one is talking about proving a negative. Do try and keep up.

Quote:
The same concept applies in theology. We're talking about things that are fundamentally beyond our ability to completely know or understand, thus why I've continued to correct you that I am not, as you incessantly accuse me of doing, "concluding" God's existence. Based upon the observable world around me, I am logically inferring that a Creative God exists. I can't know that for certain, of course. God may not exist. I am an agnostic theist. But I can observe many things which point to God's existence being a very logical, and quite probable, reality...

....You're continually missing the point here Nic. See above. Yes, faith in God is logical, because there is much evidence that makes God's existence logical. Yet, as I've said, this same logic points us to its own limitations; it shows that there are some things intrinsically beyond our full understanding.
You want it both ways. If its fundamentally (or intrinsically) beyond our understanding then how are you using science to understand it? Clearly, there is a line in the spectrum which you are arbitrarly drawing.

I've said before that there may exist a supernatural, but if there is--and it is in principle beyond us--then you can't say two words about it and you certainly can't use logic and science to exhaust its existence.

Quote:
No, you f'in assbutt, it is not the truth. I've spent every damn post correcting this idiocy of yours. If the only way you can conduct a debate is to misrepresent your opponent's arguments, you should probably find something else to do.
Dude, you are saying that your god is a logical necissity. String hypothesis and multiverse hypothesis don't account for the design angle you've been pushing as of late. It's clear as day that you're talking about god when you say "fist cause." Stop denying what is so patently obvious. You are making a fool of yourself.

Quote:
It's quite amazing that as science has advanced, it's only brought us closer to God's reality.
Two questions: what are you on and can I get a hit?

Again, you are only using science to advance your pet theory of a creator while denying it the right to examine it.

Quote:
It IS faith Nic. Jeez, don't you get it?
This is getting sad on epic proportions. Acknowledging limitations is not faith anything, Mike. The fact that there are things that are unknowable says nothing to the existence of anything. This is just another conclusion you're drawing from your fallacious reasoning.

Quote:
You just can't seem to wrap your mind around the most basic concept here: that faith uses reason as a tool to further itself, but it is not ultimately reducible to reason because reason itself leads us to things that are beyond our capacity of understanding.
Faith explains nothing. It relies on the subjectivity rather than objectivity for its explainations. Worse, it demands no standard of proof (which makes it unreasonable) and one can have faith in anything (which makes it arbitrary).

Quote:
So, ideas are entities?
Yeah, and love is a red rose.

I said that ideas are like viruses. L-I-K-E, smart guy.

Quote:
Nice try douchecock, but your foot is squarely in your mouth and you know it...

Nice dodge...

...Wow, the only thing bigger than this universe is your delusional ego. You don't know how to argue. If you did, I wouldn't have to correct you on basic points on virtually every single post. Argument involves listening and responding, not just sounding off.
Yeah, you're going to have to say something if you want me to respond.

Quote:
What blows my mind is that I immediately addressed this when I pointed out that I was explaining my understanding of something as you had phrased it – hence the "seem" and the "I could be wrong here" – not that I was making assumptions. I freaking left a football-field-sized door open for you to make clarifications. Instead you accused me of a making straw man arguments. What a load of idiocy. I explained this right off the bat and you just looked right past it. Typical.
I doesn't matter how you phrazed it, the fact of the matter is that I had spent the past few posts up that point saying that that wasn't my position.
Nicato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 07:20 PM   #107
Nicato
Next-Gen Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3,575
Rep Power: 0 Nicato is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

[CONTINUED...]

Quote:
Also, you continually making statements such as "your God hypothesis" simply proves that you are constructing your own argument for God and rebutting it, not responding directly to mine.
If you are making a claim about the universe you are making an hypothesis. If, as you say, the first-cause could be filled by the equally unknowable string hypothesis and multiverse hypothesis, then both of those hypothesis are on par with yours.

Quote:
You're expanding on your original statement, but you're still not answering the basic question of how you can quantitatively know that the world is not designed. You're assuming that the process of evolution itself has no purpose or design.
You're asking me to prove a negative when all I've ever said was that there was no evidence for design. Again, you're proving that you can't grasp a simple argument.

Quote:
Do show me where you think I agreed with that so I can clear up your misunderstanding.
Nick: "Your particularly use of the "boundaries" of the natural world is misleading since you ultimately cannot (and perhaps in principle are unable to) demonstrate that there is anything beyond its "city limits." Even going back to the big bang does nothing to positively (key word) affirm this. (And if it does, one has to wonder what one means by "anything" in a point where our understanding of space and time might not apply.)

As to my alleged question begging, I chuckle. There is, of course, nothing remotely circular about an argument which assumes as its premise that the world we are living in now--the natural world--is the only world worth basing a premise on. Surely it would seem silly for me to seriously consider the Nosgothic Realm of Soul Revear or the universe of Harry Potter.

It isn't enough for you to simply say that there are "limitations" to the natural world and therefore we should critically consider other worlds, since its limitations ultimately say nothing as to it's singularity or plurality. You could solve it in an instance, though, by demonstrating what exactly I am missing before appealing to it. But you, of course, cannot present any positive evidence for a supernatural, can you? (The answer is no.) Well, lucky for you, that I am more than willing to concede that your lack of positive evidence ultimately says nothing as to the objective existence of a supernatural. 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).
"

Mike: "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.
"
Nick: "[i]See, I don't mind you calling me names (as if "you and your kind" was the worst insult ever) but I do give a damn when you distort my position. I do not an any way suggest that you are making it up, only that your use of the word is "misleading." Hell, I even concede that limitations do exist: "It isn't enough, for the purposes of this debate, to assert that there are limitations to the natural world. It being finite and all (in time if not space), that fact is patently obvious."

Nick: "See, I don't mind you calling me names (as if "you and your kind" was the worst insult ever) but I do give a damn when you distort my position. I do not an any way suggest that you are making it up, only that your use of the word is "misleading." Hell, I even concede that limitations do exist: "It isn't enough, for the purposes of this debate, to assert that there are limitations to the natural world. It being finite and all (in time if not space), that fact is patently obvious."

And nevermind the fact that you completely ignored the point, which is that said limitations ultimately say nothing as to the plurality or singularity of the universe..
"

Mike: "I didn't ignore the point, you just didn't go anywhere with it. I agree with this. So... ???."

Nick: "So declaring the limitations of our universe does nothing to help (or hinder) your cause."

Mike: "It's just an obvious acknowledgment that there is a beyond, and limit to naturalistic understanding."

----

So there you have it. You clearly agree that declaring limitations isn't evidence of a beyond. (And save the inevitable "duh" remark.)
Nicato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 07:38 PM   #108
Nicato
Next-Gen Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3,575
Rep Power: 0 Nicato is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

[CONTINUED...]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Doolittle View Post
[S]science brings us closer to understanding God, yet also forces us to accept that there are ultimately things beyond our understanding.
Science brings us closer to the understanding of our universe--not your god, ipso facto. It simply amazes me how you keep contradicting yourself. Here you are, clear as fucking day, drawing a conclusion, yet you'd claim otherwise.

Science also does not force us to accept that there are things beyond our understanding, ipso facto. This is just another conclusions you've drawn, ad hoc. Now, I'm willing to accept that there are things beyond our understanding, but I am not willing to say two words about them and I certainly can't take it from science that there are, since science can only tell me about what we do know, today. Again, acknowledgement of limitations says nothing as to the existence of anything beyond. The natural world may, in fact, be all there every was--there is certainly more evidence for that than there is for your god.

Quote:
[F]aith is derived in part from reason, and can be made stronger through reason, but is not reducible to reason because reason leads us to that which is beyond reason.
This just doesn't wash. Faith--like all concepts--is reasonable or it is unreasonable. You've continued to want your cake, eat it, and lick the bowl throughout but the fact remains that you're reasoning is fundamentally flawed. If faith is not reducible to reason, then it is by definition unreasonable. (Though I shouldn't expect you to understand what a definition is.)

Quote:
Wow, way to take a statement completely out of context. At no point whatsoever did I say that a creator was the only alternative to secular theory.
Apparently it is you who has no sense of context. Let's roll the entire quote, shall we: "The fact of the matter is that your argument is intrinsically flawed. It doesn't matter if I can name one or one hundred different theories as to what caused the universe--the very fact that you don't have any positive evidence for your hypothesis is enough to make it a false dichotomy. Example: the fact that I may not have be able to give you a secular theory as to what caused the diversity of life on this planet doesn't mean that a god is the "only alternative.""

Key word: "example."

Quote:
And Mike Tyson goes for Evander's ear!

Yeah, all those bigoted remarks I made about atheists were sure inappropriate.

It's all around you, Einstein.

On the former: Oh snap! Another dodge! You're good at those, Nic. Keep it up! It makes me look good.

As for the latter, I'd be a rich man if I had a nickel for every time you resurrected this lame straw man.
Again, I can't respond to nothing.

Quote:
No, because this finite point was not within the universe, but contained all that was the universe.
So, being without the universe, the finite point is no longer required to have a first-cause. Well, if that's the case than something can come from nothing.

Quote:
I didn't say that all events are inevitable.
No, what you said was that I was being nonsensical. But it turns out that I all I had to do was go slower for you to grasp the concept. Again, you're exposing your lack of context.

Quote:
I said all events that have happened inevitably happened when they did. Probability relates only to our ability to predict such events. We can always posture what might have happened if this or that happened differently, but that's really an exercise in futility. What I'm trying to say is simply that the laws of the universe led things to happen when they did.The question then is how do we define what is random? Is randomness only an abstraction?
I think you're totally missing the point of the butterfly effect. That things happened the way they did instead isn't evidence of anything.

Quote:
I've already addressed both of these in detail.
You've address neither, actually, only repeatedly avoided the question. Now, for the last time: where specifically is there evidence for purpose?

Quote:
You mean the thing you say is a paradox even though you've been unable to present a coherent argument as to why?
It's a paradox because you're arguing for a first-cause when every cause in universe requires a preceding effect. You've studied physics and yet I'm explaining this to you?

Quote:
*Drum roll* Disordered! Universes collapsing on themselves, physical laws bending, breaking, changing, or not existing at all!
If a universe collapsing on itself is considered disordered, then shouldn't a universe currently expanding to the point of its eventual death also count?

Quote:
It's worth noting that science is, by definition, a naturalistic science. Science has a responsibility to not make conclusive statements about the unknown.
And yet you continue to use science to aid your so-called understanding of the unknown. Bravo.

Last edited by Nicato; 04-09-2007 at 08:19 PM.
Nicato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 10:11 PM   #109
Nicato
Next-Gen Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3,575
Rep Power: 0 Nicato is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Lady and gentlemen: the intellectual consistency of Mike Doolittle:

1. Faith in god is logical, but god is beyond logic.

2. Logic and science aid us in our understanding of the unknown, but logic and science can't examine the unknown.

3. The first cause is a logical necessity, but not really.

4. Faith in god is a recognition of limitations in our universe, but you don't need faith in god to recognize the limitations of our universe.

5. Science brings us closer to understanding God, but god, in principle is beyond the understanding of science.

6. The limitations of our universe is not evidence of a beyond, but the limitations of our universe is evidence of a beyond.

7. My arguments are circular and credulous, but not illogical.

8. I'm not concluding that god exists, I'm just saying that a first-cause and a supernatural are a logical necessity and that the only alternative to my god hypothesis is the universe coming from nothing.

9. Nicato needs to stop bringing the Christian God up because I don't believe in it, but I do believe that most Christians believe in my god.

10. I never said that faith was reasonable, but faith is reasonable.

Rummy, any closing thoughts?:

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know."
Nicato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2007, 03:16 PM   #110
Mike Doolittle
Telling people how it is
 
Mike Doolittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: In a shoe with my old lady
Posts: 3,758
Rep Power: 20 Mike Doolittle is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Mike Doolittle
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
You are dense.
You drink your own pee.

Quote:
I am saying that if your conclusion is ever found to be true, then your god would have to be acknowledged by science.
For my conclusion to be "found to be true", it would have to be constrained by the boundaries of naturalism. If we could use natural law to prove the existence of the supernatural, it wouldn't be supernatural at all then, would it? What you're arguing is inherently self-contradicting.

Quote:
Further, if your god is a logical necessity, as you say it is, then science should have already endorsed your theory.
Take #5,697,678: I did not say God's is existence is a logical necessity, only that a cause not contained within our universe was necessary because the universe cannot be self-causing or self-perpetuating.

Quote:
I had asked you if you could figure out the common thread between your god hypothesis, string hypothesis and the multiverse hypothesis but apparently you can't so I'll spell it out: they are all in principle unknowable.
In principle, they cannot be observed because we're talking about things like parallel universes (i.e., supernatural phenomena) . But String Theory does not just come out of some scientist's butt. It uses observation of observable phenomena, theoretical equations and logical inference to attempt to unify the disparate fields of physics.

You're correct to assert that there cannot be "positive" evidence of supernatural phenomena. But if logical inference from observation cannot be used to better understand our universe, if "positive" (i.e., naturalistic) evidence is all we have to rely on, perhaps you'd care to explain why there has been so much interest in String Theory for the past 50 years. String Theorists are searching for parallel dimensions, supernatural phenomena. Why would their inquiry of extrinsic phenomena be based solely on their ability to

This really all goes back to a fundamental difference of perspective. You believe that naturalistically affirmed evidence is the only manner by which we can understand the world. If it can't be observed, it doesn't exist (or, at least, it is exceedingly improbably and might as well not exist). But "positive" evidence can only tell us so much about the universe. There is much about the universe that positive evidence simply fails to account for – the origin of the universe, for example.

Quote:
But yeah, I suppose I'd take the word of a guy who doesn't even know how to use a dictionary to answer a completely "pointless dig" that he started.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/belief

Quote:
If your god can't be examined logically or scientifically, then how can we conclude from science and logic that it exists?
We can't "conclude". I did not suggest we could, and repeatedly stated that we cannot make conclusive claims about these things. I've spent post after post correcting you on this misunderstanding. I'm not sure how many different ways I can phrase it.

But the fact that we can't make conclusive claims does not mean that we can't see a good reason why it should exist. Our entire universe spontaneously pops into existence literally out of nothing. No natural phenomena ("positive evidence") can explain how this may have happened. All such phenomena can help us to learn is what is already within the universe and how it works.

If the universe existed infinitely, I suppose I'd find your arguments much more persuasive. But it's widely agreed upon that the universe had a finite beginning and will have a finite end. As long as the greatest question of all remains unanswered, people will have faith. That question is: why did the universe come into existence at all?


Quote:
Yeah, there have been numerous studies (double blind, the whole nine) which have indicated that there is zero effect for prayer. If, in fact, you do believe that prayer works then your more deluded than I thought.
Quote:
Again, this get's back to the core fallacy in your claim, which is that you are using science and logic to conclude your god's existence...
For the billionth time, I am not "concluding" that God exists. As long as you continue to base your entire refutation on this straw man of yours, we'll get nowhere. I believe that God's existence is likely.

Quote:
The point is that--unlike your god--we have positive evidence for dinosaurs. That I can't prove that they aren't extinct is a complete non-sequitor--no one is talking about proving a negative. Do try and keep up.
It's a lesson in logical inference, not proving a negative. Do try and keep up.

Quote:
You want it both ways. If its fundamentally (or intrinsically) beyond our understanding then how are you using science to understand it?
We are not understanding it fully or directly. We're seeing reason as to why it might, or should exist, much like quantum physicists assume that dark matter exists. They can't observe or measure dark matter, but they logically infer that it exists because there is reason to believe it should exist.

Quote:
Acknowledging limitations is not faith anything, Mike. The fact that there are things that are unknowable says nothing to the existence of anything. This is just another conclusion you're drawing from your fallacious reasoning.
Nic, you just don't get it. As long as there are unanswered – and indeed unanswerable questions about our universe and our place in it, people will have faith.

Quote:
Faith explains nothing.
It is not the purpose of faith to explain things scientifically. You're arguing with someone else here, not me.
__________________
RIP "littledoc"!

My MySpace Page
My Gaming PC Blog

Last edited by Mike Doolittle; 04-10-2007 at 03:19 PM.
Mike Doolittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2007, 03:30 PM   #111
Mike Doolittle
Telling people how it is
 
Mike Doolittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: In a shoe with my old lady
Posts: 3,758
Rep Power: 20 Mike Doolittle is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Mike Doolittle
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
[CONTINUED...]
If, as you say, the first-cause could be filled by the equally unknowable string hypothesis and multiverse hypothesis, then both of those hypothesis are on par with yours.
Yes! Finally, you got something. My belief in God is not a conclusive claim. That should be abundantly clear by now, considering how many times I've spelled it out.

Quote:
You're asking me to prove a negative when all I've ever said was that there was no evidence for design. Again, you're proving that you can't grasp a simple argument.
I didn't ask you to prove a negative, I pointed out that your perception of the "un-design" of the byproducts of evolution is based on an inherent assumption you have about evolution.

Quote:
You clearly agree that declaring limitations isn't evidence of a beyond.
Again Nic, you're simply misunderstanding. You misconstrue a lack of "positive evidence", as in observable, measurable naturalistic proof, to conclude that there is no rational reason to skeptically (rather than conclusively) assume the existence of something. But science can't inquire about things that may or may not exist, only observe that which is known to exist.

In this case, the sponaneous coming-into-existence of an ordered universe that allows for us to exist, and its finite points of being, are not "positive evidence" of anything because "positive evidence" merely observes that which is already contained within the universe. That doesn't mean we can't see reason why something extrinsic might and should exist. Hell, that sort of logical inference is the whole foundation of String Theory. I refer you back to the dark matter analogy in the previous post.
__________________
RIP "littledoc"!

My MySpace Page
My Gaming PC Blog
Mike Doolittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2007, 04:12 PM   #112
Mike Doolittle
Telling people how it is
 
Mike Doolittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: In a shoe with my old lady
Posts: 3,758
Rep Power: 20 Mike Doolittle is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Mike Doolittle
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
Now, I'm willing to accept that there are things beyond our understanding, but I am not willing to say two words about them and I certainly can't take it from science that there are, since science can only tell me about what we do know, today.
We're getting somewhere here, because I mostly agree. Except, you should understand by now, with my previous dark matter analogy, that science does in fact direct us to the plausible existence of things that are unobservable and immeasurable. I can understand why you perceive this to be a paradox, but that's exactly the kind of narrow thinking you have to let go of.

Quote:
The natural world may, in fact, be all there every was--there is certainly more evidence for that than there is for your god.
If you subject that claim to your own criteria, it falls apart Ė what positive evidence do you have that the natural universe is all there ever was?

Quote:
This just doesn't wash. Faith--like all concepts--is reasonable or it is unreasonable.
Indeed. Faith is reasonable. We can see why God might and should exist. But we can also see that we have limitations in understanding God.

Quote:
Apparently it is you who has no sense of context. [snip]
Key word: "example."
For something that is just an example, you sure like to spend a lot of time telling me that's what I'm arguing, then responding to what you're telling me I'm arguing. Straw. Man.

Quote:
So, being without the universe, the finite point is no longer required to have a first-cause.
Perhaps I should have phrased it differently: To suggest the point is outside of the universe seems to suggest that it was supernatural. But rather, the point itself was the universe and all that is in it. I can understand how things that seem paradoxical might be confusing, but these are exactly the kinds of questions physicists have to ask. Imagine as Hawking said all spacetime is exists within a point of infinite density. Something triggers this to begin expanding. The question is, what caused this to happen? How did this place of infinite density get there? How does a whole universe just pop into existence? It's the most mind-boggling question in quantum physics. How did it happen? Why? From what? How can we study it if all we can observe is within our universe to begin with?

Quote:
Now, for the last time: where specifically is there evidence for purpose?
Let's ask Paul Davies:

Paul: I accept that Darwinian picture. But the appearance of design Iím talking about refers not to the objects of the universe Ė not to the specific physical systems Ė but to the underlying laws. And the difficulty you have if you want to argue along Darwinian lines is that, somehow, the laws have emerged as a result of natural selection. But we donít readily see anything like a population of universes with a population of competing laws slugging it out, you know, red in tooth and claw, so that only a universe that is felicitously adapted, as far as the emergence of life is concerned, comes out at the end as the survivor. I might say that there have been some rather crude attempts by some physicists and cosmologists to link a sort of cosmic Darwinism to Darwinism on Earth, but I donít find these attempts very convincing. So I think that when we are dealing with the universe, and the laws of the universe (and for all we know there is only one universe and one set of laws), itís very hard to use this sort of Darwinian mechanism to explain the appearance of design.

Phillip: So we are not looking for a watchmaker but we are looking for a legislator?

Paul: Precisely!


Now, it's not my fault if you don't want to read what I took the time to write. But I *have* devoted considerable space in these threads to addressing these questions.

Quote:
It's a paradox because you're arguing for a first-cause when every cause in universe requires a preceding effect. You've studied physics and yet I'm explaining this to you?
You are confusing causality within the universe with the existence of the universe itself.

Quote:
If a universe collapsing on itself is considered disordered, then shouldn't a universe currently expanding to the point of its eventual death also count?
Not at all. Finity does not inherently contradict order.
__________________
RIP "littledoc"!

My MySpace Page
My Gaming PC Blog
Mike Doolittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2007, 09:31 PM   #113
Nicato
Next-Gen Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3,575
Rep Power: 0 Nicato is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Doolittle View Post
For my conclusion to be "found to be true", it would have to be constrained by the boundaries of naturalism. If we could use natural law to prove the existence of the supernatural, it wouldn't be supernatural at all then, would it? What you're arguing is inherently self-contradicting.
First of all, the only one being self-contradicting is you. Lest, we forget, you're the one using science to as evidence for your supernatural.

Secondly, your right, if science discovered what you're claiming to be supernatural, then it would cease to be supernatural. That's why we don't go around claiming what is or is not supernatural in the first place. Again, you're failing to learn from the mistakes of the past. The diversity of life on this planet was totally a supernatural event three hundred years ago. Now that there is a persuasive theory as to why that is, is evolution natural or supernatural? Let's apply that to your jive. If we were to discover the skeleton of the creator in the big bang, would it be science explaining the supernatural, or you arbitrary saying what was and what wasn't all along. (The answer is the latter.)

Quote:
Take #5,697,678: I did not say God's is existence is a logical necessity, only that a cause not contained within our universe was necessary because the universe cannot be self-causing or self-perpetuating....

...We can't "conclude". I did not suggest we could, and repeatedly stated that we cannot make conclusive claims about these things. I've spent post after post correcting you on this misunderstanding. I'm not sure how many different ways I can phrase it.

...For the billionth time, I am not "concluding" that God exists. As long as you continue to base your entire refutation on this straw man of yours, we'll get nowhere. I believe that God's existence is likely.
You didn't say that your god was was a logical necessity, just that our universe has evidence of design and purpose and that a supernatural first-cause was required to birth it. . Excuse me, Mike, but when you use language like "logical necessity" to describe a supernatural and a first-cause, argue for evidence of design and purpose in our universe, and say that science is but a tool we use to "understand" God (but not vice versa), you are concluding that your logically necessitated god exists. Please be intellectually honest and acknowledge this.

Quote:
You're correct to assert that there cannot be "positive" evidence of supernatural phenomena.
Good, then you agree that the supernatural is illogical.

Quote:
In principle, they cannot be observed because we're talking about things like parallel universes (i.e., supernatural phenomena) . But String Theory does not just come out of some scientist's butt. It uses observation of observable phenomena, theoretical equations and logical inference to attempt to unify the disparate fields of physics...

...But if logical inference from observation cannot be used to better understand our universe, if "positive" (i.e., naturalistic) evidence is all we have to rely on, perhaps you'd care to explain why there has been so much interest in String Theory for the past 50 years. String Theorists are searching for parallel dimensions, supernatural phenomena. Why would their inquiry of extrinsic phenomena be based solely on their ability to
String theory is taken seriously by few taken seriously. It's so not science that a scientist was moved to say that it's "not even wrong."

Quote:
This really all goes back to a fundamental difference of perspective. You believe that naturalistically affirmed evidence is the only manner by which we can understand the world. If it can't be observed, it doesn't exist (or, at least, it is exceedingly improbably and might as well not exist).
Wrong. Again. I want you to read this twice:

X may or may not exist, but if we unable to observe X, we are in no position claim X's existence or non-existence.

Quote:
But "positive" evidence can only tell us so much about the universe.
Mike if you truly had a respect for the limitations of knowledge then you'd have no problem accepting the fact that there are things which we may never know. I mean, we both agree on this point, but I take ignorance where you take faith. Think about it, if you truly accepted that there are limitations for knowledge, then how is it that you are able to posit an ultimate answer despite any positive evidence? It's because you, unlike me, have totally bought into this NOMA-esque garbage which posits faith and reason on equal ground as inquisitive devices--they are not.

When you say that there is a limitation to knowledge what you are really saying is that there is a deeper understanding which doesn't come from cold logic. Your error is this: faith isn't a deeper understanding of anything. It's, in fact, completely superficial by comparison. One can have faith an anything for any reason. One can take it on faith that a man rose from the dead three days after being killed and ascend to an afterlife. Logical beliefs, however, take intellectual effort to come by.

If you were to take knowledge as the whole of human understanding then you would be hesitant to propose any argument for your god, because you'd realize that you'd be immediately betraying the limitation of knowledge you were ascribing. You'd sooner take ignorance over affirmation of an unknowable argument--you certainly wouldn't propose a non-exhaustive argument and call it logical.


Quote:
But the fact that we can't make conclusive claims does not mean that we can't see a good reason why it should exist.
No, the fact that fact that all the arguments are credulous and circular and lack positive evidence is.

Quote:
If the universe existed infinitely, I suppose I'd find your arguments much more persuasive.
funny you should say that, because if the universe were infinite and permanent then I'd find your argument for god by "perfection" more persuasive.

What was it again? Oh, yes, perfect means ordered. So, when our universe expands to the point of its death there will, of course, be no order. And even though that event is hundreds of billions of years away, the non-order will last infinitely longer than the order which once was. So, if perfection is order, and disorder trumps order, and perfection is evidence of god, then...

Quote:
Our entire universe spontaneously pops into existence literally out of nothing. No natural phenomena ("positive evidence") can explain how this may have happened. All such phenomena can help us to learn is what is already within the universe and how it works...

...That question is: why did the universe come into existence at all?
Why are we owed an explanation?

Quote:
It's a lesson in logical inference, not proving a negative. Do try and keep up.
Let's review your lesson:

"Scientists use logical inference based upon observable evidence to conclude that dinosaurs are extinct"

You use logical inference based upon observable evidence to ______ that your god exists.

Extra points for the first person who can fill in the blank!

Quote:
We are not understanding it fully or directly. We're seeing reason as to why it might, or should exist, much like quantum physicists assume that dark matter exists. They can't observe or measure dark matter, but they logically infer that it exists because there is reason to believe it should exist.
Mr. I took physics in college, you should know that it's dark energy which we can't observe. Dark matter has long been mapped.

Quote:
As long as the greatest question of all remains unanswered, people will have faith....

...Nic, you just don't get it. As long as there are unanswered – and indeed unanswerable questions about our universe and our place in it, people will have faith.
What does that have to do with faith in your god being logical?

Quote:
It is not the purpose of faith to explain things scientifically. You're arguing with someone else here, not me.
Really? Because I could have sworn I was arguing with someone who said that faith was logical.

[Sorry I could respond all at once, my computer crashed in the home stretch, so I'll get back to you later.]
Nicato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2007, 01:46 AM   #114
Nicato
Next-Gen Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3,575
Rep Power: 0 Nicato is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Doolittle View Post
Yes! Finally, you got something.
Good. So you agree that then that, like strings and multiverses, yours is a god hypothesis?

Quote:
I didn't ask you to prove a negative, I pointed out that your perception of the "un-design" of the byproducts of evolution is based on an inherent assumption you have about evolution.
Can you read?

I said that there was no evidence of design. E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E. I didn't say there was no design ("un-design"). Please tell me you know the difference. I'm saying that if it is designed then there are many redundancies and inefficiencies that which need to be accounted for.

Quote:
Again Nic, you're simply misunderstanding. You misconstrue a lack of "positive evidence", as in observable, measurable naturalistic proof, to conclude that there is no rational reason to skeptically (rather than conclusively) assume the existence of something. But science can't inquire about things that may or may not exist, only observe that which is known to exist.
You should really get off the NOMA before it kills the last of your braincells. But in case it's too late, I'll go slow:

That science can only explain what we can observe by no means necessitates an equally inquisitive medium which can explain what we can't. Again and again, you relying on limitations to positively assert the existence of a beyond. What you continue to miss is that unless you can first establish that there is a beyond you are in no position to draw any boundaries. It's like I said before, it is not the case that where science ends an equally qualified method takes over. Where science ends is where pure speculation begins. That science can't inquire about what we can't know is not only obvious, but it should tell you something.

Quote:
In this case, the sponaneous coming-into-existence of an ordered universe that allows for us to exist, and its finite points of being, are not "positive evidence" of anything because "positive evidence" merely observes that which is already contained within the universe. That doesn't mean we can't see reason why something extrinsic might and should exist.
Yes it does. I'm sorry, but the fact that you can't observe X means that you can't, with any amount of objectively, ascribe any characteristics (intentions, existence) to X.

Quote:
We're getting somewhere here, because I mostly agree. Except, you should understand by now, with my previous dark matter analogy, that science does in fact direct us to the plausible existence of things that are unobservable and immeasurable.
Really? Mike Doolittle of five minutes ago, any comments?

"You misconstrue a lack of "positive evidence", as in observable, measurable naturalistic proof, to conclude that there is no rational reason to skeptically (rather than conclusively) assume the existence of something. But science can't inquire about things that may or may not exist, only observe that which is known to exist."

The intellectually consistency continues.

Quote:
If you subject that claim to your own criteria, it falls apart – what positive evidence do you have that the natural universe is all there ever was?
You're looking at it, smart guy. You'll continue to look at it tomorrow, and the next day, until you die and burn in an eternal lake of fire. We have evidence that the natural world exist because here we are existing in it. This evidence is substantially greater than your supernatural which we can't see, by any means whatsoever, ever.

Quote:
Indeed. Faith is reasonable. We can see why God might and should exist. But we can also see that we have limitations in understanding God.
And as we all know, faith in God is a recognition the limitations of our understanding...even though you don't have to have faith in god to acknowledge said limitations. But fact was obvious, even though it wasn't.

Quote:
For something that is just an example, you sure like to spend a lot of time telling me that's what I'm arguing, then responding to what you're telling me I'm arguing. Straw. Man.
Do you know what a strawman is? It's when a person presents a weaker argument of his opponent just to tear it down later. If I were to say something like "I don't care what you think, Mike, children aren't your sex slaves and they shouldn't be kept in cages. It just isn't right." that would be a strawman. If, however, I were to copy and paste my previous comments so that you can read the entire thing (to no avail, apparently), then you can't rightly accuse me of erecting a straw man--but in your response, I can accuse you.

Quote:
Perhaps I should have phrased it differently: To suggest the point is outside of the universe seems to suggest that it was supernatural. But rather, the point itself was the universe and all that is in it.
So being that it "was" the universe, is a first-cause required or not? (Do think carefully because there will be a follow-up.)

Quote:
Now, it's not my fault if you don't want to read what I took the time to write. But I *have* devoted considerable space in these threads to addressing these questions.
No you haven't, Mike. You just haven't. You've never laid out the case for purpose and every time I ask you to you give another dodge. I asked you specifically, what is the purpose and you come back with "what makes you think there's only one purpose." Lame. For the umpteeth time, what is/are the purpose/purposes of the universe?

Quote:
You are confusing causality within the universe with the existence of the universe itself.
If causality is distinct from the universe itself, then I'm failing to see the necessity of a first-cause.
Nicato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2007, 05:50 PM   #115
Mike Doolittle
Telling people how it is
 
Mike Doolittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: In a shoe with my old lady
Posts: 3,758
Rep Power: 20 Mike Doolittle is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Mike Doolittle
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

I really don't have time to respond to three or four posts every time, so I'm going to try to sum up my points here in the hopes of getting a little more concise in this debate.

Your position is positivist-agnostic; that is, you don't deny the possibility that anything could exist, because that would be an unprovable assumption. Yet unless you can quantify something according to the assumed tenants of positivism, you do not affirm that it does exist. The problem as I see it, Nic, is that you're drawing very black and white conclusions. Either God is something that's completely fabricated, imaginary, and superstitious, or God is a naturalistic scientific hypothesis that is subject to the identical process of deduction to which all natural claims must be subjected. The reality of it, though, lies somewhere in between.

Certainly, it would be misguided to assume that God's existence is a "fact". Aside from a vocal minority of devout fundamentalists, there aren't too many people who try to assert God's existence as factual. Instead, God's existence is and has always been a metaphysical and epistemological question.

So the real question is not whether we can find some sort of observable, measurable proof of God's existence. We must ask instead whether we can find logical reasons to believe that a supernatural intelligence might exist. In this respect, theology is indeed quite similar to theoretical cosmology. Nobody has ever seen dark matter; it is presumed to exist because celestial bodies have been observed to generate far more gravitational forces than their visible mass would allow. Dark matter remains purely theoretical, and indeed there are a number of other theories which propose to more fully explain the nature of gravitational forces in deep space.

The question of logic, then, is one of inference. If something cannot be proven to exist, then it is inferred to exist in a theoretical capacity. You won't see any physicists claiming that dark matter's existence is an indisputable fact, any more than you'll see people of faith saying that God's existence is a fact. However, God can be logically inferred to theoretically exist based on observable evidence of both the inherent design, homogeneity and indeed the mere existence of the universe. This is because we have no means to understand how the universe could have "created itself", or how an ordered system could spontaneously come into existence. Our understanding of the universe is a mere reflection of our own consciousness; thus we believe that just as we can not exist without an origin, the universe itself could not exist without an origin. However, this origin cannot logically be exclusively contained within the universe (since the universe did not always exist), but must be transcendent of it -- not "outside" or "inside", but unbound yet intrinsically one with it. Such a concept is remarkably consistent with the notion of a creator God that has permeated virtually every culture in the history of humanity. So indeed advances in physics have lead many to find greater strength in their faith in God.

Saying "God created the universe" is not a statement of fact, and thusly should not be interpreted to mean that we should stop investigating the origins of the universe within the realm of theoretical cosmology and natural science. It is entirely possible that there is no God, and the origin of the universe can be explained within the bounds of naturalism. However, epistemology tells us that there are inherent limits on what we can objectively (humanistically) claim to know (and even this knowledge rests upon a host of assumptions), and that many of the greatest questions about our existence will in all likelihood always be confined to metaphysics. It's worth noting that some of the world's top physicists, such as Davies and Lee Smolin, feel that as we reach a greater understanding of cosmology, we also reach a greater understanding of our inability to know, quantitatively, many fundamental questions about our existence.

Thus faith will remain as it always has -- an epistemological and metaphysical question that assumes nothing, but allows humans to reconcile their intuitively perceived sense of design and purpose with the inherent unknownable qualities of the universe itself. If God didn't do it, we're going to have a hell of a time finding out what did.







Addendum: I also wanted to comment briefly about the diversity of religion. What we're dealing with here in this thread is the fundamental question of whether a higher power or divine intelligence exists. Whether it's a he, she, it, they, a personal god, a deistic god, etc., is another topic. How we choose to personify and relate to God is largely regulated by our cultural and personal experiences.
__________________
RIP "littledoc"!

My MySpace Page
My Gaming PC Blog

Last edited by Mike Doolittle; 04-13-2007 at 06:49 PM.
Mike Doolittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2011, 03:32 PM   #116
Mike Doolittle
Telling people how it is
 
Mike Doolittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: In a shoe with my old lady
Posts: 3,758
Rep Power: 20 Mike Doolittle is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Mike Doolittle
Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

I tracked down this old thread for a post I just put up on my blog today.

I was far too stubborn and proud to admit it four years ago, but I got my ass handed to me in this discussion, and several things said had a lasting impact that eventually help me change my tune.

So, Nic, wherever you are... sorry I was such a dick. You were right!
__________________
RIP "littledoc"!

My MySpace Page
My Gaming PC Blog
Mike Doolittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
About Us | Privacy Policy | Review Game | FAQ | Contact Us | Twitter | Facebook |  RSS
Copyright 1999-2010 GameCritics.com. All rights reserved.