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Old 01-26-2007, 05:52 PM   #17
Mike Doolittle
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
Do I? Most Christians generally agree that their god cares about them, listens to prayers, is all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly moral. What assumptions are objectionable here?
Specifically, your definitions of God's omnipotence and omniscience may not be congruent with what many people believe. And even if they are, they're not necessarily incompatible.

Quote:
I don't think you've demonstrated my assertion of infinite regression to be false.
Other than the fact that an infinitely self-perpetuating universe violates the known laws of physics or that matter and energy do not magically appear out of nothing, what do you want me to say? I don't think the idea of a creative God stretches the imagination any more than the idea of self-perpetuating multiverses or the notion of "chance" allowing the perfect balance of the infinite variables required for our existence.

Keep in mind also that the purpose of the "first cause" argument isn't to say "everything has a cause." It's to say, "everything that exists in our universe has a cause". For example, if I asked you to count back from infinity to zero, could you do it? Of course not. It's impossible to traverse an infinite series. The very fact that our universe exists within a dimension of time is shows that our universe is not infinite. There is no such thing as "infinite past." Since an infinite universe is a mathematical impossibility, there must have been something eternal, something without a cause, that brought our universe into existence.

So really, I think the burden of proof is on you to explain how an infinite regress is even possible, or how a self-perpetuating infinite universe could exist without violating the laws of physics.

Quote:
The simple fact is that there is as much evidence for a "creative god" as there is for the Invisible Pink Unicorn--which is to say: none.
There's a simple distinction you fail to make here. You could say that the creator of the universe is an invisible pink unicorn or Jesus or a guy named Joe, but you're still talking about the creator of the universe.

Quote:
Also, how are you defining agnosticism? Do you think of it as some kind of Limbo between atheism and theism; do you think that agnosticism and atheism are necessarily mutually exclusive? I can only infer from your blog entry that both answers are "yes" but I'd rather you answer these questions directly.
To answer both questions, no. You assume that nothing you can empirically quantify is worth concerning yourself with, and I'm not about to tell you that point of view is wrong, since I could obviously never prove it. But faith is by definition intuitive. The whole point of faith is believing in things that can't be quantitatively known or proven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avptallarita
(regardless of the fact that we haven't done so just yet; in terms of knowledge, atheistic belief doesn't imply closure, while theistic does).
I don't think theism implies closure. I think it's reasonable to alter our perspective of theistic concepts as we learn more about the universe. But fundamentally, theism isn't so much concerned with "how". It's concerned with "why". The atheist has no choice but to suggest that "why" is an irrelevant concept. A theist views intuition as a valid and valuable tool for understanding our world and our place in it.

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you cannot postulate a being which transcends our faculties of reason, because to postulate is itself an act of reason.
I don't think your conclusion follows your premise here. Faith needs our faculties of reason, but is not reducible to it.
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Last edited by Mike Doolittle; 01-26-2007 at 09:39 PM.
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