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Old 01-29-2007, 06:03 PM   #33
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Mike Doolittle (Post #32):
I think "falsifiable" is an interesting word to use. Falsifiable works great for science, because new things can be learned, and old theories can be discarded or altered. But if you were talking about God, the creator of the universe, would you really want his existence to be "falsifiable"?
Yes, so new things can be learned and old theories can be discarded or altered.

The first problem is that you insist on material proof of the immaterial...
I insist on material proof for your god hypothesis, as it is a claim about the universe. The tenants and circumstances of altruism are fundamentally different from your god hypothesis because one is of consequence to the entire universe and the other only matters to one particular species on a relatively insignificant pale blue dot (as far as we know). So I don't follow your analogy.

Whatever brought this universe into existence had to transcend its physical laws, and even spacetime itself.
Not necessarily. Like I've said before, the laws of time, physics, and gravity only exists (as we know them; as far as we know) inside our universe. Whatever is the cause of the universe does not necessarily have to "transcend" those laws because it is possible that those laws did not exist. Or in otherwords, what exactly is it transcending at that point?

If the multiverse hypothesis turns out to be true, you wouldn't say that we "transcend" the laws of other universes, rather that the laws simply do not apply to us. Likewise, I say that the laws which govern our universe don't necessarily (and that is an important word) have to apply to whatever existed before or caused our universe, not that it it "transcended" the universe.

You're absolutely correct that you will never find positive evidence of God, only inference...
I don't necessarily think that we will never find any positive evidence for any gods, only that your "creative god" lacks any such evidence.

But when we think about what being created would mean for the meaning of our existence, and we can see "reverberations" of this meaning echoed in many everyday aspects of our lives, we infer that we we're the product of something that transcends our materiality.
But this says nothing as to whether our inferences are true or not. (More on this point below.)

So we "test" various theological concepts in their usefulness.
Or, in otherwords, because they feel good. Which means that theological claims are intellectually no different than getting high on drugs--which is all well and good, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't change the fact that theologians are making objective claims about the universe, therefore the "tests" for their objective claims should be on par with that of science.

But science can't tell us how to live our lives, or assert anything more than to state that "right" and "wrong" are arbitrary human constructs.
Neither can theism or philosophy. I mean, then can (hell, they do), but there is no unified process to filter the right theological/philosophical claims about what is "right" or "wrong" from the wrong theological/philosophical claims about what is "right" or "wrong." Theologians and philosophers have varying answers for the issue of abortion, the death penalty, eupheisa, torture, drug use, and so on. Because, unlike science, there is no means which can objectively prove which one is right or wrong, people who make conclusions based on their own devices are no less qualified than the most studied philosopher. (This directly questions the "usefulness" of the process itself.)

Science can't give us any absolute answers to those issues either. But science doesn't try to because it does not test the subjective. Where science does apply, it does so with a process which produces a result which can be replicated and predicted. Where science does not apply, anything goes. Who is to say, objectively, that abortion isn't wrong? Nobody. Any opinion on the issue, as long it makes no incapable objective claims, is equally plausible. This is because "right" and "wrong" (like your "creative god") are arbitrary concepts which evolved only because it served our species--a meme as selfish as any gene.

I think you misunderstand the word "limits" when describing science. It is not the case that wherever science stops, an equally refined process takes over. Quite the contrary in fact. Science only stops at unfalsifiable claims and certain issues which apply to one species (as far as we know) one planet.

I hear this statement a lot from atheists, and it's puzzling to me. If you could prove God exists, why would you have to believe in him (or she or it or whatever)? I don't have to "believe" that the chair I'm sitting on is solid. You're asking for material proof of the immaterial. Your stance is permanent indeed.
Believing in the existence of X is distinct from believing "in" X.

Last edited by Nicato; 01-29-2007 at 06:07 PM.
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