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Old 03-05-2007, 01:40 PM   #72
Mike Doolittle
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
Mike, there are an infinite amount of things which may or may not exist from without our universe. We, as finite beings living within a finite universe, are incapable of perceiving every thing all of them and we both agree that most of them probably do not exist, so we have to have some process that separates the more probable from the less probable. For best practices, that process includes the presentation of evidence; evidence for one hypothesis will be weighed against the evidence for another, lack of evidence for a hypothesis will result in eventual rejection and so on. And before you start, this applies to all areas of inquiry worth their salt--not just science--because it isn't inquiry unless there is a process which can produce justifiably unique ideas.
Oy, where to start.

You assert that your stance isn't dogmatic or blind because it "relies on evidence". But all you are doing is making a blind assumption that all truth is confined within our existential bubble. That all that exists, or can exist, must be verifiable within our natural limitations. Now certainly you will assert that this isn't exactly the case, as certain things may exist outside of our natural universe but we simply have no capacity to know. This is true, but only is a strictly naturalistic sense. The fact that we cannot observe or verify something beyond the confines of our naturalistic existence does not mean we do have capacity to interpret what we see around us.

Yours is not a process which can produce justifiably unique ideas because every idea, from pink unicorns to intelligent designers, because it requires no evidence (or even a substitute for evidence). Even if you were to program it with what can be "logically inferred" it would accept a lot more than it would reject. (If there can be no ideas which are more true or more applicable than another than it follows that all ideas are true.)
This is completely false. "Intelligent designers" are logically inferred from what we perceive as design and purpose to our world. The naturalistic axiom asserts that all things can be explained by nature. So even if an idea is incomplete or inherently contradictory (such as a self-perpetuating or self-causing universe), science must accept these things because it cannot make interpretive statements. Science exists only to observe.

You've used the word "blind" to describe my process but that description is best suited for yours, since it is you who is appealing to our lack of sensation to make your case of a god which we can never (in every sense of the word) see, and I don't just mean by you and me now, but by no other being given the entire lifespan of the universe, given any possible instrument. Yet, "blind" is the best attack you could come up with for a philosophy which demands tangible or demonstrable evidence before belief?
I could think of some other words, but I think "blind" does the trick. Your reasoning is circular: nothing can exist outside of your bubble. If God existent but was confined to the laws of this universe, God wouldn't be God. Yet because you can't objectively verify God, you figure God probably doesn't exist. The only thing that would convince you would be to see some indisputable naturalistic proof of God, in which case God would no longer be transcendent, but bound thus not God. In other words, you've made an assumption that naturalism is the ultimate truth.

The difference between you and I is that I am not speaking in absolutes. I do not know if God exists, or what God is. But I observe the world around me and I interpret it as created, purposeful, and meaningful. I can see evidence in the material that suggests that indeed things exist that are immaterial the very inception of our universe, for starters. I do not make scientific (naturalistic) claims of knowledge about the supernatural; I merely state what I perceive based upon my interpretation of what I can observe.

You've also thrown around the word "dogma" but again, this is a better characterization of your outfit because adherents of dogmatism can never change the principles for which their dogmatism apposes.
Again, patently false. Theology has changed as science has revealed more about our world. This is why I said that science and philosophy cannot exist independently. Ultimately all that we know will contribute to how we interpret the meaning of our existence. You've chosen to interpret your meaning as material, finite, naturalistic, meaningless, and random. There's nothing to stop you from making a reasonable claim for that, but it's not fact it's an interpretation based upon an assumption.

This is why my position isn't a matter of semantics as you say above. I am, in fact, so leaving the door open to the possibility that your god does exist (quite literally the polar opposite of dogmatism). Alls I'm saying is that there is reason to believe that it does, hence my calling your god unreasonable.
No, you are only leaving reason for God to "exist" if God is constrained by naturalism. If God is transcendent, which he logically must be in order to be God, he can't exist.

you have to admit that as much as you call my scientific line of thinking "narrow" (you know, because the grandeur of the natural world is narrow if you don't accept the infinite amount of alternative worlds which my or may not exist) the limits of your god are actually dictated by it.
On the contrary, the limit of naturalistic understanding is, obviously, limited to the natural. You don't have to make assumptions about how many alternate universes there are, what god is, how the universe was created, etc., to logically infer the existence of God by interpreting what we can naturally observe.

All that needed to happen for your god to be pushed past the big bang was for Darwinism to tell it couldn't be the intelligent designer it once was.

Pulled right from Dawkins' mouth, and still just as ignorant. It's a pathetic attempt by Dawkins to overstate the value of evolution, and proclaim a victory over theology by taking a blind assumption to its logical extreme. Why do you think it is that the Catholic church supports evolution? Darwinism did not change anything. Naturalistic evolution only sheds light on the obvious that cultural creation stories are allegory, not fact. It's refuted fundamentalist religious dogma. It has not refuted design, nor has it obscured a transcendental purpose and meaning within our existence. All it has done is describe what it observes. We are still left to ponder the limitations of our naturalistic knowledge, and left to subjectively interpret what we know.

Secondly, God has always been rooted in creation. If science reaches a day when it rewrites the laws of physics and can transcend the laws of our universe to discover how we came into existence, then translate this knowledge into information that can again be understood within the confines of this universe's limited naturalistic knowledge, people are going to have to reconsider how they interpret the world.

And guess what, if your perpetual Z gets moved again, it will be because science--a self-checking process which produces falsible evidence--will, in every sense, move it for you--just as it has moved the "soul" (as it was originally concieved) from our bodies, just as it has made our place in the universe much, much smaller.
How has science moved the "soul" from our bodies? That's just the kind of dogma that defines your narrow, naturalistic assumptions. To quote Deepak Chopra: "You are not the nervous system; you are the user of the nervous system." Science exists only in the capacity to observe, not to interpret. Science will always help us learn new things about our world, and as we learn new things it will cause us to question how we interpret them. Theology need not be stagnant, contrary to your assumptions.

Now, answer me this: if a product of the supernatural world created the natural world, then why is it that the natural world is one dictating the limits of the supernatural?
What makes you think it is? How do you know it is not the other way around? Don't you see Nic? You're making claims of naturalistic knowledge and assuming that anything that exists must be verifiable within that naturalistic bubble. But that, by definition, means the transcendent cannot exist. And if the transcendent cannot exist, our universe cannot exist, and neither can we.
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