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Old 03-05-2007, 04:35 PM   #74
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Mike Doolittle (Post #72):
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.
No, it is true in all senses. The simple fact is that no one can know anything which they cannot, in some way, perceive.

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.
If we are complete products of the natural world, as the theory of evolution states, then it follows that we are subjected to all laws which govern said natural world. That we have the capacity to interpret our world as we please is beside the point, as our interpretations do not make it necessarily so.

"Intelligent designers" are logically inferred from what we perceive as design and purpose to our world.
But you're missing my point, which is that "logical inference" by itself is only slightly more useful than thoughts made at random. Given our stance as "Middle World" creatures, we are only capable of natively perceiving light in one spectrum among many, objects as objects rather than objects as molecular structure, and so on. Your "logical inference" is just a glorified "intuition" and the criticisms are the same for both.

If you are seeking the best tools for ascertaining knowledge, then you have to come better equipped; "logical inference" alone is a good first step, but ultimately doesn't cut the mustard.

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 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.
It is you who is making the circular argument because it is your unfalsifiable premise that your god exists outside the universe.

The difference between you and I is that I am not speaking in absolutes.
If anything, Mike, that is a common thread. I've stated many times that your god may or may not exist, and by doing so yielding my claim to absolution.

The difference is that I have higher standards for belief.

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.
That you have the ability to state what you perceive is irrelevant to whether your conclusions are true, or even reasonable.

We both look at what caused the big bang, I chose to say "I don't know" and you say "God did it!" Sometimes, it's the very fact of choosing to interpret where the problem lies. There is little if any value in interpretation which can't produce justifiably unique ideas.

Theology has changed as science has revealed more about our world. This is why I said that science and philosophy cannot exist independently.
Wrong. Science can exist without theology. But modern theology needs science like a fiend needs a fix.

Further, science, unlike theology, does not need to change it's fundamental claims every time there is a grand theological breakthrough. Simply put, as the influence as science becomes stronger the claims of theologians become weaker. A zero-sum gain it is not.

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...
Yeah, my point was that your understanding of your god exists only because your understanding of natural world, particularly the genuine mysteries concerning the birth of our universe. If those mysteries are ever found to have natural causes, then your god will be "that which caused that which caused."

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.
The Catholic Church supports evolution because, as I've said before, it's science which is clearly drawing the boundaries of theology. That was the only thing I was saying with my Darwin remark.

And I'm skeptical of the CCs support of science. Why was Pope John Paul telling Stephen Hawking not to investigate the beginnings of the big bang?

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.
But in the meanwhile, wouldn't it be prudent to have no opinion on the matter?

How has science moved the "soul" from our bodies?
It was originally thought, throughout many if not all primitive cultures, that we had a "ghost in the machine" or a spirit of some sort which occupied our bodies. In investigating the reasons for this, it becomes obvious. The recently deceased, for example, retain all the composure of their lively state but, paradoxically, have no life "in" them. Or in otherwords, they "logically inferred" that this spirit or lifeforce was carried out of them upon their death. There are other reasons but this is all beside the point.

If the soul existed independent from the body, then it should not matter if you fell or your head because you couldn't cause psychical damage to an immaterial entity. Yet modern neurology has demonstrated brain damage can result in a person becoming fundamentally different in their behavior. (There are several more expansive big-ass articles on it here, just use ctrl + F to look for "soul." Sam Harris makes a particularly poignant case against the modern conception of a soul in his latest book, "Letter To A Christian Nation")

What makes you think it is? How do you know it is not the other way around?
Because the Catholic Church supports evolution and indeed all theologies will (eventually) have to modify their claims so that it is consistent with the scientific consensus. It isn't the other way around because, obviously, theological breakthroughs have no influence, whatsoever, on science.

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.
Again, with the circular argument. You're just arbitrary stating that their has to be a transcendent when that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

Last edited by Nicato; 03-05-2007 at 04:44 PM.
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