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Old 03-27-2007, 11:12 AM   #81
Mike Doolittle
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
There are not two ways about it, either something is logical or it is illogical. There is no middle ground.
Indeed. And faith is quite logical, if you actually accept what we know about the universe.

See, that's the problem with you new-aged liberal theist types, y'all are always playing down the reality of fundamentalism.
You're just exaggerating the impact of fundamentalism to create a straw man. You're even stretching the definition of fundamentalism to include most things that you just don't like about religion, even if they have nothing to do with fundamentalism. Faith is big, evangelicalism is big, and in America there are plenty of fundamentalists who think science is a secular religion. But they are not in the majority even in this country, much less the world.

Even if it was an intelligent designer which gave birth to said natural world, there is pretty much no denying that we exist only because of a long, if aimless, sequence of events which occurred inside of it.
I can agree with that, save for the "aimless" part.

Once again, that is not my belief, rather a straw-man which you continue to erect for whatever reason.
Okay, stop right there. This is needless hostility. I explicitly stated "I could be wrong" and clarified that I was explaining my understanding of your position. There is no straw man here.

I do not believe that all that exists "should" be completely knowable or even partly knowable, but I do believe that unknowable things are not worth defending or believing, and certainly make for unproductive discussion. I do not scoff at the idea of transcendence, rather your adoption of a transcendence to explain what you don't (or indeed can't) know. It is, in my opinion, intellectual sloppiness.
In that case, I don't think I really mischaracterized your position. You maintain that there could be transcendent things, but unless you can quantify them according to natural law within your universe (in which case they would cease to be transcendent), for all intents and purposes it might as well not exist.

All interpretations are not created equal. Yours, in particular, are gratuitous at best. Mine are based upon reason and logic and are therefore better--yes, better--than yours.
Yours are based upon a blind assumption that naturalism is the apogee of human knowledge and existence, and that naturalistic claims are the only valid means of understanding the meaning and purpose in our existence. Your argument only works within its own pre-determined boundaries, and its circularity is painfully obvious.

The problem is that you played the dreaded "dogma" card, as your kind often do.
Your statement did absolutely nothing to address my question. You're simply trying to avoid acknowledging the clear circular limitations of your own claims.

Yes, Mike, and that does nothing to refute my claim that I have a higher standard of belief.
You have no standard of belief. The only thing that you would accept as a "refutation" of your "claim" would have to conform to its own assumptions, making this "claim" both circular and absurd.

It's probably all any of can ever know, so this continued appeal to it's "limitations" is irrelevant.
It's not irrelevant, because the limitations of our natural world are self-evident and indeed substantiated by scientific inquiry.

Let's take the tired old atheist argument against the first cause as an example. The atheist says that there didn't have to be a "first cause"; that instead, we exist in a chain of infinite and self-perpetuating causality. That'd be great if not for the fact that it defies the laws of physics as well as the commonly accepted understanding of the origin of the universe.

Yet you and your kind continue to bypass (perhaps even insult) the process which the astrophysicists take and use superficial rhetoric and circular arguments to posit beings which need not be posited. Say what you will, but yours is a process which is lazy by comparison.
The problem here is that you see faith as a barrier to scientific inquiry, whereas I see them as companions. Where have I suggested that biologists and astro-physicists shouldn't be asking tough questions and diligently working to find answers? At no point have I suggested that scientific inquiry should be usurped by faith. Indeed, my positions of faith are substantiated by scientific inquiry, as I've already explained repeatedly and in detail, and which you have yet to refute.

Or in otherwords, you're saying "God did it." Nothing was taken out of context here. That is what you are saying.
No, this is a statement of faith based upon our knowledge of the universe, not a naturalistic fact claim. I'm not really sure how many times I need to bash you over the head with that before it sinks in.

It is just another way of saying yours is a argument which has problems with infinite regression and equal plausibility. And it does.
If it does, you sure as hell haven't demonstrated it.

Nevertheless, it is evident that science has produced many conflicts which have directly come in conflict with theology--and here is the kicker, science was always right.
Right... so, when religion attempts to replace science, science is right. Wow, that's quite a revelation there Nic. You should write a book.

They also believed, as a fundamental concept, that they were created by god in his image. The theory of Evolution flat refuted that claim, and that's why up to this day there are folks who still attack it, that's why in our religious country, far too many people do not believe in the theory it all. Creationism is a fundamental concept of Christianity and science has directly spat in it's face.
This is astoundingly ignorant. First of all, science demonstrated that God didn't created the world in six days, not that God didn't create the world. Since most religions hold their creation stories as allegory (including the overwhelming majority of Christianity), there is no conflict here. Science explains how, not why or from what.

However you (re)define faith, it's irrelevant. The question of whether not a belief is justifiable is the question at hand, and the position of faith alone does not a justifiable belief make.
I agree.

The soul which you define is only obvious because of the age which we live. The traditional soul, like the traditional god, was a lot less metaphorical and a lot more material than any one would believe today.
As I defined it, which is a definition that will fit virtually any and all religions, the concept of the soul has not fundamentally changed.

Further, your self that transcends self is on it's face absurd. You are the very much space you occupy. (Of course, you could be speaking metaphorically, in which case, I rest my case.)
You're speaking in purely naturalistic terms and making an assumption that this is the limitation of all existence.

You propose no solution to this fallacy because your god is also self-causing, infinite, and self-perpetuating. The only difference is that you've rhterorically exempted it from it because "hey, man, it's God." Now you know why they call your argument circular.
You can't seem to swallow the fact that for all your posturing, the very tenant of your argument against First Cause defies the very laws you claim to champion. God need not be bound by the laws of this universe. That's why he's God. Our universe, however, does need to be bound by its own laws. Thus trying to refute my argument by saying that God is infinite too is ridiculous. The point is that our universe cannot be infinite and self-perpetuating. Saying that God would have to be infinite too doesn't magically make our universe infinite. Transcendent = not within this world and not bound by its laws.

Stephen Hawking says something interesting in A Brief History of Time. He says that if we could show that the universe is totally enclosed and infinite, there might be no need for a Creator. He may be right. Only problem is, there hasn't been a theory put forth that makes such a claim without contradicting known physical law. Such a theory would likely also refute the Big Bang, which is accepted by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community as a fact. So don't give me this nonsense about how your view is more "rational" than mine when you are being selective about when to accept current scientific knowledge.

No. My belief (not in the "unlimited bounds of naturalism" as I've say many, many times before) is better--yes, better--than yours because I base mine on evidence, not simply faith. Better.
You base your belief on an assumption, nothing more. You even toss out the laws of physics when it suits you. I base my belief on both scientific inquiry and on faith. For me, faith doesn't take the place of scientific inquiry; there is room for both, and indeed scientific inquiry strengthens my faith.

you new-aged liberal theist types
you newfangled liberal types
as your kind often do
you and your kind
For the record, I enjoy discussing theology. I enjoy having my views challenged. I don't enjoy petty hostility. I'm finding this whole discussion to be thoroughly unpleasant -- not because it's not interesting, not because you don't have some good ideas -- but because these kinds of spiteful, prejudiced, and self-aggrandizing comments only serve to insult and antagonize, and your pettiness and egoism are getting damn old.
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Last edited by Mike Doolittle; 03-27-2007 at 04:37 PM.
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