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Old 04-06-2007, 01:24 AM   #93
Mike Doolittle
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Add to that the implicit infrence that your "supernatural" need not adhere to my "natural law" and I've summed up your argument quite fairly.
I was simply asserting that it's not necessarily God. I asserted that it is supernatural and beyond our understanding. I believe that it is God. I don't know that it is God.

You did say your god was logical, did you not?
Faith in God is, in part, the result of the clear limitations of our knowledge as well as what we perceive when we observe the world around us.

Yours is, but I would hasten to say that most people only have"faith in God" because they were indoctrinated by their parents.
That's why people follow religion in many cases. Belief in God has arisen out of every culture in the history of the world. There's an intrinsic connection we have to the spiritual.

There is no non-sequitur or circular logic on my part--only a lack of evidence or demonstration on yours (as well as a circular argument).
Since you didn't respond to what I said and instead just tried to accuse me of some sort of fallacy, I'm just going to assume that we'll both be accusing each other of circular arguments. So let's move on rather than beating a dead horse.

The majority of the adult population of the US denies a secular theory for Evolution and thinks that Creationism or ID should be taught along side Darwin's theory. It's like I said, the majority of the country sympathizes with the position of fundies.
Sure there is resistance to evolution. But that doesn't mean fundamentalism should be taken as a majority world view – questioning evolution does not make someone a fundamentalist. And if there is resistance to evolution, it's certainly not helping that people like Dawkins and Wilson are trying to turn evolution into an humanist agnostic religion. It's like Rod Liddle said: Maybe God exists, maybe he doesn't. Why can't we just leave it at that? I love Dawkins' work on evolutionary biology. I think his writings on religion are laughably bad.

So why did you assert that science disproved God as a creator?
I didn't.
You said: "They also believed, as a fundamental concept, that they were created by god in his image. The theory of Evolution flat refuted that claim."

No, it didn't.

I am saying that your pure "why" is in principle meaningless, no matter if science or religion or philosophy is examining it.
You'll have to elaborate, particularly on what you mean by "pure" why.

So declaring the limitations of our universe does nothing to help (or hinder) your cause.
It's just an obvious acknowledgment that there is a beyond, and limit to naturalistic understanding.

First of all, I like the "do as I say not as I do" vibe. If I were to say you've distorted my position, then I'm being hostile or antagonistic.
That's crap. You were being antagonistic with all your "you people" talk, like you are in this series of posts with your "talk like a grown up" vitriol. You have been continually distorting my position, and I've been repeatedly correcting you to no avail. It's getting old.

Secondly, logic exists separate from naturalism.
No, it doesn't. They are intrinsically bound.

Thirdly, if your god is not affirmed by logic, then he is by definition illogical.
This is wrong. We can see logical evidence of a supernatural. We can see logical evidence of order and design. We can see logical evidence that there are things beyond our capacity of understanding. From a purely rational perspective, we can ascertain that God's existence is plausible, if not provable. And no, not as plausible as a bazillion other things, but uniquely plausible.

But you did draw conclusions.
No, I did not. I made a statement of faith.

[quote]I'm a fan of the butterfly effect: that if a twig hadn't snapped a billion years ago, it would be a very different planet. Why is it so hard to apply that logic on a cosmic scale?[quote]

I'm not sure where you're going with this.

Further, you're making (yet another) logical fallacy in your false dichotomy--there are conceivable secular alternatives to the cause of the universe. It isn't just your god or the highway.
At no point did I ever say it was. I'm dumbfounded at how you can accuse me of this given the first thing you quoted in this post.

Originally Posted by Nicato View Post
Mike, we've been down this road before. Most monotheists believe in a god which answers prayers, keeps tabs on our earthly affairs, yada, yada, yada.
Right. But how people feel connected to the spiritual isn't a condition of believing in God. People worship in different ways, connect in different ways. The fundamental concepts that define God are remarkably similar throughout religion.

Sorry, but physics (unlike logic) is very much a part of the natural world, and so whatever necessity it demands is irrelevant to whatever "occurred" (right) before our universe--this is why the multiverse people hypothesize that each universe has different laws of physics. Your appeal to physics doesn't wash; the paradox remains.
When speaking of what is "outside" the universe, we have no concept of causality, physical law, etc. Those properties are intrinsic to our universe. Debating the nature of those properties in the supernatural is futile. What we do know, however, is the laws that govern our own universe. Nothing can have a reaction without an action, no cause without effect. The universe began at a finite point. Given these things, we can see that there is necessarily a beyond. No finite point can exist with a "before".

The omniscient, omnipotent, morally perfect god is impossible (please spare me the yin and yang) but your intelligent designer isn't. It's better than the alternative, but the problem is that it's just one in an infinite number of possibilities (which, of course, begs the question of filtering from the infinity). The fact that you've reached an semi-exhaustive conclusion demonstrates that your "understanding" of your god came about from examining evidence through logic and science. Why you now say that your conclusions cannot be examined scientifically and logically is beyond me.
As I've said numerous times, theology is not a static worldview. It can be dynamic and adaptive, as it should be as our world gets smaller and our knowledge changes and grows. The Christian God you're mocking isn't impossible, only impossible when constrained by the boundaries you set for it to suit your cynicism. Perhaps you should chat with some Christians.

You also fail to separate the use of reason as a tool with reason as a limitation. Yes, we can see evidence of design and intelligence by observing the natural world. But the fact that the supernatural itself can't be naturally observed or quantified (for obvious reasons) does not mean we can't see evidence of its existence.

I can't help but to extrapolate from that that you subscribe to option 2, that the purpose of the universe was to produce life.
I never made any assertion that the universe has a singular purpose, only that our existence within it has purpose.

Here, you are jumping to option 3, that the universe was made to be as it was right now.
Really? The laws of physics made themselves just now?

It is in principle predictable, but not necessarily in practice.
The point here is that nothing that happens in this universe is random. The structure of the universe facilitates all events as inevitabilities.

Be specific, Mike, what was the purpose?
What makes you assume the universe has a singular purpose?

Well, you're going to have to clear up two things then: your "perfect" remark and your appeal to Evolution as purpose ("The process is not aimless, because of the very physical foundations of the universe that have allowed evolution to take place").
"Perfect" meaning ordered. The Bible, in the book of Genesis, says that when God created the world, he brought order to chaos. Natural laws don't arbitrarily change, and their order has allow this vast universe and us to exist.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that the laws themself are a constant. That fact alone doesn't dictate the inevitability of any one event (unless you're prepared to argue for destiny). The same laws could exist and be a still different universe (butterfly effect).
Right, but they didn't. That's the point. Don't confuse probability with randomness.
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Last edited by Mike Doolittle; 04-06-2007 at 01:57 AM.
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