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Old 04-10-2007, 08:31 PM   #113
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Re: The Root of all Evil/Trobule With Atheism

Originally Posted by Mike Doolittle View Post
For my conclusion to be "found to be true", it would have to be constrained by the boundaries of naturalism. If we could use natural law to prove the existence of the supernatural, it wouldn't be supernatural at all then, would it? What you're arguing is inherently self-contradicting.
First of all, the only one being self-contradicting is you. Lest, we forget, you're the one using science to as evidence for your supernatural.

Secondly, your right, if science discovered what you're claiming to be supernatural, then it would cease to be supernatural. That's why we don't go around claiming what is or is not supernatural in the first place. Again, you're failing to learn from the mistakes of the past. The diversity of life on this planet was totally a supernatural event three hundred years ago. Now that there is a persuasive theory as to why that is, is evolution natural or supernatural? Let's apply that to your jive. If we were to discover the skeleton of the creator in the big bang, would it be science explaining the supernatural, or you arbitrary saying what was and what wasn't all along. (The answer is the latter.)

Take #5,697,678: I did not say God's is existence is a logical necessity, only that a cause not contained within our universe was necessary because the universe cannot be self-causing or self-perpetuating....

...We can't "conclude". I did not suggest we could, and repeatedly stated that we cannot make conclusive claims about these things. I've spent post after post correcting you on this misunderstanding. I'm not sure how many different ways I can phrase it.

...For the billionth time, I am not "concluding" that God exists. As long as you continue to base your entire refutation on this straw man of yours, we'll get nowhere. I believe that God's existence is likely.
You didn't say that your god was was a logical necessity, just that our universe has evidence of design and purpose and that a supernatural first-cause was required to birth it. . Excuse me, Mike, but when you use language like "logical necessity" to describe a supernatural and a first-cause, argue for evidence of design and purpose in our universe, and say that science is but a tool we use to "understand" God (but not vice versa), you are concluding that your logically necessitated god exists. Please be intellectually honest and acknowledge this.

You're correct to assert that there cannot be "positive" evidence of supernatural phenomena.
Good, then you agree that the supernatural is illogical.

In principle, they cannot be observed because we're talking about things like parallel universes (i.e., supernatural phenomena) . But String Theory does not just come out of some scientist's butt. It uses observation of observable phenomena, theoretical equations and logical inference to attempt to unify the disparate fields of physics...

...But if logical inference from observation cannot be used to better understand our universe, if "positive" (i.e., naturalistic) evidence is all we have to rely on, perhaps you'd care to explain why there has been so much interest in String Theory for the past 50 years. String Theorists are searching for parallel dimensions, supernatural phenomena. Why would their inquiry of extrinsic phenomena be based solely on their ability to
String theory is taken seriously by few taken seriously. It's so not science that a scientist was moved to say that it's "not even wrong."

This really all goes back to a fundamental difference of perspective. You believe that naturalistically affirmed evidence is the only manner by which we can understand the world. If it can't be observed, it doesn't exist (or, at least, it is exceedingly improbably and might as well not exist).
Wrong. Again. I want you to read this twice:

X may or may not exist, but if we unable to observe X, we are in no position claim X's existence or non-existence.

But "positive" evidence can only tell us so much about the universe.
Mike if you truly had a respect for the limitations of knowledge then you'd have no problem accepting the fact that there are things which we may never know. I mean, we both agree on this point, but I take ignorance where you take faith. Think about it, if you truly accepted that there are limitations for knowledge, then how is it that you are able to posit an ultimate answer despite any positive evidence? It's because you, unlike me, have totally bought into this NOMA-esque garbage which posits faith and reason on equal ground as inquisitive devices--they are not.

When you say that there is a limitation to knowledge what you are really saying is that there is a deeper understanding which doesn't come from cold logic. Your error is this: faith isn't a deeper understanding of anything. It's, in fact, completely superficial by comparison. One can have faith an anything for any reason. One can take it on faith that a man rose from the dead three days after being killed and ascend to an afterlife. Logical beliefs, however, take intellectual effort to come by.

If you were to take knowledge as the whole of human understanding then you would be hesitant to propose any argument for your god, because you'd realize that you'd be immediately betraying the limitation of knowledge you were ascribing. You'd sooner take ignorance over affirmation of an unknowable argument--you certainly wouldn't propose a non-exhaustive argument and call it logical.

But the fact that we can't make conclusive claims does not mean that we can't see a good reason why it should exist.
No, the fact that fact that all the arguments are credulous and circular and lack positive evidence is.

If the universe existed infinitely, I suppose I'd find your arguments much more persuasive.
funny you should say that, because if the universe were infinite and permanent then I'd find your argument for god by "perfection" more persuasive.

What was it again? Oh, yes, perfect means ordered. So, when our universe expands to the point of its death there will, of course, be no order. And even though that event is hundreds of billions of years away, the non-order will last infinitely longer than the order which once was. So, if perfection is order, and disorder trumps order, and perfection is evidence of god, then...

Our entire universe spontaneously pops into existence literally out of nothing. No natural phenomena ("positive evidence") can explain how this may have happened. All such phenomena can help us to learn is what is already within the universe and how it works...

...That question is: why did the universe come into existence at all?
Why are we owed an explanation?

It's a lesson in logical inference, not proving a negative. Do try and keep up.
Let's review your lesson:

"Scientists use logical inference based upon observable evidence to conclude that dinosaurs are extinct"

You use logical inference based upon observable evidence to ______ that your god exists.

Extra points for the first person who can fill in the blank!

We are not understanding it fully or directly. We're seeing reason as to why it might, or should exist, much like quantum physicists assume that dark matter exists. They can't observe or measure dark matter, but they logically infer that it exists because there is reason to believe it should exist.
Mr. I took physics in college, you should know that it's dark energy which we can't observe. Dark matter has long been mapped.

As long as the greatest question of all remains unanswered, people will have faith....

...Nic, you just don't get it. As long as there are unanswered – and indeed unanswerable questions about our universe and our place in it, people will have faith.
What does that have to do with faith in your god being logical?

It is not the purpose of faith to explain things scientifically. You're arguing with someone else here, not me.
Really? Because I could have sworn I was arguing with someone who said that faith was logical.

[Sorry I could respond all at once, my computer crashed in the home stretch, so I'll get back to you later.]
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