Yes, I especially agree with this:"... if there is nothing but the impersonal forces of nature and the laws of physics, then there is no free will. Every thought, every action is predetermined by the intermix of molecular and physical reactions. Nothing can be other than what it is.The problem then becomes that your belief that God does not exist is then also a simple biochemical molecular reaction. You came to the only conclusion that your physiological structure predetermined you would.However, if that is true, then your conclusion is no more valid than the opposite conclusion. It was simply the luck of the draw of your brain's electro-chemical reactions and you end up in an intellectual hall of mirrors."That is a real problem for the materialistic paradigm, the view that what we see is all there is. Atheists seem to be ignoring this issue however, perhaps hoping that if they do so no one will notice it and it will just go away.
@nightdrot Nothing you said is correct.Evolution is not based on the idea that it is unthinkable that a God made everything from nothing, it is based on the OBSERVABLE EVIDENCE that highly specialised and adapted creatures are a product of trial and error, the things that work stay and the things that dont work die out.With regard to the first cause, this is unknowable, science does not claim to know a first cause, it therefore has no problem but religion does have a problem, that of 'what created the creator' it is an infinite regression, a turtle stack.It is important that you understand what unknowable means. This is a declaration of some weakness of science with an open door for religion to walk in and pretend it can do better. The problem applies to both. As we know that the first cause is unknowable (currently and will likely always be unknowable) that means that any and all claims by religion to define the first cause are completely baseless, meaningless claims. Essentially wrong but we can't actually say that there isn't a God, which is also fine by the way, there is no problem for atheists here.
@nightdrotYou then try an approach using free will, or rather the lack of it. This fails in at least 2 ways, firstly we are free to choose to belief or not in God, that isn't something which was set in stone since the first move. But even if we said that it was set in stone that still would not mean that each option was equally valid. I was going to say if you were to build a machine.. but we have already built machines, computers and such like which at the press of a button could yield either the statment 1+1=2 or 1+1=frog, these outcomes are both determined by the mechanism but the first one is still right and the second is jibberish. Furthermore even if you disregard all of this and start from the place where you want to be, a position in which this partiuclar way of looking at things suggests that God existing or not is equal, that still doesn't equate to an argument supporting the existance of God the resulting stalemate just informs that this is not a suitable tool to apply to the problem, its a bit like eating soup with fork (though much less effective). This whole thing is a God of the gaps situation. There are ideas out there suggesting that there might be other realities in which for every coin flip a new reality is created etc. The long and the short of it is that we just dont know atm, that might be unknowable or simply unknown at this time but the idea that you can just come along and plug in God to any area where there are still questions is simply not ok, because you dont know either and anytime you claim to know the unknown or unknowable you have made an error.
@nightdrot You then claim that atheism is somehow limited in application to a single faith, there is no basis for this claim, you are simply wrong. Atheism says there is no evidence, i do not believe, which applies to any and all of the baseless claims made by any and all past, present or future religions.You then talk about turtle stack again, infinite regression, first mover, you still have the same problem; if God created everything then what created God. You have made no progress.You finish with a conclusion which does not follow the premise when you say that it is the atheist position which has the problem with the unknown origins of the universe when in fact the reverse is true.Atheists are not claiming to know the unknowable, that failed position is the one championed by theists.
@Guffrus In brief:1) You still have a problem. How did disorder spontaneously produce order? We can see that it did - it is observable, as you say. The problem is that you cannot why it is possible to observe it.If the start of all was chaos and disorder, then nothing should ever conduce to order. The same cause should conduce to a different outcome each time. That is randomness.The instant you disorder produces a consistent order, you have a consistency which is incompatible with the idea of disorder. Order is the product of mind, not randomness.2) As to free will, if all you are is a product of chemical interactions, then your choice could NOT be random. There is no YOU, after all. Only the product of chemical and biological interactions. Your heart beats spontaneously and without conscious choice to cellular and electrochemical processes. If you say that your mind is exempt from those processes, you are suddenly speaking of something outside the physical world - that is, outside of those cellular and electrochemical processes.That cannot be is there is nothing beyond the material world. If there is, then you are back to the problem of how such a thing could exist and at that moment you open the door to a God that you say does not exist, indeed cannot exist.3) As to atheism is not agnosticism. The former denies the existence of God, the latter doubts on the basis of the claim that there is no evidence. You seem to be conflating the two.Sorry to be so brief, but it is family day and I have dad duties.
Regarding order and disorder, this is very a religious sort of language and its meaning is (deliberately) unclear.To what specific processes are you refering?I have already addressed the free will argument and you are not offering anything new.With regard to the atheist / agnostic. This is just semantics. Strictly speaking all atheists are agnostics because it is not possible to know that there is no God, the distinction between the 2 exists for ease of communicating the difference between someone who is unwilling to entertain the idea of a God at all in the absence of evidence (atheist) and someone who is open to or perhaps believes in some undefined spirtual something.It is also fairly common for atheists to say there is no God, I have done this myself many times and is just sort a lazy short hand I guess, its meaning is easily understood by most and there is only ever a problem when someone like yourself decides that they want to try to make something out of nothing.You do it because you dont have anything of substance to offer, as no evidence exists to support your position you are therefore left with no option but to try to conjure something up and semantics is a frequently employed tool.
@Guffrus 1) All processes. Planets form - and they are always round. The "laws" of gravity. Indeed, even the word "laws" suggest a predictable and consistent order. Chemical and biological processes that are consistent across time. Science itself would not be possible if there were not CONSISTENT and PREDICTABLE patterns, which science can identity and quantify.For disorder to spontaneously and consistently produce order is not logical. Order is not spontaneous. The building does not construct itself but rather the raw materials are, by the application of intellect ordered to create a building. This is what I mean by processes and order.2) No, you really did not answer the "free will" question. If you are the product of chemical processes then you could not come to any conclusions that were not facilitated by those biochemical interactions. You - by your own definition - are NOT free to believe in God or not. Because there is nothing outside of the material forces that created you and shaped you. Indeed, there really is no YOU at all. Merely a fortuitous product of biochemical processes and molecular interactions.CONT.
3) Your last point about the atheist/agnostic distinction is the most enlightening. No, it is not mere semantics. Indeed, it is interesting that a man sets such great store in science and precision should be so cavalier about words and their meaning. Suffice to say, they mean different things and each has a significance each peculiar to itself. The atheist says there is no God. The agnostic either specifically or by inference concedes the possibility. Meanings and definitions matter and your inability to grasp this speaks to the fundamental weakness in your argument.You don't see order and meaning except where it is convenient for your own purposes. You are not seeking evidence, but affirmation. You say I have nothing of substance to offer, but what I offer is epistemology at the most fundamental. You look at the surface and presume that is all there is. It gets back to the point about order. All that is, you assume, is a fortuitous accident. Yet, by definition, if an accident, it should not be repeatable. One time a planet is formed and it is round. The next planet - in a random universe - it would be square. The next a rectangle. It is only the fact of physical laws - indeed, the choice of terms is significant - that allows consistent outcomes. Randomness is NOT consistent with order and chaos does not consistently conduce to a sustainable order.
But there are predictable and consistent laws governing the behaviour of the things in the universe.You haven't actually stated it but I get the impression that you are claiming that these laws are somehow the work of 'God'.There is absolutely no basis for this argument at all, unless of course you want to name the first mover and the universal laws 'God' but this still doesn't get you anywhere because it just becomes a brand name, a semantic term it doesn't provide any kind of proof to support religious claims.Everything that we have learned about the universe has been the product of science, not religion and if we should later discover some powerful entity which is capable of creating universes this would still not have any kind of relationship with religious claims and dogma.You dont seem to grasp that the answer to the first mover question is unknowable.That means that you cannot know, no one can know, that isn't within the realm of possibility.Now there are problems with the 'laws' which science has tried to establish to understand and predict our environment and the wider universe etc but that doesn't mean there is a failure or problem with science. It is understood that everything is subject to change based on new information and a greater understanding becoming available.One of the famous problems which exists atm is that gravity doesn't work on the quantum level and one of the things or perhaps even the main thing that scientists are hoping to develop at CERN is a 'unified theory of everything' which would join up the Einsteinen physics with the quantum physics.
@Guffrus "... science does not claim to know a first cause..."Yes, we know that. Science is a method of enquiry, a process, a tool that enables us to examine our physical surroundings and come to certain tentative conclusions about it. The 'first cause' argument isn't a scientific hypothesis, but a philosophical claim that is the starting-point for further speculation about the nature of reality.
Im not sure why you have a problem with planets being mostly spherical? Rain drops are round due to surface tension and planets are round because of gravity. Whats wrong with that? There doesn't seem to be anthing magical or difficult to understand about that.So presumably this gravitational effect is what you mean when you speak of bringing 'order to chaos' but then you have entropy which tends towards disorder, orderly ice melts and becomes disorderly water, etc.So again the free will thing; even if we say that everything is predetermined, a story which is simply playing out as per the machine i spoke of previously, that doesn't mean there is any validity or substance to your claim that God exists.Machine A produces the predetermined output that 1+1=2, machine B produces the predetermined output that 1+1=fish. One is a logically consistent fact supported by observable evidence etc and the other is jibberish.There is nothing in there which makes your argument correct, if anything all it means that you were a destined to be wrong and there is nothing which you could have done about that.Regarding point 3. Of course it is semantics. I dont know why any of this is new to you, it really shouldn't be, it is simply the difference between the way that people generally talk to each other and the way in which lawyers speak when they are drawing up legal contracts. How important is it that the exact terms are defined?It is nothing more or less than that.
An atheist might say 'there is no God' because the chances of that being true are as close to zero as makes no difference.Language and words are used to try to convey meaning and people want to do that as quickly and as easily as possible so we do not generally spend the enourmous amount of time and energy required to specifically define terms.Agnostics are not 'conceeding the possibility' everyone accepts the possibility because it cannot be disproven. Angostics dont have a strong feeling one way or another or they dont really know what they think, it isn't explainable by simply saying something quick and easy like 'I am a Christian'.At no time have I stated that meanings and definitions do not matter, what I have said to you is that meanings and definitions are often not well understood due to them not being defined or them being defined in different ways by different people, that is what a semantic problem is. So there another thing for you to be wrong about. Perhaps you would do me the courtesy of acknowledging the fact that you are both wrong rude but I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.You then accuse me of a bunch of stuff which I dont think actualy means anything or applies to me, it just seems like some shit that you made up but you can quote me I will try to clear up any misunderstanding which may have occured.Case in point: You assign me the claim that I believe that planets are round due to random chance.I dont think that at all and have at no time said anything which should lead to you draw that conclusion.There is absolutely nothing about the physical laws of the universe which provide any kind of evidence or argument supporting your position.God is not a requirement.
@snsl153 No, the first cause is a scientific question every bit as much as any other question, there simply isn't any data.It is unknowable, for everyone, scientists and theists alike.But if we should ever come to know anything about it it will most certainly be the result of the scientific method.
@Guffrus Very quick question, how does disorder spontaneously and consistently become order absent some ordering force?
@Guffrus If there was a 'first cause' (something I don't want to get into a discussion about right this minute), then by definition it would lie beyond our physical reality, because it would be responsible for that physical reality existing in the first place. The 'universe' has always been defined as "all there is", or "the whole of physical reality". Now people use terms like 'multiverse', so now 'universe' is equated with 'observable universe', but the basic idea is the same. If something was responsible for the emergence of all we know, then that something, whatever it was, couldn't have been a part of the system that it was bringing into being. It has to (or had to) transcend it.
"Very quick question, how does disorder spontaneously and consistently become order absent some ordering force?" - nightdrotThe simple, one word answer: energy. It's what drives all processes within the universe. Plants use energy from the sun, without which they'd wither and die. Industrial processes use up a lot of energy as well, primarily from nuclear and fossil fuel reactors. Without petrol your car would just be a heap of metal, glass and plastic.Overall the level of entropy within the universe is steadily increasing, and because of this many creationists have tried to argue that the process of evolution couldn't have, because it doesn't, work, but that's only because they don't understand the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Concentrations of energy (ex. from a star like the sun) can overcome this general trend, and produce astonishing levels of complexity.It's just how the universe works.
That does not really answer the question does it. Energy is required, but energy does not imply consistency. (Also begging the question of what created energy and what causes it to function as it does?)You need to get to the most elemental level. Anything that we can define has consistent properties, yet in a universe of absolute chaos, such properties would be anything BUT consistent. One day energy would drive the universe, the next second not, the next day yes.Order is the product of reason applied from outside the thing being ordered. Thus, Einstein, though he did not believe in a personal God, who answers prayers and interferes in the universe, he did believe in an intelligent mind or spirit, which created the universe with its immutable laws.
The question of a personal God is a different question, and I think a case can be made for one. That said, since we are dealing here with the most basic argument of whether God exists at all, it seems logical to begin at the argument of first causes.
@nightdrot Well, it doesn't. Im not sure where you are getting that claim from?The laws governing the universe are part of what you might call the 'fabric of space time'.If you have 'empty space' like that found between galaxies for example, you could say that there is 'nothing there' but it isn't 'nothing' in an absolute sense because it still a volume which could be occupied by something and which would be subject to the laws which govern the universe.Things like gravity, light speed, etc.
@Guffrus You really essence of the question, though, do you? As I noted above to @snsl153, you fail to get to first questions. The laws governing the universe suggest order, but order is not spontaneous. Order requires the application of reason to impose order on chaos.Thus, for example, while Einstein did not believe in a personal God who answers prayers and interferes in the universe, he did believe in an intelligent mind or spirit which created the universe with its immutable laws. Here begins the case for believing in God - leaving aside the questions of his specific nature - and is what Chesterton was alluding to in the quote I cited above.
@snsl153 The long and the short of it is that we dont know how the universe was created but saying it must have been created from the outside doesn't mean that suddenly there has to be a God involved.Are there countless verses all stacked up like bubbles in your washing up all occupying 'space' in some other root verse or alterate dimension or however else you want to describe it?I personally choose to believe that there are because it makes more sense to me that there is some sort of process causing it all to happen which, were it possible to observe, could be understood and defined by science.But of course this doesn't help the first mover question at all, it simply moves the goal posts and the question becomes what caused that place and process to begin?We won't ever know the answer to the first mover question and thats fine, what isn't fine is claiming that 'God did it'.
@Guffrus "The long and the short of it is that we dont know how the universe was created but saying it must have been created from the outside doesn't mean that suddenly there has to be a God involved."Exactly. We agree on this. I didn't say it had to be any kind of "God" (or the gods, if you're Hindu), but many people actually do understand God this way; that is, as the creator of our reality. It's a part of their own definition, their own understanding of the concept.The truth is we have no idea how it all came about, but whatever it was and however it happened, it couldn't have been something that exists within our physical reality, because it is physical reality itself, as a whole, that we're talking about here.Whatever it was had to (or has to, if it's still around) exist on an entirely new level of reality, one beyond the purely physical.
@nightdrot No, Einstein did not believe in a creator.Theists love to try to recruit Einstein as a champion of their cause but its all bullshit.The most famous quote thrown around is 'God does not play dice'.Einstein used the word God refering to the universe in the same way as I described earlier, assigning it to laws which govern the universe.This is not just not a personal God, it is also not a creator.There is no relationship what so ever with this way of using the word 'God' and the claims made by the various religions.www.britannica.com/.../what-einstein-meant-by-god-does-not-play-diceen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_SpinozaSpinoza believed that God is “the sum of the natural and physical laws of the universe and certainly not an individual entity or creator” this is the 'God' to which Einstein refers.
"Are there countless verses all stacked up like bubbles in your washing up all occupying 'space' in some other root verse or alternative dimension or however else you want to describe it?I personally choose to believe that there are because it makes more sense to me that there is some sort of process causing it all to happen which, were it possible to observe, could be understood and defined by science." - GuffrusAnd I choose not to believe this, because it makes precisely zero sense to me. "Alternative dimensions", or parallel realities, or anything else along those lines, would need to be explained as well, and they would still be a part of the totality of physical reality, so that gets us nowhere. You don't explain the universe by postulating the existence of the multiverse, because all you've done is push the problem on to an entirely new level. What created the multiverse?What's required in order to account for all there is, is something that the philosophers and theologians like to call "necessary" (a. k. a. non-contingent). That is, something that contains within itself it's reason for being, why it's non-existence would be impossible, and which neatly explains all that needs to be explained. Absent this one has an infinite regression of possible causes, a never-ending chain of mysteries that ultimately don't account for anything.
@snsl153 If you aren't going to bother reading what i have said then just fuck off. I already fucking explicitly stated that multiverses made no difference to the first mover question.
@nightdrot Quote :You really essence of the question, though, do you? This is clearly a typo of some kind and makes no sense to me.There is no requirement what so ever for their to be an intelligence behind the laws of the universe.
@Guffrus Well, again, to your last point, show an example - at the human level - of a building that created itself. Chaos does NOT spontaneously produce order. It requires intelligence to organize it and a force powerful enough to do so.Sorry about the type-o. That is what happens when you have little people running about the house and I should be focusing on them and not the computer. My point was is that you never get, epistemologically speaking, to the essence of things. Your argument basically ends in a shrug of the shoulders and avoidance of the implications of the argument. We know that chaos does not spontaneously produce order. Therefore something must exist outside of the chaos to impose order. When you speak of the universe - a word that encompasses all reality - you must then speak of something outside of the universe. When the universe began in chaos - and ends up where we are with "natural laws" - then something must have been at work to impose those consistent and reliable physical laws.Also, in this connection, and I intend no offense, you tend to be somewhat sloppy in your use of language. No, "agnostic" and "atheist" are not semantic differences. The former is unsure and by implication at least, allows for the possibility of the existence of God. The sloppiness in your language is indicative of the sloppiness of your argument. The latter does not seek out the essence of things, but rather accepts what it sees at face value and makes to attempt to draw logical inferences. Thus yours is an atheism - presuming you are atheist and not agnostic, I am not actually sure anymore - that lacks scientific rigor. You draw a firm conclusion but waive away any attempt to get analyze what gets you to that firm conclusion. CONT.
Finally, one last thing, your "f-off" to @snsl153 was crude and unmerited. If she missed the point, then your responsibility, presumably as a man of reason, is to explain it in other terms. Your reaction was simply rude, crude and vulgar, and you render discussion and debate pointless. Again, odd behavior for an atheist who allegedly prizes reason.As Fisher Ames said, "You cannot reason a person out of a viewpoint into which they were not reasoned to begin with." The emotionalism in your reaction suggests that there is less analytical rigor to your own argument then you presume and that then begs the question of your atheism Atheism presuming itself to be pure reason, after all.Bottom line, you still have yet to answer the very basic question - how does chaos spontaneously and consistently produce order absent some intellect to organize it and with the power to do so. Oh, and as to the two articles you sent, here are two back at ya:www.godandscience.org/apologetics/einstein.htmlwww.bethinking.org/god/did-einstein-believe-in-god
Quote:As Fisher Ames said, "You cannot reason a person out of a viewpoint into which they were not reasoned to begin with."On this we can agree.There is nothing that anyone could ever say to you, no proof which you could see which would change your mind.You start from a position which states that there is a God and then you try to find a way for that to be true.
@Guffrus To the contrary, we have had a prolonged - if somewhat disjointed - discussion on this topic because I do see it open to debate. That said, having reviewed various data - not just science, but history, philosophy, and so forth, I have come to the conclusion that there is a God.Indeed, I was very much reasoned to it and was, at one point, agnostic. Review the evidence, and not just one aspect of reality as you appear to have done, and reach a conclusion. You, on the other hand, so far as I can tell from this discussion, have latched on to one aspect of reality - the material - and are as dogmatic as the most fundamentalist theist. The difference being that the fundamentalist theist relies alone on his hold book - the Bible for example. You rely on material science and the inability to prove, scientifically, the existence of the immaterial. You, as I say, are as much a fundamentalist as the fundamentalist Christian, for example. It is just that you each go to a different single source to affirm your bias.
BUT-I still have to reconcile Good, Love, created both perfectly (choose right) and imperfectly (choose wrong)-and the Good in both Judgment and Wrath given my perfect and fallen/sinful design. So, having made it balance-worked my way through it then I know the following to be Truth:-For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of work, so that one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created In Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).—Sometimes, the habitual evidences and outworking in an individual life can eventually lead to rolling up in a little ball and, “you win, if you are what/who You say You are then show me.” DO NOT, with a sincere heart, BE AFRAID to call God, in His fullness, out. -
Well, the question wasn't about religious figures like Moses and Jesus, but God.
you have my answer with my quotes from Einstein, and how would God exist without these prophets?
Okay. Thank you for responding.
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Also, I don't believe the Christian God and Muslim God are the same
Yes, if God exists, He/She/It doesn't seem to care about us very much.
Exactly. That's a big reason a lot of people are losing their faith
Yes, there is structure and order to the universe, but whether there's a design and purpose as well? Not so sure.
I can't perceive the purpose of life in genral ( i think people make stuff up. its good to beleive stuff it gives u reason to live but i dont think life has one ) it could be possible life has a meaning and we are dumb as humans to analyse it or it doesn't have a meaning and it was all pointless. We ll come to know about it only after death lol.
No, I'm open to evidence, and a good solid case. That does not equate to being "easily swayed"; I'm open-minded.
What’s your evidence?