Author Topic: Various Arguments for God(s)  (Read 1329 times)

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Offline DR HANS SCHWANTZ

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Various Arguments for God(s)
« on: March 16, 2013, 08:05:38 PM »
For those that are interested in short tutorials for all the mainline arguments for God(s) here is a good link that I found to quickly bring you up to speed to understand the position you may be taking when you argue for the existence of a particular religions Gods.

http://atheism.about.com/od/argumentsforgod/a/overview.htm

I am sure there are more sites out there on the Internet but for reading quickly and to the point this seemed to work.
I am not asking what is truth, even though I seek it, I will know when truth is in front of me, when it is internally consistent, coherent with knowledge, congruent with like experience, useful for helping me organize my thinking, this is all I can ask in seeking the truth.

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 08:31:46 PM »
Short and sweet. Thanks Dr. Hans.

Hard to believe that there are so many ways to be wrong though  ;D
Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline natlegend

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 03:58:35 AM »
Ah that was great for a laugh! Cheers!

...to understand the position you may be taking when you argue for the existence of a particular religions Gods...

Technicality here, atheists don't argue for the existence of gods, we argue that they in fact do not exist...
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline DR HANS SCHWANTZ

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 11:58:01 AM »
"Technicality here, atheists don't argue for the existence of gods, we argue that they in fact do not exist..."

I should have stated that the "for" position was for the theists position only as I believe that the assumption is for the theists or anyone arguing for the existence of a God or God(s) existence, hence the "for" in my statement.

I provided the link so that those arguing from a position that God or Gods exist, they would at least understand the logical arguments that will be used to rebut the various believers statements by the atheists. It seems that many that argue for the existence of God(s), when entering into the debate here, do not understand the basics of the objections that will be raised against them when making statements about the existence of a particular God(s) and fall into the same arguments that have already been discussed elsewhere.

Much as a court case is prepared, you have to prepare yourself as to what the other party involved in the case is going to bring up as defense or rebuttal etc. By reading and understanding where the atheists are coming from, a more intelligent argument can at least be attempted by those that wish to take the position that God(s) exist. 

I would like to comment that if anyone is going to law school and needs to understand what a real case involves as to the various directions and arguments that will be raised against your position, you need to come here and read how even the simplest word, which you knew what the position you took when you wrote it means to you, does not necessarily translate into everyone else assuming this same thought pattern. No one can read minds and when you post something in the written word or even utter something, you better be very clear and ready to back up your claims. We also have to remember that we all fall into the assumption that when we write something the meaning is clear. Well, it is to us (I hope!), the writer, but not always so to the reader who draws their own assumptions and conclusions based on their positions and thoughts.

 

 
I am not asking what is truth, even though I seek it, I will know when truth is in front of me, when it is internally consistent, coherent with knowledge, congruent with like experience, useful for helping me organize my thinking, this is all I can ask in seeking the truth.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 12:46:54 PM »
*The Cosmological Argument relies on special pleading(God would then also need to been created)
*The Argument to Design  relies on special pleading (God would then also need to have been designed)
*The Ontological Argument relies on special pleading (As it could easily be  used to argue of Batman)
*The Arguments from Morals and Values relies on ignoring the counterevidence (There are different moral values from different cultures throughout the world, and even within Christian sect to Christian sect...and the evidence that the more commonplace moral values can be derived exactly from tribal success strategies of any cursorial hunter)
*The Argument from Religious Experience relies on special pleading(Ignoring everyone else's contradictory experience) as well as ignoring the counterevidece(people hallucinate and lie)
*The Argument from Common Consent relies on argumentum populorum in a textbook fashion
*According to the Argument from Reward relies on appeal to consequences in a textbook fashion
*The Argument from Justice relies on relies on a variety of appeal to consequences called "wishful thinking"
*According to the Argument from Consciousness relies on ignoring the counterevidence(All of Neuroscience)
*The Argument from Miracles relies on circular reasoning(never showing an unambiguous miracle)
*The Argument from Scripture relies on circular reasoning in textbook fashion
*Pascals Wager relies on appeal to consequences and ignoring the counterevidence(other religions)


So all of them are illogical arguments without merit.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 02:02:15 PM »

So all of them are illogical arguments without merit.

Yeah, so we're closing the site and going home. : ) The trouble is that godbotherers are immune to the logic virus.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline DR HANS SCHWANTZ

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 07:32:26 PM »
"So all of them are illogical arguments without merit."

So can we conclude from your statement above, that if a person presents his/her argument for the existence of God(s) and it is found to be based on one of the arguments you have listed, it will be dismissed as illogical by the atheists? (I assume it would be based on the responses I see on this site and by actually reading the refutation to the arguments given at the link I provided.)

And if so, then much time would be saved by someone presenting their case for the existence of God(s) if it is indeed grounded in any of these to realize that their case has already been debated before and contains no merit in moving forward with the argument, except possibly to learn from the atheist personally why the atheist feels they are wrong. (And also by reading the actual arguments that their position might fall under and their logical dismissals, a person should be able to realize you will just be going over old ground that the atheist has already addressed before.)

A third conclusion possible then, is it that no new information is being presented that has not been heard before, and so will quickly be dismissed by the atheists involved in the discussion, and therefore it would be better to not even enter the discussion based on this realization, because you are in fact, beating a dead horse sort of speak. (Sorry to the animal lovers no disrespect intended)

The reason I am presenting these assumption/conclusions is that I see so many believers in God(s) and other subjects, and people taking other positions, falling into the old rehash trap of stating something that they feel is a new argument for their position, when in fact it really is old ground that has been debated before. If so, then anyone debating and holding the position that a God(s) exist(s), should really be looking for new material facts (if they indeed exist) to present (that the believers are relying on for their position) that might be used to establish their belief and position that a particular God(s) exist and then the debate can commence from there. (Of course I assume that the atheists already feel there is no new material facts that will be found and the matter is settled but to be accommodating to the believer(position taker if you prefer), they will entertain the inquiry just the same.)

I am hoping some future reader (who is arguing for the existence of God(s)) will read this and carefully understand both what their side of the argument should be expected to present to be taken seriously by the atheists, and what can be expected once you enter a position. As we know the burden of proof is on the offeror not the offeree when you take a particular position.
I am not asking what is truth, even though I seek it, I will know when truth is in front of me, when it is internally consistent, coherent with knowledge, congruent with like experience, useful for helping me organize my thinking, this is all I can ask in seeking the truth.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 05:23:16 AM »
One of the problems with presenting new proofs is that established religions are just that, established, and based on centuries old material.

Without the second coming there's not going to be anything new

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 07:46:10 AM »
"So all of them are illogical arguments without merit."

So can we conclude from your statement above, that if a person presents his/her argument for the existence of God(s) and it is found to be based on one of the arguments you have listed, it will be dismissed as illogical by the atheists? (I assume it would be based on the responses I see on this site and by actually reading the refutation to the arguments given at the link I provided.)

And if so, then much time would be saved by someone presenting their case for the existence of God(s) if it is indeed grounded in any of these to realize that their case has already been debated before and contains no merit in moving forward with the argument, except possibly to learn from the atheist personally why the atheist feels they are wrong. (And also by reading the actual arguments that their position might fall under and their logical dismissals, a person should be able to realize you will just be going over old ground that the atheist has already addressed before.)

A third conclusion possible then, is it that no new information is being presented that has not been heard before, and so will quickly be dismissed by the atheists involved in the discussion, and therefore it would be better to not even enter the discussion based on this realization, because you are in fact, beating a dead horse sort of speak. (Sorry to the animal lovers no disrespect intended)

The reason I am presenting these assumption/conclusions is that I see so many believers in God(s) and other subjects, and people taking other positions, falling into the old rehash trap of stating something that they feel is a new argument for their position, when in fact it really is old ground that has been debated before. If so, then anyone debating and holding the position that a God(s) exist(s), should really be looking for new material facts (if they indeed exist) to present (that the believers are relying on for their position) that might be used to establish their belief and position that a particular God(s) exist and then the debate can commence from there. (Of course I assume that the atheists already feel there is no new material facts that will be found and the matter is settled but to be accommodating to the believer(position taker if you prefer), they will entertain the inquiry just the same.)

I am hoping some future reader (who is arguing for the existence of God(s)) will read this and carefully understand both what their side of the argument should be expected to present to be taken seriously by the atheists, and what can be expected once you enter a position. As we know the burden of proof is on the offeror not the offeree when you take a particular position.

Or alternatively, one could attempt to create a variation, a construction of the argument to avoid these fallacies. While I don't think it would work, it is theoretically possible.  Argument from Miracle would require an unambiguous Miracle for instance. However;The Ontological Argument,  the Argument from Reward, The Argument from Justice, The Argument from Scripture, Pascal's Wager, and The Argument from Religious Experience are, in my opinion, particularly unsalvageable as they don't hook into ANY aspect that isn't circular.  The Cosmological Argument and the Argument from Design actually have a bit of merit....but only if you are talking about the Deist God. As soon as theists, including the sidewalk preacher I recently talked with, use it...they are immediately on the on ramp for Equivocation Fallacy highway. An even so, the arguments for a Deist God when strip them to the core still end up being an argument from ignorance. At least unlike all other brands of theism, they are only truly guilty of one fallacy.

The one thing I haven't been able to dismiss is a variation on argument from Consciousness. Art. There's just no logical or evolutionary reason I can discern for humans to want to create art for arts sake. It does seem transcendental, and seems linked across the globe in man's search for god(s) It's been my Gordian knot for decades.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 07:59:00 AM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 10:03:29 AM »

The one thing I haven't been able to dismiss is a variation on argument from Consciousness. Art. There's just no logical or evolutionary reason I can discern for humans to want to create art for arts sake. It does seem transcendental, and seems linked across the globe in man's search for god(s) It's been my Gordian knot for decades.

Is art a sexual selection trait?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2013, 10:35:24 AM »
Wow, the Ontological Argument is arguably the worst argument I've ever heard for anything.  "I can conceive of a perfect entity, therefore it must exist in order to be perfect"?  Yeeaahh.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 11:00:19 AM »
Wow, the Ontological Argument is arguably the worst argument I've ever heard for anything.  "I can conceive of a perfect entity, therefore it must exist in order to be perfect"?  Yeeaahh.

Or to be a little more in your face about it: I can think of Batman, therefore Batman exists.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2013, 11:01:49 AM »

The one thing I haven't been able to dismiss is a variation on argument from Consciousness. Art. There's just no logical or evolutionary reason I can discern for humans to want to create art for arts sake. It does seem transcendental, and seems linked across the globe in man's search for god(s) It's been my Gordian knot for decades.

Is art a sexual selection trait?

Perhaps, but it had to be valued FIRST before it became one. SO all you are doing is pushing it back one level.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2013, 11:17:05 AM »

The one thing I haven't been able to dismiss is a variation on argument from Consciousness. Art. There's just no logical or evolutionary reason I can discern for humans to want to create art for arts sake. It does seem transcendental, and seems linked across the globe in man's search for god(s) It's been my Gordian knot for decades.

Is art a sexual selection trait?

Perhaps, but it had to be valued FIRST before it became one. SO all you are doing is pushing it back one level.
True.
However there must be evolutionary reasons for it to become a selection trait. I dunno, maybe art was viewed as a evidence of intellectual ability therefore desirable as the clever ones could kill more mammoths in inventive ways/make sure more children survived by making better clothes.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 11:27:00 AM »
I think art needn't be a selection criterion.  It could be a necessary side effect of our other mental structures.  From pattern recognition, labeling, communication, etc, art might arise. 

Art is a good question, though.  I've wondered about the more general idea - aesthetics.  Why do we find things beautiful? And by "things" I don't mean Marrissa Tomei or Salma Hayek.  They obviously have an evolutionary reason to be deemed beautiful.  I mean, trees, sunsets, shells, fire, water. 
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 11:38:43 AM »
there has to be a reason for the concept of beauty to be advantageous or we wouldn't have it. Or is that just too cynical?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 12:33:28 PM »
It doesn't need to be anything more complicated than that certain sights, sounds, etc, are pleasurable to the senses, so people decided to see if they couldn't produce sights and sounds that were also pleasurable to the senses.  It also doesn't need to be a selection criteria, for the simple fact that artistic (and musical) talents are natural outgrowths of other qualities.  For example, finesse, hand-eye coordination, and a strong imagination help to make someone good at art.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 01:10:42 PM »
there has to be a reason for the concept of beauty to be advantageous or we wouldn't have it. Or is that just too cynical?

I'm not an evolutionary biologist, so I may be all wet on this one.  But my answer is, I don't think that is necessarily true.  Sorry if this sounds basic.  I'm not being condescending.  I just don't have the scientific language necessary to articulate what I'm thinking. 

My understanding of how we are conscious is thus - it is not that consciousness was the thing selected for, but rather, it was a bunch of other stuff - tool use, application of labels, agency detection, facial recognition, etc - that were selected for.  All those traits are inherent brain functions that come together to form the basis (illusion?) of consciousness.  In other words, consiousness itself did not develop because low level consciousness was of benefit.  It developed because all the other stuff that creates it was useful.  Consciousness was a happy accident that turned out to be powerfully useful.

So maybe asthetics are the same thing.  Art was a happy product of other brain functions that were useful and selected for.  And there was no reason to select against it.  So it hangs around in varying degrees in people.

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Offline Tonus

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2013, 02:16:49 PM »
Art may have grown out of a number of possibly advantageous factors.  The ability to record images could be used to help others understand concepts that language could not yet describe.  Honeybees use a dance to tell each other where locations of pollinating flowers are.  It may have been a way for the less physically-gifted males to impress females.  Numerous animals use either natural coloring (birds of paradise), flamboyant features (peacocks) and even the building of what we can describe as elaborate works of art (Bowerbirds) to attract or court a mate.

Evolution may have selected those who put art to some beneficial and/or practical use.  And I would imagine that any groups or tribes that managed to develop a simple picture language would be able to pass information down through the generations.  Our ability to record information for later use is one of the most critical factors in our ability to advance technologically.  Our ability to appreciate art independent of any apparent practical benefit may be an unexpected yet welcome development.

Offline Dante

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2013, 02:49:07 PM »
It seems plausible to me that art grew out of the neccessity for storytelling, combined with aesthetics. Think of the rudimentary ancient cave paintings depicting hunts, animals, and other various images. One of our ancient ancestors had a need to communicate a story, and art was even easier than language. Perhaps language hadn't been "invented" yet, perhaps it was one tribesman communicating with another tribesman that didn't speak the same language.

Then maybe one day, the Michaelangelo of the cave dwellers saw the beauty in nature, and tried to depict it as he interpreted it.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 05:31:19 PM »
It seems plausible to me that art grew out of the neccessity for storytelling, combined with aesthetics. Think of the rudimentary ancient cave paintings depicting hunts, animals, and other various images. One of our ancient ancestors had a need to communicate a story, and art was even easier than language. Perhaps language hadn't been "invented" yet, perhaps it was one tribesman communicating with another tribesman that didn't speak the same language.

Then maybe one day, the Michaelangelo of the cave dwellers saw the beauty in nature, and tried to depict it as he interpreted it.
It is all based in what we see isn't it? What we see visually,with the first "artists" and then as we evolved,what we see and what we can imagine. But with any art,beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 I don't really care personally for the painters of the Renaissance or their art,show me a picture of a 300 year old Totem and I could study it for hours. With the art we may not understand what we are looking at.....you may give me appreciation for the painters through explanation,where I could do the same for Totems.
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2013, 05:41:37 AM »
there has to be a reason for the concept of beauty to be advantageous or we wouldn't have it. Or is that just too cynical?

I'm not an evolutionary biologist, so I may be all wet on this one.  But my answer is, I don't think that is necessarily true.  Sorry if this sounds basic.  I'm not being condescending.  I just don't have the scientific language necessary to articulate what I'm thinking. 

My understanding of how we are conscious is thus - it is not that consciousness was the thing selected for, but rather, it was a bunch of other stuff - tool use, application of labels, agency detection, facial recognition, etc - that were selected for.  All those traits are inherent brain functions that come together to form the basis (illusion?) of consciousness.  In other words, consiousness itself did not develop because low level consciousness was of benefit.  It developed because all the other stuff that creates it was useful.  Consciousness was a happy accident that turned out to be powerfully useful.

So maybe asthetics are the same thing.  Art was a happy product of other brain functions that were useful and selected for.  And there was no reason to select against it.  So it hangs around in varying degrees in people.
I get where you're coming from and agree, in part.
I think art could well be a by product of selective traits but it is also evidence of selective traits i.e. superior hand-eye coordination, concentration, pattern recognition etc therefore a selection trait in itsself.
It could be argued that making clothes is an artistic endeavour requiring abstract thought, however it is also a survival tool.

I read this recently http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21759233 i think it supports my argument but could equally support yours. Its interesting never the less.

Anyways back to topic, Hatter23 did a comprehensive job on dismissing various arguments for god.
Art/consciousness is either happy (if inevitable) coincidence or is a direct product of natural selection.
Either way, evolution is responsible, however indirectly, not god.

Online Bluecolour

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2013, 07:26:14 AM »
there has to be a reason for the concept of beauty to be advantageous or we wouldn't have it. Or is that just too cynical?

No, that's just Darwinism.

Still I think I agree with Screwtape on the position of consciousness being just a blissful byproduct of our numerous neural adaptations.[1] This is partly because I find some evolutionary explanations for why we have what a bit circular e.g hands are good for painting and writing, therefore, we evolved hands so as to be able to paint.
So yeah, things like beauty, the imagination and spirituality didn't arise as required by some environmental hazard/factor but merely came free with what was. It was probably only after that point that they actually became useful.
 1. see what I did there? also, completely incidental.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2013, 07:40:09 AM »
e.g hands are good for painting and writing, therefore, we evolved hands so as to be able to paint.

?  I don't think that is an evolutionary explanation that has been used by anyone knowledgeable in about 100 years. Possibly longer.

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2013, 08:32:21 AM »
...
This is partly because I find some evolutionary explanations for why we have what a bit circular e.g hands are good for painting and writing, therefore, we evolved hands so as to be able to paint...

This is not how I understand evolution, I though that (if painting helped survival) those that were most dexterous and could paint better than others produced more offspring (with other painters) accentuating this characteristic in future generations.

I'm unsure whether artistic ability was selected for or is the accidental product of other selection processes.
I'm willing to concede that it may be a bit of both

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Various Arguments for God(s)
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2013, 10:05:40 AM »
As you say, Jason, it may be that creating art demonstrated our abilities and thus played into mate-selection.  Sort of like a peacock's tail.
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