Author Topic: Evidence  (Read 13270 times)

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #145 on: July 01, 2013, 02:19:30 PM »
Lack of evidence for spontaneous mechanisms is exactly what made me become skeptical of atheism. That may sound atypical but I think the vast majority of mankind, from the goat herder to Galileo to Max Plank have always come to the same conclusion about an intelligent creator from the same basic observations at various levels of scientific understanding ; That chance alone is not sufficient to ultimately account for the world we see around us.
Sorry, but that's just flat-out wrong.  The reason the vast majority of humanity has come to the conclusion that gods exist is because humans are very good at spotting patterns in things, even patterns that don't actually exist.  This is why we see shapes in things like clouds, or patterns in groups of stars.  Also, most people don't even understand basic probability patterns[1], let alone far more complicated ones that help to account for the world we see around us.

I personally don't think that chance alone is enough to account for things.  Fortunately, chaotic determinism keeps that from being an issue.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
I think the Leprechaunism is a good illustration here. If you or I told anyone we were skeptical of the existence of leprechauns, is anyone going to ask you to offer an alternative explanation?   for what? no one will argue about any hole to fill here.
Bad example.  The reason people don't act like leprechauns should exist despite the lack of evidence is because nobody's ever actually found a leprechaun, and it was never all that big of a belief to begin with, so it fell by the wayside as the lack of evidence convinced people that it was a quaint old belief rather than something they should take seriously.  And even with that, there are still people who believe in leprechauns.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
But obviously this is not true for the universe, it IS here, we're here, and the hole is explaining how it ultimately came to be. Can't we agree that the best starting point is a blank sheet, that there is no 'default' explanation, no 'usual' way we know of that universes come into existence?
The problem is not that we don't know how the universe came about.  The problem is that people assume, through preconceived notions that they often don't even question, that the only way it could have come about is if an intelligent creator - basically, a god - caused it to be.  However, the implications of that cause problems for the explanation.  It's like that old saw about the woman who believed that the world sat on the back of a turtle, and when someone said that the turtle had to stand on something, she claimed that it was turtles all the way down.

It isn't really reasonable to conclude that an intelligent creator is responsible for the universe because then you have the problem of where that intelligent creator came from, how his universe ultimately got started, and so on.  It leads to an infinite progression which makes the whole prospect improbable, to say the least.  That's why the naturalistic explanation is considered the default - because it doesn't require the additional assumptions that are implicit in theistic beliefs.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
There is no direct empirical evidence for any explanation, thiestic or atheistic, creative intelligence or spontaneous mechanism. so we're even there are we not?  I think we have to throw out all our assumptions, preferences, feelings on what any answer 'should' look like because it's like no other question.
Which includes this general assumption by humanity that an intelligent creator was responsible for making the universe, yes?

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
But we do have a couple of clear falsifiable predictions made by the most general theory of theism, that the universe was in fact created in a specific event, and that being made primarily for us, we are the only species with intelligence enough to ponder it. The former was validated in clear contrast with atheist predictions of a static eternal universe, the 2nd still holds while monitoring an entire galaxy. That and power of explanation. Nowhere near proof of course, just a little more weight than the competition in my view.
There is no "general theory of theism".  Theism is basically a catch-all term for a huge number of theistic belief systems, many of which tried to explain how the world they knew came to be, and all of which utterly failed to do so.  We do know the universe came about somehow, but that's all we really know.  The rest of your 'prediction' here is just human egotism at work - the idea that the universe revolves around us, and that we're the best species in the universe.  It's no different than the idea that the Earth is at the center of the solar system, at the center of the galaxy, at the center of the universe, whatever.  All of which have clearly been shown to be false when we discovered enough to test them.
 1. such as the fact that if you flip a coin a hundred times, you'll end up with several strings of 5-7 flips which are the same in a row, or the fact that you only need 20-odd people to have an even chance of any two of them sharing the same birthday

Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #146 on: July 01, 2013, 02:27:31 PM »
Perfectly sound logic, but why grant a SAUCM (spontaneous automated universe creating mechanism) a waiver on this?

Parsimony.  Postulating a god is one more level of complexity, and adds a second question:  Where did this god come from?

Quote
We have the exact same something-from-nothing paradox , yet here we are so one of them worked- but does forbidding creative intelligence make the task of universe creation easier or more difficult to achieve?

I don't think we have enough data to answer the "easier or more difficult to achieve" question, as we only have one universe to study.

Furthermore, if we were to put aside the "creative intelligence" hypothesis for now and concentrate on getting a better understanding of how the universe started and developed, there's always the chance it could lead back to some intelligent cause and give us a whole new area of science to study.  Taking shortcuts through the process, by just assuming there might have been a god there, is ultimately unsatisfying from a scientific POV.
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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #147 on: July 01, 2013, 02:51:01 PM »
Lack of evidence for spontaneous mechanisms is exactly what made me become skeptical of atheism. That may sound atypical but I think the vast majority of mankind, from the goat herder to Galileo to Max Plank have always come to the same conclusion about an intelligent creator from the same basic observations at various levels of scientific understanding ; That chance alone is not sufficient to ultimately account for the world we see around us.
Sorry, but that's just flat-out wrong.  The reason the vast majority of humanity has come to the conclusion that gods exist is because humans are very good at spotting patterns in things, even patterns that don't actually exist.  This is why we see shapes in things like clouds, or patterns in groups of stars.  Also, most people don't even understand basic probability patterns[1], let alone far more complicated ones that help to account for the world we see around us.

Well, either you are more intelligent than the vast majority of humanity (inc. some of the greatest scientists  like Planck and Lemaitre)who simply didn't have the powers of reasoning and logic you have, in which case, congrats! or you are overestimating yourself. The same fallacy of pattern making can be applied to observing a series of natural mechanisms and making the assumptions that they themselves ultimately must be explained by further natural mechanisms. I think we have to assume we can all use our brains and consider the arguments themselves, not judge people on our perception of intellectual superiority?

I personally don't think that chance alone is enough to account for things.  Fortunately, chaotic determinism keeps that from being an issue.

you believe chaotic determinism can account for the universe without creative intelligence?

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
I think the Leprechaunism is a good illustration here. If you or I told anyone we were skeptical of the existence of leprechauns, is anyone going to ask you to offer an alternative explanation?   for what? no one will argue about any hole to fill here.
Bad example.  The reason people don't act like leprechauns should exist despite the lack of evidence is because nobody's ever actually found a leprechaun, and it was never all that big of a belief to begin with, so it fell by the wayside as the lack of evidence convinced people that it was a quaint old belief rather than something they should take seriously.  And even with that, there are still people who believe in leprechauns.

come on, you understand the point here! you can reject unicorns without asserting anything, reject that God created the universe and you imply that something else did, whether you want to or not,no way around this

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
But obviously this is not true for the universe, it IS here, we're here, and the hole is explaining how it ultimately came to be. Can't we agree that the best starting point is a blank sheet, that there is no 'default' explanation, no 'usual' way we know of that universes come into existence?
The problem is not that we don't know how the universe came about.  The problem is that people assume, through preconceived notions that they often don't even question, that the only way it could have come about is if an intelligent creator - basically, a god - caused it to be.  However, the implications of that cause problems for the explanation.  It's like that old saw about the woman who believed that the world sat on the back of a turtle, and when someone said that the turtle had to stand on something, she claimed that it was turtles all the way down.

It isn't really reasonable to conclude that an intelligent creator is responsible for the universe because then you have the problem of where that intelligent creator came from, how his universe ultimately got started, and so on.  It leads to an infinite progression which makes the whole prospect improbable, to say the least.  That's why the naturalistic explanation is considered the default - because it doesn't require the additional assumptions that are implicit in theistic beliefs.

'naturalistic' gets a waiver from this paradox why? actually this apparent paradox is a bigger problem for naturalistic universe creating mechanisms than creative intelligence. we know creative intelligence exists in the universe, NUCMs not so much...

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
There is no direct empirical evidence for any explanation, thiestic or atheistic, creative intelligence or spontaneous mechanism. so we're even there are we not?  I think we have to throw out all our assumptions, preferences, feelings on what any answer 'should' look like because it's like no other question.
Which includes this general assumption by humanity that an intelligent creator was responsible for making the universe, yes?

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
But we do have a couple of clear falsifiable predictions made by the most general theory of theism, that the universe was in fact created in a specific event, and that being made primarily for us, we are the only species with intelligence enough to ponder it. The former was validated in clear contrast with atheist predictions of a static eternal universe, the 2nd still holds while monitoring an entire galaxy. That and power of explanation. Nowhere near proof of course, just a little more weight than the competition in my view.
There is no "general theory of theism".  Theism is basically a catch-all term for a huge number of theistic belief systems, many of which tried to explain how the world they knew came to be, and all of which utterly failed to do so.  We do know the universe came about somehow, but that's all we really know.  The rest of your 'prediction' here is just human egotism at work - the idea that the universe revolves around us, and that we're the best species in the universe.  It's no different than the idea that the Earth is at the center of the solar system, at the center of the galaxy, at the center of the universe, whatever.  All of which have clearly been shown to be false when we discovered enough to test them.
 1. such as the fact that if you flip a coin a hundred times, you'll end up with several strings of 5-7 flips which are the same in a row, or the fact that you only need 20-odd people to have an even chance of any two of them sharing the same birthday

general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with
humanity specifically in mind.

We have to give our beliefs some sort of definition- that's a pretty clear common distinction from the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #148 on: July 01, 2013, 03:05:29 PM »
general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with
humanity specifically in mind.

We have to give our beliefs some sort of definition- that's a pretty clear common distinction from the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

You are irritating us around here. You throw out the world "theory" so often that it becomes meaningless.

It is a tenant of atheism that the universe came from somewhere besides a god (spontaneous or otherwise, we're a little short on the specifics right now) and our existence is a byproduct of all the things that happened in the past the led up to us. But we humans were neither the intent or goal of our universe.

Note that I used the term tenant. I'm real short on useful theories to promote my viewpoint. There are plenty of useful scientific ones that seem to indicate I'm not too far off, but they are not my theories, they are the theories of physics and astronomy and chemistry and paleontology and geology, etc. Which were put forth to help explain various observed and theorized phenomena, not to support my view of the world.

Just like I don't need a theory to explain my hunger or a theory to back up my need for a nap, I don't need a theory to justify my atheism. The ones that might help support it are a bonus. But my view of atheism does not qualify as a theory.

You would go a long way towards having better conversations with us if you didn't insist on using faulty terminology.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #149 on: July 01, 2013, 03:06:27 PM »
the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

No, it is not.  You are conflating atheism with cosmology, which is a depressingly common error on the part of theists.  "Atheism" simply means lack of belief in any deities, nothing more or less.  It says nothing at all about how the universe was created (or whether it even was created), whether the universe has a purpose, whether our existence was intended or not, or anything else.
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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #150 on: July 01, 2013, 03:11:09 PM »
Perfectly sound logic, but why grant a SAUCM (spontaneous automated universe creating mechanism) a waiver on this?

Parsimony.  Postulating a god is one more level of complexity, and adds a second question:  Where did this god come from?

Postulating a SAUCM is another level of complexity-a larger framework that transcends the universe - and adds a second question? where did this SAUCM come from?  only this entity also has to preform a predetermined automated function, it can't use creative intelligence to do anything it's not 'preprogrammed' to do. i.e. it requires yet another level to be created in itself, a little like postulating a watch can be made without any creative intelligence in a watch making factory- so no ID needed for it's existence!

Quote
We have the exact same something-from-nothing paradox , yet here we are so one of them worked- but does forbidding creative intelligence make the task of universe creation easier or more difficult to achieve?

I don't think we have enough data to answer the "easier or more difficult to achieve" question, as we only have one universe to study.

Furthermore, if we were to put aside the "creative intelligence" hypothesis for now and concentrate on getting a better understanding of how the universe started and developed, there's always the chance it could lead back to some intelligent cause and give us a whole new area of science to study.  Taking shortcuts through the process, by just assuming there might have been a god there, is ultimately unsatisfying from a scientific POV.

It's not a shortcut, it's the long road! The atheist theory of static/eternal universe was a short cut;
"the universe just is- no beginning no end, and if you think it's irrational it's because you can't conceive of it'

The big crunch was a shortcut
"the universe recreates itself in an endless automated cycle,how did it get in motion? we'll never know'

Multiverse is a shortcut 'an undetectable unfalsifiable infinite probability machine created the universe but we can never test that"

But science continues beyond these shortcuts, because the universe DID begin in a specific creation event, it's NOT self replicating, it DOES operate on precise mathematical values & information, and we CAN scientifically investigate how creative intelligence might produce a universe

Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #151 on: July 01, 2013, 03:32:08 PM »
.But science continues beyond these shortcuts, because the universe DID begin in a specific creation event, it's NOT self replicating, it DOES operate on precise mathematical values & information, and we CAN scientifically investigate how creative intelligence might produce a universe.

Investigate how?  I see no advantage to postulating a creative intelligence as a potential cause when we're still working through the physical data, and we need physical data on the alleged creative intelligence before we can investigate it.
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #152 on: July 01, 2013, 03:36:35 PM »
I've just realized why your nickname was familiar Guybrush Threepwood was the main character from monkey island, but it seems you are still there.
You should have called yourself Herman Toothrot You would have been more in character if you had.

Porcelain! Yuk!
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #153 on: July 01, 2013, 03:38:56 PM »
It's not a shortcut, it's the long road! The atheist theory of static/eternal universe was a short cut;
"the universe just is- no beginning no end, and if you think it's irrational it's because you can't conceive of it'

The big crunch was a shortcut
"the universe recreates itself in an endless automated cycle,how did it get in motion? we'll never know'

Multiverse is a shortcut 'an undetectable unfalsifiable infinite probability machine created the universe but we can never test that"

But science continues beyond these shortcuts, because the universe DID begin in a specific creation event, it's NOT self replicating, it DOES operate on precise mathematical values & information, and we CAN scientifically investigate how creative intelligence might produce a universe
Because you assuming that reality was created at the point where our current understanding breaks down totally isn't a shortcut.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #154 on: July 01, 2013, 04:03:13 PM »
general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with humanity specifically in mind.

You do realise that this creates more problems than it solves?
  • Where did the energy come from that produced so much matter?
    How did the creature control that energy?
    During the time that it took and the time since then and now, how did the creature survive? What is its energy source?
    Who created the creature? Or how did it come into existence?
    Where is it now?
    What is it doing?
    How did it gain knowledge that it could apply practically so as to be able to make a universe?
    Had it done this before?
    Where is that universe?
    Has it created any more universes?

What theories/ideas do you have that can be used to substantiate any of the above? Or, is the limit of your thought, "God did it."

And you say
Quote
general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

Mankind can trace the universe back to 10^-42 seconds before what must have been its origin. The maths and the physics are all there to support it.

Do theists have anything to compare with this?

"Man creates gods by the dozen but has never succeeded in creating a worm..." – Rousseau


Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #155 on: July 01, 2013, 04:37:02 PM »
general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with
humanity specifically in mind.

We have to give our beliefs some sort of definition- that's a pretty clear common distinction from the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

You are irritating us around here. You throw out the world "theory" so often that it becomes meaningless.

It is a tenant of atheism that the universe came from somewhere besides a god (spontaneous or otherwise, we're a little short on the specifics right now) and our existence is a byproduct of all the things that happened in the past the led up to us. But we humans were neither the intent or goal of our universe.

Note that I used the term tenant. I'm real short on useful theories to promote my viewpoint. There are plenty of useful scientific ones that seem to indicate I'm not too far off, but they are not my theories, they are the theories of physics and astronomy and chemistry and paleontology and geology, etc. Which were put forth to help explain various observed and theorized phenomena, not to support my view of the world.

Just like I don't need a theory to explain my hunger or a theory to back up my need for a nap, I don't need a theory to justify my atheism. The ones that might help support it are a bonus. But my view of atheism does not qualify as a theory.

You would go a long way towards having better conversations with us if you didn't insist on using faulty terminology.

ah a tenant  I see.... so your ideas pay rent to stay in your head? sweet deal! 
Excueeze me your royal heinous for my faulty terminology!!!
I understand that you probably meant tenet but I think I can guess what you mean and move on

Let him without aim cast the first stone!


Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #156 on: July 01, 2013, 05:00:29 PM »
.But science continues beyond these shortcuts, because the universe DID begin in a specific creation event, it's NOT self replicating, it DOES operate on precise mathematical values & information, and we CAN scientifically investigate how creative intelligence might produce a universe.

Investigate how?  I see no advantage to postulating a creative intelligence as a potential cause when we're still working through the physical data, and we need physical data on the alleged creative intelligence before we can investigate it.

By continuing our research, recreating conditions similar to the Big Bang etc. Andre Linde for one considers it 'feasible' that we could one day create our own universe, that this may even be how ours came to be. If we achieve this, creative intelligence will be the only demonstrable way we know of that a universe can be created.- accidentally, not so much. After all, the more we investigate, the more the creation of the universe appears to be a small scale operation involving perhaps very little actual matter, but plenty finely balanced math, information, rules necessary to make it functional, as opposed to vast quantities of blundering chaos.

I'm just saying don't shy away from anything because it appears to support an unfashionable conclusion, that's what lead us barking up many an empty tree already with static, eternal, big crunch, and has now moved the atheist goalposts entirely off the scientific pitch in the form of Multiverses, M theory, etc-

It may well be that the laws of nature can never be accounted for by those very same laws, that the only way to break this self generation paradox is with creative intelligence. At which point I think it becomes a little tricky to avoid something that looks very much like God in the broadest sense.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #157 on: July 01, 2013, 05:02:02 PM »
general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with
humanity specifically in mind.

We have to give our beliefs some sort of definition- that's a pretty clear common distinction from the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

You are irritating us around here. You throw out the world "theory" so often that it becomes meaningless.

It is a tenant of atheism that the universe came from somewhere besides a god (spontaneous or otherwise, we're a little short on the specifics right now) and our existence is a byproduct of all the things that happened in the past the led up to us. But we humans were neither the intent or goal of our universe.

Note that I used the term tenant. I'm real short on useful theories to promote my viewpoint. There are plenty of useful scientific ones that seem to indicate I'm not too far off, but they are not my theories, they are the theories of physics and astronomy and chemistry and paleontology and geology, etc. Which were put forth to help explain various observed and theorized phenomena, not to support my view of the world.

Just like I don't need a theory to explain my hunger or a theory to back up my need for a nap, I don't need a theory to justify my atheism. The ones that might help support it are a bonus. But my view of atheism does not qualify as a theory.

You would go a long way towards having better conversations with us if you didn't insist on using faulty terminology.

ah a tenant  I see.... so your ideas pay rent to stay in your head? sweet deal! 
Excueeze me your royal heinous for my faulty terminology!!!
I understand that you probably meant tenet but I think I can guess what you mean and move on

Let him without aim cast the first stone!

My bad. And if you need to cast dispersions on my spelling to avoid making useful comments, I was glad to be of service.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #158 on: July 01, 2013, 05:07:14 PM »
the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

No, it is not.  You are conflating atheism with cosmology, which is a depressingly common error on the part of theists.  "Atheism" simply means lack of belief in any deities, nothing more or less.  It says nothing at all about how the universe was created (or whether it even was created), whether the universe has a purpose, whether our existence was intended or not, or anything else.

OK, forget about atheism, and just answer these questions; if you were a gambling man, would you bet on the universe being created with or without creative intelligence? with or without a purpose in mind?

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #159 on: July 01, 2013, 05:16:09 PM »
general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with
humanity specifically in mind.

We have to give our beliefs some sort of definition- that's a pretty clear common distinction from the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

You are irritating us around here. You throw out the world "theory" so often that it becomes meaningless.

It is a tenant of atheism that the universe came from somewhere besides a god (spontaneous or otherwise, we're a little short on the specifics right now) and our existence is a byproduct of all the things that happened in the past the led up to us. But we humans were neither the intent or goal of our universe.

Note that I used the term tenant. I'm real short on useful theories to promote my viewpoint. There are plenty of useful scientific ones that seem to indicate I'm not too far off, but they are not my theories, they are the theories of physics and astronomy and chemistry and paleontology and geology, etc. Which were put forth to help explain various observed and theorized phenomena, not to support my view of the world.

Just like I don't need a theory to explain my hunger or a theory to back up my need for a nap, I don't need a theory to justify my atheism. The ones that might help support it are a bonus. But my view of atheism does not qualify as a theory.

You would go a long way towards having better conversations with us if you didn't insist on using faulty terminology.

ah a tenant  I see.... so your ideas pay rent to stay in your head? sweet deal! 
Excueeze me your royal heinous for my faulty terminology!!!
I understand that you probably meant tenet but I think I can guess what you mean and move on

Let him without aim cast the first stone!

My bad. And if you need to cast dispersions on my spelling to avoid making useful comments, I was glad to be of service.

I try not to make it one of my tenants.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #160 on: July 01, 2013, 05:25:04 PM »
I'm just saying don't shy away from anything because it appears to support an unfashionable conclusion, that's what lead us barking up many an empty tree already with static, eternal, big crunch, and has now moved the atheist goalposts entirely off the scientific pitch in the form of Multiverses, M theory, etc-

Is there any way to get through your head that the fact that there are multiple possible explanations for the universe are not signs of flawed thinking. Getting rid of your insistence on using "static", when it has been thoroughly dismissed, and accepting that, given our current state of knowledge, that one or more universes might exist, what you are listing is possibilities, not points of argument amongst various pentecostal atheist groups. (Sadly, at this point, I need to point out that the penteostal thing is a joke, not a reality. Otherwise you would run with it.)

If you find a quarter on the sidewalk, do you insist god did it, because the other possibilities are too numerous to even mention? What science says is that it does not yet have enough information to be able to knowingly describe how the universe started, how many there are, if there will be more, etc, but that our observations and math seem to suggest several possibilities. And your assumption regarding  the possible human creation of a universe to mean that only intelligent life forms can do it ignores other possibilities on a grand scale. If we can or do create a universe, are we copying other intelligence or mimicking nature? You are assuming the former. We are saying the latter is possible.

You keep using the "barking up many trees" metaphor. It is only one tree, dude. We're just trying to find which one it is. It is not that there are many trees from which we get to pick, based on our individual biases. We're simply looking for the right one. Several look good right now. In a decades time, we may well be looking at some others too, and hopefully by then we will have dismissed a couple current ones as incorrect. But if we put you in charge, you would just tell us that Lemaître got it right and that even though he's been dead for over half a century, we should just stop looking for anything else because between him and your god, everything is covered.

Personally, I am unable to be that uncurious. So I would protest vehemently. Luckily you're not in charge. So all need to do is argue with you from time to time.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #161 on: July 01, 2013, 05:34:16 PM »

OK, forget about atheism, and just answer these questions; if you were a gambling man, would you bet on the universe being created with or without creative intelligence? with or without a purpose in mind?

Can I answer this one too? I'd gamble, without hesitation, that the universe was created without intelligence behind it, and that is has no purpose. We and our planet are a byproduct, not a purpose.

And I find this to be interesting, not horrifying. I find it to be liberating, not oppressive. I find it to be an incredibly good explanation of all the things that would make no sense if we were intelligently designed. And I find it to be freeing, because I don't have to live in a tiny, imprisoning and dogma-filled box on an already small little world.

As a non-religious person, I get to go through this unintended life without getting all excited about how cool it would be to blow myself up and get 72 virgins. I don't have to wear orange robes at the airport and beg for money. I don't have to handle rattlesnakes to prove me purity. I don't have to talk in tongues and look like a silly twit. I don't have to get all excited about who the next pope will be or worry about my son when he's alone with a priest. Nor do I have to send my every last dollar to a TV evangelist who insists that god is going broke and can't survive without my limited income.

Those freedoms too are byproducts. Of thinking instead of being told what to think by people who don't know how wrong they are. Because that sort of ignorance just keeps on getting worse.
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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #162 on: July 01, 2013, 05:44:06 PM »
I'm just saying don't shy away from anything because it appears to support an unfashionable conclusion, that's what lead us barking up many an empty tree already with static, eternal, big crunch, and has now moved the atheist goalposts entirely off the scientific pitch in the form of Multiverses, M theory, etc-

Is there any way to get through your head that the fact that there are multiple possible explanations for the universe are not signs of flawed thinking. Getting rid of your insistence on using "static", when it has been thoroughly dismissed, and accepting that, given our current state of knowledge, that one or more universes might exist, what you are listing is possibilities, not points of argument amongst various pentecostal atheist groups. (Sadly, at this point, I need to point out that the penteostal thing is a joke, not a reality. Otherwise you would run with it.)

If you find a quarter on the sidewalk, do you insist god did it, because the other possibilities are too numerous to even mention? What science says is that it does not yet have enough information to be able to knowingly describe how the universe started, how many there are, if there will be more, etc, but that our observations and math seem to suggest several possibilities. And your assumption regarding  the possible human creation of a universe to mean that only intelligent life forms can do it ignores other possibilities on a grand scale. If we can or do create a universe, are we copying other intelligence or mimicking nature? You are assuming the former. We are saying the latter is possible.

You keep using the "barking up many trees" metaphor. It is only one tree, dude. We're just trying to find which one it is. It is not that there are many trees from which we get to pick, based on our individual biases. We're simply looking for the right one. Several look good right now. In a decades time, we may well be looking at some others too, and hopefully by then we will have dismissed a couple current ones as incorrect. But if we put you in charge, you would just tell us that Lemaître got it right and that even though he's been dead for over half a century, we should just stop looking for anything else because between him and your god, everything is covered.

Personally, I am unable to be that uncurious. So I would protest vehemently. Luckily you're not in charge. So all need to do is argue with you from time to time.

Just pointing out the important distinction between science the method and science the academic institution, they often say entirely opposite things. I want to keep looking, not impose limitations on the meaning of life. the institution has told us many times to stop looking for a higher purpose, because we've figured out how it can exist without any- and each testable theory has been debunked.

I have no problem whatsoever with an atheist conclusion, if the universe had turned out to be static, eternal, cyclical, crunchable etc etc.. if we discovered throngs of aliens all thinking they are special- fine I'd acknowledge the implications of that evidence

But when the evidence keeps pointing the exact opposite way, I think we have to acknowledge the implications of that evidence also, intellectually fashionable or not.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #163 on: July 01, 2013, 05:56:22 PM »
Just pointing out the important distinction between science the method and science the academic institution, they often say entirely opposite things. I want to keep looking, not impose limitations on the meaning of life. the institution has told us many times to stop looking for a higher purpose, because we've figured out how it can exist without any- and each testable theory has been debunked.

Do you have the capacity to give us specific examples, or are you limited to just making the accusations without regard for the facts?

Was Einstein a bad guy academic when he came up with his static universe theory? Or are you just another right-winger caught up in a 7 decades long hate-fest against professors because a few people turned towards communism in the 30's after many, and I do mean many, thought that the collapse of the stock market meant that the free market was dead. Because that is where the right's hatred of academia began, and some people just can't let go. I need to know that you are not just playing that game.

Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #164 on: July 01, 2013, 06:19:31 PM »
OK, forget about atheism, and just answer these questions; if you were a gambling man, would you bet on the universe being created with or without creative intelligence?

By phrasing it this way, you're trying to sneak something past me: the assumption that the universe was created.  Which makes your question kind of like the old joke from law school: "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"  We don't know that the universe was created, and unless and until we do, your question is meaningless.

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with or without a purpose in mind?

Same answer -- you're presupposing that there was (or is) such a mind.  It's possible there was no mind at all, in which case the question of purposiveness is just as meaningless as the question of creative intelligence.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #165 on: July 01, 2013, 06:23:01 PM »
Would you please practice your quoting?  If you're going to respond to individual points, at least break it up into quote blocks, instead of leaving my entire post intact and just inserting your responses into the middle of my words so it's hard to tell who wrote them.  Put quote and /quote tags around them, if nothing else.

I agree wholeheartedly, let's put word games aside and have a more interesting discussion on our differing opinions on how the universe got here.The point is, changing the definition doesn't change our assertions. atheists don't believe in God where as theists do, and atheists believe in spontaneous mechanisms capable of creating our universe and theists simply don't, we're skeptical of your beliefs as you are of ours. There's nothing wrong with than unless one of us doesn't acknowledge that what we have is ultimately faith in our belief.

I think Einstein was a good example here of someone who didn't have a very consistent opinion on what God might be or whether he existed by any particular definition, but was always very clear on being a skeptic of atheism
No, atheists do not believe in "spontaneous mechanisms capable of creating our universe".  Atheists don't know how our universe came to be; what you're describing are hypotheses which are considered as likely scenarios, but certainly not believed in or anything that a person would put faith into.  You're creating a strawman - a false position that you attribute to atheists - so that you can equivocate it with the theistic belief in gods and thus create a false equivalency between atheism and theism.  And notably, one that has no basis in fact.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
Well, you've sort of lost me there, if you think the vast majority of humanity that ever lived never had any reason or logic for their belief in God, that's one of the few claims I can say is absolutely incorrect. I don't think you are irrational or illogical or can't think for yourself. I think you sound like a perfectly intelligent thoughtful person, and I think that recognition is an essential basis for having any kind of worthwhile debate.
I said that theists never undertook a rational, logical path which led them to their belief, not that they never had any reason or logic for their beliefs.  I'm sure most theists come up with reasons and logic to support their belief after the fact.  But I sincerely doubt that any theist ever comes to a religious belief through a purely rational, logical thinking process.  That is to say, they had the belief first, followed by reasons and logic which supported their belief, but the reasons and logic wouldn't have stood up on their own.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
That is EXACTLY my point, that if I took the atheist approach- I'd simply claim the default answer and critique SAUCMs. which is not evidence for anything. And theists rarely take this stance because they are willing and able to back up their own beliefs on it's own merits and acknowledge the gaps filled by faith
Except that atheists don't believe in spontaneous automated universe creating mechanisms in the first place, let alone having faith in them.  It is intellectually dishonest of you to continue trying to make this claim based on what amounts to a false equivalency of 'faith' which doesn't actually exist.  If you want to have a real conversation here, you have to stop acting as if you know atheism better than atheists, especially when those atheists are busy telling you that you've got it wrong.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
I can't talk for all 'theists' but those I know do not fit the Hollywood bible thumping stereotype, as most atheists do not fit the militant anarchist one. I know there is a whole discussion to have on the merits and behavior of theists and atheists from Crusades to Stalin etc but it's usually pretty negative and unproductive, can we skip to the last chapter of that and agree that politics getting involved in personal belief is a bad idea- theistic or atheistic?
My intent was to show that atheists had and have a point in being concerned about theists.  Even a relatively benign one like yourself is still making the mistake of assuming that atheism represents beliefs that atheists have faith in, which is not the case.  It's something you're going to have to keep in mind if you want to have this discussion in the first place.

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #166 on: July 01, 2013, 06:38:10 PM »
general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with humanity specifically in mind.

You do realise that this creates more problems than it solves?
  • Where did the energy come from that produced so much matter?
    How did the creature control that energy?
    During the time that it took and the time since then and now, how did the creature survive? What is its energy source?
    Who created the creature? Or how did it come into existence?
    Where is it now?
    What is it doing?
    How did it gain knowledge that it could apply practically so as to be able to make a universe?
    Had it done this before?
    Where is that universe?
    Has it created any more universes?

What theories/ideas do you have that can be used to substantiate any of the above? Or, is the limit of your thought, "God did it."

And you say
Quote
general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?

Mankind can trace the universe back to 10^-42 seconds before what must have been its origin. The maths and the physics are all there to support it.

Do theists have anything to compare with this?

"Man creates gods by the dozen but has never succeeded in creating a worm..." – Rousseau

As discussed here, it was a theist, Lemaitre, who discovered the very fact that there actually was an origin of creation to be investigated, much to the chagrin of atheists at the time... but I think we kinda exhausted that topic here!

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #167 on: July 01, 2013, 06:46:11 PM »
Just pointing out the important distinction between science the method and science the academic institution, they often say entirely opposite things. I want to keep looking, not impose limitations on the meaning of life. the institution has told us many times to stop looking for a higher purpose, because we've figured out how it can exist without any- and each testable theory has been debunked.

Do you have the capacity to give us specific examples, or are you limited to just making the accusations without regard for the facts?

Was Einstein a bad guy academic when he came up with his static universe theory? Or are you just another right-winger caught up in a 7 decades long hate-fest against professors because a few people turned towards communism in the 30's after many, and I do mean many, thought that the collapse of the stock market meant that the free market was dead. Because that is where the right's hatred of academia began, and some people just can't let go. I need to know that you are not just playing that game.

As discussed here, it was 20th C academics who drew that line in the sand - where Lemaitre's theory was rejected for being overtly theistic. They're not bad guys, but they are institutionalized. By nature institutions will always coalesce around certain ways of thinking, and academic campuses are a fairly obvious example. Of course the church is too which is why Galileo was similarly ostracized. would you not agree that the whole point of science is not having to take anyone's word for it? i.e. The method is somewhat inherently at odds with appointing authoritative groups to opine on it?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #168 on: July 01, 2013, 07:03:45 PM »
Again, work on your quoting.

you believe chaotic determinism can account for the universe without creative intelligence?
Your attempts to be disingenuous are starting to get annoying.  No, I don't 'believe' that it can, in the sense of having 'faith' in it.  I don't know for sure if it could or couldn't.  But I think it does explain how the universe went from what amounts to an expanding ball of plasma to the one we have now.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
come on, you understand the point here! you can reject unicorns without asserting anything, reject that God created the universe and you imply that something else did, whether you want to or not,no way around this
You can't even prove that there is an entity called 'God', let alone that it, or he, or whatever, created the universe.  Your best argument, at least that I've read, is that you don't think chance could have done it, therefore 'God' must have been responsible.  Why should anyone accept that as a credible, serious explanation?

In any case, what I'm rejecting is your assertion that 'God' is the most probable explanation for the universe.  I'll acknowledge the possibility, but I'll need a lot more than your statement that lots of people can't see how chance could have done it to think of it as a probability, let alone the most probable explanation.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
'naturalistic' gets a waiver from this paradox why? actually this apparent paradox is a bigger problem for naturalistic universe creating mechanisms than creative intelligence. we know creative intelligence exists in the universe, NUCMs not so much...
Who says naturalism gets a waiver?  The difference is that creationism of whatever stripe requires a creator, and thus the added level of complexity implied by that creator, not to mention the means for that creator to exist, and so on.  A naturalistic explanation does not require any of that, and thus while it still has to deal with the possibility of an infinite progression, it does not have to make additional assumptions on top of that.

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
general theory of theism: the universe was created on purpose by some form of creative intelligence with humanity specifically in mind.
That's something you're proposing?  The problem then becomes how you deal with the fact that not all of those theistic explanations even agree on the "universe was created by something intelligent" idea (Daoism has a primordial unity which gradually divided itself).  They certainly don't agree that the purpose was to make humanity.  In certain cases, humanity was an accidental byproduct (such as the Norse myth which has the first humans being formed of the sweat of the frost giant Ymir as he slept).

Quote from: Guybrush Threepwood
We have to give our beliefs some sort of definition- that's a pretty clear common distinction from the general theory of atheism: the universe was created by a spontaneous mechanism for no purpose, and our existence is an unintended consequence of it.  Is that not a fair description?
No, it isn't.  The general theory of atheism, if you can call it that, is that gods don't exist.  That's all.  This is probably the biggest problem you have - you have it fixed in your head that atheism has to explain how the universe came to be since it doesn't allow for gods as an explanation.  It doesn't, because atheism isn't about how the universe came to be.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #169 on: July 01, 2013, 07:23:58 PM »
OK, forget about atheism, and just answer these questions; if you were a gambling man, would you bet on the universe being created with or without creative intelligence? with or without a purpose in mind?

If I were a gambler and I were a man and I were to forget about atheism (and science) and pick my favorite creation myth, I'd put my money on the egg theory.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_egg

Not an intelligent egg.  Just an egg. 

But that would beg the question, was there a universe that laid that egg?  And if so, where did the universe that laid the egg come from?  Did it come from a prior egg?

I wouldn't bet on a creator.  But even if I did, the "who created the creator" question would always be lurking there, wouldn't it now. 

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #170 on: July 01, 2013, 07:40:15 PM »
Just pointing out the important distinction between science the method and science the academic institution, they often say entirely opposite things. I want to keep looking, not impose limitations on the meaning of life. the institution has told us many times to stop looking for a higher purpose, because we've figured out how it can exist without any- and each testable theory has been debunked.

Do you have the capacity to give us specific examples, or are you limited to just making the accusations without regard for the facts?

Was Einstein a bad guy academic when he came up with his static universe theory? Or are you just another right-winger caught up in a 7 decades long hate-fest against professors because a few people turned towards communism in the 30's after many, and I do mean many, thought that the collapse of the stock market meant that the free market was dead. Because that is where the right's hatred of academia began, and some people just can't let go. I need to know that you are not just playing that game.

As discussed here, it was 20th C academics who drew that line in the sand - where Lemaitre's theory was rejected for being overtly theistic. They're not bad guys, but they are institutionalized. By nature institutions will always coalesce around certain ways of thinking, and academic campuses are a fairly obvious example. Of course the church is too which is why Galileo was similarly ostracized. would you not agree that the whole point of science is not having to take anyone's word for it? i.e. The method is somewhat inherently at odds with appointing authoritative groups to opine on it?

Is your aversion to naming these people genetic or what?  Or are some of the keys on your keyboard broken?

Given that it took the Catholic Church 500 years to pardon Galileo, I wonder how long it will take for you guys to lighten up on these nameless academics who irritated you so?

Give us names dammit!
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Offline Schizoid

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #171 on: July 01, 2013, 09:08:53 PM »
Guybrush Threepwood.  He didn't show up in this thread until page 3 and then on that page alone he has 11 posts.  As of this post (#171) he has 37 posts in this thread alone out of his total of 45 at this time.

Trying to have an intelligent dialogue with someone like this guy is like reasoning with a drunk.  They get you jumping through their hoops and you get nowhere.  At least a drunk isn't aware of what they are doing, but this guy seems to delight in getting the posters here bent out of shape.

I am sure that all of us who are atheists realize that even if there is some sport in this it will be an exercise in futility.  I'm sure Guybrush Threepwood is getting a good laugh from it though.

Offline William

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #172 on: July 01, 2013, 09:11:41 PM »
Perfectly sound logic, but why grant a SAUCM (spontaneous automated universe creating mechanism) a waiver on this?

We have the exact same something-from-nothing paradox , yet here we are so one of them worked- but does forbidding creative intelligence make the task of universe creation easier or more difficult to achieve?

Of course creative intelligence makes the task of universe creation MORE difficult.  Because then you require even more fancy explanation of the origin and complex nature of the creative intelligence.  And you have find excuses for the unintelligent aspects of "creation" such as the vast waste, zits, random suffering, spina bifida, extinctions, crown of thorn starfish, human hermaphrodites, allergies ... the list is almost endless.

And you have to explain why such a complex God who can directly create stuff is so absent in the reality of our daily lives.  This God would know how to cure Alzheimer's, cancer and HIV, but leaves us to struggle for the knowledge.  I don't know of many theists except some very loony cults who don't think medical science is a GOOD thing - saving lives, reducing suffering.  But God waits and watches - doing nothing.  That is EVIDENCE that a whatever kind of God we have out there, if there is one, is not a God of love.

Maybe God did evolve in another universe prior to creating this one (zero evidence but I have an open mind).
Either way you have to start with humble beginnings.
Why not go with the actual evidence of humble beginnings we can already see in this universe.  And moreso in the context of the Biblegod story being so obviously false.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #173 on: July 01, 2013, 10:01:21 PM »
Investigate how?  I see no advantage to postulating a creative intelligence as a potential cause when we're still working through the physical data, and we need physical data on the alleged creative intelligence before we can investigate it.

It may well be that the laws of nature can never be accounted for by those very same laws, that the only way to break this self generation paradox is with creative intelligence. At which point I think it becomes a little tricky to avoid something that looks very much like God in the broadest sense

If it ever comes to that I'm sticking with "I don't know, and maybe we'll never know, and that's okay" rather than resorting to an inexplicable "explanation" just to fill in the blanks.
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