Author Topic: Evidence  (Read 16060 times)

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Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #174 on: July 01, 2013, 10:08:58 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?

Without a creative intelligence, and without a purpose in mind.
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Offline William

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #175 on: July 01, 2013, 10:21:19 PM »

 just one emphatic settled debunking: Big Crunch- purported by Hawking  to 'make God redundant'
in his words by offering a self contained cyclical mechanism for universe creation..
Debunked by the establishment of supernovae as a standard measure of distance, revealing that the universe
would continue to expand indefinitely.

Let me know if you'd like more, I have a big wheel I can spin!
I'm sure you are spinning a big wheel.  No critical thought required.

Firstly, just because Hawking wrote about a "Big Crunch" does not mean some homogeneous group called "atheism" tucked in behind Hawking like a bunch of sheep following a prophet.  Science is about having an open mind - being prepared to entertain an explanation that best fits the data.
The Bible on the other hand is fixed - surely you are not permitted to alter God's word - although that hasn't stopped constant rewriting and a proliferation of apologetics growing like an unwanted algal bloom fertilized by all the crap in the Bible.

Secondly, even if you are right that Hawking was wrong, and even if the current consensus is that the universe is flat and seems like it will expand forever, that does not mean the case is closed.  Science is not so systemically arrogant.

Thirdly, you also promised the science would support theistic predictions.  Where, in theism, is there an unambiguous prediction of an ever-expanding universe?  The Bible does point to a clear end of the physical universe:

Quote
Revelation 6:12–14 12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

Quote
Matthew 5:17-20 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
You see according to Jesus God's law can't all be fulfilled until and unless the end of "heaven and earth" is reached.

So the science telling us that the universe will go on expanding actually DEBUNKS THE BIBLE!
Or maybe it's not settled yet.

Want to spin the wheel again - but please think before you just regurgitate it again.


I don't think your responses are incoherent, piss poor, laughable, I think you sound like a reasonably intelligent person, and we agree anything prior to the creation event is philosophical speculation, but I think your points were made a little more eloquently by some others here so I'll avoid taking up more space answering them again here,
I take back and apologise for my use of: "piss poor".   I think a less crass but more apt description would be "pathetic and dishonest".  See why below.



other than this one;

"Firstly, who are you to demand that planets supporting life climax to making noise precisely at the same time we figure out how to listen. It took Earth several billions of years to start the party."

they don't have to- there's quite a bit of delay and quite a bit of time the galaxy has been around for those signals to reach us. i.e. in effect we are listening to a time slice of the entire galaxy. Since the time it takes signals to cross the galaxy is dwarfed by the age of the galaxy, the specific origin date of each signal is irrelevant with regards to the probability of 'scoring a hit' and similar to listening to the entire galaxy at one instant.
This is argument is false.  It's cleverly false - devious - using seemingly good technical and statistical arguments to baffle an uneducated audience.  As such it is dishonest and a pathetic attempt to deceive. I don't know if you are the author of the above ideas, or if you have been unknowingly sucked in by it.  Either way it's wrong.

The Milky Way is 100,000–120,000 light-years across.  Earth has only been a "noisy planet" for a few hundred years.  Our own "noise" has hardly penetrated our own galaxy.   If intelligent life on another planet just 500 light years away has been listening out for us, even if they were lucky enough to be focussed and tuned on our point in their sky, they won't have detected us yet - BUT WE ARE HERE!

There are many other limitations to our listening and observation technologies that you conveniently ignore - but the lies you repeat are huge enough to discredit you and your sources.
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Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #176 on: July 01, 2013, 11:24:32 PM »
I agree a world without any challenges sounds great! every day is 72 and sunny, we experience no grief for the passing of loved ones, it doesn't hurt when you put your finger in the fire, trees are made of chocolate...

Or maybe our creator thought this through a little further?...
Your disingenuous simplification is quite demeaning to what is a reasonable observation: The fact that roughly 85% of the Earth's surface is inhospitable to human life undermines your assertion that this planet was "fine tuned" for mankind.

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?
This ^^^ is exactly the point! You continue to claim that having no belief in gods automatically equates to a belief in a "Spontaneous Universe Mechanism", but this is simply not true. Atheism is a blank sheet, as it pertains to the origins of the universe. You claim a god is responsible. I say I have no idea. Which of us is making the positive claim?
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Offline Fiji

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #177 on: July 02, 2013, 01:24:37 AM »
I don't think it was exactly coincidence, again your argument is with the atheist academics, it was THEY who drew that line in the sand-mocked the Big Bang as 'theistic' and rejected it for that reason/ i.e. dogma. It took many decades of direct observational evidence before it was accepted, when Lemaitre was on his death bed and never received much recognition. In stark contrast, theories that support the preferred atheist conclusion are accepted as serious scientific theories the same day they are published, with not only zero evidence, but quite possibly zero chance of ever gathering any. i.e. unfalsifiable. Every institution has it's cultural leanings, it's only human, they may even be right in the end and I'm fine with that, but there is a clearly defined favored conclusion which has clearly led cosmogony astray and delayed progress.

Name a single theory that was instantly accepted as true and never altered to fit new data.
It took from 1927 until the end of WW2 for Big Bang te become the dominant theory, and another decade and a half for the Steady state model to be burried completely. That's some three decades and change ... as entirely novel theories go, that's quite fast. Again, compare this to plate tectonics ... that took nearly half a century to be accepted. 

again 'making God redundant' is Hawking's expressed words re. his 'theories' not mine, take it up with him!

Sure, I'll readily agree that just about all science has made god(s) redundant for that particular phenomenon.
Lightining proved god(s) until science figured lighting out
Rainbows proved god(s) until science figered rainbows out
Disease? Not god(s) but microorganisms.
Mental illness? Not demons created by god(s) but errors in the brain.
Earth? Not god(s) but gravity.
Now Hawking claims that universes can come about on their own. Is he correct? We'll see. For the time being, neither Atheists nor theists can explain where the universe comes from.

the singularity was/is the universe, we are interested in the origins of this amazing object are we not?

And the correct answer right now is "We don't know" ... sure, theists like to say "My particular god did it." But absent any evidence, that's basically a roundabout way of saying "We don't know".

first cause, infinite regression, something from nothing- you know!

Which theism can't explain either, so the correct answer is "We don't know".

given the excruciatingly precise parameters needed for that miracle yes, try plugging random numbers into the physical constants and figuring out what the probability of anything much happening is, far less accidentally creating something that can ponder it's own existence?

Multiverse explains this. Also, once you get our universe, intelligence is pretty much a given.

I had hoped you had more than just the umpteenth rewording of the god-of-the-gaps argument ... alas.
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #178 on: July 02, 2013, 01:57:58 AM »
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?

Without a creative intelligence, and without a purpose in mind.

Ditto.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Samothec

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #179 on: July 02, 2013, 03:10:31 AM »
Here is my tilting at the windmill.

Guybrush Threepwood, you seem to have missed this, so I'll repeat it.
I think the analogy also holds for your last point; many children feel a similar sense of injustice and persecution because they have to stay in and do homework instead of playing all day.
So you are equating the death of between 230 and 310 thousand[1] people in the tsunami on Sunday, December 26, 2004 to having to stay in and do homework? No. It's more like Daddy using a potato peeler to remove most of your foot by slowly shaving it away. Explain how Daddy's actions are good.

You do not need to quote someone's entire post. Edit it down to what you are addressing.

It is possible one could not have enough understanding of science to accept the SNPWGTU[2] (Spontaneous Natural Processes Which Generated The Universe) and be an "aspontaneist". But that is completely separate from being a theist and one can not redefine "theism" as that lack of understanding of the SNPWGTU. I do agree that too many theists don't have that depth of understanding but that is not a guaranteed part of theism. So you are being deceptive when you attempt such redefinitions.

You have tried to use the scientist Georges Lemaître as a champion of theism and you have falsely claimed that his theory was necessarily theistic. Please stop with that crap. Just because someone trying to throw dirt on his theory called it theistic doesn't make it so. Try reading up on the facts of his life which you like to misrepresent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre
He received recognition in his lifetime (contrary to what you claim):
Quote from: Wikipedia
In 1933, when he resumed his theory of the expanding Universe and published a more detailed version in the Annals of the Scientific Society of Brussels, Lemaître would achieve his greatest glory. Newspapers around the world called him a famous Belgian scientist and described him as the leader of the new cosmological physics.
Also, it is his 'hypothesis of the primeval atom'. Please try to get at least the occasional fact correct. Or if you dispute the Wiki article, provide a source that disputes it which we can access and which is not some questionable theist site.
Further, you speak glowingly of Lemaître's theory as if it was completely correct as he initially wrote it. Not quite. He was essential for the creation of the Big Bang Theory but his theory did need a few improvements.
Also, the current scientific theory of the origin of the universe is the Big bang Theory often mistakenly conflated with atheism. Referring to a now defunct cosmological theory as the atheistic theory makes you sound stupid. That is your prerogative of course but not advisable.

Theism (in general) makes no predictions (although a few denominations do predict some sort of armageddon).

Who claimed that tectonic activity was pointless destruction? None of us – that's just you falsely putting words in our mouths.

Clarifying definitions is not playing with them. We don't play with definitions, that's what you have been doing – by your own admission (post 125).

Lack of evidence for spontaneous mechanisms is exactly what made me become skeptical of atheism.
This is quite typical; a lack of understanding resulting in falling back upon the indoctrination of one's childhood.

That chance alone is not sufficient to ultimately account for the world we see around us.
Sigh. This is just another facet of your lack of understanding.

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?
Except you don't actually use a truly blank sheet do you? Otherwise you would not have gone back to theism.

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.
Please provide the link to the site which clearly expounds upon this "general theory of theism". For example, Xianity does not match the "specific event" (singular) – it proposes a series of events (plural) over several days which results in the creation of the universe which clearly contradicts reality. "Made primarily for us" is very questionable as part of a general theism as many of the creation stories feature humans as a secondary aspect – some creatures made by the gods – and this also clearly contradicts reality. Most of the universe is deadly to us in addition to being (nearly) impossible to get to. As for "only species with intelligence enough to ponder it" – again, no – many theistic traditions contain at least one race of gods and often a race of demons who also have such intelligence. We have no definitive evidence on whether this matches reality.
Those weren't atheistic predictions; those were early scientific predictions. You continue to get so many things wrong.

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.
Except your own post refutes the idea of a god: "... 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, ..." So, no god needed to make a universe - just a competent scientist.
 1. numbers from Wiki
 2. Yes, I have made what I feel to be corrections to the acronym.
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #180 on: July 02, 2013, 04:21:25 AM »
Im calling poe...

Offline bertatberts

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #181 on: July 02, 2013, 04:45:03 AM »
Im calling poe...
I'll second that.
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #182 on: July 02, 2013, 06:06:38 AM »
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?

If some form of creative intelligence formed the universe with humans in mind why is it that it will be bugs that inherit the earth?

Quote
In a billion years' time, the heat from the Sun will become so intense, that the oceans start to evaporate
Once you get to this tipping point, you get a lot more water in the atmosphere and because water vapour is a greenhouse gas, that sets this runaway greenhouse effect... and you end up with the Earth heating up to 100C or more plus what we experience today," explained Mr O'Malley James, a PhD student.This, he said, combined with falling levels of oxygen, would lead to the rapid loss of plants and larger animals.

Soon after, a group of microbes called extremophiles would be the only life forms left.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23135934

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #183 on: July 02, 2013, 07:39:22 AM »

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. 


There is literally not enough time in a day to answer all the responses here, and wading through a lot of hostility and insults, I think this post is one of the most thoughtful and interesting here to respond to

You're exactly right, in both cases we face the same apparent paradox don't we? whatever explanation we give raises the question- where did THAT come from?

Consider this; what if an egg created it's own space and time and an intelligent being to occupy it , which then used those resources and it's own insatiable curiosity to investigate the egg from within, reverse engineer it in it's entirety until it was able to reproduce an exact replica.

But don't we still have a chicken and egg paradox? which came first? well what if in recreating the egg.. from the egg itself, you are also recreating time itself, the very dimension necessary for the paradox to apply? Then would you be creating a new copy to exist at a later time? or would you be creating the very same egg you came from at the very same time you came from it?

An extremely simple analogy of course, but ultimately this is why my money would be on an intelligent agent, it's the only phenomena which can crack that persistent paradox of self generation, infinite regression, etc. something which is ultimately natural in origin yet thoroughly unnatural in it's capacity to create what 'nature' alone never can... itself
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 07:42:07 AM by Guybrush Threepwood »

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #184 on: July 02, 2013, 07:49:23 AM »
An extremely simple analogy of course, but ultimately this is why my money would be on an intelligent agent, it's the only phenomena which can crack that persistent paradox of self generation, infinite regression, etc. something which is ultimately natural in origin yet thoroughly unnatural in it's capacity to create what 'nature' alone never can... itself

Unless the universe started with something very simple and dumb, and has become more complex by evolution and iteration. In which case, God may be its goal, not the start point. This neatly accounts for why God doesn't exist yet.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #185 on: July 02, 2013, 08:42:44 AM »
Unless the universe started with something very simple and dumb, and has become more complex by evolution and iteration. In which case, God may be its goal, not the start point. This neatly accounts for why God doesn't exist yet.

Or perhaps both the goal and the starting point and simultaneously every point therein.
 
The egg, or singularity was in effect a self extracting archive of information was it not?, information organized in such a way as to determine the construction of a consciousness with which to literally ponder itself... which is a little interesting to say the least, not the sort if result you're likely to get from any old random collection of stuff.

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #186 on: July 02, 2013, 08:54:44 AM »
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?

Without a creative intelligence, and without a purpose in mind.

OK, that's the assertion I'm talking about, which is fine, in the absence of proof we all believe in something- my point was that we should all acknowledge our belief, faith whatever you label it. Nobody can lay claim to any 'default' answer for how universes are usually created can they?

Let me ask you also, if it turned out that we were in fact alone, that the universe was just large enough to harbor a single intelligent species, would this shake your belief at all, or could you write this off as yet one more staggering coincidence?

Offline Dante

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #187 on: July 02, 2013, 09:08:12 AM »
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?

Without a creative intelligence, and without a purpose in mind.

OK, that's the assertion I'm talking about, which is fine, in the absence of proof we all believe in something- my point was that we should all acknowledge our belief, faith whatever you label it. Nobody can lay claim to any 'default' answer for how universes are usually created can they?

We've never witnessed any need for gods in any aspect of nature, so why presume we need one for the beginning of our natural universe? Simply because you can't fathom it?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #188 on: July 02, 2013, 09:21:54 AM »
The egg, or singularity was in effect a self extracting archive of information was it not?, information organized in such a way as to determine the construction of a consciousness with which to literally ponder itself... which is a little interesting to say the least, not the sort if result you're likely to get from any old random collection of stuff.


It's not random. And there is a distinct "anthropic principle" about it. That is to say, it's equally plausible that vertebrate life could have evolved without conscious self-awareness, but would not be aware that it had been evolved. Anyway, the evolution of life on this planet has shown us how complex things can self-create, merely because "life" hangs on, because it finds a way. We can't ignore this example. The universe may be simply hanging on, and changing in accordance with some energy rules; becoming more complex, to accidentally defeat its own death. The very act of escaping a predator, seems to create complexity. There, I've said it, the universe has a predator.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #189 on: July 02, 2013, 09:34:23 AM »
Guybrush:  One of the reasons you're getting as much hostility as you are is because you keep insisting that atheists have to have 'faith' in what they 'believe'.  The thrust of your posts has essentially been in that direction since I started reading them, and probably before that.  You keep saying you want to have a discussion, but how it's coming across is that you want to set theism and atheism equivalent to each other in terms of 'faith', even though atheism isn't about faith in the first place.  You keep coining terms such as "universe-creating mechanisms" and then insisting that atheists have faith in them, just as theists have faith in God.

Frankly, that's an insulting position to take.  Is it any wonder that you've been getting a lot of hostility back?  If you want to have a real discussion here, the first thing you need to do is stop assuming you know atheism better than atheists, and stop presenting your own opinions about what atheism is as statements of fact.  Both of those essentially treat atheists like they're dishonest unless they agree with you, whether you realize it or not.  If even a non-atheist like me (I coined the term 'apatheist', someone who is apathetic about whether there are gods, for myself a while back) is picking up on this, then what does that say about the actual atheists here?

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #190 on: July 02, 2013, 09:35:04 AM »
Quote
We've never witnessed any need for gods in any aspect of nature, so why presume we need one for the beginning of our natural universe? Simply because you can't fathom it?

I don't presume but deduce as a best guess.

precisely because, nature isn't an aspect of nature is it? I think presuming that the laws of nature can be fully accounted for by those same laws is a fundamentally paradoxical fallacy, as it would be to presume that the code that operates this website wrote itself.

because I can't fathom a natural explanation ? no I can't and neither can anybody else.

to use an atheist favorite analogy;
If you asked me to explain a watch existing without any creative intelligence involved in it's creation- I'd be forced into the following options

1. It just always existed so cannot have had a creator intelligent or otherwise (static universe)
2. The watch contains an automated mechanism to recreate itself in an endless cycle (big crunch)

once these two are debunked by scientific observation, my last options are even more desperate

3. It's the product of an invisible unfalsifiable infinite probability machine which produced this watch
along with an infinite number of other possible objects... oh and that machine made itself also (Hawking)

4. it was the product of a machine which just happens by coincidence to make watches, which is as probable an outcome as any random outcome and if it didn't we wouldn't be talking about it (Krauss).

The last two can never be falsified of course, in which sense they must always be 'possible' even if inherently unscientific. Just as they are possible explanations for the watch on my wrist right now, I think the question becomes; regardless of our preferences, are they the most likely answers?



Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #191 on: July 02, 2013, 09:41:38 AM »

OK, that's the assertion I'm talking about, which is fine, in the absence of proof we all believe in something- my point was that we should all acknowledge our belief, faith whatever you label it. Nobody can lay claim to any 'default' answer for how universes are usually created can they?

Let me ask you also, if it turned out that we were in fact alone, that the universe was just large enough to harbor a single intelligent species, would this shake your belief at all, or could you write this off as yet one more staggering coincidence?

Theists just have to have faith (which I guess is fine), then they have to run around insisting that everyone else have faith, even if it disagrees with yours. How often do atheists have to tell you: our point of view LACKS faith, it doesn't just realign it.

Faith is not a necessary component of existence at the theological/non-theological level. Well, it is for the first part, but not for those of us who don't have any reason to think there is a god. There aren't any non-gods out there demanding we have said faith.

It is one thing for you to not be able to understand how someone could possible be without such faith, fine. But please just learn to accept it. I know many a person of faith, and I know how they think and feel about their god in their day to days lives. I know about their small prayers and their wishes about heaven and many other ways that their faith affects their life. As an atheist, there is no equivalent. When my father was slowly dying a few years ago, I did not once non-pray for him, just like I didn't pray. I didn't say "He's in a better place now", nor did I say he isn't. I was relieved that his suffering was over and that was that. Not counting the tears. But in any case, it was the lack of a god that kept me from doing religious stuff during his illness and after his death, not my faith in the non-existence of a god, and not my acceptance of the generic accuracy of science as we understand things today.

A person of faith has a hell of a time accepting new information, because finding out that the earth orbits the sun mucks up their tiny, preconceived, poorly described world big time. And though the religious have, in many cases, learned to accept the scientific knowledge that flies in the face of their beliefs and their bible, they nonetheless hold on the those needed components of belief, regardless of evidence, regardless of the contradictions.

Those of us who have decided that the god stories are a bunch of bull don't need to find another case of bull to replace them. Exactly like Santa, we just say "Oh" when we find out and let it go. We don't go running to the Easter Bunny for support.

Science changes daily. Literally. New research and new findings and new theories replace the antiquated, antiquated often meaning stuff discovered last year. I'd have a hell of a time using current scientific knowledge as the basis for some sort of limiting "faith" system, because I'd either have to come up with a new faith weekly or hold to my old one and ignore all new knowledge that seemed contradictory.

I'd need faith for that. I don't have any

And that is exactly why believers need faith. They've got nothing, and they are trying to build their lives around that nothingness. When all the evidence flies in the face of what they hope to be true, they have to/get to fall back on their faith and their belief.

We atheists merely say "oh."  Or "Wow" if that is more appropriate.

If you have to have faith that we have faith, get used to us flipping you the finger every time you say it.

By the way, if it turned out that earth has the only life in the universe, I'd be surprised. But I have no faith to be shaken. I'd be astonished, but I have no faith to be shaken.

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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #192 on: July 02, 2013, 09:55:03 AM »
Guybrush:  One of the reasons you're getting as much hostility as you are is because you keep insisting that atheists have to have 'faith' in what they 'believe'.  The thrust of your posts has essentially been in that direction since I started reading them, and probably before that.  You keep saying you want to have a discussion, but how it's coming across is that you want to set theism and atheism equivalent to each other in terms of 'faith', even though atheism isn't about faith in the first place.  You keep coining terms such as "universe-creating mechanisms" and then insisting that atheists have faith in them, just as theists have faith in God.

Frankly, that's an insulting position to take.  Is it any wonder that you've been getting a lot of hostility back?  If you want to have a real discussion here, the first thing you need to do is stop assuming you know atheism better than atheists, and stop presenting your own opinions about what atheism is as statements of fact.  Both of those essentially treat atheists like they're dishonest unless they agree with you, whether you realize it or not.  If even a non-atheist like me (I coined the term 'apatheist', someone who is apathetic about whether there are gods, for myself a while back) is picking up on this, then what does that say about the actual atheists here?

certainly no insult intended, I am by your definition an apatheist also, which is why I don't throw personal insults at atheists, I have no problem with atheism as a belief system along with all the others, and I have no problem at all with a universe accidentally blundering itself into existence for no particular reason. I don't think that belief makes anybody pathetic dishonest or irrational. I'm just skeptical of that particular assertion.


Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #193 on: July 02, 2013, 10:00:04 AM »
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?

Without a creative intelligence, and without a purpose in mind.

OK, that's the assertion I'm talking about, which is fine, in the absence of proof we all believe in something- my point was that we should all acknowledge our belief, faith whatever you label it. Nobody can lay claim to any 'default' answer for how universes are usually created can they?

Goodness, me, you DO like to mix and match the meanings of faith and belief, don't you? 

If I had to bet one way or the other, as I've said, I'd bet on "no intelligence, no purpose", because I've seen not a single piece of evidence that suggests otherwise.  Same as if you said "would you bet there was a spider sitting on your keyboard right now", I'd bet "no". 

Now YOU seem to want to suggest that my betting on the non-existent spider is somehow a position of belief, a position of faith.  But as I've said earlier in this thread (a point you missed, or ignored), you are therefore labelling EVERY position as one of belief, or faith - which makes the terms meaningless.

Maybe you should consider why you find it so important that our position is a "belief" in the same way as that of the theist?

Let me ask you also, if it turned out that we were in fact alone, that the universe was just large enough to harbor a single intelligent species, would this shake your belief at all, or could you write this off as yet one more staggering coincidence?

Just large enough?  You mean, if the stars really WERE points of light in a firmament just a few hundred yards away?  In that case, yes it would, because it would mean that every single carefully refined test we had, was being fooled.  It would be hard NOT to see the malevolent hand of a trickster creator in such an event.

Otherwise, I don't understand the question.  "just large enough to harbour (mankind)"?  In the billions of light-years and galaxies there are?  Nope, I can't even begin to understand what you are on about there.

If all you mean is "in all the universe, there is only US": then nope.  That wouldn't make me feel any more the special snowflake created by a designer - in fact, quite the reverse, because it would then raise the questions about what all the rest of the billions of galaxies are FOR - when so much of earth is inhospitable to human life.  I would wonder why a designer SO interested in man that he made man only once, would make man so fragile; would make his environment so hostile; and spend so much time and effort on "everywhere else".
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #194 on: July 02, 2013, 10:01:55 AM »
.....I have no problem with atheism as a belief system along with all the others.....

Incredible.  Having just had it explained why that is considered insulting, you say it yet again.

Okay, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, as the saying goes.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Astreja

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #195 on: July 02, 2013, 10:08:25 AM »
Let me ask you also, if it turned out that we were in fact alone, that the universe was just large enough to harbor a single intelligent species, would this shake your belief at all, or could you write this off as yet one more staggering coincidence?

Interesting scenario.  I think the probability of your hypothetical situation is vanishingly small, but if that proved to be the case it wouldn't lead Me to to automatically think that the universe was made for humans by a god.  On the contrary, I would start to suspect that our data was wrong, or that this was all an illusion and that we were dreaming such a universe.

It simply does not make sense for the stuff of life (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon) to be so plentiful and the stars so numerous, and yet have life on only one planet.  If it were set in motion by a god, it's an incredible waste of resources and potential and I would have to conclude that the god in question was flippin' insane to set things up that way.

Quote
OK, that's the assertion I'm talking about, which is fine, in the absence of proof we all believe in something- my point was that we should all acknowledge our belief, faith whatever you label it. Nobody can lay claim to any 'default' answer for how universes are usually created can they?

Guy, why is it that you (and so many other believers) claim that non-believers' skepticism must somehow be an act of faith?  Such equivocation broadens the definition of the word "faith" so much as to render it useless for discussion purposes, and it looks suspiciously like a tu quoque fallacy as well.

As for default answers, I'm sticking with the lack of evidence and with the parsimony principle and using "no creative intelligence" as My default.  I think that we will eventually find that universes don't actually need gods to generate and maintain them.  You can what-if till the cows come home, but I see no reason that we should take your hypotheses seriously until and unless you give us some actual data to go with the suppositions.
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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #196 on: July 02, 2013, 10:10:40 AM »
A person of faith has a hell of a time accepting new information, because finding out that the earth orbits the sun mucks up their tiny, preconceived, poorly described world big time.

replace 'earth orbits the sun' with 'universe began with a specific creation event'
and this describes Hoyle perfectly does it not?, he refused to accept the truth right up till his death not so long ago despite decades of overwhelming evidence

Hawking who was very fond of his Big crunch was one of the last to accept the evidence of supernovae measurements which showed the universe to be expanding indefinitely... and openly admitted his prejudice afterwards

None of us have proof of the ultimate answer, which means all of us have beliefs, it's not a weakness, it's a strength, it doesn't make you or I irrational, it makes us human, curious, inspired, that's what leads us to truth.

The only blind faith is one which does not recognize itself

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #197 on: July 02, 2013, 10:23:37 AM »
A person of faith has a hell of a time accepting new information, because finding out that the earth orbits the sun mucks up their tiny, preconceived, poorly described world big time.

replace 'earth orbits the sun' with 'universe began with a specific creation event'
and this describes Hoyle perfectly does it not?, he refused to accept the truth right up till his death not so long ago despite decades of overwhelming evidence

Hawking who was very fond of his Big crunch was one of the last to accept the evidence of supernovae measurements which showed the universe to be expanding indefinitely... and openly admitted his prejudice afterwards

None of us have proof of the ultimate answer, which means all of us have beliefs, it's not a weakness, it's a strength, it doesn't make you or I irrational, it makes us human, curious, inspired, that's what leads us to truth.

The only blind faith is one which does not recognize itself

WHAT PART OF "THE BIG BANG IS A THEORY THAT IS ONE OF THE POSSIBILITIES AND WE ACCEPT IT AS CURRENTLY PLAUSIBLE BUT NOT AS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH" DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

WHAT PART OF "SCIENCE IS NOT THE REASON I AM AN ATHEIST" DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?
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Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #198 on: July 02, 2013, 10:28:20 AM »

It simply does not make sense for the stuff of life (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon) to be so plentiful and the stars so numerous, and yet have life on only one planet.  If it were set in motion by a god, it's an incredible waste of resources and potential and I would have to conclude that the god in question was flippin' insane to set things up that way.

This falls under the 'I wouldn't do it that way if I were God, so there is no God' rationale.

which is an entirely subjective argument,

Personally, considering that my entire universe self extracts from a fraction of a gram of matter + information, where for the same 'price'  I have the choice  between an isolated planet in a small dull Truman Show dome...
or a vast inspiring cosmos to fill beings with awe and provide endless exploration, I'd go for the latter-
and consider the former flippin insane, a huge waste of potential and woefully lacking in imagination, altogether ungodlike behaviour.- but again that's just me!

I might even provide a giant improbable satellite scaled to perfectly mask the disc of the sun, revealing otherwise hidden secrets of the universe- or do you think that might be giving the game away too much?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #199 on: July 02, 2013, 10:36:53 AM »
.....all of us have beliefs, it's not a weakness, it's a strength.....

I believe there is/is not a god.

I believe there is a keyboard under my fingers.

Are those beliefs equivalent?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #200 on: July 02, 2013, 10:43:12 AM »


WHAT PART OF "THE BIG BANG IS A THEORY THAT IS ONE OF THE POSSIBILITIES AND WE ACCEPT IT AS CURRENTLY PLAUSIBLE BUT NOT AS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH" DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

WHAT PART OF "SCIENCE IS NOT THE REASON I AM AN ATHEIST" DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

I thought I was the one that was supposed to be yelling my irrational beliefs at people, and the atheist the calm collected scientific mind. Are you saying you doubt the science showing the universe beginning in a specific creation event? I agree there is a lot of guesswork in cosmology, but not withstanding some grand illusion, this one is pretty well established at this point?

science is certainly the basis of my belief, out of interest; what's the basis of yours?

Offline Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #201 on: July 02, 2013, 10:46:18 AM »
.....all of us have beliefs, it's not a weakness, it's a strength.....

I believe there is/is not a god.

I believe there is a keyboard under my fingers.

Are those beliefs equivalent?

with regards, as I said, to the ultimate answer, no they're not.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Evidence
« Reply #202 on: July 02, 2013, 10:47:52 AM »
Guy, why is it that you (and so many other believers) claim that non-believers' skepticism must somehow be an act of faith?  Such equivocation broadens the definition of the word "faith" so much as to render it useless for discussion purposes, and it looks suspiciously like a tu quoque fallacy as well.
Removing any consistent meaning of the word 'faith', I believe, is the point of the equivocation.  That way it can be held up as a virtue under any and all circumstances.  It is the ultimate weasel word.  It is the one word in the English language that has more flexibility than 'f**k'.
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