Author Topic: Why are scientists afraid of god?  (Read 20257 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #522 on: January 16, 2014, 12:45:11 PM »
That's not quite accurate, Hatter.  A fallacious ad hominem is when you reject an argument based on some irrelevant thing (good or bad) about the person making the argument.  For example, rejecting someone's position on something because they have glasses would be a particularly egregious example.  For it not to be a fallacy, you have to show that the thing is relevant and tied to the argument the person is making.

For example, if you had someone accused of a crime, and his parents tried to argue that he wasn't guilty because he was a good and dutiful son, you could reject their argument because the parents' opinion of their son wasn't really relevant to whether he could have actually committed the crime[1].  Whereas if his parents said instead that he couldn't have committed the crime because he was eating dinner with them at the time the crime was committed, you couldn't dismiss it on the basis of them being his parents unless you could show that they were lying on his behalf or something like that.
 1. not to mention that they're committing an ad hominem of their own in rejecting the possibility of their son having committed the crime due to the fact that he was their son

I'm goig to disagree. Ad Hom is always about an insult to discredit what a person is saying. It falls under the broader heading of Non Sequitur, but one so common that it gets its own title.

The issue at hand here is this is no longer an Ad Hom because it is no longer a Non Sequtiur. The evidence that the person is of dubious credentials and prone to intellectual dishonesty means that the person can be considered to be an authority. Therefore, this evidence would convert a fallacy free statement into an appeal to authority.

To use your glasses example, to reject a person's argument as they were a "Just a four eyes" would be wrong. However were they making a statement that would have required shard eyesight "I could see him in his car at the bottom of the ravine when I had just gotten out of the swimming pool" then it is no longer an Ad hom fallacy.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #523 on: January 16, 2014, 01:14:41 PM »
No, that's a personal attack, when you substitute abusive remarks for evidence against whatever they're claiming.  An ad hominem is more general than that - a substitution of some claim about the person for evidence against what they're claiming.  So, personal attacks are a category of ad hominems, but you can use an ad hominem without it turning into a personal attack, such as the parents in my earlier example claiming that their son couldn't have committed a crime because he's a good and dutiful son.

To use your glasses example, to reject a person's argument as they were a "Just a four eyes" would be wrong. However were they making a statement that would have required shard eyesight "I could see him in his car at the bottom of the ravine when I had just gotten out of the swimming pool" then it is no longer an Ad hom fallacy.
If you demonstrated under similar conditions that they could not have made such an identification - someone who wears glasses could be farsighted, for example.  But you wouldn't have to call them a "four-eyes" for it to be an ad hominem fallacy, since ad hominems don't necessarily have to be insults or personal attacks.  Talking about how a guy gives to charities to refute accusations of him being an embezzler would also be an ad hominem, though it wouldn't be a personal attack.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #524 on: January 16, 2014, 02:50:28 PM »
No, that's a personal attack, when you substitute abusive remarks for evidence against whatever they're claiming.  An ad hominem is more general than that - a substitution of some claim about the person for evidence against what they're claiming.  So, personal attacks are a category of ad hominems, but you can use an ad hominem without it turning into a personal attack, such as the parents in my earlier example claiming that their son couldn't have committed a crime because he's a good and dutiful son.

To use your glasses example, to reject a person's argument as they were a "Just a four eyes" would be wrong. However were they making a statement that would have required shard eyesight "I could see him in his car at the bottom of the ravine when I had just gotten out of the swimming pool" then it is no longer an Ad hom fallacy.
If you demonstrated under similar conditions that they could not have made such an identification - someone who wears glasses could be farsighted, for example.  But you wouldn't have to call them a "four-eyes" for it to be an ad hominem fallacy, since ad hominems don't necessarily have to be insults or personal attacks.  Talking about how a guy gives to charities to refute accusations of him being an embezzler would also be an ad hominem, though it wouldn't be a personal attack.

Thank you, I do stand corrected regarding the personal attack being the only  form of ad hom issue. Embarrassing, yes, but that temporary embarrassment is nothing compared to me continuing being wrong.

Though it is funny, that this exact issue...when is an ad hom no longer a fallacy...is such a common philosophical dispute that the wiki article on ad hom mentions it.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #525 on: January 16, 2014, 05:02:07 PM »
As an academic myself, I have a problem with some guy passing himself off as an authority in a field if he really does not have the credentials. It's one thing if you say you are self-educated on a topic, and here is what you think based on what you have read. Fair enough, we judge you on the merits of your argument.

But if you call yourself a Doctor of something or other, there is an expectation that you have completed doctoral research and have passed some rather rigorous educational standards. Your work was reviewed and critiqued by other scholars in the field, for example, not just approved by some people who already like you and agree with you.

That is one of the things that the "scholars" of the Discovery Institute and Reasons to Believe either don't understand, ignore or pretend don't matter. You have to incorporate the critiques of those in your field who disagree with you, and show why your ideas still hold up. Real researchers or academics want people to pick their ideas apart.  The creationists never, ever allow this. They never present papers at real symposia or conferences, only at religious ones where everyone already agrees.

When they do try to submit papers to legit journals, they generally get rejected because they refuse to meet the most basic criteria for a research paper. Like do some actual research.... &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Spinner198

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #526 on: January 17, 2014, 05:56:53 AM »
The problem is that the pre-supposition that "Mankind is all there is." is made a priori to the conclusion of "There simply can't be a god because mankind is all there is."

There is no point to such a pre-supposition aside from scientists fearing the easy way out by saying "God just did it." and if they are already secular enough to believe God doesn't exist at all I see no point in writing off a creator prior to observations in the first place. It only serves as a tool for scientists to write off such explanations as 'non-scientific'. It is pretty much just a means to an end for secular science to dominate the playing field while they can just write off non-secular science as merely 'not science'.

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #527 on: January 17, 2014, 06:05:35 AM »
There is no secular science. There is no non-secular science. There is no Christian science. There is science. That is all.
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #528 on: January 17, 2014, 06:21:03 AM »
There is no secular science. There is no non-secular science. There is no Christian science. There is science. That is all.
So then why can't science accept a supernatural cause? Even in the areas where a supernatural cause would make more sense than a natural one? Are they inclined to make new findings fit into their pre-suppositions/older models?

Offline One Above All

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #529 on: January 17, 2014, 06:22:54 AM »
Even in the areas where a supernatural cause would make more sense than a natural one?

Really? And what would those be?
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #530 on: January 17, 2014, 06:24:15 AM »
Really? And what would those be?

I second this, speak up.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #531 on: January 17, 2014, 06:28:06 AM »
There is no secular science. There is no non-secular science. There is no Christian science. There is science. That is all.
So then why can't science accept a supernatural cause? Even in the areas where a supernatural cause would make more sense than a natural one? Are they inclined to make new findings fit into their pre-suppositions/older models?

Science has nothing to say on supernatural causes (whatever that means). Science is methodologically naturalistic. Seriously, you need to brush up on what science is because you are showing your ignorance of it here.

What is a "supernatural cause? - Do you have an example?
When does a "supernatural cause" make more sense than a natural one?
What is your method for falsifying supernatural claims?
What is your method for gauging the probability of a "supernatural cause" compared to a natural cause?
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #532 on: January 17, 2014, 06:35:10 AM »
Even in the areas where a supernatural cause would make more sense than a natural one?

Really? And what would those be?
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life. Lots of things that could change only minutely that would make like impossible, on our specific universe as well as among universal things like atoms. If it seems to be tuned for life, then the most reasonable conclusion is that it was. Origin/existence as well, it can easily be explained with a creator but can't be explained at all with naturalism.

The problem is that it wouldn't seem that way for the people who a priori accepted the 'fact' that the existence of a creator would be absolutely impossible.

There is no secular science. There is no non-secular science. There is no Christian science. There is science. That is all.
So then why can't science accept a supernatural cause? Even in the areas where a supernatural cause would make more sense than a natural one? Are they inclined to make new findings fit into their pre-suppositions/older models?

Science has nothing to say on supernatural causes (whatever that means). Science is methodologically naturalistic. Seriously, you need to brush up on what science is because you are showing your ignorance of it here.
So then you accept that science is inherently secular, right?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 06:37:01 AM by Spinner198 »

Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #533 on: January 17, 2014, 06:37:38 AM »
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life.

Excluding the F-ton of things that say the opposite?

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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #534 on: January 17, 2014, 06:39:01 AM »
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life. Lots of things that could change only minutely that would make like impossible, on our specific universe as well as among universal things like atoms. If it seems to be tuned for life, then the most reasonable conclusion is that it was. Origin/existence as well, it can easily be explained with a creator but can't be explained at all with naturalism.

The problem is that it wouldn't seem that way for the people who a priori accepted the 'fact' that the existence of a creator would be absolutely impossible.

Sure, the Universe seems fine-tuned for life... if you ignore the fact that most of it is empty space, or too cold or too hot, or lacks the resources to support life as we know it (water and sunlight being two of them).
If you had actually studied the Universe, you'd know why your statement is utter bullshit.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #535 on: January 17, 2014, 06:46:10 AM »
Not only is the universe incapable of supporting life[1]. So is over 70 percent of the Earth's surface. 
 1. the vast majority

Offline Spinner198

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #536 on: January 17, 2014, 06:50:24 AM »
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life.

Excluding the F-ton of things that say the opposite?
Often times atheists forget that creationists don't just argue that everything we observe can only be explained via the supernatural, but instead that we believe that both the natural and the supernatural exist and explanations can have either as an ultimate answer. If something can be explained naturally better than supernaturally (aka: drop an apple, it falls because of gravity) it doesn't refute a creationist's standpoint at all. We believe in both the natural and supernatural and can therefore accept either answer, while naturalism can only accept one and must accept it even under the circumstance that the other would make more sense.

Not only is the universe incapable of supporting life[1]. So is over 70 percent of the Earth's surface.
 1. the vast majority
If the universe is incapable of supporting life, then I guess science doesn't have to explain the enigma that is the origin of life, does it?

Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #537 on: January 17, 2014, 06:54:06 AM »
Often times atheists forget that creationists don't just argue that everything we observe can only be explained via the supernatural, but instead that we believe that both the natural and the supernatural exist and explanations can have either as an ultimate answer. If something can be explained naturally better than supernaturally (aka: drop an apple, it falls because of gravity) it doesn't refute a creationist's standpoint at all. We believe in both the natural and supernatural and can therefore accept either answer, while naturalism can only accept one and must accept it even under the circumstance that the other would make more sense.

So are you saying that creationists intentionally accept supernatural stuff that has 0 proof, just because there is no natural counterpart?
That does not lead society very far.

If the universe is incapable of supporting life, then I guess science doesn't have to explain the enigma that is the origin of life, does it?

Read the find print saying "vast majority".
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Offline Spinner198

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #538 on: January 17, 2014, 06:58:14 AM »
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life. Lots of things that could change only minutely that would make like impossible, on our specific universe as well as among universal things like atoms. If it seems to be tuned for life, then the most reasonable conclusion is that it was. Origin/existence as well, it can easily be explained with a creator but can't be explained at all with naturalism.

The problem is that it wouldn't seem that way for the people who a priori accepted the 'fact' that the existence of a creator would be absolutely impossible.

Sure, the Universe seems fine-tuned for life... if you ignore the fact that most of it is empty space, or too cold or too hot, or lacks the resources to support life as we know it (water and sunlight being two of them).
If you had actually studied the Universe, you'd know why your statement is utter bullshit.
Once again, there are universal traits that support life (such as the distance of the bond between electrons and protons) as well as relatively nearby traits (such as distance from the sun, distance from the moon, etc.).

Often times atheists forget that creationists don't just argue that everything we observe can only be explained via the supernatural, but instead that we believe that both the natural and the supernatural exist and explanations can have either as an ultimate answer. If something can be explained naturally better than supernaturally (aka: drop an apple, it falls because of gravity) it doesn't refute a creationist's standpoint at all. We believe in both the natural and supernatural and can therefore accept either answer, while naturalism can only accept one and must accept it even under the circumstance that the other would make more sense.

So are you saying that creationists intentionally accept supernatural stuff that has 0 proof, just because there is no natural counterpart?
That does not lead society very far.

If the universe is incapable of supporting life, then I guess science doesn't have to explain the enigma that is the origin of life, does it?

Read the find print saying "vast majority".
I am saying that creationists don't just a priori deny a supernatural cause for no reason like a secular atheist would.

Why does the amount matter? Once again, if we are working within the area of the teachings of creationism. God put us on this earth and nowhere else (as Jesus visited this planet, no other), so a universe where the 'vast majority' doesn't support life also makes sense, as this planet is the only place that it is required.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #539 on: January 17, 2014, 06:59:22 AM »
Once again, there are universal traits that support life (such as the distance of the bond between electrons and protons) as well as relatively nearby traits (such as distance from the sun, distance from the moon, etc.).

Ignoring the counter evidence. I'll take that as an admission that you're wrong.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #540 on: January 17, 2014, 07:02:00 AM »
There is no secular science. There is no non-secular science. There is no Christian science. There is science. That is all.
So then why can't science accept a supernatural cause? Even in the areas where a supernatural cause would make more sense than a natural one? Are they inclined to make new findings fit into their pre-suppositions/older models?

Science has nothing to say on supernatural causes (whatever that means). Science is methodologically naturalistic. Seriously, you need to brush up on what science is because you are showing your ignorance of it here.
So then you accept that science is inherently secular, right?

Noooooo...... science is inherently naturalistic.

Any chance of answering the questions you have cut off?
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #541 on: January 17, 2014, 07:04:25 AM »
I am saying that creationists don't just a priori deny a supernatural cause for no reason like a secular atheist would.

Unless there is evidence for the supernatural (of which there is not), there is zero reason to believe in it.

Why does the amount matter? Once again, if we are working within the area of the teachings of creationism. God put us on this earth and nowhere else (as Jesus visited this planet, no other), so a universe where the 'vast majority' doesn't support life also makes sense, as this planet is the only place that it is required.

Well hey, while we are at it, no other religion says that the rest of the universe is super happy life land, so they must be right too? Right?

Edit: What capital Z? I don't see any 9_9
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 07:07:11 AM by Angus and Alexis »
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #542 on: January 17, 2014, 07:05:46 AM »
Unless there is evidence for the supernatural (of which there is not), there is Zero reason to believe in it.

Hey, don't bring up Zero. He's got nothing to do with this.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #543 on: January 17, 2014, 07:06:49 AM »
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life. Lots of things that could change only minutely that would make like impossible, on our specific universe as well as among universal things like atoms. If it seems to be tuned for life, then the most reasonable conclusion is that it was. Origin/existence as well, it can easily be explained with a creator but can't be explained at all with naturalism.

The problem is that it wouldn't seem that way for the people who a priori accepted the 'fact' that the existence of a creator would be absolutely impossible.

Ah, the fine-tuned arguments own Euthyphro dilemma - is what is fine-tuned commanded by God because it is fine-tuned, or is it fine-tuned because it is commanded by God?
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Offline Dante

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #544 on: January 17, 2014, 07:43:37 AM »
God put us on this earth and nowhere else (as Jesus visited this planet, no other), so a universe where the 'vast majority' doesn't support life also makes sense, as this planet is the only place that it is required.

May I ask, what would you think if we found life on other planets or moons? Would you then become atheist? Or, would you hand wave it away and continue thinking that your god did it?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #545 on: January 17, 2014, 08:42:12 AM »
There is no secular science. There is no non-secular science. There is no Christian science. There is science. That is all.
So then why can't science accept a supernatural cause? Even in the areas where a supernatural cause would make more sense than a natural one? Are they inclined to make new findings fit into their pre-suppositions/older models?

Because "magic man did it," "ghosts caused it," and "elves made it" have no evidence or predictive power. Every supernatural cause postulated in the history of man, when it could be invalidated, has been invalidated....so where is the 'more sense' in using one?
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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

Offline screwtape

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #546 on: January 17, 2014, 10:43:25 AM »
Hi Spinner

If you could answer these questions, it would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.


Science has nothing to say on supernatural causes (whatever that means). Science is methodologically naturalistic. Seriously, you need to brush up on what science is because you are showing your ignorance of it here.

What is a "supernatural cause? - Do you have an example?
When does a "supernatural cause" make more sense than a natural one?
What is your method for falsifying supernatural claims?
What is your method for gauging the probability of a "supernatural cause" compared to a natural cause?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #547 on: January 17, 2014, 11:13:42 AM »
The problem is that the pre-supposition that "Mankind is all there is." is made a priori to the conclusion of "There simply can't be a god because mankind is all there is."
I don't know who you're thinking is making this conclusion.  I'm certainly not, and I highly doubt any competent scientist would.  The idea that gods don't exist came about because of the lack of evidence for such gods, nothing more and nothing less. 

Quote from: Spinner198
There is no point to such a pre-supposition aside from scientists fearing the easy way out by saying "God just did it."
That isn't the "easy way out", that's the lazy way out.  Claiming that a god did something without investigating it is nothing but an excuse.  It wasn't even particularly excusable in ancient times; it certainly is not excusable now, with our far superior level of knowledge about the way the universe works.

Quote from: Spinner198
and if they are already secular enough to believe God doesn't exist at all I see no point in writing off a creator prior to observations in the first place. It only serves as a tool for scientists to write off such explanations as 'non-scientific'. It is pretty much just a means to an end for secular science to dominate the playing field while they can just write off non-secular science as merely 'not science'.
You really don't understand why scientists refuse to make the assumption that a god or gods were responsible for something, do you?  The reason is because scientists want to figure out how something happened.  Saying that a god did it, without evidence, doesn't tell you anything about that at all.  It would be like if I put a computer together for someone, and someone else asked how the computer was put together.  What good would it tell them that I had done it, especially if they had no way to get in touch with me to ask me how I had done it?

It's a hundred times worse than that when you start claiming a god was responsible for something, because that's an a priori presupposition too, used to justify the existence of a god despite the lack of evidence pointing to one.  So scientists don't make either - they don't assume either way.  They just try to figure out how things happen, and use what they discover to draw conclusions about what might have caused it.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #548 on: January 17, 2014, 11:37:35 AM »
Not only is {the vast majority of} the universe incapable of supporting life. So is over 70 percent of the Earth's surface.

And Winnipeg is a bit iffy in the "fine tuning" department. If there's a god controlling our weather it's must be a trickster extraordinaire.  -50C windchills one moment, mosquitoes the next.  *sigh*
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Offline Boots

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #549 on: January 17, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life. Lots of things that could change only minutely that would make like impossible, on our specific universe as well as among universal things like atoms. If it seems to be tuned for life, then the most reasonable conclusion is that it was. Origin/existence as well, it can easily be explained with a creator but can't be explained at all with naturalism.

The problem is that it wouldn't seem that way for the people who a priori accepted the 'fact' that the existence of a creator would be absolutely impossible.

Spinner,
if you turned on a TV and got static 99.9% of the time, and saw a chanel 0.01% of the time, would you say that TV is "finely tuned" to recieve that chanel?
Ah, the fine-tuned arguments own Euthyphro dilemma - is what is fine-tuned commanded by God because it is fine-tuned, or is it fine-tuned because it is commanded by God?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why are scientists afraid of god?
« Reply #550 on: January 17, 2014, 11:47:23 AM »
I dunno, the universe seems fine tuned to support life. Lots of things that could change only minutely that would make like impossible, on our specific universe as well as among universal things like atoms. If it seems to be tuned for life, then the most reasonable conclusion is that it was. Origin/existence as well, it can easily be explained with a creator but can't be explained at all with naturalism.
Really, the universe is fine-tuned for life?  So you've tried to breathe vacuum lately, then?  Just came up from diving in a black hole or the Sun's photosphere, perhaps?  I'm trying not to be rude here, but you don't really know what you're talking about.

What you actually mean is that Earth is "fine-tuned" for life[1].  The universe itself is not fine-tuned for life; life is a byproduct of the way the universe is set up.  Most of the universe is empty space.  Even in the solar system, with all the 'clutter' here, there's far more space than stuff.  For example, there's 54.6 million kilometers between Earth and Mars at closest approach.  To give you an idea of just how far that is, the distance between New York and Los Angeles is just shy of 4,000 kilometers.  You would have to fly over 13,000 times as far just to reach Mars, through an environment which is eminently hostile to life, and when you finally got there, you'd still be in an environment which was pretty much hostile to life.

So don't give me this nonsense about how the universe is fine-tuned for life, because it isn't.  The way the universe works makes life on Earth possible, but there are far more places in the universe where life as we know it simply couldn't exist.

Quote from: Spinner198
The problem is that it wouldn't seem that way for the people who a priori accepted the 'fact' that the existence of a creator would be absolutely impossible.
As opposed to 'seeming' that way for someone who a priori accepted the 'fact' that a creator was absolutely necessary?
 1. which it is, but life did the fine-tuning; the conditions that make it possible for complicated organisms to exist could not without the far simpler organisms that came about first and terraformed this planet to be able to support our kind of life