Author Topic: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?  (Read 6097 times)

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Offline kcrady

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #174 on: January 21, 2014, 12:27:21 PM »
God is in a win/win situation.  If things go well, the believer praises Him.  If things don't go well, we have the example of Job to help shape our attitude.

This is actually a bad thing, from a truth-seeking standpoint.  Any hypothesis that can "explain" every possible result actually explains nothing. 

Let me give you an example.  Say I wanted to promote a hypothesis that Yahweh and Jesus were space aliens.  I start out by claiming that what Ezekiel describes in the first chapter of his Biblical book is a spaceship, with the "four living creatures" (Cherubim) being helicopter-attachments with robotic manipulators and specialized wheels used for maneuvering the craft when the main rocket engine was not in use.[1]

If I can craft my claim in such a way that the aliens get a "win/win," so that no matter what kind of counter-evidence you could provide only means that we should believe in the aliens even harder ("That's just lies told by power-seeking patriarchal churchmen who want to keep us from finding the truth!" or whatever), would that make the hypothesis more convincing to you, or less

The only way to validate a hypothesis is if it can "stick its neck out" and make predictions, of things we would find in reality/would not find in reality if it's accurate, and things that, if found, would show that the hypothesis is false.  Classic example: Einstein's relativity predicted that the Sun would bend light from stars (it does; tested a few years later by observing stars during a solar eclipse), and that clocks would run more slowly in a gravitational field than outside of one (they do; tested with atomic clocks, also our GPS satellite system must account for relativistic time dilation in order to work).

If the Sun did not warp spacetime, and thus did not bend light (which is massless and would not be affected by gravity that did not bend the space it travels through), if there was one, single, Newtonian standard of time (relativistic time dilation did not occur), then we would have known that relativity was false, and "Einstein" would not be synonymous with "genius" in our culture.

So, proclaiming that Yahweh gets a "win/win" is merely putting a gloss over the fact that he exhibits no behavior pattern that differs from his non-existence.
 
One of the atheist arguments is that the bible is a bunch of concocted stories that are there to convince people that they need to believe in order for the leaders of the church to control the masses.  The problem that I have believing that idea, is that the bible tells this type of story.  Obviously this is a problem for Christianity if your ideal god is that he should always protect and provide for us everything that we want to happen.  But that isn't what the bible teaches.

Except in places like Deuteronomy and all that stuff Jesus said about how Christians should be able to be as carefree as swallows or lilies of the field, because Yahweh takes care of them.  The next verse, "And Jesus said, 'Well, except for when he's hanging out with his buddy the Devil, taking bets on how much suffering Christians will endure and still believe.'" must have gotten lost in the copying-and-translation process somewhere along the way.

It teaches us to trust in God, despite our understanding,

Really?  "Yahweh has no problem with murdering your whole family and tormenting you with agonizing boils so he can win a bet with the Devil" makes you trust him more?  Say, did you know I'm a Nigerian prince?  Why, yes, yes I am.  And I'm trying to move my millions out of Nigeria so I can use them to help my people.  If you'll give me the routing numbers for your bank account, I'll deposit my $30 million in your account, then take $20 million out and move it to another account, you can keep the $10 million for helping me out.  Oh, and your penis will totally get bigger, I promise.

because God has a reason for shaping us in the way that He wants for His purposes.

Because he wasn't able to "shape" us the right way in the first place (see Romans 9)?  Why?  How did he fail?  Also: what "purposes" can he accomplish with properly-shaped humans that he can't accomplish without them? 

Our job as believers is to respond to God like Job, in humility and in trust.  I say this because I think that this is evidence that the bible is recording things that actually happened and letting the "chips fall where they fall".

I think this is evidence that ancient Hebrew writers had to find explanations for the fact that their country kept getting its ass handed to it despite being the "Chosen People" of the "One True God."  Apart from the fact that their "Promised Land" happened to be wedged between the fertile rivers (and thus, the powerful, populous civilizations) of Egypt and Mesopotamia. 

So: how can we determine who is right?  What methods can we use?

If I were to try and steer people to a false religion so that I could have the power, stories like this in Job wouldn't say that God allowed Job an "upright man", and his family to go through all this suffering and tremendous loss.  I would say something much more palatable like what the televangelists say today, that if you "just believe and have enough faith", then Jesus will heal your ailments and you will get that great job, and money will come back to you ten fold.  Much of today's "christian message" is junk.

Because televangelists never quote the Bible to support all those ridiculous claims, right?
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spaceships_of_Ezekiel
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #175 on: January 21, 2014, 02:17:27 PM »
^Indeed.  That's why the concept of falsification is so important in science.  If you don't provide a way for your prediction, or hypothesis, to be proven false, then you aren't really predicting anything useful.  All you're doing is giving yourself a feel-good ego trip, but you won't accomplish much other than feeling good.

Offline kcrady

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #176 on: January 21, 2014, 03:16:15 PM »
 
I've given my reasons for exploration, but for the continuance, I'll refer you to a website that I go to from time to time.  It's called Reasons To Believe, started by Hugh Ross, a PhD in Astrophysics along with other science fellows.   http://www.reasons.org/explore/topic/age-of-the-earth

I'm somewhat familiar with Dr. Ross, but it's been decades since I read his book (IIRC, The Creator and the Cosmos), and I don't still have it.  As I recall, he argues for "Old-Earth" Creationism, as opposed to "Young-Earth" Creationism or theistic evolution.  On the website, he seems to accept modern cosmology and assert that "the Bible predicted this all along!"  If that's the case...



...why is Dr. Hugh Ross so prominent?  Surely we would have theological discussions of the Big Bang, the much-larger-than-Ptolemy's-Almagest Cosmos, the vast stretches of pre-human pre-history and so on penned by some of the great minds of earlier Christianity, like Clement, Origen, Eusebius, Augustine, Aquinas, and so forth, would we not?  How would YEC have even come to exist, if Christians had always known the Cosmos was incredibly ancient and large?  How is it that Christians can't point to their knowledge of things like the Big Bang and expanding space for 2,000 years prior to science's discovery thereof (more if you count their Rabbinical predecessors[1]?  If the Bible teaches what Dr. Ross says it does, Christians would have been way out in front when it comes to scientific cosmology, instead of caught clinging to thousand-year-old Greek ideas that turned out to be wrong.

Check out the following passage from an ancient text:

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Consider therefore, this further evidence of bodies whose existence you must acknowledge though they cannot be seen.  First, wind, when its force is roused, whips up waves, founders tall ships, and scatters the cloud-rack. ...Without question therefore, there must be invisible particles of wind which sweep the sea and land and clouds in the sky...

...Then again, we smell the various scents of things though we never see them approaching our nostrils.  Similarly, heat and cold cannot be detected by our eyes, and we cannot see sounds.  Yet all these things must be composed of bodies, since they are able to impinge upon our senses.  For nothing can touch or be touched except by body. [Italics in original, blue emphasis added]

Just imagine how absolutely ecstatic any Christian apologist would be to find this in some forgotten corner of the book of Isaiah!  A prediction of the existence of atoms and molecules, how scent works, sound waves and infrared radiation!  Amazing!  Miraculous!  Unfortunately for them, this citation comes from On the Nature of the Universe by Lucretius,[2] written in the First Century B.C.E..  In it, he presents a naturalistic world-view without any divine creation. 

One interesting thing to note is how wonderfully explanatory Lucretius' writing is compared to the Bible.  Not for him the vague metaphors of Job or the Psalms, or allegorical tales of talking snakes and human genealogies that count back to the creation of the Cosmos!

So, given the way Lucretius' prescience decisively trumps anything the Bible has to offer (I've only barely scratched the surface in the parts I've quoted), does that prove that naturalism is correct?  Would it at least motivate you to read On the Nature of the Universe to see if Lucretius might have been on the right track, even if he was wrong about a few things?

...

One more thing about Dr. Ross and his website:  Listen to the first few minutes of this podcast and notice how they resort to the same question-begging and failure to Locate the Hypothesis that you do.

The podcast is a question-and-answer session with three "scholars" favorable to Dr. Ross' views.  They are asked a question about the psychedelic DMT and what the experiences it generates mean.  The speakers assert that the experiences people have with DMT could be:

1) Could be a total illusion based on your response to the drug;
2) Could be a physiological response that people are attributing spiritual meaning to
3) Could be opening you to a realm "occupied by demonic activity"
4) Christian faith is "set apart from other religions" because "the experiences of God we have are authentic" because we don't have to go into a trance or use a drug.

Notice how they just assume Christianity is true and that Christian spiritual experiences [that they approve of] are authentic.  #1 and #2 could just as easily be brought forward as explanations for Christian spiritual experiences.  A Muslim (or adherent of some other religion) could say that Christians are opening themselves to a realm "occupied by demonic activity" (#3) by welcoming Christian mystical experiences.

#4 is riddled with question-begging.  Even if Christianity is "set apart" from other religions (so that its teachings are somehow unique), why would that necessarily mean it's more likely to be true?  If you've got ten people in a room, and one of them sees a purple unicorn prancing around , is that person correct just because their account is "set apart" from the others?

This "Christianity is set apart" argument is also very commonly used as a stealth circular reasoning tactic.  The apologist will wax eloquent about how Christianity is the only religion where the god died for its followers, was resurrected physically, etc., and since this "sets Christianity apart" from all those other religions, Christianity must be true.  Short version: Christianity is more like Christianity than any other religion!  Therefore Christianity must be true!"

Second, how do we know that spiritual experiences had without the aid of a naturally-occurring psychedelic are any more likely to be accurate than those involving the use of the psychedelic?  If the Cosmos was Intelligently Designed by one or more Creators who wanted humans to understand certain things, it would make a lot of sense for Them to design psychedelics--and human receptivity to them--into the Cosmos. 

As molecules that objectively exist with objectively replicable effects, psychedelics aren't subject to the many foibles of "holy books."  They can't be made up by charlatans or redacted at the behest of monarchs with political motivations.  They are independent of human language and culture, so that errors of translation and misunderstood cultural idioms cannot creep in.  They do not privilege certain "special people" (e.g. the allegedly "inspired" authors of holy books or clergy authorized to interpret them for illiterate masses), but offer replicable access to the revelatory experience to anyone at any time.  If a Creator or Creators wanted to pass on divine revelation without human greed, power-lust, or well-intentioned fallibility getting in the way, naturally-occurring molecules--which, by definition, bear the Creators' trademark stamp--would be an excellent way of going about it.   

Nutshell: These Christian "scholars" presented with a mysterious new anomaly[3] immediately cram it into their Christian world-view ("it's demons!") without ever considering the possibility that it could be accurate, or that if it isn't, the mystical experiences Christianity is based on could be subject to the same criticisms.  They "already know" Christianity is true, so whenever they approach a phenomenon like DMT, or wield an argument like First Cause, they never actually explore the possibility-space.  They start at the finish line and claim they've won the race.

The reason I keep hammering on this "Locating the Hypothesis" thing is that it isn't easy to actually look instead of just reinforcing one's own biases and calling it a day.  Which means: one can easily fail to locate the hypothesis that matches reality.
 1. Who, for some mysterious reason start the Jewish calendar from Creation...only a few thousand years ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar
 2. Penguin Classics, translated by R.E. Latham, Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, first published 1951, pp 35-36
 3. They are ostensibly kept from knowing what questions they'll be asked until they are presented with them live for the podcast
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #177 on: January 21, 2014, 05:19:21 PM »
Religion has this in common with science: every question leads to more questions. However, unlike religion, at least science has some answers.
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 Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #178 on: January 22, 2014, 01:39:08 AM »
First of all, before I get started, this is a thread set up for you to provide evidence for god. This is not a thread for you to turn the conversation around and ask for evidence regarding an unrelated topic. If you want to discuss this, start a thread. I will respond below with the notion that this may be split off into another thread by the mods.

Secondly, because of this I am disappointed in your response because it totally bypasses the conversation of what a soul is and why complexity isn't a valid argument for intelligent design when you simultaneously state that all is created by god whether complex or not. This is the main issue, and you are trying to brush it under the carpet without anyone noticing.

Anyway....

In our earlier conversation about what a soul is, and who has one, you brought up evolution a few times in your response.  I've read quite a bit of evolution science and I've seen many fossils, but it still seems to me that it is a theory rather than fact.

Evolution is an observable fact. The Theory of Evolution is our best explanation of how evolution works. It's the same with gravity and the same with the atom - we have observable facts that are explained by theories. If you are going to get hung up on a theory then it should be the current theory of gravity because we know it's wrong. If you can't make the distinction between fact and theory then any further conversation is pointless.

Also, I'm nor sure where you have a problem with evolution. It's not clear whether it's a full, blown out rejection of evolution or just the evolution of humans. Please clarify.

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That there is a leap from fossil finds (which is evidence) to conclusions (which is theory), about where species came from.  I've noticed that no matter how hard people try, everyone has a bias.

We also find and observe a change in gene frequency[1] over time. We label that evolution. Fossil records are just one source of evidence. DNA is another. Why antibiotics are becoming less and less useful at getting rid of infections is another. The fact that you aren't a clone of your father is another.

Yes, everyone has bias. So what? I do not bring any specialised, one-off bias forward for evolution. The biases I bring forth for evolution are consistently used for a smorgasbord of things. I believe on taking what appears to happen in the observable world as a good indicator for what happens in the observable world. Evolution is one of those things like gravity is. You are the one who is using a specialised bias to conclude that gravity is a fact but evolution isn't.

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If you and I bring different biases into the same room, we may come out with completely different conclusions about the same evidence presented to us.  The only way that we could come out with the same conclusions is if there was conclusive evidence, and we both agree to let the evidence dissolve the bias.

No, the way to dissolve this is to be consistent with biases and apply them across the board to everything. We can't live without bias, so this is the next best thing, but you are not doing this.

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Now, I admit that chimps, apes, and such look similar to humans compared to other creatures.  But I don't think that is conclusive enough evidence.  (Though I think it can set up a bias).

Firstly, we are apes. But you're right, just because we look similar comapared to other creatures isn't conclusive enough. for example, there are species in Madagascar that resemble hedgehogs, but they have different lineages. This is called convergent evolution.
However, we have evidence from DNA that we are related to other apes. For example, chromosome 2 in humans has a near identical DNA sequence to chimps, but in a chimp they are two separate chromosomes. The same can be said for gorillas and orangutans.

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Since it isn't enough to draw a conclusion of evolution based on just the look of one species to another, we need evidence of transition.  Since evolutionists teach that everything is "transitional", then we will never find the "missing link", but should we should expect a series of transitions over a long period of time.

This is the creationist ploy, and that is there'll always be a missing link, because even when you fill in a gap between two organisms, you create two more gaps. Then you fill them in and create four more gaps etc. Thing is, there are fossils out there already where you will struggle to tell whether it is "human" or "not human".

We see transition every time I new organism is born. We are all transitional forms. That is why we are not clones. This is due to a change in gene frequency. This is evolution.

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Since you brought evolution into the discussion I perceive that it is very important to you.  I would like to know what you believe is the proof of evolution?  Is there a transitional fossil or a few that are your favorites to point to?  Or is it the whole of evolutionary biology that is so convincing?

Yes, I brought up evolution and you've taken that baton and ran with it, leaving behind the actual discussion. Please don't do this again with me.

Anyway, evolution is not important to me. I don't care whether it is a fact or not. All I'm interested in is finding out what are facts, and facts can be found out by observing the world. Evolution just so happens to be one of those observations.
 
Quote
I would like to read about what you think are the best evidences.  I'll take some time and read it, in case there is evidence that I'm not aware of.

Then you haven't "read quite a lot of evolution science", have you? Really, I've explained why evolution is a fact and explained the distinction between that and the theory that explains it. I suggest you knock yourself out at talkorigins, rather than me reel off a load of observable instances of evolution.
 1. Agh, Jesuis!
Wow........Ok.
I thought you were trying to take the argument to evolution and so I was just trying to cut to the chase.  Sounds like I was mistaken about that. 
I'm more than happy to continue talking about complexity and definately don't want "to brush it under the carpet". 
I need to try and understand your position better in order to talk about it.  Below is a quote from you (reply #58):

"No, when I refer to a (disembodied) "mind" I'm equating it to what you would call a soul/spirit. The brain is just the physical vehicle that houses it. I'm trying to gauge what you consider to be living regarding the physical body of a human, if it has no "soul" to animate it, because as far as I am conserned all that is left is a corpse. Also, The soul isn't subject to the physical, and therefore isn't subject to DNA....., and therefore isn't subject to this complexity you see which draws you to believe there is a designer. Were early humans and their ancestors not living because they didn't have a soul, or were they physically living without a soul?
You see, I see this as a very confusing issue. Dualism adds in this new dimension, yet it does't fit in anywhere in evolution. Suddenly, physical beings with a soul are alive due to the soul, which can exist independently of the physical body, but is the physical body still classed as alive without the soul? Evolution would tell us that, yes, physical bodies are classed as alive because the science behind it doesn't make this jump into the unevidenced assertion of dualism. You do, and I want to know where you fit this in, why you think it is needed, and why you think a consiousness, such as that possessed by humans, can't arise due to the "complex" natural process of evolution which you believe your god set up in the first place anyway?"

You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.  That a soul is something perceived, but not something that I can provide evidence for other than the consciousness that drives things that aren't explainable by any other means.  I previously listed those things as love, kindness, sadness, recognition of beauty, art, music, and things like that.  Things that make life pleasureable, and even things that make life miserable, are often driven by the soul.  So the soul works in conjunction with the body and the brain to drive behaviors and actions, and things that are within our "will".   So if a person has suffered body or brain damage, they still have a soul, but are limited in carrying out their will.  So I'm saying that the brain is not the soul, the brain is part of the body that will die.

When you ask why I believe in dualism.  A few short reasons are listed already.  Why can't evolution account for this?  I can't answer that because you don't want to talk about "an unrelated topic "evolution".

Ok just taking a jab.  All in fun.... right?

I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

To be clear, I don't believe that we have early ancestors without a soul.  That's because I believe in special creation of humans with a soul. 

Online SevenPatch

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #179 on: January 22, 2014, 02:03:12 AM »
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #180 on: January 22, 2014, 02:08:13 AM »
Erg...these bad quoting skills...

I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

As others have already stated, yes, it is more than survival of the fittest.

Acts of love and kindness have large benefits to an organism, a population of species that all hate each other will not get very far, unless they are major predators. (Predators can be non-social and be successful, sharks for example)
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Offline Fiji

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #181 on: January 22, 2014, 02:41:30 AM »
A for instance to illustrate A&A's point.
In winter, when I clean out the chicken koop I let the chickens roam the yard. They always stay together, even though there's plenty of room. And even though this reduces their chance of getting to a grub, since one of the other chickens might get to it first. So, it seems that chickens have encoded in their DNA "I am a chicken, I like to be near other chickens"
We might think, how cute, the chickens stay together, they must really like eachother.
While in reality they do this to increase their survival chance when they run into a fox. In an open space, the fox can only grab one of the chickens. The time it takes him to kill that chicken allows the other to escape. The slight decrease in the chance of getting a grub is a small price to pay for a big increase in the chance of surviving an encounter with a fox.
Take humans, even with that massive brain of ours, we really only come into our own if we can cooperate with other humans. A lone human might manage to survive but a family/tribe of humans has a much better chance of survival. Enter love, a way to make us want to be around a fairly fixed set of other humans.
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Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #182 on: January 22, 2014, 09:30:19 AM »
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree? 

Offline Fiji

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #183 on: January 22, 2014, 09:42:23 AM »
Just like my chickens don't stick together because they're expecting a fox to pass by any second now, people don't marry, have kids and feel close to familiar people because of objective calculations. The feel good 'force' you mention, are certain hormones the brain has evolved to release when certain conditions are met. Individuals that have these hormones survive, those that don't end up in the belly of a fox/lion.
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #184 on: January 22, 2014, 10:12:09 AM »
Certainly love is more than that.

Unfortunately for you, love is most likely the way it is due to the evolution of behavior.

If life evolved differently, It is particularly possible that "love" could be seen as offensive, or a taboo.
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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #185 on: January 22, 2014, 10:14:28 AM »


"No, when I refer to a (disembodied) "mind" I'm equating it to what you would call a soul/spirit. The brain is just the physical vehicle that houses it. I'm trying to gauge what you consider to be living regarding the physical body of a human, if it has no "soul" to animate it, because as far as I am conserned all that is left is a corpse. Also, The soul isn't subject to the physical, and therefore isn't subject to DNA....., and therefore isn't subject to this complexity you see which draws you to believe there is a designer. Were early humans and their ancestors not living because they didn't have a soul, or were they physically living without a soul?
You see, I see this as a very confusing issue. Dualism adds in this new dimension, yet it does't fit in anywhere in evolution. Suddenly, physical beings with a soul are alive due to the soul, which can exist independently of the physical body, but is the physical body still classed as alive without the soul? Evolution would tell us that, yes, physical bodies are classed as alive because the science behind it doesn't make this jump into the unevidenced assertion of dualism. You do, and I want to know where you fit this in, why you think it is needed, and why you think a consiousness, such as that possessed by humans, can't arise due to the "complex" natural process of evolution which you believe your god set up in the first place anyway?"

You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.  That a soul is something perceived, but not something that I can provide evidence for other than the consciousness that drives things that aren't explainable by any other means.  I previously listed those things as love, kindness, sadness, recognition of beauty, art, music, and things like that.  Things that make life pleasureable, and even things that make life miserable, are often driven by the soul.  So the soul works in conjunction with the body and the brain to drive behaviors and actions, and things that are within our "will".   So if a person has suffered body or brain damage, they still have a soul, but are limited in carrying out their will.  So I'm saying that the brain is not the soul, the brain is part of the body that will die.

When you ask why I believe in dualism.  A few short reasons are listed already.  Why can't evolution account for this?  I can't answer that because you don't want to talk about "an unrelated topic "evolution".

Ok just taking a jab.  All in fun.... right?

I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

To be clear, I don't believe that we have early ancestors without a soul.  That's because I believe in special creation of humans with a soul.

So this soul hypothesis, how do we separate this notion from complete fantasy? Since we know chemicals, brain damage, DNA, and upbringing create effects on people behaviors, why do you assume a ghost in the machine?
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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #186 on: January 22, 2014, 11:02:48 AM »
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

emphasis added.

please correct me if I'm wrong, but what you're saying is akin to "trees and other plant life are green because that color is most pleasing to the human eye"  whereas what I believe is being argued is "green is most pleasing to the human eye because trees and other plant life are green"
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #187 on: January 22, 2014, 11:09:37 AM »
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

emphasis added.

please correct me if I'm wrong, but what you're saying is akin to "trees and other plant life are green because that color is most pleasing to the human eye"  whereas what I believe is being argued is "green is most pleasing to the human eye because trees and other plant life are green"

Agreed, its asking the wrong question to come to a pre-formed answer.

I read this example from Richard dawkins that I think sums up the mistake in Patrick Henry's thinking

Quote
A helpful analogy is moths flying into candle flames. It’s tempting to ask what is the survival value of suicidal behaviour in moths, but that’s the wrong question. Instead what we should ask is, “What’s the survival value of having the kind of brain which, when there are candles about, causes moths to fly into them?” Now in the wild state, when the moth’s brain was being naturally selected for, there weren’t any candles, and if you saw a bright light in the middle of the night it pretty well had to be a celestial object. It could be a firefly or something like that, but it was most likely to be the moon or a star, or, in a day-flying insect, the sun. At optical infinity, when light rays are travelling in parallel, those rays provide an excellent compass. And it’s well known that insects use light rays as a compass. They maintain a fixed angle, let’s say 30 degrees, to a source of light. Well, if you maintain a 30 degree angle to the moon’s rays, that’s fine, you go in a straight line. But if you maintain a 30 degree angle to a candle’s rays, you’ll describe a neat logarithmic spiral straight into the candle and burn. So, now we have rephrased the question. The question is not, “What is the survival value of killing yourself, if you’re a moth?” the question has become, “What’s the survival value of maintaining a fixed angle relative to light rays?” And now we’ve got a sensible answer. In the case of the candle it’s just a mistake

edit link to the rest of the article https://humanism.org.uk/about/our-people/distinguished-supporters/professor-richard-dawkins-frs/

Offline wheels5894

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #188 on: January 22, 2014, 11:22:25 AM »
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical mis-impression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

Patrick, I'm still waiting for your arguments for the existence of god. Let's not get sidetracked any more. Make one post listing your evidence so we an all see it. This, is after all, what the thread if for.

No more procrastinating and not more dodging, the evidence please.
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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #189 on: January 22, 2014, 02:29:21 PM »
Wow........Ok.
I thought you were trying to take the argument to evolution and so I was just trying to cut to the chase.  Sounds like I was mistaken about that.

I mentioned evolution to see where you fit a soul into it. The simple answer is, you don't.

Quote
I'm more than happy to continue talking about complexity and definately don't want "to brush it under the carpet".

There really isn't anymore to be said on the issue, apart from you making a decision on whether to drop your complexity argument or ignore that you believe everything, whether complex or not, is created by god. Here, I'll quote your contradiction:

The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.

Quote
You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.

Then, as I've said a few times, we are alive twice.

Quote
That a soul is something perceived, but not something that I can provide evidence for other than the consciousness that drives things that aren't explainable by any other means.

Again, the main point of this thread is for you to provide evidence, yet again you are telling us you can't. Plus, how you go from a concept, admittedly evidence free, as the only explanation is quite impressive incredulity.

Quote
I previously listed those things as love, kindness, sadness, recognition of beauty, art, music, and things like that.  Things that make life pleasureable, and even things that make life miserable, are often driven by the soul.  So the soul works in conjunction with the body and the brain to drive behaviors and actions, and things that are within our "will".   So if a person has suffered body or brain damage, they still have a soul, but are limited in carrying out their will.  So I'm saying that the brain is not the soul, the brain is part of the body that will die.

People have already responded to this adequately enough for me. All I'm seeing here is more white noise and no evidence. However, I would like to ask what happens to people with dissociative identity disorder, or what you might call multiple personality disorder. Do these people get two souls?

Quote
When you ask why I believe in dualism.  A few short reasons are listed already.  Why can't evolution account for this?  I can't answer that because you don't want to talk about "an unrelated topic "evolution".

Ok just taking a jab.  All in fun.... right?

 ;)  You can talk about it in relation to the topic, but not turn the topic into interrogating evolution. You can create a new thread for that.

Quote
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

To be clear, I don't believe that we have early ancestors without a soul.  That's because I believe in special creation of humans with a soul.

Yes, we get that you believe that, but we want the evidence that backs that belief up. So far, you have failed to produce any, even admittedly so.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #190 on: January 22, 2014, 07:24:12 PM »
People were buried in religious ceremony for the purpose of resurrection for  new life on earth upon the return of Jesus. The people writing the Bible failed to put 2+2=4 together as far as "soul" and where it goes  upon burial....then other writings contradict  with this heaven idea. Followers will come from their graves upon return of Jesus. No soul required if you are "sleeping" awaiting the "return". Jesus promised to return within the lifetimes of his original followers,a promise he has failed to keep for more than 2000 years.
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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #191 on: January 22, 2014, 07:32:33 PM »
why do you assume a ghost in the machine?

The ghost in the machine is assumed, because historically, Plato invented the soul, to explain thought. Back then, people had no idea what was in the brain, so they thought that thought came from various organs in the body. Jesus thought that that the heart was a thinking organ:

[17] Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
[18] But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
[19] For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
[20] These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Our ancient way of seeing thought as coming from the spleen and heart, has so invisibled itself, that we read the above, and think that Jesus is referring to heart as a metaphor for deep emotion, rather than him saying that the heart organ thinks emotions. They (and He) were clueless.

Not knowing that the brain was anymore powerful than the heart, they could be forgiven for thinking that any organ could think. But as a consequence, since no organ really had an obvious way to think, then there must have been a ghost in every organ.

Nowadays, understanding that the brain has 100 billion neurons, we might give it the benefit of the doubt, and believe that it was actually capable of thought. So, our belief in the ghost in the machine, is rooted is history from the ignorant Greeks.
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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #192 on: January 22, 2014, 08:47:24 PM »
^^^They thought the heart did the feeling and thinking, the spleen took care of anger and the brain just cooled the blood or some such. Funny how it was really kinda the opposite. :P
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.

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #193 on: January 22, 2014, 10:41:46 PM »
Aristotle came up with the brain cooling the blood.

Hippocrates thought that the brain was the thinker.  400BC. 

Jesus didn't keep up with the science.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain#History
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Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #194 on: January 23, 2014, 02:42:05 AM »
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical mis-impression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

Patrick, I'm still waiting for your arguments for the existence of god. Let's not get sidetracked any more. Make one post listing your evidence so we an all see it. This, is after all, what the thread if for.

No more procrastinating and not more dodging, the evidence please.


Why do you say that I'm dodging?  I began my reasoning in reply #1.  There have been responses and counter responses, and some of it has been interesting.   When looking back I see that I never did respond to your earlier replies, and have been side tracked with other responses.   But I did respond to you in #129, 137, and 140.  Along with others, you can't really think that I've been dodging and procrastinating?   
 
To begin the thread, I've given you reasons why I believe.  But it has always come with a premise.  That premise is that I won't prove the existence of a spiritual being, God, with only physical evidence.  That has lead to other posts which has lead to what we've been discussing lately........ whether or not that premise is acceptable.   I thought this board was going to also include sincere discussion of observations, facts, ideas, and things that could be beneficial. 
Here's a quote from my very first response #1:
"......... God meets not only the physical criteria, but the emotional, spiritual, psychological, and relational needs that human beings have.  It's not that I ignore science or the physical realm for proof. But I believe if we rely only on science and the physical world, I think we miss Him completely."
So if you can take away the possibility that we are only physical beings and nothing more.  Then I would not be able to defend my position.  The problem is that I cannot provide physical proof of something that isn't physical.  Therefore I have to point you to observation of the intangible, yet observable, things.  But you believe that acts of love, even selfless acts of kindness or giving to someone are somehow driven by an invisible force called evolution, that causes me to give money, time, energy for zero personal gain.  Yet I care about people in distress. Why? It's because were were all created in God's image, and within that, there is something more than just survival of the fittest.  We all have a spiritual aspect to us that the physical sciences don't completely account for.  The bible speaks to this and gives us answers. 
I believe the bible, which is a subject unto itself, tells the truth about God, and about how people came into existence, and why we are here in the first place.  The bible, which is verifiable by eye witnesses with a personal relationship to Christ, says that it was God who created all the complexity that we observe here on earth.  The bible explains that while we were made physically, we also have a spiritual side to us.  Which I can observe with my consciousness.  You say that an invisible force called evolution created us, and continues to progress us forward.  While there is no intelligence behind evolution, just an invisible drive that somehow propels us to live.  That same force has somehow given us an ability to enjoy things and be sad about things, create music, art, etc?   So far, it seems like less faith is required to believe in a designer, than an undetectable force behind evolution. Since it's intelligent design that we observe with everything else in life, it only makes sense to belief in a designer of nature.  Only in the theory of evolution is a thing created without a plan and an intelligent force doing the work.   The atheist view requires the belief in eternal existence of matter, or a belief that something came from nothing, which a problem with a gigantic hurdle, that hasn't been jumped over.  Even though Krauss tries.  Another problem is the complexity of life.  Certain features of living organisms, such as the miniature machines and complex circuits within cells are somehow better explained by evolution with an invisible driving force, than by a Creator.     
No intelligence creating the flagellar motor?  Or the inner ear?  The DNA code?
If I'm going to consider that an invisible force drives the complexity that we see in nature, like some kind of built in software code, then why not consider the possibility that a higher being infused this into biological life?  That opens the door to theistic possibilities.  With that door open, then the compelling explanations of the bible and eye witness accounts to Christ, followed by the deep teaching about humanity then move me toward Christianity.   

 

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #195 on: January 23, 2014, 02:57:32 AM »

There really isn't anymore to be said on the issue, apart from you making a decision on whether to drop your complexity argument or ignore that you believe everything, whether complex or not, is created by god. Here, I'll quote your contradiction:

The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.

Quote
You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.

Then, as I've said a few times, we are alive twice.

I must be missing something about your complexity argument.  You're saying that I have to either drop my complexity argument or ignore that I believe everything was created by God.  Sorry, to ask you to repeat, but I don't understand what the issue is. 
I think that you suggested in an earlier post that a soul was by comparison, less complex than a body.  Is that related to your point here?  You'll have to help me out. 

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #196 on: January 23, 2014, 03:08:57 AM »

There really isn't anymore to be said on the issue, apart from you making a decision on whether to drop your complexity argument or ignore that you believe everything, whether complex or not, is created by god. Here, I'll quote your contradiction:

The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.

Quote
You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.

Then, as I've said a few times, we are alive twice.

I must be missing something about your complexity argument.  You're saying that I have to either drop my complexity argument or ignore that I believe everything was created by God.  Sorry, to ask you to repeat, but I don't understand what the issue is.

The issue is you believe everything was made by god, whether complex or not, so it doesn't matter how complex something is, because even if it isn't complex you say it was made by god. This renders the complexity argument as redundant and your use of complexity as meaningless.

Quote
I think that you suggested in an earlier post that a soul was by comparison, less complex than a body.  Is that related to your point here?  You'll have to help me out.

I base this on the idea that god is also a soul/spirit. If god has always existed, then he can't be complex because complexity points to a deisgner. Therefore, a soul/spirit cannot be complex. However, you believe soul/spirits are created by god, so even when we point to something that isn't complex, you still see need for a desginer.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #197 on: January 23, 2014, 03:30:55 AM »
<snip>

Evolution has evidence to support it. You, admittedly, can't even produce any for your proposal. All you have are words. There is no contest because you haven't even turned up.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #198 on: January 23, 2014, 04:08:37 AM »
"......... God meets not only the physical criteria, but the emotional, spiritual, psychological, and relational needs that human beings have.  It's not that I ignore science or the physical realm for proof. But I believe if we rely only on science and the physical world, I think we miss Him completely."

Sources please.
Because last time i have checked, there is no valid physical, or psychological evidence for a god.

   
No intelligence creating the flagellar motor?  Or the inner ear?  The DNA code?

I don't see why not.
Scientists have already made proto-cells in labs by just mixing chemicals and adding energy.
Insects and bacteria all over the planet are shown to mutate, adapt and gain complex genes that make them immune to toxins.

*Other bits of post*

Gah...too much "god made people, there must be a designer, the bible says this, radda".

Simple, get valid source, give us valid source.
If source is valid, congratulations, you are likely the be the richest man in the world for proving that not only does god exist, but that god made everything.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #199 on: January 23, 2014, 04:09:32 AM »
I don't know about anything else, but the idea of a designer seems to be an hindrance to an argument more than anything else. here's the problems -

1. We can't tell is something really has been designed - there's no marker indicating it - so it is a very subjective idea and one that a majority of scientists don't accept.

2. That something or indeed all of nature has been designed seems to be a proposition for which there is no value. How does such a proposition help us in scientific research, in medical science?

3. It certainly makes the designer look far from benign. Look at some of the microorganisms that it purportedly designed - bugs that can and do kill us. Then there are the snakes, malaria - the lists is endless. If these are designed by a designer, then it certainly doesn't relate to a loving god.

4. In order to design such as is claimed by ID, the designer is going to have to be more complex than the things it designed and, consequently, is also going to need a designer. In fact there is going to have to be a chain of designers because in each step we have to design a new designer.

5. Souls are simpler than material organisms? How can we know that? Souls are going to have to be pretty complex as they are going to have to collect all the information in our brains and store it is a way that it is still accessible. Without that information, an individual ceases to exist even if there is a soul with his name on it. So a soul has to be non-material but capable of fast and accurate copying of the patterns of neurons in the brain and recreating this pattern in a working form right at the moment of death. That is some design and some tough job. Souls are  much more complicated than one might think.

6. No one has launched a search for the designer. No matter how good our beliefs in one particular god are, if we have not real evidence that the god exists it might end up not being the real designer. Research needs to be started to try and identify the designer.

So those are some of the implications of ID that are not really mentioned. The fact is that ID cannot link the supposed designer to any particular god without some evidence. Given that we know that things are evolving it is not even clear how it might help to know that a designer was at work.

Patrick, do you have answers to these point?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #200 on: January 23, 2014, 04:23:40 AM »
3. It certainly makes the designer look far from benign. Look at some of the microorganisms that it purportedly designed - bugs that can and do kill us. Then there are the snakes, malaria - the lists is endless. If these are designed by a designer, then it certainly doesn't relate to a loving god.

Hey!
Snakes are good for pest control.
And they are cute ;D.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #201 on: January 23, 2014, 04:33:39 AM »
4. In order to design such as is claimed by ID, the designer is going to have to be more complex than the things it designed and, consequently, is also going to need a designer. In fact there is going to have to be a chain of designers because in each step we have to design a new designer.


Yes, this is one point that I, and others, haven't touched on yet. While I'm pandering to the idea that god mustn't be complex if he's always existed and complexity points to a designer, god must have to be more complex than what he has designed. So you either have infinite regress or an inert god. Whichever is the case, why call it god?
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline penfold

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #202 on: January 23, 2014, 05:47:10 AM »
 
No intelligence creating the flagellar motor?  Or the inner ear?  The DNA code?
If I'm going to consider that an invisible force drives the complexity that we see in nature, like some kind of built in software code, then why not consider the possibility that a higher being infused this into biological life?  That opens the door to theistic possibilities.  With that door open, then the compelling explanations of the bible and eye witness accounts to Christ, followed by the deep teaching about humanity then move me toward Christianity.

Hi Patrick Henry. This is a good discussion and I have been reading your posts with interest. However I have become a bit confused as to your central argument. I was hoping that you could answer a question to help clarify.

Is your argument:

(a)
: That it is possible nature has an intelligent designer - ie that there is no internal contradiction to the God hypothesis but that nature itself provides no positive evidence.

or

(b)
: That nature does provide positive evidence for the God hypothesis.


The crucial difference is that (b) implies that the God hypothesis add explanatory power to the universe. - ie the universe is better explained with reference to God than without.

To give an example; If I want to explain why I have black eye I could say that it was cause by impact with a fist. If I add that the fist belonged to my mother-in-law  I have given you some information but not added explanatory power - I have gone no further in explaining why I have a black eye. On the other hand if I add that my mother-in-law hit me because I called her a drunk that would add explanatory power - I have gone further in explaining why I have a black eye.

So If you are arguing that (b) nature does provide positive evidence for the God hypothesis. Could you then explain for me how you think the God hypothesis adds explanatory power?

« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 05:49:36 AM by penfold »
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