Author Topic: Natural Explanation Vs Magical  (Read 9240 times)

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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« on: March 22, 2014, 01:05:22 PM »
The existence of the universe I think can be explained by natural means. But I don't understand how, when you don't accept a natural reason for existence, you will accept a magical reason? To me, a natural explanation, however unlikely, is ALWAYS going to be more realistic than a magical explanation. Particularly when the reason cited by believers is that complexity must have a designer, this simply comes back on the magical being; as the most complicated thing in existence, by your own argument that being must have had a creator.

Believers; why do you refuse to accept natural explanations for the universe but will accept magical explanations?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Nam

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 01:16:08 PM »
It's easier to understand magic, "poof: it happened" than to understand reality. Reality's hard.

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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 01:23:45 PM »
Magic takes less thinking!!!......It is so much simpler not to have to work out all those explanations.

But an omniscient designer has his problems too. If he knows all the infinite outcomes of all of his design he will be insane. How do we know? Because Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem states that it is impossible to have a complete and consistent logical system. Now if there was a god who had knowledge of an infinite number of outcomes he would have an infinite number of inconsistencies in his thought. The theory also shows that he would not know that he was being inconsistent so he would be insane.

If this god invented logic and mathematics, it would be his own fault that he was insane too.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 03:11:36 PM »
Despite the fact that Gandalf and Dumbledor can perform supernatural tasks, a theist will tell you that "this is not the same as when God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit does something miraculous."

After that, things start to get very vague. It seems that the god of their choice is "real" and therefore this is "real" magic unlike "fictional" magic.

If you mention Zeus, Zoroaster, Vishnu, etc., these are false gods. "False" gods are tricky. They can do magic but "nothing good will come from it."

The Christian will tell you that although these are gods, they are "demons/Satanic/false" gods. God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit does "good" magic.

When you point out that the OT is filled with miraculous killings by Yahweh, they have an excuse for all of these: usually, "God is just but we cannot understand His Ways." or "If He made you, what right have you to complain?" This sidetracks us form the real question that you have posed.

RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 03:04:56 PM »
The existence of the universe I think can be explained by natural means. But I don't understand how, when you don't accept a natural reason for existence, you will accept a magical reason? To me, a natural explanation, however unlikely, is ALWAYS going to be more realistic than a magical explanation. Particularly when the reason cited by believers is that complexity must have a designer, this simply comes back on the magical being; as the most complicated thing in existence, by your own argument that being must have had a creator.

Believers; why do you refuse to accept natural explanations for the universe but will accept magical explanations?

I don't speak for any other theists but I don't mind natural explanations.  I don't see them as a threat to my faith or my understanding of God.  But, then again, I don't take a literalist interpretation of the Bible.

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2014, 04:11:17 PM »
"As always" ; ) you are an enigma. Tell me, "What does your God actually do?"
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2014, 05:42:31 PM »
"As always" ; ) you are an enigma. Tell me, "What does your God actually do?"

Never been characterized as an enigma before.  Had to look it up just to be sure I understood.  The first definition I found defines enigma as "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand." 

I hope this does not mean I am another Jesuis.  For me, Jesuis is definitely an enigma.

Getting back to your question, the first two things which come to mind are: (1) I believe talking / praying with God gives me insight and understanding.  (2) I have no problem in believing God is responsible for the Big Bang Theory of the universe's origins. 

I fully realize the insight and understanding may be simply my sub-conscious and conscious mind communicating with each other.  And I am aware there are ideas about where the matter came from to start the Big Bang.   So, there may come a time when the known universe is totally explained by science. 

In the mean time, I take comfort in something I read long ago (I don't remember the source).  To the best of my recollection it is:

When science scales the last wall of ignorance they will find a garden.  And in that garden they will see God having tea with the theologians.

Please know there is no way I can prove that idea but, as a theist, I enjoy the image. 

Truly hoping I am not as confusing as Jesuis I remain,

OldChurchGuy

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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2014, 10:49:48 PM »
And in that garden they will see God having tea with the theologians.

Where theologians are the people that tried to understand God. An interesting romantic image, but it seems to favour the Christian Anglican viewpoint. I can't be certain of the romance backing reality. It may be quite harsh.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2014, 12:22:18 AM »
"As always" ; ) you are an enigma. Tell me, "What does your God actually do?"

Never been characterized as an enigma before.  Had to look it up just to be sure I understood.  The first definition I found defines enigma as "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand." 

I hope this does not mean I am another Jesuis.  For me, Jesuis is definitely an enigma.

Getting back to your question, the first two things which come to mind are: (1) I believe talking / praying with God gives me insight and understanding. (2) I have no problem in believing God is responsible for the Big Bang Theory of the universe's origins. 

I fully realize the insight and understanding may be simply my sub-conscious and conscious mind communicating with each other. And I am aware there are ideas about where the matter came from to start the Big Bang.   So, there may come a time when the known universe is totally explained by science. 

In the mean time, I take comfort in something I read long ago (I don't remember the source).  To the best of my recollection it is:

When science scales the last wall of ignorance they will find a garden.  And in that garden they will see God having tea with the theologians.

Please know there is no way I can prove that idea but, as a theist, I enjoy the image. 

Truly hoping I am not as confusing as Jesuis I remain,

OldChurchGuy

I am kinda curious. Since you realise that you could just be sorting out your own thoughts, what do you think the probability of that is, rather than that another being is in your mind. Are they 50/50 or 10/90 or what?
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2014, 02:28:53 AM »
"As always" ; ) you are an enigma. Tell me, "What does your God actually do?"

Never been characterized as an enigma before.  Had to look it up just to be sure I understood.  The first definition I found defines enigma as "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand." 

I hope this does not mean I am another Jesuis.  For me, Jesuis is definitely an enigma.

Getting back to your question, the first two things which come to mind are: (1) I believe talking / praying with God gives me insight and understanding. (2) I have no problem in believing God is responsible for the Big Bang Theory of the universe's origins. 

I fully realize the insight and understanding may be simply my sub-conscious and conscious mind communicating with each other. And I am aware there are ideas about where the matter came from to start the Big Bang.   So, there may come a time when the known universe is totally explained by science. 

In the mean time, I take comfort in something I read long ago (I don't remember the source).  To the best of my recollection it is:

When science scales the last wall of ignorance they will find a garden.  And in that garden they will see God having tea with the theologians.

Please know there is no way I can prove that idea but, as a theist, I enjoy the image. 

Truly hoping I am not as confusing as Jesuis I remain,

OldChurchGuy

I am kinda curious. Since you realise that you could just be sorting out your own thoughts, what do you think the probability of that is, rather than that another being is in your mind. Are they 50/50 or 10/90 or what?

I have no idea how to weigh the two.  I am comfortable with 50/50 realizing there is no way I can prove that weighing. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2014, 06:00:11 AM »
The existence of the universe I think can be explained by natural means. But I don't understand how, when you don't accept a natural reason for existence, you will accept a magical reason? To me, a natural explanation, however unlikely, is ALWAYS going to be more realistic than a magical explanation. Particularly when the reason cited by believers is that complexity must have a designer, this simply comes back on the magical being; as the most complicated thing in existence, by your own argument that being must have had a creator.

Believers; why do you refuse to accept natural explanations for the universe but will accept magical explanations?

I believe in a natural God not a supernatural one.  Why do you refuse to see that intelligence is likely behind our creation?

I think luck is just as irrational as you think belief is.

I think it's likely that God was formed in the Big Bang while matter was super, super duper condensed.
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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2014, 08:02:46 AM »

I believe in a natural God not a supernatural one.  Why do you refuse to see that intelligence is likely behind our creation?


Because an intelligence has not been required so far to explain our existence. Please point to an area that can only be explained by a magical creature being responsible for it.


I think it's likely that God was formed in the Big Bang while matter was super, super duper condensed.

The trouble is though, there is no evidence for any god. And why is it likely a magical being was formed at the start of our particular universe? The magical being was invented to explain how the universe got here in the first place.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2014, 09:56:59 AM »

I believe in a natural God not a supernatural one.  Why do you refuse to see that intelligence is likely behind our creation?

I think luck is just as irrational as you think belief is.

I think it's likely that God was formed in the Big Bang while matter was super, super duper condensed.

But "luck" (i.e. - chance) is not irrational. It happens all the time in our universe. People win the lottery on luck, they win in cards on luck, and we see lots of highly unlikely things occurring all of the time (such as in evolutionary biology, organic chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics, and lots of other fields) - not to mention all of the other super unlikely human events that take place all the time, such as the Gallina family winning the jackpot twice in one day (1/1 trillion odds), a man (Roy Sullivan) being struck by lightening 7 times and surviving, or a Yugoslavian woman who fell out of a plane (33,000 ft drop) and survived.

Unlikely things happen all of the time. They are not irrational and merely inserting a "God" (whatever that means) is not a valid explanation. It is just an argument from ignorance.

"I don't know how it happened. Therefore...magic."


http://www.super70s.com/Super70s/Tech/Aviation/Disasters/72-01-26(Yugoslav).asp
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 09:59:33 AM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2014, 10:28:13 AM »
The first definition I found defines enigma as "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand."
Yes, that’s about right. You will have cast about amongst various threads and seen some truly strange ideas held by the religious that they defend in the face of reason and vehemently wish others to take on board. To some extent, it is as if they wish to convince themselves as much as others. Yet your belief system seems to be “reasonable” in the true sense of the word: a mild eccentricity that is eminently understandable even though I see no justification in going down the same road.

You’d probably make a good C of E vicar: polite, gentlemanly, educated, a degree of deference, somewhat concerned, but with a nebulous idea of an invisible and avuncular confidant who is generally on our side.

You may be a poor prophet:

"They are poor prophets that twaddle to me about the benevolence &c of the Creator: as if the unutterable unfathomable Creation had nothing else to do but constitute itself into a Soup-kitchen, and God Most High were mere President of a universal Charity Ball! In no time of history, I think, has such wretched stuff been spoken and snivelled about God."

Thomas Carlyle to John Stuart Mill (Templand, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, 11th April, 1842)

but the world would be a better place were religion as yours. The downside is that WWGHA would not need to exist.

Quote
I hope this does not mean I am another Jesuis.  For me, Jesuis is definitely an enigma.
Well, for me, his thought patterns are.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2014, 10:32:17 AM »
But "luck" (i.e. - chance) is not irrational. It happens all the time in our universe. People win the lottery on luck, they win in cards on luck, and we see lots of highly unlikely things occurring all of the time (such as in evolutionary biology, organic chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics, and lots of other fields) - not to mention all of the other super unlikely human events that take place all the time, such as the Gallina family winning the jackpot twice in one day (1/1 trillion odds), a man (Roy Sullivan) being struck by lightening 7 times and surviving, or a Yugoslavian woman who fell out of a plane (33,000 ft drop) and survived.

Unlikely things happen all of the time. They are not irrational and merely inserting a "God" (whatever that means) is not a valid explanation. It is just an argument from ignorance.

"I don't know how it happened. Therefore...magic."


http://www.super70s.com/Super70s/Tech/Aviation/Disasters/72-01-26(Yugoslav).asp

It should also be noted that unlikely occurrences that are unfavorable also happen all of the time.  Inserting 'god' into the unlikely favorable circumstances without inserting it into unlikely unfavorable circumstances should be at least somewhat telling that, perhaps, insertion of 'god' is disconnected from objective reality.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2014, 10:57:49 AM »
The existence of the universe I think can be explained by natural means. But I don't understand how, when you don't accept a natural reason for existence, you will accept a magical reason? To me, a natural explanation, however unlikely, is ALWAYS going to be more realistic than a magical explanation. Particularly when the reason cited by believers is that complexity must have a designer, this simply comes back on the magical being; as the most complicated thing in existence, by your own argument that being must have had a creator.

Believers; why do you refuse to accept natural explanations for the universe but will accept magical explanations?


Does the beginning of the universe have a natural explanation ?  Is (for example) the Big Bang natural ?  Or is it magical ?

If the beginning cannot be shown to be natural then nothing that follows (by cause and effect) can be shown to be natural either.  ie it all stemmed from an unnatural or uncaused source.

'Natural' is simply the name that's been given to events which occur through cause and effect.  But logic insists that there must be a first cause that was itself uncaused whether it be eternal, or external to time altogether (another name for uncaused).

Thus nature itself (the natural laws) whether caused or uncaused is not natural.  Perhaps it's magical.  Or perhaps there is a third option to that offered by the OP.



Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2014, 11:11:38 AM »
The first definition I found defines enigma as "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand."
Yes, that’s about right. You will have cast about amongst various threads and seen some truly strange ideas held by the religious that they defend in the face of reason and vehemently wish others to take on board. To some extent, it is as if they wish to convince themselves as much as others. Yet your belief system seems to be “reasonable” in the true sense of the word: a mild eccentricity that is eminently understandable even though I see no justification in going down the same road.

You’d probably make a good C of E vicar: polite, gentlemanly, educated, a degree of deference, somewhat concerned, but with a nebulous idea of an invisible and avuncular confidant who is generally on our side.

You may be a poor prophet:

"They are poor prophets that twaddle to me about the benevolence &c of the Creator: as if the unutterable unfathomable Creation had nothing else to do but constitute itself into a Soup-kitchen, and God Most High were mere President of a universal Charity Ball! In no time of history, I think, has such wretched stuff been spoken and snivelled about God."

Thomas Carlyle to John Stuart Mill (Templand, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, 11th April, 1842)

but the world would be a better place were religion as yours. The downside is that WWGHA would not need to exist.

Quote
I hope this does not mean I am another Jesuis.  For me, Jesuis is definitely an enigma.
Well, for me, his thought patterns are.

Your kind words are truly appreciated. 

I grew up in the Episcopal church so maybe that is where my possible Church of England parallel stems from. 

Based on Mr. Carlyle's observation, I probably am a poor prophet.  On the other hand, I never claimed the gift of prophecy so it balances out I think. 

I think WWGHA will always need to exist.  If for no other reason than to keep theists like me on their toes.  :)

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2014, 12:22:56 PM »
But logic insists that there must be a first cause that was itself uncaused whether it be eternal, or external to time altogether (another name for uncaused).

I don't see that logic says that? I think the problem is that many things we as humans experience or have knowledge of have a beginning and an end. Out in the Cosmos, that does not appear to be the case.

Many scientists think that our universe may have come about in an endless succession of Big Bangs, one being the daughter of one and the mother of another.

That a magical being just 'happened' to exist is the weakest explanation of the universe I've seen.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2014, 01:42:09 PM »
But logic insists that there must be a first cause that was itself uncaused whether it be eternal, or external to time altogether (another name for uncaused).

I don't see that logic says that? I think the problem is that many things we as humans experience or have knowledge of have a beginning and an end. Out in the Cosmos, that does not appear to be the case.

Many scientists think that our universe may have come about in an endless succession of Big Bangs, one being the daughter of one and the mother of another.

That a magical being just 'happened' to exist is the weakest explanation of the universe I've seen.

Yes, the magical/"all-powerful" being assertion certainly seems to violate Occams Razor by making unnecessary assumptions which are not required in order to explain our existence (especially since this postulation of a god has not been actually demonstrated in any sound, cogent, or extraordinary fashion).
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2014, 03:59:46 PM »
Does the beginning of the universe have a natural explanation ?  Is (for example) the Big Bang natural ?  Or is it magical ?

If the beginning cannot be shown to be natural then nothing that follows (by cause and effect) can be shown to be natural either.  ie it all stemmed from an unnatural or uncaused source.

'Natural' is simply the name that's been given to events which occur through cause and effect.  But logic insists that there must be a first cause that was itself uncaused whether it be eternal, or external to time altogether (another name for uncaused).

Thus nature itself (the natural laws) whether caused or uncaused is not natural.  Perhaps it's magical.  Or perhaps there is a third option to that offered by the OP.

Your logic is so funny, I had to laugh. I suppose it was not meant to be funny and you put a lot of effort into making it up, but it does look to me as if you just made it up on the spur of the horse.

Tell me which bit of "eternal" came first?

Which bit of "external to time" came first?

This was fun too...

Natural..is...through cause and effect...thus nature whether caused or uncaused is not natural.

Don't ask me to become a Christian like you, I have the wrong thinking skills.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2014, 04:08:38 PM »
If god is natural, what makes it a god and not just another person, animal or thing? How are we supposed to know it is there-- by "logic" assuming that he has to exist, therefore he does? That makes no sense.

Also, why can't science detect this natural god in any way?
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 median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2014, 05:12:51 PM »

Does the beginning of the universe have a natural explanation ?  Is (for example) the Big Bang natural ?  Or is it magical ?

If the beginning cannot be shown to be natural then nothing that follows (by cause and effect) can be shown to be natural either.  ie it all stemmed from an unnatural or uncaused source.

'Natural' is simply the name that's been given to events which occur through cause and effect.  But logic insists that there must be a first cause that was itself uncaused whether it be eternal, or external to time altogether (another name for uncaused).

Thus nature itself (the natural laws) whether caused or uncaused is not natural.  Perhaps it's magical.  Or perhaps there is a third option to that offered by the OP.

1. I don't know, and I don't pretend to know like theists do. I can say though, however, that ALL of the valid and sound explanations we have in science are natural explanations, and that every-single-time someone has posited a "supernatural" explanation (whatever that means) in history, it has failed and the natural explanation has been the correct one. Do you think lightening comes from Zeus?

2. No, logic does not necessitate that there must have been some "uncaused cause" (but even if it did this wouldn't make it a "God" thing). That is just an assertion. What is natural is (generally speaking) what we can observe, test, make reliable predictions from, and/or demonstrate. It encompasses the physical universe that we inhabit (and perhaps the global universe or multi-verses) and what can rationally be understood from it. The Bing Bang model does not say that our universe "came from nothing". It states that our current universe derived from a fast expansion of a singularity - beyond which we cannot postulate b/c it may not make sense to.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2014, 07:57:52 AM »
The existence of the universe I think can be explained by natural means. But I don't understand how, when you don't accept a natural reason for existence, you will accept a magical reason? To me, a natural explanation, however unlikely, is ALWAYS going to be more realistic than a magical explanation. Particularly when the reason cited by believers is that complexity must have a designer, this simply comes back on the magical being; as the most complicated thing in existence, by your own argument that being must have had a creator.

Believers; why do you refuse to accept natural explanations for the universe but will accept magical explanations?

I don't speak for any other theists but I don't mind natural explanations.  I don't see them as a threat to my faith or my understanding of God.  But, then again, I don't take a literalist interpretation of the Bible.

As always,

OldChurchGuy

Then, when the naturalistic explanation of the Bible is that it is the mytholgized history or the Jewish people, followed by the mythologized history of an aggregate of Jewish heritics as coopted by a failing political empire....versus the son of a deity walked the earth and rose from the dead, you accept the natural reason?

I understand that you aren't a Bible literalist...even in the US, where the most of literalists are, only 1 in 3 call themselves literalist, and less than that even in practice.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 08:00:30 AM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2014, 08:40:42 AM »
Old Church Guy, Hope I am not taking this thread too far off topic, but I don't recall whether you have ever been asked or given a reason why it is the specific Christian model of God that you find resonates with you?

You have always been so open to the possibility that your belief is simply a matter of you being wired for faith, as it were, and finding that you are happier as a believer than otherwise could be a major factor in why you see patterns which you interpret as god's influence in your life, and I have no problem with that.

But other than your having been raised in the Christian faith, is there anything which makes you regard Christianity more true of God's story, or Christians as being on more of the correct path to understanding? Just curious, really.

It seems that, as open as you are to possibilities, your view of a deity should inevitably evolve to something which reaches beyond the scope of Christianity, yet, as far as I can see, that is what you continue to embrace.

Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2014, 11:15:25 AM »
Does the beginning of the universe have a natural explanation ?  Is (for example) the Big Bang natural ?  Or is it magical ?

If the beginning cannot be shown to be natural then nothing that follows (by cause and effect) can be shown to be natural either.  ie it all stemmed from an unnatural or uncaused source.

'Natural' is simply the name that's been given to events which occur through cause and effect.  But logic insists that there must be a first cause that was itself uncaused whether it be eternal, or external to time altogether (another name for uncaused).

Thus nature itself (the natural laws) whether caused or uncaused is not natural.  Perhaps it's magical.  Or perhaps there is a third option to that offered by the OP.

Your logic is so funny, I had to laugh. I suppose it was not meant to be funny and you put a lot of effort into making it up, but it does look to me as if you just made it up on the spur of the horse.

Tell me which bit of "eternal" came first?

Which bit of "external to time" came first?

This was fun too...

Natural..is...through cause and effect...thus nature whether caused or uncaused is not natural.

Don't ask me to become a Christian like you, I have the wrong thinking skills.

This would be much less fun if you were a Christian.  Thank you for your response.  I particularly like it that you are focusing on logic.

I think you have misunderstood my point.

1. 'Nature' refers to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

2. 'First cause' on the other hand, is that which gave/gives rise to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

3. That which arises through cause and effect is natural.

4. But that which gave rise to (the phenomenon known as) 'cause and effect' itself cannot then be natural.

Tell me if that amends your understanding of what I was saying.

Analogy:  Apples are a type of fruit.  But that which gave rise to apples cannot then (by pure logic alone) itself  be 'apples'.



Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2014, 11:53:47 AM »
But logic insists that there must be a first cause that was itself uncaused whether it be eternal, or external to time altogether (another name for uncaused).

I don't see that logic says that? I think the problem is that many things we as humans experience or have knowledge of have a beginning and an end. Out in the Cosmos, that does not appear to be the case.

I'm happy to include the possibility of no beginning.  In fact I included the 'eternal' option in my previous post.  So taking that into account we then have 2 options - some first thing which began without having any cause (from which all else then emerged) - or - some eternal thing (which always existed) from which all else then emerged.

Quote
Many scientists think that our universe may have come about in an endless succession of Big Bangs, one being the daughter of one and the mother of another.

An 'endless succession of Big Bangs' is as scientifically verifiable as the universe being sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure (Hitchhikers Guide...).  The 'endless Big Bangs' claim could just as easily have been the firmly belief held of some ancient religious cult.  Funny how it's being offered now as an alternative to religion.


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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2014, 11:57:09 AM »

This would be much less fun if you were a Christian.  Thank you for your response.  I particularly like it that you are focusing on logic.

I think you have misunderstood my point.

1. 'Nature' refers to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

2. 'First cause' on the other hand, is that which gave/gives rise to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

3. That which arises through cause and effect is natural.

4. But that which gave rise to (the phenomenon known as) 'cause and effect' itself cannot then be natural.

Tell me if that amends your understanding of what I was saying.

Analogy:  Apples are a type of fruit.  But that which gave rise to apples cannot then (by pure logic alone) itself  be 'apples'.

I understand totally what you are saying that is why I find it so funny. You are just making up definitions to suit yourself. None of your points are entirely true.
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Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2014, 12:03:03 PM »

1. 'Nature' refers to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

2. 'First cause' on the other hand, is that which gave/gives rise to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

3. That which arises through cause and effect is natural.

4. But that which gave rise to (the phenomenon known as) 'cause and effect' itself cannot then be natural.

Tell me if that amends your understanding of what I was saying.

Analogy:  Apples are a type of fruit.  But that which gave rise to apples cannot then (by pure logic alone) itself  be 'apples'.

1. No, 'nature' does not just refer to cause and effect. It refers to a broader subject than that (and includes the external world and ourselves within it). This might also include any other phenomena that we have yet to discover (such as multi-verses, parallel continuums, or quantum mechanical discoveries).

4. I disagree. This is really just an argument from ignorance b/c neither you nor the physicists working on these cosmological questions actually know a sufficient amount about the cause of our local known universe by which to make the determination that it is not natural. In fact, if we did discover the sufficient/conclusive explanation for the origins of our now experienced phenomenal world then it would be, just considered, natural - because it would be just one more aspect of our ever growing knowledge about the global 'circle' around us.

The apple analogy doesn't work because the explanation for the derivation of an apple is natural (and that explanation is in fact another apple and the seeds within it!). So too, all of the available evidence we have demonstrates that not only do apples have natural explanations (apples are fruits that came from other fruits, and so on) but so does the origin of all species of plant that we know about - each having a common ancestor with another.

If you're point here was to discuss the very beginning of "the first apple" then the analogy begs the question because in the case of the apple we do in fact have evidence for it's origin (i.e. - common ancestry gives us knowledge of what came before). In the case of our local known universe here, we do not have such information. We have tentative understanding in current cosmology which states that our known universe here came out of a singularity, and as is yet, we have no way of extrapolating beyond that singularity (which is the case with the apple). Thus, we cannot say much about a time "prior" to the singular or what it's nature is, and since all of our current knowledge is derived from natural phenomena the lesser assumption (to apply Occams Razor) is to explain the unknown with the known, not the other way around. And when we apply it consistently we must then accept that the natural explanation is not only the likely better one but the only one that has ever been shown to make any sense.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2014, 12:04:14 PM »

This would be much less fun if you were a Christian.  Thank you for your response.  I particularly like it that you are focusing on logic.

I think you have misunderstood my point.

1. 'Nature' refers to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

2. 'First cause' on the other hand, is that which gave/gives rise to the phenomenon that we call 'cause and effect'.

3. That which arises through cause and effect is natural.

4. But that which gave rise to (the phenomenon known as) 'cause and effect' itself cannot then be natural.

Tell me if that amends your understanding of what I was saying.

Analogy:  Apples are a type of fruit.  But that which gave rise to apples cannot then (by pure logic alone) itself  be 'apples'.

I understand totally what you are saying that is why I find it so funny. You are just making up definitions to suit yourself. None of your points are entirely true.

Ok, so pls correct one or all of my definitions and we'll take it from there.