Author Topic: Natural Explanation Vs Magical  (Read 9295 times)

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Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2014, 12:12:34 PM »

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.

The difference is that religion is held with a tight firm (presuppositional) grip and science does not. The things we understand from science (generally speaking) are held tentatively to be the case and nearly the entirety of the scientific enterprise operates with the mechanism of independent attempts to falsify the hypotheses made. Is your religion just tentative? Are you looking for any opportunity to falsify it? Are you highly critical of it and do you (and those in your church/sect) get together on a regular basis to challenge it's claims - or do you find yourself going into 'apologetics' mode when your theology is called into question?

There is really a big difference between the two methods of fact finding and sifting.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2014, 12:15:50 PM »
Point 1 can you think of something in nature which does not work by cause and effect?
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Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2014, 12:21:20 PM »
Point 1 can you think of something in nature which does not work by cause and effect?

My point was to show that "cause and effect" is an insufficient attempt for what is to be included in the definition of "nature". Indeed, quantum mechanics alone is showing us that there are aspects of nature that we do not yet understand and might not operate on the "cause and effect" plane that we have become accustomed to. Basically, science is not finished and theists want to act as those because scientific discovery is still discovering things that this must mean their assertion of the "supernatural" is the way we should go. But that is just one big argument from ignorance fallacy. When you don't know something you should just admit it - but that would be too painful for them b/c it would make them agnostics, not theists, and they are too emotionally invested to let that go.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2014, 12:36:09 PM »

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.

So you've never noticed that every single time in human history when the cause of something is unknown and is assigned to supernatural agency, when the cause is found out, it is not by supernatural agency? You are saying that you are that incredibly unobservant.

So while the posit of an endless chain of big bangs has no evidence, the posit claim of supernatural agency has evidence as to not be a good explanation. Therefore the posit claim of infinite big bangs is the more likely of the two.

In other words, Shrodinger's cat being alive or/and dead are claims to consider; that Shrodinger's cat being whisked away by ghosts to a different dimension and being overfed on blue cheese is not.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 12:41:54 PM 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 junebug72

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2014, 02:09:08 PM »

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.

Yes it has.  It has been required for a very, very, very long time.  I do not describe God as magical.


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.

I am not talking about a magical being.  I am talking about a natural one, if a god/gods exist.  I think it is likely due to the effects of condensing.  That is falsifiable isn't it?

I think God was imagined to explain why we are here not necessarily the universe.  I doubt very seriously the people that came up with God knew how vast the universe was.  They did however have enough intelligence to suspect/believe it took intelligence.  They gave that intelligence a name; God.  Other than that I believe God is a mystery.  A mystery many have claimed to solve but failed, myself included.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2014, 02:35:55 PM »
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.

When cosmologists talk of a beginning, they're referring to the observable universe. This is relative to what can be seen, and how do we see things?...... Through light. This is why it is incoherent and meaningless to talk about the observable universe as having a "cause", or to paraphrase Shaun Carroll - "not even false", because it is using language relative to the observable universe, when the state which brought about the observable universe isn't. It's no use talking about "before the universe" because space time is relative to light speed, yet inflation isn't relative to that as it travels faster. I find the only coherent way to articulate this is to point to an alternative continuum for which inflation is relative to. We don't know nowhere near enough about this to second guess whether this has always existed or not.

Quote
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.

These really aren't comparable at all. We have evidence of one Big Bang, so postulating the possibility of more is not far fetched. However, gods or any other celestial magicians, evidence there is none.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2014, 03:07:45 PM »
Logic consists of words arranged in certain patterns. Words can be arranged so as to do all kinds of things that do not reflect reality.

I am the queen of the universe and everything that happens is because of me.

I just arranged some words in a logical pattern. Do those words reflect reality? (Now you get to say "no".)

You know those apologetic pseudo-scientific pseudo-philosophical stories that go around the internet? ("Darkness is the absence of light, bad is the absence of good, and sin is the absence of god..."). Same stuff going on. Words that might sound nice but that don't actually reflect reality, just like fairy tales, myths, jokes, and fictional stories.

Words only state something; and that something may or may not be true, valid, real. Saying something does not prove anything. Any religion--Mormonism, Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses, Nation of Islam-- can convince some people to believe in it by using logical-sounding language to package human experiences in a particular way. That, again, is not proof of anything. (Except maybe the gullibility of people.)

You cannot "prove" the existence of a god with logical-sounding words. And you should not have to. You should be able to clearly demonstrate the existence of a god, not just keep restating that god must exist because of this nice feeling you have, or because of that strange event that happened once, or because of that especially nifty piece of irrefutable logic.

Fact: if there was any sentient being powerful enough to create life or the entire universe, and that being wanted every human to know about it, we all would.

Consider the sun. We all know that there is a sun. We don't need to use ancient stories, logical arguments or apologetics to "prove" that the sun is there. We can see it, feel its rays, photograph it, document and measure its effects on the planet in a million different ways that all give the same results.

Imagine if we had thousands of different competing ideas about the sun, all with equally fervent supporters, articulate leaders, bodies of literature. And none can produce any evidence that what they say is true. You just have to pick a group that is popular in your region, and have faith that they are right..... :-\[1]

If there is a powerful, loving god, it should be at least as clearly evident as the sun. There would be no way possible to not know about it! There should be no opposing arguments, no doubters, no wavering faith, no atheists, just as there is no group of humans who doubt the existence of the sun.

There should be no need to base your belief on ancient manuscripts with pointless passages that contradict each other, and vague prophecies that only make sense in retrospect. There should be no need for complicated  apologetic excuses for why god does not seem to exist. There should not be a need for "faith" to cover for the fact that everyday life experiences make it seem like god is not real. Most definitely there should be no need to "look into your heart" to find out if god exists.

Do people need to "understand the right interpretation of the sacred text" or "look into their hearts" or "have faith and maybe you will know the truth when you die" about the sun? Or about anything else commonly accepted as real besides supernatural sh!t?

The sun exists. Gods don't.  Case closed.
 1. "The sun is the size of your thumb, shaped like a cube and is hot like fire," says one group. "No, the sun is gigantic, doughnut-shaped and as cold as ice," says another. "No, the sun is invisible and formless, made of blood demons," says still another.
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 #36 on: March 25, 2014, 05:48:16 PM »
You make some great points nogodsforme!

Check this one out:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2014, 03:08:01 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.

Yes it has.  It has been required for a very, very, very long time.  I do not describe God as magical.


Where exactly is an intelligence required?
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 junebug72

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2014, 04:30:22 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.

Yes it has.  It has been required for a very, very, very long time.  I do not describe God as magical.


Where exactly is an intelligence required?

Intelligence and imagination are required every time we build.  Every time something complex is created it is done by intelligence.  I just used intelligence to write that sentence. 8)

If it were not for intelligence mankind would still live in caves.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2014, 04:45:58 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.

Yes it has.  It has been required for a very, very, very long time.  I do not describe God as magical.


Where exactly is an intelligence required?

Intelligence and imagination are required every time we build.  Every time something complex is created it is done by intelligence.  I just used intelligence to write that sentence. 8)

If it were not for intelligence mankind would still live in caves.

So what intelligence is behind the creation of god?
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2014, 07:39:43 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.

Yes it has.  It has been required for a very, very, very long time.  I do not describe God as magical.


Where exactly is an intelligence required?

Intelligence and imagination are required every time we build.  Every time something complex is created it is done by intelligence.  I just used intelligence to write that sentence. 8)

If it were not for intelligence mankind would still live in caves.

That people exist and have intelligence is not something I dispute. You however appear to be claiming that the universe needs intelligence for it's creation. Niagara Falls are pretty impressive, but the falling water doesn't need any intelligence to create the effect.
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 junebug72

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2014, 08:39:11 AM »

So what intelligence is behind the creation of god?

Mother Nature :)???
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2014, 08:58:46 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.

Yes it has.  It has been required for a very, very, very long time.  I do not describe God as magical.


Where exactly is an intelligence required?

Intelligence and imagination are required every time we build.  Every time something complex is created it is done by intelligence.  I just used intelligence to write that sentence. 8)

If it were not for intelligence mankind would still live in caves.

That people exist and have intelligence is not something I dispute. You however appear to be claiming that the universe needs intelligence for it's creation. Niagara Falls are pretty impressive, but the falling water doesn't need any intelligence to create the effect.

Niagara Falls is not complex.  I think the intelligent being that possibly created us was very aware of water's power and it's beauty.  Water is necessary for our existence and what do you know we have water.  That to me is evidence of intelligence.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2014, 09:26:11 AM »

So what intelligence is behind the creation of god?

Mother Nature :)???

So why do you think that nature did not create humans?
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2014, 09:47:53 AM »
Water is necessary for our existence and what do you know we have water.  That to me is evidence of intelligence.

Not very good evidence. Humans like playing Lotto, and what do you know, we have Lotto.
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #45 on: March 26, 2014, 10:12:01 AM »

So what intelligence is behind the creation of god?

Mother Nature :)???

If you consider nature to be intelligent, then why not get rid of the by-product, middle man god and call nature god? It seems that perhaps you're not too sure about labelling nature as intelligent, I dunno, perhaps it'd be better in an anthropomorphic way to say that it exudes intelligence - that there is no purpose or intent there. I'll let you wrangle with that so not to put words in your mouth.

However, you hit a dead-end no matter which way you turn. If you say nature is intelligent then all you do is push the question back again and ask what intelligence is behind the creation of nature, and what intelligence is behind that, and that....... and that........ ad infinitum.
If you say that nature appears to behave in a way that is analogous to intelligence but without intent, then you have complexity arising without intelligence but by purely natural means. If your god doesn't require this, then it also follows that anything as complex or less complex doesn't require it either. Occam's Razor then does a good job of slicing off anything unnecesarry.
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Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2014, 10:52:39 AM »

I have not presumed a God in this thread.

I have simply shown that 'natural' fails when traced to it's origins.  The origin cannot be natural - whether it be an eternal origin or something which popped into existence (uncaused) - neither of those options are natural.  By definition they are un-caused and thus not natural.  This is basic logic and requires no faith or dogma.  Nothing that exists but has no cause is natural.

This simple fact needs to be faced.  It should not be hidden and cannot be explained away.

The next step then ie what we choose to name the 'uncaused origin', is up to the beholder.  'The unknown' is possibly as good a name as any.

But just don't pretend that it's natural.



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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2014, 10:59:02 AM »
Point 1 can you think of something in nature which does not work by cause and effect?

I take it this is in response to me.

Let's avoid riddles and get right to the point.   Pls correct any one or more of my definitions/statements and then we can make some progress.

Offline penfold

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2014, 11:39:59 AM »
I have simply shown that 'natural' fails when traced to it's origins.  The origin cannot be natural - whether it be an eternal origin or something which popped into existence (uncaused) - neither of those options are natural.  By definition they are un-caused and thus not natural.  This is basic logic and requires no faith or dogma.  Nothing that exists but has no cause is natural.

In fact this is not 'basic logic' - causality cannot be assumed a priori[1]; if you disagree then you should be able to demonstrate causation without reference to examples. I would invite you to do so.

This is the root of the distinction between deductive reasoning (logical) and inductive reasoning (empirical). Causation is firmly in the latter camp.

So given that our justification for causation is empirical not logical how strong is the evidence for causation? Not very, it turns out. Causation seems to dictate at the large 'Newtonian scale' of everyday life but not at the fundamental quantum level[2].

In conclusion causation is not a truth of logic, nor it seems, a truth of the physical world. Rather it is a simple but useful tool for explaining observations and making predictions at the Newtonian scale.

Put another way, the universe is damnably complicated, your intuition about causation is simply not a good enough tool to justify a hypothesis about its origins.

Hope that helps  :)

 
 1. David Hume Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Ch I-VII
 2. eg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 11:42:34 AM by penfold »
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Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2014, 11:55:14 AM »
penfold,

If I am getting your gist you seem to be implying that causation may in fact just be a useful fiction ?

If so, I could go along with that up to a point (esp after a beer or two).

But whether or not you are presenting that case, would you care to define 'natural' from your perspective ?



Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2014, 01:09:22 PM »
Point 1 can you think of something in nature which does not work by cause and effect?

I take it this is in response to me.

Let's avoid riddles and get right to the point.   Pls correct any one or more of my definitions/statements and then we can make some progress.

Why do you say that asking you to think is a riddle? It is not a riddle, it is the point. The most important part of knowledge is to eliminate guesses. Starting with point 1, I am trying to get you to eliminate your guesses and maybe discover some new interesting things.

I am asking you if you can think of something in nature which does not work by cause and effect. If not try a google search. I don't want you to think I am making stuff up and giving you false information.
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Offline penfold

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2014, 03:32:02 PM »
penfold,

If I am getting your gist you seem to be implying that causation may in fact just be a useful fiction ?

If so, I could go along with that up to a point (esp after a beer or two).

Causation is certainly “useful”, I am not sure about the word “fiction”; it strikes me that when thinking about the accuracy of scientific descriptions of the universe, it is far more profitable to stick to use than any notion of truth. My point was simply that causation lacks the degree of certainty you seemed to be placing on it. If you want to call it “fiction” you can, but then so is Newton's account of gravitation and Maxwell's understanding of electromagnetism - maybe so, but boy are they useful!

Quote
But whether or not you are presenting that case, would you care to define 'natural' from your perspective ?

The word 'natural' is almost impossible to define, it is one of those chameleon words which can mean many, often contrary, things. At one extreme 'natural' is simply taken to mean of the universe (eg. Talk of “the natural world” or the subject of “the natural sciences”). It can also designate something as being without artifice (eg. “natural dam”, “natural hair”). It can even be little more than designator of some kind of ethical attribute (eg. “natural remedy”, “100% natural ingredients”). In an different vein we have 'natural' as a designator of some kind of authentic quality of a thing (eg “true to her nature”, “natural habitat”). Then of course we can also define 'natural' by ostensive comparison eg. 'natural' as opposed to 'magical' (as in the OP) or opposed to 'artificial', or 'man-made', or 'supernatural', etc... - each of these comparisons provide different scope and thus subtly different meanings of 'natural'. Many of these areas overlap, but all of them are valid uses, no one of them is 'correct' or 'the definition I endorse' they just have different uses.

Reading what you wrote you seem more interested in the idea natural as meaning of the universe. Yet even here there are problems, does this mean the observed universe (as implied by “natural sciences”) or is it closer to the Greek understanding of Kosmos as including the subjective content (as implied by claims like “we are part of nature”)? Alternatively it could be that these uses only arise secondarily and really 'natural' means a real quality of the universe (which, arguably, is synonymous with 'facts' - back to "natural science"again!). Finally I don't think it is clear whether 'natural' is ontological (to do with things-in-themselves) or epistemological (to do with things-as-observed). Again, no one of them is 'correct' or 'the definition I endorse' they just have different scope.

So I'm afraid I don't really have an answer. Perhaps you could tell me what you think we should mean by natural?
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2014, 07:03:17 PM »
Dominic, you  did not respond to my post-- about how logical-sounding words do not necessarily reflect reality and how if there is a powerful loving being behind everything who wanted us to know about it, we would all know about it. Clearly and without a doubt. Do you agree or not? 

It seems to me, this being does not want us to know about it and is hiding, which makes me wonder about any claims about it being loving. Why would it hide- It never gives any useful information about the universe, lets things just roll along, good, bad and more bad. Once in a while dropping ambiguous hints to a handful of people in remote desert regions,  maybe talking to a few serial killers, or d!cking around with schizophrenics from time to time, and then showing up on somebody's toast?  It lets humans flail around thinking all the wrong things about it and even killing each other over the different possibilities. Sounds more like The Joker from Batman than a loving god.

We have to ditch any claim that this thing is loving or caring, finds our keys, makes paralyzed people walk, brings rain to drought-ridden farmers, cures people with cancer, saves babies that fall from windows onto awnings, gives people just less than what it would take to destroy them completely, or any of that. All the "god is good" religious bumper stickers and church signs are lies, or at best, wishful thinking.

Or maybe it cannot show itself in a way that is coherent to humans, which makes me wonder about how powerful it is, anyway. It made the sun, but is not able to show up and be seen, measured, observed, etc. like the sun? It made evolution and DNA, but cannot reveal itself to scientists like evolution and DNA? Right. What's up with that?

So, in the absence of something like a powerful, loving god-person really being there, we have to create this powerful, loving god-person with logical-sounding words. But then we cannot describe it in any way more definite than "the uncaused cause"  or "nature".
 
That puts us back to the starting line. What is the point of proposing a god-person that does nothing but exist, undetectable and unknowable, out there somewhere? At best, you have created a deist god, Dominic. One that made everything and then poofed itself away, leaving no trace of its existence.

I await the next step, which is invariably the claim that nothing is real and we cannot truly know anything anyway..... :-\
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 #53 on: March 26, 2014, 11:01:26 PM »

I have not presumed a God in this thread.

I have simply shown that 'natural' fails when traced to it's origins.  The origin cannot be natural - whether it be an eternal origin or something which popped into existence (uncaused) - neither of those options are natural.  By definition they are un-caused and thus not natural.  This is basic logic and requires no faith or dogma.  Nothing that exists but has no cause is natural.

This simple fact needs to be faced.  It should not be hidden and cannot be explained away.

The next step then ie what we choose to name the 'uncaused origin', is up to the beholder.  'The unknown' is possibly as good a name as any.

But just don't pretend that it's natural.

The only one doing the pretending is you - since you are choosing to arbitrarily assert (i.e. - merely claim "by my definition it's true...") that the cause of our local universe is not natural. Sorry, you don't just get to pretend that your "supernatural" verbiage is a sufficient answer. For one, you have yet to even coherently define this "supernatural". All you did was make the assertion (once again, which I rebutted) that natural means cause and effect. But that attempt at a definition is insufficient for taking into account all things that are in fact part of the natural world (i.e. - all things that exist and can be demonstrated in some coherent way or have sound evidence to support their existence). You are attempting to define your way into victory. FAIL. What you actually need is a demonstration of this "supernatural" of which you claim is there - not just "I define natural this way. So I'm going to exclude anything I personally don't know about or understand, and instead just posit the 'super' natural." This is precisely the path that your predecessors took when they didn't understand things in the natural order. "Look! There's lightening coming from the clouds! It must have been supernatural Zeus!"

When we don't know something, we should admit it - not claim it's "supernatural" out of our ignorance or incredulity.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 11:12:28 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2014, 12:12:45 AM »
penfold,

If I am getting your gist you seem to be implying that causation may in fact just be a useful fiction ?

If so, I could go along with that up to a point (esp after a beer or two).

But whether or not you are presenting that case, would you care to define 'natural' from your perspective ?

Trying to understand some of the Quantum Interpretations, like Copenhagen and Transactional has given us scope to wonder if things are working backwards, and the Big Bang is the end of the universe. In the case of the universe working backwards, the what we assume to be rock-solid causality may be a very complicated illusion.

Then String Theory has given us room to imagine that there are many bizarre universes. Our universe may be a bizarre universe, by comparison to some.

People who take DMT seem to have experiences which parallel an understanding of the totally bizarre universes that could exist.

Given what we know of this world, and can conceive of, there is loads of room to consider that the world is more complicated that a God who parted some water, and created Adam.

Religion got its neck broken in the 1800's, when people considered that life evolved. The general trend for religion is not good.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2014, 10:10:48 AM »
I await the next step, which is invariably the claim that nothing is real and we cannot truly know anything anyway..... :-\
You're skipping over a few steps.

Chronologically:

1. Scientific inquiry is limiting, and this is automatically a bad thing.  Because reasons.

2. Express that there are, in fact, multiple ways of knowing.  Attaining knowledge regarding objective reality is not limited to scientific inquiry.  This is true because of (1) and because reasons.

3. Well, not so much multiple ways of knowing, but just two: aspects of objective reality can be known through scientific or (maybe and?) spiritual 'faith-based' means, but limited to those two ways.  This is true because of (not 1) and because reasons.

4. 'Faith' is not only just another way of attaining knowledge, but is, in fact, as valid of a method as scientific inquiry.  This is true because it works for me, so clearly this should work for everyone and because reasons.

5. Oh, those other people who have attained false or incorrect knowledge via 'faith'...yeah, no they were doing it wrong.  I know they were doing it wrong because reasons.

6. Just because they did faith wrong doesn't mean I'm doing faith wrong.  Look at all this science that I have to back up my knowledge that was acquired via 'faith'.

7. Yes, 'faith' is just as valid as scientific inquiry as a way to acquire knowledge.

8. No, their false or incorrect knowledge acquired via 'faith' is incorrect.  Just look at this here science that resolutely contradicts their false or incorrect knowledge.

9. No, really, I do believe that 'faith' is a valid path to knowledge regarding objective reality.

10. Well, what do you mean by objective reality?

11. Actually, what do you mean by knowledge?

12. Because god.

Yup - twelve steps.
"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'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline junebug72

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2014, 10:58:06 AM »

So what intelligence is behind the creation of god?

Mother Nature :)???

So why do you think that nature did not create humans?


So what intelligence is behind the creation of god?

Mother Nature :)???

If you consider nature to be intelligent, then why not get rid of the by-product, middle man god and call nature god? It seems that perhaps you're not too sure about labelling nature as intelligent, I dunno, perhaps it'd be better in an anthropomorphic way to say that it exudes intelligence - that there is no purpose or intent there. I'll let you wrangle with that so not to put words in your mouth.

However, you hit a dead-end no matter which way you turn. If you say nature is intelligent then all you do is push the question back again and ask what intelligence is behind the creation of nature, and what intelligence is behind that, and that....... and that........ ad infinitum.
If you say that nature appears to behave in a way that is analogous to intelligence but without intent, then you have complexity arising without intelligence but by purely natural means. If your god doesn't require this, then it also follows that anything as complex or less complex doesn't require it either. Occam's Razor then does a good job of slicing off anything unnecesarry.

I'm not so sure I believe that way.  If I believe God was created naturally and we were created by God using natural laws then by default I believe we were created by nature.

The same question arises w/o a God in the scenario.  I don't think it is possible for us to ever "know" what happened before the Big Bang.

So why don't you think that nature is capable of creating a being capable of creating us?

« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 11:06:13 AM by junebug72 »
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2014, 11:54:34 AM »
So I'm afraid I don't really have an answer. Perhaps you could tell me what you think we should mean by natural?
May I suggest: "not created for a purpose; not created intentionally; not created for a reason; created by non-sentient forces."
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”