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Hi, I'm the anonymous poster, actually I just sent this email to the moderator and they posted it for me and invited me to sign up so I have, especially since so many of you responded to the post.

Welcome to the Forum, TruthSearcher.

Anyway, I get the feeling that you guys generally think God is an imperfect pathetic sadist.

Which one?  Bes, an Egyptian protector-god, seems like an OK guy even if he is a bit odd looking.  Renenet is nice, since she makes it her mission to look out for mothers during childbirth.  They're just not very good at it,[1] is all.  Zeus is a major asshat, but Prometheus is pretty cool if you ask me.

So based on this opinion of him you say he doesn't exist because you don't want such a God to exist

I haven't counted, but quite a few of the posts in response stated that our opinions of a god and desires for it to exist/not exist are quite irrelevant to the question of its existence, including my post.  Could you respond to those please?

, but your opinion of him doesn't change the truth regarding his existence or non existence.

Agreed.  Likewise for your opinion of him.

Who cares what you think the creator should be like, or what kind of creation they should have made,

Arguments about this sort of thing come in response to the claim that the creator/creators is/are omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and infallible.  Such claims may be tested against the actual facts of the Cosmos.  If you do not claim that your god is perfectly loving and good, or all-powerful, or infallible[2] then those sorts of arguments would not apply against your god-concept.

lets just look at the evidence,

This is a bit premature.  First, you need to specify what you mean by "God."  The term is notoriously vague, used by different sorts of theists to represent everything from an anthropomorphic[3] person to an impersonal Something like the Force, to an even more nebulous "Ground of Being."  We cannot analyze evidence as being for or against "God" until we agree on what "God" is supposed to be, in the same way that I could not ask you to look at the evidence for quasion particles, without first telling you what a quasion particle is supposed to be.

for example, life comes from life (we all know this to be currently true),

Not always.  Let's say I take a multivitamin pill.  The pill is just inert chemistry.  Yet some of that pill will become incorporated into my tissues as "life."  Life, from non-life!  For that matter, if you look at "life" close enough, you'll find that it's chemistry all the way down.  All the DNA, enzymes, proteins, lipids, etc. are chemical substances made out of the same atoms as everything else.  "Life" is a pattern integrity, like a wave or an eddy in water.  There is no magic boundary between "life" and "non-life."  Just as the eddy is made of water, which all starts and ends as "non-eddy" water, I am a pattern integrity that persists because of continuous flows of non-"life" matter passing through (the air I breathe, the food I eat, the dumps I take, etc.).

Furthermore, a number of different experiments have shown that complex chemical components of "life," like enzymes, proteins, and lipids, can self-assemble (just like snowflakes) under simulated early-Earth conditions.

Furthermore, we can point to viruses and ask: are they alive?  They don't eat, they don't reproduce themselves, but they do carry genetic information, they evolve, and they can parasitically reproduce themselves by hijacking cellular machinery.

Furthermore, is (your concept of) God alive?  Does he eat?  Metabolize?  Reproduce?[4]  If he doesn't do these things, then he's not "alive" in the sense we mean when we talk about life.  Thus, your "life only comes from life, therefore God exists" argument fails.  If your god is in some sense alive, then you still have not solved the mystery of the origin of life; you have just punted it to an inaccessible god-realm and proclaimed it to be insoluble.

Furthermore, any god that can be referred to as a "he" (or a "she") has to be at least as complex as a bacterium, or maybe a flatworm.  If s/he goes around designing and creating Cosmoses, accurately and simultaneously perceiving the thoughts (prayers) of millions or even billions of people, and so on, then s/he must be inconceivably complex.  Any highly complex entity is improbable to the degree of its complexity.  If its component parts are re-arranged at random, there are many, many ways the result could be a different entity, or just a gooey mess, and very few (arguably only one) that it could end up as that particular entity.  For example, if my atoms got randomly scrambled in a Star Trek transporter accident, I would almost certainly end up as a pile of chemical jello.  The odds that a random shuffling would come up as me, or, say, a 26-year-old Indian woman[5] with a talent for violin and extensive knowledge of molecular biology, would be infinitesimal.   

so until someone shows this scientific law to be false then we should be thinking that the first living cell must have come from a living being regardless of how hopeless we think that being is.

Unless the "living being" it was supposed to have come from is vastly more improbable (as a result of its vastly higher complexity) than the first living cell.  In that case, the proposed "living being" has even more of the stuff (complexity, life) that we're ostensibly scratching our heads over and doubting could just exist on its own. 

We already have evidence for things like self-organization of complex molecules and structures (e.g. lipid envelopes capable of serving as proto-cell walls), autocatalytic reactions and so forth that form the building blocks of cells.  Any self-replicating molecule or "first living cell" (the only requirement to get a process of natural selection started) is far less complex (thus, far less improbable) than any god or Sufficiently Advanced alien who could design one in a lab.  Thus, it follows that the earliest living cell is more likely to "just happen" or "just exist" than the god or the alien.  Thanks to the discovery of the process of natural selection, we now know that the primitive cell/first self-replicating molecule is a far more probable explanation for intelligent personal beings, than the other way around.

Please be aware that our opinion of "God" has a huge bearing on how we conduct research and we need to be open and honest about how it affects our research.

Agreed.  However, you should also cultivate this same awareness.  For example, you have just assumed that the agency responsible for the existence of the first cell is a single, male god.  There is no reason to make this sort of assumption at the outset.  How do you know it's not a committee, or a Goddess?  You have a particular "God" that you favor, and you're just dropping him in, because you favor him.
 1. No better than random chance + placebo effect.
 2. I.e., a god could be perfectly good, but not have the power to create perfection, or make a mistake in trying to implement perfect goodness, or be all-powerful/infallible, but indifferent or capricious.
 3. Well, technically this sort of theist would claim that we are theomorphic, i.e., "made in the image of God."
 4. Being a he, apparently so: otherwise, what use would he have for male genitalia?
 5. Apparent age; how old she looks.  Her real age counts off from the end of the transport that created her.
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Iamrational Well thought out AND written. You are smart. February 19, 2012, 01:19:41 AM