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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: epidemic on June 20, 2013, 02:09:26 PM

Title: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on June 20, 2013, 02:09:26 PM
Does God or gods exist;

With god being defined as:

A supernatural being who :
1) By supernatural means created the universe (through big bang or instantaniously poofed)
2) Either interacts with his humanity or does not interact with his creation (hands on or hands off god)

I have been told that I have misunderstood the position of atheists on this site and am just trying to undersand where people stand.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on June 20, 2013, 02:21:54 PM
I wanted one more poll item but it appears as if I am limited to 5

I don't know but I see evidence that god may exist.  I could have eliminated the other I don't know one but I felt it put me more in the camp of waffling.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: ParkingPlaces on June 20, 2013, 02:35:15 PM
I would like to say that a god or gods don't exist, but I'm told by other atheists that I can't be sure, so even most of us want a little wiggle room. Present party excluded.

So I voted "not likely".

What I pay attention to when god claims are made is that almost all (scientology would be an exception) are old stories, from old times, past on with old ideas and old values. For whatever reason, I am expected to understand that this god character hung around and took direct action for awhile, then backed off and left us to fend for ourselves. Or some variation of that story. And I just can't buy it.

I am expected to read Greek myths and say "Well, of course, those aren't true" but then read the bible and say "Wow, this must be true!" I can't seem to do that.

Were new god stories being transmitted on a regular basis, like UFO sightings are, then I might have a slightly different POV. I'd probably think it was a conspiracy or something. But nonetheless, having only old tales to go by, and no sign whatsoever that a god has been involved in any way (other than those old stories, of which there are many, including gobs of non-christian ones), I go with the most likely scenario. They were all made up. At a time when gods were important for explanatory and control reasons. They aren't needed now. So we humans can stop with the fairy tales.

I also contend that a real god would be able to help conjure up stories about him and his expectations, rather than having a version that sounded so much like all the clearly fake god stories. (By fake, I mean, in this case, fake to the believer who thinks his or her god story is true.) A real god who requires belief just the way fake ones do, a real god who is just as invisible as the others to people today, a real god who is as indifferent to his own followers as he is to those who don't believe would be too pathetic a character to actually exist.

The day some religious group starts enjoying demonstrably better lives, with longer life spans, better heath, more prosperity, few social and personal problems and has an infinite supple of iPads, I might reconsider. In the meantime, all religions are clowns on this bus. (If you don't know who The Firesign Theatre was, that last sentence probably sounds weird. Live with it.)

Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: One Above All on June 20, 2013, 02:40:08 PM
Gods do not exist, even as a possibility, unless by "gods" you mean "advanced space aliens that didn't create dick".

The arguments used for the existence of one or more deities are all fallacious, which is well known around the Internet by anyone with half a neuron. There is no possible way for gods to exist. Even using the arguments provided by theists, gods cannot exist.
One of those arguments is the "things are too complex to have just come from nothing" argument. It would have us believe that complexity is a sign of design. If so, the god would also have to have been designed, since a complex system like the universe would require an even more complex designer. And so the god that designed it would also have to have been designed. And so on, ad infinitum.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: screwtape on June 20, 2013, 03:08:40 PM
I know I'm supposed to say "I do not think they exist because of lack of evidence", I've come to the conclusion that is a philosophical hedge.  Zeus does not exist.  Odin does not exist.  Quetzequoatal does not exist.  Marduk does not exist.  These are all simply facts.  Why should I act as if the scaled up, generic, abstract cousin of these nonetities is something I should waste my time even considering?  If someone were to bring me evidence of Odin, well, I'd have to change my position.  But until then, gtfo with gods.

That is my opinion which is distinct from atheism in general, which is just a rejection of the claim "gods exist" for lack of evidence.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on June 20, 2013, 03:10:37 PM
Gods do not exist, even as a possibility, unless by "gods" you mean "advanced space aliens that didn't create dick".

The arguments used for the existence of one or more deities are all fallacious, which is well known around the Internet by anyone with half a neuron. There is no possible way for gods to exist. Even using the arguments provided by theists, gods cannot exist.
One of those arguments is the "things are too complex to have just come from nothing" argument. It would have us believe that complexity is a sign of design. If so, the god would also have to have been designed, since a complex system like the universe would require an even more complex designer. And so the god that designed it would also have to have been designed. And so on, ad infinitum.

It is this hard core answer that blows my mind.  I don't believe god is likely, but it is the height of arrogants to suggest that it is impossible for a god to exist.  How can you claim to know all that is knowable?  What makes you think for a fact god impossible?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: One Above All on June 20, 2013, 03:14:25 PM
It is this hard core answer that blows my mind.

Good. So did the first computer, among other great ideas.

I don't believe god is likely, but it is the height of arrogants to suggest that it is impossible for a god to exist.

No it's not. It's simply logical. Find me a fallacy-free argument for the existence of deities. Go ahead. I have all of eternity.

How can you claim to know all that is knowable?

I don't, but I find it arrogant[1] of you to claim that I claimed that.

What makes you think for a fact god impossible?

Like I said, find me a fallacy-free argument for the existence of deities. Just one. It doesn't even have to be a good one.
 1. Among other things
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on June 20, 2013, 03:18:11 PM
I know I'm supposed to say "I do not think they exist because of lack of evidence", I've come to the conclusion that is a philosophical hedge.  Zeus does not exist.  Odin does not exist.  Quetzequoatal does not exist.  Marduk does not exist.  These are all simply facts.  Why should I act as if the scaled up, generic, abstract cousin of these nonetities is something I should waste my time even considering?  If someone were to bring me evidence of Odin, well, I'd have to change my position.  But until then, gtfo with gods.

That is my opinion which is distinct from atheism in general, which is just a rejection of the claim "gods exist" for lack of evidence.

Could peoples desire to create and name gods be based on a long lost relationship with a diety?  Could the many Gods be a byproduct of people seeking him?


Of course that requires a hands off god,  I just thought of this,  what relavance is a hands off God,  he would not have an interest in the vastly inferior people who are trying to worship him.  A hands off god is undetectable and probably would not consider us as no different than gravity, or atoms.  Now a hands on god who is now hands off because he set the rules might be relevant but subject to pure faith in the words of 2000 year old peoples long gone penned after their lifetimes.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jag on June 20, 2013, 03:34:28 PM
And with this ^^^ you've just stumbled onto exactly why some of us say that a deist god is the only one that makes any sense at all. It's the only suggested god that fits reality.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: mrbiscoop on June 20, 2013, 08:04:58 PM
No, but unfortunately this thread does.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Astreja on June 20, 2013, 08:36:07 PM
In the meantime, all religions are clowns on this bus. (If you don't know who The Firesign Theatre was, that last sentence probably sounds weird. Live with it.)

 8) Back when I had a turntable and vinyl, I was the proud owner of the first four FS albums.  IIRC, I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Think_We're_All_Bozos_on_This_Bus) (Warning:  Contains spoilers) contains the line "Up Against the Wall... of Science!"
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Fiji on June 21, 2013, 01:45:55 AM
If there is an interventionist god, than he's doing a bang up job of pretending to be non-interventionist.
So until he/she/it actually does something noticeable I'm going to stick with a deistic god at the most.

As for the nature of our universe. I can certainly see how some uber-intelligence might have once gone ... "I wonder what would happen if I ... *BIG BANG* ... Neat-o! Now I'm going to ... ummm ... devide by zero!!! That ought to be fun!" and he never cleaned up the universe he created.
Or such a creature could have created the entire universe as-is 5 minutes ago, with everything in place heading the right way and we'd never know.
Or we could indeed be living inside a computer simulation. There actually is scientific research going to try and see if we can find the edges of the simulation. Should we discover that we're inside the Celestial Windows ... would we call the uber Bill Gates god?
However given the universe we actually know ... I see no need for any sort of god to be involved. (never mind that, there's the whole ... if we were to find uber gates ... where did he come from?)
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Nam on June 21, 2013, 02:25:02 AM
Where's the "I don't care" option?

-Nam
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: bertatberts on June 21, 2013, 05:10:51 AM
I voted "God or gods are not likely" because I could not possibly know whether they do or don't, exist, but I will go as far to say that I'm 99.99999% recurring sure, that they don't.

Here is something that may help you in your quest, Epidemic.
 
It was posted up here by  Mr Friday in July 2008, he has since moved on.


    * There is not one iota of unequivocal evidence that any God exists.
    * God cannot explain all that exists because God itself cannot be explained. This claim just gratuitously swaps one mystery for another.
    * Religions do not explain any mechanism or process whereby God created everything. It is effectively an appeal to magic.
    * Religious faith is generally indistinguishable from gullibility. Trust and faith, as human concepts, are normally based on experience and reason. Religious faith is necessarily based on belief in unproved and unknowable things.
    * A god or anything that exists outside the realm of natural reality is necessarily unknowable, unintelligible and incoherent. It is therefore irrational to believe in something that is supernatural.
    * Religious scripture:
          o is man-made
          o contains many translation and interpretation errors
          o is often self-contradictory
          o often contradicts known facts
          o promotes conversion by violence
          o calls for punishment and death to unbelievers
          o contains virtually no specific and unequivocal predictions
          o contains only vague predictions beyond its own time
          o contains many failed prophecies, predictions and unfulfilled promises of God
    * Scripture contains too much that is vague, metaphorical and symbolic to be instructions from a divine being to humans. A perfect being would be expected to be able to communicate much better than that.
    * In order to render most of scripture useful, it must necessarily be interpreted. This makes it easily twisted to support nefarious purposes.
    * The problems with scriptures outweigh any good messages they may contain. If read at all, they should be considered opinion and philosophy and taken with a grain of salt.
    * Morals are based on human sympathy and empathy, not on divine guidance. Establishing moral codes based on theism is unnecessary, riddled with contradictions, and fraught with danger.
    * Religion is divisive in that it pits groups of otherwise indistinguishable people against one another. There are already more than enough differences for humans to fight over. And religion is the most intransigent of such divisions because many people feel it is a divine duty to revile those who believe differently than they do even if they don't see the reason in it.
    * Religions are generally intractable when it comes to substantive compromise with other religions or belief systems.
    * All suggested ways to perceive God rely on internal mechanisms that are subject to personal desires, suggestion, and mistakes. On the question of communicating with God, religion insidiously asks us all to deceive ourselves.
    * People are animals. We are only special due to our more developed brain. (We share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees)
    * Abrahamic religions teach that the earth is only about 6000 to 10000 years old. All claims of a young earth are refuted by volumes of clear and mutually corroborating evidence in multiple scientific disciplines as well as a host of mutually confirming dating techniques that are not subjective or rationalized.
    * Every culture that has existed has had God myths and other superstitions. This is often used as an argument for the existence of God. Rather than indicating that there is a true God, this indicates that people are simply attracted to the idea.
    * Goodness, truth, wisdom and all other purported attributes of God are human concepts. When applied to a presumed entity so completely different in kind as to be supernatural, they are meaningless. The idea of God is thus incoherent.
    * Infinity is a concept humans cannot comprehend except in a limited mathematical sense. If God is infinite, this also renders him unintelligible.
    * Belief in an afterlife is insidious and detrimental to social responsibility and mental health. It demeans actual life and frequently leads to the notion that killing someone is, at least conceivably, doing them a favor.
    * Organized religion wastes untold amounts of money and resources that could be used to care for people, promote real knowledge, and advance the human race.
    * Theism puts God above people thereby making people subservient, unimportant and expendable.
    * Religion relies on guilt, fear and outlandish promises to gain obedience.
    * Theism generally precludes any possibility of testing God or questioning his existence substantively. It is something like the wizard of Oz saying, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
    * The methods used in proselytizing for religion bear an unmistakable resemblance to the methods of confidence men. But the scriptures consider this the great commission of mankind.
    * There are many good rational and logical arguments against theism but not one argument in favor of it that doesn't rely on a fallacy or assumption.
    * There are so many Gods put forth by thousands of religions that no one could ever be certain of picking the correct one, assuming that one exists.
    * Prayer is totally subjective and cannot be shown to have any more efficacy than pure chance.
    * There is no discernable difference between believing in God and having an imaginary friend.
    * People generally rely on facts and evidence in every human endeavor except religion.
    * Unequivocal miracles do not occur.
    * God supposedly speaks directly to the human spirit. This must be, at least partly, the same concept as mind. People who receive messages in their minds are invariably delusional.
    * There is no positive correlation between belief in God and being a moral person.
    * Populations that are predominantly theistic are almost invariably poor and undereducated. The converse is almost invariably true of populations that are predominantly atheistic.
    * Populations that are predominantly theistic almost invariably have higher general crime rates, higher violent crime rates, higher murder rates, higher infant mortality rates, more disease and starvation as well as inadequate healthcare. The converse is almost invariably true of populations that are predominantly atheistic.
    * Belief in religion has spawned uncounted cults that draw people in by appealing to the concept of faith without proof and the promise of prophets to come. Some examples are: Jim Jones and the People's Temple, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, Marshal Applewhite and Heaven's Gate. These groups had religious followers who were convinced to brutalize, mutilate and kill themselves and their children on the basis of this kind of blind faith.
    * Religion has an extremely violent history that includes such things as crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, genocide, terrorism and holy war. Untold millions have died in the name of religious icons and for religious beliefs.
    * Religions have a long history of misogyny.
    * Religion can be and has been used to support the concept of slavery.
    * Religious dogma is practically immune to the incorporation of new facts. The best it can do is strained reinterpretation.
    * The argument that God cannot be proven not to exist is irrelevant when one considers that to do so requires that the concept of a supernatural God be intelligible and coherent, which it is not.
    * There is a well known argument commonly called "The Problem of Evil". It basically says that if an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God exists, unnecessary or gratuitous evil would not exist in the world. Thus if God sees this type of evil and does nothing he is either not omnibenevolent because he doesn't care or not omnipotent because he is unable to stop it. There are many counter-arguments that have been used. However the only one that really could defeat the Problem of Evil is if one says that we cannot apply human standards to decide what is or is not gratuitous evil. This may well be true, but that argument renders God unintelligible and meaningless to humans. Either way, the concept of God seems to be highly doubtful.
    * Theists claim that God has given humans free will. However, this free will is anything but free. The choices are forced on pain of death and eternal suffering. It is equivalent to having a slave and saying something like: "I grant you your freedom to leave at any time. But if you do, I will torture you mercilessly and kill you as slowly as possible."


If someone wants to convince me that there is a God, it is not sufficient to quibble about one point or another. I think this amounts to a preponderance of evidence that God is imaginary.


many thanks to MrFridayhttp://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=272.0
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: grant on June 21, 2013, 06:12:16 AM
Its very very simple.

No god or gods, never has been nor never will be.

Its so outlandishly obvious.

Gimmee a break!
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: screwtape on June 21, 2013, 08:01:02 AM
Could peoples desire to create and name gods be based on a long lost relationship with a diety?  Could the many Gods be a byproduct of people seeking him?

Is it concpetually possible?  Sure.  But that idea has a lot of explaining to do.  Why do we have no relationship now?  Where did this god go?  What exactly was this "god"?  Why should we even consider that in the first place? 

And let's be fair about it - you are just making it up.  We could sit down and imagine all sorts of animals that could be conceptually possible.  We could imagine a species of winged spiders, horrifying as it may be, which fly around with their webs dangling beneath them catching insects and small children.  We could imagine carniverous goats.  We could conceive of centaurs and minotaurs and harpies.  But there is no reason for us to leave open the possibility of their existence, because it was all just stuff we dreamed up.

The same with gods.  We could sit down and hash out a concept of a god that could, hypotheically, actually exist.  But so what?  That would just be a mental exercise and there would be no need for us to suppose the product of that exercise may actually exist. 

I dabbled with a hands off, deist god for a few weeks between catholicism and atheism.  I rejected it for several reasons.  I asked myself, why the heck am I even considering this in the first place?  The answer was because prior to a deist god, I believed in a similar, purely fantastical god whom I realized was a myth and I was just trying to find ways to hold on to him.  It was a form of philosophical evolution and people have dont that since they believed in gods. 

You realize the god in which you believed could not possibly exist as he was defined.  So you change him. Lather, rinse, repeat.  After 3000 years or so of this, we have God (capital G) which is formless, genderless (but we still call "Him"), completely abstract, outside of anything we are familiar with, and completely out of reach.  But he loves us!  Rich, isn't it? 

He wasn't always that way.  The gods spoken of in the OT, yhwh and elohim, where none of that stuff.  Well, elohim was a little more detached and abstract, but yhwh was as human as any of the greek gods.  He was jealous, wrathful, vengeful and looked like us. He played favorites.  But over time even the jews realized what a childish and impossible idea this was. So they changed him.  They made him universal, an only child, transcendent, abstract.  yhwh ceased being a being and became just an idea.  Because the only other option was to stop believing in a god.  And that was just too much.


Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on June 21, 2013, 09:27:15 AM
Could peoples desire to create and name gods be based on a long lost relationship with a diety?  Could the many Gods be a byproduct of people seeking him?

Is it concpetually possible?  Sure.  But that idea has a lot of explaining to do.  Why do we have no relationship now?  Where did this god go?  What exactly was this "god"?  Why should we even consider that in the first place? 

And let's be fair about it - you are just making it up.  We could sit down and imagine all sorts of animals that could be conceptually possible.  We could imagine a species of winged spiders, horrifying as it may be, which fly around with their webs dangling beneath them catching insects and small children.  We could imagine carniverous goats.  We could conceive of centaurs and minotaurs and harpies.  But there is no reason for us to leave open the possibility of their existence, because it was all just stuff we dreamed up.

The same with gods.  We could sit down and hash out a concept of a god that could, hypotheically, actually exist.  But so what?  That would just be a mental exercise and there would be no need for us to suppose the product of that exercise may actually exist. 

I dabbled with a hands off, deist god for a few weeks between catholicism and atheism.  I rejected it for several reasons.  I asked myself, why the heck am I even considering this in the first place?  The answer was because prior to a deist god, I believed in a similar, purely fantastical god whom I realized was a myth and I was just trying to find ways to hold on to him.  It was a form of philosophical evolution and people have dont that since they believed in gods. 

You realize the god in which you believed could not possibly exist as he was defined.  So you change him. Lather, rinse, repeat.  After 3000 years or so of this, we have God (capital G) which is formless, genderless (but we still call "Him"), completely abstract, outside of anything we are familiar with, and completely out of reach.  But he loves us!  Rich, isn't it? 

He wasn't always that way.  The gods spoken of in the OT, yhwh and elohim, where none of that stuff.  Well, elohim was a little more detached and abstract, but yhwh was as human as any of the greek gods.  He was jealous, wrathful, vengeful and looked like us. He played favorites.  But over time even the jews realized what a childish and impossible idea this was. So they changed him.  They made him universal, an only child, transcendent, abstract.  yhwh ceased being a being and became just an idea.  Because the only other option was to stop believing in a god.  And that was just too much.


I accept god as a possible concept.  But in typing this I realized that the most likely form of god (hands off god) would seem pretty much irrelevant and undetectable. 


Poof Bang  you have a universe and observe it leaves little room for worship, it would be significant in that it would be cool to know but a hands off god would consider us no more than any other lump of atoms in the universe.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: One Above All on June 21, 2013, 10:48:57 AM
It is this hard core answer that blows my mind.

Good. So did the first computer, among other great ideas.

I don't believe god is likely, but it is the height of arrogants to suggest that it is impossible for a god to exist.

No it's not. It's simply logical. Find me a fallacy-free argument for the existence of deities. Go ahead. I have all of eternity.

How can you claim to know all that is knowable?

I don't, but I find it arrogant[1] of you to claim that I claimed that.

What makes you think for a fact god impossible?

Like I said, find me a fallacy-free argument for the existence of deities. Just one. It doesn't even have to be a good one.
 1. Among other things

epidemic, I've noticed a troubling trend of yours: you seem to ignore posts that utterly destroy your views[2]. Why is that? Is it really that hard to just admit you're wrong?
 2. I'm exaggerating a bit, for clarity's sake.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Tero on June 21, 2013, 12:37:47 PM
No gods. Threw them all out at last house cleaning.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jdawg70 on June 21, 2013, 06:38:10 PM
Does God or gods exist;

With god being defined as:

A supernatural being who :
1) By supernatural means created the universe (through big bang or instantaniously poofed)
2) Either interacts with his humanity or does not interact with his creation (hands on or hands off god)

I have been told that I have misunderstood the position of atheists on this site and am just trying to undersand where people stand.
My from the hip answer:
As defined in both cases I will have to go with "I do not know if such an entity exists" on the grounds that supernatural is far too poorly defined for me to make a confident judgment.

Further thoughts...
My primary issue with 'supernatural' is that I just don't view reality that way I guess.  There exists one shared objective reality.  If phenomenon typically associated with 'supernatural' such as ghosts, unicorns, zombies, etc. then actually manifest then they are, by definition, part of reality.  The word 'supernatural' adds nothing of value to the conversation.  If we go down that route, we're then talking about a sentient[1] being, subject to the limitations of what we currently understand about how reality operates, that created the universe.  I do not see that as reasonable...or even possible.

So no, those gods do not exist.
 1. or is sentience necessary?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Fiji on June 24, 2013, 12:51:02 AM
And let's be fair about it - you are just making it up.  We could sit down and imagine all sorts of animals that could be conceptually possible.  We could imagine a species of winged spiders, horrifying as it may be, which fly around with their webs dangling beneath them catching insects and small children.  We could imagine carniverous goats.  We could conceive of centaurs and minotaurs and harpies.  But there is no reason for us to leave open the possibility of their existence, because it was all just stuff we dreamed up.

The Ancient Greeks figured out as much. They had all these stories about gods and demi-gods and super human heros and monsters and magical armor and weapons and fantastic events (like the sun racing across the sky along an erratic path) ... but, when they actually looked around. They saw nothing of the kind.
In a first instance they went, "ah but you USED to be able to see all these things but gods are more hands off these days." which in turn evolved into atheism. Atheism was not uncommon in Ancient Greece.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on June 24, 2013, 09:57:31 AM

Good. So did the first computer, among other great ideas.

No it's not. It's simply logical. Find me a fallacy-free argument for the existence of deities. Go ahead. I have all of eternity.

I don't, but I find it arrogant[1] of you to claim that I claimed that.

Like I said, find me a fallacy-free argument for the existence of deities. Just one. It doesn't even have to be a good one.

epidemic, I've noticed a troubling trend of yours: you seem to ignore posts that utterly destroy your views[2]. Why is that? Is it really that hard to just admit you're wrong?
 1. Among other things
 2. I'm exaggerating a bit, for clarity's sake.

I fail to see the relationship between the complexity of the first computer and the genesis of the universe.  The first computer I find to be a great leap in technology however when explained the invention path and operation  all makes sense.  The universe spawning from nothing is not so easily explained away leaving multiple origin scenarios including god.

You think it is arrogant of me to claim your statement as fact god does not exist ? How is it you can say with authority that god does not exist with out being arrogant it implies knowledge that does not exist? 

Fallacy-free argument for dieties (I am not the right person to ask, as I have already expressed I do not know if one exists. ).  Conversely, Can you find me a fallacy free argument that explains the universes ultimate origins and how you exclude a god from the list of possible alterantives.

Here you go, a falacy free argument as strong as the universe being spawned from nothing.  ( a God may have created the universe through sheer force of will.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on June 24, 2013, 10:10:26 AM
Does God or gods exist;

With god being defined as:

A supernatural being who :
1) By supernatural means created the universe (through big bang or instantaniously poofed)
2) Either interacts with his humanity or does not interact with his creation (hands on or hands off god)

I have been told that I have misunderstood the position of atheists on this site and am just trying to undersand where people stand.
My from the hip answer:
As defined in both cases I will have to go with "I do not know if such an entity exists" on the grounds that supernatural is far too poorly defined for me to make a confident judgment.

Further thoughts...
My primary issue with 'supernatural' is that I just don't view reality that way I guess.  There exists one shared objective reality.  If phenomenon typically associated with 'supernatural' such as ghosts, unicorns, zombies, etc. then actually manifest then they are, by definition, part of reality.  The word 'supernatural' adds nothing of value to the conversation.  If we go down that route, we're then talking about a sentient[1] being, subject to the limitations of what we currently understand about how reality operates, that created the universe.  I do not see that as reasonable...or even possible.

So no, those gods do not exist.
 1. or is sentience necessary?

People love to mince words, true supernatural is  actually just an extension of Natural.   If an omnimpotent god exists it is natural that if he desires a universe he can create one.  So by supernatural I guess I mean some event that happens by sheer force of will of a being or beings to make a change in the universe, utilizing mere thought of said being makes a change in matter or energy.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: viocjit on June 24, 2013, 10:49:07 AM
I'm sure to 90% that God is not real. But like I doubt about his existence I know that if God does exist really I will have problems with him.
I think that God is probably a fictional character because (I will cite three arguments) :

1.The torah (named pentateuch by Christians) and the Qur'an speak about first humans who were made with clay.
But all biologists know that Adam and Eve are only mythological people like they know that Evolution theory is true.
If God does exist really why tell to us a story of this kind inspired by babylonians myths ? (during many years I believed that the Genesis is an allegory to explain many things like what is the sin).

2.Why we don't have archælogical evidences about the Exodus ?
Many historians think that the Exodus is a myth.
Many believers think that God or Satan hidden the proofs.

3.Why we don't have evidences about the Hebrews who were slaves in Egypt during many centuries ?
Many historians think that Hebrews were never slaves in Egypt.
Many believers think that God or Satan hidden the proofs.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: One Above All on June 24, 2013, 01:31:23 PM
I fail to see the relationship between the complexity of the first computer and the genesis of the universe.
<snip>

That's because there is none. My point was that great ideas have (almost) always "blown [people's] minds".

The universe spawning from nothing is not so easily explained away leaving multiple origin scenarios including god.

The universe did not spawn "from nothing", which you'd know if you had studied physics, like I have. While I'm no physicist, I understand enough to know that the "god" scenario is not one of the possibilities.
Put simply, time and space are a requirement for interaction. Even if by some miracle of physics, gods were possible, they would be unable to interact with us. In fact, they would not even exist, since time and space are also a requirement for existence.

You think it is arrogant of me to claim your statement as fact god does not exist ?

No, I think it's arrogant of you to claim that I claimed that I know everything. Try reading my post next time.

How is it you can say with authority that god does not exist with out being arrogant it implies knowledge that does not exist?

My knowledge may be limited, but I can disprove any god you can throw my way; even the "hands-off" deist god.

Fallacy-free argument for dieties (I am not the right person to ask, as I have already expressed I do not know if one exists. ).

I'm still waiting for one. Just one.

Conversely, Can you find me a fallacy free argument that explains the universes ultimate origins and how you exclude a god from the list of possible alterantives.

I can, but it'd take a long time to explain how the universe came to be. I'll do it if you want me to, but you have to be ready to read it.

Here you go, a falacy free argument as strong as the universe being spawned from nothing.  ( a God may have created the universe through sheer force of will.

That's not a fallacy free argument. First of all, will does not affect the universe unless living beings act on it. Second, to be able to create something, you must be outside that something. As I've explained previously, time and space are a requirement for existence, or, at the very least, interaction. Ergo, gods[1] cannot exist.
 1. Definition: Beings that created the universe.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jag on June 24, 2013, 02:24:31 PM
Conversely, Can you find me a fallacy free argument that explains the universes ultimate origins and how you exclude a god from the list of possible alterantives.

I can do so as well. And like OAA, you have to demonstrate that you are willing to actually read it before I'm willing to go to the effort of explaining it.  A mindset that is receptive to being introduced to an approach that is very different from your own is also required, and I'm honestly not sure you are prepared to do so.

It's up to you to decide if you really want these answers or if you would prefer not to face the challenge they may present. My explanation isn't going anywhere and I can be persuaded to share it with you whenever you are ready to consider a perspective that contradicts your own. Until and unless you are truly interested, there's no point.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Azdgari on June 24, 2013, 04:48:19 PM
Conversely, Can you find me a fallacy free argument that explains the universes ultimate origins and how you exclude a god from the list of possible alterantives.

1. Creation is an action.  As in, an act of creation.
2. Actions can only occur within a time-continuum.  Ie, without a prior state when something didn't exist, one cannot point to a latter state where it does and say that it came into being.
3. "Prior" to our space-time continuum, there was no time.
4. Therefore, "prior" to our space-time continuum, our space-time continuum could not have been created.

Got a problem with that reasoning?  Disagree with it anywhere?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on June 24, 2013, 06:30:51 PM
I nearly voted for:"God or gods are not likely".
I probably would have voted that if the wording had been:"God or gods are EXTREMELY unlikely"
So I went for the stronger option which is more honest for me. I have many reasons to be almost entirely sure there are no gods, the few key reasons being:
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jontom10 on June 27, 2013, 05:17:43 PM
The existence of religious people proves there is no god as a god would not create people that stupid.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 04, 2013, 02:16:07 AM
The existence of religious people proves there is no god as a god would not create people that stupid.

 Not everyone different from you is stupid.  - common error-
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: bertatberts on July 04, 2013, 02:23:52 AM
The existence of religious people proves there is no god as a god would not create people that stupid.

 Not everyone different from you is stupid.  - common error-
No correct, only the religious.

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass; he is actually ill."
H.L. Mencken
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 04, 2013, 09:31:33 AM
The existence of religious people proves there is no god as a god would not create people that stupid.

 Not everyone different from you is stupid.  - common error-
No correct, only the religious.

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass; he is actually ill."
H.L. Mencken

That's a fine quote.  Does the author prove his point with peer reviewed research?  Or is he just another preacher who likes to hear his own voice.   You didn't provide any supporting data either.  You seem to be who he is referring to.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: bertatberts on July 04, 2013, 10:34:43 AM
The existence of religious people proves there is no god as a god would not create people that stupid.

 Not everyone different from you is stupid.  - common error-
No correct, only the religious.

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass; he is actually ill."
H.L. Mencken

That's a fine quote.  Does the author prove his point with peer reviewed research?  Or is he just another preacher who likes to hear his own voice.   You didn't provide any supporting data either.  You seem to be who he is referring to.
He would be, if I had faith in an imaginary friend.
   
(http://i.imgur.com/xyH3n.png)
Just one, there are literally thousand showing the same correlation worldwide, can they all be wrong.
I doubt it.
The less religious, the more intelligent.

Dumbness and religiousness are one and the same. New word "Dumligious". By what you have written here thus far you've certainly shown you're Dumligious.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Azdgari on July 04, 2013, 11:27:16 AM
Conversely, Can you find me a fallacy free argument that explains the universes ultimate origins and how you exclude a god from the list of possible alterantives.

1. Creation is an action.  As in, an act of creation.
2. Actions can only occur within a time-continuum.  Ie, without a prior state when something didn't exist, one cannot point to a latter state where it does and say that it came into being.
3. "Prior" to our space-time continuum, there was no time.
4. Therefore, "prior" to our space-time continuum, our space-time continuum could not have been created.

Got a problem with that reasoning?  Disagree with it anywhere?

A yes-or-no answer would have been nice, epidemic.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 04, 2013, 02:04:45 PM
Dumbness and religiousness are one and the same. New word "Dumligious". By what you have written here thus far you've certainly shown you're Dumligious.

I remember calling people names and making up new words for how
dumb other kids were.  Sometimes I'd like to be seven years old again.
Not often. 


Correlation is not the same as causation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation
Not factually correct.  90 to 109 is the normal range of intelligence.  As this shows:

(http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/Images/NormalCurveSmall.gif)

What you've shown is that people in poor areas are more likely to gain a larger
part of their limited education from religious institutions.  People in wealthier
parts of the country will receive more of their education through government
or secular learning institutions.  The more educated you are, the more likely
you will gain your education through a secular source. 

What your chart shows is that a lack of income exposes people to a more
religious education.  This is true worldwide.   
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: bertatberts on July 04, 2013, 02:23:30 PM
Dumbness and religiousness are one and the same. New word "Dumligious". By what you have written here thus far you've certainly shown you're Dumligious.

Not factually correct.  90 to 109 is the normal range of intelligence.  As this shows:
Sorry totally irrelevant. It's the fact that the Dumligious are at the lower end of the scale, which is key.

The more religious, the less intelligent, The less religious, the more intelligent. That is the point of the graph.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 04, 2013, 02:54:40 PM
Dumbness and religiousness are one and the same. New word "Dumligious". By what you have written here thus far you've certainly shown you're Dumligious.

Not factually correct.  90 to 109 is the normal range of intelligence.  As this shows:
Sorry totally irrelevant. It's the fact that the Dumligious are at the lower end of the scale, which is key.

The more religious, the less intelligent, The less religious, the more intelligent. That is the point of the graph.

I can't seem to get this through. 
Correlation does not even imply causation.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

And I did mention peer reviewed sources.  Here is a place to begin your research:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=Brillouin+scattering+redshift
Blogs do not count.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: bertatberts on July 04, 2013, 05:33:10 PM
Dumbness and religiousness are one and the same. New word "Dumligious". By what you have written here thus far you've certainly shown you're Dumligious.

Not factually correct.  90 to 109 is the normal range of intelligence.  As this shows:
Sorry totally irrelevant. It's the fact that the Dumligious are at the lower end of the scale, which is key.

The more religious, the less intelligent, The less religious, the more intelligent. That is the point of the graph.

I can't seem to get this through. 
 Correlation does not even imply causation.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation
Still irrelevant, Believing in fairy stories, doesn't hold good for critical thought.  Time to grow up.

Quote from: Sky Writer
And I did mention peer reviewed sources.  Here is a place to begin your research:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=Brillouin+scattering+redshift
Blogs do not count.
Haven't you got some sources to cite first.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Graybeard on July 04, 2013, 09:06:02 PM

What you've shown is that people in poor areas are more likely to gain a larger part of their limited education from religious institutions.  People in wealthier parts of the country will receive more of their education through government or secular learning institutions.  The more educated you are, the more likely you will gain your education through a secular source. 

What your chart shows is that a lack of income exposes people to a more religious education.  This is true worldwide.   
I'm no expert on the US education system, but it seems to me that public schools would cater for the poor and fee-paying schools for the rich. US public schools do not teach religion - fee-paying ones may.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: wright on July 04, 2013, 09:40:16 PM
I'm no expert on the US education system, but it seems to me that public schools would cater for the poor and fee-paying schools for the rich. US public schools do not teach religion - fee-paying ones may.

Correct; public schools in the US can't legally do or permit anything that endorses a particular faith. In practice, particularly in areas where religion (usually some form of Christianity) is an important part of community life, teachers and administrators may get away with such endorsement unless someone challenges them.

Some recent examples:

http://www.inquisitr.com/655708/texas-cheerleaders-god-ruling-okays-public-schools-endorsing-religion/ (http://www.inquisitr.com/655708/texas-cheerleaders-god-ruling-okays-public-schools-endorsing-religion/)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/ohio-creationism-proposal-springboro_n_3397661.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/ohio-creationism-proposal-springboro_n_3397661.html)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/01/in-mississippi-a-new-law-will-allow-religious-proselytizing-in-public-schools/ (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/01/in-mississippi-a-new-law-will-allow-religious-proselytizing-in-public-schools/)

Edit: fixed some typos.

Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 05, 2013, 07:45:36 AM
It's a mystery.  A mystery I can't seem to shut off in my mind.  I don't subscribe to religious explanations/definitions of gods.  I don't think a god would use magic or will power to create life but rather complete and total knowledge.  To me to say there is no god/gods is much more "supernatural" than an intelligent design explanation due to the complexity of life.  The amount of luck it would take to get everything just right is not logical to me. 

When I love, I love with all my heart and all my "soul".  Some people call it guts.  There is a spiritual side to human life,IMO.  It has no shape or form without flesh.  It can not be put under a microscope.  It can not be seen, only felt.  This is why I believe there is an Intelligent Designer that loves us.  I feel connected to the ID in my soul the more I love and behave with kindness.  The flesh doesn't give this body Life, the spirit does,IMO. 

I believe the human race would be more dangerous than we already are with the "secrets" of life.   

Screwtape, I know you subscribe to the idea that dumb people are dangerous.  I just want to point out to you that it wasn't dummies that created nuclear bombs, poverty or pollution, or maybe they are!   Yea a poor dumb kid might murder a couple of people but an intelligent scientist can destroy the world!!!  Dumb people can be very sweet;childlike, depending on the environment that he/she has been exposed to.  I worked with some mentally challenged adults one time and with some patience and supervision they were able to do a good job.  A smart man paid for 5 of them for the price of 1 of me. 

My point is intelligence isn't everything.  It is a blessing, a responsibility to your fellow man.  Being angry over intelligence is like being angry over the sky being blue.  Dumb people can be productive individuals.  There is a lot of inexcusable cruel things said and done by religious people but I believe it better defeated with compassion and understanding rather than anger and offensive conversation.  It is just mean to call anyone dumb or stupid, whether it is true or not.  It's no different from saying fatso or four eyes.   To me the most dangerous human is the intelligent ones w/o a conscience.

There are positives that we can see in this reality when we live our lives to higher moral standards.  That can be tested and falsified or whatever you call it in the scientific world.  It is from where we develop our standards of morality that I call our soul.  Our conscience.  You can test the results of living a life where right is chosen over wrong.  I believe there is a reason that a life lived to high moral standards is a more peaceful life for a reason.  There is a reason why a "good" person feels bad when they do something wrong.  Evil comes from humans that have no conscience.  This comes from being exposed to what most of us would consider morally wrong environments?  You know violence begets violence. It takes love and compassion to have peace.  And trust me when I say that there is nothing in this world as sweet as peace.  Money can't buy it, money destroys it. 

Now that is why I believe there is an Intelligent Designer that encourages us to love one another but it has to be a choice.  There is no "honor" in being forced to love.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jetson on July 05, 2013, 08:19:58 AM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 09:41:40 AM
I'm no expert on the US education system, but it seems to me that public schools would cater for the poor and fee-paying schools for the rich. US public schools do not teach religion - fee-paying ones may.

My point is that there are socioeconomic factors for the poor having higher levels of religion in their lives.  One of the many reasons people are poor is lower IQ than average.  Just because poor people do have lower incomes, does not mean that a lower income person has low IQ.  Low IQ is just one of many reasons that a person may end up poor.  If a "house-wife" looses a spouse from divorce or death, she may be poor or even homeless.  Her IQ doesn't drop because she is suddenly poor.      Correlation is not causation.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 09:44:25 AM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.

It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 05, 2013, 09:47:51 AM
There are positives that we can see in this reality when we live our lives to higher moral standards.
Of course there are positives to higher moral standards - we agree on that.
I do not see any leaders in atheism and rational thinking advocating that we seek out lower moral standards.
They are doing the opposite by questioning all our sources of morality and looking for ways to improve our moral thinking.
 
Now that is why I believe there is an Intelligent Designer that encourages us to love one another but it has to be a choice.
That's an idea you share with many people.  But does it make sense?  Read on please.
 
Why can family (genetics and environment) determine that people are MORE THAN 4 TIMES MORE LIKELY to do violent crime?  Do kids brought up in these families really have FREE will and CHOICE?
Quote
Violent crime runs in families: a total population study of 12.5 million individuals.
We found strong familial aggregation of interpersonal violence among first-degree relatives [e.g. odds ratio (OR)sibling 4.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.2-4.3], lower for more distant relatives (e.g. OR cousin 1.9, 95% CI 1.9-1.9). Risk patterns across biological and adoptive relations provided evidence for both genetic and environmental influences on the development of violent behavior.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20334717

What was the "designer" doing with the genetics in these families?
What was the "designer" thinking when he/she/it made children susceptible to these criminal environments?  Why doesn't "encouragement" work equally in all people?

The concept of free will is confusing even to judges.  A diagnosis that a person is an untreatable psychopath (no choice) increases their sentence, but once the judges are told it's genetic (an explanation for no choice) they swing the other way  :o
Quote
Without a diagnosis, the judges surveyed said they would have given the man a sentence of about nine years. Once he had been diagnosed as an untreatable psychopath, however, the average sentence jumped to 14 years. When judges were presented with biological evidence of the genetic mutation, this sentence was lowered to around 13 years, regardless of whether the evidence was presented by the prosecution or defence.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22189-scientific-explanation-of-psychopathy-cuts-jail-time.html#.UdbS3Mt-86Y

So what is fair for a person who is born different to others? Should we punish criminal individuals differently depending on how much empathy or "conscience" the "designer" gave them?

Isn't it the best thing for morality if we at least suspend the idea of a designer till we get to the bottom of this idea of free will and "choice"?

Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 09:56:10 AM
Dumbness and religiousness are one and the same. New word "Dumligious". By what you have written here thus far you've certainly shown you're Dumligious.

Not factually correct.  90 to 109 is the normal range of intelligence.  As this shows:
Sorry totally irrelevant. It's the fact that the Dumligious are at the lower end of the scale, which is key.

The more religious, the less intelligent, The less religious, the more intelligent. That is the point of the graph.

I can't seem to get this through. 
 Correlation does not even imply causation.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation
Still irrelevant, Believing in fairy stories, doesn't hold good for critical thought.  Time to grow up.

Quote from: Sky Writer
And I did mention peer reviewed sources.  Here is a place to begin your research:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=Brillouin+scattering+redshift
Blogs do not count.
Haven't you got some sources to cite first.

Nope.  Your claim that religious people have a lower IQ is without proper documentation.

The link above is where you could find such research.  If none exists, then create your own and submit it for peer review.   Which you have done.  The data you've presented shows a correlation of factors.   However, correlation does not imply causation.  Your data fails the test of proper scrutiny.

Lots of black people live in Alabama.
This does not imply that any black person you see is in Alabama.
Nor does it imply they came from Alabama or they are going to Alabama.

Correlation does not imply causation.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 05, 2013, 10:07:07 AM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.

It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

No. The really "odd" thing is that remote tribes all invented amazingly different gods with bizarre attributes.
If there is a god out there it's hopeless at conveying truth.

That remote tribes attempted to explain a mystery (their origin - before they had science to help) is not even slightly odd. 
Curiosity and the instinctive ability to assign cause are both abilities that aid survival.
Deities and religions are an unfortunate side-effect - but nevertheless an idea that shamans (clergy) are happy to piggy-back for sheltered employment, power, sex, and many other benefits in this world.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Azdgari on July 05, 2013, 03:29:36 PM
It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

Tools for eating food are also persistent and almost universal, even among the most remote tribes through all known history.  They're still inventions.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: shnozzola on July 05, 2013, 04:06:27 PM
To me to say there is no god/gods is much more "supernatural" than an intelligent design explanation due to the complexity of life.  The amount of luck it would take to get everything just right is not logical to me.

Junebug, I don't understand how you can say that after all the arguments you have been a part of here at WWGHA.

Everything is not just right.  You put the cart before the horse.  We study so much of our universal environment where humans cannot exist (like almost the entire universe).  Look how much of the earth is ocean but humanity cannot exist underwater.   We study so much of the human body showing unnecessary organs, functions, etc.  It is sad  how many people continue to think that God put the earth at the right distance from the sun or we would not have survived after he made us.  Do you not, after spending so much time here, test the view in your own mind that everything "is" because of the way everything "is" , not by any previous design?

The reason we evolved the way we are is from the vast, step by step "experimentation" of time, positive and negative charges, oily pools and lipids and proteins over the entire earth, leading to simple celled things that became plants that became simple animals that became each species leading to humans (maybe I should have said, leading to dolphins :)).  It is sad that a non existing hard to define" being" gets the credit for what has been developed by natural forces on this planet over a heluva lot of time.

 And, IMO, that takes nothing away from the beauty of this natural system. In fact, it makes it that much more cool, doesn't it?

edit:  here's an article about legumes that "fix" the nitrogen in the air using bacteria
                          http://seattletilth.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg
   - can you look at that as a natural outcome of evolution instead of a design by a "being"?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 04:20:48 PM
It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

Tools for eating food are also persistent and almost universal, even among the most remote tribes through all known history.  They're still inventions.

So they are filling a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society.
I agree.  Therefore I have Faith. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: skepticlogician on July 05, 2013, 04:27:02 PM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.

It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

The sensation of 'seeing faces' where there are none is also universal among all human beings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia). Do these faces suddenly become faces of 'real living beings' just because most human brains perceive this pattern?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 04:29:54 PM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.

It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

No. The really "odd" thing is that remote tribes all invented amazingly different gods with bizarre attributes.
If there is a god out there it's hopeless at conveying truth.

That remote tribes attempted to explain a mystery (their origin - before they had science to help) is not even slightly odd. 
Curiosity and the instinctive ability to assign cause are both abilities that aid survival.
Deities and religions are an unfortunate side-effect - but nevertheless an idea that shamans (clergy) are happy to piggy-back for sheltered employment, power, sex, and many other benefits in this world.

Perhaps absolute accuracy is not critical.  I find the rest of your analysis about the actions of sinners correct and predicted by scripture.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Azdgari on July 05, 2013, 04:35:36 PM
So they are filling a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society.
I agree.  Therefore I have Faith.

It's a part of being human.  Not an inherently good or bad thing - just an accident of our makeup that we like to make eating utensils and gods.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 04:37:44 PM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.

It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

The sensation of 'seeing faces' where there are none is also universal among all human beings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia). Do these faces suddenly become faces of 'real living beings' just because most human brains perceive this pattern?

I am blessed to have this happen daily and wish I had a camera with me at all times.
And no, I've never had a thought about them becoming real.
I can see that some might though.

(http://interesplanet.ru/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/wpid-RhYqSE663r8-150x150.jpg)
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 04:39:36 PM
So they are filling a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society.
I agree.  Therefore I have Faith.

It's a part of being human.  Not an inherently good or bad thing - just an accident of our makeup that we like to make eating utensils and gods.

I don't believe either one is an accident.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jaimehlers on July 05, 2013, 04:48:29 PM
I don't believe either one is an accident.
That's because they aren't accidents.  Both come from our inherent nature as human beings.

Telling stories to others is also part of our nature and does not happen by accident.  That doesn't necessarily mean that the stories are factual, or that they really happened.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: skepticlogician on July 05, 2013, 04:53:15 PM
So they are filling a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society.
I agree.  Therefore I have Faith.

It's a part of being human.  Not an inherently good or bad thing - just an accident of our makeup that we like to make eating utensils and gods.

I don't believe either one is an accident.

If none of those are accidents, might as well include Pareidolia in there...
Does Pareidolia fill a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 05:19:54 PM
So they are filling a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society.
I agree.  Therefore I have Faith.

It's a part of being human.  Not an inherently good or bad thing - just an accident of our makeup that we like to make eating utensils and gods.

I don't believe either one is an accident.

If none of those are accidents, might as well include Pareidolia in there...
Does Pareidolia fill a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society?

Indeed, fellowship and human intimacy is endowed unto us by our Creator
as a fundamental human need.  If you spend much time in the woods alone
human faces might appear in time.   It seems to happen only when alone.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jetson on July 05, 2013, 05:25:36 PM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.

It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

Not odd at all.  Humans have the ability to conceptualize, imagine, and create stories using their brains.  Obviously it's common, and even more common in the early days of humanity when they had no explanation for things like lightning, and floods, etc.

As we learn more and more about the universe we find ourselves in, it becomes immensely clear that we still have a lot to learn, and that we are constantly replacing our understandings with better explanations of things like lightning, through the scientific method, peer reviews, and scientific consensus.

The most important thing we have learned, in my opinion, is that we are not "special".  We invented that idea as well.  We are no more "special" than giraffes.  We just happen to reign superior in the brains department.  Just like eagles and hawks put us to shame in the eyesight department, and cheetahs make us look pathetic when it comes to top speed running.

We are another species - we are not a special breed of beings that some god desires us to worship.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 05:30:51 PM
I don't believe either one is an accident.
That's because they aren't accidents.  Both come from our inherent nature as human beings.

Telling stories to others is also part of our nature and does not happen by accident.  That doesn't necessarily mean that the stories are factual, or that they really happened.

It usually does.  Stories without any basis in reality are usually failures.
Lets take for example Alice falling down the rabbit hole.   
None of the story takes place as Alice falls down the hole.
Why not?   Because we can't relate to those events.  Events don't
usually happen while people are falling so we can't relate to that.
In Contact Jodie Foster said she visited other planets while falling.
No one could relate to that, so didn't believe.
Her story was of a "super-natural" event.
People don't believe in fictional stories, hardly at all.
And not supernatural ones.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 05, 2013, 06:12:18 PM
It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

Which is exactly why an African god of yams and your god are equals. Neither exists, so neither need be considered superior.

I would think that the lack of consistency in god stories across cultures would give you pause. But the mere fact that many (not all, don't get too heady about this) cultures have gods is all you need to be impressed. Details would ruin the illusion, so I assume you skip that part.

They are made up to explain or appreciate something (creation, yams). That is the human tendency that is universal, not the gods themselves. Your faith, which you mentioned in a later post, is a requirement, since there is nothing actually there to worship. The big blank in the sky that has been filled with one fantastic creature or another cannot  survive if you and your brethren are not told that it is invisible and that you have to trust the stories. Were you told instead that he is right there (don't you see him), and you couldn't detect anything, you too would be an atheist. But the faith part, which you so much trust, is a relatively effective replacement, and for you and many others provides reality via invisibility.

That doesn't make religion legitimate. It makes religion a phenomenon that takes advantage of certain vulnerabilities in the human brain. It is somewhat ironic that the mind that is being fooled is so happy about it. But then, fantasies of all sorts are able to please us. Who among us hasn't imagined a sexier spouse, a bigger paycheck, a faster car. Even for just a few minutes.

The problem with the god thing is that is seems to last a lifetime for most people. Be they Yahweh or for Yams.  Being fooled for that long isn't something to be proud of.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Samothec on July 05, 2013, 06:15:16 PM
SkyWriting
Correlation is not the same as causation.
He never indicated a cause; he only indicated a correlation.

What you've shown is that people in poor areas are more likely to gain a larger part of their limited education from religious institutions.  People in wealthier parts of the country will receive more of their education through government or secular learning institutions.  The more educated you are, the more likely you will gain your education through a secular source. 

What your chart shows is that a lack of income exposes people to a more religious education.  This is true worldwide.
No, what he showed in the chart is a correlation between several negative factors: religiosity, low intelligence, poverty, crime, and divorce. And an inverse correlation between those negative factors and generosity.
You are claiming causation and without any support for your claim.


junebug72
I just want to point out to you that it wasn't dummies that created nuclear bombs, poverty or pollution, or maybe they are! Yea a poor dumb kid might murder a couple of people but an intelligent scientist can destroy the world!!!
First, if you think only intelligent people were involved in the decisions and projects to make nuclear weapons, take another look at politicians – as they were very involved. No one "created" poverty itself. And, again, stupid people have been very involved in working to make others poor. Pollution comes from not letting scientists do the complete job of examining chemical processes – or, worse, ignoring what the scientists have told you to do to contain the pollution.

Next, your example of a dumb murderer versus a world-destroying scientist. Admittedly we don't want any world destroying since we only have the one. But we don't have catastrophic laboratory accidents like in the movies. We do have far too frequent murders. There is indeed a correlation between dumb and dangerous just as there is one between intelligent and safe. Note that correlation does not guarantee equivalence – there are dangerous smart people as well as safe stupid people but they are not the majority.


SkyWriting
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.
It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.
Just like art and storytelling. Hmmm, maybe there is a correlation.


If you spend much time in the woods alone human faces might appear in time.   It seems to happen only when alone.
Not true. Pareidolia can happen at any time one is looking at one's environment.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: skepticlogician on July 05, 2013, 06:24:48 PM
I don't believe either one is an accident.

If none of those are accidents, might as well include Pareidolia in there...
Does Pareidolia fill a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society?

Indeed, fellowship and human intimacy is endowed unto us by our Creator
as a fundamental human need. 

So fellowship and human intimacy are CANNOT be filled by society, therefore Pareidolia is the only 'thing' that can "help" us out??  :D

If you spend much time in the woods alone
human faces might appear in time.   It seems to happen only when alone.

Absolutely incorrect, it does NOT seem to happen only when alone. Have you NEVER laid down on the grass looking at the sky with a group of friends, children or relatives and started finding faces in the clouds? That's called Pareidolia happening with a bunch of other people, not alone.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 05, 2013, 08:31:13 PM
There are no gods, there never have been, and there never will be.  Gods are a human invention.

It's odd the "invention" is so persistent and almost universal even among the most remote tribes through all known history.

So are the inventions of marriage, language, agriculture, family life and systems of laws. What is interesting is that all of these, including religion, are so very specific to geography. Until there is contact between the different groups, people do not know about each other's languages, crops, marriage customs or gods.

There is no universal definition of marriage or family that makes sense to every culture and for all times--polygyny, polyandry, child marriage, arranged marriage, same sex marriage, serial monogamy. Nuclear family, extended family, adoptive family, patrilocal with bio-dad as father figure, matrifocal with mother's brother as father figure are all common.

There is no one language that every culture speaks--languages from different regions do not even translate one-to-one. It takes a paragraph to explain what a "graduation" means in Samoan. And there is no English language equivalent for many family relationships in central Africa.

Similarly, there is no one religion or god that is found in every culture. Polytheism,  animism, monotheism, deism--these are fairly mutually exclusive. People don't believe in gods that do-- and at the same time do not --intervene in human affairs. These facts lead the rational observer to conclude that human beings invent all these things to solve universal problems, but in very different ways.

And btw, there are no gods, or any other supernatural or magical beings. If there are, please bring them on and let 'em thow down wit me.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 09:30:42 PM
Similarly, there is no one religion or god that is found in every culture.

Nor one spoon, fork and knife.  But a number of devices for some mysterious reason.
Why any Gods?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 09:33:16 PM
I don't believe either one is an accident.

If none of those are accidents, might as well include Pareidolia in there...
Does Pareidolia fill a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society?

Indeed, fellowship and human intimacy is endowed unto us by our Creator
as a fundamental human need. 

So fellowship and human intimacy are CANNOT be filled by society, therefore Pareidolia is the only 'thing' that can "help" us out??  :D

If you spend much time in the woods alone
human faces might appear in time.   It seems to happen only when alone.

Absolutely incorrect, it does NOT seem to happen only when alone. Have you NEVER laid down on the grass looking at the sky with a group of friends, children or relatives and started finding faces in the clouds? That's called Pareidolia happening with a bunch of other people, not alone.

I've only seen bunnies and miami dolphins in the clouds.  The faces usually jump out when I'm alone. Rarely if other people are around. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: skepticlogician on July 05, 2013, 11:07:49 PM
I've only seen bunnies and miami dolphins in the clouds.  The faces usually jump out when I'm alone. Rarely if other people are around.

Ok, I will let the 'faces only when alone' thing go, although I'm pretty sure that's not true for many of us even though it may be true for you. However, you still left both of my points unanswered.

Like I've mentioned, Pareidolia is a universal human phenomenon, regardless of whether it's faces or bunnies and dolphins (yes, seeing bunnies and dolphins when there are none is still Pareidolia).

With this in mind, let's go back to what you've said:
1. You said that all these universal tendencies are there to fill "a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society".
2. You believe that Pareidolia provides "fellowship and human intimacy".

So, I have these two questions for you:
1. Given the fact that seeing bunnies and dolphins is also part of the Pareidolia phenomenon, how does that provide 'fellowship and human intimacy'?
2. Let's pretend that for a moment that indeed Pareidolia is there for the sole purpose of 'providing fellowship and human intimacy'... Are you saying that one can't satisfy these experiences through the everyday contact with other humans, except when one experiences the Pareidolia phenomenon?

Pray explain these for us  ;)

Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 05, 2013, 11:38:26 PM
I've only seen bunnies and miami dolphins in the clouds.  The faces usually jump out when I'm alone. Rarely if other people are around.

Ok, I will let the 'faces only when alone' thing go, although I'm pretty sure that's not true for many of us even though it may be true for you. However, you still left both of my points unanswered.

Like I've mentioned, Pareidolia is a universal human phenomenon, regardless of whether it's faces or bunnies and dolphins (yes, seeing bunnies and dolphins when there are none is still Pareidolia).

With this in mind, let's go back to what you've said:
1. You said that all these universal tendencies are there to fill "a universal natural need that is not naturally filled by society".
2. You believe that Pareidolia provides "fellowship and human intimacy".

So, I have these two questions for you:
1. Given the fact that seeing bunnies and dolphins is also part of the Pareidolia phenomenon, how does that provide 'fellowship and human intimacy'?
2. Let's pretend that for a moment that indeed Pareidolia is there for the sole purpose of 'providing fellowship and human intimacy'... Are you saying that one can't satisfy these experiences through the everyday contact with other humans, except when one experiences the Pareidolia phenomenon?

Pray explain these for us  ;)

Sure.  I see bunnies when with others reclining on a hiltop under a shady tree in summer.

I only see faces when on opiate medication or alone with no other people around.
Those facts fit my theory on companionship fine.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: skepticlogician on July 05, 2013, 11:49:17 PM
Sure.  I see bunnies when with others reclining on a hiltop under a shady tree in summer.

I only see faces when on opiate medication or alone with no other people around.
Those facts fit my theory on companionship fine.

Pfff... you sound like the 'it is too!' kid when two children are arguing back and forth.
Is that how you always handle it when your arguments are handed back to you dismantled on a plate?  :laugh:
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Astreja on July 05, 2013, 11:56:41 PM
I have a lot of fun with pareidolia and can make out shapes in virtually any textured surface just by relaxing My eyes a bit.  I can see a face in a piece of linoleum, or poetry on a carpet.

The thing I see most regularly in the clouds?  Dragons!   8) Sometimes one, sometimes two, occasionally a whole mob of 'em heading north or south on an Important Mission.  Mostly I tend to see Ming Dynasty-style Chinese dragons, but every once in a while I get a glimpse of Takhisis, Queen of Darkness -- All five of Her heads spreading like a giant hand across half the sky (and for some reason, usually the eastern sky).  Very cool.

(Oh, and when I point them out other people can usually see them too.)
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 06, 2013, 12:06:21 AM
Similarly, there is no one religion or god that is found in every culture.

Nor one spoon, fork and knife.  But a number of devices for some mysterious reason.
Why any Gods?

I don't quite understand your question, "why any gods"? It is clear why there are gods in every culture. Is that your question? There is a human need to understand, to explain and to control the environment. That is the short answer to "why any gods".

People invented gods to explain what they didn't yet understand and therefore could not control--why the volcano erupted and buried the village, what makes the caribou herd come over the mountain every year, how fire and noise comes from the sky during storms. People want to feel like they  have some control over these things-- if animate beings are the reason, you can ask these gods to be sure to bring the caribou this year, or to please placate the volcano.

When people began to understand some of these things, the gods retreated to other unexplained and uncontrolled areas--why some people get sick and not others, how it is that the people across the water have different colors and languages, why twins and triplets are born sometimes.

Now we have the scientific method to explain most of these things, and don't need magic beings as explanations anymore. When more people understand science, fewer believe in gods. But because many people don't yet understand these things, some still resort to gods.

Why do good people suffer and die from cancer, while bad people prosper and win money in the lottery? Why do babies survive pregnancy and birth, only to die of starvation or malaria after only a few weeks of life? Why would a person decide to rape and kill a group of children? Where do birds learn to fly in formation? How can a mentally handicapped person play the piano expertly or draw beautiful, photo-perfect pictures? Is there life elsewhere besides earth? Where did the universe come from?   

The easy thing is to say "because god". The hard thing is to investigate these questions and try to find the answers.  Since we will probably never understand everything, I suppose some people will always have the need for gods. :-\

btw My daughter and I have fun finding houses that look like faces. However, those "find the face in the trees" Pareidolia activities online give me the creeps after a while. I dread the faces jumping out at me unexpectedly..... :o
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 06, 2013, 01:40:48 AM
Perhaps absolute accuracy is not critical.

Or more likely it is critical. 

A lot of good people had their lives cut short because they got some minor details about their god screwed up:

(http://www.flamesofwar.com/Portals/0/all_images/WargamesIllustrated/ArticlePics/FirstCrusade/Wargame-Scenario-03.jpg)

(http://www.pcboe.net/chs/pride_files/TwinTowers02iStock.jpg)
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 06, 2013, 10:07:14 AM

What was the "designer" doing with the genetics in these families?
What was the "designer" thinking when he/she/it made children susceptible to these criminal environments?  Why doesn't "encouragement" work equally in all people?

The concept of free will is confusing even to judges.  A diagnosis that a person is an untreatable psychopath (no choice) increases their sentence, but once the judges are told it's genetic (an explanation for no choice) they swing the other way  :o
Quote
Without a diagnosis, the judges surveyed said they would have given the man a sentence of about nine years. Once he had been diagnosed as an untreatable psychopath, however, the average sentence jumped to 14 years. When judges were presented with biological evidence of the genetic mutation, this sentence was lowered to around 13 years, regardless of whether the evidence was presented by the prosecution or defence.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22189-scientific-explanation-of-psychopathy-cuts-jail-time.html#.UdbS3Mt-86Y

So what is fair for a person who is born different to others? Should we punish criminal individuals differently depending on how much empathy or "conscience" the "designer" gave them?

Isn't it the best thing for morality if we at least suspend the idea of a designer till we get to the bottom of this idea of free will and "choice"?

The concept of freewill is not confusing to me.  You have the right to chose right or wrong.  Wrong choices such as being an abusive parent have very negative consequences on the humans involved especially the children.  It then trickles down to society.

It is a human privilege with or w/o a creator.  All other species have no choices.  They survive from instinct.  Would a lion chose not to eat the gazelle?  A human can chose not to create violence or hardship on another human.  We can chose not to eat a cow. 

Why not create us w/o choice?  I believe whatever is beyond this life must be earned in this one by choosing good over bad. By proving yourself worthy of that knowledge and freedom.  There is also plenty of positive results in this life as well.

I don't see any thing wrong with taking a person's upbringing or mental handicaps under consideration in a criminal case.  I don't believe it is genetic I believe it is called learned behavior.   

Because all people are different.

 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: The Gawd on July 06, 2013, 10:14:06 AM

The concept of freewill is not confusing to me.  You have the right to chose right or wrong.  Wrong choices such as being an abusive parent have very negative consequences on the humans involved especially the children.  It then trickles down to society.

It is a human privilege with or w/o a creator.  All other species have no choices.  They survive from instinct.  Would a lion chose not to eat the gazelle?  A human can chose not to create violence or hardship on another human.  We can chose not to eat a cow. 

Why not create us w/o choice?  I believe whatever is beyond this life must be earned in this one by choosing good over bad. By proving yourself worthy of that knowledge and freedom.  There is also plenty of positive results in this life as well.

I don't see any thing wrong with taking a person's upbringing or mental handicaps under consideration in a criminal case.  I don't believe it is genetic I believe it is called learned behavior.   

Because all people are different.
Lions choose not to eat gazelles all the time, thats why there are still gazelles. You, as a human, survive from instinct. You eat to survive, regardless of what it is you choose to eat.

What would "without choice" look like to you?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 06, 2013, 10:47:58 AM
I don't see any thing wrong with taking a person's upbringing or mental handicaps under consideration in a criminal case.  I don't believe it is genetic I believe it is called learned behavior.   

Because all people are different.

Junebug72, are you sure it's all learned behaviour?  Do Downs Syndrome people learn to be slow learners?  :?

I'm sure you said somewhere you are open to changing your beliefs based on new knowledge (i.e. science).  Here is some relatively new stuff in criminology - which is a science btw:

Quote
When a psychopath does inherit genetically-based, developmental disabilities, its is usually a stunted development of the higher functions of the brain. 30-38% of psychopaths show abnormal brain wave patterns, or EEGs. Infants and children typically have slower brain wave activity, but it increases as they grow up. Not with psychopaths. Eventually, the brain might mature as the psychopath ages. This may be why most serial killers are under 50. The abnormal brain wave activity comes from the temporal lobes and the limbic system of the brain, the areas that control memory and emotions. When development of this part of the brain is genetically impaired, and the parents of the child are abusive, irresponsible or manipulative, the stage is set for disaster.

Can psychopaths be successfully treated? According to the psychiatrists, "No."
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/notorious/tick/psych_6.html


So Junebug72, are you willing (as you have stated) to update your beliefs based on science?



Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 06, 2013, 11:07:02 AM
Regarding my above post - before anyone thinks I'm suggesting Downs Syndrome people are criminals ... I'm not.  I'm using that as an extreme and obvious example that genetic factors exist.  And that we should look for genetic factors in people with all kinds of behaviours that don't fit the norm, even if they are not physically obvious.  Before we condemn, or blame people for "learning" the wrong stuff.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jaimehlers on July 06, 2013, 12:12:24 PM
So, I have these two questions for you:
1. Given the fact that seeing bunnies and dolphins is also part of the Pareidolia phenomenon, how does that provide 'fellowship and human intimacy'?
2. Let's pretend that for a moment that indeed Pareidolia is there for the sole purpose of 'providing fellowship and human intimacy'... Are you saying that one can't satisfy these experiences through the everyday contact with other humans, except when one experiences the Pareidolia phenomenon?

Pray explain these for us  ;)

Sure.  I see bunnies when with others reclining on a hiltop under a shady tree in summer.

I only see faces when on opiate medication or alone with no other people around.
Those facts fit my theory on companionship fine.
But they don't answer his actual questions.  This is called dodging, and it really doesn't fly here.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Graybeard on July 06, 2013, 03:51:00 PM
Stories without any basis in reality are usually failures.
Lets take for example Alice falling down the rabbit hole. None of the story takes place as Alice falls down the hole. Why not?   Because we can't relate to those events.  Events don't usually happen while people are falling so we can't relate to that.

There are 1420 words and 7 paragraphs on Alice falling. In that time, Alice wonders many things and sets the scene for what is to come.

Have you read Alice in Wonderland? If not, it is free to download at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28885/28885-h/28885-h.htm

It is all too easy to relate to fictitious events.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 06, 2013, 05:37:26 PM
"Stories without any basis in reality are usually failures." What?

As usual, SW has no idea what he is talking about. The entire genre of fantasy--incredibly successful, btw-- is based on stuff without any basis in reality. The Harry Potter and Twilight series were not failures, in case somebody has been in a buried in a hole for the past ten years.

People love stories about fairies, superheroes, talking animals, ghosts, mermaids, witches, unicorns, magical spells, humans raised by animals, enchanted princesses. Has SW never read a fairy tale or been to a Disney movie with his kids?

I guess it is just another attempt to account for the attraction of made-up religious stories that, strangely, sound just like fantasy tales. I guess he thinks there are really sassy young wizards chasing demons around England, or hot vampires battling it out in Forks, WA. See, they must be real or else people would not believe them....
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: naemhni on July 06, 2013, 06:54:05 PM
"Stories without any basis in reality are usually failures." What?

As usual, SW has no idea what he is talking about. The entire genre of fantasy--incredibly successful, btw-- is based on stuff without any basis in reality. The Harry Potter and Twilight series were not failures, in case somebody has been in a buried in a hole for the past ten years.

And the really funny thing about it is that "SW" is common fan shorthand for "Star Wars".  :-)
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jaimehlers on July 06, 2013, 09:21:42 PM
Just wait, I'll bet he'll say that things like Star Wars and other successful fantasy/sci-fi stories are outliers and don't represent the bulk of fantasy and sci-fi.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 06, 2013, 11:11:33 PM
Just wait, I'll bet he'll say that things like Star Wars and other successful fantasy/sci-fi stories are outliers and don't represent the bulk of fantasy and sci-fi.

Father, son, sister, aunt, uncle, home, chores, farming.....I was an usher on opening day, part 3. The settings were exotic but that story is about a farm boy doing good. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 07, 2013, 09:09:21 AM

I just want to point out to you that it wasn't dummies that created nuclear bombs, poverty or pollution, or maybe they are! Yea a poor dumb kid might murder a couple of people but an intelligent scientist can destroy the world!!!

First, if you think only intelligent people were involved in the decisions and projects to make nuclear weapons, take another look at politicians – as they were very involved. No one "created" poverty itself. And, again, stupid people have been very involved in working to make others poor. Pollution comes from not letting scientists do the complete job of examining chemical processes – or, worse, ignoring what the scientists have told you to do to contain the pollution.

Next, your example of a dumb murderer versus a world-destroying scientist. Admittedly we don't want any world destroying since we only have the one. But we don't have catastrophic laboratory accidents like in the movies. We do have far too frequent murders. There is indeed a correlation between dumb and dangerous just as there is one between intelligent and safe. Note that correlation does not guarantee equivalence – there are dangerous smart people as well as safe stupid people but they are not the majority.

Are politicians not educated men? It is not intelligence they lack.  It is a conscience. 

Poverty is a side effect of capitalism.  It can not exist on it's on so it was created by a bunch of educated men w/o a conscience.  It can be abolished but the educated rich folk would lose too much money/ego. 

The greedy politician wouldn't have a nuclear warhead, were not for the scientist that created it; both w/o a conscience.

Greed is the road block not stupidity.

My bet is that it wasn't the dumbness that made the dumb guy violent but rather the atmosphere in which he grew up.  Show me a story of 1 dumb guy that was brought up in a loving family that murders.  That's why it's so important to be good loving parents.  So you don't raise a criminal.  The intelligent greedy guy creates the poverty that leads to low self esteems which leads to unwanted pregnancies, murder and hopelessness.  So I remain to believe that it is the intelligent person w/o a conscience that is the most dangerous of all. 

It is the conscience that will keep you up at night if you screw your neighbors wife that strongly encourages my belief in God.  The sweet peace that conscience feels when you do something for your fellow man.  This makes me more confident than not that there is a God that Loves us!!!  We are the only species that has a conscience.

Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jaimehlers on July 07, 2013, 09:17:31 AM
Father, son, sister, aunt, uncle, home, chores, farming.....I was an usher on opening day, part 3. The settings were exotic but that story is about a farm boy doing good.
Actually, it was about said farm boy joining a revolution against a tyrannical government.  But that's not much of a difference.

By the way, a number of sci-fi and fantasy stories have a means to prevent someone from falling (antigravity or the equivalent).  Would you consider this part of an "exotic setting"?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 07, 2013, 09:23:53 AM


Junebug72, are you sure it's all learned behaviour?  Do Downs Syndrome people learn to be slow learners?  :?

I'm sure you said somewhere you are open to changing your beliefs based on new knowledge (i.e. science).  Here is some relatively new stuff in criminology - which is a science btw:


Quote
When a psychopath does inherit genetically-based, developmental disabilities, its is usually a stunted development of the higher functions of the brain. 30-38% of psychopaths show abnormal brain wave patterns, or EEGs. Infants and children typically have slower brain wave activity, but it increases as they grow up. Not with psychopaths. Eventually, the brain might mature as the psychopath ages. This may be why most serial killers are under 50. The abnormal brain wave activity comes from the temporal lobes and the limbic system of the brain, the areas that control memory and emotions. When development of this part of the brain is genetically impaired, and the parents of the child are abusive, irresponsible or manipulative, the stage is set for disaster.
[/b]


Can psychopaths be successfully treated? According to the psychiatrists, "No."

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/notorious/tick/psych_6.html


So Junebug72, are you willing (as you have stated) to update your beliefs based on science?


The last sentence supports my POV, why would I change it?  As far as down syndrome, we were not discussing DS.  They are not violent people just because they have a learning disability.  Your article above specifically states the abusive/neglectful environment is required for this child to become violent.  Whether the child is dumb or intelligent is irrelevant except for the amount of damage this criminalized mind can accomplish.  The intelligent criminal will be more dangerous.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jaimehlers on July 07, 2013, 09:53:01 AM
I just want to point out to you that it wasn't dummies that created nuclear bombs, poverty or pollution, or maybe they are! Yea a poor dumb kid might murder a couple of people but an intelligent scientist can destroy the world!!!
I think you'd better check your facts, junebug.  First off, poverty and pollution have existed pretty much since there were humans.  Pollution simply means things that cause adverse changes in the environment, such as dumping trash in a convenient body of water or out a window or simply tossing it into the street (all of which have happened for thousands of years; indeed, until scientists discovered that this pollution was a primary cause of disease, nobody thought anything of it).  And poverty's existed for a long time too - it existed in hunter-gatherer societies and early agricultural societies, and it's been with us ever since.

As far as nuclear bombs go, I think if you compare the number of people who have died to nuclear bombs to the number of people who have died to bullets, the first number isn't even a drop in the bucket.  Yes, scientists invented nuclear bombs.  They also argued against using them in warfare once they discovered the side-effects of nuclear explosions.  By the way, scientists also invented lots and lots of good things; your refrigerator, the engine in your car, airplanes, wires that could transmit electricity, the computer you wrote this post on, all sorts of vaccines against deadly diseases...  Do I need to go on?

Poverty is a side effect of capitalism.  It can not exist on it's on so it was created by a bunch of educated men w/o a conscience.  It can be abolished but the educated rich folk would lose too much money/ego.
Poverty has existed pretty much since there were humans.  I suggest you compare the lot of a poverty-stricken American to, oh, the lot of a hunter or gatherer from a primitive tribe, or a peasant growing crops through backbreaking labor for his lord.

Quote from: junebug72
It is the conscience that will keep you up at night if you screw your neighbors wife that strongly encourages my belief in God.  The sweet peace that conscience feels when you do something for your fellow man.  This makes me more confident than not that there is a God that Loves us!!!  We are the only species that has a conscience.
The conscience is nothing more than our sense of empathy in action.  I certainly don't think that it's a gift from a god.  By the way, other animals have consciences - it's just that people generally did not spend the time observing animal species (rather than thinking up ways to use them if they seemed benign, or kill them if they seemed threatening) until really recently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5373379/Animals-can-tell-right-from-wrong.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5373379/Animals-can-tell-right-from-wrong.html)

Wolves, for example, will restrict themselves during play so that the weaker, submissive animals get a turn at being dominant - and if one bites too hard, it will apologize with a specific kind of bow only used while playing.  Coyotes ostracize cubs who bite too hard during play.  Domestic dogs will share treats between themselves.  There's other good examples on that page.

http://www.livescience.com/24802-animals-have-morals-book.html (http://www.livescience.com/24802-animals-have-morals-book.html)

Higher animals - even birds - show a sense of outrage when their social codes are violated.  There's a notable example of a male bluebird beating a female one which "steps out" (bluebirds are monogamous).  There's examples of other primates showing examples of empathy/conscience, such as refusing to issue shocks to other monkeys even if food was offered; and there's a stunning example of a gorilla rescuing an unconscious three-year old human boy who fell into her cage, protecting him from other gorillas and calling for human help.  There's another example of a dog that was hit and injured on a freeway, and another dog that was with it risked its own life to drag the injured dog to safety.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on July 07, 2013, 10:23:36 AM

I just want to point out to you that it wasn't dummies that created nuclear bombs, poverty or pollution, or maybe they are! Yea a poor dumb kid might murder a couple of people but an intelligent scientist can destroy the world!!!

First, if you think only intelligent people were involved in the decisions and projects to make nuclear weapons, take another look at politicians – as they were very involved. No one "created" poverty itself. And, again, stupid people have been very involved in working to make others poor. Pollution comes from not letting scientists do the complete job of examining chemical processes – or, worse, ignoring what the scientists have told you to do to contain the pollution.

Next, your example of a dumb murderer versus a world-destroying scientist. Admittedly we don't want any world destroying since we only have the one. But we don't have catastrophic laboratory accidents like in the movies. We do have far too frequent murders. There is indeed a correlation between dumb and dangerous just as there is one between intelligent and safe. Note that correlation does not guarantee equivalence – there are dangerous smart people as well as safe stupid people but they are not the majority.

Are politicians not educated men? It is not intelligence they lack.  It is a conscience. 

Poverty is a side effect of capitalism.  It can not exist on it's on so it was created by a bunch of educated men w/o a conscience.  It can be abolished but the educated rich folk would lose too much money/ego. 

The greedy politician wouldn't have a nuclear warhead, were not for the scientist that created it; both w/o a conscience.

Greed is the road block not stupidity.

My bet is that it wasn't the dumbness that made the dumb guy violent but rather the atmosphere in which he grew up.  Show me a story of 1 dumb guy that was brought up in a loving family that murders.  That's why it's so important to be good loving parents.  So you don't raise a criminal.  The intelligent greedy guy creates the poverty that leads to low self esteems which leads to unwanted pregnancies, murder and hopelessness.  So I remain to believe that it is the intelligent person w/o a conscience that is the most dangerous of all. 

It is the conscience that will keep you up at night if you screw your neighbors wife that strongly encourages my belief in God.  The sweet peace that conscience feels when you do something for your fellow man.  This makes me more confident than not that there is a God that Loves us!!!  We are the only species that has a conscience.

Much of what you said is evidenced in a documentary I watched yesterday.  It's called "The House I live in".  It's on Netflix if anyone has that.  It's a very good, non-religious, eye opening documentary about much of the cause of poverty in America -- the war on drugs.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 07, 2013, 12:47:49 PM
You can't reduce crime or violent behavior to one simple cause. It is true that there have been a lot of negative consequences of poverty and social policies like the "war of drugs" (to paraphrase Borat). And more crime can be "invented" by making more of human behavior illegal. That's why there are so many more people in jail in China and the US than in Sweden or Japan, per capita.

But some bad behavior is due to quirks in people's brains--genetics or chemical imbalances. They aren't normal. There are sociopaths and psychopaths that show up in families with no pathology at all. Very few mass murderers and serial rapists come from impoverished backgrounds. It takes way more than a bad family to create a person who actually likes killing and torturing others. It is rare to find more than one kid in a family, even a really bad family, who enjoys hurting animals, likes scaring the neighbor kids, is excited by setting dangerous fires,  and turns out to be the bad seed. Still one of the creepiest movies ever made....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1kOXfKJSM8
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on July 07, 2013, 01:44:07 PM
You can't reduce crime or violent behavior to one simple cause. It is true that there have been a lot of negative consequences of poverty and social policies like the "war of drugs" (to paraphrase Borat). And more crime can be "invented" by making more of human behavior illegal. That's why there are so many more people in jail in China and the US than in Sweden or Japan, per capita.

But some bad behavior is due to quirks in people's brains--genetics or chemical imbalances. They aren't normal. There are sociopaths and psychopaths that show up in families with no pathology at all. Very few mass murderers and serial rapists come from impoverished backgrounds. It takes way more than a bad family to create a person who actually likes killing and torturing others. It is rare to find more than one kid in a family, even a really bad family, who enjoys hurting animals, likes scaring the neighbor kids, is excited by setting dangerous fires,  and turns out to be the bad seed. Still one of the creepiest movies ever made....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1kOXfKJSM8

I'm not sure if you're talking to me or junebug.  I definately agree people can do terrible things because of mental illness or similar things.  But these are the exception.  It also seems that just having loving parents is not enough if the hands of your loving parents are tied so they cannot do anything.

Why do ghetto's exist?  Are all those people mentally ill bad seeds that are genetically programmed to be drug dealers and gang bangers?  Are they all very low on IQ?  Do they lack loving parents?  Becoming a drug dealer living in a ghetto seems to me to be a very rational decision.  Necessity is the mother of invention.

As was said in the documentary, "what is not destroyed by drugs is destroyed by the war against them".  These people in inner cities need help not punishment.  Sure some will always be bad, but I'm not talking about them.  I'm talking about a lot of good, loving, intelligent people that are merely victims of circumstance caused by politics, greed, racism, and class division.

Quote from: nogodsforme
That's why there are so many more people in jail in China and the US than in Sweden or Japan, per capita.

Most of the people imprisoned in the US are there because of drug charges.  So now the problem becomes compounded.  Now we have economies and industries that are built around imprisoning people that will be disrupted if the system is changed. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 07, 2013, 02:11:32 PM
^^^I agree with much of what you say here. I believe that is the point I was trying to make when I said there are larger percentages of the Chinese and US populations in jail than in many other countries where fewer non-violent human behaviors have been criminalized. And, yes, in certain situations, it is very rational to do illegal things, whether it is a mildly mentally ill woman selling sex to help support her kids, a homeless teen shoplifting food or a "ghetto" kid joining a gang for protection against other gangs.

What I object to is saying that all criminal behavior, even violent behavior, is due to greed or up to individual choice.  The really violent scary criminals, serial killers and such, are not motivated by normal human need for money to buy things. Therefore, the kind of social policies that would reduce most crime (decriminalizing most drugs, universal health care including mental health, etc) will not affect these folks. They are as god made them.... :P
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on July 07, 2013, 02:38:26 PM
What I object to is saying that all criminal behavior, even violent behavior, is due to greed or up to individual choice.  The really violent scary criminals, serial killers and such, are not motivated by normal human need for money to buy things. Therefore, the kind of social policies that would reduce most crime (decriminalizing most drugs, universal health care including mental health, etc) will not affect these folks.

Oh no, I don't think that.  People can definately be off in the head.  But I don't think all serial killers are born that way.  I watched one documentary of a serial killer and while I wouldn't say he wasn't off a little, he became bitter at the depravity he was forced to live in and snapped.  The brain can also only take so much before it snaps.  But I do know some are just born that way with a predisposition toward terrible things.

Quote from: nogodsforme
They are as god made them....

This is a curious statement from you.  Which religion told you that? 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Seppuku on July 07, 2013, 04:51:40 PM
I am in much agreement. I don't think it's black and white enough to be generalised. There's certainly a number of things that lead people to crime. It can come out of need, out of poverty, out of peer pressure, out of mental instability, it comes out of culture, it can come out of upbringing, it could come out of social injustice or social rebellion, it can come out of greed, it can come out of ignorance, it can come out of religion, it can come out of ideologies, it can come out of a whole range of human emotion, it can come out of desire and weak super-ego to hold it back. The list probably goes on.

But I am glad you have said those things Jst (without trying to sound patronising), when it comes to morality, with Christians I tend to find myself encountering on the web they try to bring it down to the simplest generalisation or try to make it as black and white as possible or try to religiousify it. For example, it could be related to lack of faith or be down to good vs evil and pass off people as 'good' or 'bad', 'faithful' or 'sinful' and seem to look more to the bible on how to judge people for the way they are rather than use their own observations. Some are more down to earth than that. And generally I find Jehovah's Witnesses to be out of touch from reality, but this shows otherwise. ;) I am glad I try not to generalise. :P

Quote
Which religion told you that? 

Depends on how you look at it. God made us, therefore he programmed our brains, defined how they work and how everything connects together, like a programmer writing an AI, which would open up for an interesting discussion - if an AI kills somebody who is responsible? The AI or the person who programmed its intelligence?

Some argue that we were granted free will and it was Adam and Eve who condemned us through the temptation in the garden of Eden, but then again I would still argue than God programmed human nature.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 07, 2013, 08:04:03 PM
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 08, 2013, 06:48:22 AM
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?

That's 3 examples of my POV.  Charles Manson was abandoned by his parents and was in and out of juvenile detention.  He was raised by the prison system.  Jeffery Dahlmer was ignored.  Osama Bin Laden was raised to be a hater. 

We actually do not know if a loving environment helps people with brain malfunctions because it's after they have committed a violent act that we are aware of their condition.   I am still convinced it takes the perfect storm,  to create a human monster and brain malfunctioning need not but can be part of the scenario.

You're right NoGods, flesh wasn't created perfect.  It has it's flaws.  It's what's inside the flesh that's important to me.  I lean towards some birth defects being a consequence of the human kind, like pollution or the mother suffering some kind of trauma during pregnancy.  There are a lot more healthy babies born than not.  Perfectly healthy babies that can be turned into violent people by people.   Unless tested at birth you can not say with 100% certainty that it was God not humans that made their brains malfunction; I am talking about psychopaths.

So no I think mankind creates psychopaths not God.  Like you said, a scientific explanation.  I don't think there is 1 form of evil that you can say doesn't come from immoral human decision making. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 08, 2013, 07:03:35 AM
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?

He did.  And none of us are any less guilty of sin that those three.  We are on the same level as them, guilty of not accepting God into our heart where He belongs. Myself included.

MAN has his own set of rules about how to control the Hell we live in.   In some cultures people  are put to death for speaking against the government.   In our culture, those three would stay alive in jail for the rest of their lives.   All mans laws are variable.   God's are not. You either Trust Him or you don't.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 08, 2013, 08:22:35 AM
As far as down syndrome, we were not discussing DS.  They are not violent people just because they have a learning disability. 

Bugger!  &) So you've jumped to exactly the wrong conclusion that I warned about in the post directly after.

The obvious point, which you missed, is that in Downs Syndrome we can see physical abnormalities associated with mental abnormalities.  Both are clearly caused by genetic abnormalities.  The lesson is that mental abnormalities (including criminal tendencies) can be genetic - in which case not the fault of the person afflicted.  More and more science is telling us this.  With this knowledge we are obliged to step back and assess our responses to criminal behaviour. 

I hope you get the point now that I've spelt it out a second time.


Your article above specifically states the abusive/neglectful environment is required for this child to become violent.

And this response of yours specifically ignores the information about genetic predisposition, and that we should not automatically condemn a person for what their environment did to them.  One doesn't condone criminality, but empathy should kick in as well as an open mind willing to search for other approaches and answers.  But I hope you've grasped this by now  :) 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 08, 2013, 08:32:36 AM
There are a lot more healthy babies born than not. 

No, do the math:
Quote
In general, less than 50% of all fertilized eggs will even implant into the mother's womb causing pregnancy to continue. From there, there is a 25-50% chance of aborting before you even know you are pregnant. If, however, you make it to your first month, your odds go up to 75% chance of carrying to term.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Spontaneous_abortion_in_humans

And what we think is "healthy" is most likely not. The majority of us are born with genes that will severely compromise or kill us before pure and simple aging (e.g. somatic cell DNA reproduction errors and oxidation) would.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 08, 2013, 08:50:54 AM
As far as down syndrome, we were not discussing DS.  They are not violent people just because they have a learning disability. 

Bugger!  &) So you've jumped to exactly the wrong conclusion that I warned about in the post directly after.

The obvious point, which you missed, is that in Downs Syndrome we can see physical abnormalities associated with mental abnormalities.  Both are clearly caused by genetic abnormalities.  The lesson is that mental abnormalities (including criminal tendencies) can be genetic - in which case not the fault of the person afflicted.  More and more science is telling us this.  With this knowledge we are obliged to step back and assess our responses to criminal behaviour. 

I hope you get the point now that I've spelt it out a second time.


Your article above specifically states the abusive/neglectful environment is required for this child to become violent.

And this response of yours specifically ignores the information about genetic predisposition, and that we should not automatically condemn a person for what their environment did to them.  One doesn't condone criminality, but empathy should kick in as well as an open mind willing to search for other approaches and answers.  But I hope you've grasped this by now  :)

We all have genetic flaws and have to deal with cards as dealt. Some can commit themselves, and others have less control and will hurt themselves as well as others.  We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 08, 2013, 09:19:19 AM
We all have genetic flaws and have to deal with cards as dealt. Some can commit themselves, and others have less control and will hurt themselves as well as others.  We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.

We execute known mentally ill people in our state prisons. One fellow in Texas a decade or so ago asked the guards if he could keep his last meal in his cell so he could have more when he got back. Of course he wasn't mentally ill. He just had an IQ in the 60's.

But read this article about condemned prisoners who were. It is short and sour.

http://blogs.sacurrent.com/index.php/executing-the-mentally-ill/ (http://blogs.sacurrent.com/index.php/executing-the-mentally-ill/)

I'm not getting into the discussion. Just wanted you to know that life isn't all kitty cats and roses.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 08, 2013, 09:46:14 AM
We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.

Well, the real medical uses of leeches are only starting to be better understood:
Quote
... we asked Bill Lineaweaver, a surgeon at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He says leeches are often the best option for safely removing congested blood from a wound.
http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/modern-leeching/

But there was a time in history (only a couple hundred years ago) when many people would have glibly claimed: "We are already using leeches to treat hysteria."
Turns out they were wrong.  Science has a habit of showing people they were wrong.

Keep an open mind please.

How can the judicial system of any country be "already" adjusting sentences for genes that are only now being identified and understood?
This whole field of genetics in criminology is going through a revolution - as we speak.  The types of convictions/acquittals by the juries you served on will probably be affected by current or new genetic findings - when the judicial systems catch up.  It doesn't mean you didn't serve as juror with complete integrity. Only that you served with a degree of ignorance, and under imperfect incomplete instructions.  Are you able to handle that SkyWriting? 

Quote
Now that the human genome has been sequenced, and scientists are studying the genetics of areas as varied as alcoholism and party affiliation, criminologists are cautiously returning to the subject. A small cadre of experts is exploring how genes might heighten the risk of committing a crime and whether such a trait can be inherited.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/arts/genetics-and-crime-at-institute-of-justice-conference.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This area of research is going to turn our ideas of human equality on its head. 

Do you see any implications in this for the existence of God and Free Will?

Theists riled against the original ideas of Darwin because of the obvious implications for the creation story.
In much the same way, the influence of Genetics over behaviour is going to change theist's ideas about their cherished notion of free will.
Once again God will be left to retreat into ever diminishing gaps in our knowledge.

Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 08, 2013, 10:36:46 AM
Very few serial murderers (who kill because they like killing) come from poor and impoverished families. For every Charles Manson who was neglected, abused etc., there are millions of people who had the same experiences and did not become serial killers.  What appears to be different about the serial killers is that they do not have the same feelings as other people. They have a genetic mistake that makes them psychopaths.

Some of this turns up in early childhood-- the kids who torture animals and set fires, as I pointed out. In the very same family, there will be siblings who do not become killers. The killers have a brain quirk. The other kids in the family do not. Someday we will be able to know who has these brain problems before they kill a bunch of people. What to do about it is the real ethical question.

And no, SW, we are not all the same as Charles Manson. Most of us are not psychopaths. Thank Thor.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 08, 2013, 11:26:15 AM
We all have genetic flaws and have to deal with cards as dealt. Some can commit themselves, and others have less control and will hurt themselves as well as others.  We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.

We execute known mentally ill people in our state prisons. One fellow in Texas a decade or so ago asked the guards if he could keep his last meal in his cell so he could have more when he got back. Of course he wasn't mentally ill. He just had an IQ in the 60's.

But read this article about condemned prisoners who were. It is short and sour.

http://blogs.sacurrent.com/index.php/executing-the-mentally-ill/ (http://blogs.sacurrent.com/index.php/executing-the-mentally-ill/)

I'm not getting into the discussion. Just wanted you to know that life isn't all kitty cats and roses.

We are all destined for death. Perhaps my 7th grade lab partner Betsy was ready.
Maybe my 17yo brother was. Maybe my obese neighbor was.  I am. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Azdgari on July 08, 2013, 01:07:08 PM
^^ A great way to trivialize the deaths of others, that.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 08, 2013, 01:13:07 PM
^^ A great way to trivialize the deaths of others, that.

I don't know if they went on to life or not.   It's not my place to say.
I've cried over the death of newborn babies as well as prostitutes.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 08, 2013, 02:54:34 PM
Yes, we are all destined for death. Is that a reason to hurry up and send people there who don't want to go yet? But that's what god does all the time, so it must be okay. :P
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 08, 2013, 03:08:47 PM
Yes, we are all destined for death. Is that a reason to hurry up and send people there who don't want to go yet? But that's what god does all the time, so it must be okay. :P

You mean like grade school massacres or at sporting events? 
I don't support them.   Satan is the god of this world.
The Creator only handles the Spirit for infinity-long.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on July 08, 2013, 03:16:26 PM
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?

All of this sickness, specifically genetic sickness, is in exact agreement with what the Bible teaches that man is in an imperfect condition and sickness and death are heriditary.  Genetics have proven the accuracy this teaching.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jdawg70 on July 08, 2013, 03:26:43 PM
All of this sickness, specifically genetic sickness, is in exact agreement with what the Bible teaches that man is in an imperfect condition and sickness and death are heriditary.  Genetics have proven the accuracy this teaching.
It is exact in the same way that saying you have told me exactly where New York City is by saying "in the Milky Way".
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 08, 2013, 03:33:20 PM
Yes, we are all destined for death. Is that a reason to hurry up and send people there who don't want to go yet? But that's what god does all the time, so it must be okay. :P

You mean like grade school massacres or at sporting events? 
I don't support them.   Satan is the god of this world.
The Creator only handles the Spirit for infinity-long.

So, you are a polytheist now?

Satan (I Love Lucy) is filling in doing the god-thing temporarily while Jehovah (Mr. Mooney) is on vacation. And when god gets back, will he be pissed!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGeNxTtLTGk
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on July 08, 2013, 04:06:44 PM
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: jdawg70 on July 08, 2013, 04:15:06 PM
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.
A more detailed definition of sin is needed.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 08, 2013, 04:17:26 PM
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.

Show evidence for this and I predict you will win the next Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 08, 2013, 04:20:07 PM
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.

Show evidence for this and I predict you will win the next Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Extrinsic motivation actually reduces effort and creativity. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 08, 2013, 04:22:07 PM
Most people won't come to work if you stop paying them. And what does that have to do with the evidence for the hypothesis anyway?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: SkyWriting on July 08, 2013, 04:25:45 PM
Most people won't come to work if you stop paying them. And what does that have to do with the evidence for the hypothesis anyway?

Only because so much of work sucks.  If the job is great, you'll show up for your
own reasons. 
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 09, 2013, 12:45:22 AM
Way to miss the main point.  &)

What about the evidence for the "sin=suffering=mental=physical=death=children inherit all this from their parents" hypothesis?  :?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 09, 2013, 05:30:51 AM

Bugger!  &) So you've jumped to exactly the wrong conclusion that I warned about in the post directly after.

The obvious point, which you missed, is that in Downs Syndrome we can see physical abnormalities associated with mental abnormalities.  Both are clearly caused by genetic abnormalities.  The lesson is that mental abnormalities (including criminal tendencies) can be genetic - in which case not the fault of the person afflicted.  More and more science is telling us this.  With this knowledge we are obliged to step back and assess our responses to criminal behaviour. 

I hope you get the point now that I've spelt it out a second time.


And this response of yours specifically ignores the information about genetic predisposition, and that we should not automatically condemn a person for what their environment did to them.  One doesn't condone criminality, but empathy should kick in as well as an open mind willing to search for other approaches and answers.  But I hope you've grasped this by now  :)

I am going to take into consideration that we haven't debated much.  If we had you'd know you're way off base in your analysis of my empathy.   I didn't say a word in my post that suggests psychopaths don't need empathy.  What is it when I say that it will take love and compassion to deal with this disease.  My POV is that it doesn't prove the non existence of God.  It proves that flesh is not perfect.  I am also still convinced a lot of the problem comes from pollution.

I did not ignore your statement.  What a baseless accusation.  I was responding to NoGODS anyway. 


On top of all this you really can't test newborns for being a psychopath. I have this friend, she was perfectly normal until the age of 22/23.  Then her brain went haywire and she was diagnosed as paranoid-schizophrenic; she is not violent.  If she was born this way why did it not reveal itself until adulthood?  Most people with bi-polar disorder do not have it until young adulthood.  I also believe it is extremely over diagnosed.  They do not even test the brain to diagnose bi-polar disorder.  They ask you a few questions dope you up and send you on your way. 

Either way the argument doesn't work to prove the non existence of God.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 09, 2013, 05:35:17 AM

What I object to is saying that all criminal behavior, even violent behavior, is due to greed or up to individual choice.  The really violent scary criminals, serial killers and such, are not motivated by normal human need for money to buy things. Therefore, the kind of social policies that would reduce most crime (decriminalizing most drugs, universal health care including mental health, etc) will not affect these folks. They are as god made them.... :P

Has this theory been tested?  Not in the country I live in. :?
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 09, 2013, 05:55:40 AM
There are a lot more healthy babies born than not. 

No, do the math:
Quote
In general, less than 50% of all fertilized eggs will even implant into the mother's womb causing pregnancy to continue. From there, there is a 25-50% chance of aborting before you even know you are pregnant. If, however, you make it to your first month, your odds go up to 75% chance of carrying to term.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Spontaneous_abortion_in_humans

And what we think is "healthy" is most likely not. The majority of us are born with genes that will severely compromise or kill us before pure and simple aging (e.g. somatic cell DNA reproduction errors and oxidation) would.

 :o It is a common fact that life expectancy is 70 years.  That's old and gray is it not?  The most common reason for death in the young; car accidents, not genetics.  You use the word most very liberally here.

75% is a majority.  So what is the percentage of babies being born psychopathic?

My def. of healthy babies; not having any disease at birth.  I have not heard of any up rise in birth defects.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: William on July 09, 2013, 06:43:53 AM
I did not ignore your statement.  What a baseless accusation.  I was responding to NoGODS anyway. 

Please re-read your reply at post #84 in this thread. You quoted my post and you were responding to me.
Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: junebug72 on July 10, 2013, 06:49:33 AM
^My bad.  I still don't see how you get I ignored you.  I don't have to agree with you.  It's not the same thing. 

No response but this? :?  Does this mean you agree with me?

It was your article that supported my opinion.  I couldn't let that go w/o pointing it out to you.  Y'all won't convince me that violence is not a consequence of environment no matter what birth defect a child might have.

I am very uncomfortable releasing parents of the responsibility they have to society and their children.  That's all this discussion is.

I watched this show last night called Born Schizophrenic.  I am not usually a violent person but I wanted to smack those parents.  I bet anyone could have a perfectly healthy baby and tell her she's schizo at the age of 1 and make a schizophrenic child.  Yea big coincidence her little brother is too.  Parents seemed normal enough but there is something seriously wrong with those two.  All the symptoms they spoke of are typical child behaviors.  They don't come out knowing how to behave.  You have to teach them.  If those kids are sick so are the rest of them.  I was outraged at what I saw.  I only watched it because of this discussion.  My take, the mom and dad have no discipline skills so they dope their children up.  I see it happen all the time and what this does is tarnish our studies of real mental disease.  They don't need dope they need Super Nanny!!!  I've seen the same behaviors on that show wrapped up in 2 weeks with good discipline.  Those ladies are awesome.

Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: nogodsforme on July 10, 2013, 03:06:32 PM

 :o It is a common fact that life expectancy is 70 years.  That's old and gray is it not?  The most common reason for death in the young; car accidents, not genetics.  You use the word most very liberally here.

75% is a majority.  So what is the percentage of babies being born psychopathic?

My def. of healthy babies; not having any disease at birth.  I have not heard of any up rise in birth defects.

I think the point of the previous post was that most genetic problems get stopped naturally by miscarriage at the fertilized egg stage, before a woman even knows she is pregnant. She just has a late period, not realizing that was a fertilized egg with a defect. 

(Isn't that what many religious people say when a woman has a miscarriage of a baby she wanted? It was god's way of preventing a baby with health problems from being born. Of course the same people say that if the baby will be born without a brain and will only live for a few hours, or is even already dead, she is not supposed to have an abortion...)

And, since we now have the technology to save babies born at younger and younger stages of development (like 6 months gestation, or even earlier) we are likely to see an increase in birth defects. Some of the interventions that save the babies (oxygen, steroids) actually cause later health problems.

Some of these problems will show up early and others may not show up until much later in life. We do not have tests for all these problems, so we find out when the kid is 10 and can't read, or when the person is 25 and can't concentrate well enough to hold a job.
 
Yes, the environment is very important, but how our bodies and minds react to the environmental factors is often due to inherited characteristics. For example, many people smoke, but only some get cancer. Many people are abused as kids, but only some become violent adults. Many people drink or take drugs, but only some become alcoholics or addicts. Genetics factors may even determine which soldiers in combat are going to get PTSD and who won't.

Life expectancy is an average figure. It already takes into account the fact that childhood leukemia, sickle cell, and other conditions will make some people die before they get old. We are increasingly aware that genetics plays an important role in how long we live, and what our quality of life will be.

Genetic tendencies may explain why one kid in a family turns out to be a psychopath, and the others with the same upbringing, food, pollution exposure, etc. are normal. Someday there may be tests for that; as I said before, it will become an ethical problem as to what to do with a person who "tests" as a psychopath but has not committed any crimes. Yet.

In the litigious US, I see future lawsuits brought by victims' families against the people who "knew that he had tested positive for psychopathology and did nothing about it..." :-\


Title: Re: Does god exist
Post by: epidemic on July 12, 2013, 12:01:29 PM
Conversely, Can you find me a fallacy free argument that explains the universes ultimate origins and how you exclude a god from the list of possible alterantives.

I can do so as well. And like OAA, you have to demonstrate that you are willing to actually read it before I'm willing to go to the effort of explaining it.  A mindset that is receptive to being introduced to an approach that is very different from your own is also required, and I'm honestly not sure you are prepared to do so.

It's up to you to decide if you really want these answers or if you would prefer not to face the challenge they may present. My explanation isn't going anywhere and I can be persuaded to share it with you whenever you are ready to consider a perspective that contradicts your own. Until and unless you are truly interested, there's no point.

Sorry I lost this thread and have not returned to it.  Someone claimed I left because the questions were too hard.   This is not the case.   Although my time is a limited resource and I can not spend it learning physics to a level that I can be a physicist.

However watching physicists on watered down TV shows on discovery and reading web articles, I do not see any theories as to the moments before 1E-9,000,000,000 seconds after the big bang.  There is no apparent source for the big bang.  In essence the theory goes There was a singularity with infinite mass and for some reason began to expand space time.  There is no apparent source for the energy that ultimately created matter.  If you have a reasonable explaination for it I will try to understand it.  Readers digest version would be prefered.

As I read it everything came from nothing.  The singularity either always existed but it has no source. 




AS for those who say god is impossible because a being living outside space time can not possibly exist and or interact with space time.   Well I have no idea of what rules might govern a being outside of space time.   he/it/they/gods may well be able to interact with time that all depends on their abilities.  I can't think of why they would want to interact with something knowing the outcome but hey I am not in their shoes.

I don't suggest there is a god, I only accept that it is possible.  the probability of it is something I can not speculate.  I use the value of  99.999 % sure there is no God.  But people win the lottery against long odds.  Odds do not disprove things they just tell you their likelihood.