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Old 11th Feb 2013, 22:20   #1761
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
That's where a lot of atheists are with God. They see no proof of His presence whatsoever (and they have some plausible reasons for that too).
Whilst no atheists see proof of God's presence, there are atheists who have experienced him in one way or another, but they are theists now of course.

Re. the drogulus, it is hardly comparable to God because its existence is patently unnecessary and this can be demonstrated very easily. Contrarily, a lot of things need explaining if you take God out of the picture. That's why debates like this continue (and always will). It's evident, at least for me, that when God is taken out of the picture, 99% of the time it's because he is simply not welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Perhaps the mind that is being blown is yours. Both 'something' (matter) and 'nothing' (absence of matter) lie in the physical domain. Think about it.
Yes but you're just playing with semantics... of course the concept of nothng lies in our domain, but nothing in actuality is not physical - it is the absence of something that is physical. To say that nothing is physical is utter nonsense, pure and simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Everyone who believes in ID/creationism should consult a doctor, as they have a dissiocative disorder.
And that is why I love this thread.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 22:48   #1762
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
Whilst no atheists see proof of God's presence, there are atheists who have experienced him in one way or another, but they are theists now of course.
Similarly there are theists who have lost their faith and are now atheists. Like I said: subjective and personal.

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Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
Re. the drogulus, it is hardly comparable to God because its existence is patently unnecessary and this can be demonstrated very easily. Contrarily, a lot of things need explaining if you take God out of the picture. That's why debates like this continue (and always will). It's evident, at least for me, that when God is taken out of the picture, 99% of the time it's because he is simply not welcome.
No, it's because in a scientific worldview He is not necessary. The workings of the universe thus far have been adequately explained without involving His existence.

If you feel that He is 'not welcome' perhaps that is just your interpretation, in which case you'll have to ask yourself why you think He might be unwelcome. Perhaps He has some crap PR teams working for Him.

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Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
Yes but you're just playing with semantics... of course the concept of nothng lies in our domain, but nothing in actuality is not physical - it is the absence of something that is physical. To say that nothing is physical is utter nonsense, pure and simple.
Matter consists of mostly nothing. Atoms are mostly empty space. Even the bit that isn't is a point-mass with no discernible solid surface or diameter. Perhaps you ought to take it on faith that a physics professor knows something that you don't.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 22:56   #1763
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The only thing that a creator/god could clear up is creation and the arbitrary rules and conditions the universe and science run on.

However I see no reason why its more likely that a creator spontaneously appeared than the universe.
If we did discover a god existed science would just have a ton of questions to answer about the nature of gods existence rather than the universe.

And at any rate supposing a god does exist. Why exactly should either of us care about the other.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 00:32   #1764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
The workings of the universe thus far have been adequately explained without involving His existence.
A matter of opinion and the perennial point of contention which will never be resolved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
If you feel that He is 'not welcome' perhaps that is just your interpretation, in which case you'll have to ask yourself why you think He might be unwelcome. Perhaps He has some crap PR teams working for Him.
Partly true and partly a cop-out, unfortunately. There have been a good few attempts in this thread to malign theism (and religion in general) on the basis that the people who subscribe to religion do bad things and represent their faiths badly, which is merely a given and not a valid argument against the beliefs that they hold. For what it's worth, you are absolutely right that God has crap PR teams working for him, which is precisely why he chose to reveal himself in Jesus rather than in people.

But that aside, it's not really why God is unwelcome; often he is unwelcome because of fundamentalism, and you and I both know that there is no reasoning behind that kind of thinking - the die is already cast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Matter consists of mostly nothing. Atoms are mostly empty space. Even the bit that isn't is a point-mass with no discernible solid surface or diameter. Perhaps you ought to take it on faith that a physics professor knows something that you don't.
Just red herrings... It's a glariing contradiction to say that something is the same as nothing, which is effectively what he is saying. I don't need to be a professor of physics to spot a logical fallacy.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 01:59   #1765
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
A matter of opinion and the perennial point of contention which will never be resolved.
Well of course it will never be resolved when theists continually insist that god exists in the contemporary gaps in scientific understanding, despite historically being proven wrong again and again. Argumentum ad Ignorantiam.

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Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
Partly true and partly a cop-out, unfortunately. There have been a good few attempts in this thread to malign theism (and religion in general) on the basis that the people who subscribe to religion do bad things and represent their faiths badly, which is merely a given and not a valid argument against the beliefs that they hold. For what it's worth, you are absolutely right that God has crap PR teams working for him, which is precisely why he chose to reveal himself in Jesus rather than in people.

But that aside, it's not really why God is unwelcome; often he is unwelcome because of fundamentalism, and you and I both know that there is no reasoning behind that kind of thinking - the die is already cast.
I would argue that religious moderates are actually the problem with religion. In creating their own interpretation, and willfully ignoring the passages that are out of sync with modern values, they present religion as a benign entity. If all theists lived in adherence to the bronze age values their holy books demanded then religion would be quickly seen for the codified barbarism it truly is.


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Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
Just red herrings... It's a glariing contradiction to say that something is the same as nothing, which is effectively what he is saying. I don't need to be a professor of physics to spot a logical fallacy.
It isn't a logical fallacy at all. Imagine you had a box with nothing in it. Absolutely nothing. No light, no air, and the box shielded the nothing from all external fundamental forces - How much nothing do you have? You can obviously quantify nothing, meaning it has at least 3 dimensions. And how long has it been there? Well, there's another dimension...Hence, nothing has physical properties.

If you resort to stating that nothing is the absence of space-time itself then you have to consider that this nothing is also everything due to the very fact it is unquantifiable.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 09:05   #1766
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VipersGratitude already gave a most excellent reply, but just to add:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
A matter of opinion and the perennial point of contention which will never be resolved.
Science is not opinion. It is a systematic discipline that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. As I said before:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
A scientific explanation in which it is not necessary for God to exist leaves the possibility open that He does; it is just not required for the explanation to be true. God could reveal Himself today (film at eleven), and the universe would still function the way that science has explained it to. It would change nothing about that. So since the existence of God not only cannot be scientifically proved, but is not even required for scientific explanations, whether or not He exists is irrelevant from a scientific point of view. He has no impact on the scientific domain. God lies outside its configuration space, so to speak.

So yes, it is possible that God exists, but it is an unprovable philosophical speculation, not a provable scientific hypothesis. In other words: all we can do is have personal opinions on that, based in beliefs.
God may be hiding behind the scenes, but there is no way to tell: we can't peek outside the universe. So, from a scientific point of view speculating about the existence of something that cannot be proved or disproved is pointless. Science has no opinion on the existence of God.

Let me repeat that, because it tends to get lost in the debate: Science has no opinion on the existence of God. Scientists may have one, of course: some believe in God, and some don't. But that is not their scientific hypothesis, that is their personal belief; it may be based in reason and logic, but it is not testable.

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Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
Partly true and partly a cop-out, unfortunately. There have been a good few attempts in this thread to malign theism (and religion in general) on the basis that the people who subscribe to religion do bad things and represent their faiths badly, which is merely a given and not a valid argument against the beliefs that they hold. For what it's worth, you are absolutely right that God has crap PR teams working for him, which is precisely why he chose to reveal himself in Jesus rather than in people.

But that aside, it's not really why God is unwelcome; often he is unwelcome because of fundamentalism, and you and I both know that there is no reasoning behind that kind of thinking - the die is already cast.
Often the fundamentalism that makes God unwelcome is on the theists' part. How is the gay marriage debate coming along, for example? In any case, as you say yourself, you cannot discount a belief system based just on the actions and statements of people who represent it badly. Even if that belief system is atheism.

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Just red herrings... It's a glariing contradiction to say that something is the same as nothing, which is effectively what he is saying. I don't need to be a professor of physics to spot a logical fallacy.
Now what was that you said about closed minds and fundamentalism? If a Professor in Physics tells us, whose Physics education is limited to secondary school level, something that seems to make no logical sense to us whatsoever, we can do two things:
  • Humbly ask him to explain to us in simpler terms what he means, because we obviously did not understand him;
  • Arrogantly assume that he is talking rubbish and we know better.
What would a fundamentalist do?
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 12:23   #1767
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Atleast scientist leave room for the existance of a god, as they don't neglect it being a possibility until proven otherwise. That's what I call open minded, and there's actually alot of scientists, who are also religious and believe in god.

People who believe in ID/creationism however are not that open minded, as they don't leave any room for other possibilities.

Science works for all people, as you can do experiments to prove a theory right or wrong. Religion otoh only works for those who believe, as there's no experiments you can do to prove it either way.
This is why science is superior to religion.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 13:41   #1768
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...This is why science is superior to religion.
I don't quite (and never have) understood the inferior/superior debate. Reducing them down to their most basic forms; religion = moral guidance, science = intellectual guidance. So they're not competing in the same market, yes there are some bits of some religions which slightly tread on sciences toes, but for the most part they exist as mutually exclusive entities.

The problem I have with (some) religions is that they lack the self correcting nature of scientific thought. Another, eidetic reduction; religion = +ve feedback, science = -ve feedback. This is grossly simplistic, and religion does tend to be more neutral, or even -ve than +ve, but it's inertia is so great that it's comparative shift appears +ve.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 14:33   #1769
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Actually: science has self-correcting feedback, while religion has self-reinforcing feedback. Science critiques itself; religion praises itself.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 14:41   #1770
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You could also say...

religion = restricted by people (i.e. law of the believers)

science = restricted by itself (i.e. law of nature)

And this is where they clash, as the law of nature is a general law allways objective and religion is a human made thought allways subjective.

If religion would be objective, then there would only be a single religion
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 14:50   #1771
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 14:51   #1772
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If one finds oneself disagreeing with part of ones religious doctrine, is one still practising that religion? Religion just awkwardly moulds itself into the society in which it is being practised. Very few Christians still practice in the same way as their medieval ancestors.

You can't disagree with science, it either works or it doesn't. You can disagree with erroneous interpretations of science, but there is no way of escaping the validity of raw data if it was achieved in a properly conducted manner.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 15:01   #1773
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The difference between science and religion, repeatability. If you can't repeat your results they're a miracle...
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 18:29   #1774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VipersGratitude
It isn't a logical fallacy at all. Imagine you had a box with nothing in it. Absolutely nothing. No light, no air, and the box shielded the nothing from all external fundamental forces - How much nothing do you have? You can obviously quantify nothing, meaning it has at least 3 dimensions.
Nope, you can't quantify it - all you're quantifying is the space that the box creates, so it's the dimensions of something that you have, not the dimensions of nothing. Give me an example of nothing (no box, or anything else, which would actually be nothing) and show me how it is physical or quantifiable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Science is not "opinion".
I didn't say that it was; I said that the idea that science adequately explains everything (eg the scientific worldview) is an opinion, and it is logically flawed, which we ascertained some time ago. To dismiss any and all questions on the basis that they are not scientific is just silly, but many people do it (and will keep doing it too). This thread continues to be a perfect example of that. God may be irrelevant to the scientific method but that doesn't mean that he (or the question of his existence) is irrelevant to people.

And we need to be careful with our terms here... theism and religion are not interchangeable, so don't try to argue against theism by listing the flaws and discrepancies of religion. I'm talking simply about theism as a philosophy, and the question of God's existence.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 18:41   #1775
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Nope, you can't quantify it - all you're quantifying is the space that the box creates, so it's the dimensions of something that you have, not the dimensions of nothing. Give me an example of nothing (no box, or anything else, which would actually be nothing) and show me how it is physical or quantifiable.
Nothing has physical dimensions (it ends where it borders on, well, something). It has a temporal dimension (it exists for a defined lenght of time).

Still, let's just accept that a professor in Physics may be smarter than us on that particular subject.

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I didn't say that it was; I said that the idea that science adequately explains everything (eg the scientific worldview) is an opinion, and it is logically flawed, which we ascertained some time ago.
No. Again. Science is a systematic discipline that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the physical universe. And yes, it does so adequately because for that purpose, its explanations work.

You may reasonably argue that there is more to our existence than the physical universe, such as a spiritual or philosophical dimension, but science has no opinion about that. Spiritually and philosophically we can only have beliefs, values and opinions, and they are all true --for a given value of "true".

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To dismiss any and all questions on the basis that they are not scientific is just silly, but many people do it (and will keep doing it too). This thread continues to be a perfect example of that. God may be irrelevant to the scientific method but that doesn't mean that he (or the question of his existence) is irrelevant to people.
Never said that He was. I'm just saying that He is irrelevant to science: to working explanations of how the physical universe works. Those explanations work just fine whether we postulate the existence of God behind the scenes or whether we don't.

Now let's try and get back to teh crux of the argument as I understand it:

Basically, you say: "You cannot prove that my belief in God is illogical"

I'm saying: "I'm not trying to. I just don't share your belief."

You're saying: "That is illogical!"

I'm saying: "You cannot prove that my belief that God does not exist is any less logical than your belief that He does".

Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
And we need to be careful with our terms here... theism and religion are not interchangeable, so don't try to argue against theism by listing the flaws and discrepancies of religion. I'm talking simply about theism as a philosophy, and the question of God's existence.
That's cool; it's always useful to define and clarify our terms.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 19:02   #1776
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Do you know how people invented the idea of god Lenny?

You know, after apes became humans and self-concious they started to get an abstract idea of their
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 20:56   #1777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Nothing has physical dimensions (it ends where it borders on, well, something).
Again there is confusion here between what nothing and something are - if when demonstrating "nothing" your example includes "something," then technically you are not demonstrating nothing.

A space between two somethings might have nothing in it, but the space is quantifiable only because there are points of reference which allow it to be quantified... accordingly, if you remove the points of reference and then truly have "nothing," you can no longer quantify it. As I said in response to VipersGratitude, I'm looking for a demonstration of absolutely nothing which is quantifiable and/or has dimension and physical properties. This is not about how smart we are; a logical conclusion can very easily be inferred from the premises that we have.

Incidentally, the argument that "nothing is physical" was constructed in order to circumvent the problem of how nothing became something at the time of the Big Bang - assuming, indeed, that the Big Bang was preceeded by nothing, which many physicists maintain. The argument is easily demonstrated as nonsense, because it essentially argues that there was in fact something physical before the Big Bang. Problem solved, but not really.

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Originally Posted by Nexxo
No. Again. Science is a systematic discipline that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the physical universe. And yes, it does so adequately because for that purpose, its explanations work.
I don't disagree with any of this; my point is that the adequacy of science is limited. That's all.

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Originally Posted by Nexxo
You may reasonably argue that there is more to our existence than the physical universe, such as a spiritual or philosophical dimension, but science has no opinion about that. Spiritually and philosophically we can only have beliefs, values and opinions, and they are all true --for a given value of "true".
Yep, and this is where logic and reason come in. I don't think I've said that you are being illogical in not sharing my belief (you have reason not to, which is totally logical), but I might very well say that there is illogicality in your beliefs and how the facets of your worldview fit together and work as a whole. There's a difference.

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Originally Posted by jrs77
Do you know how people invented the idea of god Lenny?
I don't believe God was invented; I believe that everybody has a notion of him from birth because that is how he designed us.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 21:08   #1778
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Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
Do you know how people invented the idea of god Lenny?

You know, after apes became humans and self-concious...
Sorry, but saying that apes became humans and self-conscious is about as factual as saying that God created the universe in 7 days.

Though, it is interesting that you posed your argument that way, because it does illustrate nicely something that religion and science do share: that is, the way the subjects are taught to children.

Few adults are inclined to learn much more than the introductory lessons they get on either topic, and the lessons they do get are often filtered through prior belief structures anyway. The result is a religious population in which some people believe Genesis is a factual account of creation, and a non-religious population confident that humans evolved from apes, and that Darwin proved it when he sailed around the world looking for Galapagos tortoises (with some cross-over between the two groups).

Meanwhile, more enlightened people from both sides of the debate have taken the time to understand a bit more about both topics, and are confident that faith and science can exist in a complementary state.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 21:47   #1779
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys View Post
Yep, and this is where logic and reason come in. I don't think I've said that you are being illogical in not sharing my belief (you have reason not to, which is totally logical), but I might very well say that there is illogicality in your beliefs and how the facets of your worldview fit together and work as a whole. There's a difference.
Except that you can't, because our belief systems do not share the same frame of reference. My belief system is more logical than yours? Please. That is where you risk being arrogant and fundamentalist.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 22:17   #1780
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Somehow my post got cut for whatever reason, so here it is again in it's full length...

Do you know how people invented the idea of god Lenny?

You know, after apes became humans and self-concious they started to get an abstract idea of their surroundings and the world they live in. Everything they couldn't explain however had to be the doing of a bigger force (god).
Throughout time more and more of the questions got solved by understanding the nature and it's underlying physical, chemical and biological laws.

So yeah, god is nothing else then an explanation for things that people so far can't explain otherwise.

It's as simple as that really.

Now on to religion. Religion is the ritualized form of praising the gods. In the beginning people praised animals, the sun, the moon and everything they were surrounded with, as they could relate things to their surroundings.
And again, as they solved more and more of the questions of their daily lives, gods became more and more abstract and yet it's still the same as in the beginning of mankind: the explanation for all the unanswered questions.

Now, if you want to call theism a philosophy, then it's the philosophy of the so far unexplainable. The more questions answered by science however, the smaller the importance of this philosophy and therefore religion.
There's a reason why there's more religious people in less educated societies, as theism and religion fills a bigger void in these societies. In the well educated societies however, there's less and less room for it.

You see, science and knowledge are basically the opposites of theism and religion, and if you look around in the world then it's clearly visible how these two correlate.
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