Hi, l skipped the Pascal's Wager article as l feel familiar enough with that. I see it as part of a Swiss Army knife of arguments for belief in a God. Of course it can easily be attacked if it's the sole argument. The Huffington Post article was excellent. 51% of scientists believe in a higher power. And as the article also says, modern science was an innovation of a religious person (not Francis Bacon as the article suggests). Carl Sagan's agnostic spirituality in that article was interesting too.
Stephen Hawking's quote about science explaining the universe better than God, echoes something Neil Tyson said, about how the more things that are explained by science, the less things are attributable to God. These are very compelling arguments. Counter-arguments:
1) God isn't necessarily there to explain the universe
2) Science doesn't necessarily run counter to the concept of God, but it does necessarily fall short of completely explaining God. Mystically, there's a point where the mind must fail and words run out.
3) For science to ultimately fall short of explaining God does not mean that science has pushed God into a corner and science can go no further but is happy for God to be pushed into some sort of cave and be left there. Frankly l don't see how a working scientist can say that the more science explains, the less can be attributable to God, because at the end of almost every research paper, more questions are raised - i.e. the more we find out, the less we know. Also, consider that knowledge might be infinite, then the "God of Gaps" is an infinite actual God, versus "Science" as an infinite potential i.e. we could potentially discover an infinite amount of things. In other words, infinite Science requires a greater leap of faith than a "God of Gaps", as the former is potential, the latter is actual.
4) HepCat's Paradox / HepCat's Schroedinger: HepCat puts Schroedinger inside a replicator, presses the button, Schroedinger now has a perfect double, perfect in every way, right down to quarks etc. When Duplicate Schroedinger thinks to himself "I am me", does he refer to Original Schroedinger or Duplicate Schroedinger? If he refers to himself (Duplicate Schroedinger) then something failed to be copied over into Duplicate Schroedinger, from Original Schroedinger - what is that? It is definitely something that will never be explained by science, because Duplicate Schroedinger is a perfect copy. If you say Duplicate Schroedinger thinking "I am me" means he is both Original and Duplicate Schroedinger, then are you saying there's a psychic bridge established between the two guys? That sounds kinda New Agey not sciencey.
5) The Big Bang Theory was suggested by a Belgian Catholic priest - Georges Lemaitre, who also first discovered "Hubble's" Law and approximated the "Hubble" Constant. I guess he got the inspiration from "Fiat Lux". As for the 10 or 11 dimensions physicists speak of today, consider the 10 Intelligences / 10 Emanations of Avicenna and the 10 Sephirot of the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah.
Gorgon wrote:I don't think if you look at the moon a lot, or not. But I do, and I can honestly say that sometimes the moon appears almost double the size, when it's closer to the earth, as opposed as when it's further away. The so called "Supermoon". I've seen it several times and well, it's kind of scary really. Makes you think that it gets closer every year. Which could entirely be possible, and it's probably part of a cycle, which will pull it away from the earth again, because of the gravity of other planets/entities in our small galaxy.
Apologies, my error - the variation is as great as 14%, not 5%.
Gorgon wrote:Therefore, I think can all be explained by rules that we know as humans. If this was some sort of god thingy, it could be entirely erratic, no rules would be necessary because god could do whatever he wanted, right?
I think No-God = only Chaos possible (Second Law of Thermodynamics - entropy only increases in an isolated system), whereas God = Chaos and Order both possible. Some religions teach that God wanted to be discovered, so, l guess creating Order would be way to do it, just like a pentagon appearing on Mars or something like that, implies an intelligence at work. Also, Integer sequence = basis of Order. Prime numbers = at the heart of the Integer sequence = basis of Chaos?
(Also, maybe Chaos to you = undiscovered Scientific law?)
Marco Raaphorst wrote:I don't believe in god. I grew up with religious parents going to church every Sunday.
I wouldn't make any specific religion the focus of the discussion because the question is about God, rather than various religions.
Marco Raaphorst wrote:Enjoy live now and trust your morals. God does not exist for sure.
Where do morals come from? What's wrong with a 21 year-old man sexually abusing his cancer-patient father while his father is dying? Surely if the man gets an orgasm from it, then, the orgasm being the greatest good, what can be wrong with that?
You could say that it's illegal - but that avoids the question of why it is wrong, i.e. why is it illegal?
You could say that the other person won't enjoy it and you wouldn't like it done to yourself, so why do it to another - but that is Social Contract, and the contract doesn't exist, it was never signed, it was never even verbally agreed, it is not a contract.
You could say it's a crime against Love. You would be right, but that's not scientific.
You could say that you just aint that kind of person. You would be right, but saying it's something innate is not scientific.
It seems to me that morals are written into our hearts and as we grow older we give expression to what had in infancy been wordless. There is no way that can be coded for by genes. This is therefore beyond science.
If we do bad things and never say sorry, then our hearts become all clogged up and like a buzzing neon sign outside a sleazy bar, the energy can barely flow through the heart and eventually the heart becomes like a globule of tar and that's when we get a psychopathic personality.
So, without a concept of the supernatural, l don't see how you can explain universal morality - and you know for sure that some things are indeed universally immoral. How do you explain universal concepts of morality that are innate to us, through science?
If you want to get upset about the example of the man and his cancer-patient father, how about: a Mother and her 4 children, 2 sons + 2 daughters. Mother has been dating Son #1, but things didn't work out because he wanted too much anal. She did the right thing and dumped him and is now dating Daughter #2, who is much more gentle during lovemaking and awakens a lost femininity in 55-year old mother. Do you think family get-togethers at Christmas (or "25 Dec Holiday" if you prefer) would be awkward? Would that be your only objection? Some here have flatly told me they have no problem with incest (which is becoming increasingly legal / tolerated), so l'm wondering, where does it all end? Who says what is right and what is wrong?
QVprod wrote:Ultimately there's too many systems in this world that work together perfectly for it to have not been designed. In the human body alone, there's the pulmonary system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the immune system, the reproductive system, the digestive system...etc... All of these systems that work together to allow a human to function normally.
... Faith only comes in when defining who you believe God to be.
avasopht wrote:Nervous system: susceptible to a range of dysfunctions ranging from cognitive biases to severe mental illnesses.
General biology: capable of producing cancers, various genetic disorders, sarcoidosis, lupus, etc.
Interactive interdependent systems naturally self balance. This is evidenced in economies and eco-systems. DNA naturally mutates when copied, and as a result performs a sort of trial and error, which can tweak systems to produce and sustain cooperative systems, so the claim that an intelligent external designer is required is redundant, because the natural processes are more than capable.
There is actually a great deal of poor design in nature, and actually requires a significant bias to perceive it as perfect.
Still I don't consider those disproofs of a higher power. Those observations merely correct the presumptuous interpretation.
Fact is, you're a few decades old, you're able to write these posts, you have a firm grip on music technology and doubtless you've got some pretty amazing programming skills. Something went right, no?
Also, what would you prefer, a perfect world? In a perfect world, we would be in heaven. Or better, there would only be God. Religions pretty much all teach that life is a test. Therefore there must be doubt, imperfections, even moral imperfections, not just structural imperfections, right?
Also, don't you praise "imperfect" genetic mutations as the vector of progress in Neo-Darwinism? Here:
avasopht wrote:Evolution isn't about a "belief in chance," it's understanding how unpredictable mutations inevitably result in gradual improvements and the creation of new features.
^^^ Neo-Darwinism is a belief in chance.
normen wrote:Well its not "chance", its evolution and it demonstrably works fine to create such complexity. One can even take your argument in the other direction: Theres SO MANY stupid things in evolution that its obvious nobody had a master plan here. The spine is one example, it developed in the sea, then was used in land creatures that went on all fours, now we use it to stand upright and guess what - we get back pain because its an exquisitely shitty "design" to be used upright. Or take the laryngeal nerve which takes an immense detour though the neck because it evolved on the "wrong side" of the arteries ... If this was created by an "intelligent designer" which supposedly created the whole universe then he must be some kind of alcoholic or something to constantly fuck up his designs this way
1) Please can you cite proof that life is here by chance?
2) Please can you show other examples of chance, unrelated to nature (which is already all covered under abiogenesis and Neo-Darwinian evolution)? For example, something relatively simple like a car factory appearing on the moon and manufacturing ever more complex cars?
3) Please can you give examples of genetic mutations ever producing anything good? Most cancers are caused by genetic mutations. I think the only other causes of cancer are mutagenic agents / radiation directly messing up an important protein that has already been manufactured by gene transcription.
4) Please can you give examples of evolution today. With the millions of species all over the world, and the many, many genes per species, we should be seeing Neo-Darwinian evolution occurring every week if not every day. I reckon we'd be seeing weekly mutations in the human race alone.
I think a few months ago l read an article about some micro-organism like E. coli, it was bred through thousands of life cycles until one day it began metabolising citric acid, which apparently it had not done before.
I'm not against evolution per se, but Neo-Darwinism seems like a dodo. We need a better theory of evolution.
5) Seems to me that Neo-Darwinism gives rise to backstories that are like Marvel comics or Tolkien's more obscure tales, like the curved spine? That was the when the king of Numenor carried the green gemstone of Illuvatar on his back, and he swam through the oceans but then he was forgiven and allowed to live on land again, but his spine was forever curved, and this was to help him remember his past sins and this is what makes us human.
The amount of rubbish backstories l've heard from Neo-Darwinists is embarrassing, like, cats flatten their ears and hiss in order to impersonate snakes hissing? LMAO how would a cat know what it looks like when it hisses? How would that behaviour, a whim, be inherited, via genes? How does a cat flattening its ears and baring its teeth even resemble a snake, apart from the fangs and the hiss? Do cats even know how damn cute they look when they hiss? Why didn't the cat also get wings? Like the Balrog in lost mines of Moriah. Never mind that walking upright had no advantage to primates and the human baby has no means of self-defence unlike other animals, yet we're supposedly a logical progression from other animals.
avasopht wrote:I think chance is an oversimplification and misleading summary.
Me winning the lottery is chance. Having more than a winner per week on average is inevitable.
100 billion stars per galaxy. 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe gives you 10 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 galaxies over the period of 13 000 000 000 years.
Sadly there is not a theory of life, and particularly life capable of evolution that can even produce an abstract model to begin to calculate the momentary likelihoods of life occuring in different conditions.
Well, the Drake Equation went the way of the dodo when they realised you needed many tens of more variables in the equation (and counting).
I don't know why you're calculating the number of stars ("galaxies" sic.) that ever existed. Sure, it's a big number but the chances of basic proteins (e.g. Haem - a 1 in 10^750 chance of forming) in the human body coming into existence are far greater than the number of fundamental particles in the universe (1 x 10^80). So, however large the number of stars that ever existed, there will never be enough to account for life cropping up through chance (setting aside the Second Law of Thermodynamics too).
In fact l vaguely recall reading somewhere that there weren't even enough actual events in the universe to account for a human forming from fundamental particles. Counter-argument: however, enzymes could take short cuts in the number of steps required.
avasopht wrote:For all we know, life may be inevitable during particular temperatures with a set of available compounds, such that like the presence of a lottery winner each week, you would look at it as a natural and inevitable product of the universe. So I'm not a fan of reducing abiogenesis to "believing in chance."
The lottery has an overseer, a master controller who pulls the lever which servers him. If the lottery machine were left unattended, how many winners do you think there would be?
Coming to think of it, what do you base any of your theories on? Hope? Faith? Care to summarise a scientific citation that shows Neo-Darwinian evolution occurring, regularly, throughout nature?
avasopht wrote:There is always the question of, but where does the universe come from? Some would say, it must be a creator. But where did the creator come from? It was always there. So why could the same not be said for the universe? And at the same time a universe that naturally produces life doesn't exclude a creator. Maybe the creator only needed to spawn the universe, and the rest inevitably happened on its own.
What if: The creator was so called because he creates, and therefore is uncreated.
Could the same be said of the universe? I don't know, but an infinite universe goes against scientific observations, e.g. the calculation of the age of the universe from red shift values, which shows the universe had a starting point and is expanding. Also note that an infinite universe could mean a planet shaped like a kitten's head. Are you saying a planet shaped like a kitten's head is possible? Do you think that is scientific?
normen wrote:Organisms, the brain, all that can be explained aaaaaalllll the way back until the laws that govern our world don't make sense anymore. And it could all look very different and people like you would then argue that that was the will of some creator then.
I look forward to receiving your explanation going "aaaaaalllll the way back". Considering that there's probably a 700-page book just on on Ribosomes, organelles within a cell, your explanation will break somebody's bandwidth, so perhaps give it installments, like 10,000 pages at a time. Better get typing Peace.