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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 06:31 AM

I'm sorry if the title offends anyone, firstly. I didn't know what else to call it.

Okay, reason behind this thread, I've been reading this book (The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel) and it's a jounalist's point of view on why there is evil in the world when God can stop it. He goes to many credible sources with inquiries and this stood out to me:

The question was:
Are there any ways evil works against atheism?

Peter John Kreeft PH.D replied with this:
If there is no creator, and therefore no moment of creation, then everything is the result of evolution. If there was no
beginning or first cause then the universe must have already existed. That means the universe has always been evolving for
an infinite amount of time. and by now, everything should be perfect. There would have been plenty of time for evolution
to have finished and evil to be vanquished.

Can I have thoughts on this?

Thanks guys,

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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 07:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
I'm sorry if the title offends anyone, firstly. I didn't know what else to call it.

Okay, reason behind this thread, I've been reading this book (The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel) and it's a jounalist's point of view on why there is evil in the world when God can stop it. He goes to many credible sources with inquiries and this stood out to me:
I have read "The Case for a Creator", and I"m not actually convinced that Lee Strobel was an atheist to begin with. The fact that he only went to people that agree with the idea of a creator existing, is a little bit fishy, to say the least. I'm not going to go the route of saying his arguments are wrong because of this (that would be an Ad Hominem). I'm just saying that it would be cool to get other views.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
The question was:
Are there any ways evil works against atheism?
I'm not sure what you mean by this. The question seems nonsensical to me. At the best, it seems pointless. Can you rephrase it in a way that's more concrete and easier to understand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Peter John Kreeft PH.D replied with this:
If there is no creator, and therefore no moment of creation, then everything is the result of evolution. If there was no
beginning or first cause then the universe must have already existed. That means the universe has always been evolving for
an infinite amount of time. and by now, everything should be perfect. There would have been plenty of time for evolution
to have finished and evil to be vanquished.
To put it simply, this is a little bit of a false dichotomy, with an excluded middle. He is taking a black or white stance here that either there is a creator that caused the universe, or that there isn't a creator, and the universe is infinite. Not to mention, it's a misrepresentation of what evolution actually is.

Also, If I remember properly, this leads into the Kalam Cosmological argument (maybe that's in a different part of the book).
The argument is essentially structured in this way.
1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the Universe has a cause

No matter what variation of this argument has been used, there are objections to every premise, and conclusion. However, even if we accept every premise as true, it would be a non-sequitur to say that it leads to the conclusion of god.

I'm not going to spend a whole bunch of time disputing a bunch of points that you haven't presented though, so if you have more questions, just ask. Also, again, I'd like it if you could clarify your question.
   
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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 08:02 AM

Quote:
I have read "The Case for a Creator", and I"m not actually convinced that Lee Strobel was an atheist to begin with. The fact that he only went to people that agree with the idea of a creator existing, is a little bit fishy, to say the least. I'm not going to go the route of saying his arguments are wrong because of this (that would be an Ad Hominem). I'm just saying that it would be cool to get other views.

I would like to read that, but have not had the chance to as of just yet.
I don't see why he would lie about being an atheist. I started out atheist but remained in a church. I'm not sort of on shaky ground but standing firm.

Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean by this. The question seems nonsensical to me. At the best, it seems pointless. Can you rephrase it in a way that's more concrete and easier to understand?

That is how Lee Strobel phrased it when asking the Philosopher.

Quote:
To put it simply, this is a little bit of a false dichotomy, with an excluded middle. He is taking a black or white stance here that either there is a creator that caused the universe, or that there isn't a creator, and the universe is infinite. Not to mention, it's a misrepresentation of what evolution actually is.

Also, If I remember properly, this leads into the Kalam Cosmological argument (maybe that's in a different part of the book).
The argument is essentially structured in this way.
1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the Universe has a cause

No matter what variation of this argument has been used, there are objections to every premise, and conclusion. However, even if we accept every premise as true, it would be a non-sequitur to say that it leads to the conclusion of god.

I'm not going to spend a whole bunch of time disputing a bunch of points that you haven't presented though, so if you have more questions, just ask. Also, again, I'd like it if you could clarify your question

That interview was concluded shortly after he told the journalist his views on the question.
I'm inclined to agree with him however.
Alright, IF the Big Bang produced the world, the stars, the universe, animals, plants etc, then we derived from apes. Wouldn't we STILL be evolving? Not just our ways of life (such an eradicating evil) but as a whole, wouldn't we begin to change into something else?

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 08:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post

I don't see why he would lie about being an atheist. I started out atheist but remained in a church. I'm not sort of on shaky ground but standing firm.
I'm not saying he was definitely not an atheist. I'm just not convinced about the story he provided in the first few chapters. Either way, he didn't seem that skeptical to me. That's just a personal opinion though.

As far as why somebody WOULD lie about something like that, I could think of a few reasons where it would be advantageous. Who knows though. Maybe he was even a strong atheist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
That is how Lee Strobel phrased it when asking the Philosopher.
It just seems like a silly question to me though. "Atheism" doesn't comment on the topic of good and evil. It's sort of like asking "How high is up?" or "What colour is fear?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post

That Interview was concluded shortly after he told the journalist his views on the question.
Yes, and it's still a false dichotomy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
I'm inclined to agree with him however.
It doesn't matter if you agree with him or not. The way he phrased it makes it logically inconsistent. Even if we ignored all the logical fallacies, the god hypothesis discussed here, is of a god that is unfalsifiable, and thus, pointless to discuss. It would in no way support the idea of any type of judeo-christian or personal god, even if it could be established that one exists using this line of reasoning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Alright, IF the Big Bang produced the world, the stars, the universe, animals, plants etc

I'll stop you right there. The "Big Bang" is just a description of rapid expansion from a singularity. It may be the closest event we have to the beginning of the universe, but it would be asinine to say that the big bang "caused" the universe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
then we derived from apes. Wouldn't we STILL be evolving?

Actually, humans are still evolving. It's just not to the point of speciation at this point in time. Speciation in humans would take a very long time, and likely require some kind of environmental stress that would change our way of life. Saying that we would have "changed into something else", is a little bit silly. It makes me think that you don't understand evolution by natural selection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Not just our ways of life (such an eradicating evil)

What does this even mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
wouldn't we begin to change into something else?
If you want examples of speciation, I can provide that for you. Despite what people thing, evolution is not really controversial. Evolution is both fact and theory. We have observed evolution. The "theory" of evolution is just a description of the mechanisms involved.

Last edited by MindBodySpirit; January 8th 2013 at 08:33 AM. Reason: rephrasing sentence
   
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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 08:52 AM

Quote:
I'm not saying he was definitely not an atheist. I'm just not convinced about the story he provided in the first few chapters. Either way, he didn't seem that skeptical to me. That's just a personal opinion though.

As far as why somebody WOULD lie about something like that, I could think of a few reasons where it would be advantageous. Who knows though. Maybe he was even a strong atheist.

We'll never know if he wasn't or was. Only he can answer those questions and he's not here.

Quote:
It just seems like a silly question to me though. "Atheism" doesn't comment on the topic of good and evil. It's sort of like asking "How high is up?" or "What colour is fear?"

What colour is fear? Nice. Haha.
Both men are christian, in the book it's all about evil, he also questioned a man whom had previously been an evangelist and tough to many and witnessed to many, he turned Atheist after seeing a photo of a woman, holding her dead child, tears streaks down her face as she stared up at the heavens, this woman was from one of the under-developed continents and they only needed rain, just rain and GOd hadn't provided it. So the guy decided on Atheism and after Lee interviewed that guy, he met with Kreeft and talked about different views. The atheism came up and then this question.

Quote:
It doesn't matter if you agree with him or not. The way he phrased it makes it logically inconsistent. Even if we ignored all the logical fallacies, the god hypothesis discussed here, is of a god that is unfalsifiable, and thus, pointless to discuss. It would in no way support the idea of any type of judeo-christian or personal god, even if it could be established that one exists using this line of reasoning.

Yes, maybe it's a bit unclear, if I gave you in the way it was in context, maybe you would understand it a little better.

Quote:
I'll stop you right there. The "Big Bang" is just a description of rapid expansion from a singularity. It may be the closest event we have to the beginning of the universe, but it would be asinine to say that the big bang "caused" the universe

Okay, so then, how did the Universe come into being? If peopel say Big Bang, others say Evolution, what is YOUR theory?

Quote:
Actually, humans are still evolving. It's just not to the point of speciation at this point in time. Speciation in humans would take a very long time, and likely require some kind of environmental stress that would change our way of life. Saying that we would have "changed into something else", is a little bit silly. It makes me think that you don't understand evolution by natural selection.

I'm 15, I do science, even my teacher whom is Atheist (he actually blurted it out during a class where he was teaching it) even HE said Evolution ws bullshit (his words) and said we'll be moving on to the next topic as soon as we had the damn topic test. I scored highest percentage on the test so it faired well.

Quote:
What does this even mean?

If we were still evolving, how ways of life would be ever-changing, but people seem to be getting stuck in their ways, stubborn on their beliefs. Wouldn't that be changing and we all becoming more flexible? And the eradicating evil means, wouldn't we be learning? Wouldn't people be trying to make the world a better, safer place for the younger generations?

Quote:
If you want examples of speciation, I can provide that for you. Despite what people thing, evolution is not really controversial. Evolution is both fact and theory. We have observed evolution. The "theory" of evolution is just a description of the mechanisms involved.

And of course I would like a credible source and an explanation.

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 09:33 AM

Actually, humans didn't evolve from apes. We evolved from a common ancestor that we share with them.

Evolution doesn't attempt explain the universe, it explains the evolution of life on earth, not the creation of the universe. The Big Bang explains the creation universe. They're two different things.

John Kreefts' points are fallacies. He assumes that the universe is perfect, or will be perfect. That's not true, the universe is a chaotic place. Evil is not the result of universal imperfection, it's the result of human behavior. As long as humans exists, there will be some bad and evil actions.

I'm not an Atheist, just for the record.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 09:39 AM

IN the book, Kreeft goes into how if the world WAS perfect and good, God'll have to take away our free-will, because THAT is where the root of evil is, temptation leads to us making bad decisions.

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 09:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
What colour is fear? Nice. Haha.
Both men are christian, in the book it's all about evil, he also questioned a man whom had previously been an evangelist and tough to many and witnessed to many, he turned Atheist after seeing a photo of a woman, holding her dead child, tears streaks down her face as she stared up at the heavens, this woman was from one of the under-developed continents and they only needed rain, just rain and GOd hadn't provided it. So the guy decided on Atheism

I don't think an emotional reason for atheism is a very good one. I mean, I can respect the man for being an atheist, but it would be cool if he at least came to that conclusion based on an understanding of the evidence, rather than emotion. Either way, I don't think atheism is really a "choice". Belief in general isn't a choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
and after Lee interviewed that guy, he met with Kreeft and talked about different views. The atheism came up and then this question.
The question is still nonsense, even now that I know the context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Yes, maybe it's a bit unclear, if I gave you in the way it was in context, maybe you would understand it a little better.
I didn't say that this paragraph you quoted was unclear. I said it was logically inconsistent. There are numerous logical fallacies. That doesn't really make it look very credible. I understand it perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Okay, so then, how did the Universe come into being? If peopel say Big Bang, others say Evolution, what is YOUR theory?
Well, if people are telling you that the big bang and evolution caused the universe, they're simply wrong. The Big Bang is a description of something at the beginning of the universe, and not a cause for the universe. Also, evolution deals with biological life in the sense you're describing it. It doesn't comment on the beginning of the universe at all. It doesn't even comment on the beginning of life. The leading theory for the origin of life would be abiogenesis.

As far as my "theory" (the word here should be hypothesis by the way, and not theory), I don't have one that I can attribute my name to. Either way, there is not sufficient evidence to say that the universe came into existence "ex nihilo" (meaning literally out of nothing). I actually heard an interesting hypothesis by Lawrence Krauss (I think) that described a model of the beginning of the universe with matter and anti-matter. The idea is basically that if you combine matter and anti-matter, all the charges and particles balance out creating what physics would describe as "nothing". The hypothesis here is that the origin of the universe as we know it comes from a reversal of that model. Of course, this is a gross oversimplification of it.

As far as what I believe, I'm not sure. Physicists are currently trying to come up with a more concrete model of the beginning of the universe. All I know is that an all-powerful being that transcends space doesn't make sense as a "cause" for the universe, especially if you're claiming it is "ex nihilo". The idea that this non-physical being does a causal action outside of space and time, is a little ridiculous in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
I'm 15, I do science, even my teacher whom is Atheist (he actually blurted it out during a class where he was teaching it) even HE said Evolution ws bullshit (his words) and said we'll be moving on to the next topic as soon as we had the damn topic test. I scored highest percentage on the test so it faired well.
Well, he's wrong. Evolution occurs. It's actually the basis of most medicine we have. Evolution has been reproduced, and we have observed it. Either way, what you just did was an "appeal to authority" fallacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
If we were still evolving, how ways of life would be ever-changing, but people seem to be getting stuck in their ways, stubborn on their beliefs.

You're focusing too much on how much or how little change is occurring. Either way, it's not a matter of "If". We are still evolving.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Wouldn't that be changing and we all becoming more flexible?
Do you mean adaptation? We are seeing people adapt to different things. For example, people in the Himalayan mountains that are constantly at a high altitude are beginning to have a genetic predisposition to a greater ability for blood oxygenation. It's not just that their bodies adapt. There are actually genes that have been isolated that are becoming more common among people there.

The reason this occurs is because it improves their likelihood of survival. Even if it's only 5% more likely for them to survive with this gene, that means a few more people with this gene will reproduce than people without it, so we'll see a gradual shift of people without that gene dying off. That is an example of evolution in humans that we've observed recently.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
And the eradicating evil means, wouldn't we be learning?
Now you're asking a question. That's not really what I meant by an explanation. Are you saying that people would have learned by now that certain actions are not beneficial for the good of society? I don't know. It seems like you're begging the question a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Wouldn't people be trying to make the world a better, safer place for the younger generations?
I don't think you understand evolution as much as I would like you to. It's really a shame that your teacher doesn't believe it's possible, because it's really valuable information to have. Also, begging the question again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
And of course I would like a credible source and an explanation.
Speciation has been reproduced in a lab with fruit flies. Also, domesticated dogs are a good example. I don't want to provide more examples unless you gain a better understanding of what I'm actually explaining here.

For that reason, I'll refer you to the iron chariots page on evolution. It provides links to credible sources where you can learn all about the mechanisms, different studies, applications, and even genetic information about evolution.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Evolution
   
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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 09:52 AM

Quote:
I don't think an emotional reason for atheism is a very good one. I mean, I can respect the man for being an atheist, but it would be cool if he at least came to that conclusion based on an understanding of the evidence, rather than emotion. Either way, I don't think atheism is really a "choice". Belief in general isn't a choice.

No, I know it isn't. Belief is a choice, but some have it thrust upon them. I didn't let my mum, nor my family thrust it upon me, I had to come to the decision myself.


Quote:
Well, if people are telling you that the big bang and evolution caused the universe, they're simply wrong. The Big Bang is a description of something at the beginning of the universe, and not a cause for the universe. Also, evolution deals with biological life in the sense you're describing it. It doesn't comment on the beginning of the universe at all. It doesn't even comment on the beginning of life. The leading theory for the origin of life would be abiogenesis.

As far as my "theory" (the word here should be hypothesis by the way, and not theory), I don't have one that I can attribute my name to. Either way, there is not sufficient evidence to say that the universe came into existence "ex nihilo" (meaning literally out of nothing). I actually heard an interesting hypothesis by Lawrence Krauss (I think) that described a model of the beginning of the universe with matter and anti-matter. The idea is basically that if you combine matter and anti-matter, all the charges and particles balance out creating what physics would describe as "nothing". The hypothesis here is that the origin of the universe as we know it comes from a reversal of that model. Of course, this is a gross oversimplification of it.

As far as what I believe, I'm not sure. Physicists are currently trying to come up with a more concrete model of the beginning of the universe. All I know is that an all-powerful being that transcends space doesn't make sense as a "cause" for the universe, especially if you're claiming it is "ex nihilo". The idea that this non-physical being does a causal action outside of space and time, is a little ridiculous in the first place.

I have a logical mind, alright, I believe in things I can hear, see, smell, taste and touch. When you look around the earth, you know that there is a reason for everything and that they can be explained by Science. The only thing which has NOT been confirmed IS the creation of the earth, the universe and the solar system?!
I always asked myself "Okay, how would GOD be created if there WAS nothing?!" That is what stopped me. I didn't know, nor could I get an answer for my question. Go to all theologists, all philosophers, any christian at all and they'll shrug their shoulders.
The reason why I believe in God now? I know he's real, I know he's there, because I have felt him, dispute that but I could care less, I KNOW what happened (and no, I was NOT high, nor drunk).

I'm tired, so I'll respond to the rest in the morning. I haven't been sleeping well and my eyes keep unfocusing.

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 10:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
No, I know it isn't. Belief is a choice, but some have it thrust upon them. I didn't let my mum, nor my family thrust it upon me, I had to come to the decision myself.
I disagree with you there. Belief is not a choice. If you believe something, you've accepted it as true. You've been convinced. You can't choose to be convinced of something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
When you look around the earth, you know that there is a reason for everything and that they can be explained by Science.

I think you should be a little more careful with your wording here. When you say there is a "reason for everything", its slightly misleading from what I think you actually mean. If it means what I think it does, then I pretty much agree here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
The only thing which has NOT been confirmed IS the creation of the earth, the universe and the solar system?!
Actually, there are many things that haven't been confirmed. Also, "creation" is the wrong word here.

Again, this is (at least dangerously close to) begging the question. Creation implies a creator. You're making the assumption of a creator in the first premise you have for the conclusion that a creator exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
I always asked myself "Okay, how would GOD be created if there WAS nothing?!" That is what stopped me. I didn't know, nor could I get an answer for my question. Go to all theologists, all philosophers, any christian at all and they'll shrug their shoulders.
Does this still bother you? I think it's cool that you could at least recognize a problem in the first-cause argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
The reason why I believe in God now? I know he's real, I know he's there, because I have felt him, dispute that but I could care less, I KNOW what happened (and no, I was NOT high, nor drunk).
Out of curiosity, what happened?

Of course, I will probably dispute it. I can either dispute what actually happened, or I'll just go based on what's here. I mean, if you don't mind. The worst I could do is strengthen your faith, right?

Either way, I think you will have a lot of thinking to do in the next couple of years. Be skeptical, and always question things. Accepting things on faith really isn't a virtue. You should have an actual reason for believing something.
   
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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 02:09 PM

First of all, please don't break down every last little thing I say here and then quote it just to critique it. It's fine if you do it to other people, it just sort of bothers me when people do it to my posts--if you've got an opinion then just sum it up please

I think that there is a tendency found in humans to want perfection--no one wants to be hungry, we never want things to hurt or be uncomfortable or difficult, we just want it to rain, we never want it to be too cold or too hot, we especially never want to see those we love suffering, we find even seeing strangers suffering horrible. And yes, that's all true. It's awful knowing people in Africa are going to die because of a drought in that country that probably wouldn't affect us in a country like Canada because we live in an environment that can handle it a little better and it tends to not be as long lasting or repetitive nor do we have such dramatic social issues to begin with (it might not be perfectly better here but the repercussions aren't so dramatic)... The harsh reality is that I don't really think that perfection is attainable. I think there are ways to improve the negative things. Like developing a stronger economy and a government in developing nations to alleviate the poverty, that way the poorest people won't have to suffer so much. So I think that there are things that are caused by humanity that can be changed or improved on. And in that sense I think it works on the whole evolution bit--change isn't immediate and if you look at the human era from a few thousand years ago to now then I'd say it's getting there, even if you just look at the changes since the enlightenment then that's a lot too. I think that evolution needs to be given time (and I am an atheist if you haven't caught the drift yet). Any ways so I think think that there will always be flaws from someones perspective--7 billion people in the world, it'd be damn hard to make them all happy 100% of the time, but the dramatic suffering that makes us all want to cry (ex. starving kids) can be improved on. That being said, I think that there are other things like illness that have also changed, think about certain outbreaks of illness--scarlet fever, the Plague (also called the Bubonic plague if I am not mistaken), the AIDS epidemic--and in another era (past, present, future) or location these outbreaks/epidemics would probably be unthinkable, we'd have a way to prevent it, thus a change. But I think that there is an assumption that people will never fall ill or suffer an injury which I think is insanely unrealistic. Ok, fine, it sucks, I'm not trying to make it ok or anything, just that I think that what evolution is supposed to be is NOT an evolution to perfection. It's just that humanity will gradually be equipped with better ways to deal with social tragedies, illness/injury and environmental issues on top of the evolutionary changes and with THAT then maybe the lack of perfectly will not be so harsh in the long run.

And ok, please don't take offense at this part, it is just my personal perception of God and I don't really expect anyone to have to agree with me, I'm merely stating it for the sake of the discussion at hand.

I think that there is a certain amount of free will here--I believe things change over time, SO even if you assume that a God exists I don't necessarily think that God is going to make it rain in Africa or is going to stop a war etc. I think that God just helps people make things better on our own. I have heard of people recovering from things like cancer because they believed in God. Well, I still think that you need medical treatment if you have cancer--I think that God is an incredible force of hope, like if you believe that God can help in making you better it'll help you become better because it's better than the alternative where you have given up all hope of living because you've received a bad prognosis. So God was a PART of getting you better but I think without the advancements of man and evolution that people would still be dropping dead of random diseases, like people die because they have diarrhoea in some countries (and in history) because they didn't have what they needed (food, water, medicine) to survive it. I feel like I am doing a bad job of trying to explain this but I hope I've done a good enough of a job because I am officially out of time to keep typing because I've got to go out




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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 03:01 PM

Okay so I'm agnostic which basically means I believe in a higher power. First off the world could never be perfect because we don't know what perfect is. Also there is such thing as Evolution (enough scientific evidence support it) and it also explains why the world is not perfect: The simple reason is humans themselves. It is not in our nature to truly be peaceful because we are always fighting for our survival like all animals. In simple terms we look for the mate with the best genes to support us and protect our young therefore peace and perfection are not truly possible; not while we battle to insure the continuation of our species.
   
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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 04:16 PM

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Originally Posted by ashareal View Post
Okay so I'm agnostic which basically means I believe in a higher power.
*

No, it doesn't. A complete and utter misrepresentation of the viewpoint. If you want to break it down as to how it operates as a term addressing the knowledge you posses, it simply means you do not know whether or not a God exists. Some people like to treat it as simply a statement of both belief and knowledge (which is just logically fallacious), but even in that contorted manner of using the term "Agnoticism", it makes no statement as to one's belief in God. If you had said "agnostic theist", you would be correct, but I see no reference of such terminology in your statement.

Quote:
First off the world could never be perfect because we don't know what perfect is.
I believe Dan Dennett would seem this a "deepity".*
I will go into the complete subjectivity of "perfect" later on in this post, but how is the existence of something dependent on our knowledge of it being extant? Although this isn't really suitable inquiry into your statement, as I will explain further on.

Quote:
Also there is such thing as Evolution (enough scientific evidence support it) and it also explains why the world is not perfect: The simple reason is humans themselves. It is not in our nature to truly be peaceful because we are always fighting for our survival like all animals.
No, evolution merely stipulates that we have progressively evolved via the process of natural selection. Existing in nature, natural selection makes no impact upon "peace" as you frame it. It doesn't make rulings as to a "fighting nature" that organisms exhibit, it only rules that those better suited for survival survive. You're bringing too many connotations about regarding the theory of evolution. It posits nothing as to how specific species survive as an overarching principle, it just forms a general principle as to why certain genetic mutations will ultimately lead to better survival in the members of a species that possess it and thusly pass it to their offspring, who are yet again more likely to survive and pass along the gene. The mutations spread, generally, GRADUALLY throughout the gene pool. It's not as if the rest of the species is somehow immediately forced into an apocalyptic-esque lifestyle where everything becomes so much worse for them due to the sudden appearance of an advantageous mutation. There are instances where, eventually, the mutation is so widely inherited that the rest of the species can no longer compete, but that is more of a prospect for when the evolutionary trait has become predominate amongst the species. And then, considering we're not yet encountering humans that are pushing us into a position in which it is difficult to survive and that we're clearly the dominant species of our planet, I really don't see where your notion that we have a "fighting"
nature ingrained within us due to the evolutionary process could possibly derive from. We had the advantage over the other relevant species when we were a nacent species, and we have no real threat other than ourselves to date.

Quote:
In simple terms we look for the mate with the best genes to support us and protect our young therefore peace and perfection are not truly possible; not while we battle to insure the continuation of our species.
How does selecting an advantageous mate rule out peace or perfection? It succeeds in advancing the species if anything. As for "perfection"; that's rather a subjective term to be flinging about. What we seem "perfect" is not binding upon the interpretations of "perfect" that are made by other species, cultures and individuals. It's a rather redundant manner in which to describe things.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 09:50 PM

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

There is so much wrong here. Kreeft is entirely wrong about the universe being eternal. We just believe something else other than god created it. There's no difference between what theists believe and atheists other than that the atheist has empirical evidence to support what they believe.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 8th 2013, 10:02 PM

The process of evolution has little bearing on the elimination of "evil" in the world. Consider us humans, for example. The most highly evolved species on Earth, and we commit more atrocities than any other species. We alone torture, kill for sport, synthesize poisons and forge weaponry, commit genocide, etc. With increasing complexity comes increased potential to perform deeds both good and ill. What, in our context, is the worst a rat can do? Give you the plague? What is the best? Stay outside? We are given great power and must use it as we see best.



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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 10th 2013, 08:37 PM

I'll try my best to answer everyone, but I'm exhausted still, does 3 hours sleep bother anybody else?! Off topic, sorry.

Quote:
I disagree with you there. Belief is not a choice. If you believe something, you've accepted it as true. You've been convinced. You can't choose to be convinced of something.

it is your choice to accept or walk away and insult them for trying. You don't have to believe, even ifyou see it as plausible.

Quote:
Does this still bother you? I think it's cool that you could at least recognize a problem in the first-cause argument

At times, yes, but I try and look passed what I cannot know the answer to. At times I sit and think on it and try not to let it weaken my faith again but there is no conclusion as to how God was made.

Quote:
Out of curiosity, what happened?

Well, we were at this youth conference and I had barely been able to go. My youth pastor had pulled me aside and told me he'd pay for me if I was willing to go. Of course, I was thrilled but shocked. I'd never been to a youth conference and I was curious as to what would happen. I agreed, however I did so reluctantly.
It was the second night, nearing the end of it and this guy was preaching. It was a good message and then he called an impromptu worship night, asking everyone to come down the front and to find their own spot. I tried hard not to laugh at this ridiculous notion of getting down on my knees before a God I doubted really existed. But, as if moved by maybe a self-conscious longing to believe in something to make hope shine on my life a little bit, I led my friends down the aisle and knelt down. I felt quite silly doing so, but everyone else was and I'd look even more ridiculous sitting at the back.
I sang along with the song the band played and then I just whispered "God, if your there, I need something concrete to hold on to" the band slid into an instrumental, the guy on stage was speaking in tongues. The air-con was blasting and it was nearly cold enough to see your own breath. Everybody around me were at least a meter away from me and immersed in their worship, some was bent over like they were bowing to God. I closed my eyes and then a thread of though entered my mind which was not my own "You are my daughter, your past sins forgiven, I will love you always" not something I would think due to the fact well, I'm me. And then there was a warm breeze on my face and heat on my chest as if somebody had put their hand over my heart. Something broke in me and when we were told we could stand back up, my friend and I clung to each other and sobbed. I don't cry, I'm not a huge crier, so this was abnormal for me. I sought out my youth pastor and requested he pray with me. And I gave my heart to God.
End of story.

I'll get to the others shortly, I'm going back to bed.

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Astheism beliefs? - January 13th 2013, 02:38 PM

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Originally Posted by ashareal View Post
Okay so I'm agnostic which basically means I believe in a higher power.
This isn't what agnostic means. I am an agnostic, but don't believe in a higher power.

You'd be considered either a weak-theist, or an agnostic-theist (or perhaps a deist).


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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 13th 2013, 02:42 PM

Quote:
Okay so I'm agnostic which basically means I believe in a higher power.
Agnostic refers to the general belief that nothing is known or can be known by the existence or nature of a God or anything beyond material phenomena.

So I agree with Michael, you may not be agnostic as a whole.

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 18th 2013, 08:23 PM

"That means the universe has always been evolving for
an infinite amount of time. and by now, everything should be perfect. There would have been plenty of time for evolution
to have finished and evil to be vanquished."

My opinion on this is that it's a rather.. Ignorant question?
Ignorant is really not the right word, it's a valid question, but I don't think the writer understands the beliefs that involve the big bang theory and evolution.
Scientists have estimated the time that the big bang happened. Of course they have no way of knowing the exact time it happened, but they have a general idea.
This means, that from that point onwards evolution must have begun somewhere in our universe.
This means that evolution in this universe has not been around forever.
Who knows? Perhaps in another universe which our universe is a part of, evolution has perfected everything.

But here's the thing.
Evolution works so that a species can survive and thrive.
Not so that bad things wont happen.
If evolution means that a species that was once a herbivore will become an omnivore, well then the other animal it eats suffers.
   
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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 18th 2013, 09:27 PM

I see your point.

but, I just don't think that evolution explains the creation of man, nor the Big Bang for the creation of the earth we see.

I excell in Science, and have a logical mind and I don't see it.

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 18th 2013, 09:43 PM

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Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
I see your point.

but, I just don't think that evolution explains the creation of man, nor the Big Bang for the creation of the earth we see.

I excell in Science, and have a logical mind and I don't see it.

Jay.
...

You do realize that the Big Bang has ample empirical data and support for it? You also realize that most Christian's do accept the Big Bang, but believe god caused it? You are aware that we can create mini-Big Bangs from nothing? Evolution doesn't explain the creation of man, it explains the adaptation of life into various species. Not the creation of. If you excel in Science, please explain to me your understanding of the Big Bang and evolution. And please tell me why evolution and the Big Bang are incompatible with your logical mind, and why so many actual scientist are wrong, and you're right. I'd like to hear.

I don't mean to come off rude, but extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and to deny two things that essentially as much a fact as gravity is, demands an explanation. Especially when you are telling me you know more at about science than scientist at a pre-college level stage. I'm sure it's not impossible, just unlikely. Very unlikely.


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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 18th 2013, 10:00 PM

I might have misspoke on the Big Bang Theory.
Evolution is what gets me.

I know that some people act animalistic, but how exactly did we derive from apes? Wouldn't we see new creations from evolution? I know we find new species of micro-organisms but that doesn't necessarily mean it's evolution. I want to see some hard proof in the form of seeing the stages of evolution!

Jay.


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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 18th 2013, 10:19 PM

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Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
I might have misspoke on the Big Bang Theory.
Evolution is what gets me.

I know that some people act animalistic, but how exactly did we derive from apes? Wouldn't we see new creations from evolution? I know we find new species of micro-organisms but that doesn't necessarily mean it's evolution. I want to see some hard proof in the form of seeing the stages of evolution!

Jay.
We didn't come from apes. We came from ape-like creatures and share a common ancestor with a chimp. Have you actually read about evolution on your own from anyone credible on the topic? I.E. not a creationist? Dawkins has wonderful books explaining how we came from Apes. I'd recommend The Ancestor's Tale by Dawkins, Your Inner Fish by Shubin, and The Greatest Show on Earth by Dawkins.

I don't know what you mean about finding new species of micro-organisms and not calling that evolution. Scientists have caused 500 million years of evolution to occur in a lab with E. Coli and have observed it. They have caused what creationists call "Maco-Evolution." We observe species being domesticated, we witness evolution all the time. We are evolving now, so is everything else. It doesn't work like one day there's an ape and then an ape gives birth to a human. That's not how it happens and that's why you don't see substantial changes in the evolution pattern. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K11knFKqW4s

Each fossil we have is evidence for evolution. Each fossil is a particular stage of evolution and we have fossils of fish that migrated to land, etc. Even without fossils, the evidence for evolution is plentiful. The fossil record is more-or-less a bonus. We don't need it to prove evolution.

Newts aboard a ship from Japan (recently) migrated into San Francisco, and once they spread North and South in the valley, the two ends met in the east and had adapted so drastically that they could no longer mate and created two entirely different species. Denying evolution is like denying gravity, I'm sorry, but it really is. It's useless to fight it anymore, and anyone who fights it is because of their pre-biased worldview, or because they are willingly ignorant on the topic.

I'm sorry if my post seems exhaustively unorganized, I just got off of work and I am tired so my thoughts aren't very orderly or clever at this time (and I have a bit of a migraine so I'm trying not to strain myself too much ).


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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 18th 2013, 11:14 PM

To be honest, we really don't know what we evolved from.
We think apes or more evolved homosapiens, and there is evidence to back it up as a theory. No one is sure.
But, the question the book presents really has a lot of flaws which can be explained.

It really depends how you look at it.
I strongly believe we evolved because of the amount of evidence supporting it.
I see a lot more evidence in evolution than I do creationism.

There are signs that many species today are still undergoing evolution, and metamorphosis.
   
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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 18th 2013, 11:18 PM

Yeah. I suppose.

You know, maybe I should clear up, I was asking for thoughts, I don't entirely back it up. just seemed interesting for a debate topic lol.

I can see where you guys are coming from. Just doesn't fly with me that this is the sole reason for creation.

How do we know that god didn't decide to make it interesting and made everything to evolve or the big bang?
We don't and we can't really ask him.

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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 19th 2013, 12:14 AM

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Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
You know, maybe I should clear up, I was asking for thoughts, I don't entirely back it up. just seemed interesting for a debate topic lol.
Well, part of a debate is backing up your side. If you can't back up your opinion, then you can't really convince people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
I can see where you guys are coming from. Just doesn't fly with me that this is the sole reason for creation.
It still bothers me that you call it "creation". This is obviously "begging the question" or a "fallacy of presupposition".

You are basically coming to the conclusion of a creator, because "creation" exists. You can't call it "creation" until you can provide evidence of it. It's circular reasoning at its finest.

What bothers me more is that you've used this fallacy twice in the same sentence. By saying, "sole reason for creation", you've implied that there is an actual purpose, without providing any evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
How do we know that god didn't decide to make it interesting and made everything to evolve or the big bang?
We don't and we can't really ask him.
How do we know that a transcendent cosmic toaster didn't create everything yesterday, and that all of the memories we have of the past were just placed there?

The claim I've just made is just as difficult to falsify as the one you made. That's the thing about unfalsifiable claims. There is no real point to discussing them.

The default position should be disbelief in such claims until there is evidence. This is especially true if the claim is so extraordinary. Just because you "had a feeling of god's presence", it doesn't mean you should believe that the god is there. You especially shouldn't expect others to share your beliefs.

Religious experiences can be recreated or explained using natural means. People have studied religious experiences on groups, and although it can have a powerful effect, it doesn't require a god. Your experience does not seem to be unique in this manner.

So, I think it's obvious that I believe there is no "case for faith". I prefer to accept claims based on evidence, and until a claim meets my standard of evidence, I will not accept it. With that being said, not all claims deserve the same standard of evidence.
   
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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 19th 2013, 04:33 AM

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Originally Posted by Hope To Cope View Post
Yeah. I suppose.

You know, maybe I should clear up, I was asking for thoughts, I don't entirely back it up. just seemed interesting for a debate topic lol.

I can see where you guys are coming from. Just doesn't fly with me that this is the sole reason for creation.

How do we know that god didn't decide to make it interesting and made everything to evolve or the big bang?
We don't and we can't really ask him.

Jay.
I thought Christians can pray and ask him? Also, no honest atheist will tell you that we know for certain god "didn't decide to make it interesting and made everything evolve or the big bang." However, as Dawkins would put it, we climb mount improbability to the point where the necessity for god is no longer there, and the probability of a god existing, with no evidence, probably doesn't exist.

Just because it's possible god exist, doesn't mean we should conclude he does if the evidence is against him, which it is. A god could have caused evolution, and could have caused the big bang, the problem is, however, there is no actual evidence for god, so there is no reason to believe in him when there are empirical evidences to support non-necessity of god. You're appealing to the argument from ignorance. What empirical evidence is there for god?


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Name: Matt
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Re: Ruling out Atheism beliefs? - January 19th 2013, 11:34 PM

Jay, if you remove your presupposition of creation having occurred at the hand of an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent "creator", you'll probably get a lot further in understanding of the science behind the things being discussed. I'm not asking you to renounce your belief in God, merely suspend pre-assumptive manners before you delve into the work of empiricism. You don't look for an incoherent "why" in something before you strive to understand it and achieve proper comprehension of it. If you can't identify a reason as to why a God, in your opinion, would have done sonething, why does this reason have to be extant? Belief based on no evidence (ie. "faith") should never fly in the face of the substantive (and convincing beyond a doubt) empirical evidence available for evolution.


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