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Thread: One on One: Does God Exist? macguy vs. axiom-tech

  1. #1
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Lightbulb One on One: Does God Exist? macguy vs. axiom-tech

    Does God Exist?

    This One on One FREE FORM debate features macguy vs. axiom-tech.

    macguy will be arguing that God does exist and he describes himself as follows....


    I was raised up in a sem-Christian home in California as my mother was once part of the faith but no longer is due to what she would call "hypocrites" in the church. Ever since that day there have been arguments between her and my dad. I am the older brother of a brother and sister. My Dad was able to get me home schooled by the time of 6th grade thus this revolutionized my thinking process as I was able to get a taste from both the secular world, and from the conservative world. Though later, I got a computer and was able to do everything (even home school) on it so since this, the Lord has gave me an interest to use my mind for His glory. I've developed software in objective-c for the macintosh platform and actively assist in open-source projects. At the moment my dad wants me to be a tent-maker like Paul in that I would be able to make my own money through investing means or whatever the Lord has in plan for me. We also help out at the Bible Science-Association in San Fernando Valley which has been a tremendous blessing. - macguy



    axiom-tech will be arguing that God DOES NOT exist. Axiom-tech describes himself as:


    I'm a computer tech. I've been held to a naturalistic worldview for a number of years. I enjoy debate.

    Positions:
    gods: atheist
    freewill: compatiblist
    morality: N/A
    Mind: materialistic/scientific view of the mind, mindbody physicalism
    politics: libertarian / conservative

    - axiom-tech



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  2. #2
    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
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    what god are we debating, or just the concept of a deity in general? Mac guy?

    most people consider god to have the following attributes / qualities:

    - Supernatural
    - Omnipresent (in all places at all times)
    - Omniscience (knows all things)
    - Eternal (exists for ever)
    - Omnipotent (infinite power, can do all things)
    - Omni benevolent (all good)
    - Transcendent (above nature / beyond)
    - Disembodied (no physical body)

    Do you agree?

  3. #3
    Journeyman macguy's Avatar
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    Thanks Knight for allowing me to debate a important topic like this! I’d also like to thank my opponent for giving me the opportunity have this discussion especially considering that he finished a previous debate. I hope to at least bring some thoughts to the discussion.


    Introduction

    It is asserted that Christians have blind faith, but this of course is derived from a misunderstanding of the Biblical definition. It is unfortunate that we are thought of as gullible individuals but this myth has been chronically asserted in most discussions where as the atheist and/or agnostic is thought of as the freethinker. It is quite easy to come up with reasons for belief and non-belief but both sides make the mistake of focusing on something irrelevant rather than on the rationality belief itself and this applies to the belief that us Christians follow God out of fear. Most thinking christians on TOL, have questioned beliefs until it is provided with sufficient evidence and we are commanded by God to “critically examine everything” (1 Th. 5:21). Thus, we are skeptical christians in that we don’t merely accept something without evidence or at least we shouldn’t. We’ve also heard the repeated claim that extraordinary evidence requires extraordinary evidence which commits the fallacy of begging the question. I do, however, agree with the skeptic that there must be strong evidence to support a claim which I believe God has provided us with.

    There are two ways to define God, one is the minimalist approach and the other is the Christian definition. For purposes in this discussion, I will be arguing for the minimalist definition. God is what Anslem defined as “that which nothing greater than can be conceived. "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:3). God is not the fact of things existing but rather the basis for the existence of all things. St. John of Damascus correctly says, "God does not belong to the class of 'existing' things; not that he has no existence but that he is above existing things, even above existence itself...”. The basic powers of this being is supposed to be infinite in that he has the power to create, destroy or conserve anything big or small. He is not limited by the laws of nature as He chose to create it, and can change it or suspend it if he so chooses. Therefore God is omnipotent. Us humans are limited in knowledge and some of this is can be true and false. God, on the other hand, is omniscient and knows that whatever is true, He knows as true. If there is no evidence for something, He knows that there is no evidence. We have desires such as wanting to sleep, drink, eat etc but God is not limited in that desires never exert casual influence on Him at all. Not only is God able to do whatever He chooses but is perfectly free in making choices. This being is also non-physical and He can make differences to the physical world and learn about it without being dependent on matter to do so. It follows from God’s omnipotence that he is omnipresent because He can make make a difference to something everywhere and know what is happening everywhere. This doesn’t mean that he takes up volume and neither does he have any parts because all of Him is present everywhere. Through God’s omnipotence, He could’ve chosen to prevent the universe from existing but He chose for it to exist. Due to time having a beginning, it would follow that this being is eternal. In conclusion, God is non-physical, omnipotent, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, transcendent, and perfectly free. Not only does theism claim that God has these attributes, it also says that it is an essential part of His being.

    Some may complain that we have failed to prove that God contains the characteristics that we ascribe to Him, which may be true but we can’t necessarily prove that God is all-powerful. This would be equivalent to asking God to make one million universes to demonstrate that he is omnipotent but then ask for one more and it would be repeated indefinitely. Regardless, we may still rationally believe these characteristics from what we observe. For example, one could look at nature and conclude that this being must be at least a very powerful being or more appropriately, powerful and intelligent enough to create such a complex universe, and people such as Richard Swinburne have proposed that the hypothesis that God is all-powerful is simpler than the idea that He is somewhat powerful. We must be careful on we understand these claims about being able to do anything. This does not mean that 2 + 2 can equal 5 or make a square circle. Saying that something is square is to say that it is not a circle so this involves a self-contradiction. God cannot do the logically impossible.

    The purpose of this discussion for me personally is to provide a rational warrant for the belief in a Creator. I am therefore not providing absolute proof for a Creator, but rather a prima facie justification for this belief. The real issue here, in my opinion, isn’t the matter of why I can’t prove absolutely that God exists, but rather in the nature of one’s assumptions that should or shouldn’t be made. I thereby take that stance that theism is a more coherent view than atheism. One may ask, how does taking a minimalist view of God help out for the God of Christianity? There are two degrees of justification at hand here, one is a weak justification and the other is a strong justification. Suppose that I establish that the God-belief is correct, so we have 4 world-views that account for this belief; Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Deism. If i were to randomly choose between them, I would be epistemologically justified to believe Christianity regardless of the contradictions in these beliefs. Even though I randomly chose Christianity, this doesn’t imply that the other world-views are not justified. This is known as weak justificationalism which would allow us to go from God to Christianity if we treat Christianity only as a world-view because it doesn’t necessarily need evidence at this point. If one wanted to go beyond this, then it would take strong justificationalism. Basically, one could argue for specifics, such as Jesus’s resurrection to say that we are justified in the belief that other religions are not true and Christianity is, and/or provide a attack on the other beliefs (contradictions etc). Therefore whenever I refer to Christianity, I am mostly taking the weak justification route although it is possible to explain why Christianity is more reasonable than other religions, it is nevertheless not of my concern at the moment. Before proceeding to my arguments, make sure that you understand what I am trying to establish here which will clear a lot of misconceptions.

    Answer to Objections

    One major objection repeatedly brought up by atheists and agnostics alike is comparing God to Santa Claus, invisible pink unicorn etc. Many, however, cease to believe in Santa Claus and the concept of God has even gained support by former atheist Antony Flew who said he “had to go where the evidence leads”. It would be absurd to continually believe in something that is known not to exist which is precisely the case for Santa Claus. As I said above, I don’t disagree with the notion that evidence must be presented to be true as the Scripture repeatedly suggests. This argument is logically flawed since God is a non-physical being, created the entire universe including time which did not exist prior to God creating it. Besides, Santa Claus and unicorns are contingent beings where as God is non-contingent. It is also said that one cannot prove a negative which is a false belief that has been repeatedly brought up by atheists. For example, one could demonstrate that 6 is not equal to 5. If I were to claim that Pluto didn’t exist, would this automatically be entailed as truer than the positive? One of course cannot absolutely prove a negative but we can provide a justification for making it more likely than it’s negation, This can be done because there is no such thing as a purely negative claims since every negative entails a positive and vice versa. For example, providing a justification for a negative is very common in philosophy for the rule modus tollens( P implies Q. Not-Q Therefore Not-P). Also in relation to this argument is that lack of evidence for God’s existence implies His non-existence but this commits the fallacy of negative proof. One says that lack of evidence provides proof that God does exist where as the other side says otherwise. Merely because evidence cannot be shown doesn’t directly imply that the belief is false. What lack of evidence does demonstrate is that the God-belief is not justified but then again, what makes atheism justified? It is much more honest to be an agnostic (or skeptic for that matter) than an atheist unless one had satisfiable evidence for atheism. Some interestingly call themselves agnostic atheists which seems like a oxymoron in my opinion though.

    I know that a all-too-common objection that will surely be raised is the God of the gaps fallacy (aka argument from ignorance). In some cases, I would agree with the skeptic but at most we never even use the argument from ignorance which atheists just seem to come up with out of nowhere. To me it is quite hypocritical for atheists to give us the burden of proof and then suddenly say that God is not a appropriate explanation for a phenomenon. Whether it be heads or tails, it is a win-win situation for them which is hardly fair and quite illogical. I see the God-of-the-gaps argument as an easy way to escape a problem. Any argument that we bring up can easily be done away by claiming that science will one day solve the problem. Heck, I might as well argue that Jesus will come to solve the problem soon and His existence will be proven (someone better run for it). Atheists would have a problem with that and claim it’s illogical to hold on a belief that doesn’t even have proof at a given moment. Now, I would agree if the theist claimed that a extra-celestial planet had some rather odd characteristics and orbiting patterns can only be created by God. Would this not be premature? Indeed so but in other issues such as the origin of the universe, us theists has reason to believe that God is the best explanation for the universe coming into existence because the answer would require a being which posses the characteristics of God. What if God did create the universe and life itself? Humans by definition are finite beings and have a limited number of observations but would be the problem with saying that God is the best explanation for a given phenomena? In my opinion, the atheist would do better to provide evidence that it is likely that a naturalistic solution is forthcoming. However, in most cases, the charge is rarely backed up by data and is hard to take seriously.

    Moving on to testability, it is true that God cannot be tested but this doesn’t mean that He has no explanatory power. There are a lot of things that cannot be tested scientifically and one of them is mathematics or the fact that a Father loves his son. Furthermore, they are committing a double standard by attributing the fine-tuning of life for something like a multiverse but it’s obvious that such things cannot be tested scientifically. However, even though we cannot test God, the argument assumes that it is unscientific to give God credit. Certainly if God did act in the universe, science would have to acknowledge it. Science is not filling in the gaps, but it is actually expanding as the more complex and intricate we realize life is. We make a limited number of claims as to what God did do, and most of it is confined to the origins of things. To me, it is implied that God is unable to create a self-sustaining universe. Science advanced because the Christian belief held that the world is orderly and possesses uniformity by a perfect, orderly and unchanging God. If it could be shown that life could not possibly have arisen form natural laws and chance or at least not rationally then would it not be legitimate to conclude that it was designed? Although science has filled the gaps in our understandings, this by no means implies that it will continue to be the case especially for origins science. There's a lot more to be said about this objection but it would take a lot more explaining to do.


    Sorry axiom, I just had to do a introduction because many atheists have a variety of misconceptions. If you find any errors in them, then please do point them out. Hopefully the above will provide a further means in our discussion. I was a bit delayed on my arguments due to Mother's day, migraine headache, exams etc so I hope you'll understand but please feel free to present your arguments now. Mine should be up soon though. Thank your for your patience.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
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    MacGuy, I hope you don't mind I re-use my arguments that were made in my debate with Frank. I'm more than happy to write up something fresh but your 'intro' has to be addressed, I can't let some of this slide.

    So, since "atheism" is not a belief per say, but rather the negation of a belief, I won't be arguing 'for atheism' but rather metaphysical naturalism which simply happens to be atheistic in that it adopts a scientific basis.


    1) The Inductive argument for metaphysical Naturalism (IAFMN)

    Induction or inductive reasoning, sometimes called inductive logic, is the process of reasoning in which the premises of an argument are believed to support the conclusion but do not ensure it. It is used to ascribe properties or relations to types based on tokens (i.e., on one or a small number of observations or experiences); or to formulate laws based on limited observations of recurring phenomenal patterns.


    for example:


    All examples of water have been wet
    Therefore: It is reasonable to conclude all water is wet


    At the horse race, horse number 8 has always been 1st place.
    Therefore: It is reasonable to assume that the next race he will win.

    It is by definition rational, logical, and scientific to make certain conclusions based on specifics. To see how this is, imagine a horse race between 2 horses. Horse (A) & (B) have raced everyday for 25 years, and every single race horse A has won horse B. Never has B even come close to winning. Now imagine two men who have sat in on every race, and each day David bets on horse (A) and Frank bets on (B). Frank's judgment would be highly questioned if he continued to bet on the horse that never ever won. He would be considered irrational or probably insane or making such horrible bets given the history of these horses.

    Now consider the following fact in the history of science

    1) Every explanation that has been confirmed and met the test of time has been naturalistic
    2) Super naturalistic 'explanations' have always been replaced with naturalistic ones, never vice versa.

    The rational conclusion is that all future explanations will be naturalistic, and a logical extension of this would be that all of existence is natural.


    Quote:

    "Thus, all metaphysical naturalists believe that if anything exists in our universe, it is a part of nature, and has a natural cause or origin, and there is no need of any other explanation. This belief is not asserted or assumed as a first principle, but is arrived at from a careful and open minded investigation of all the evidence and reason [...].

    As we see it, the progress of science and other critical methods has consistently found natural causes and origins for everything we have been able to investigate thoroughly -- for so long, so widely, on so many subjects, both disparate and related. Indeed, it has never once failed in this regard whenever a problem or question could be properly investigated. So it is a thoroughly reasonable inference that this shall continue unabated. We have every reason to believe that the results of future investigations will most probably be the same for every subject once we have access to sufficient evidence to decide on the matter.

    So whenever we have a vast body of evidence, we find nothing else but a very strong basis for belief in naturalism, and since this is never observed to be the reverse, naturalism is the most sensible conclusion. Should any change in this pattern occur in the future, we may be justified in changing our worldview. But until then, this is the most reasonable view to take. Why? Because with a complete system of Metaphysical Naturalism it is possible to offer a plausible hypothetical answer to every question science can't get at yet, which means it is a very robust and useful worldview. It means we are on to something.

    Now, by "nature" we mean a non-sentient universe, with all it's properties and behaviors. Basically we mean nothing more than space, time, material, and physical law. There my be other dimensions besides space and time, but these would still be nothing more than mindless extensions of the same physical being, much as time may be a mere extension of space, and all three dimensions of space a mere extensions of one."


    - Richard Carrier: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism - pg. 67
    - NOTE TO MACGUY

    You're welcome to speak on the issue of the problem of induction, but please don't embarrass yourself by making the false accusation that my using induction begs the question, since to beg the question I must presuppose the conclusion in one of my premises. Since my conclusion is MNaturalism is true, and not the 'nature is uniform' I am not committing the fallacy.

    Metaphysical Naturalism, at its most fundamental level is simply the view that all reality is natural. Which is to say the cosmos is non-sentient. All minds, and all the contents and powers and effects of minds, are entirely caused by natural [i.e. fundamentally nonmental] phenomena.

    The argument therefore can be summarized as follows:

    p1) All that exists is natural or an extension of nature
    p2) God is something 'non-natural' or 'supernatural'
    c) Therefore God does not exist

    To refute this, provide one example where any super naturalistic explanation has ever, ever been confirmed.

    2) The inductive argument for mind-body physicalism

    p1) All known minds are dependent or the result of a physical brain or machine
    c) Therefore it is reasonable to believe all minds depend on brains

    It is commonly assumed by theists that somehow connected to the body is an immaterial soul. It is this soul that receives credit for our higher mental capacities such as the ability to make free choices, think rationally, and even continue living after the death of our body; in short, we identify our soul as the source of our mind. But is there any evidence that such a soul exists? Unfortunately, there is not. The idea that our mind exists independently of our physical body is directly contradicted by everyday observations--like the fact that alcohol and other physical substances can change our conscious states, that degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's or physical injuries can seriously impair or even destroy conscious states, and the fact that we don't expect young children to be capable of the types of abstract reasoning that require more fully developed brains. As Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy at Duke University, has stated, "advances in … the sciences of the mind, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, in particular" have led to the rejection of the "belief that that the mind or the soul interacts with--but is metaphysically independent of--the body [1]." And as Marvin Minsky, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has stated, "minds are what brains do [2]." Indeed, extensive evidence suggests that all of our conscious mental states correspond to some physical brain state. Since it appears there is no way that a mind can exist apart from a functioning physical brain to generate it, we are justified in drawing the inductive conclusion that disembodied minds do not exist [3]. However, this implies a serious difficulty for theism: If disembodied minds don't exist, since God is supposed to be a disembodied mind, this would strongly suggest that God does not exist. Therefore, the physical dependence of minds on the brain is evidence for atheism and against theism.

    The argument can go as follows:

    p1) All minds require brains
    p2) God is defined as a being with a mind with no brain
    c) Therefore God does not exist.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to your intro

    Most thinking christians on TOL, have questioned beliefs until it is provided with sufficient evidence and we are commanded by God to “critically examine everything” (1 Th. 5:21).



    Macguy, are you not also "commanded" to worship and believe him? Does it not seem odd that a god not only threatens you with violence into loving him, but makes it a crime not to love him? Is this not the kind of behavior we see in wife beating abusers?

    You claimed that god commands us to examine things, and thus be reasonable in what beliefs we hold. However this verse you quoted stands alone in support of this conclusion, and has many rivals.

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. - Col 2:8

    Here we are told to watch out! Don't waste our time with 'philosophy'. Do not spoil yourself with the 'love of wisdom' of course unless it's 'after Christ' - Basically don't waste your time thinking unless its of jesus. You worship quite the intellectually bankrupt bigot.

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. - Prov 3:5

    Do not lean on our own understanding? How pro-science the bible is. Trust god with our 'hearts' and not our heads, do not lean on your understanding.

    O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called - 1 Tim 6:20

    Mac, you give the appearance that your god wants us to be reasonable and examine claims etc. However it seems we're commanded to be idiots. That's fine, I'm glad you're a smart guy, and as a consequence a bad christian.

    Also, you claim god commands us to critically examine everything? First let's actually read the quote

    Test all things; hold fast what is good. - 1 th 5:21
    It appears you made a mistake in saying it says to examine everything, but you were close enough. Test everything, wonderful!

    Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

    And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. - Mat 21:22
    Here Jesus claims If you have the smallest possible faith, then by praying you shall receive. Of course, every Christian knows this is false. (I'll bet you do as well, and will be expecting your long rant basically calling your own god a liar) I've said many times that seeing a Christian simply do what Jesus says they can do, I'll believe. This would in a way be a test, and according to MacGuy, we are commanded to do such things. MacGuy, I'll happily drive to wherever you are and we can 'test all things' together. Hey, we can even record it and show everywhere here, and I'll concede the debate.

    However we have a problem, most Christians I've talked to about this, after giving me a lecture on how they think jesus is a liar, will quote the following:

    Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" (Matthew 4:5-7)
    We have a problem though. According to Mac Guy and the verse he quoted, we are to test all things, yet in Matthew we are told *not* to test some things. So which is it MacGuy?

    I asked Mac if he agreed with the definition above. I have yet to hear a yes or no. Yet, I'll try to pick at his intro to get a better picture about what this god is, since theists don't even agree on what this being or beings is (which is what you'd expect if such a being did not exist) Ill continue to ask before I proceed.

    1. that which nothing greater than can be conceived.
    2. God does not belong to the class of 'existing' things; not that he has no existence but that he is above existing things, even above existence itself...”.
    3. Therefore God is omnipotent.
    4. God, on the other hand, is omniscient and knows that whatever is true, He knows as true.
    5. This being is also non-physical
    6. he is omnipresent
    7. God is transcendent, and perfectly free.
    --

    What does (1) mean?

    Regarding (2): Mac, if god does not belong to the class of things that exist, why are you debating "Does god exist" - Also, if something does not exist, it does not exist right? Hm, A=A? How can something be 'above' existance? I'm sorry please explain this.

    Regarding (3): What does this word mean? He can do all things? Please define it.

    Regarding (4): So, if a proposition is true, he knows it. That's vague, but does god know all things? What does this mean?

    Regarding (6): Is god therefore in hell?

    Regarding (7): You have just defined your god out of existence (again). You say god is omnipresent, and transcendent. To be omnipresent you must be all places, and to be transcendent you are 'above nature' or 'beyond x'. You're basically saying "God is all places and not in some places" - This is logically impossible. Such a being can not exist, and beings that can't exist, do not exist.

    In a way this debate is over already. I'm willing to debate issues that are open, but if someone holds a position that is actually impossible then I might as well be debating over the existance of 'debates'

    Thanks.

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    Journeyman macguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    MacGuy, I hope you don't mind I re-use my arguments that were made in my debate with Frank.
    No I don't mind which is something I expected anyways. Hope you don't mind that I reuse my arguments in some way.

    Macguy, are you not also "commanded" to worship and believe him? Does it not seem odd that a god not only threatens you with violence into loving him, but makes it a crime not to love him? Is this not the kind of behavior we see in wife beating abusers?
    Actually, God doesn't go with violence as you'll see in my reply below in regards to hell. That's a false depiction of God that you are demonstrating there. We are moving into theology here which isn't what our discussion is about...A more appropriate example would be this:

    A woman was found drunk and had a overdose of marijuana. She was found laying the ground and unable to get up for the most part. A man named Paul saw her and attempted to help. He expected her to be grateful and reply but instead he received the opposite.

    She said, "Go away! I d-o-on't need help!!"

    The man replied, "But you're exhausted, and unable to get up! You seem ready to die in a few minutes. I can get medical attention immediately." She furiously got up on her legs while trembling tremendously and acted as if she was okay. "This is my body and I can do what I want!" she said. The man attempted to call the ambulance but she was then trying to run away. This was for her own good, the man thought and attempted to catch her but she threatened that if He tried to do it, she'd sue him for molesting. He then called people for help and every person who tried to help, she dismissed while continuously running away from the scene. After a few minutes, she collapsed and suffered a painful death. The man was in anguish after he saw this and wondered why the woman wouldn't listen and accept free help. He expressed sorrow for weeks over this loss.

    This is a more appropriate depiction of what God is trying to do for us. Many think that they don't need God, so they then chose to not be with Him(eternal separation). It's not that God is threatening us, as the Scriptures don't argue to follow God because of hell. Eternal separation from God is a bad thing, and Scripture has indeed warned of it, just like the guy in my analogy tried to do with the woman. I could say more but let's just try to avoid this topic for now alright?



    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. - Col 2:8
    It is obvious from this passage is meant as a warning against bad philosophy because false teachers are successful in convincing others of lies. It doesn't say that we shouldn't "waste time" with philosophy. Here Paul was warning the church not to form and base its doctrines according to a philosophical system hostile to orthodoxy. It was merely a warning and not meant to provide Paul's views on the topic. The beginning of wisdom, that is true wisdom is through the fear of God As C.S Lewis said:

    "To be ignorant and simple now - not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground - would be to throw down our weapons, and betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered".



    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. - Prov 3:5
    How is this a problem? This just says that we shouldn't lean on just our own understanding because we can deceive ourselves into believing things that are not true. Science observes and is supposed to not lean on the scientist's understanding but rather on what the data says. Our understanding of things is flawed, or at least in most instances it is because of our finite understanding of the world around us. Thus men find it necessary to lean on their understanding by filling in the gaps with their "wisdom". I also see this as arguing against self-confidence since that is the folly of many to trust themselves. If God does exist, then He is the beginning of true wisdom and through Him, we can do our best even though we are fallen creatures. As I said, we should test everything but not lean on our own understanding. Also, truth cannot be found by reason alone as it could never had discovered the gospels through it. Since we are fallen, we trust in the Lord to guide us.

    Reason and faith (trust) is compatible and it appears you don't understand this. There are three components for the meaning of faith: notitia (having a understanding of the Scriptures), fiducia (trust) and assensus (the assent of the intellect to the truth of some proposition). Basically, we are called to trust in what is reasonable to believe as true.


    O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called - 1 Tim 6:20
    Actually, it isn't speaking of the science we know today or in the past but rather on knowledge. What I said above also applies to this verse.

    O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge--


    Mac, you give the appearance that your god wants us to be reasonable and examine claims etc. However it seems we're commanded to be idiots. That's fine, I'm glad you're a smart guy, and as a consequence a bad christian.
    I am not giving an "appearance" but rather that God commands it from Scripture. So far, I am a bad christian and one who follows a intellectually bankrupt bigot eh? So I suppose that if I follow a bigot, then I must be a bigot myself for doing so...

    A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. (Pr 14:15)

    It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Pr 19:2)

    Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

    But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (Gal 6:4)


    It appears you made a mistake in saying it says to examine everything, but you were close enough. Test everything, wonderful!
    Ah, thank you for the correction. I mainly got it from the New American Standard version I guess. It's basically the same anyways.

    But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;


    Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
    Okay.... It's certainly been a while since I've debated theology issues purported by skeptics and this is one of their favorite arguments. However, you must realize that "moving mountains" was used as a metaphor by the jews as for doing the seemingly difficult or impossible. Prayer is not a free candy-ball machine, but it rather lies on the will of God. God is sovereign, and there is nothing that happened which He did not permit or cause. Back in those days, the jews just didn't ask for anything that they wanted but rather of what they thought to be God's will.

    Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)

    Note it does not say, "Give us this day a BMW". It simply asks for what is needed....

    We have a problem though. According to Mac Guy and the verse he quoted, we are to test all things, yet in Matthew we are told *not* to test some things. So which is it MacGuy?
    The answer is simple. When Scripture says do not test, the passages are for those who are NOT seeking evidence to learn and grow in their worldview but who are instead trying to manipulate God to satisfy their desires and needs in evil ways. As for the do test passages, applies to those who are open in learning and not trying to steer the situation for their own gain. They also have a positive expectation of good. In fact, this is the basics to all types of personal discoveries. Even us will not want to participate if we seem to think that someone is steering us in a abusive manner. In the same way, God should not be tested in such a way.

    I asked Mac if he agreed with the definition above. I have yet to hear a yes or no. Yet, I'll try to pick at his intro to get a better picture about what this god is, since theists don't even agree on what this being or beings is (which is what you'd expect if such a being did not exist) Ill continue to ask before I proceed.
    In conclusion, God is non-physical, omnipotent, eternal, omniscient,omnipresent, transcendent, and perfectly free.

    From this, I assumed that you would understand that I was basically agreeing with you. Although I did forget to include that God is omni-benevolent...There is no disagreement on the basic idea of who God is. All the attributes that I mentioned should be what almost every theist believes. However, they may disagree on the use of those attributes and to the extent of it. Open theism would be a good example of this but we're not here to debate theology. Who would disagree with my above definition? I guess the true minimalist definition is this:

    God is beyond the universe which means that He is not subject to the natural laws. He created the universe and the laws that govern it. In addition, this being has existed eternally which therefore needs no cause for its' existence. Lastly, He is able to make decisions.


    What does (1) mean?
    It simply means that God is the greatest thing that we can conceive. What's hard about that?

    Regarding (2): Mac, if god does not belong to the class of things that exist, why are you debating "Does god exist" - Also, if something does not exist, it does not exist right? Hm, A=A? How can something be 'above' existance? I'm sorry please explain this.
    Recall what I said before? God is above existence of all the things He created, whic means that His existence is the ultimate basis for THEIR existence. Therefore everything that God created is contingent on His existence which is non-contigent. This is what it means to be "higher" above the class of existence itself which we assign in this world.

    God is not the fact of things existing but rather the basis for the existence of all things. St. John of Damascus correctly says, "God does not belong to the class of 'existing' things; not that he has no existence but that he is above existing things, even above existence itself...”.


    Regarding (3): What does this word mean? He can do all things? Please define it.
    Sort of. I understand the word as the ancient people understood it as. That is, He is able to do everything except the logically impossible (such as contradictions).

    Regarding (4): So, if a proposition is true, he knows it. That's vague, but does god know all things? What does this mean?
    That's why it is called a minimalist definition. He knows all things which are true...For example, if there was proof that James murdered his wife on March, 3rd 2004 at 12:32 am then God would know this. If there was no proof of this, then He would also know this. It's pretty simple in my opinion.

    Regarding (6): Is god therefore in hell?
    Hell is not a place but rather a state of the soul, in that they are separated from God in the spiritual sense because of the sin they have committed where as God is holy. People in hell will experience shame for what they've done on earth. The logic of hell is pretty simple. You receive back the treatment that you gave to others in a multiplier effect. If you dishonor God, then you receive dishonor in return. C.S Lewis depicted hell as a microscopic world that is smaller than a piece of dirt in heaven. The people get tired of the company of others and move farther away from them. These souls are ashamed and cannot face the presence of God so they try to move away from it in attempt to get as far away from the greatest glory as possible. Basically, Hell is like trying to escape God's holy presence because they're ashamed, but never being able to due to His omnipresence. Answer from Scripture? Not to mention there's also biblical support for my depiction of hell.

    If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there. (Psalm 139:8)

    And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

    Regarding (7): You have just defined your god out of existence (again). You say god is omnipresent, and transcendent. To be omnipresent you must be all places, and to be transcendent you are 'above nature' or 'beyond x'. You're basically saying "God is all places and not in some places" - This is logically impossible. Such a being can not exist, and beings that can't exist, do not exist.
    Transcendent simply means that God is above nature in that He cannot be affected by those laws. Everything which comes through Him is finite, yet God is infinite so He is still everywhere. I don't know where you got the notion that transcendent means that He is not present in nature...

    In a way this debate is over already. I'm willing to debate issues that are open, but if someone holds a position that is actually impossible then I might as well be debating over the existance of 'debates'
    Here you are retorting to the strategy that you held before. Merely claiming that you won a debate so hastily shows that you've already determined the outcome of this debate. Do you recall that I warned you of this? Conceding the debate before it has even begun surely is a sign that you would be unwilling to listen even if I were to demonstrate that your arguments were false. There is simply no need to already conclude the outcome of a debate so soon without even giving me a chance to explain myself. I'm not really the type who would walk out of a debate for this reason alone unless it got worse. So please keep your concluding opinions to yourself until the deadline is almost met. Thanks.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
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    A woman was found drunk and had a overdose of marijuana. She was found laying the ground and unable to get up for the most part. A man named Paul saw her and attempted to help. He expected her to be grateful and reply but instead he received the opposite.

    No, this is worthless. The god of the bible commands us to love him or else we get burned. Your analogy is of a women who's situation has a consequence which resulted in death, where as in this case, it's not like "not holding the belief that Jesus is X" has some inherent dangerous result that is the consequence OF having no belief, but it's a threat of punishment for not holding such a belief. It's not a natural consequence but a artificial one. It's the difference between 'If you do X, person Y will harm you' vs. 'If you do X, you will be harmd'

    Your world is basically "Be a slave to the dictator or get burned"

    It is obvious from this passage is meant as a warning against bad philosophy because false teachers are successful in convincing others of lies. It doesn't say that we shouldn't "waste time" with philosophy.


    Fine, but that's not what it says. It does not say 'bad philosophy' but philosophy that is not 'of christ' - This excludes virtually all philosophy.

    This just says that we shouldn't lean on just our own understanding because we can deceive ourselves into believing things that are not true.

    No. Again, I understand that you must fix the bible in order to defend it, but I'd rather stick to what it says. It does not say its bad to lean *just* on our own understanding, but that we SHOULD NOT lean on our own understanding. What else are we to base our belief on macguy, our hearts? Would you want someone operating on you who actually maintains a biblical worldview and rejects medical school and cuts you open based on "the gut" - The bible is anti-science, anti-learning, and intellectually bankrupt bigotry which should be urinated on by anyone who values philosophy or the pursuit of truth.

    However, you must realize that "moving mountains" was used as a metaphor by the jews as for doing the seemingly difficult or impossible. Prayer is not a free candy-ball machine, but it rather lies on the will of God. God is sovereign, and there is nothing that happened which He did not permit or cause. Back in those days, the jews just didn't ask for anything that they wanted but rather of what they thought to be God's will.

    Read the story, his followers asked him "How did you do that?" - He answered "You do X" - Jesus gave instructions on how to do what he just did. How on earth could you give someone instructions on metaphor? In anycase, so is it true or false that we can do 'the seemingly difficult or impossible' by prayer or not? Let's test all things Mac. PM me with you address so we can be good Christians and 'exam in everything'

    The answer is simple. When Scripture says do not test, the passages are for those who are NOT seeking evidence to learn and grow in their worldview but who are instead trying to manipulate God to satisfy their desires and needs in evil ways.

    Where does it say this? I missed that verse. Besides, are you accusing me of 'not seeking evidence' and 'trying to manipulate to satisfy my desires in an evil way' Mac? You think me simply asking you to do what JESUS SAID you can do is not seeking evidence, and being evil?

    As for the do test passages, applies to those who are open in learning and not trying to steer the situation for their own gain. They also have a positive expectation of good. In fact, this is the basics to all types of personal discoveries. Even us will not want to participate if we seem to think that someone is steering us in a abusive manner. In the same way, God should not be tested in such a way.

    Again, where does it say this?

    understand the word as the ancient people understood it as. That is, He is able to do everything except the logically impossible (such as contradictions).

    Very good. So can god learn? I can learn, so there's clearly no 'impossiblility' if I, David, can learn. However, you claim god knows all things. Learning implies that you gain knowledge that at one time you did not have, yet god is said to know all things, and yet again he is also suppose to have the ability to do all things [except the logically impossible].
    Again, a contradiction.

    Here you are retorting to the strategy that you held before. Merely claiming that you won a debate so hastily shows that you've already determined the outcome of this debate.

    Not at all. I was simply saying that if this is what I think you mean, you're wrong.
    Were you going to address my above arguments though? The arguments for Mnaturalism & Mind Body physicalism?

    As for the do test passages, applies to those who are open in learning and not trying to steer the situation for their own gain. They also have a positive expectation of good. In fact, this is the basics to all types of personal discoveries. Even us will not want to participate if we seem to think that someone is steering us in a abusive manner. In the same way, God should not be tested in such a way.

    Also, when is your arguements for theism going to be posted?

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    No, this is worthless. The god of the bible commands us to love him or else we get burned. Your analogy is of a women who's situation has a consequence which resulted in death, where as in this case, it's not like "not holding the belief that Jesus is X" has some inherent dangerous result that is the consequence OF having no belief, but it's a threat of punishment for not holding such a belief. It's not a natural consequence but a artificial one. It's the difference between 'If you do X, person Y will harm you' vs. 'If you do X, you will be harmd'

    It would seem that you completely ignored what Scripture actually says about hell. Perhaps but in this case we are sinful beings who do need help but we refuse to accept it from God. It is the same as believing the man who told the woman what situation she is in and that she needed help. The Man warned this woman about her inevitable death if she stayed that way, but would you consider this a "threat"? Again, hell is merely eternal separation from God and shame for dishonoring Him. There is no "torture"... It is a natural consequence if we have souls.


    Fine, but that's not what it says. It does not say 'bad philosophy' but philosophy that is not 'of christ' - This excludes virtually all philosophy.
    No it does not say just philosophy...

    See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

    Anything that is not of Christ would indeed be considered bad philosophy. That is, if the Bible is true! In order to find bad philosophy and good philosophy, we must seek it in all honesty.

    No. Again, I understand that you must fix the bible in order to defend it, but I'd rather stick to what it says. It does not say its bad to lean *just* on our own understanding, but that we SHOULD NOT lean on our own understanding.
    You cannot read the Bible as if it is a newspaper. It is a complex document and you must understand who wrote it and why and to what circumstances. Scripture won't speak to you at all if you don't examine the passage more thoroughly. It's not merely an attempt to explain it but because what I am saying is consistent with what Scripture teaches. The Bible includes proverbial literature, poetry, wisdom, legal codes, personal letters, biographies, apocalyptic, prophecies etc. Treating this as if it was written for our days is a mistake often make among skeptic circles who add their ridiculous interpretations of the text.

    If you want to get into context, please point to where it says that we should ONLY base our beliefs in our hearts. As you know, the greatest commandment is to:

    So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ (Luke 10:27)

    It would be a contradiction if Proverbs read as:

    Trust in the LORD with only all your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    Does it have to say that? You can't just pick and chose from the Scripture to prove a point. Are you aware that we are fallen creatures? Because of this, our understanding is flawed as well. We must believe that God is able to what he wills and that his decisions will do what is best and good according to what He has promised to do what is best for us if we love Him. We must therefore depend on him to preform all the things for us and not lean on our own understand as if we could, without God, do it ourselves. People who know themselves cannot but find that their understand is nothing more than a broken reed. In our life, we must be shy of our own judgement because it can certainly in most cases fail us. Our confidence should not be put in ourselves, but rather on God who alone can give us true knowledge. All in all, the passage is not saying that we should not have understanding...but rather that we should not lean on our OWN understanding.

    The Bible is not anti-science nor is it anti-learning. Instead, it is against false ways of knowledge of self-confidence. Knowledge puffs up but love builds up.

    Read the story, his followers asked him "How did you do that?" - He answered "You do X" - Jesus gave instructions on how to do what he just did. How on earth could you give someone instructions on metaphor? In anycase, so is it true or false that we can do 'the seemingly difficult or impossible' by prayer or not? Let's test all things Mac. PM me with you address so we can be good Christians and 'exam in everything'
    Again, this is an example of Scripture using hyperbolic language. As I said, God is sovereign and people knew this. Nothing that happened would be done without God either permitting it or causing it. Therefore, it lies in whether God wills this as so.

    "Early Jewish teaching did celebrate God's kindness in answering prayer, but rarely promises such universal answers to prayer to all of God's people as the language suggests." [Keener, 245]

    The verse presupposes that one is asking something that God wills.

    Where does it say this? I missed that verse.
    You missed it? It doesn't have to directly say it but the passage you refer to does. See this:

    6Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

    6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
    How is this not a evil test in order to fit one's own desires? This is precisely what Satan is doing!

    Besides, are you accusing me of 'not seeking evidence' and 'trying to manipulate to satisfy my desires in an evil way' Mac? You think me simply asking you to do what JESUS SAID you can do is not seeking evidence, and being evil?[/quote]

    In that quote? No I am not saying that...Those who test God in order to satisfy their desires and needs is the evil way. This had no relation to you but to note the differences between don't test the Lord, and test everything. I think you're misinterpreting Scripture though but I can't say whether this is being purposely done to fit your desires or not. Such a thing can only be seen from God unless you do give hints to that but I quite frankly don't conclude that.


    So can god learn?
    Since God is eternal, that would be contradictory. Thee is nothing for Him to learn because He himself is the source of all knowledge and everything that is made from Him is known by Him.

    Not at all. I was simply saying that if this is what I think you mean, you're wrong. Were you going to address my above arguments though? The arguments for Mnaturalism & Mind Body physicalism?
    Of course that would be what one would conclude. However, you said this:

    In a way this debate is over already. I'm willing to debate issues that are open, but if someone holds a position that is actually impossible then I might as well be debating over the existance of 'debates'

    You concluded beforehand that the debate is over already. Instead, you should've said, "If my opponent holds such a impossible position, then this debate is over already" or something to that effect. I am not sure if you did this purposely but the conclusion was drawn BEFORE the explanation. It's an unneeded assessment since one can conclude this themselves unless I did not respond to your argument/s.

    Oh, I was planning on responding to your argument along with post my arguments for theism since it would demonstrate my point more effectively in my opinion.


    Also, when is your arguements for theism going to be posted?
    Due to me being in school and being over with family for the mothers day event, I was essentially delayed in working on my arguments. I do not know why but I have had at least 3 Ophthalmic Migraines where my right eye or left eye experiences these zig-zag lines thus temporarily preventing proper vision. I am then forced to lay down in bed and cover my head from the visible light with blankets. These zig-zag lines start from the middle of my vision and slowly moves the right side of my eye and eventually disappears in about a hour or less. I then feel rather giddy and my right or left side of the brain feels pulses of pain. It is a terrible feeling and has been occurring more often lately. As of yet, I refuse to have pain-killers or take any other form of medication at the moment...Hopefully you can understand and please don't take this as an excuse. I take debates, especially on God's existence very seriously and would do my best to use every second of my time in providing my arguments.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
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    For the record I am capable of challenging your views on the bible. Although I am an atheist, I do believe that there are certain theological positions which are 'better' than others. It's clear you're a very liberal Christian and the bible is so utterly contradictory it's easy to debate two difference positions using scripture, so debates over these issues are a bit hopeless. I'll try and stick to theism.

    Since God is eternal, that would be contradictory. Thee is nothing for Him to learn because He himself is the source of all knowledge and everything that is made from Him is known by Him.

    You said he can do all things that are not logically impossible. Learning is not logically impossible.

    I am not sure if you did this purposely but the conclusion was drawn BEFORE the explanation. It's an unneeded assessment since one can conclude this themselves unless I did not respond to your argument/s.

    You are correct, I apologize.


    Mac, are you willing to take part in a 'round table' philosophy discussion on the internet radio show "Faith and Freethought" [ http://infidelradio.com/ ] - I know the host and he wants you to join us. If anyone else is interested PM me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    For the record I am capable of challenging your views on the bible. Although I am an atheist, I do believe that there are certain theological positions which are 'better' than others. It's clear you're a very liberal Christian and the bible is so utterly contradictory it's easy to debate two difference positions using scripture, so debates over these issues are a bit hopeless. I'll try and stick to theism.
    I hope that I didn't give the impression that you were not capable of challenging my views since anyone can challenge something. It's hardly contradictory if one looks at the whole puzzle. If I merely based my knowledge on a few puzzle pieces then this wouldn't give me the whole idea. The puzzle pieces may seem contradictory or incomplete but we should take into consideration other passages that add on to the what it was saying. As I said, you must understand who wrote it and why and to what circumstances. Hebrew and Greek is something that I want to learn sooner or later to differ the correct grammatical structure of a passage and meaning of words. It is easy, just as it is easy to say things about 9/11 being a government conspiracy. People are prone to their understanding and don't trust in God to open it up for them. Alright, I will do so too and my arguments are about finished. Hopefully I'll have them up by tomorrow. Again, thanks for waiting!

    You said he can do all things that are not logically impossible. Learning is not logically impossible.
    Nor can it contain contradictories. Eternal has no time and there is no present or future. It is all one moment and God cannot learn anything or it would contradict this. I seriously don't feel like going into open theism though...

    You are correct, I apologize.
    No worries


    Mac, are you willing to take part in a 'round table' philosophy discussion on the internet radio show "Faith and Freethought" [ http://infidelradio.com/ ] - I know the host and he wants you to join us. If anyone else is interested PM me.
    Will there be christians on this round table? I don't like how the infidel guy show brings up a bunch of atheists against one christian which then leaves the impression that they won. Perhaps I am being paranoid, but it's just that I don't feel comfortable arguing for my side against a group of people on a radio show. On a forum it's different since I can gather my thoughts for each response but to doing it live and responding to 2-5 at once makes it a lot more difficult. I am interested, however to have a discussion on the radio.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    Nor can it contain contradictories. Eternal has no time and there is no present or future. It is all one moment and God cannot learn anything or it would contradict this. I seriously don't feel like going into open theism though...

    Mac, you can't simple 'define' god as non-contradictory. I just demonstrated that you gave two contradictory attributes. It's like saying "Naturalism is a worldview that states XYZ, and can not contain contradictions" - if you point out that something Naturalism states is a contradiction, I can simply say 'Oh, well of course naturalism doesnt say that because remember naturalism does not contain contradiction"
    If you are going to allow for that, why not say his main attribute is "existance" - That would be easy because you could say "david, your arguements fail because god is a being that is defined to exist, so"

    Will there be christians on this round table? I don't like how the infidel guy show brings up a bunch of atheists against one christian which then leaves the impression that they won. Perhaps I am being paranoid, but it's just that I don't feel comfortable arguing for my side against a group of people on a radio show. On a forum it's different since I can gather my thoughts for each response but to doing it live and responding to 2-5 at once makes it a lot more difficult. I am interested, however to have a discussion on the radio.

    I'm in agreement with you. You will not be against a bunch of atheists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    Mac, you can't simple 'define' god as non-contradictory.
    As I said before, God is only the greatest possible being and this is coherent. Do you even recall me defining God's omnipotence as the ability to anything which is logically possible? Why then are you suddenly disagreeing with my definition by then saying that i cannot simply define God as not able to do contradictions? This is a semantic game in my opinion. It does nothing but prove that XG version of God cannot be coherent...but that is not my version of God! If 2 attributes in XG are found to be contradictory then all this would mean that we mis-applied or misinterpreted God's attributes. Even though this may be true, all it means that we have the next best thing. You're thing about God being able to learn is ridiculous since if He doesn't know himself then He wouldn't be perfect. Thus there wouldn't be a God in the first place. I am not saying that a certain concept of God cannot have contradictions but my definition of omnipotence is the next best thing due to your argument. His omnipotence doesn't give the ability to commit suicide because it's a contradiction. Thus it is only limited to what is logical and not in absurdities. Unlike you're analogy, I am not saying that God cannot have contradictions, but that He cannot do actions that directly contradict His nature. If this could be done, He'd immediately cease being God. By me assigning attributes to God, it would be obvious that If He did exist, that one of the main attributes would be existence. This would not say that He does exist...Right now we are arguing for the coherency of theism and not the existence of these attributes.

    In the same way that you could argue that the laws of nature aren't contradictory, then I can say the same about God's abilities. It's different than saying that the concept of God cannot be contradictory...



    I'm in agreement with you. You will not be against a bunch of atheists.
    If there are any christians available on the show, then let me know
    Last edited by macguy; May 18th, 2007 at 12:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    So, since "atheism" is not a belief per say, but rather the negation of a belief, I won't be arguing 'for atheism' but rather metaphysical naturalism which simply happens to be atheistic in that it adopts a scientific basis.
    What specifically do you mean by belief? If one denies a certain belief, in reality they are also a true believer in another set of beliefs. For example, due to you denying the existence of God, you're a believer in metaphysical naturalism. This is not to say that you're worshipping it but simply means that you hold it as true. I am sure you think this or you wouldn't be having this debate. You admit though that MNaturalism "happens" to be the same as the basic belief of an atheist correct? How is this not arguing for atheism when metaphysical naturalism is basically the belief that the natural world is all there is? I don’t think any atheist would argue for a supernatural being in any way.

    1) Every explanation that has been confirmed and met the test of time has been naturalistic
    2) Super naturalistic 'explanations' have always been replaced with naturalistic ones, never vice versa.
    The rational conclusion is that all future explanations will be naturalistic, and a logical extension of this would be that all of existence is natural.
    For the sake of argument, we will call the known fact that our ancestors attributed natural phenomena to the supernatural but was later found out that it is explainable by natural processes. This will be called HX. It is, however, entirely possible that our ancestors could’ve believed differently by only attributing the supernatural for only the good arguments such as the origin of life, cosmological principle, meaning of life etc and naturalistic phenomena was generally not attribute to God. This will be called HY. In the case for HY, it wouldn’t be enough for the non-existence of God if the history was actual of course. So would you argue that HB would make God’s existence more likely than in HX? If so, how could this be? We are living the exact same universe and nothing has necessarily changed between HX and HY except for the theological claims of our ancestors. The universe hasn’t changed in objectivity so how could the existence of God be more or less probable? The probability of God’s existence should rather be focused on the coherence of the arguments that are used for His existence. For example, the argument that moral values exist will have the same premises and conclusion in HX or HY and this is true for all other arguments. Is it not obvious that God’s existence is independent of the fault arguments of our ancestors? This probably not much in relation to your argument but I am noticing the similarities from Jeffrey Jay Lowder’s arguments and it is often times used against us theists. Regardless, I do think this argument at least applies in some way as you’re arguing that a replacement of supernatural explanations have been replaced by natural ones therefore making the exist of the natural world as all there is. Just because naturalistic explanations replace the supernatural, it doesn’t make it unlikely for there to be any true supernatural explanations. Come to think of it, you do get your arguments from Lowder! Did he not argue for the physical minds as well? This is not to say that he’s the inventor of such an argument, and there may well be others who use the argument but it’s coincendential that he uses the History of Science argument along with the physical mind although your addition of induction is a lot more effective in my opinion. My apologies if I am making a false claim because I don’t exactly read as much about philosophy than I do in science.

    A naturalistic explanation doesn't automatically entail the BEST explanation. Facts are facts and they only become interesting if one tries to explain it. For example, the observational statement that I saw a flash of light at 12 pm is a factual statement. However, there is no significance in this fact unless we attempt to explain it. The flash of light that I saw at 12 pm could've been the headlights from a car, lightning, an explosion, a plane wreck etc. As you can see, facts only become interesting when we try to explain it. MNaturalism, is simply that, a philosophy which attempts to argue that everything that can be said to exist is nature. Since you'd rather use arguments like these, then you should logically be able to accept my arguments...

    1) Historically, all observations point to Life coming from life (law of biogenesis)
    2) Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that all life will continue to come from life.

    From this you cannot infer a naturalistic explanation because all observations point to life always existing. The christian, on the other hand, is justified in saying that life always existed (God) and therefore this existence can bring others into existence. Without existence, then existence shouldn't be inferred. Logic, couldn't even be used...at least in your world-view. One could argue that these observations have nothing to do with origins but that's exactly my point! Merely because we continually explain things through naturalistic explanations doesn't entail that the past is the same and so God cannot be excluded. If you do, then my above argument is valid and naturalism is defeated either way.
    Now, one may argue that I am excluding other considerations such as the Big bang which logically, no life could exist. If no life existed before the big bang, then it would be reasonable from someone's perspective, that life cannot exist at that time of course.

    1) Historically, there hasn't been life in this universe.
    2) Therefore, it would have been reasonable to conclude that there will continue to be no life.

    Now you are stuck with another dilemma I believe... You cannot infer a naturalistic explanation for the evolution of non-life to life because all observations pointed to life not existing at that time. The christian, on the other hand, is again justified in saying that life always existed (God) and therefore this existence can bring others into existence. Once again, you could argue that these observations doesn't entail what the future will hold but that is exactly my point! Merely because we continually explain things through naturalistic means doesn't imply that the past and/or future will be the same and so God cannot be excluded. The past says that life did not exist, but the future of the big bang says that life does exist. Therefore, inference cannot work even in this situation with 2 considerations unless you can come up with a further argument.

    Excluding the consideration that God could've created it would therefore give you false reasoning! For example, as you said the scientific method is consisted by drawing inferences on observed data but many times this conclusion is reached by a colored rejection of certain kinds of facts. The field of observation is then limited by the criterion of the scientist is then narrowed and the conclusion may be incorrect. By rejecting data that one dislikes, they can arrive at the wrong principle. Attempts to explain the origin of life point to a intelligent designer but if a biologists is a Mnaturalist, he rules out such data as impossible and limits his findings to his own group. Yet you insist that "historically all confirmed explanations have been naturalistic explanations". The reason for something being explained by naturalistic processes is because what we observe is in itself part of the natural world! As I said, origins science cannot be observed. Naturalism is so deeply part of thinking in people’s thinking today that they find it difficult to look at it in a different way. For most of them, only a modest amount of evidence is needed to prove the whole system and even if they do reach doubts, their naturalism remains untouched. Since there can’t be anything outside of nature, there must be something that produced everything to and so they wait for a satisfactory naturalistic mechanism to be discovered. If the supernatural could be admitted as a possibility, then trouble comes for naturalism but if it is excluded then it cannot lose. Logically, it follows that the evidence will always support the naturalistic alternative. Merely because scientists know a good deal about the behavior of bacteria and electricity doesn’t follow that they know the origin in the first place.

    The problem of induction also gives the problem of claiming that absolute truth can only be achieved through the senses. Only by making a inductive leap of faith can one make a universal statement from a finite number of specific observations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertrand Russell 1945, 673
    I It is therefore important to discover whether there is any answer to Hume within a philosophy that is wholly or mainly empirical. If not, there is no intellectual difference between sanity and insanity. The lunatic who believes that he is a poached egg is to be condemned solely on the ground that he is in a minority or rather - since we must no assume democracy - on the ground that the government does not agree with him. This is a desperate point of view, and it must be hoped that there is some way of escaping it.
    If it is unprovable, then what makes science distinguished from religious truth? Perhaps one could argue in terms of probabilities but this again is flawed because most inductive statements cannot be assigned high probabilities. Unless one wanted to confine themselves to making probabilistic statements about common occurrences (water is wet), Hume’s problem is still a big problem at least for historical science and sometimes even future science.

    p1) All that exists is natural or an extension of nature
    All that exists, for which we can be tested is indeed natural. We can nevertheless discover design in the natural world. Do you believe that everything has to be explained through the senses in order for it to be true?

    p2) God is something 'non-natural' or 'supernatural'
    What do you mean by the laws of nature? If by the laws of nature we mean how we think things work then the supernatural events do occur all the time. The Mpemba effect demonstrates that hot water freezes more quickly than cold water! This of course wouldn’t make sense to us and it would violate the laws of nature as we know them to be. Nevertheless it still occurs and is fully natural even though we don’t understand it. How then, could we define the laws of nature as how we think things work when nature is bigger and more complicated than us? If it is said that all events that we don’t understand is supernatural and don’t study them because it is in violation of the laws of nature then there will cease to be progress. What if we define nature as how things work? If this was the case, the the supernatural realm would bare no meaning because either something happens or it doesn’t. For example, Jesus being born of a virgin is natural because it happened. If he wasn’t then this event isn’t supernatural but is a false story.

    In other words, things that happen should be studied but things that do not happen are not supernatural and is simply false and science should prove it false. It should be noted that the laws of nature is defined by scientists as how we think things work. If one doesn’t believe that God exists then you would naturally conclude that it is unscientific t o claim that God did one thing and another. However, neither is the premise that God doesn’t exist a scientific position but rather a philosophical position. Whether God does or doesn’t exist are both equally unscientific. To the supernaturalist, the question isn’t about whether miracles are supernatural or not, but rather on whether it even occurred. God either does things or He doesn’t. Going back to the previous example, either Jesus rose from the dead or He did not. Despite the incredible claim, it is still a question whether it actually happened. Therefore science must permit creationism as a possibility. If God created the universe and life itself then it is history and we should find evidence consistent with this theory. If it did not occur, then the event is simply false and not supernatural and science has the job of refuting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Limitations of Scientific Truth
    Science is a process of search for the truth, and few things are more certain than the fact that as the process continues, current theories will be revised and eventually abandoned in favor of new theories.
    Is it not the job of science to find out what is true? Why should we exclude the supernatural? The assumption that God is unscientific is mostly premised on the belief that He doesn’t exist or hasn’t done anything in the universe. If God does things, then it is possible to attribute actions to HIm and it would also be necessary because any other explanation would be false. We merely believe that God could have acted in the universe and attempts to exclude this possibility is saying that there is a criterion for what can be true. Namely, naturalists most likely maintain that only naturalistic explanations can be true so this by definition automatically excludes God even if He did do things in our universe. The question should be on what explanation is best support by the evidence. Is the Bible not full of accounts that can be observed? Most of them are observable, such as the global flood, burning bush, staffs into snakes, etc. Of course we cannot conclude from this that all supernatural events are observable but this doesn’t exclude that the fact that a lot of events were indeed observable. The fact that we can’t observe a supernatural being is a direct result of our limitations rather than a inadequacy in God. For example, we were not able to see the other side of the moon but there was nevertheless reason to believe it probably did exist. It then occurred that our technology allowed us to travel there and confirm that it did exist.

    Going back to your previous argument on naturalistic explanations replacing the supernatural, it is true but still a false analogy. Those who argued for the supernatural for X event, was because nature was rather poorly comprehended. A scientific application of supernatural explanations can conclude that natural processes is a inadequate explanation, not because we have a lack of knowledge but because of an actual inability (from what-we-know) of natural laws and chance to explain it. Is this to say that a natural explanation cannot replace it? Of course not! Even though it is entirely possible that we will find a naturalistic explanation, the reverse is just as possible in that we’ll find and even more inadequacy with a natural explanation. Either way, both of these hypothesis are simply replacing one another as is the nature of science.

    Each of the phenomena that is in need of explanation forms a philosophical starting point for the existence of God. Here we argue that since phenomenon X is not expected, odd, and puzzling but X is expected if there is a God. Remember that I am not providing “proof” of good but a justification for believing in HIs existence rather than it’s negation. Therefore phenomena x provides reasonable justification for God’s existence. For those who think the world doesn’t work that way then consider an example. A detective is on a murder case and discovers various clues. (1)The wife lacked a an alibi (2) No evidence of broken windows or a forced open door (3) perfume on the murder weapon. (4) insurance on the husband was recently pulled out. All these cumulation of evidences confirm that the wife did it. For something to be a good argument, it must first cite evidence that is not likely to occur. Second, the event must be made more expected if it is true. Lastly, the hypothesis must be simple. We could say that someone was pretending to be the wife (H2) and it would be equal the to hypothesis (H1) that the wife did it. However, H2 isn’t supported by the evidence where as H1 is because it postulates that the wife is one object doing one act -murder- that leads us to expect the evidence that we find.

    You're welcome to speak on the issue of the problem of induction, but please don't embarrass yourself by making the false accusation that my using induction begs the question, since to beg the question I must presuppose the conclusion in one of my premises. Since my conclusion is MNaturalism is true, and not the 'nature is uniform' I am not committing the fallacy.

    Well, I think you should be a little bit more less closed-minded on the issue. I am not necessarily going to accuse you that you are indeed begging the question but I will ask some questions that maybe you can point out as incorrect. In order for MNaturalism to make a claim with induction, it must assume that nature is uniform because without it, you cannot use the induction as there might be explanations that naturalistic processes cannot explain. As Frank said, it would take naturalistic explanations to explain the uniformity of nature and MNaturalism just goes on to assume it as true. Do you even have a justification for using induction in your view?


    p1) All minds require brains
    This only applies to the physical universe and has no relation to the non-existence of a immaterial mind. You could then state that the inductive method can say something about the supernatural realm which pretty much contradicts metaphysical naturalism no? Perhaps you may be justified in believing that any mind in the physical world requires a brain as there is evidence against the existence of non-material minds. Is the inductive method not taking a specific case and then making general conclusions for the natural world only? How then are you suddenly using it to say something about the supernatural realm?

    Furthermore, it may be true that the soul is independent from the mind but the mind may be merely a tool that is an expression of the soul for the physical world. Even if our brain gets injured or starts decaying, all this means is that our souls are less capable to express itself in the physical world. The existence of the soul isn’t my area of discussion, so I will stay away from that and also considering mind-body dualism isn’t my area of knowledge.
    p2) God is defined as a being with a mind with no brain
    Not to mention that God is a being who is transcendent...If God had a brain, this would of course make Him physical and therefore make Him limited…
    c) Therefore God does not exist.
    How is this an evidential argument against God? Even if we can conclude that a soul doesn’t exist, it would take a very large leap in logic to claim that God can’t exist without a brain simply because humans don’t. Why not argue that God must have a beginning so He doesn’t exist because we had a beginning? Anything without a beginning cannot exist since of course, everything that we know has a beginning! How would we know that an immaterial mind cannot exist merely because of the physical realm’s attributes? Has it never occurred to you that physical and non-physical are opposite? If so, I see no reason why X which is opposite to Y should be able to tell it’s opposite (Y) what properties it should have or vise versa. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that a natural mind exists in world X and is limited like us. The spirits one day contemplate about whether it is possible for anything but non-physical minds to exist. They make an inductive argument in their world and state that the only thing which could exist is a non-physical mind. What would this say? All it would demonstrate is that their realm doesn’t have any other types of known form of minds but this doesn’t go far in drawing the conclusion that there must be no other possible mind unless it is spirit. It seems this is just a argument from ignorance but formed in a different way instead of saying that “since all minds have brains in this universe, there’s no evidence that other minds can exist without having brains therefore they don’t exist”. Due to our finite observations and capabilities - how could we even say that a spirit cannot function as a mind without a brain?

    Anthropic Principle

    "For myself, faith begins with the realization that a supreme intelligence brought the universe into being and created man. It is not difficult for me to have this faith, for it is incontrovertible that where there is a plan there is intelligence--an orderly, unfolding universe testifies to the truth of the most majestic statement ever uttered--'In the beginning God.'" Arthur Compton, Nobel Prize winner


    Over the past 3 decades or so, scientists have discovered that the universe is just right for life to exist. Research has continually accumulated over that time and we have seen that things haven’t been going well for a naturalistic explanation. Is it merely coincidental that the universe is fine-tuned for life? The basic constants are set so that life is possible and if the values of these constants were changed even slightly, it would not be possible for life to exist or even our universe for that matter.

    Gravity

    if gravity was altered by just 0.1%, it would be catastrophic. Such a small adjustment would increase gravity a billion fold although this number is small when we compare it to the total range of force strengths in nature. Our sun, and neither would we exist! Any animal that is near the size of a human being would be crushed and even insects would need to have thick legs and animals couldn’t get much larger. A planet that has a thousand times greater gravitational pull than earth would have about only 40 feet in diameter which isn’t enough to sustain an ecosystem. Imagine that you were in control of creating a new universe and it had to be decided how strong the explosion of the Big bang would be in order to begin the universe. You might think that we could have a slightly less powerful bang but if this was done, then the contents of the universe wouldn’t expand fast enough and it would start contracting to a Big Crunch thus ending the universe. You may then decide to make the big bang more powerful than our Big Bang. The reverse would happen, in that the contents of the universe would fly out at an incredible speed and never would slow down to star contracting again. Moving on to gravity, you could decrease it in order for us to be less exhausted when we run or do other hard jobs. Once again a problem occurs because this would meant that the hydrogen that was left over from the big bang is lying around instead of clumping together to form stars because the gravity needs to pull in a large amount of material. We would only get red giants which are very small and cold because the atoms at the core isn’t undergoing enough pressure to fuse and produce heavier atoms that life requires. The stars wouldn’t undergo a supernova and even if there happened to be a couple of heavy atoms, they wouldn’t get outside the star. Moving on, you might want to put gravity above normal and it would be true that stars would form quicker due to stronger gravity. However, like the other examples the reverse is at work here and the stars would literally start burning very quickly and would collapse under their own weight and as such, it wouldn’t last long to warm the planets up that is around them.

    "A second example of design involves the basic forces of nature. One of these is the law of universal gravitation. According to this law, all masses are found to attract each other with a force F which is inversely proportional to the square of a separation distance, r, between the masses. Discovered by Isaac Newton 300 years ago, this fundamental force holds the universe together. Gravity maintains the moon's orbit around the earth, the earth's orbit around the sun, and also the rotation of the entire Milky Way galaxy." "Scientists have always wondered about the factor 2 in this equation. As Science News put it, this relation "has always seemed a little too neat. Is the exponent some fraction near two, which would be messy but might seem more empirical?"3 In an evolved universe, one would not expect such a simple relationship. Why is the factor so exact; why not 1.99 or 2.001? The gravity force has been repeatedly tested with sensitive torsion balances, showing that the factor is indeed precisely 2, at least to five decimal places, 2.00000. As with the proton's mass, any value other than 2 would lead to an eventual catastrophic decay of orbits and of the entire universe. The gravity force clearly displays elegant and essential design." De Young

    Nuclear Force

    A nuclear force is basically what binds protons an neutrons togther in the nuclei of atoms and the value of strength of this force can be changed as well. Increase this by around 13% and you’ll get atoms that are only made of to protons and no formation of neutrons. This would quickly decay into atoms only made of two neutrons and there will be no hydrogen, water, nor hydrocarbons which means no life!

    Oxygen

    We have around 21 percent of oxygen in our atmosphere and if it was to increase to 25 percent, fire would erupt in a instant. If it was around 15 percent then we would suffocate. Even a change in one constant can effect others which are necessary for life! Without oxygen, water would not exist nor would electricity exist. According to the Big Bang, the universe was a place full of nuclear reactions. It was then left with a mixture of three quarters of hydrogen and one quarter helium and if there was a slight change in this balance, would give us no hydrogen and no water. It is also said that the elements were probably produced inside the stars during the nuclear reactions(carbon and oxygen). For this to happen, the atomic nuclei resonance levels must match the levels of the processes which create them. Even the big bang requires fine-tuning in it’s earliest moments!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Ross
    "As you tune your radio, there are certain frequencies where the circuit has just the right resonance and you lock onto a station. The internal structure of an atomic nucleus is something like that, with specific energy or resonance levels. If two nuclear fragments collide with a resulting energy that just matches a resonance level, they will tend to stick and form a stable nucleus. Behold! Cosmic alchemy will occur! In the carbon atom, the resonance just happens to match the combined energy of the beryllium atom and a colliding helium nucleus. Without it, there would be relatively few carbon atoms. Similarly, the internal details of the oxygen nucleus play a critical role. Oxygen can be formed by combining helium and carbon nuclei, but the corresponding resonance level in the oxygen nucleus is half a percent too low for the combination to stay together easily. Had the resonance level in the carbon been 4 percent lower, there would be essentially no carbon. Had that level in the oxygen been only half a percent higher, virtually all the carbon would have been converted to oxygen. Without that carbon abundance, neither you nor I would be here."
    Water

    As we know, liquid water is vital for any carbon-based life form and carbon is great for allowing complex chemical bond reactions which is essential for life. It has very unique properties and if it was slightly different, there wouldn’t be life on earth. If the polarity of the water molecule was great then vaporization and the heat of fusion wouldn’t allow life to exist. If it was smaller, then the heat of fusion and vaporization would be too small for life because the liquid water wouldn’t be a solvent for life chemistry to proceed. John Barrow (Astrophysicist) and Frank Tipler (mathematician) explain that water is uncommon:


    "Water is actually one of the strangest substances known to science. This may seem a rather odd thing to say about a substance as familiar [as water,] but it is surely true. Its specific heat, its surface tension, and most of its other physical properties have values anomalously higher or lower than those of any other known material. The fact that its solid phase is less dense than its liquid phase (ice floats) is virtually a unique property. These aspects or the chemical and physical structure of water have been noted before, for instance by the authors of the Bridgewater Treatises in the 1830's and by Henderson in 1913, who also pointed out that these strange properties make water a uniquely useful liquid and the basis for living things."


    Here I have merely scratched the surface of how precise these constants must be in order to permit life. The universe is elegant with just a few simple equations that describes the basic laws, and the tremendous complexity in such a way to produce a vast diversity of life. According to Hugh Ross, the universe is at least a factor of 10^10,000,000,000 times too small or too young for life to occur by itself through natural processes. This unification of constants wasn’t produced by the explosion of a big bang or singularity but instead must have been prior to the bang . Structures that we see in nature can be the produce of random chance processes but they could only exist and made possible by a higher blue print that was here before the accidental universe (that is, assuming a materialistic philosophy) which may have caused everything else. What would account for such a blue print? A larger accident or an infinite regress of accidents? In addition to my justification argument, if X has a certain property or characteristic and unless there is reason for not thinking that X has such a characteristic, we are justified for believing in it. In order for this explanation to be replaced, there must be a fully working naturalistic explanation. This type of argument isn’t meant to be persuasive to the non-theist per se because it’s a justification for a belief.

    1) Computer X has the characteristic of being susceptible to viruses.
    2) There is no other simpler and evidentially support explanations as to why Computer X isn’t susceptible
    (3) We are justified in believing Computer X is susceptible.

    Is this not a valid argument? As for my argument, it is very similar to it.

    1. The universe exhibits the appearance of design.
    ?2. There is no simpler explanation with evidential support to explain design.
    3. Therefore, we are justified to believe that the universe is designed

    Some may get the wrong impression that simple explanations implies Occam's razor - but it is rather an argument based on pattern recognition and therefore we have a justified inference based on that recognition. For example, Jean Lamarck in 1801 came up with a theory of evolution - the concept is notably not new on the data that people inherent fitness strength if their parents worked out a good amount. If this was true, it may be a simpler explanation than creationism because nature would be explained without reference to God but on the other hand, it simply didn’t fit with the evidence and the explanation was impaired by perceived problems. His argument didn’t refute the justified belief one could have in creation due to it being a whole coherent theory. Likewise, unless a fully featured naturalistic explanation can be formed and is evidentially supported then we will continue to be justified in this belief. To many, Darwin’s theories has rendered the teleological argument as defunct in most of biology but in my opinion, there is still a big argument in this regard and it is not close to being settled at the moment. The stiff-necked and boastful attitude of evolution being as proven as gravity is quite rhetorical most of the time without support. One wonders why physicists don’t claim that the theory of gravity is as proven as evolution Back to the topic, if it wasn’t the case that the universe is designed then one could say that there is no God or even a deistic god as there would simply be no reason at all to invoke one and would not fit with the evidence. As a designer, we would expect design in nature. In order to avoid the objection from physical necessity, I will formulate a probabilistic justification.

    1. There is no purpose in nature, a god or inherent design.
    2. In our knowledge, there is no inherent reason for why our universe is physically necessary in order to support life.
    3. Life exist.
    4. Under (3), it would make (1) and (2) improbable.

    Note that physically necessary doesn’t imply that other types of universes cannot exist, but instead saying that our universe must have the laws it currently has or it wouldn’t exist. If the universe is all there is or ever will be then why is it that the constants support to existence of life? Therefore we can correctly conclude that life is rather improbable under atheism and under theism, it has not even the slightest bit of improbability in regards to the anthropic principle.


    Origin of Life

    "What is so frustrating for our present purpose is that it seems almost impossible to give any numerical value to the probability of what seems a rather unlikely sequence of events... An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle." Nobel laureate Dr Francis H. Crick (atheist)

    There are only two options, either life was created by an intelligent being or it was done by naturalistic processes. One of the major objections in this regard is basically a God of the gaps argument which I shall address more thoroughly than I did with my introduction later. It was once thought that spontaneous generation could explain the origin of life from non-living matter. This belief was surprisingly accepted by intellectuals such as Thomas Aquinas, Francis Bacon, Copernicus and Galileo. In the 19th century, two developments contradicted the idea of spontaneous generation. In 1802, William Paley’s argument from design was published which gained wide acceptance. Followed by Louis Pasteur in the 1860s who provided his famous disproof of spontaneous generation by showing that sealed jars of nutrients didn’t produce life but it was merely arising from pre-existing life. Due to the rise of modern physics and Darwinism, scientists then turned to a mechanistic philosophy of nature and realized that nature was indifferent to life and has no special workings in favor of it. They viewed chance as the major factor of the origin of life and that the details remain to be filled-in by research. In fact, a prize of a million dollars is being offered for anyone who could find a “highly plausible mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life.”. This is certainly a sign of desperation because they have truly been unable to reproduce a reasonable method to which life could’ve arisen without a creator. Many have remained agnostic on the issue and will just frequently dodge the issue by claiming that abiogenesis is not part of the theory of evolution. The optimism that was fueled mostly by Darwnian enthusiasm in the 1950s is now gone. At the International Conference on Origin of Life in 1999 was described as full of frustration, desperation and even pessimism.

    Now, if spontaneous generation is now known as basically impossible, why can’t he same be done to the origin of life? At least from what we know, spontaneous generation is impossible and the same is the case for the origin of life. Merely research alone will not solve the problem as it is getting worse the more we know. Us creationists are not merely arguing that because there is a lack of explanation, it must be God. At least when it comes to the origin of life, we have evidence against a naturalistic explanation as I will present. As they continue to realize the complexity of even the simplest life, they come up with stories that are very similar to science-fiction with their story-telling about how it could be possible that we can get something even simpler. I am telling you that it would have to take a large decrease in complexity and information in order to create a very limited life form which probably wouldn’t even exist in the first place. The opposite is occurring according to a article published in Nature that says to have underestimated the size of the minimal bacterial genome by as large as 50%! What is even worse is that some textbooks act as if the origin of life problem has been achieved or is at least getting there. Here we have the evolutionists who complain about the scientific standards of creationists yet they have lies and they know it. If they cannot consider the possibility of an intelligent designer then why can’t there be explanations for why it has problems? Apologies for entering the crevo controversy but I find it necessary to educate those who don’t know about the issue.

    One of the major obstacles to the naturalistic explanations is our atmosphere. The ozone (O3) forms when molecular oxygen (O2) is struck by cosmic radiation. Without oxygen in our atmosphere, there can be no ozone and without it the ultraviolet radiation would destroy any life that is exposed to the sun. Not to mention that ultraviolet radiation can penetrate tens of meters beneath the ocean’s surface which would cause ocean currents to circulate (deep water included) and expose the organic contents to destruction. According to Cairns-Smith, this ultraviolet rays would convert surface materials into materials that destroys organic molecules even more effectively than oxygen gas. Scientists realize that oxygen is a hinderance to the origin of life so they had to come up with the myth of a primitive atmosphere. Reductionism doesn’t work there and it goes only so far until you end up with a pause even with the so-called “simple life”. Without the existence of life, there can’t be any production of oxygen and no ozone so there simply cannot be life! There has been no successful naturalistic explanation for this as of yet. Furthermore, oxygen would be produced by photo-dissociation of water vapour and oxidized minerals have been found in rocks as early as 3.8 billions years old which is in itself 300 million years older than the earliest life.

    Many just assume that there is a pre-biotic soup with all the necessary chemicals in order to make life. Charles Darwin came up with the same story-telling that we see in darwinism in regards to how life might have originated. He said, “a protein compound was chemically formed...in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts light, heat, electricity, etc. present” But where is the evidence for such a thing? If there was a lot of amino acids, then the early sediments on earth should show nitrogen rich minerals but such a thing has never been located. Even if we are to assume it’s existence, there are a variety of problems that have been noted through Stanley Miller’s experiment. Miller’s experiment tried prove that there could be a natural explanation but it is self-defeating because his experiment is intelligently designed! Instead of disproving design, it confirmed it. His amino acids reacted rather quickly with the other chemicals that resulted in brown-fudge which is not a step to life at all but rather against it. To solve this problem, scientists then remove those other chemicals to make future reactions more open to creating life (intelligent design!). There is also simply no evidence for a primitive atmosphere as many try to suggest.

    No geological or geochemcial evidence collected in the last 30 years favors a strongly reducing primitive atmopshere, … Only the success of the laboratory experiments recommends it. (Kerr, 1980, p 42)


    Naturalistic explanations are having a lot of trouble getting even off square one! It’s like saying that a bunch of scrabble letters in a pool with all the components ready to make a book will then be able to produce Hamlet. The situation for naturalists is a lot more complex and if they can’t even explain this, then as far as I am concerned, it cannot be true. Do people here realize that the genome has enough information to cover at least 1 whole baseball field? That is far more than simply producing a book like Hamlet. Genes requires enzymes to function but genes are necessary for producing enzymes. One of the most fundamental requirements for life to even work or prosper is ATP syntase because it provides energy for us and it is almost 100% efficient and is indeed a very splendid and complex machine. I would say that this is a more powerful argument than the flagellum because every single life, even the simplest has it. The ATP cannot work without the DNA which codes for them and vise versa. This is the primary source for reactions from heat generation to protein synthesis. For those who wish to know more about this incredible machine, all it takes is a google search and you’ll find more details. Not to mention the other complex structures necessary for life such as polymerase, helicase, ribsomes, glyrase, and proteins. Jerry Bergman points out,

    Among the questions evolutionists must answer include the following, “How did life exist before ATP?” “How could life survive without ATP since no form of life we know of today can do that?” and “How could ATP evolve and where are the many transitional forms required to evolve the complex ATP molecule?” No feasible candidates exist and none can exist because only a perfect ATP molecule can properly carry out its role in the cell.

    In addition, a potential ATP candidate molecule would not be selected for by evolution until it was functional and life could not exist without ATP or a similar molecule that would have the same function. ATP is an example of a molecule that displays irreducible complexity which cannot be simplified and still function (Behe, 1996). ATP could have been created only as a unit to function immediately in life and the same is true of the other intricate energy molecules used in life such as GTP.


    Even the first molecule would be hard to explain since you need the right bonds between amino acids. The amino acids must come in left-handed versions and not right-handed and it must be specified in a specific sequence. The chance of this occurring is 10^125!! This would only be one protein, which by itself can do nothing and single parts of the cell must come together at once (DNA, ribosomes, ATP, helicase, glyrase, proteins etc). The cell wold require around three hundred to five hundred protein molecules. As stated before, you would need to be able to polymerize but the process of depolymerization is much faster than polymerization and water is a poor help in this area because they will usually hydrolyze. There are even other problems such as the fact that sugars are easily destroyed after the reaction that is supposedly the cause for forming them. There is also great instability in the building blocks such as ribose and cytosine which are hard to form.

    Where is the transitional forms for life forming from non-life? The law of biogenesis rightly states that life only comes from life and this is a very established law that is being confirmed even more by the progress in science. The fact of the matter is, it relies very heavily on faith since there has never been an instance of abiogenesis which is directly contradictory to this law. Yet evolutionists complain about how we are religious when they already make a tremendous leap of faith in saying that natural processes did it when the evidence is overwhelmingly against it. Since Lewis Pasteur’s work was limited to the natural world, and yet resisted a natural explanation proves that axiom’s premise that everything can be explained by naturalistic processes as false. The origin of things has never adequately been explained and is in fact challenged by data against it! It would be laughable to have someone in the time of the Greeks to argue that life occurred by natural processes although without a mechanism and claim that science will eventually solve that problem. Here we are, still trying to figure the problem and lacking a mechanism along with have evidence against it. The 2nd law of thermodynamics rather nicely refutes the notion that order can come from disorder as entropy tends to decrease and not increase. There would need to be some mechanism to prevent it. Going back to my previous argument for the anthropic principle, I will then apply it to the origin of life.

    1. Even the simplest cell exhibits the appearance of design.
    2. There is no simpler explanation with evidential support to explain the origin of life.
    3. Therefore, we are justified to believe that life was created.

    This may be week but it's still an argument for design as there is no explanation for it thus we are justified in believing that life is designed. Again, I am not saying that God is the simplest explanation. Now onto the probability argument for the origin of life:


    1. Naturalism can explain everything.
    2. There is no need for a designer.
    3. Irreducibly complex life forms exist.
    4. (3) makes (2) and (1) improbable therefore we are justified in believe that God created it.

    In conclusion, we see here that naturalistic explanations suffers greatly and we are just scratching the surface. I purposely avoided the complex situations just incase you weren’t informed in biology. To believe that naturalistic processes did it is basically to believe in a miracle. Jay Roth, a former professor of cell and molecular biology said:

    “Even reduced to the barest essentials, this template must have been very complex indeed. For this template and this template alone, it appears it is reasonable at present to suggest the possibility of a creator.”

    Meaning of Life
    Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose? Sir John Templeton

    I am beginning to realize that this argument fits perfectly with my previous arguments although I never really did it intentionally. Theists claim that we have a meaning to our existence where as atheism(or MNaturalism for that matter) implies that our existence is essentially meaningless. Fact of the matter is, each of us will die and not just a temporary death according to naturalists but eternal death. We will be no more forever. If we simply cease to exist in the future, then how can any action have meaning or purpose? After we are dead, does it make any difference whether we were alive or not? There won’t be any memories of our life and such a brief existence is of no use. Imagine being stuck in out space being geared toward the burning sun. Can any of this guys actions have any meaning to his inevitable death? Everything that he thinks, acts and believes is essentially meaningless and this is the same with our lives. One could argue that our life could help others whether good or bad but this just bring the problem up a step higher. Would it matter whether we treat a person good or bad? After all, there is no such thing as morals under the atheistic view, at least in the absolute sense. Besides, the universe will once die out anyways so everything will simply be erased and there would be no meaning for our existence. No action can end the result of our complete death. It’s as if we had a dream but forgot about it, and merely went on. The dream was of no significance! So too with our lives, as it will just soon be a forgotten dream and it would be like it never happened. Someone could then argue that we can assign meaning to our lives but there is not a basis for why we should even assign meaning for ourselves in the first place. Either we have meaning or we do not. This is nothing more than self-deception into thinking that you have meaning. This argument cannot overturn our inevitable complete death. Even if we achieved goals and assigned ourself meaning, it wouldn’t matter because everyone will still die and not remember the impact on others nor his goals. The death of the entire human race destroys any attempt to create meaning under a atheistic world-view as it is pointless at best to even do so.

    Theism, on the other hand, implies that we have meaning to life and we won’t have complete death. Thus many theists maintain that our actions will effect our afterlife so we have tremendous meaning because every choice will effect how we spend eternity. Our choices could effect other people for good or worse in eternity as well. We also owe our praise to the God who created us and He has given us a moral code to follow, according to Christianity. As Willaim Craig pointed out:

    “In a remarkable address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 1991, Dr. L. D. Rue, confronted with the predicament of modern man, boldly advocated that we deceive ourselves by means of some ‘Noble Lie’ into thinking that we and the universe still have value. Claiming that ‘The lesson of the past two centuries is that intellectual and moral relativism is profoundly the case,’ Dr. Rue muses that the consequence of such a realization is that one’s quest for personal wholeness (or self-fulfillment) and the quest for social coherence become independent from one another. This is because of the view of relativism the search for self-fulfillment becomes radically privatized: each person chooses his own set of values and meaning. ‘There is no final, objective reading on the world or the self. There is no universal vocabulary for integrating cosmology and orality.’ If we are to avoid ‘the madhouse option,’ where self-fulfillment is pursued regardless of social coherence, and ‘the totalitarian option,’ where social coherence is imposed at the expense of personal wholeness, then we have no choice but to embrace some Noble Lie that will inspire us to live beyond selfish interests and so achieve social coherence. A Noble Lie ‘is one that deceives us, tricks us, compels us beyond self-interest, beyond ego, beyond family, nation, [and] race.’ It is a lie, because it tells us that the universe is infused with value (which is a great fiction ), because it makes a claim to universal truth (when there is none), and because it tells me not to live for self-interest (which is evidently false). ‘But without such lies, we cannot live.’”

    Is it not the atheists who are trying to say that God is lie yet they want to create meaning (a noble lie)? It would be more reasonable to believe in theism than atheism. The first objection I’d probably get is, well we can’t believe in Santa Claus because it makes us happy! True but theism is not giving us happiness but rather providing a foundation for meaning. Abortion could be disregarded because a person’s views are merely seen as some reactions rather than in his stated views. Why chose a lie when we could adopt theism which has the possibility of being true? We need meaning in life in order to function and not to be happy.

    1. We should adopt a worldivew that provides meaning and not in lies.
    2. Atheism provides no meaning.
    3. Theism provides meaning.
    4. Therefore theism should be adopted.

    Now here is where my above arguments goes very well with this. There is evidence that we do have a purpose because the universe permitted life and even the existence of the universe itself. It would be absurd, to say that at least we are not justified in saying that the universe was purposely created for us to exist and we do have meaning. Is it merely coincidental that many believe in theism, or search for meaning and the reason why we exist?

    If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.


    We are not the product of irrational causes as C.S Lewis said:

    ‘If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts—i.e. of materialism and astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.’

    All of this fits perfectly with theism and I hope that many will find this enlightening to at least encourage themselves to look at the debate more objectively and learn more about it. I will also, if possible present a refutation to the argument from ignorance objection more thoroughly as well as provide a more comprehensive critique of naturalism.
    Last edited by macguy; May 22nd, 2007 at 02:44 PM.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    Apologies for not composing the reply sooner axiom but where did you run off to? In the meantime, I'll continue working on a further critique of naturalism and hopefully I can make a refutation to the God of the gaps argument that is used to so often. Who knows, maybe some will benefit from our discussion to avoid common misconceptions between our beliefs.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    i'm busy with other projects, your failure to respond earlier caused me to not bother. I will debate you on freewill though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    i'm busy with other projects, your failure to respond earlier caused me to not bother.
    Alright, I admit responsibility of not responding earlier but I don't see why you would go on to other projects when you're very aware that the debate was still going especially with my other post in regards to God's nature. There was more to argue on unless you agreed.

    I will debate you on freewill though.
    What is there to debate? Are you going to bring up the old argument of the incompatibility of omniscience and our free will?
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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