Battle Royale VII Specific discussion thread

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flash

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Originally posted by novice
I was under the impression that Zakath would at least make a case for reality & existence without a creator.

He doesn't need to. We all believe in reality and existence. The case needs to be made for the creator.
 

XenBobForo

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hey huey:

hey huey:

heusdens wrote: "Besides, what is the point in arguing about the existence of God, if one does not distinguishes and defines what one means with existence. Objective existence? Subjective existence?"

and "the comic figure Donald Duck exists"

hey huey: don't sweat it. In America we have an agreement that we tell each other when we're talking about cartoons if there's any doubt. In this way, we greatly increase the productivity of American pest exterminators. When a potential customer calls and says, "I have a mouse in my garage," then believe it or not, they don't have to clarify whether or not they are talking about mickey or microsoft. They just get right down to business. That's one reason that we have such great productivity in America. -Sincerely, Bob Enyart
 

Michael12

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I am a firm believer that the onus of proof is on the one making the assertion. Science can not disprove the existence of a deity. It simply isn't possible due to the flexiblity of the theistic position. It's an extension of "God of the Gaps". Even if mankind were to learn everything there is to know about the universe and it's creation, all the theist needs to do is step outside the universe and point to a diety. Theism is a position that can recede to infinity when countered with observable facts. Therefore, all that science can do, is show that God is not a necessary component of the universe. The rest is a judgement call. You either believe in your religious text of choice, or you don't. Personally, I will side with data that can be observed. While it isn't within the context of this debate, I would wonder how Bob "proves" that his God, is the "correct" God.
 

heusdens

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Re: hey huey:

Re: hey huey:

Originally posted by Bob Enyart
hey huey: don't sweat it. In America we have an agreement that we tell each other when we're talking about cartoons if there's any doubt. In this way, we greatly increase the productivity of American pest exterminators. When a potential customer calls and says, "I have a mouse in my garage," then believe it or not, they don't have to clarify whether or not they are talking about mickey or microsoft. They just get right down to business. That's one reason that we have such great productivity in America. -Sincerely, Bob Enyart

And getting right down to business then (which is an agreement we have in the Netherlands, don't talk around the subject at hand), what then is your choice for the existence category to which God belongs, that of Micky Mouse, or that of the real mice?
I do not deny the existence of God as a concept of the mind, neither as I don't deny that mice can talk in the context of the comic figure of Mickey Mouse.
It seems however that to the figure of God, there are attributed powers that seem to indicate that God would exists apart from and independend of our minds. One of these powers being that "He" created the universe. The universe being something material, having objective existence independend of our minds (the cosmos existed long before mankind came into being), then is said to be created by a "mindfull" principle in the form of a Deity, but then tell me how a mere principle, which misses objective existence, can interact in any way with the material world.

Nobody, except exceptionally foolish people (solipsist or hard-line idealist) would deny the ordinary material world having objective existence.

So my question to you would then be: does God have objective existence or not? (God having subjective existence is not denied by me, or any other atheist).

My position is very clear: outside and apart of our minds, God can not be hold to have objective existence. God simply fails to have any objective existence. It would be healthy for the debate also, to make such a distinction.
 

Flipper

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Aroto:

It is apparent that he is unable to battle Bob on the existing science, but he did make a moving point in his last thread

I think that's because most of Bob's scientific posts were refuted on the Battle Royale chat thread. And it's no kind of an argument to go: "well you if you can't show me specific evidence, then there can't possibly be any evidence".

For me, Bob blew any scientific credibility he might have had when he called Stephen Hawking on not taking basic physics into consideration. I'm sure that the noted physicist and Cambridge Lucasian Professor of Mathematics Stephen Hawking is wrong because he chooses to disregard the immutable laws of physics on a whim, whereas right wing radio talk show host Bob Enyart is right. The only other option is that Bob does not know of what he speaks, and that can't be, can it?

Muscular christianity encourages this sort of anti-intellectualism.
 

XenBobForo

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heusdens wrote: "And getting right down to business then (which is an agreement we have in the Netherlands, don't talk around the subject at hand), what then is your choice for the existence category to which God belongs, that of Micky Mouse, or that of the real mice?"

hey huey: never mind.

Sincerely, -Bob Enyart
 

heusdens

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Originally posted by Flipper
Aroto:



I think that's because most of Bob's scientific posts were refuted on the Battle Royale chat thread. And it's no kind of an argument to go: "well you if you can't show me specific evidence, then there can't possibly be any evidence".

For me, Bob blew any scientific credibility he might have had when he called Stephen Hawking on not taking basic physics into consideration. I'm sure that the noted physicist and Cambridge Lucasian Professor of Mathematics Stephen Hawking is wrong because he chooses to disregard the immutable laws of physics on a whim, whereas right wing radio talk show host Bob Enyart is right. The only other option is that Bob does not know of what he speaks, and that can't be, can it?

Muscular christianity encourages this sort of anti-intellectualism.

The work of Stephen Hawking, and esp. his popular works like "Brief History of Time", do reflect some incorrect visions, with huge philosophical implications.
The issue on hand here is the idea of the possibility of the "beginning of time" which Stephen Hawking has popularized.
Stpehen Hawking himself does not have an entirely fixed point of view on this. While at one point promoting the very idea or possibility of a "beginning of time" (formalized into the hypothese known as the Hawking-Turok thesis) on the other side he clearly defends the negation of that position, when he claims for instance that "physicists don't know how to make physics from nothing" and statements like "the universe should just be", which reflect on the idea that no beginning of time concept should be considered.
It has been said that, while Stephen Hawking most definately is an atheist, both his wife and his publisher have drawn him into publishing some ideas that are in fact theistic viewpoints.
After all, Stephen Hawking is just human, and can not entirely escape from influences from outside.
 

heusdens

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Originally posted by Bob Enyart
heusdens wrote: "And getting right down to business then (which is an agreement we have in the Netherlands, don't talk around the subject at hand), what then is your choice for the existence category to which God belongs, that of Micky Mouse, or that of the real mice?"

hey huey: never mind.

Sincerely, -Bob Enyart

So is that your FINAL WORD on this debate?

Defending lengthy the position of the existence of God, and when someone asks the very basic question, what existence category one has in mind for this Deity, responds with: never mind?

It's a very weak escape, Mr Enyart!

Why don't you just admit, that when talking about the existence of God, this deity or any other deity, resides into the same category of existence as talking mice?
 

heusdens

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Bob Enyan playing the morality card

Bob Enyard is playing a hard game in his last post, and claims that his theistic viewpoints provide for absolute moral standards.
His historic knowledge however is very poor as to the issue of the holocaust. Some insights in the historic conditions that provided the context for the holocaust (the biggest crime against humanity for all of known history) and the second world war, would have cleared out that the centuries of catholic morality (the jews which had to blame the crucification of Jesus) were a major context for the nazi genocide policy against both the jews and the bolshewists (atheists), costing the lives of about 6 million jews and 20 million russians and that of many others.
And what about the theistic morality then of the catholic church. Did these theist ever protest agains the committing of those large scale crimes against humanity? No, instead the church institutions collaborated on a large scale with the nazi's.

At least this indicates there is a large gap between theistic morality in theory and in practice. Those who offered their lives in the struggle against the nazi's and the protection of jews and others from the nazi crimes, they were the real bearers of high morality standards.
Amongst them there were many atheists, communist, who fought against the nazi's. Let us keep that in mind!
 

jeremiah

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I thought that Bob's fourth post was excellent! I am glad that he was able to explain his position, even more clearly, and refute most of Zakaths, without referring to the Bible. I think that it is time for Zakath to make his own compelling case for atheism. Thus far he has only made an intellectual case for agnosticism. His atheism is simply what he chooses to " believe", it seems to me. I don't think that one should believe in something just because they do not "want" to believe in the alternative.
For instance, every baseball season I start out thinking, anyone but the Yankees, yet they are usually the best team with the most talent, but that does not ever keep me from always rooting against them. I think that atheists can be the same way in regards to God. The answers to life's dilemnas will eventually be found, "but it just can't be God!"
 
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heusdens

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On morality

Bob's argument is that there exist absolute moral standards about right and wrong. Even assuming that such is the case, how can we as humans know such absolute moral standards, from where would they come then?
From God, supposedly would be the answer from Bob.
And how do we know that a specific absolute moral standard comes from God, cause all we can bear upon are the words written or spoken by humans. Even when these humans claim they tell the word of God, we can never be sure that is the truth. So, we still need to make a personal judgement as to wether or not such is the word of God or not.
This therefore means that we can never distinguish between the true word of God, and a human claim about the word of God, which is altogether not different from the situation in which neither God, not absolute standards would exist.

Therefore, no absolute moral standards can be assume.

The important part is however, what to conclude from that. Does the absence of any absolute moral standard means that it is completely arbitrary as to what moral standard should be hold up. Everything would be as arbitrary as anything else. It's the "all or nothing" point of view: either an absolute moral standard exist, or there is absolutely no moral standard at all.

The slightest insights in the development of moral values throughout the history of mankind could show however that such is not the case.
The absence of an absolute moral standard gives no indication that moral standards are completely arbitrary, as if any moral standard would be as good as any other moral standard. Any historic formation of a society contains within itself a range of moral values and codes. For instance in the ancient Greek antique slave-holder society, holding slaves was not considered something wrong.
Current society however has abandoned slavery. The point is that the change in this morality viewpoint has not so much to do with moral viewpoints as such, but in societal changes. Current technology enables us to use machines and energy in large quantities, which makes the use of slaves no longer ncessary.
 

heusdens

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Originally posted by jeremiah
I thought that Bob's fourth post was excellent! I am glad that he was able to explain his position, even more clearly, and refute most of Zakaths, without referring to the Bible. I think that it is time for Zakath to make his own compelling case for atheism. Thus far he has only made an intellectual case for agnosticism. His atheism is simply what he chooses to " believe", it seems to me. I don't think that one should believe in something just because they do not "want" to believe in the alternative.
For instance, every baseball season I start out thinking, anyone but the Yankees, yet they are usually the best team with the most talent, but that does not ever keep me from always rooting against them. I think that atheists can be the same way in regards to God. The answers to life's dilemnas will eventually be found, "but it just can't be God!"

The case for atheism is quite simple. The viewpoint on the world in total is that that what exists in primary instance is matter in eternal motion / change. Matter was neither created nor can it be destroyed, so everything what happens are transformations and changes that take place in the material world.
This assumption about the world, that the world in first instance is matter in eternal motion set humankind into a deep research into the material world, and so far our knowledge has greatly improved, based on this assumption.

I do not know of any instance in which the alternative explenation (God did it, or a fundamental principle, or absolute idea) for any known phenomena brought us any factual knowledge about anything.

For sure one can adapt the "God did it" explenation for any instance or event we do not have factual knowledge about, problem is however that it does not increase your factual knowledge. The "God did it" answer may be satisfactory for dissatified minds that want their answers "here and right now", but for an actual inquiry and investigation on the problem at hand, long and tedious reserach work is necessary. For some people this waiting for these answers, is more as they can endure.

Science therefore keeps a healthy distance towards theism, as the historic development has proven that the materialist assumption opened up the way for factual knowledge about the world.

If one is a small child, wanting to know everything instantaniously, I can admit, the "God did it" answer is in fact sometimes a solution, namely to keep the kid happy.

For grown up people, we have to admit, childish answers do not suffice, we need the real answers!
 

BlueChild

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Can anyone help me identify ZQ9 through ZQlast please? I'm trying to read through it all, but am getting a bit confused.:eek:
 

Zakath

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Good luck! :thumb:

I gave up on the good pastor's arcane numbering system a couple of posts ago.

And I'm his opponent! :chuckle:
 

TreMor

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Originally posted by heusdens
I do not know of any instance in which the alternative explenation (God did it, or a fundamental principle, or absolute idea) for any known phenomena brought us any factual knowledge about anything.

For sure one can adapt the "God did it" explenation for any instance or event we do not have factual knowledge about, problem is however that it does not increase your factual knowledge. The "God did it" answer may be satisfactory for dissatified minds that want their answers "here and right now", but for an actual inquiry and investigation on the problem at hand, long and tedious reserach work is necessary. For some people this waiting for these answers, is more as they can endure.

For grown up people, we have to admit, childish answers do not suffice, we need the real answers!
100% agreement here, heusdens. The theistic worldviews is actually pretty nihilistic, even assuming they are right. Unless a theist wants to engage in heresy, they have to admit that humans (physical and "souls"-- to use their asserted term) can never become god. By their own criteria, to understand god's ways and methods is wholly beyond us, would be so even if god were to try to enlighten us thus-- at some level, we still would not be able to understand god's inner mechanisms.

This means there are questions we can never hope to attain true knowledge about, and that means our place in the universe is hopelessly obscured. This is a sweepingly nihilistic point of view, and theists don't connect the dots to this inescapable conclusion. The cul de sac remains forever in place-- "God did it, and that's that."

How this suffices as an answer to anything is beyond any reasoning I can come up with. I understand that those three words, "God did it" are enough for a lot of people, but people of careful thought should be deeply dissatisfied with it. that they are not smacks more of a desire to keep a comforting myth as opposed to facing a cold-- but understandable-- reality.
 
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TreMor

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Originally posted by heusdens
On morality

Bob's argument is that there exist absolute moral standards about right and wrong. Even assuming that such is the case, how can we as humans know such absolute moral standards, from where would they come then?
From God, supposedly would be the answer from Bob.
And how do we know that a specific absolute moral standard comes from God, cause all we can bear upon are the words written or spoken by humans. Even when these humans claim they tell the word of God, we can never be sure that is the truth. So, we still need to make a personal judgement as to wether or not such is the word of God or not.
The problem goes deeper still than that. For instance, assume the god of the bible is real and someone here, let's choose my friend Hilston, actually is "in the spirit" and has direct connection from god. What then are we to make of moral absolutes?

It would seem one would need to look to the author of such morality-- and what are we to make of this morality? Well, assuming the OT guildelines are in effect (and some are, while others have been discarded, which is a pick-and-choose topic that belongs perhaps to another thread), we have clearly gone in the wrong direction by ending slavery, not sentencing homosexuals and adulterers to death, allowing our fashion to move away from the more pious to the more exploitive. Even the eating of certain foods carries with it certain restrictions that no longer hold sway. And all of these by theistic definition, are part of the "absolute moral code" of theism's god(s).

But one cannot even hope to use god as a yardstick for moral behavior, because god's moral behavior is quite questionable. Even Satan didn't decide to drown the entire world, but god did and theists must term everything god does as "good". So god --even though he's the author of the moral code, is wholly and completely without morals -- despite having created Satan and allowing him to perpetrate evil. If you define everything a being does as "good", you've abdicated any right to a "morality" because there is nothing to compare the good against-- it's all good, even the evil, and that's that.

Actually, in the context of the debate, if I were Zakarth I would turn the "is there an absolute moral code" right back at Bob: If there is, then how can it be authored by an amoral (not immoral) being, and even supposing it could have been so, why -- if it is "absolute" -- did things change?
 

Michael12

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Originally posted by TreMor
But one cannot even hope to use god as a yardstick for moral behavior, because god's moral behavior is quite questionable. Even Satan didn't decide to drown the entire world, but god did and theists must term everything god does as "good". So god --even though he's the author of the moral code, is wholly and completely without morals -- despite having created Satan and allowing him to perpetrate evil. If you define everything a being does as "good", you've abdicated any right to a "morality" because there is nothing to compare the good against-- it's all good, even the evil, and that's that.
Excellent point Tre...Another story that has always bothered me was Sodom and Gomorrah. Here, God decimates two entire cities full of the "children he loves", and to boot, he turns Lot's wife into a pillar of salt just for taking a peek.

If predestination does not exist in the christian worldview, then where was the "choice" these people may have otherwise had to turn their lives around? God gave no warning to anyone other than Lot.

Are there moral absolutes in the real world, no, there are not. Morality is relative. Are there moral absolutes in the theistic worldview? According to this and other biblical teachings, yes there is one absolute....
It's God's way or the highway.

Talk about "do as I say, not as I do". God certainly never lead by example. If one is going to assert a supreme being, then fine, I suppose this would be within his right. But call a spade a spade. A set of moral standards laid down by a being that, by definition, has no inherent morality itself (God can not be "bad", only "good"), must be purely arbitrary, and therefore, relative.

Getting back to topic...Bob's examples of absolute morality (rape and murder) are easily shown as relative.
  • Rape - Of course it is a terrible thing, to us. But, what if humanity was faced with an epidemic that killed almost all the women on the planet. The few women that were left decided not to breed. Would rape be immoral in this instance? What is more immoral? Raping the women, or allowing the species to die out?
  • Murder - Would it have been immoral to murder Hitler? How about a terrorist carrying a backpack nuke 3 minutes from detonation. Is it more immoral to murder the terrorist in order to stop him? Or is it more immoral to allow 500,000 lives to be extinguished in a nanosecond? What if you were able to travel back in time and shoot John Wilkes Booth before he was able to fire his pistol. Would that also be immoral? In other words, is murder immoral if it prevents another murder?
Admittedly these are far fetched examples, but by no means is either scenario impossible. Morals are relative to the inherent danger of the action in question to the best interests of the species. Unless you are a theist. In which case, they are absolute because....you guessed it...God said so.
 

Ash1

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who's winning?

who's winning?

As expected, Bob has presented much stronger, detailed, organized, and abundant arguments for his position than Zakath has. Zakath's only mildly good argument is the 'God of the Gaps' one. He seems to be desperately clinging to it so I think Bob should take a post to address it thoroughly.

It annoys me when atheists say they're 'unbelievers' and 'have no faith', because they certainly do have a faith. Zakath has, honestly, made it very clear that he has no answers for how complex biological systems, human conscience, and so many other things could have come about by accident through strictly natural process. This shows that he has a hope, a faith that somehow someday fundamental laws of the physical sciences will be found to have been radically misinterpreted and that complexity and matter CAN spring up on its own from nothing.

It would be more rational to believe that a Spiderman comic or tricycle with the words 'Junior's Trike' written on it sitting in the desert
would someday be proven to be the result of random natural process. Sure, some say they were created, but science will eventually fill in the gaps!

-- TEXT REMOVED BY MODERATOR -- OFF TOPIC

EA
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bob b

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I would remind all here that this thread is to be used to discuss the specific points raised in the debate and not to pontificate on one's own view of the "Does God Exist?" question.

There is a separate thread available for this latter purpose.

Bob B. - moderator of this particular thread
 

heusdens

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Re: who's winning?

Re: who's winning?

Originally posted by Ash1
It annoys me when atheists say they're 'unbelievers' and 'have no faith', because they certainly do have a faith.

I think one should not call it 'faith' in the case of atheist, but conviction. That is a conviction based on knowledge.

Zakath has, honestly, made it very clear that he has no answers for how complex biological systems, human conscience, and so many other things could have come about by accident through strictly natural process. This shows that he has a hope, a faith that somehow someday fundamental laws of the physical sciences will be found to have been radically misinterpreted and that complexity and matter CAN spring up on its own from nothing.

Not from nothing, but from something less complex.
Well the fact is indeed Zakath does not proceed in even in outline or concept to explain how in general development in the material world takes place, both in anorganic matter, in organic matter and life forms, and in the human mind and society as well.
But this then would necessitate that his position would be established not only based on materialism, but also on dialectical and historic materialism, which show how in general development takes place.


It would be more rational to believe that a Spiderman comic or tricycle with the words 'Junior's Trike' written on it sitting in the desert
would someday be proven to be the result of random natural process. Sure, some say they were created, but science will eventually fill in the gaps!

As you perhaps know, the randomness of evoultion is only a very small fraction of how evolution works, the most important and non-random feauture is that the chances for sustainence of mutations are established by the environemental factors, which make this process not exactly a random process at all.
Look at for example the phenomena of weather, the patterns the weather form are ordereded, but show as well signs of randomeness and unpredictability. it would be good if you would take in mind both sides of these phenomena, and not just look at the random part.

I have read many theist interpretations of evolution, and they all try to focus on just one aspect of evolution, take that out of context, thereby creating their own version of evolution, and then work on that some more and conclude: look, that can not possible work!

But all they do is simply show that they do not have a profound idea of how evolution in fact works, and how all the different factors at work there come together to produce the result of a slow and gradual change and transformation of life forms.

I don't consider myself a specialist on chemistry, biology or evolution, in fact my knowledge about these fields of knowledge are not much more as average, but even with my minimal knowledge and use of good sources, I would not misinterpret evolution theory so much as they do.
 
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