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Creationism or Evolution?

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Blind Joe Death
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#661

Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:00 AM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 25 June 2017 - 05:50 AM.

there are many compelling, highly intelligent and "intellectually honest" ways to defend creationism


perhaps you'd like to enlighten us?

I'll wait.


As I said, you're not going to find it here; sorry, I'm not going to write you an essay, the pain currently far outweighs the gain when considering writing a lengthy response on an internet forum to defend an idea I do not believe in.

Stop blindly following the incompetent straw man attacks of Dawkins, Hitchens and 'New Atheism' and read up on your Presocratics, Stoics, Aquinas, Augustine, Descartes, Kant, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Levinas and Tillich, to name a few. These great minds and others alike in the fields of ontology, phenomenology and theology know there are other paths to knowledge and truth beyond the lazy position of scientism that runs rampart in today's society. Philosophy, theology and religion contain and encompass science, not vice versa.

I'll be glad to point the way to specific works that relate to God and creation and perhaps outline the arguments which are "compelling, highly intelligent and intellectually honest" at a later date; I don't have the time or compulsion to do so right now.

Eutyphro
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#662

Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:36 AM Edited by Eutyphro, 25 June 2017 - 05:37 AM.

I didn't make the claim that there is no intellectually honest way to defend religious belief. That's a different discussion.

Furthermore, "pre-socratics, stoics, Aquinas, Augustine". These are all pre scientific, and many of them make reasonings that were foundational for philosophy, but completely fallacious in the context of modern scientific thought. Especially Aquinas and all that unmoved mover nonsense, though interesting, is metaphysical nonsense. These thinkers all lived far before the scientific method was discovered by people like Francis Bacon, and therefore to even read them through a strict modern scientific way of thinking is stupid.

Kant, as far as I'm aware, gave a transcendental argument for god. Because I'm not a scientific fundamentalist or new atheist either, I think transcendental arguments for god or free will can be intellectually honest, and I'm even inclined to believe in some of them, but they don't have much to do with creationism, which is not a transcendental argument, or a reasoning based in faith, but a false scientific theory that intends to turn a literal interpretation of ancient myths into a scientific theory, which is just stupid. And it is the exact kind of stupidity people like Dawkins need to rant and pretend everyone who ever believed in god has been a complete moron.

Then you mention some existentialists/phenomenologists, and I don't think they are the type of people to contribute to a scientific debate on the theory of evolution. They are more interested in human experience in general than in science.


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#663

Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:34 AM

I don't have the time or compulsion to do so right now.

ok.

well, thanks for nothing.

 

in my lifetime I've yet to come across an intellectually honest defense of creationism that doesn't simply betray an underlying ignorance of basic biology and/or astronomy, etc etc.

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Blind Joe Death
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#664

Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:12 AM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 25 June 2017 - 09:18 AM.

 

I don't have the time or compulsion to do so right now.

ok.

well, thanks for nothing.

 

in my lifetime I've yet to come across an intellectually honest defense of creationism that doesn't simply betray an underlying ignorance of basic biology and/or astronomy, etc etc.

 

I think we're speaking of two very different forms of creationism. Are you not speaking of creation science?

 

What I speak of does not betray biology, astronomy, or any other form of science. If God is to be understood as the ground of being, and not the source of being nor a being per se, then it naturally follows that there is no altercation with science at all. In fact, the two are completely separate; it is not an either/or situation and one cannot trump the other. For theologists of worth, science is an instrument to investigate His creation.


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#665

Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:05 PM

well i think we are diverging a bit here. in your last post you talk of God being the origin of all things. i totally agree on that. but AFAIK creationism is not about God being the origin of time or the universe. creationism is God being at Man kind origin. this is not the same thing. i'm a believer, but i also fight obscurantism. this is why i don't think Man pop in suddenly in from nowhere. i think He followed the curve described by scientists, that says that we are an evolving living creature. at a point of our evolution we were a fish, this is a fact, there's nothing new in this. in my precedent post you clearly see that first skulls have nothing to do with modern human skulls. and these were our ancestors, this is a fact i can see with my own eyes


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#666

Posted 25 June 2017 - 02:46 PM

I think we're speaking of two very different forms of creationism. Are you not speaking of creation science?

"Creation science" is a misnomer because the very term creation implies some kind of sentient input. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the ability for complex amino acids and other building blocks of life to be formed without external influences given certain conditions. The basic notion of "creation" is simply a manifestation of the desire of humans to imprint their own defining traits and characteristics on the world around them.

There is no scientifically merit-worthy, evidence-based argument in support of an external creator of any kind. Every attempt to create one has fallen foul of fallacious logic, be it confirmation bias, post hoc ergo propter hoc, non sequitur or confusing correlation with causation.

Effectively the only place where the notion of a divine creator can really be applied is in the unknowns- a god of the gaps, as it were- and that's nominally fallacious in principle as it simply assumes that anything not currently explained to an arbitrary scientific, empirical standard must have been god.
 

For theologists of worth, science is an instrument to investigate His creation.

The theologist, worthy or not, immediately opens themselves to accusations of cognitive bias if they attempt to interpret the physical through the lens of faith. It's oxymoronic to suggest that religious belief and scientific understanding are independent, then praise s reinterpretation of the latter through the application of the former.
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#667

Posted 25 June 2017 - 03:31 PM Edited by jpm1, 25 June 2017 - 03:31 PM.

God can't and won't ever be defined because if it could it wouldn't be God anymore. some may call this religious obscurantism, but i prefer this to Man that thinks he can know it all, and equals God. i think the good balance is between all religious, and all scientific, where lays common sense. how am i sure that God exist. well it's a bit complicated, but let's say that i've reached the ultimate frontier, and i could cross it only using a superior force, a force way superior to human force :)


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#668

Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:22 PM

I think that it's very interesting, and quite telling that people tend to "find" God only after they've hit a low point in their lives and/or after they've experienced trauma; be it a drug addict trying to get clean, a Prisoner on death row or someone lost in the Jungle at the verge of going delirious. It's at that point in life the mind desperately needs something to cling onto, to make life liveable and offer perspective after all earthly perspective has seemingly been robbed of them. I think that for those people and other believers the notion of God, a benevolent omniscient omnipresent being to be a comforting thought. Where in ancient times God(s) have been mostly a way for people to explain the unexplainable, I think it has over time evolved into a mental coping mechanism, a well of hope, more than anything; be it for the struggles of those condemned to misery, the drudgery of everyday life or to calm our anxiety about the unknown like the eternal question of what happens after we die. If anything I think 'God' demonstrates the power of the human psyche.

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#669

Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:42 PM

Creationism is based on wind.

 

If god really exists and created mankind on his image he has to be a kind of mix of Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Slobodan Milosevic and Pol Pot given the number of wars, genocides and dictatorship the humanity has known.


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#670

Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:05 PM

human psyche, no this not human psyche. what i was describing is when human psyche has reached its limits. it's the opposite. i won't argue during 200 000 years about it. if you didn't live it, you can't understand (without trying to be pretentious). we are in democracy each one can give his opinion. but what is science about? theories,  suppositions. i heard a great scientist once, and he was saying the more we discover, the more we learn we know nothing. science is nice but it's not all


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#671

Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:06 PM

God can't and won't ever be defined because if it could it wouldn't be God anymore.

What God is and how God can be described is a largely subjective exercise. I have no qualms with God as a subjective, personal entity. But ascribing events to God is logically and scientifically no more valid to ascribing events to unicorns and fairies.

but i prefer this to Man that thinks he can know it all

This has anyways been a bit of a straw man, as I don't think anyone has ever really asserted that man does, or even can, know all. Pretending there is a binary choice between "God did it" as an explanation to the unknown and "man will know everything", is disingenuous.
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#672

Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:13 PM Edited by Eutyphro, 25 June 2017 - 09:23 PM.

The basic notion of "creation" is simply a manifestation of the desire of humans to imprint their own defining traits and characteristics on the world around them.

The psychological aproach to religion you are making can be the most cynical aproach. Freud thought that belief in god was an infantile father complex. It is the most striking and cynical anti religious argument I know of. Freud's student, Carl Jung, on the other hand later made the best defence of religious belief I know of. Jung believed that the tendency of humans to tell myths and stories, and the archetypes recurring in them, only functioned properly on the basis of religious belief, and that atheism was neurotic. Science is rather new, and for the largest part of human history human beings understood themselves and the world through myths and religious belief. The neuroticism of scientific fundamentalism can be seen when Richard Dawkins for instance claimed we should stop telling children fairy tales, because it made them unnecessarily superstitious.
 

The theologist, worthy or not, immediately opens themselves to accusations of cognitive bias if they attempt to interpret the physical through the lens of faith.

I agree with you that people should not make fallacious metaphysical arguments like the unmoved mover argument. Those are arguments of the past that indicated the increasing clash between the religious and scientific world view.

But on the other hand, as I pointed out, mythology and religion are far older, and maybe even more fundamental to human nature and the human experience than scientific though. So I'm inclined to agree with BJD that science is not necessarily the highest and most important way of interpreting human experience.
 

This has anyways been a bit of a straw man, as I don't think anyone has ever really asserted that man does, or even can, know all.

You should look up 'eliminative materialism'. These people believe that even language is too biased and limited, and that we should get rid of human language in the long term to gain absolute knowlege through neuroscience and other natural sciences. Anything they don't consider scientific enough they consider 'folk psychology', including language. There is an interesting clip of Chomsky discussing it.


Blind Joe Death
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#673

Posted 26 June 2017 - 10:03 AM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 26 June 2017 - 11:53 AM.

"Creation science" is a misnomer because the very term creation implies some kind of sentient input. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the ability for complex amino acids and other building blocks of life to be formed without external influences given certain conditions. The basic notion of "creation" is simply a manifestation of the desire of humans to imprint their own defining traits and characteristics on the world around them.

I think you misread me; I was saying that he was speaking of "creation science", not I. Creation science is the branch of creationism that takes the Book of Genesis narrative literally, and ignorantly attempts to prove it through false scientific measures, to damaging effect. Creation scientists are generally the ones who claim the world to be 6,000 years old, etc.

 

Most theologians will agree with you on the other points. Some theorists of science have posited the way in which life originally formed of its own accord (a very murky field to be studying, I can't wait until we can posit stronger theories as to how this happened), and the "basic notions of creation" are — along with art, mythology and the structure of society in general — a manifestation of the human subconscious and psyche projecting outward. Neither of these points interfere or eclipse a theologians philosophical conception of God, at least the ones who I read.

 

There is no scientifically merit-worthy, evidence-based argument in support of an external creator of any kind. Every attempt to create one has fallen foul of fallacious logic, be it confirmation bias, post hoc ergo propter hoc, non sequitur or confusing correlation with causation.

Correct, there is no scientifically merit-worthy argument in support of an external creator; to even attempt to do so would be absurd and full of false logic.
 

Effectively the only place where the notion of a divine creator can really be applied is in the unknowns- a god of the gaps, as it were- and that's nominally fallacious in principle as it simply assumes that anything not currently explained to an arbitrary scientific, empirical standard must have been god.

Incorrect, but I agree that is sometimes the ignorant thinking of those who happen to have blind faith.

 

The theologist, worthy or not, immediately opens themselves to accusations of cognitive bias if they attempt to interpret the physical through the lens of faith. It's oxymoronic to suggest that religious belief and scientific understanding are independent, then praise s reinterpretation of the latter through the application of the former.

I agree, interpreting and distorting the way science understands the physical world through a rose-coloured lens of faith would be cognitive bias, and it would most certainly be an oxymoron to do so and then claim that the two are separate — spot on, friend.

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jpm1
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#674

Posted 26 June 2017 - 01:55 PM Edited by jpm1, 26 June 2017 - 01:56 PM.

 

The basic notion of "creation" is simply a manifestation of the desire of humans to imprint their own defining traits and characteristics on the world around them.

...atheism was neurotic.


 

 

i respect any religion including atheism. I think it's the necessary condition to live together in a peaceful world. but that remark is interesting, because i noticed 99% of my atheists interlocutors where nervous or agressive when i talked about God with them. i never feared any other religion than mine, and when i talk about religion i'm always very calm. i think lot of non-believers whatever you call them, have a sort of trauma regarding religion


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#675

Posted 26 June 2017 - 03:14 PM

Creation science is the branch of creationism that takes the Book of Genesis narrative literally, and ignorantly attempts to prove it through false scientific measures, to damaging effect. Creation scientists are generally the ones who claim the world to be 6,000 years old, etc.

My understanding is that creation science is far broader than what you describe. I would term what you describe as early world creationism. All forms of creationist theory that attempt to shoehorn the scientific method into their narrative are scientific creationism, ranging from early world creationism to intelligent design to a God of the gaps in pre-big-bang events. In reality none of these are evidenced.
 

Most theologians will agree with you on the other points. Some theorists of science have posited the way in which life originally formed of its own accord (a very murky field to be studying, I can't wait until we can posit stronger theories as to how this happened), and the "basic notions of creation" are along with art, mythology and the structure of society in general a manifestation of the human subconscious and psyche projecting outward. Neither of these points interfere or eclipse a theologians philosophical conception of God, at least the ones who I read.

Well put, but the philosophical, metaphysical concept of "God" is distinct from the physical entity professed to be a guiding force behind the establishment of the world we see around us. A metaphysical God is by its very nature abstract and conceptual, and the abstract cannot create the physical. But why even term this metaphysical concept "God"?

Incorrect, but I agree that is sometimes the ignorant thinking of those who happen to have blind faith.


I'd be interested for you to expand on this. I struggle to see where the metaphysical, conceptual God first into the narrative of the formation of the universe at all.
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#676

Posted 29 June 2017 - 12:09 PM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 29 June 2017 - 02:15 PM.


Incorrect, but I agree that is sometimes the ignorant thinking of those who happen to have blind faith.


I'd be interested for you to expand on this. I struggle to see where the metaphysical, conceptual God first into the narrative of the formation of the universe at all.

 

I'll answer, in a roundabout way, to the best of my agnostic abilities.

 

First of all, let us clear what a serious theologian means by God. God is most certainly not the supreme instance of the category or genus of Being, nor can be located in any genus at all; God is not considered ens sumo, the highest being, but considered rather as ipsum esse subsistens, the sheer act of "to be" itself. God is considered as that great ocean of existence from which the world in its entirety comes; not something within the world, but the condition for the possibility of the world.

 

Let me explain, beyond faith and the words of Jesus of Nazareth, the theologian’s argument, from contingency, for God's existence — I think it's a way not just to understand how they believe that God exists, but what they mean when they say God. By contingency, I mean realities that are not self-explanatory; realities that don't contain within themselves the reason for their own existence. You and I are contingent because we're breathing, we eat and drink, we had parents; our being is not self-explanatory, it comes from other causes. If that's the case, we have to look to an intrinsic cause to explain our own existence. Suppose those intrinsic causes themselves are contingent, as is the case with our parents, the food we eat and the air we breathe — they too came from other causes, they too are conditioned by things extrinsic to themselves. Looking further, this process of appealing to contingent causes, trying to explain my contingency, can not go on indefinitely, becuase if it does, I've explained nothing at all, I've simply infinitely postponed explanation. This process must end in some reality which is not contingent, whose very nature it is to be — ipsum esse, being itself. This is what serious believers mean by God. God is not considered one fussy cause among many or one element within a mechanistic system, but rather the answer to the question, "What finally explains contingent reality?"

 

There's a common scientific mistake of identifying this cause of causes with matter or energy or the ever fluctuating, expanding and contracting universe itself, but it simply leaves the question begging. If the cause of causes, or the unconditioned ground of contingency, is matter, you're in a conundrum. Why? Because matter, by it's very nature, is in one state rather than another, it's here rather than there, it's this colour rather than that, it's this condition rather than that; matter is categorised by potentiality. Think of our own body or this laptop that I type on, it's in one particular material configuration, but it could be in another one — I could burn it into ashes, I could colour it differently, I could move it from place to place. Therefore, we have to explain why it is in this configuration; it is not self-explanatory in this configuration, therefore we have to appeal to an extrinsic cause. The same is true of energy, because energy is in some state, some configuration, some manner of being, but it could be in another. Therefore, we have to invoke an extrinsic cause to explain why it's this case rather than that. Likewise, to appeal to the endlessly fluctuating or expanding or contracting universe as a whole, is now that problem writ large. Why is the universe expanding rather than contracting? Why is it contracting rather than expanding? Why is the fluctuating vacuum in this state of fluctuation rather than that? To appeal to matter or energy is to appeal to something that is by its very nature contingent. What you finally come to is some reality that is radically other than the universe, which could even be in principle measured by the sciences. And here is the point: the claim that the sciences can adjudicate the question of God is in itself ludicrous. Philosophy can shed some light on God so construed, but the one thing the sciences can never do is eliminate the possibility of God, or disprove God in any way — those who claim otherwise are guilty of a scientistic mistake.

 

The "New Atheists" think that with the advance of the sciences, religion retreats to ever smaller parts of intellectual turf  — no it does not. This is not a zero sum game nor a battle between equals, it's addressing reality in entirely different levels. The advance of the sciences can never threat authentic religion. It's ridiculous to say, "produce evidence for God." You cannot use the scientific method to get at questions of God, it's simply a category error.

 

So, how does a theologian get at the true God? Authentic religion will often begin in this extraordinary experience, an experience of the contingency of the world. This deep sense and intuition that the world exists but does not have to exist, that things are but don't have to be, that they don't carry within themselves the reason for their own existence. Let's look at this laptop. How does it exist? Through the power of its own essence? No, it exists due to a whole slew of engineers, designers, scientists and manufacturers that put it together. Furthermore, it exists because of its molecule structure, atomic structure, subatomic structure, etc. and if you take those away, the laptop would evanescence. It's surrounded extrinsically and grounded intrinsically in all sorts of causes that bring it into being and allow it to be. Keep musing in that direction, and all those scientists, designers and technicians, and all those lower levels of physical reality, are themselves contingent — they don't contain within themselves the reason for their being. An endless appeal to contingent causes is not going to answer our question, "Why does this laptop exist?" Rather, as philosophers understand in an explicit way, and ordinary believers understand in an implicate way, we know there's some reality whose very nature is to be, that infinite source of reality which grounds and gives rise to the whole nexus of conditioned things. "In you we live and move and have our being," they say in the liturgy. That is the poetical expression of this philosophical expression, that is the true idea of God — the non-conditioned and non-contingent ground of contingency. In religious language, it is the "creator of the heavens and the earth". That is the distinction between God and anything within the world, between the properly supernatural and anything within nature. That is why the sciences, try as they might, can never even being to address this question.  

 

The "New Atheists" who claim they are the rational ones, that the religious believe in their magical thinking, actually drop the question just when it gets interesting. The really interesting question is, "Why is there something rather than nothing?"; "Why does the world exist at all?"; "Why is there the realm of nature?"; "Why is there the nexus of contingent things?" — that's the interesting question. To reply, "I don't know"; "It just is"; "It popped out of nothing", is nothing short of bewildering when they are the one's accusing the religious of magical thinking. The question of God remains the most beguiling question on the table.

 

Excuse the grammar...

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#677

Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:03 PM

A really interesting post I'd like to spend a bit more time looking at, but this paragraph caught my attention

The "New Atheists" who claim they are the rational ones, that the religious believe in their magical thinking, actually drop the question just when it gets interesting. The really interesting question is, "Why is there something rather than nothing?"; "Why does the world exist at all?"; "Why is there the realm of nature?"; "Why is there the nexus of contingent things?" that's the interesting question. To reply, "I don't know"; "It just is"; "It popped out of nothing", is nothing short of bewildering when they are the one's accusing the religious of magical thinking. The question of God remains the most beguiling question on the table.

I see two aspects to this, a how and a why. How does the world exist, how is there something rather than nothing, these are scientific questions looking at cause and effect. The "why" is the metaphysical, spiritual and religious in its meaning, it looks for reason, justification and narrative rather than cause and effect. Moreover it looks for meaning.

The answers you pose don't really strike me as responses to the "why" questions. They're looking at cause and effect. Frankly, we don't know the answers to many "how" questions and I see nothing negative in acknowledging that.

I don't mean to disparage the "why" at all because I believe that individuals should be free to read whatever meaning into the works around them they wish to. But it is, fundamentally, an assumption that meaning and purpose exist. I would never categorically declare the universe is without purpose because I'm in no position to make that evaluation. But the assumption that it does exist is equally a leap of faith, as neither it's existence or absence of existence is demonstrably more likely than the other.
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#678

Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:12 PM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 29 June 2017 - 01:23 PM.

A really interesting post I'd like to spend a bit more time looking at, but this paragraph caught my attention
 

The "New Atheists" who claim they are the rational ones, that the religious believe in their magical thinking, actually drop the question just when it gets interesting. The really interesting question is, "Why is there something rather than nothing?"; "Why does the world exist at all?"; "Why is there the realm of nature?"; "Why is there the nexus of contingent things?" that's the interesting question. To reply, "I don't know"; "It just is"; "It popped out of nothing", is nothing short of bewildering when they are the one's accusing the religious of magical thinking. The question of God remains the most beguiling question on the table.

I see two aspects to this, a how and a why. How does the world exist, how is there something rather than nothing, these are scientific questions looking at cause and effect. The "why" is the metaphysical, spiritual and religious in its meaning, it looks for reason, justification and narrative rather than cause and effect. Moreover it looks for meaning.

The answers you pose don't really strike me as responses to the "why" questions. They're looking at cause and effect. Frankly, we don't know the answers to many "how" questions and I see nothing negative in acknowledging that.

I don't mean to disparage the "why" at all because I believe that individuals should be free to read whatever meaning into the works around them they wish to. But it is, fundamentally, an assumption that meaning and purpose exist. I would never categorically declare the universe is without purpose because I'm in no position to make that evaluation. But the assumption that it does exist is equally a leap of faith, as neither it's existence or absence of existence is demonstrably more likely than the other.

 

If you change the beginning of those questions from "why?" to "how?", it still stands, perhaps stronger so. Science can probe the physical world, back to the supposed pinpoint of matter before the big bang, but beyond that? What stands as the contingent aspect of the universe? What stands as the ground and rise to the whole nexus of conditioned things? Surely something which is ipsum esse subsistens, the subsistent act of existing itself.


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#679

Posted 29 June 2017 - 02:53 PM

If you change the beginning of those questions from "why?" to "how?", it still stands, perhaps stronger so. Science can probe the physical world, back to the supposed pinpoint of matter before the big bang, but beyond that? What stands as the contingent aspect of the universe? What stands as the ground and rise to the whole nexus of conditioned things? Surely something which is ipsum esse subsistens, the subsistent act of existing itself.


It's not currently possible, but that doesn't mean that it cannot be ever known. Perhaps it will become possible to probe what occurred pre big bang, perhaps it won't. But anything beyond that point is currently speculation, and I don't think that an eternal creator is any more likely in that respect than, say, an infinite loop.
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#680

Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:17 AM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 30 June 2017 - 01:21 AM.

 

If you change the beginning of those questions from "why?" to "how?", it still stands, perhaps stronger so. Science can probe the physical world, back to the supposed pinpoint of matter before the big bang, but beyond that? What stands as the contingent aspect of the universe? What stands as the ground and rise to the whole nexus of conditioned things? Surely something which is ipsum esse subsistens, the subsistent act of existing itself.


It's not currently possible, but that doesn't mean that it cannot be ever known. Perhaps it will become possible to probe what occurred pre big bang, perhaps it won't. But anything beyond that point is currently speculation, and I don't think that an eternal creator is any more likely in that respect than, say, an infinite loop.

 

But what gave rise to an "infinite loop"? Nothing? It just is and always has been? Sounds like something which could very well be the subsistent act of existing itself.

 

Look, I realise we'll probably go on in our own infinite loop if we keep probing, but that's exactly the point. As I said earlier, an endless appeal to contingent causes is not going to answer our question, we'll forever leave the question begging, but the best answer I have found is to finally reach at the point of some reality whose very nature is to be, some infinite source of reality which grounds and gives rise to the whole nexus of conditioned things, including giving rise to something like an alternate universe which gave rise to our universe. Now, an infinite loop is actually a very good term because that infinite source of reality could very well be what you term as an infinite loop, an infinite loop which is something other to our reality whose very nature is to be, the subsistent act of existing itself which gave rise to our universe, but if you're going to categorise this infinite loops as something which is physical, something which can be defined within scientific terms, then you leave the question of contingency begging.

 

I guess what I've been getting at, since I first entered this topic, is that the religious argument for God is not hocos pocus or magical thinking as many here and around the so-called cultured world spout, but rather an extremely intellectual tradition which has never been at odds with science, and in fact celebrates the use of science to explore the natural world. These points I've been making have been around since before science as we know it, they are not a way for the religious to find new ways to articulate themselves due to the rise of science. Science can never push the intellectual tradition of religious theory into ever darkening corners.

 

Now, the obvious question is, "Sure, that's all fine and dandy, but why appeal to the necessity for a non-conditioned and non-contingent ground of contingency, whose very nature is the subsistent act of existing itself, as a personal God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life?" That, my friend, is a completely different discussion. A discussion which is likewise philosophically rich and detailed, but ultimately relies upon faith, a very fascinating concept itself which would likewise bring about an interesting discussion. Ultimately, it will come down to whether you are graced with faith, not a blind faith, but one which is grounded in an ineffable experience of the contingency of the world, giving rise to a deep sense and intuition that the world exists but does not have to exist, that things are but don't have to be, that they don't carry within themselves the reason for their own existence. Something, as I'm sure you now presume, like a religious experience, a conversion. I myself have not been graced with such an experience, cannot make that leap of faith on my own, and remain hopelessly agnostic, but I can understand and respect and be open to the fact that the religious are grounded in more than just blind faith, despite what confused, arrogant fools like Dawkins might say.

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Eutyphro
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#681

Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:45 AM Edited by Eutyphro, 30 June 2017 - 01:46 AM.

but if you're going to categorise this infinite loops as something which is physical, something which can be defined within scientific terms, then you leave the question of contingency begging.

It's a serious question though whether we can understand a term such as 'infinite loop' as something other than something physical. If we would want to understand it in any other way, it would have to be a mythological, literary, symbolic, or artistic understanding, and that is a realm of human nature that new atheists deny has any relation to truth. And it is not easy to refute scientific absolutism, but it can be done.
 

Ultimately, it will come down to whether you are graced with faith, not a blind faith but one which is grounded in an ineffable experience of the contingency of the world, giving rise to a deep sense and intuition that the world exists but does not have to exist, that things are but don't have to be, that they don't carry within themselves the reason for their own existence.

Well, yes, they are leaps of faith. Just like the leap from the contingency of existence to a higher being is a leap of faith. But there are many other leaps of faith that are extremely important. The idea that human beings have free will and are morally responsible is a leap of faith that can not be justified on the basis of scientific knowledge. The idea that human beings are ends in themselves and not means to an end is a leap of faith. The idea that life is not just meaningless suffering, and that life is valuable is a leap of faith. The idea that you will contribute most to improving the world by being honest in stead of deceitful is a leap of faith. But those are leaps of faith which are incredibly valuable, and I think anyone willing to make those leaps of faith will lead a richer life.

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Blind Joe Death
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#682

Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:33 AM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 07 July 2017 - 01:36 AM.

 

but if you're going to categorise this infinite loops as something which is physical, something which can be defined within scientific terms, then you leave the question of contingency begging.

It's a serious question though whether we can understand a term such as 'infinite loop' as something other than something physical. If we would want to understand it in any other way, it would have to be a mythological, literary, symbolic, or artistic understanding, and that is a realm of human nature that new atheists deny has any relation to truth. And it is not easy to refute scientific absolutism, but it can be done

I don't follow. Are you saying it's difficult to understand the cause of contingent things as something other than physical, therefore we should drop the question because it would be going outside the field of science and therefore be useless?

 

If something has a finite past, its existence has a cause. Since space-time and all of its contents originated with the universe and similarly have a finite past, the cause of the universe's existence must transcend space-time and have existed aspatially and atemporally. Since the cause of the universe's existence is both aspatial and atemporal and transcends space-time, there can never be a scientific explanation to explain the account of the origin of the universe, but rather a philosophical one; science can only reach back as far as the first pin-point in time and space, the big bang. If we discover time and space that existed before the big bang and gave rise to our current universe, the same applies for the contingent aspect of our universe.
 

Well, yes, they are leaps of faith. Just like the leap from the contingency of existence to a higher being is a leap of faith.

No one needs to make the leap of faith from the contingency of existence to a higher being, this is merely a leap to ignorance. As I said in my previous post, a theologian does not consider God as the supreme instance of the category being or as any type of being — this is exactly what God is not. God is rather ipsum esse subsistens, the subsistent act of existing itself, the ground of contingent things. As you see, there needs to be no leap of faith in this case at all, they can stay exactly where they are.


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#683

Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:07 AM Edited by Eutyphro, 10 July 2017 - 12:09 AM.

 I don't follow. Are you saying it's difficult to understand the cause of contingent things as something other than physical, therefore we should drop the question because it would be going outside the field of science and therefore be useless?

Rather what I am saying is that the whole idea of a 'non physical cause' is a contradiction, and a metaphysical postulate that fails Ockham's razor, because it is a fallacious aspect of the Aristotelian unmoved mover argument. Causation is a category of the human understanding, and shouldn't be applied to anything beyond its grasp.
 

Since space-time and all of its contents originated with the universe 

Or, as Kant would say, they are categories of the human capacity for knowledge. Whether they have any relation to reality outside our nature is uncertain. In general assuming there is any reality outside my conscious experience is another leap of faith.
 

there can never be a scientific explanation to explain the account of the origin of the universe, but rather a philosophical one

Philosophy = science. We can't explain the origin of the universe, because of the limits of our capacity for knowledge most likely. We should aim to expand our scientific knowledge on the origin of the universe as far as possible, and really leave god out of the question..
 

As I said in my previous post, a theologian does not consider God as the supreme instance of the category being or as any type of being — this is exactly what God is not.

I'm actually skeptical about defining god in general. If there is a meaningful way to believe in god, it does not come in the form of an intellectual preconception. But I have to say, I'm very much evolving on this subject..
 

No one needs to make the leap of faith from the contingency of existence to a higher being, this is merely a leap to ignorance.

I see it as a not completely unreasonable transcendental argument.

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SabreGT
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#684

Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:23 AM

Extraordinary claims should be backed up by extraordinary evidence in the case of Creationism there's not even a shred of evidence thus far, and until I see otherwise, creationists shall remain deluded in my eyes. 

 

I will take Evolution science & logic over fairy tales baseless faith & myth.

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#685

Posted 11 July 2017 - 11:24 AM Edited by Blind Joe Death, 11 July 2017 - 11:34 AM.

Rather what I am saying is that the whole idea of a 'non physical cause' is a contradiction, and a metaphysical postulate that fails Ockham's razor, because it is a fallacious aspect of the Aristotelian unmoved mover argument. Causation is a category of the human understanding, and shouldn't be applied to anything beyond its grasp.

Whilst I agree with you for the most part, I still think I should play devil's advocate (or God's advocate?) and nut this out in defense of the other side of the argument, which seems rather nonexistent. A theologian, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, would argue that the unmoved mover is God itself. The argument from motion:

 

1. Things move

2. Nothing moves itself

3. There can be no infinite regress of moved movers

4. Hence, there must be some first unmoved mover, and this all people call God

 

The word that Thomas uses is motus in latin — motion. Motus holds more than just the english word motion though (a change of place), but more the sense of change, any kind of change — someone growing in knowledge, someone learning a language, being born and dying — all these are forms of motus. Motus is the transition of something from potency to act, from potential reality to actual reality. Once we see that, we see why his second principle holds that nothing can move itself. If you're undergoing motion, you're in the state of potentiality. Let's suppose something is in motion, it's changing. We know it is being changed by another, by an extrinsic cause. Let's suppose that that extrinsic cause is itself being moved or being changed. Take this laptop being moved by my hand, which is here and now being moved by muscles in my arm, which are being stimulated by nerves, which are now grounded in the brain, etc. If that which causes the motion is itself being put in motion, it must be put in motion by something extrinsic to itself, and that by another again, etc. That process can not go on indefinitely. If I suppress the first element in that chain, then there's no subsequent movers, and if there's no subsequent movers there's no motion, and yet the motion I can see right before me with my own eye. Therefore, there has to be some first element, a first unmoved mover, a first unenergised energiser, a first unactualised actualiser, to explain the actualisations taking place within the universe.

 

You see, it's doesn't hold logically to conclude that the first chain in the event is like the others, otherwise it leaves the question begging. Likewise with the argument of contingency. An agnostic or atheist might say, "Sure, the argument's fine, the argument's logically erudite, we know that an infinite causal series violates the principle of sufficient explanation." But, they will balk at the final tagline: and this all people call God." They will say, "Look, there might be a first mover, but it's just matter itself, or it's energy." But the problem is, if you follow Thomas's argument, the conclusion you come to is this reality which provides actualisation but is itself not actualised. It is, therefore, actus purus, pure act. Actus translates in the Latin to energeia in the Greek — energy. The real first mover, if you've really come to this reality, you've found that thing which is utterly energised in its being, realised in its being, and can in principle receive no outside influence, for it's the first element in this causal chain. Matter or energy cannot be this reality. Why? Because matter or energy is by its very nature infinitely malleable; they exist within a particular configuration but they could be in many different configurations. Matter or energy are potential, they have a certain actuality but they are marked by an extraordinary potentiality. Therefore we're compelled to ask, "what put it in that particular form?" All of a sudden you're looking for extrinsic causes, and we know that that process cannot go on indefinitely. If we appeal indefinitely to material causes we haven't solved our problem, because matter remains essentially potential. The unmoved mover is actus purus, pure act.

 

Now you can understand why Aquinas would say, "this all people call God." Once you understand the nature of the real unmoved mover, who is utterly realised in His being, who is completely energised in His existence, that which experiences no ontological restriction whatsoever. Actus purus is that which exists through the power of its own essence. God's name in the Book of Exodus: "I am who I am." You can see how Aquinas, borrowing from Aristotle, can very reasonably make the correlation between actus purus/the unmoved mover and "what all people call God."
 

 

 

Philosophy = science. We can't explain the origin of the universe, because of the limits of our capacity for knowledge most likely. We should aim to expand our scientific knowledge on the origin of the universe as far as possible, and really leave god out of the question..

Philosophy does not equal science, and vice versa. But, I do agree that science should aim to expand its knowledge on the origin of the universe as far as possible, and at all costs leave God out of the conversation, something which atheist scientists seem to struggle to do.

 

 

 

...and I'm totally with you on Kant — one of my favourite philosopher's.

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#686

Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:20 PM

The argument from motion:
 
1. Things move
2. Nothing moves itself
3. There can be no infinite regress of moved movers
4. Hence, there must be some first unmoved mover, and this all people call God

The traditional rebuttal to this is that the tenet outlined in 2. is explicitly contradicted by 4. You can't logically assert that nothing moves itself, then assert the existence of a prime mover; it's a fundamental contradiction.

It's an example of "magical thinking", where a predefined set of rules are applied to everything except the one thing a believer wants to argue for the existence of.

3. is an assumption not based on evidence; it simply asserts that infinite regression (and presumably perpetual causal loops) are impossible without giving and deductive reasoning to justify this assertion. In reality, there is no a posteriori justification for it.

2. might not even be correct, such is the fluid nature of our understanding of disciplines such as quantum mechanics. "Virtual" particles in a vacuum appear and disappear from our perception of existence and under certain conditions can create observable, physical and measurable effects. The best known of these is the Casmir Effect.
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#687

Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:38 PM

The traditional rebuttal to this is that the tenet outlined in 2. is explicitly contradicted by 4. You can't logically assert that nothing moves itself, then assert the existence of a prime mover; it's a fundamental contradiction.

It's one of the oldest argument that creationists have. In fact many religious people, even the ones that don't deny evolution and the age of the universe still use that argument to justify their belief in god. They see no problem with the idea that nothing could exist without a creator, yet the creator who's infinitely more complex than his creation is for some reason exempt from that rule.

 

I haven't seen a new argument in favor of creationism in years. There is simply nothing new to say on the subject.

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#688

Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:23 PM

I haven't seen a new argument in favor of creationism in years. There is simply nothing new to say on the subject.

 

Yet here we are 23 pages later.


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#689

Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:03 PM Edited by Eutyphro, 13 July 2017 - 12:59 PM.

 

I haven't seen a new argument in favor of creationism in years. There is simply nothing new to say on the subject.

 

Yet here we are 23 pages later.

 

Partly it evolved into a discussion about religious belief in general, which is a rather more meaningful topic, but one that is very hard to approach through rational means, because all purely rational/scientific defences of religion eventually devolve into fallacy. To make an intellectually honest defence of religion, you shouldn't refer to the Unmoved Mover argument, but make a case against scientific absolutism. A good case against scientific absolutism can be made, because many quite important ideas can not be based on scientific thought. New Atheists like Sam Harris think you can argue for morality on the basis of scientific thought, but they are wrong. We can't justify morality or free will on the basis of scientific principles. Morality, free will, and many other beliefs many of us have, are essentially leaps of faith. Scientific thought is only several hundred years old, and it is delusional to think that science can provide a comprehensive system to understand the human experience of life. I'm inclined to think scientific absolutism is actually pathological and nihilistic.

 

Because of the immense scientific achievements that have been made, it is not surprising people like Harris turn science into the new religion, but it is not a choice I would personally make. For thousands of years philosophers have tried to prove an objective basis for morality, the objective existence of an external physical world, the objective existence of the conscious experience of other people, and many more such things, and they have failed to find an objective basis for such things. Therefore I find religious belief not completely unreasonable, but I'm not very knowledgeable about religion, and have only recently changed my mind in favor of it. The alternative to scientific absolutism is the understanding that human beings are conscious beings that understand the world through emotion and non rational narratives. So scientific rationality and religion are not by definition at odds with one another, and they can coexist for different purposes. 

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#690

Posted A day ago Edited by .Vooodu., 23 hours ago.

Im bored so i figure i take a shot at this.

Humans today are both a product of creation and evolution.  

 

IMO..

 

An Alien Humanoid race came to earth..and spliced their DNA into what they considered would be the best candidates to carry their genes.  And here we are. 

 

And IMO its only a matter of time before us Humans do the same.. Humans are already playing with genes and cross breeding species.

 

If Humans stay on course.  Earth will continue to be destroyed slowly over time and humans will need to inhabit a new planet. They will look for planets that can support life. and already has life.  But will then come to a point where they cannot change the atmosphere to support human life.

 

So the next best thing.. Splice Human DNA with that with what we consider the best candidates/species on said planet.. Which would allow our genes to carry on, on a new planet.  I would only assume that the new Human Hybrids will consider humans GODS.  

 

Moral of the story we are Aliens..  lol





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