Why the Universe Obviously Has a Creator (and Why Some Atheists Refuse to Even Consider It)
Author, 'Five Minutes on Mondays: Finding Unexpected, Purpose, Peace and Fulfillment at Work'
Posted: 03/ 5/2012 8:49 am
Throughout recorded history the majority of humanity has seen the existence of a Creator, Who intentionally brought the Universe in to being and sustains all life, as an obvious truth.
This truth does not stem from any doctrine or belief system, but it is at the heart of all religions, and is the underlying, indispensible principle of most spiritual practices. Even Buddhism, which is often misrepresented as an atheistic tradition, recognizes the existence of a guiding consciousness. As the Zen Buddhist master, Soyen Shaku, said, "Let me state that Buddhism is not atheistic as the term is ordinarily understood. It has certainly a God, the highest reality and truth, through which and in which this universe exists."
Scientific discoveries have only reinforced this realization, as it becomes even clearer that the Universe was carefully designed. Prominent British mathematician Roger Penrose calculated the probably of random chance producing a Universe conducive to life at vastly less than the scientifically accepted definition of "zero." Even if one were to accept arguments from those who claim that the Universe is not so "fine tuned," we must rely on the mind-boggling, and empirically unproven, concept of multiple Universes, and even then the probability of random events leading to life only budges from staggeringly unimaginable to extraordinarily unlikely. And we are still left with such clearly designed, and incredibly complex, mechanisms as DNA and the brain.
This is not a "God of the Gaps" explanation, any more than looking under the hood of a car and deducing a designer is "Engineer of the Gaps." To postulate a random, undirected, meaningless, existence in the face of this unbelievable complexity and purpose of life is, in actuality, the much more irrational, and less logical, conclusion. This has been compared to proposing that a hurricane whipped through a junkyard and randomly assembled a jet plane.
I'm usually on the side of not knowing in religious arguments, and in this one I'm definitely on the side of not knowing a bunch of stuff that's wrong.
The universe was obviously created by God because I couldn't have created it. Of course this also applies to Blonde on Blonde, Tom Jones International and the first Wham! album.
Wrong. Most of the world doesn't even recognize "truth" in the Western sense as applying to the distant past. In many "polytheistic" systems, the "ultimate creator" is unimportant and vague, and/or the mythological (in our terms) nature of the past is accepted.
Wrong. It IS A DOCTRINE OR BELIEF SYSTEM
Wrong again, and finding one wacky Buddhist doesn't change it
Sounds more Unitarian Universalist than Zen.
ROTFL Explain to me the careful design of traumatic insemination.
Guinea worms. Candiru. Fatal Familial Insomnia. Ascariasis. Some fine tuning.
Some minds boggle easier than others.
Doesn't ask much, does he. Fuckin' SHOW ME your alternative universes or shut up!
Maybe even true, but "random" and "God" aren't the only two hypotheses.
God, I love hard numbers. Nothing like solid data in a scientific argument.
"Clearly designed?" What, then, is junk DNA? The brain? Gary Marcus has a whole book on the subject, based in actual science, called "Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind"
Anyone with any sense who looks under the hood of a car deduces a committee. With marketers as well as engineers.
I count 2^4, or 16, different hypotheses in there - well, 15 out of 16 if you disallow denying all of them.
THERE'S THE PROBLEM. You can't "believe" complexity and purpose. It's too complicated for belief, you have to think about it and understand it. Try that, and things will go much better.
OK, I'm tired. Does that mean he wins?
This is EXACTLY the "God of the Gaps" hypotheses he just asserted that it wasn't.
The bit about multiple universes reminds me of a tweet I came across a while back...
Some some mystical sky-dude must have done it.
Even going on the assumption that most humans have believed in a God of some sort or another doesn't make it true. At one point, most people believed everything circled the Earth and it didn't maker that true. At one point, people believed flies spontaneously were generated from rotting meat. Not true either.
Faith is faith. People should stop trying to find reasons to have it and let those of us who don't not have it.
The closest to some logical conclusion to be drawn from all the "ordered universe" stuff is that there is some basic coherence to everything. The universe is ... something. Something incomprehensibly vast, ancient, and unknown.
The notion that it was built by a guy is the basest, easiest analogy that can be grasped without any thought whatsoever. "We build stuff, so someone must have built US."
There's nothing LESS likely than the thought that something so much greater than humankind was brought into existence by some fanciful version of ourselves.
Let's say that the universe was deliberately created by an external agency.
How does that come anywhere close to validating the Abrahamic religions?
I was trying to incorporate that with "odds of a magical sky being." Because ID never means that some unknown agent "created things," although that's the way they put it.
They mean Yahweh, the mountain god who used to demand sacrifices and doesn't want you to cut your earlocks. Or Allah, a suspiciously similar deity with slightly different tastes. Angry, vengeful males with an acute interest in everyone's dietary, sartorial, and sexual habits.
What are the odds of THAT?
Not. Bloody. Likely.
Who or what created the agency that created the fine-tuning? If that agency/god, capable of conscious thought and deliberate action, could have come into being without the need for fine-tuning, then why not leave them out of it and assume that everything we see could have as well?
It might be good if you considered that you may not understand what is being said.
And that the universe is not explainable as a random event.
And that perhaps time itself is an illusion and so creation is something that never happened at all.
And that matter itself is an illusion and that the true reality is just too much for our puny brains.
All of that though requires intelligent discussion best left to those who appreciate philosophy and are not afraid to think out of the box.
And perhaps that time is really moving backwards.
And that blueberries really taste of pancakes and pancakes really taste of squid.
And that we're both the dreamer and the dream
Ridicule through sarcasm.
And what that says to me is that you think your evidence is empirical and no other things may be considered ....if you are not some kind of nut that is...
But this is not the raving of mad men...it goes way back in history....before Christ...in the philosophies of the east...in Tibetan Buddhism and the Gidhas of India.
But I guess you can dismiss them all if you think that we are so much smarter than anyone in the past.
How can I argue with that kind of impenetrable logic?
Claiming I am saying it is right because it is old and from the east with the sarcastic kicker....is that what you really think?
Is your conversations ever any deeper than that?
Your unwillingness to consider the very basic flaws (one could say fallacies) in your reasoning doesn't allow for a particularly deep conversation
That I depart form the normal in my thinking and therefore it must be a fallacy?
And you get to decide what is normal reasoning?
You cannot have deep conversation if it is limited to what you know to be the empirical truth....all you get is what we have here...the use of ridicule to shut people up.
Don't feel too bad about it. It's actually pretty normal to get stuff factually wrong and use flawed reasoning.
The problem is that this whole theory and conversation is not about facts that have been established...but about discovery of what we don't know.
But my reasoning may be flawed but it is not because your facts are empirical....and that is the purpose of intelligent discussion is to discover flaws in reasoning...and you don't get that by calling people stupid.
Here's a lovely fallacy:
Want some more? Ok:
Your intentions may be good, but you may want to educate yourself on what's happened in the last hundred or so years in science because many of the developments provide verifiable answers your 'deep' philosophical questions. If you really want to have a deep, intelligent discussion on a subject, it's best to learn as much as you can about that subject. Some of your speculations read like, "and perhaps it will never be known how much area there is below a curve" or "maybe it's impossible to know where babies come from."
And many have given the explanation....but so is the concept of god...but that of course cannot be considered if you believe the first one....the flat earth theory was an explanation too.
The universe is far to vast and far to complex for an explanation that explains it all....and random theory does not do that...and neither does a god creator.
Neither the age of an idea nor its geographic origin are related to the correctness of the idea
And I made no such claims...what I said is that it is not like you portray it as the ravings of mad men but has a long standing tradition in philosophy.
We may not any smarter than previous generations, but we're definitely better informed. We know things about every part of reality that were unimaginable to people living all those millennia ago.
Really?...Every part of reality?...is that so?...now who is making claims to things they cannot show with facts.
We know that the universe had a beginning, that matter exists, and have for some time. There's even been research into the area of the universe being an illusion, and that research has shown that the universe does actually exist.
It is the height of arrogance to claim you know something that cannot be known....and if you could prove the beginning you could not prove what was before the beginning....and if there was no before then that would prove time was indeed an illusion and that matter was too sense it came from nothing and nowhere.
And why is that so hard to believe when you can believe string theory...which is another way to explain the unexplainable.
But you were doing real good till the last paragraph...where you suggested I believe what I believe because I am uneducated and if I would only educate myself to your level I would understand it all....and the parting shot suggesting that people like me don't understand even the basics of our world...
The universe is much more vast and interesting than any ancient philosopher ever imagined. Could Aristotle have imagined that if you cool a liquid enough, it won't freeze, but crawl out of its container? Who would have imagined that a single drop of water contained hundreds of tiny life forms? The list goes on, and on, and on.
Some of the greatest unknowns in science are on issues that would have been inconceivable to a person living 2000 years ago. Questions like whether mass is an inherent property of matter or the result of particle and field interactions at an unimaginably small scale, how mass warps spacetime, whether the spontaneous creation of light and matter from nothing contributes to the expansion of the universe, etc.
It doesn't take much effort to educate yourself on the basics, you just need to be curious and willing to learn. If you have a strong background in math, you can learn and understand even more.
Oh, and you did it again...the age of an idea has no bearing on its validity. Also, time having a definite starting point doesn't come anywhere close to proving that time is an illusion, no matter how flawed your reasoning is.
are based on some philosophical/metaphysical presumptions - if they are good theories and conscious and open about the premisses of the theory. Especially about the notion(s) of time. Cf. notion of time (and space) in
1) Newton's theory,
2) General Relativity,
3) Quantum Mechanics (and various interpretations of).
And in the field of various GUTs and TOEs (sic - anthropon metron panton?! ) where the questions about basic assumptions becames even more open and critical field. For example, a very important and critical distinction is between psychological (entropic?) time and various theory dependent geometric times, and the question about relation between those. "Time having a definite starting point" is just one theory dependent notion of time among many, or a premisse that easily becomes the proverbial hammer that considers everything a nail.
when you speak about "science", you seem to be talking more about your own reductionistic belief system* (with a concescending and preaching authoritarian attitude) than science as it is practiced. Showing little real understanding of the process and issues.
*e.g your belief that experiences in various states of mind are explained by neurochemistry alone.
The Upanishads? or other such literature?
My guess is not because if you did you would see that knowing that water was full of life is not knowledge of the universe...not by a long shot.
The Gita's describe the center of the universe in a way that one could only describe a black hole...and they knew this thousands of years ago...as well as that there were billions of suns like our own and believed that those suns had planets like our own.
so perhaps you should inform yourself before you call others uninformed.
It is ego that tells you that you know so much more than people of the past because you know something about the mechanics of the illusion.
But I know lots of people that took LSD and some of them still believe it was real...and I myself experienced things that seemed real....and I am not about to claim it is bullshit because I don't really know...can't know....and neither do you no matter how many facts you think you know.
You only think you have it all figured out...but every discovery shows you that you don't...the universe is not only more amazing than we imagined but more amazing than we can imagine.
Saying that someone knew about a black hole at the center of the universe thousands of years ago is akin to saying that someone described the phlogiston theory thousands of years ago. There's no "center of the universe" and even less phlogiston. If you want to impress me, try using an example of something that's true.
And there you go again by claiming that something is an illusion. Something which can be claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, so unless you have evidence that the universe, time, or whatever is an illusion, you're dead in the water.
If you understood basic neuroscience, you'd have a fair understanding of why your LSD trip felt real.
In fact I want to do the opposite...I want you to know that I am uneducated in the truth...because the truth is what you were taught in school....and what I am talking about is not taught in schools...so therefore it can't be the truth right?
No I cannot limit my self to what you think is the truth and have a meaningful conversation ...meaningful to me.
Got lots of evidence but you reject it all and explain it away....Just look at atomic theory and delve into string theory and tell me there is no evidence...string theory is as close to saying it is all illusion as you can get....but it is hard to let go of the notion all of that comes from little particles that must be there but no one can't find them yet....or explain it all as "energy"...but not a clue as what and where this energy comes from or what form it is.
But please no coming back with "we know all about it?....we clearly don't.
And by the way I do know some about neuroscience and the pineal gland that controls our brain....but as much as we know about it it still is not enough to explain things...not for me.
Your first paragraph impressed me and your second paragraph impressed me even more.
of a computer simulation.
Assuming that other technological civilizations exist, some of these tc have developed computational tech sufficiently cheap and powerful enough to run sim universe. The denizens of some of these tc enjoy such sims, and so they are abundant in such a tc. The universe is very big, there are billions of such sims n existence.
There are therefore many more sims (nearly infinitely more) than there are real universes, consequently the most likely state of our universe is that it is a sim.
The universe is too complex to have come about by chance. Solution: let's presuppose the existence of an even more complex being to have created it. Don't they see the obvious problem with this kind of logic? A child can see it.
It's truly amazing to me how bad the arguments from the apologists are and how blind they are to that fact.
If there's any, you would think there were a whole shitload of them, the folks Yahweh is talking about in the Old Testament when he talks about "we" creating the earth and Adam...
not to mention all those folks that Adam's ancestors married...
and the OTHER ones, all through that book, that the Jews keep getting whomped for worshipping in order to be friendly with their neighbors, and all the ones who work for the dark side in various capacities
not to mention the big crew of them in Africa, and in South America they came and went as fast as human cultures did. And that bunch of loonies that hung around ancient Greece...
I think the problems with the world all have the same cause. There are far too many magical sky beings, they being immortal and all, we ignore the vast majority of them and picked a few real bastards to worship, it's crowded up there and they're all bored - hell, the earth-based ones are pretty pissed - and they're ALL just fucking with us while not fighting with each other. That's as good as any OTHER sky being hypothesis, as far as I can tell, and accounts for more of the data.
I.e., we're a genetically manipulated race of monkeys designed by a visiting alien race, to be used for slave labor. Or something. That kind of malice at least follows some kind of logic. The particularities of the supposed deity that we keep hearing about are just bizarre. What motivates this creature? "Burn bulls for me and wear this strange undergarment, or I'll be back in 2,000 years to kill you!" is just weird.
Look at any twenty dictators, and THEN tell me a "human" with infinite power WOULDN'T pull the kind of crap Yahweh pulled just for the fun of it...
It's the "or something" that gets me. We're not food, unless the aliens eat stupid. More likely, if aliens are involved, that Yahweh was a juvenile delinquent doing the deitic equivalent of pouring toxic chemicals down a yellow jacket nest.
If there is a "God" then he has to be part of some great race, now maybe they are still out there or maybe he's the last one but he's most likely an alien. Its not that far fetched that an alien who is the last of his species would find a planet to populate with beings of his own creation.
in an offhanded way to refer to "crazy people with incredibly weird beliefs," not long ago. Of course he meant "UFOs containing intelligent aliens." Intelligent aliens being exactly what "god" would be.
And yet not only is belief in that / those particular intelligent aliens not ridiculed, we are currently having a contest to ensure that the next Republican candidate for President of the United States is deeply, unalterably committed to that belief.
If they where not intelligent, how did they build an incredibly advanced spaceship thats able to cross deep space?
UFOs being real, and alien spacecraft being speculation. His was a compound fallacy.
There's a lot of dumb mofos driving around in cars they didn't design and/or build.
The smart aliens could have created the ships and sent the dumbasses out to find stuff.
The odds of your getting the hand you just dealt yourself is 1/53,644,737,765,488,792,839,237,440,000.
(13*12*11*10*9*8*7*6*5*4*3*2*1) / (52*51*50*49*48*47*46*45*44*43*42*41*40)
(6.227020800 * 10^9 ) / (3.95424 * 10^21)
6.227020800/ 3.95424 * 10^12
(6.227020800/6.227020800) / ( 3.95424 * 10^12/6.227020800)
If you are assuming that each card is drawn in the same order, that would be:
1 / (52*51*50*49*48*47*46*45*44*43*42*41*40)
1/ (3.95424 * 10^21)
Your point is still the same, but I am trying to figure out which one of us (if not both) is doing the math wrong.
Sorry. Either number is ridiculous. Therefore god.
surely in a universe as vast as ours, with billions of stars, over the course of billions of years, the odds of life existing SOMEwhere shouldn't be overly surprising.
nevermind the obvious fallacy that even if it were improbable doesn't mean god exists. it happened, and we wouldn't be here to imagine god had it not happened.
Nearly 100% of the volume of the universe can't support life. Hell, nearly 100% of this planet can't support life.
It's possible that the weak interaction isn't even necessary for a universe that allows life and I'm not sure a 4-dimensional spacetime is necessary either.
Why not a shark like resistance to cancer? A heart not so easily diseased?
The list goes on.
But our hand is masterfully designed to hold a banana, therefore god.
I think it's referring to this calculation from "The Emperor's New Mind" from 1989:
Let us try to understand just how much of a constraint a condition such as WEYL = 0 at the big bang was. For simplicity (as with the above discussion) we shall suppose that the universe is closed. In order to be able to work out some clear-cut figures, we shall assume, furthermore, that the number B of baryons-that is, the number of protons and neutrons, taken together-in the universe is roughly given by
B = 10^80.
Try to imagine the phase space (cf. p. 177) of the entire universe! Each point in this phase space represents a different possible way that the universe might have started off. We are to picture the Creator, armed with a `pin' which is to be placed at some point in the phase space (Fig. 7.19 not shown). Each different positioning of the pin provides a different universe. Now the accuracy that is needed for the Creator's aim depends upon the entropy of the universe that is thereby created. It would be relatively `easy' to produce a high entropy universe, since then there would be a large volume of the phase space available for the pin to hit. (Recall that the entropy is proportional to the logarithm of the volume of the phase space concerned.) But in order to start off the universe in state of low entropy-so that there will indeed be a second law of thermodynamics-the Creator must aim for a much tinier volume of the phase space. How tiny would this region be, in order that a universe closely resembling the one in which we actually live would be the result?
How big was the original phase-space volume W that the Creator had to aim for in order to provide a universe compatible with the second law of thermodynamics and with what we now observe? It does not much matter whether we take the value
W = 10^10^101 or W = 10^10^88
given by the galactic black holes or by the background radiation, respectively, or a much smaller (and, in fact, more appropriate) figure which would have been the actual figure at the big bang. Either way, the ratio of V to W will be, closely
V/W = 10^10^123.
('WEYL' is a space-time curvature tensor - see Google Books excerpt: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0mVEBJ34v9EC&lpg=PA453&ots=fuOBkUoNJW&dq=%22roger%20penrose%22%20%22weyl%22&pg=PA437#v=onepage&q&f=false )
I don't think that's a 'fine-tuning' argument, in terms of fundamental constants or forces, anyway. It's more 'initial conditions', and never is it about "a Universe conducive to life" as the rabbi claimed; it's "a universe compatible with the second law of thermodynamics and with what we now observe". The analogy to the deck of cards that is referred to in this thread is far closer to it than what the rabbi thinks it's about.
The (poorly named) Anthropic Principle refers to basic stuff like:
- Values of physical constants that allow carbon being born in stars
- The strengths of four basic forces
- particle masses
- amount of dark energy
Not the odds of life IN this kind of universe, but the odds of THIS kind of universe. Slightest changes in any of those values would not allow life like us, and these coincidenses lead to question WHY out of all possibilities, these values are biofriendly. Common answers are various forms of ID and multiverse.
This is also a limited concept of life. It is based on earth centric carbon based life. Why can't there be other types?
God of the Gaps strikes again.
than science and philosophy, as you bring up the God of the Gaps.
I have no problem with scientific reductionism (question "why" that does stop at "because they are" when reductionism is understood as dialectical relation with holism (parts and wholes and how they relate), and not taken as a belief system.
But you make one good point, Carbon Based Life Principle would be a better name than Anthropic Principle.
All these arguments are old as are the scientific claims. Some of those have actually been falsified.
For a good rebuttal of this claptrap, I recommend Victor Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis which takes on these so-called scientific arguments for the existence of the invisible sky daddy. It's a good read.
lots of fallacies here, but the central argument seems to be "life is amazing and my little brain can't fully understand it; we don't have all the answers; therefore god exists."
Fits pretty well here, but not sure if Aristotle had that one flagged.
The level of intellectual rigor in these types of writings (and they seem to be rampant these days) is shockingly low, especially for people who are supposed to be well educated and well schooled in exactly these issue. Worse yet is the level of editorial rigor that lets them get published.
if you don't believe in god you must be crazy. Last time I checked it was people that had imaginary friends that are the nutso ones.
Not crazy just irrational and in need of psychoanalysis for not worshipping sky beings.
But I would say this thread is actually doing a pretty good job of showing his second and better point to be useful; those that maintain that others cannot possibly be "correct" should reconsider their purpose in broaching the discussion.
Is that not a fair point?
I think there is also a useful delineation to consider of two different conceptions of a "Creator" or "God," that belies the idea that there is not a force at play, what matters is not what we call this but rather that we acknowledge this is evident in life itself:
The idea that there must be a personalization to such experience is unnecessary, and in making that argument he creates an unfounded egoist belief that one would know such a thing. Clearly, something has happened that is as Descartes stated [link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum|"I think, therefore I am" or "I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am." That's the point he is trying to make, but gets bogged down not adequately fleshing out his definition of what you derisively term "sky beings."
Last edited Tue Mar 6, 2012, 07:18 AM - Edit history (1)
simply because he did not present any evidence, and indeed, many of his contentions are long debunked or unproven assertions.
Allow me to rewrite his last sentence for you:
But the assertion that a Creator must exist -- often accompanied by the adamant desire to "prove" its existence and to ridicule those who don't -- especially in the face of such blatant lack of evidence, is an indication that a psychological mechanism is at work.
Now, this is a much fairer point, and the author of the article seems to be practicing what many call projection.
ON EDIT: What really makes it an unfair point is that it is a strawman he's knocking down, no honest atheist would refuse to consider that a creator god may exist, started the ball rolling so to speak, its just that we are still waiting for evidence of this god's existence, and this Rabbi failed spectacularly in this regard.
Well I don't think he's trying to make a "scientific" argument in the sense he's trying to concretely "prove" - rather he's making a social argument. What evidence would you need? How can the idea be false if there is no evidence to the contrary? Fair questions, that in my opinion, suggest those who dismiss the notion of a Newtonian creator are not broaching this as a philosophical question, which is what it remains, since science can't explain the origin of life at this moment and probably never will be able to do so in a satisfactory manner. Arguably, our scientific knowledge in this regard is no more meaningful than it was 5,000 years ago. Tell me, then if this is the case, is it not a useful straw man?
...and a scientific argument, the Rabbi's argument is a piss poor argument.
And what the hell is a "useful straw man" supposed to be? Straw men are only useful as deceptions and distractions, they don't bring substance to an argument.
There are many interpretations of what truth is, and none of them include fabrications or attempts at deception. You might even say that fabrications and deceptions are universally considered to be the antithesis of truth.
Now, which category do you think distorting an argument for the purpose of deceiving people into thinking that the original argument has been refuted falls into?
You answered your own question. There is no such thing as a demonstrable truth, there is only interpretation thereof, and as such, a charge that another person has engaged in "fabrications and deceptions" is a hollow charge in that it cannot be demonstrated otherwise. Why is it important to dissuade others of their beliefs regarding a question to which a better answer is lacking? I think the OP argument is dead on in charging that what this boils down to is much more a question of psychology than of science. Sorry, I'm just not that into dualism in forming thought about such matters, I think it's a ruinous approach. I don't think "consideration" means spurious conclusion. The better answer is we don't know, period.
...there are psychological explanations for why I might do that. Just because there are psychological explanations for my warning, however, doesn't make it my warning bad advice.
Whatever the motivations or psychological impetus might be for questioning the fairy tails people use to fill in the gaps in human knowledge, that says nothing about the validity of the fairy tails. Your argument is devolving it the "Leave Britney alone!" argument.
You keep saying this, and I agree, but then in the next breath you revert to saying "God did it!" is the answer you like best, and you're sticking with it.
"since science can't explain the origin of life at this moment and probably never will be able to do so in a satisfactory manner."
See, that's an unwarranted assumption, indeed, the hypothesis put forward isn't complete, and evidence for it is lacking, however, to claim science will never have a valid theory, is, to my mind, rather foolhardy presumption. Indeed, considering new evidence, particularly from molecular clouds in space and found buried in meteorites, we find proteins, even components of DNA, floating in space, and apparently many of these building blocks of life were floating around when the Earth was formed. The issue is how these enzymes and other chemicals formed into a chemical process with homeostasis, in other words, life. Stopping the quest by saying its impossible is absurd, and inserting a god into the equation doesn't solve the problem.
...is it not presumptive to suppose that a science-based answer to such a question can be found? The reality is that taking a scientific approach to the question of creation is like taking a machete to a pine tree trunk. The blade will break before the pine tree will be cut down. Your answer revealed just how truly far away we are from a scientific model that disproves a notion such as a "Creator" much less "intelligent design." Until it can be demonstrated otherwise, God is a damn good answer to many, and condemning people who are prepared to accept such an answer, and giving them ill-consideration solves nothing.
Eat the , love the Earth.
comes from science? Unless you know about a better and more accurate(self correcting) method of examining the universe.
...there are many thing science will probably never be able to answer. Seriously, if our technology and scientific methods are so advanced, why can't a plausible hypothesis be made about the origin of life. Could it not be perhaps that the wrong question is being asked in the wrong method of inquiry - this is a question of philosophy and not of science.
The problem isn't the method, but the current number of variables and unknowns.
Abiogenesis is an exceedingly complex subject that wasn't able to be seriously studied until the last 50 or so years and even still it wasn't until much more recently that the tools needed to advance became available. Despite the field still being more-or-less in its infancy, several plausible hypotheses about the origin of life have been made.
...still is not all the way fleshed out. The odds that you are going to find an answer that explains how we get from there to us having that conversation are about the same that Scientology are correct or that Jodie Foster is going to find meaning throw a wormhole! Abiogenesis is an interesting biological question, but it is a whole different sport than the question of God. This entire debate as currently construed consists of two people with similar beliefs talking past each other and getting nowhere further down the road. We must re-frame our analyses to meet the challenges of our time.
"In my mind I see a group of chickens in a cage disputing over a few seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will all be killed." - Thich Nhat Hanh
Primordial soup theory? You're 60 years behind the times.
You may not be aware of this, but there are plausible hypotheses for the origin of the universe and the origin of life, none of which require supernatural intervention. Even if those hypotheses turn out to be wrong, progress will still be make toward finding the answer. Unless you can name another mode of inquiry that can reliably answer these questions, science is the only game in town.
Is this not an act of faith that is as much as the "supernatural invention" you accuse me of? What is this progress leading too?
Philosophy is a reliable mode of inquiry in this matter as much as science is in answering this question. The preoccupation with proving something that likely cannot be/has not been proved borders on paranoia. Accept things for what they are, both inexplicable and explicable, as a paradox. This is not to stall progress, this is to ask better questions, that lead to more tangential answers. This is not a game, this is life.
According to my calendar, the question of abiogenesis will be definitively answered on the 17th of March, 2014 and the question of the origin of the universe on September 3rd, 2021.
Philosophy is not a reliable mode as it isn't self-correcting, and it isn't able to become self-correcting on its own. If you want an immediate answer, sure you can look to philosophy, but there won't be any way to determine if that answer is correct unless science comes along and tests it. Philosophy is for investigating what may be, science is for investigating what is.
...and so what it suggests is no answer at all. I would rather have a simple, beautiful philosophy that supposes what is known and leaves it at that. Different strokes, for different folks. But supposing that this is somehow inferior logic is not fruitful, rather it is self-defacing. Keep playing with test tubes, it won't bring you the answer you are looking for in this debate.
You prefer to imagine that something is correct while I prefer to know if something is correct.
If you're interested in a simple, beautiful philosophy, you might like Aristotle's Metaphysics. It may be full of stuff that's factually incorrect, but it certainly is simple and beautiful.
I've read substantial portions of Aristotle's Metaphysics several times over the last decade or so. I don't think that really supports the argument that is being made against a concept of God as a Creator, or Actus Purus. I would recommend reading some Kant on religion (that we must believe in a concept of God - the so-called "categorical imperative"), and in particular his Critique of Pure Reason, which if you have not read already, should not attempt without the realization that in the original cerebral German sentences should be taken as whole thoughts with words only constructing your opinion thereof without prejudicial judgment.
insert "Magic" for a god and its the same damn thing. You are making assumptions that magic is real and responsible for the universe and/or life itself. This is an assumption that has no evidence for it.
Also, Intelligent Design has long since been debunked as a pseudo-scientific fraud.
There is no answer, there only is. We would do well to stop obsessing over things beyond our control and to start addressing the things we can control, life itself. I don't believe in some magical idea, I simply believe that accepting a concept of God as a Creator is better than accepting nothing at all. That is a value judgment and until you can demonstrate otherwise that things have not been created in some manner that allows our human minds to comprehend this radical atheism is no improvement at all, and those that wish to believe there is a reason for being ought to be allowed to do so without being berated by those who care not at all to present a case to the opposite, that somehow there is no reason.
Last edited Tue Jan 29, 2013, 04:39 PM - Edit history (1)
"Better" in what way? More emotionally satisfying to you? If you remain consistent with your opening words "There is no answer" then "better" is stopping there with that admission of ignorance.
"To give is better than to receive" is a value judgment. The existence or lack thereof of a God is not a value judgment, it's a condition of the universe that we all share. Ignorance of the truth of that existence doesn't turn an assertion in the face of that ignorance into a value judgment.
In other words, even if I don't have evidence, until you prove me wrong, I'm right!
Apart from the fact that "this radical atheism" of yours is probably a cartoon caricature of atheism, what exactly needs to be "improved" here? A magic "black box" God who is nothing more than "the thing that does all things for which we don't understand how they are done" is not any sort of improvement, unless perhaps your only goal is to dress up human ignorance in a shinier, more impressive-sounding package, and not deeper understanding.
My "case to the opposite" is that I don't know, but neither do you. That you prefer to make up an evidence-free answer does not obligate me to have my own provable answer to replace yours.
If someone brings up what you're calling a "primordial soup" explanation for the origin of life they don't have to prove it to argue that it is plausible. Where plausible explanations exist based on proven principles and known quantities, even if the overall explanation is unproven, this demonstrates that there is no compelling reason to spend much effort exploring the unproven and the unknown as explanations, not until the known, and logical extrapolations of known principles, have been well exhausted and shown to be inadequate.
Suppose a bank has been robbed and the perpetrator is unknown. Hypothetically at least, the crime could have been committed by a werewolf or a zombie. There had better be good reason, however, to eliminate human suspects before you go wasting your time investigating werewolves and zombies. If the crime remains unsolved, the fact that it hasn't been solved, in and of itself, does very little to improve the odds that werewolves or zombies were to blame.
We may not know everything there is to know about how life works and where it came from, but using known principles of physics and chemistry and biology has increased our understanding of life far more than saying "God did it!" ever has. Given the track record of the scientific approach, I'd say the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate why it's better to say "God did it!" rather than to simply admit that our knowledge is limited, that we don't have all of the answers, but to stick to science as the best hope for increasing our knowledge.
He actually said:
refusal to even consider that a Creator may exist -- often accompanied by the adamant desire to "prove" otherwise and to ridicule those who do
I've considered that possibility and rejected it after careful consideration, but I wasn't left with "a desire to ridicule those who do".
The only people who make me more nauseous than pontificating bible thumpers are fellow atheists who feel a need to be insulting and intolerant towards believers.
Text that begins with a ridiculous display of arrogance in the very title.
Yes, I won't read that dreck. Whichever dumbass wrote it can fuck the hell off.
Just how much consideration does it take before refusal to consider is no longer happening?
It seems for a lot of theists that you haven't "considered" that there's a God until you either decide to believe in one yourself, or at least adopt a very theistically-leaning undecided position.
I hate to resort to internet acronyms, but this article is silly beyond a serious reply. The arguements he's using a VERY old and have been VERY dealt with ad nausium. He strikes me as someone who read the first sentance of arguements against his position and decided they were wrong and went back to reading his Pocket Edition of William Lane Craig's "Why I'm So Much Smarter Than Every Scientist On Earth."
Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?
In which case the person running the simulation is god. But like anyone running a simulation, he may have limited insight into what it is actually doing.
...but a bigger concept of God, the God if you're going for a deeper meaning of a traditional God concept, would have to apply only to the top-most layer of possible simulations within simulations, the one place that isn't a simulation but is as "real" as real gets. If that God were an omnipotent being, it would have the ultimate power over all simulations. If that God is the Creator, it would be the ultimate creator of all simulations.
An omnipotent god would only exhibit that property if it created all possible universes, which in turn would create all possible simulations. Each simulation would create all possible simulations, and so on and so forth.
So the possiblity that the purpose of the entire ensemble of reality is the realization of humans on earth is infinitesimally small.
...not a necessity to do all things. An omnipotent god would not have to act on creating all of the possible universe it could theoretically create.
Whether humanity is an important purpose for the existence of the universe or just one of many random consequences of its existence is another matter entirely.
Since I neither believe in God nor consider humanity of central importance to anyone but my fellow humans, my argument here is purely academic to me.
My understand as a Zen student is that labeling all of Buddhism and all the various schools you definitely couldn't use a simple label as atheistic, there are many intermingling with older traditions, like Christianity and European paganism and near east mystic traditions.
That said, there are quotes attributed to Buddha where he essentially said the question of god or no god was really beside the point and not relevant to what he taught in terms of living a spiritual life in the here and now.
And in particular the Zen branch of Buddhism grew out of a practice of meditation that had no relation to gods or the supernatural. And I know the more recent ancestors in my linage also teach that the question of god or no god is not generally relevant to the Zen practice.
And I and many of my sangha members consider ourselves atheistic. Again, one label for all of Zen might not be good but I believe and have heard many teachers of Zen that Atheistic would not be very misleading in a fuller description of Zen practice.
Anyone who pulls the "universe seems designed for us" BS is an anthropocentric idiot.
I figure God put it there. I mean what are the odds that that exact rock would be in that exact spot where I would see it. To astronomical to be chance.