I like it.
Yeah, that's a good one.
I thought that I'd comment on your profile picture. I hate religion too!
It's much more interesting to live not knowing what? That it's much more interesting to live not knowing? Or, do you know that it's much more interesting to live not knowing? Remember, your answer to this question might be wrong. And if so, it would turn out that it's much more interesting to have answers than to live not knowing.
Hello, loaded question.
Not knowing the what? The unknowable. Worded like this it sounds obvious and not worth saying, but theists claim to know it all.
And of course you know that theists claim to know it all.
They certainly claim to know more than they possibly can about the origins of life and the universe as well as the supernatual.
But how do you know that it's impossible to know these things?
How could they possibly know these things? If it's from reading the Bible, that's not knowing, that's believing at best. The only way I can think of that they could know what is currently beyond human knowledge, is if God himself put the knowledge into their heads--and since I see and feel no reason to believe in said God, I don't accept that possibility.
That's like saying, "You don't know that George Washington was our first president if that knowledge was gained by reading history." If the Bible is true, then reading from the Bible would indeed be knowing.But, theists also claim that they are rational in drawing certain conclusions about God's existence based on logic, science, and reasoning. If you doubt those conclusions, you need to show that the arguments contain false premises or faulty reasoning. To say that they are impossible based on lack of persuasion seems to be an unwarranted assertion.Since you see and feel no reason to believe in said God, it seems that the strongest position you could consistently claim would be one of agnosticism rather than atheism.
"Since you see and feel no reason to believe in said God, it seems that the strongest position you could consistently claim would be one of agnosticism rather than atheism.">>>Atheists are agnostics when it's convenient and vice versa when it's not. The weak atheist verses the strong atheist etc, just gets muddled. How many 'denominations' of atheists are there? It's my position that any true atheist would be a "Gnostic Atheist" which "knows" that God isn't real. But you'd pretty much have to be God to say that no God exists.You'd have to have all the knowledge of this universe, any potential multiverse or other dimensions to make such a claim however.In my opinion, agnosticism is the humble position. *throws two pennies into the wishing well*
I broke down how someone can be a gnostic atheist, agnostic atheist, gnostic theist or agnostic theist here
If the Bible were true, yes. However, if the only history book that claimed Washington was our first president was a book that also contained stories of magic, contradicted itself, and had chapters that have been falsified--I'd be more skeptical of our founding fathers too.I've pointed out false premises and faulty reasoning here in the past.I see reason to not believe in said God, so I'm an atheist.
Many science books contain "stories of magic" as well. Something from nothing. Life from non-life. 10^500 universes. In fact, of the multiverse theory is true, there exists a universe in which Grundy is a Bible-believing fundamentalist! :-)Maybe you could refresh my memory on the faulty reasoning or false premises that you have pointed out.
There are hypotheses and scientific models that explain how abiogenesis the Big Bang happened. While it's true we haven't yet determined which is correct, if any, we are exploring HOW it happened. The Bible doesn't care about how supernatural things happen, it simply says they happen. There is a lot of motivation for someone to explain how biblical miracles happen, but so far not even a hypothesis for the resurrection or walking on water or even healings. That is the difference between science and magic.I suppose it's true I could be a fundamentalist somewhere in the multiverse, if it exists.I wrote about the problems of the cosmological argument here: http://deityshmeity.blogspot.com/2012/03/first-cause.htmlI've devoted a few posts about the argument from moral truth, just search "morality."And, of course, your Google+ timeline is plagued with me correcting you. :-)
The difference between faith and science, is that science has falsifiable ideas based on evidence and reasoning. When an idea is tested and fails, then science backtracks and tries to come up with another explanation. Faith is just believing in stuff without evidence.
Your comment about abiogenesis appears to contain a couple of assumptions, which I believe are unwarranted, namely that it actually took place, and that the only unknown at this point is how it happened. But if life was created by an intelligent cause, there was no abiogenesis. And I believe that science can help resolve this question through its ability to identify intelligent agents. Therefore, there is no need to appeal to magic.I will take a look at your comments on the Cosmological and Moral Arguments. I'm working on a short video in response to your comments here https://plus.google.com/u/0/117211037997278854036/posts/XePiEaKXzsA and here https://plus.google.com/u/0/116263242614525206216/posts/FsNTteGTvBN. Stay tuned!
Are you saying that it is possible for science to identify God? If so, how? If that's not what you are saying, I'm confused by that last comment.
Up to a point, yes. As Craig often points out, science can support the truth of premises whose conclusion is that there is a God.
And William Lane Craig is such a wonderful, insightful commentator on religion.I love the way he repeatedly re-hashes the same point over and over again. In exactly the same way. It's some inspiring stuff.
Well, Bob said that Craig often points this out, so yeah, seems re-hashy.But how can science identify an intelligent agent like God?
First, science can identify when an effect has an intelligent cause. Think Contact http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118884/. Next, the jump from an intelligent cause to God comes from considering the attributes which must necessarily be possessed by the creator of the universe (uncaused, beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, powerful, and personal). Of course, you could always make a case that these attributes describe something other than God (and certainly additional arguments are required to go from God to the God of the Bible).
What happens in Contact?I disagree a creator of the universe needs to have all those attributes.
The problem with intelligent design is that it is not a theory. There is no evidence supporting that stance. It's more of an "attack" on evolution. The only things that ever seem to be brought up are arguments like Irreducible complexity. "How did the flagellum come about since it can't be broken down?" We do now know how this could have come about now, and it is frustrating to hear this argument still used. Guys like Behe just love ignoring countless scientific publication. I am actually stunned when I'm pointed to the part of the Origin of Species where Darwin wasn't sure how something like the eyeball could evolve. What good is half an eye? But now, we see different kinds of eyes all along the spectrum of development in animals, from photosensitive cells to very sharp eyes like an eagle. It's really just a "well, we don't understand how it works, therefore God." This logical fallacy is known as an “argument from ignorance.” “I don't know how it works, or there is no evidence showing I am wrong, so I am right.” I also think you might also have a misunderstanding of what abiogenesis means. I actually didn't understand it for a long time, myself. I thought that it meant that a cell randomly coming together. Even though I hear it presented that way by creationists, it actually doesn't work like that. We have seen self replicating molecules in nature and know that they exist. Here is a pretty good video explaining one of the more popular theories on abiogenesis. It makes a LOT of sense when its broken down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg You can skip the first minute or so, since it really only talks about the difference between the theory of evolution and the abiogenesis thing.Did you know that Carl Sagan, who wrote contact, was an atheist? While this really has no bearing on your point, it is worth bringing up."Next, the jump from an intelligent cause to God comes from considering the attributes which must necessarily be possessed by the creator of the universe (uncaused, beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, powerful, and personal). Of course, you could always make a case that these attributes describe something other than God (and certainly additional arguments are required to go from God to the God of the Bible)."Using Okam's razor, the God theory can be pretty much tossed out. The universe is crazy complex. Mind blowingly complex. An all knowing God would have to be much more complex. If all that's required for a “creation” of the universe is something external to time, immaterial, why not a molecule or “particle” that predates our universe?Also, another thing to point out that everything has a cause, and that God doesn't, is called “special pleading.” One thing that's skipped over in the applicable argument is justifying why “God” isn't subject to this criteria. Sorry about the long response. I just thought that some of these things needed to be addressed.
Don't be sorry, that's good stuff.
"...so far not even a hypothesis for the resurrection or walking on water or even healings.">>>If science could explain the supernatural/paranormal, would it stop being supernatural or would it just not be science? How would you distinguish? To try and scientifically explain such occurrences would be walking into the category error territory...
Science explains the natural world, so I think it is safe to say these would no longer be supernatural if a natural explanation was found.
Certainly these phenomena would no longer be supernatural if a natural explanation were found. And I agree that science is limited in that it cannot directly access the supernatural, but I also think that scientists err when they allow their methodological naturalism to translate to metaphysical naturalism. For example, I think many scientists are quick to discount the findings of Intelligent Design movement simply because of its metaphysical implications.
"Walking on water" and other miracle claims have never really been proven on investigation. The claims of the Bible are interesting, since you would think that a man going around and doing all these miracles, worldwide earthquakes following the sky being blotted out, and a town full the dead awakening like zombies would be documented elsewhere. When it comes to the "supernatural" nothing has ever passed muster when investigated. There are claims that are not falsifiable and that isn't what science does. There is no way to prove that invisible faeries are pulling stuff down, in what we call gravity. Just because you can't probe it, doesn't mean its not there, but you can make any claim along this route. We tend to discount ideas that can not be falsifiable. I do agree with you guys that when something is explained, it becomes part of the natural world. Germ theory is one easy example. Up until recently, historically speaking, we thought that when people got sick, it was due to God(s)' judgement or because of something we did. That was considered supernatural. Now we know better. It is considered part of the natural world.
"Walking on water" and other miracle claims have never really been proven on investigation.">>>When you say "proven", by what method are you using to prove something real or not? If it's the scientific method, how does the natural explain the supernatural? Again, we're back at category error. While there is data for the paranormal, but to graduate the phenomena though all the six steps is not likely.
I don't have any reason to believe the supernatural is a category that exists.
"I don't have any reason to believe the supernatural is a category that exists.">>>Whether you believe it exists or not, is frankly not relevant to the issue. The fact that you take a stance against the supernatural and make rebuttals via science (which is where you, and naturalists go wrong) is where the problem lies. On a side note, I already gave you a handful of examples of the paranormal where a naturalistic explanation is inadequate. Continued...
"Here are some examples of the paranormal where naturalism takes a back seat in understanding.1. The Shroud Of Turin2. 1-3 mile wide UFOs show up on NASA video footage from Shuttle Columbia’s camera. It was the STS: 75 Mission in 1996, famously known as “The Tether Incident”.3. The 1917 Fatima Portugal incident. There were over 70,000 simultaneous witnesses from various faiths, cultures, and backgrounds that witnessed the apparition. I don’t believe that it was Mary, but I do believe it was a paranormal occurrence.4. Nina Kulagina, was a Russian woman who was known for her telekinesis. She also stopped the heart of a frog in front of a team of scientists in a controlled study.5. There are accounts of Near Death Experiences where people knew and described things they they couldn’t possibly have known. There are some instances where an individual was in a coma and had no brain activity, yet was able to describe in detail what was going on in his/her room (and other places/wings in the hospital).6. There have been miracles of people being healed by various aliments.7. Remote Viewing has on many occasions been rather accurate. There are even institutes worldwide that teach remote viewing. It was first taught in the CIA, then later passed down to the Army via MKULTRA. I’m not advocating to do it however for various reasons.8. There are accounts of demonically possessed individuals who spoke languages that they had not learned."http://razorswift.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/the-skeptic-and-a-believer-dialogue/
Because something is written in a book, doesn't make it true. When stories in the Bible start to seem silly, or evidence arises that shows that they aren't real, they always seem to become “metaphors.” Two quick examples; “the worldwide flood genocide myth,” which Egypt seemed to not have even noticed has become a metaphor, even though it sounds like Jesus believed it himself. (http://www.biblestudytools.com/esv/passage.aspx?q=matthew+24:37-39;luke+17:26-27) Also, the story of the “flight from Egypt.” Even Jewish scholars are coming to the conclusion that it is just a story. There is no archeological evidence for them living in the desert nor anything noted in Egyptian records, and those guys documented everything.“Whether you believe it exists or not, is frankly not relevant to the issue. “ This is true.. However, as Hippocrates once said, “ Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. We will one day understand what causes it, and then cease to call it divine. And so it is with everything in the universe.” Hippocrates. I will just go through a few of your “examples” that I am familiar with.1. The Shroud of Turin. You are kidding right? This has already been found to be a hoax. Carbon dating puts it nowhere close to near the time of Christ. It puts it during the middle ages. In fact, there are even a few theories as to how it was made, such as acid pigmitation. See the wiki article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin 2. So, unidentified flying object is synonymous with the “paranormal?” I'm sorry, but because we see something and don't know what it is, is no reason to jump to paranormal. 3. I don't really know too much about the Fatima thing to really make any counterclaims here, so I will leave it be. 4. Nina Kulagina. Don't really know much about her either, but this is what wiki has to say on those that are skeptical. “Many skeptical individuals and organizations, such as the James Randi Educational Foundation and the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims on the Paranormal (CICAP) express strong skepticism regarding the truth of these claims. It is noted that the long preparation times and uncontrolled environments (such as hotel rooms) in which the experiments took place left much potential for trickery. Skeptics have argued that many of Kulagina's feats could easily be performed by one practiced in sleight of hand, through means such as cleverly concealed or disguised threads, small pieces of magnetic metal, or mirrors. They further point to the fact that no sleight of hand experts appear to have ever been present during experiments, and that the Cold War-era Soviet Union had an obvious motive for falsifying or exaggerating results in the potentialpropaganda value in appearing to win a "Psi Race" analogous to the concurrent Space Race or arms race. However, Kulagin also agreed to undergo testing with Americans such as Montague Ullman, which places doubt on the propaganda hypothesis. “ I have no idea if she ever followed through with the last person. I did a quick google search of both names 5. NDE's.. Are you referring to to people like Pam Renyolds? That particular event was very deceptive. The events she talked about “seeing” in the operating room, were long before her brain was stopped. She was most likely experiencing the powerful anesthesia. A great article on that stuff is here: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html I saved this article since her name has been brought up a few times. You will have to scroll down there for her case. There aer other examples listed, but I doubt you'll want to read that super long article.
"1. The Shroud of Turin. You are kidding right? This has already been found to be a hoax. Carbon dating puts it nowhere close to near the time of Christ. It puts it during the middle ages. In fact, there are even a few theories as to how it was made, such as acid pigmitation. See the wiki article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin">>>No, are you kidding? You're giving me decades old research that has been thoroughly addressed and disregarded. The piece of the shroud that was carbon dated was a corner piece that was woven in (because of a fire that charred the edges) and the weave of the fabric didn't match the the rest of the shroud. Also, there was white pigment to match the color. On a side note, a carbon test probably wouldn't work anyways for two main reasons. One, all of the contamination of DNA from the various people that have handled it through the centuries. Second, the shroud had actually been vacuumed -bad move to do so- before which would have moved the original DNA. BTW, just so you know, the image was produced by multidirectional light with spacial data, not from any type of pigment. I have an article on this if you're interested---> http://razorswift.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/the-shroud-of-turin-is-real/
"4. Nina Kulagina. Don't really know much about her either, but this is what wiki has to say on those that are skeptical. “Many skeptical individuals and organizations, such as the James Randi Educational Foundation and the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims on the Paranormal (CICAP) express strong skepticism regarding the truth of these claims.">>>Respectfully, I'm not interested in your appeal to authority here. The best these skeptics can come up with about her is that it was the "pesky Russians" that were pulling the wool over people's eyes because of that scary Cold War. Forget that it was a controlled study by a team of well qualified scientists. Just don't forget that they were Russian Communists. Curiously enough, the Wiki article had nothing to say about the study of her speeding up, slowing down, then stopping the heart of a frog and killing it. Cool slight of han errr heart trick.
"“Whether you believe it exists or not, is frankly not relevant to the issue. “ This is true.. However, as Hippocrates once said, “ Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. We will one day understand what causes it, and then cease to call it divine.">>>So for now, we'll just call it "naturalism in the gaps"...nice a priori.
"2. So, unidentified flying object is synonymous with the “paranormal?” I'm sorry, but because we see something and don't know what it is, is no reason to jump to paranormal.">>>At this point, in my opinion, the better answer is the paranormal for various reasons. Many of these UFOs (and the "rods" phenomenon) seem to pop in and out of existence. Virtual particles have nothing on these. Some are seen only on infrared spectrum and travel at speeds -making maneuvers (90 degree turns etc) that a physical object just can't do. The ones seen on the STS: 75 Mission were strobing at a rate of 37 per 10 seconds, many trained eyes have recognized this as a form of intelligence not known. They were also changing direction. No, I (and others) are not "jumping to conclusions" about such occurrences being paranormal, these are theories that have been surmised as the LAST resort. Being that every possible natural explanation was severely lacking explanatory power. Sometimes Occam grows a beard...
6. You would have to define “miracle” here.. “Miracle cures” have been around forever. One thing that might be noted about miracles, is that they've seemed to have gotten much, much lamer as time goes by. God went from smiting cities, to raising zombies, to now appearing on toast. Another thing that I've noticed is that the things people “miraculously recover from” seem to coincide a lot with medical technology. We don't even fully understand how disease affects the body. We have some understanding, but we're still in our infancy. Something like an amputated limb growing back would impress me. It wouldn't be a complete miracle, as it's found in nature with snakes and salamanders for example, but would at least be very unusual.… I guess my point here is that you make a lot of claims of things being “paranormal” and supernatural, but there really isn't a whole lot of evidence. I think once something can be explained, it becomes part of nature and the natural world. I'm not completely discounting the “supernatural,” and don't think it could EVER exist, I'm just saying that there needs to be a lot more evidence. “That which can be presented without evidence can be easily dismissed.” If psychic abilities are proven for sure, wouldn't they be a function of the brain manipulating the natural world around them, and therefore natural?I actually saw this comment elsewhere and thought it was worth mentioning. “What is subject to rules of cause and effect is coherent and knowable. We call it natural. A natural entity doesn't qualify as a god. What is exempt from rules of cause and effect is random and incoherent so even if such a supernatural entity could exist (it couldn't) then it still could not form a coherant plan so it would not qualify as a god either.”
"You would have to define “miracle” here..">>>That which defies the natural world and scientific laws. I could look up a dictionary to find a better definition but I'm getting tired and I'm too lazy hehe. "… I guess my point here is that you make a lot of claims of things being “paranormal” and supernatural, but there really isn't a whole lot of evidence. I think once something can be explained, it becomes part of nature and the natural world.">>>Ok I'll bite. How would/do you make a distinction between the natural and the supernatural? In detail, define your criteria for such. And to reiterate, by what method are you qualifying said evidence by? Thanks in advance.
"“That which can be presented without evidence can be easily dismissed.” >>>No evidence has been presented for that statement ^ so...
"Second, the shroud had actually been vacuumed -bad move to do so- before which would have moved the original DNA.">>>Correction: removed (not moved). I wish one could do better editing on here. Where's your suggestion box Blogger?
Razor, since you believe in telekinesis, remote viewing and a variety of other supernatural occurrences that are carried out by people who don't claim divine power--doesn't this marginalize Jesus and other Biblical miracles? I mean, if God's chosen aren't the only ones who can perform acts outside of nature...how can be sure of anything? If it is proven that the supernatural exists, doesn't that suddenly present all kinds of new problems in defending your specific God?
Grundy,Good afternoon to ya. None of what you said changes anything on the Bible and it's claims. To let you know, some of these people do in fact believe they're getting help from the "other side" (or from entities e. g. "Ascended Masters" or other spirits, I don't agree with their explanation however) and others just don't recognize it as paranormal. I'll let the act (and it's properties) speak for itself, whether it's a natural phenomena or not. As far as miracles from non Christian sources, even the Bible records miracles from pagans. One example is the "snake showdown" between Moses and the Egyptian magicians in the Pharaoh's service . The devil also has power that he bestows on people as a counterpart to God. I could tell you some stories from friends of mine that were shamans, witches, and mediums etc who could do various "miracles", but obviously they were not from the God of the Bible. You may be surprised to hear that I don't deny that many of the various "gods" of the world were/are in fact real. It's my position that these beings were/are demons and fallen angels. Even Plato speaks about Elementals as beings that live much longer than man but yet still die. Plutarch records a Roman army running into a Satyr that they tried to communicate with. History is full of such accounts from credible sources. The only reason why said occurrences are dismissed by skeptics, is because of their a priori that such things just don't/can't exist. That's not a good enough reason, it's a confirmation bias. Now how does one distinguish between all this? Here's a hint "resurrection". There are various ways but an audio discussion would be a better way for me to explain. Let me know if you're interested. Take care.
"That's not a good enough reason, it's a confirmation bias. Now how does one distinguish between all this? Here's a hint "resurrection". There are various ways but an audio discussion would be a better way for me to explain.">>>Another interesting fact is the foreknowledge of the Bible and it's cosmology. All the ancient cosmologies speak of preexistent matter (in an eternal state) and a universe coming from chaos. Yet the Bible accurately describes the universe having a finite past, a beginning, and that it was expanding, is expanding, and will continue to expand into the future. It was describing the Big Bang almost 3000 years ago. Is this just a lucky guess from "ignorant sheepherders- despite the milieu of the pagans they interacted with? Here's more info on this:http://www.reasons.org/articles/big-bang---the-bible-taught-it-first
...I'll pass on the audio. Thanks for the very interesting discussion. I honestly had no idea anyone believed all that.
Hey you too bro. It's been fun. Hava good one!