Hello from KC's brother
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31-10-2012, 10:37 AM
RE: Hello from KC's brother
(22-10-2012 12:29 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(22-10-2012 12:11 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  I'll answer them for you good sir. Briefly and to the point:

1). I don't believe science proves or disproves God. There is no empirical evidence for God in science. My belief has more to do with theological and metaphysical reasons, namely faith.
I'm afraid there's not much to discuss about if your belief is faith-based.

(22-10-2012 12:11 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  However, I do think that the fine tuning of the universe, though not absolute proof of God, are compatible with theistic belief and point towards it.
Concluding that because we currently don't have a coherent scientific theory to explain something, god must have done it, is Bronze Age thinking.

"God of the gaps is a type of theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God's existence." [sic]

"The argument from imperfection suggests that if the Universe were designed to be fine-tuned for life, it should be the best one possible and that evidence suggests that it is not. In fact, most of the Universe is highly hostile to life." [sic]

"We have no reason to believe that our kind of carbon-based life is all that is possible. Furthermore, modern cosmology indicates that multiple universes may exist with different constants and laws of physics. So, it is not surprising that we live in the one suited for us. The Universe is not fine-tuned to life; life is fine-tuned to the Universe." [sic]

(22-10-2012 12:11 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  Also, the moral law. Moral creatures are exactly what we should expect to see in evolution if a moral God is guiding it.
Care to elaborate on that point? What moral law are you talking about? What do you understand by "moral creatures"?

(22-10-2012 12:11 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  3) Yes, I consider myself to be honest about evidence. Which is why I have changed my beliefs from a YEC dispensationalists Arminian fundamentalists to an EC/TE Reformed perspective.
If your belief is based on faith instead of evidence, my question becomes obsolete. Thanks for answering nonetheless.

By moral law/morality/moral creatures I mean that we have evolved an objective belief to treat others the way we would want them to treat us, together with the resulting tendency to behave in accordance with such a belief to some extent.
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31-10-2012, 11:55 AM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2012 02:58 PM by kim.)
RE: Hello from KC's brother
(31-10-2012 10:37 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  Also, the moral law. Moral creatures are exactly what we should expect to see in evolution if a moral God is guiding it.
(22-10-2012 12:29 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Care to elaborate on that point? What moral law are you talking about? What do you understand by "moral creatures"?
(31-10-2012 10:37 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  By moral law/morality/moral creatures I mean that we have evolved an objective belief to treat others the way we would want them to treat us, together with the resulting tendency to behave in accordance with such a belief to some extent.

I think you think too much. We are social creatures - our numbers help our species survive. Pretty much like any other social animal - like prairie dogs.

By the way, we kill prairie dogs because they fuck up our food supply (cows break legs stepping in holes, reduce farmable land, etc.,.). Is this moral? Post natal female prairie dogs kill whole litters of neighboring pups because their bodies crave the protein. Is that moral? Humans kill humans - often for no apparent reason - often because someone has advised them it would better their position in life (or death Blink ). Is this moral?

There is no inherent morality, we simply survive better if there is more than one and survive even better with greater numbers. Greater numbers help a species get a jump on anything that might come along to wipe it out. No matter how much we want to kill each other, we simply need each other more than we'd like to think.

Social creatures like order because it's easier to survive with a sense of order. Many human beings often choose to govern themselves by a system of ethics, which have nothing to do with some universal "belief" or "morality", per se. Less stress gives us a longer life and provides a sense of order in times of change. Less stress may itself be a survival mechanism trigger - it may be inherent. Example: humans in X tribe are mean- I might die / humans in O tribe are happy- I might live. No X tribes of prairie dogs, I'll bet... but they'll still kill each other.

Fabricate for yourself any moral laws or beliefs you want and they basically mean nothing to anyone but you - or whatever club you've formed. Humans on the whole will live and / or die whether there is some sort of belief or not. Shy

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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31-10-2012, 02:27 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2012 03:03 PM by kingschosen.)
RE: Hello from KC's brother
(22-10-2012 03:43 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(22-10-2012 03:10 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  I am not arguing a God of the gaps. There is a different between saying something is “proof” and “points towards.” I am not an advocate of the God of the gaps theory of ID. Rather, the argument for fine-tuning uses science without divine action to reveal the great precision of the universe. Thus, fine-tuning is described in terms of physical constants and the initial conditions of our universe, etc. Unlike the arguments of ID and irreducible complexity, the argument from fine-tuning does not try to draw attention to where science has failed. Its goal is to show how science has revealed the intricate balance of the universe in which we live.
You could argue that science could one day explain the beginnings of these delicately balanced features. However, I would argue that there are a few things to keep in mind. . One of the things being that I find it very unlikely that a scientific theory could explain away the improbabilities of our Universe without raising some other improbabilities, such as this is all just a happy accident or the multiverse theory (which I will address more since you brought it up). Also, an argument for fine-tuning is unlike a GOG argument in that it is not intended to prove God’s existence. Albeit, while it is true that fine-tuning adds credence to belief in God, I think that such recent scientific findings could hardly be called upon as the basis or justification of the long history of belief in God. I do think that fine-tuning leads many people to consider the possibility of the existence of God. However, the fact that science cannot disprove God’s existence assures me that it also cannot prove it. I see fine-tuning as a feature of the universe that is in accord with theistic belief. I think that a deeper scientific explanation of these features would not ruin its usefulness as a pointer to God.
You need to substantiate your claim that the existence of a supposedly fine-tuned Universe points towards the existence of god. I see no reason why that would be true.

(22-10-2012 03:10 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  Now to your appeal to a multiverse: Theism is discounted by its appeal to something (i.e. God) that cannot be empirically proven, but you use the same logic in an appeal to a multiverse, which itself cannot be proven empirically? Where is the logic in that?
I have not and do not appeal to a multiverse. I thought I had clearly marked the citation as a citation ([sic]).

(22-10-2012 03:10 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  Since we are on the subject of quantum mechanics, one last thing to note is that the finest of all fine tuning takes place on the quantum level. My understanding of quantum theory is that it suggests that there should be an energy attached to space itself. This vacuum, which is ironically called empty space, is not just“empty space.” There are vacuum fluctuations which happen in an ongoing manner in the form of “seething mass.” In this mass there are things coming into being and going out of being all the time. The implication is that while there is nothing there, that doesn't mean nothing is going on. These fluctuations generate zero point energy, which is spread out over the whole of space. So there is energy associated with space. Then there is dark energy, which is causing the expansion of the universe. Here is my point: when we estimate how much energy there should be in space it turns out to be a way more than there should be. But, when we see the amount of energy there actually is per volume in space, it turns out to be minuscule in relation to what is expected. It turns out to be smaller by a factor of 10-120. This means that there had to be some fantastical cancellation that took place to turn the large number estimated into the tiny number that is observed. If this hadn't taken place you and I wouldn't be here having this intriguing discussion, nor would we be here to observe it. For a significantly higher energy would simply have blown the whole thing to crap, ripping it apart too fast for anything to really happen. . Now, I think that is the finest tuning that we know in the universe (one part in 10120).
Thus, we have to consider that we definitely live in a universe that is fine-tuned. You know as well as I do, that the contention is not in the evidence, but what we make of the evidence (its significance). I hope this explains better where I am coming from.
For the sake of the argument, let's assume that the Universe is fine-tuned. How do you go from "fine-tuned Universe" to "god exists"?

Like Chas said, you should take a look at Victor Stenger's take on the fine-tuned Universe.

It is not a leap from fine tuning to “God exists.” As I have said earlier, I don’t believe that science can prove or disprove God. Though I agree that the universe is finely tuned, I do not see this as sufficient and conclusive evidence to believe in God. In fact, I reject natural theology as a means of trying to “prove” God’s existence. Do I think they have some value? Yes, and even some people are convinced by these arguments. Thus, it seems rational to accept them and rational to reject them.

Arguments or “proofs” are not the source of my confidence in God. I don’t believe in God on the basis of natural theology. Nor do I need natural theology for rational justification for my belief in God. As I will argue below, I believe that it is entirely within my epistemic right to believe that God exists even if He cannot be proven empirically. Furthermore, I believe that God has put the knowledge of himself within each of us, but we suppress that knowledge through sin. Were it not for sin, human beings would believe in God to the same degree and with the same natural spontaneity that we believe in the existence of an external world, other persons, or the past.

In other words, belief in God is basic and it is entirely within my epistemic rights to believe in God. In essence, I reject classical foundationalism as the only means in which knowledge can be attainted and belief warranted. By classical foundationalism I mean a normative view in which the aim is to lay down conditions that must be met by anyone whose system of beliefs is rational. Thus, according to foundationalism, there is a right way and a wrong way with respect to people’s beliefs. Basically, classical foundationalism is a thesis about noetic structures. A classical foundationalist would argue that some of our beliefs are based upon others, and that a belief can’t properly be accepted on the basis of just any other belief. Thus, in a rational noetic structure A will be accepted on the basis of B if and only if B supports A (or is a member of a set of beliefs that together support A). But it is not clear what this relation is. Is it entailment or self-evidently entailed by A, or perhaps follows from A by an argument where each step is a self-evident entailment? Or is it probability? Maybe it is A supports B if B is probable with respect to A?

But here is what I think is most important in this discussion. It is the claim that in a rational noetic structure, there will be certain beliefs that are not founded or based upon others. These beliefs are called foundations. So, if every belief in a rational noetic structure were based upon other beliefs, the structure that is in question would not doubt contain infinitely many beliefs. We as humans are not capable of believing infinitely many propositions. Thus, there has to be certain foundational beliefs that are not incorrigible or self-evident
I do accept some form of foundationaism, call it weak foundationalism. This would entail that (1) every rational noetic structure has a foundation, and (2) in a rational noetic structure non-basic belief is proportional in strength to support from the foundation. So, what exactly am I saying? What exactly do I reject about classical foundationalism? I reject the idea that not just any kind of belief can be found in the foundations of a rational noetic structure. To them, for a belief to be properly basic it must meet certain conditions such as being either self-evident or evident to the senses or incorrigible.

I think that a rational noetic structure can certainly contain belief in God among its foundations. Thus, it is rationally acceptable to believe in God. Thus, I can know God exists even if I have no arguments based on other propositions on the empirical level. We see that this is rational through the argument of “other minds” and an appeal to the past. How do we know that other minds and, therefore, other people exist?

How do we know that people are not cleverly constructed robots? How do we know that behind the person facade lies a person?

That is, someone with thoughts, desires and feelings? We can’t experience another person’s feelings and we can’t see another person’s thoughts or truly feel their pain. Yet thoughts, desires, and feelings are all essential to being a person. Thus, we can’t tell from the outside if someone is a person. I can know that I am a person because I experience my own thoughts, feelings and desires. But I can’t know, because I don’t have any access to your inner-experience, if you, or anyone else on this forum, is a person. Thus, we have basic beliefs that other people are persons with minds and not robots, but we can’t prove that their mind exists empirically. The same with the past. I can’t see or experience the past. The existence of the past is neither incorrigible nor self evident. Neither can it be inferred from beliefs that are incorrigible or self evident. Thus, belief in other minds and belief in the past cannot be justified on classical foundationalism.

The argument is then often made as to what is the difference between taking belief in God as foundational, but not Santa Clause or the Great Pumpkin. Just because I reject classical foundationalism does not mean I am committed to supposing just anything is properly basic. Also, this objection betrays a very important misconception. How do I arrive at or develop a criteria for meaningfulness or proper basicality?

As the Russell Paradoxes have proven, some propositions seem self-evident, when in reality, they are not. Nevertheless, you and I would be irrational if we take as basic the denial of a proposition that seems self-evident. For example, it seems to you that you can see a rock. You would be irrational in taking as basic the proposition that you don’t see a rock, or that there are no rocks. In the same way, even if I don’t know of some great criterion of meaning, I can still reject that (1) T was brilling; and the slithy toves did gyre and gymble in the wabe (from Language, Truth , and Logic) is absolutely meaningless. Thus, even if I don’t have a substitute for the positivist verifiability criterion, I am still able to reject things as meaningless.
But again, what is the status of criteria for justified belief?

Suppose (2) For any proposition A and person S, A is properly basic for S if and only if A is incorrigible for S or self-evident to S
But how do we even know a thing like this? Where in the world does it come from? (2) is certainly not self-evident or obviously true. So, how does one arrive at this statement? What kinds of arguments are appropriate? One could just take it to be true, offering no justification for it whatsoever, but merely accepting it on the basis of other things he believes. If so, his noetic structure will be self-referentially incoherent. (2) is neither self evident nor incorrigible. Thus, in accepting (2) as basic, the classical foundationalist violates the condition of the proper basicality that he himself lays down in accepting it.

On the contrary, let’s say that there is some argument for it from premises that are self-evident. It is very hard to see what such arguments would be like. And until such arguments are produced, what will those of us who do not find (2) compelling do? How could one use (2) to show that belief in God is not properly basic? Why should we believe (2) or even pay attention to it?

The fact of the matter is that neither proposition (2) nor any other necessary or sufficient condition for justified belief or proper basicality follows from obviously self-evident premises by obviously acceptable arguments. So, the only proper way to arrive at such a criterion is inductive. This means that under the right conditions, it is clearly rational to believe that you see another person standing right in front of you. It is a being who makes decisions, has thoughts and feelings, knows things, and believes things. It is clear that you are not under an obligation to reason to this belief from others that you have. Under those conditions that belief is properly basic for you. If this is so, then (2) must be wrong; the belief in question, under those circumstances, is properly basic though it is neither self-evident or incorrigible to you.

Also, you might remember eating lunch today, and you suppose that you have no reason to suspect that your mind is playing tricks on you. You are entirely justified in taking that belief as basic. Indeed, it is not properly basic based on classical foundationalism, but this doesn’t count against you, but against the criteria of classical foundationalism. Thus, a criterion for basicality must be reached from “below” and not “above.”

The theist, specifically Christian theist, supposes that belief in God is entirely proper and rational, while at the same time, the belief in a fairy godmother is meaningless. This is because God has implanted a basic belief of himself in humanity. Thus, things being self-evident, incorrigible, or evident to the senses is not a necessary condition of proper basicality.

So, you see, my belief is much more complex than jumping from fine-tuning to God exists.
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31-10-2012, 02:56 PM
RE: Hello from KC's brother
(31-10-2012 02:27 PM)Zoebion Wrote:  ...
Were it not for sin, human beings would believe in God to the same degree and with the same natural spontaneity that we believe in the existence of an external world, other persons, or the past.

Why? How can you say that we would believe in something for which there is no evidence to the same degre as for that for which there is? That makes not one iota of sense.

Quote:In other words, belief in God is basic and it is entirely within my epistemic rights to believe in God.

You keep defending your right to believe the absurd. Keep telling yourself this and maybe you will actually believe it some day.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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31-10-2012, 03:02 PM
RE: Hello from KC's brother
That doesn't make any sense. You got one vague concept - sin - verifying another - god. And who judges sin? Obviously, you, the believer; but the moment you encounter one who is "without sin" to your extent and professes non-belief, your entire foundation should collapse. But it hasn't, cause you're here flapping your gums... Dodgy

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31-10-2012, 03:06 PM
RE: Hello from KC's brother
In what way is the universe "fine tuned" ?

How do you know that what "arises" is not delusional ? Many things which "arise" are wrong, and need correction. What is the standard for "correction" of that which arises ?

What is "sin", and how is that objectively defined ?

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Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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