Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
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25-05-2011, 05:06 AM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2011 05:12 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
Well obviously El Shadai you would need to prove that pigs can fly. The burden of proof is yours because you feel there is a correlation. The burden of proof is not so much for the skeptic, the skeptic simply seeks out answers to redefine what is known.

The thing is, not knowing is the real answer. What happens when we die? well we know that occasionally as the brain dies people hallucinate. Generally viewing something that they can bring back as proof of an afterlife. We don't really know what happens when we die at all. There are some cases of people with fantastical stories and there are also cases with people who died and nothing happened. There is no actual answer here.

I would like to know more about your specific belief system. We can make the unknown sound fantastical but we start not really giving answers. I'm not here right now with you to suggest that.

OK let's see.... four ways that Christianity helped science...
Appreciation of nature: Animism was a true appreciation of nature which spread well before Christianity though today has been all but wiped out by expansionism forcing the world to be Christian. I could discuss in great detail the bad things of missionaries, there is good but it often has a serious cost. Did you know that for a long time education was restricted to theology? Everyone who wanted to become more capable studied the bible. And the biggest thing here, is that you wouldn't be taken seriously if you looked to nature for answers because theology was the ultimate form of knowledge gaining. This was of course during a time where not being Christian meant death.

Patterns: The issue with this argument is that the patterns suggested by Christianity are perceptive patterns not real patterns. Christianity has always deemed that the bible's views are correct. When someone observes that the actual pattern or law in nature is quite different than the book Christians attack the idea. If we want to discuss persecution of visionaries by religion that's another topic as well. Humans have a tendency to notice patterns but often enough the ones we see are false (conspiracy theories).

Animism: Tribes with this world view tend to have witch doctors. These witch doctors do learn how to use certain plants and medicines to cure a large portion of the issues in the population. They also have a good understanding of something Christians love to claim, moderation. They understand in many ways exactly what will keep their group alive and there are many rules. If you want to talk about who sanctioned science it's not Christians. The Greeks believed in a polytheistic view at the time that they led a huge chain of discovery. The Ancient Egyptians believed in a polytheistic view with gods who often were not fully human like. Both of these nations were more instrumental in the beginnings of science, and indeed the middle east was a more advanced culture than Europe during times before the crusades. Just like the many advances made in Asia, which was more apart and generally learned things at a separate time. Given it's own nation, (which coined the phrase dark ages) Christianity for many years put a stop to any progress. As the story of Adam and Eve is a story that states progress is dangerous and sinful. And to say that religion still made a big difference is silly because at the time there was little known and a belief was necessary. There is enough now known that we no longer need a crutch to walk with in life.

Motives: There have always been motives to discovery. Star charts weren't invented due to a specific god, and in many cases stars were observed by people who didn't really care about a god while looking. The universe in itself is fascinating enough to motivate discovery. Human beings have always sought knowledge. Well before any serious religion (one spread to other tribes and touted as the absolute truth for all) appeared. We want to know and understand, and in most cases need to. That's how humans exist.

Methodology: This one makes little sense. Christians are still fighting to this day that the Earth is flat, and the sun revolves around the Earth. Not all of course, but many who feel the book is truth. Most people gain from the secular discoveries made during these times and adapt them to their religion. Spirituality is a fluid substance. If you have trouble believing something you can alter your view. The idea of science is that there are things which are real despite your view. If you say that pigs fly and no one else sees pigs flying, you might think they fly but we all think you're crazy.
Perception is a useful tool and has been employed again long before Christianity. That doesn't make it the basis for scientific methodology. Why is it that Christians so often claim that religion sprouts introspective abilities and the ability to hypothesize? People do these things anyway. It's part of our nature.

There I addressed those points. Perhaps not in the best way but I'm needing to leave for work. I want to discuss with you well the ideas you're trying to get at but realize we have a simple answer to why we should not believe Christianity. If something isn't true then believing it doesn't make it any more true. Spending your time focusing on a lie in general seems fruitless. Many of us know a lot about religions because we sought to comprehend what others see. In the end in general atheists see the best use of the knowledge gained in trying to help others think a bit harder on things. Whether it's good or bad to remove someone from irrationality is relative, but most I know who have had the cloud lifted state that things make a lot more sense now that they don't have to explain something intangible.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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25-05-2011, 05:56 AM
 
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(24-05-2011 10:24 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(24-05-2011 09:22 PM)ElShadai Wrote:  Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism.
If a intelligent creator is excluded, only chance or physical need is left.
What makes you believe, one of the two possibilites is more compelling than theism ?

How compelling they are doesn't enter into it. The evidence supports life arising by chance.

Lee Smolin (a world-class physicist and a leader in quantum gravity) estimates that if the physical constants of the universe were chosen randomly, the epistemic-probability of ending up with a world with carbon chemistry is less than one part in 10^220.
This epistemic-probability is one part in: 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 0.
Epistemic Probability: 0.0000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 1

It is said that when the odds are less than one to 10^50, a event probably will never occure........
(24-05-2011 10:26 PM)Efrx86 Wrote:  I have a question for you... if I say that pigs can actually fly like birds do and you deny this claim... which one of us bears the burden of proof?

Thats actually similar to say " the universe had no cause ", and is self sustained. To make a compelling case , you need as well to present positive evidence. Its simply wrong just to demand evidence for theism. Who holds a different position, has to present evidence as well.


(24-05-2011 10:50 PM)The_observer Wrote:  Ascribing creation to a deity rises more questions then it answers. It only pushes the questions into infinite regress.

Not, if God is a eternal entitiy without beginning.


Quote: It does not matter how much of the creation story caters to your feelings: it does not make it more true. Also, what story are you going to pick to believe in? The Christian? The Muslim? The Hindu? Or are you a nice fellow and do you want to find a compromise... Even if it caters to as much people as possible: It's not going to make it more true.

this topic is not about shifting the burden of proof upon me, but about you as atheist present positive evidence for YOUR case. Thats why i opened this topic.
If you do not want to engage it this discussion, don't.

Quote:It's rather hard to understand but,
The beauty and awesomeness of earth and life only exists in the eye of the beholder. Once you see that, it is much easier to understand the chance concept.

I don't understand it. Please explain it to me.

(24-05-2011 11:36 PM)daemonowner Wrote:  Say that to the history of mankind. The catholic church and the traditions of the chinese both prohibited people from dissecting the human body. That is why the concepts of chi and meridians arose. The catholic church also persecuted any that claimed a different set of beliefs or view of origins than they did. Galileo, among other scientists who proposed alternate views, we persecuted, and then they later had to apologise for their being wrong.

that does not belong to this topic. If you want to discuss influence of theism on science, open a other topic.




(25-05-2011 05:06 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Well obviously El Shadai you would need to prove that pigs can fly. The burden of proof is yours because you feel there is a correlation. The burden of proof is not so much for the skeptic, the skeptic simply seeks out answers to redefine what is known.

If you do not want to engage to the discussion of this topic, don't. But i am asking for explanations to atheists, for positive evidence for their case. Have any ?
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25-05-2011, 07:53 AM
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(25-05-2011 05:56 AM)ElShadai Wrote:  Lee Smolin (a world-class physicist and a leader in quantum gravity) estimates that if the physical constants of the universe were chosen randomly, the epistemic-probability of ending up with a world with carbon chemistry is less than one part in 10^220.
This epistemic-probability is one part in: 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 0.
Epistemic Probability: 0.0000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 1

It is said that when the odds are less than one to 10^50, a event probably will never occure........

Any given event in hindsight, especially when you say the physical constants in the universe are to be chosen randomly, will have a remarkably low outcome. But chances increase dramatically when you enter groups into it. The chances of any one person to win the lottery are so low it's considered nothing. But for some person, any person, to win the lottery, the chances actually become probable.

So, what they did was look at how our particular life can occur. We do not have knowledge of the complete set of environments that life can develop on planets(though, astronomers estimate even if out particular environment is needed for life, there is several several hundred million similar plants to our own in just the Milky Way alone). Secondly, I believe that quote is talking about even before the Big Bang, regarding the chances of how our universe could be set up and arranged. I'm curious to know he got such numbers from those numbers, dealing with outside universes and all.

(25-05-2011 05:56 AM)ElShadai Wrote:  Thats actually similar to say " the universe had no cause ", and is self sustained. To make a compelling case , you need as well to present positive evidence. Its simply wrong just to demand evidence for theism. Who holds a different position, has to present evidence as well.

Our position isn't insisting that there is no god, it's simply saying "I don't know", until we have enough evidence. If the evidence leads to God then I for would accept it, but it simply hasn't thus far. There are countless beginnings of the universe that could be that we ignore out of lack of evidence. We categorize god among them.



(25-05-2011 05:56 AM)ElShadai Wrote:  this topic is not about shifting the burden of proof upon me, but about you as atheist present positive evidence for YOUR case. Thats why i opened this topic.
If you do not want to engage it this discussion, don't.

Our position is neutral, we simply say there is not enough evidence to accept the claim that there is a god. I don't believe there is no god, but I lack belief there is a god. Not all claims share share the burden of proof equally. If someone suggests Santa is real, and another suggests Santa is not real, they don't both have to go about proving their case. An a-Santa-ist has no obligation to go about disproving Santa, it's up to the Santa-ist to provide poof for his position claim, and the a-santa-ist to react to his proof.

You seem to be under the impression that atheists either share the burden of proof, have have it solely on them. But traditional logic dictates that it is up to the person making the positive claim(that there is a god) to provide proof. Note, we do not say there is no god(at least I don't, and several others here too), we simply reject your claim that there is a god. An atheist will not provide disproof of god, but just react to proof of god presented. The idea of god has existed a long time, largely unquestioned. We decided to question it. That is all.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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25-05-2011, 10:11 AM
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
Hey, ElShadai.

Quote:Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism.
If a intelligent creator is excluded, only chance or physical need is left.
What makes you believe, one of the two possibilites is more compelling than theism ?

Well, personally, I think that better is too subjective a word to use in what seems like an objective debate. Better doesn't exist in the physical universe. What's better, sloths or leopards? What's better, being too full or not full enough? What's better, a toucan’s beak or a falcon's beak? It's all irrelevant.

Comparing Theistic creation notions with scientific theory is comparing apples to oranges. They function on different levels. All that can be presented is a different explanation, not a better one.

The universe is complex and so I can see the appeal of someone designing the parameters. I think that the universe is set up in such a way that it does not require the input of a creator in order to function, but I don't discount the possibility of real-time supernatural interference.

So we're left with the idea that chance created this universe. One theory is that there are multiple universes, ie, all that might be called existence is not restricted to space-time in this universe, but that many pockets of space-time, multiple universes, might exist nested within a larger reality of unknown qualities. The nature of our universe, the four forces, matter, all the rest, are finely tuned to allow life in certain "goldilocks" areas. This logically must be the case, because life exists, so as Ashley points out, improbability is irrelevant in our universe because the probable is what occurred. It’s interesting trivia, nothing more. That being said, it has been surmised that conditions might be remarkable different in other universes. Perhaps life as we know it would be impossible, perhaps life as we could never imagine is possible.

All of that is to say that the big bang resulted in a universe with very specific rules. For me, that suggests that it's possible that rules as we may or may not understand them stretch back before the big bang and that the big bang and whatever led to it, were simply operating under rules. That is to say, the universe is rules born of rules. If that's the case, then there is no need for a creator.

I personally think that both possibilities are, well, possible. Maybe an entity created the universe, maybe rules did. But as far as I can tell, there's no reason to believe either position at the moment as we can't prove the existence of God and we can't look back before the big bang; although Stephen Hawking is sure as hell trying, bless his freakishly brilliant mind.

In the end, it's not about better; it's just that people are operating based on two different models. In the Theistic model, there must be a creator. In the Atheistic model, or more specifically, in the model of methodological naturalism, there's no room for a creator. Believe whichever you like.

The only thing I can think of that approaches better is the theory of the big bang vs YEC. It seems that the evidence points to the big bang being an event that occurred several billion years ago. Granted, God could have created the world 6 000 years ago and then left evidence to make it look like it was older (like he wanted to skip the beginning and get to the good part) but I tend to think that big history fits the facts while Young Earth creationism requires some serious intervention from God in order to explain the evidence. I'm not always down with Occam, but in this case, I gotta go with the big bang. So for me, big bang theory isn't better, it just takes less explanation. But once big bang is accepted, we fall right back into the well did it just happen or did God make it happen argument. Potato potato I say.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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25-05-2011, 10:48 AM
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(25-05-2011 05:56 AM)ElShadai Wrote:  Lee Smolin (a world-class physicist and a leader in quantum gravity) estimates that if the physical constants of the universe were chosen randomly, the epistemic-probability of ending up with a world with carbon chemistry is less than one part in 10^220.

I find it highly unlikely that this is the entirety of his argument, as Lee Smolin is a well-known atheist who has, on numerous occasions, argued against the anthropic principle. He argues that, while the fundamental universal constants may be variable, this isn't important due to the fecund universes idea.

Beyond that, no one even has any proof that it is possible for the universe to have existed in any other condition. For all we know, the only way for a universe to exist at all is to be entirely identical to this one.

And beyond that, several papers such as this one have revealed findings that universes lacking certain fundamental forces entirely would look almost identical to our own.

And beyond that, even if Lee Smolin had said that, it would be entirely irrelevant, as saying "it's too improbable to happen" means nothing. It's the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. This universal configuration is exactly as likely as any other.

(25-05-2011 05:56 AM)ElShadai Wrote:  Not, if God is a eternal entitiy without beginning.

If God has no beginning, then your argument is self-refuting.

PREMISE: Self-existing objects do not exist
PREMISE: Only a self-existing object could have created the universe
CONCLUSION: Self-existing objects exist

It's invalid. The conclusion violates your premise. The only way to resolve it is to admit that self-existing objects can exist. But this exposes your argument to Occam's razor; you're adding an entity to the equation which is not needed. The universe can simply exist on its own.

Finally, like it or not, the burden of proof is on you, ElShadai. Theism is the argument positing the existence of an entity without any supporting evidence for it. Atheism is simply the negation of theism.

The evidence for atheism is the lack of evidence for theism.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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25-05-2011, 11:13 AM
 
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(25-05-2011 07:53 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  The idea of god has existed a long time, largely unquestioned. We decided to question it. That is all.

There is more evidence for Gods existence than ever before in human history.

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t5-argum...nce-of-god

beside this, if you don't know, theism is a better default position, than atheism.
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25-05-2011, 11:25 AM
 
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(24-05-2011 09:22 PM)ElShadai Wrote:  Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism.
If a intelligent creator is excluded, only chance or physical need is left.
What makes you believe, one of the two possibilites is more compelling than theism ?
Theism is not an explanation for human existence.

It's a fable that describes a mythological creation of the human race through inbreeding, by a creative anthropomorphic entity that has never been proven to exist save in such fairytale's as those contained in the Bible and elsewhere.

So in point of fact, saying chance created us is just as viable an explanation as saying a Deity did it.
We're a product of evolution who are said to have stardust in our genetic makeup. There are ancient Sumerian tablets that claim we were created as a genetic splicing experiment between what were known as the Nephilim, interestingly enough a race of beings that were mentioned twice in the Hebrew Bible in both the books of Genesis and Numbers, and what was at that time a species of ape that walked near upright and was found on the planes of what is today, Africa. While this experiment occurred in what is today, Iraq.
Interestingly enough that species of ape is thought to still exist but in very low numbers in that same region. It's been reported that if that is indeed the ape that was the ancestor to humans in this Nephilim experiment, it appears today as is thought to have then, as walking near upright and yet not covered completely in hair as is usual.
In any case, genetic splicing between that ape and the Nephilim is thought to have occurred and as such is what the Sumerian cuneiform tablets are alleged to describe.
Often people will criticize this information, however what is also interesting is that Sumerian tablets dated to around the same time period, depict what is thought to be our solar system complete with every planetary body now known including Pluto. (Bollocks what was recently determined by a vote that Pluto is not worthy of being considered a planet any longer) Whereas Pluto was not discovered by modern standards until the early part of the 20th century in 1928 by Mr. Clyde Tombaugh, using a 13 inch reflecting telescope.
Also attributed to the ancient Sumerians is a map depicting Antarctica prior to the ice cap. Antarctica was not discovered until the early 19th century with the ice cap in place. Today's satellite ground penetrating radar is able to ascertain the land mass, the topography, which amazingly matches to the T, the ancient Sumerian stone map of the same area.

So those are historic tablets, proven to exist, perhaps in contention as to what they depict. None the less, they are afforded an alleged historic record as to the possible origin of the human race.
When genetic splicing, "test tube" babies and cloning are all viable scientific applications today those ancient records support the possible origin of the human race far more realistically than does any errant fable denoting the first man was formed from red clay and the first woman from his rib, though the machinations of an invisible being that breathed it's breath into those substances in order to create man.
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25-05-2011, 11:28 AM
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(25-05-2011 11:13 AM)ElShadai Wrote:  
(25-05-2011 07:53 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  The idea of god has existed a long time, largely unquestioned. We decided to question it. That is all.

There is more evidence for Gods existence than ever before in human history.

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t5-argum...nce-of-god

beside this, if you don't know, theism is a better default position, than atheism.

No and no.

Your link's arguments are as flawed as the ones you have presented here. The first starts out fine, until it begins asserting that something must have created the universe without any supporting evidence. In fact, saying that there was no time before the universe is essentially saying that the universe cannot have a cause, as causality can only exist within time. So that argument is self-contradictory, as well.

Two is bare assertion and the Texas sharpshooter fallacy again.

Three is outright false.

Four is the appeal to emotion fallacy. The universe is not required to be nice.

Five is, again, the appeal to emotion fallacy.

Six assumes the truth of all the reported miracles and religious experiences with no supporting evidence.

The ontological argument is the equivocation fallacy - it fails to draw a distinction between existing conceptually and existing as a reality.

The moral argument is the appeal to emotion fallacy.

The teleological argument is bare assertion and the argument from ignorance.

The cosmological argument has the aforementioned problem of self-contradiction, both through stating that there can be causality in a timeless state and by stating that no uncaused objects can exist but an uncaused object exists.

Your section on "contingency" is simply illogical nonsense.

The argument from personal experience is simply credulous idiocy.

In short, your arguments fail on all counts to even begin to establish a case for God. Try again.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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25-05-2011, 12:20 PM
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(25-05-2011 11:13 AM)ElShadai Wrote:  
(25-05-2011 07:53 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  The idea of god has existed a long time, largely unquestioned. We decided to question it. That is all.

There is more evidence for Gods existence than ever before in human history.

http://elshamah.heavenforum.org/t5-argum...nce-of-god

beside this, if you don't know, theism is a better default position, than atheism.

I'll let Unbeliever address that website, but I will say that I found none of the arguments compelling, for what I'll go ahead and presume are more or less the same reasons Unbeliever didn't either. I do want to address one thing though; You continually claim that theism should be the default position, and the burden of proof rests initially with atheism. I want to hear your justification for this; why I should presume there is a god unless otherwise demonstrated?

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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25-05-2011, 12:38 PM
 
RE: Please present a better explanation for our existence than Theism
(25-05-2011 12:20 PM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  why I should presume there is a god unless otherwise demonstrated?

because there are all the reasons presented. If you discard them, what remains is chance , or physical necessity. If there is some other possible explanation, i have no idea of. To me, these two are the only alternatives. So if you discard theism, you should at least be able to explain, why one of the two alternatives are MORE compelling an credible. Any answer on this ?
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