Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
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10-05-2015, 10:40 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2015 09:53 AM by Call_of_the_Wild.)
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I feel that I have not been vague, rather that I have expressed my views clearly, that I do not advocate dogmatic Naturalism, nor do I feel that supernaturalism is adequately disproved. I am open to any phenomena provided only that it is verified.

When I say I am agnostic, it should tell you that I am without knowledge, on matters of the supernatural. When I say I am an Atheist, it should tell you that on the question of god(s), I do not believe.

Well, on the Christian view, if you don't accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, you have problems. It doesn't matter how one is labeled. On judgement day, there will be no distinction between the atheist, agnostic, naturalists, whatever. You all will be the same under the sun to God.

Also on the Christian view, God is a fair and holy God, which means that on judgement day (if Christianity is true), there will be no "I didn't have evidence"...don't get me wrong, some may be able to adaquately say that, but MOST won't. The Bible states that man is without excuse for not believing in God, so it becomes apparent that people don't believe because they don't like the concept of a cosmic Creator, a cosmic Being that they are accountable for their actions to.

This is all according to Christian theology, of course, and since I am a believing Christian, this is what I tote.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There should be contained within these two labels absolutely no indication of dogmatic naturalism, any acceptance of a burden to disprove god(s) utterly, or proven explanations for all unknown phenomena. These expectations are excellent examples of unfair shifting of the burden of proof. There can be little struggle in maintaining any belief provided that changing that belief is predicated upon impossible and unreasonable conditions.

Understood. That is why I like to point out specifics, particulary regarding human origins (life, universe, objective morality, consciousness, intelligence). The question is, what best explains these origins; a mindless and blind process (nature), or a Supreme Being (God)....those are the only two options, and I am saying the God hypothesis is the best explanation to explain these things.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I know you understand the concept because you apply it correctly when examining my arguments, yet we are wasting time with an entirely different measuring stick when it comes to the supernatural. Apparently all that is necessary for you to justify belief in this special category is that it has not yet been utterly disproved. I say it should be enough for anyone to disbelieve because it has not yet been proven.

Well, speak for yourself Big Grin I find the evidence convincing.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  When you cannot know a thing to be true, the only possible default position is to not believe it.

I completely agree with you, DP. But the fortunate thing for me and my position (and unfortunate for you and your position), is the fact that it can be KNOWN/PROVEN that time cannot be past eternal, so based on this, a First Cause is necessary, thus, God is necessary.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Likewise, the only possible default when a thing has been proven beyond all doubts is to accept the proof and believe it. So what argument do you intend to make? One moment you are admitting the supernatural is not yet proven, but that it doesn't matter because it hasn't been disproven either, and the next you are putting forward the Kalam as a proof.

Actually, I believe the supernatural has been proven.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The quip "you can't prove a negative" is a direct comment on how you are shifting the burden of proof unfairly onto whoever does not accept a claim. Proving a negative is simply proving that something is not so, rather than that it is so. It is possible to prove a negative. It is however, typically much more difficult. When you hinge your belief on whether or not god's non-existence can be proven, you are demanding the unbelievers prove the negation of god's existence.

I don't think you understand the significance of being able to prove that time had a beginning, DP. If it can be proven that time had a beginning, then whatever gave time its beginning had to exist BEYOND time. There is nothing within this universe that could have transcended time.

Now, with that being said, there are only two options. The God option, you said you don't believe, right? Well, on the surface, that seems to be an honest position. However, again, there are only two options.

1. God exists and time is finite
2. God doesn't exist, and time is infinite

Now, of those two options, one of them is impossible. #2 is impossible, it cannot be true. Since those are the only two options, and #2 can be proven to be false, then #1 wins by default.

It just occurred to me that agnosticism isn't a logical position. I think the problem is, people just don't realize that when they say "I don't believe in God", they are bascially saying "I don't believe in the only option available after the second option has been disproven".

They don't realize it is more to it than "I don't believe in God", but that's ok...thats why I am here Big Grin

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In summary, if believers feel that they cannot, and will not, stop believing until such a time as unbelievers prove the non-existence of god, they have failed to understand the burden of proof and are operating at a terminus of unreason. "The Best Explanation"

Well, let me put it to you this way, DP...I believe (and can back up this belief) we have evidence in favor of Christian theism, and evidence against naturalism. Now, you can play it safe all you want to, but theism and naturalism are the only two games in town, and if there are other options, then I'd like to know what they are.

The burden of proof is on the person that is making the claims, and since I am claiming that not only does God exist, but the CHRISTIAN God exists...I am making the claim, and I am more than delighted to provide evidence for my claims.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  We clearly differ on what criteria make an explanation superior. I do not consider a hypothesis to be superior simply because it can explain a greater quantity of things, unknown or otherwise. Rather, I take note of explanations with the fewest possible unknown factors, or superfluous assumptions. If in asserting a thing, another even more complex and mysterious thing is asserted, our understanding is counterproductively decreasing and the explanation is inferior. The more mysterious the new assertion is, the less we can predict with what we have learned.

If the "more complex and mysterious thing" that is asserted...if THAT is what it takes to explain the events (of origins) in question, then THAT is what needs to be asserted.

What we have is events in time (and even time itself)...all of which BEGAN to exist. Since everything that begins to exist have a cause, we need to posit a cause that is sufficient enough to cause the effect...and nothing within the universe can be the cause of life, consciousness, objective morality, and intelligence.

A transcendent cause is needed, and the only name/label/title/word in the dictionary that is capable of orchestrating these events (origins) is...God.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In the case of the supernatural, it can "explain" everything and still tell us nothing of consequence. One can merely assert that the supernatural is the cause of everything, yet there is no new data with which to progress in our understanding.

Well, some things we may never know, and some things we just don't know, YET. But the arguments that theists give for the existence of God is not based on what we don't know, but what we DO know.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I could assert that the flying spaghetti monster is the cause and reason for everything, including the creation of god.

Yeah, you could assert it, but what is the evidence for the assertion?? We can claim anything we want, but the question is what is the evidence for the claim?

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Having explained one more thing than god, he now explains the most unknown things. I don't know about you, though I may suspect, but I much prefer the caliber of explanation provided by science to "The supernatural did it. Case closed." Invoke the supernatural, learn nothing, and know nothing of consequence.

Whoa whoa, wait a minute...first off, if you can "explain one more thing that god", then that thing would be god? Why? Because God, according to Christian theism, is omnipresent, omnipotent, omnibenovolent, and omniscient...now my question to you is, can you conceive of a greater being than that? No, you can't. So there can never be one more being before God. Sorry charlie, ain't happening.

Second, its funny you say you prefer the explanations provided by science, when science has yet to tell us the origins of life, the universe, objective morality, intelligence/consciousness...so you can't possibly prefer the explanations provided by science regarding these matters, when science isn't currently able to tell us.

Third, that is actually the point that I am trying to drive home, and of course, it involves infinity. We can postulate cause/effects all we want to, but eventually you will get to a point where you need a beginning of all beginnings (a first cause), because lets hypothetically imagine that god was created by some even higher being...well, what created that god? And that one, and that one, and that one --------> infinity.

It just can't happen, and it can be proven that it can't happen. A first cause is not only necessary, but it is the only LOGICAL explanation that one can provide, and it is provided with theism, particularly Christian theism.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The track record of those who advocate supernatural explanations is so poor I am convinced their methods of determining causes and effects are utterly unsound.

So poor? I can't defend every theistic claim ever made in the history of mankind. The track record of naturalistic explanations isn't exactly flawless, either.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is not their fault as a matter of integrity. It is a matter of unsound methods and shoddy tools. If religion, spirituality, mysticism, meditation, prayer, and every other possible supernatural invocation is unable to explain something like disease in even one tenth the elegant detail of Science, I might take notice. Yet, that is a wild exaggeration of their merits at best.

You are generalizing, my friend. First off, I defend Christian theism, and I even disagree with some of my fellow believers when it comes to certain claims...all cases are not equal.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  After science has discovered material truth, made successful predictions, and opened up new frontiers of study and future knowledge, one can watch those who once advocated the supernatural pathetically re-interpreting their former "divine truths" to fit within the new understanding of science. I might take notice if one day religion discovered a truth so concrete that science had to change to accommodate it. That would be the day.

Well, show me a scientific truth regarding a naturalistic explanation involving the origin of life, the universe, objective morality, consciousness, intelligence, and language. That would be the day.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  We have spent a lot of time and energy arguing whether all of space, time, energy, and matter began to exist out of literal nothingness. Yet, the biggest weakness of the Kalam is that it would fail even if that were all true, because it would not then follow that the universe would require a cause.

Well, fortunately, you are not among the single digit % of folks that believe that the universe could have began to exist out of a literal nothingness, right?

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In order to establish that cause and effect occur normally on a scale so large as to include everything, we would need two things. Something also on that scale by which to compare and judge our universe, and the physics/mathematics necessary to operate on that scale without error.

The first is obviously impossible, since we are talking about everything. Of course there isn't going to be a second "everything" to compare.

Well, based on the arguments against infinity that I advocate and defend, these arguments will apply to not only our universe, but any other universe that you'd like to compare it to. Why? Because mathematical truths are necessary truths, which means that these truths apply all to ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS, regardless of whether these worlds are actual, or imaginary.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  We need higher physics and mathematics to describe incredibly fast speeds, incredibly small objects, and incredibly large objects within our universe. Good luck figuring out causation on a scale as large as the whole universe itself without something scientific or mathematical to back you up. The fact that in your everyday life, causes and effects have always functioned, is the philosophical and scientific equivalent of bringing a nail clipper to a tank fight.

The problem of infinity is still there, DP. Regardless of what cosmic dimension you can imagine...regardless of what higher physics and complex mathematics you'd like to utilize...the problem of infinity is like bad credit, it will follow you wherever you go.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Since you prefer Vilenkin to Guth, here we go.

It appears that the question of the origin of the universe does not have a satisfactory answer. Suppose I tell you what happened before inflation, then you could ask what happened before that.

Given this one statement, it seems to me that either Alexander Vilenkin is contradicting himself, or you are misrepresenting him and his theorem egregiously. In order for me to conclude the former, I would have to accept that he is smart enough to co-write the theorem, yet not smart enough to know what it proves. Take a shot in the dark at how likely I am to believe that.

Laugh out load First off, DP, look at the quote that you gave of Vilenkin. Are you comprehending what he said?

If the "question of the origin of the universe does not have a satisfactory answer", then that would mean that the universe HAS/HAD an origin, we just don't know what the origin is.

So, if the universe is infinite and eternal, then there WOULD BE NO QUESTION OF ORIGINS to find a satisfactory answer for, now would there???

This is the second time you've posted a video that is ultimately counter-productive to your agenda. All Vilenkin is saying is the universe had a beginning, but the question of where it originated from, we just don't have a satisfactory answer yet...and of course, he is making this statement as a scientist, because of course, theists believe we have a satisfactory answer...God.

I don't know, maybe the whole God thing takes the fun out of science, but that is a personal problem Laugh out load

Second, how the hell could I "misrepresent him and his theorem", when I gave you a video of him EXPLAINING THE THEOREM himself, and him stating that the theorem represents a beginning?? Huh

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  He goes on to tout his particular competing model of origins that I mentioned before, Quantum Nucleation, or a universe springing from nothing due to quantum fluctuations. He goes out of his way to point out, and confirm, that even this model requires the prior existence of energy, specifically these quantum fluctuations.

Laugh out loadLaugh out load Excuse the french but that is complete and utter BULLSHIT. He said "it is a mathematical fact that a closed universe...if you have a universe which encloses on itself, like a sphere for example closes...in such a universe, the positive energy of matter is exactly compensated by the energy of gravity."

So let me get this straight, you are talking about a universe from "nothing", but then when you begin to describe this nonsense, you start with "something", which is the "closed universe" that he referred to Laugh out load laughable.

It came from nothing, but it started as a closed universe??? Am I in the twilight zone?

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  By nothing I mean a state which has not only no matter, but also no space and no time.

So there was no matter, space, or time...but you started off with a closed universe?? I need this explained to me, because right now there is no sense being made whatsoever.


(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There is no problem of infinity because 1) Only "inflating" or expanding universes are past incomplete. Even if you apply BVG to an expanding universe, rather than the "Inflation" Vilenkin mentions, there is still any possible amount of existence before expansion began that is not yet explained. There are no physics yet to describe it, thus it is a past "boundary" to our understanding.

2) Whatever may have existed pre-expansion is not subject to a linear timeline and is not past incomplete either. Quantum energy may have always existed, or even matter

Your personal inability to coherently contemplate this early universe is both unsurprising and irrelevant. It is a great cosmological wonder and a puzzle even to people like Vilenkin.

The problem of infinity is independent of physics and cosmology, which is why one can prove that there had to have been an ultimate first cause..which is exactly what the medieval theist thinkers were doing, they were using philosophical arguments for the existence of a First Cause (God), because they obviously couldn't use scientific arguments at that time...and some of those philosophical arguments still stand today, in fact, I am using one Big Grin

Again, quantum mechanics or whatever..the arguments against infinite regression will apply. Nothing could have been happening IN TIME for all ETERNITY.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Every piece of every kind of evidence could all be pointing to a finite universe beginning in a finite point, and all that would prove is that the expansion began at that exact point. Even when a Cosmologist refers to this point as "The beginning of our universe" it still wouldn't describe the popping into existence of all STEM out of nothing.

Then by all means, please enlighten me on what it would describe?

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Everything hinges on definitions. We are clearly not using or understanding some words and phrases in the same way. When Cosmologists say "The universe had a beginning" it does not mean what the Kalam is attempting to prove. They are speaking about the well established and understood theories of Inflation and The Big Bang, not the popping into existence of all STEM. You can quote mine a hundred different times Guth and Vilenkin have said the words "beginning of the universe" with ease and still not have any support for the Kalam. All Christian apologists are doing is showing they are not experts in Cosmology, and forcing unbelievers to become one in order to continue the conversation.

Um, DP...if what you are saying is true, then why on earth has there been a history of competing mathematical models to rival the Standard Model of the big bang theory, and the BGV theorem??? If the natural realm is eternal, then the attempts by cosmologists to spew out all of these competing models would be futile, wouldn't it?

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Everything sentient you or I has ever known has been the result of a cause.

But it doesn't follow that everything sentient has a cause. If there is a mermaid civilization that lives in the deepest parts of the ocean that doesn't know anything about the above land, and one mermaid tells the other "every sentient thing you and I have ever known lives in the water", does it follow that every sentient thing lives in the water? No, it doesn't.

Non sequitur.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  None of them are eternal. You're telling me that isn't enough to establish the truth of something, that it always is true in your experience on a human scale?

If that is the case then we shouldn't even be talking about the whole "universe out of nothing" stuff, since in my human experience, I've never seen something come from nothing, and I don't think you have, either.

That aside, another non sequitur.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Yet, you say everything which exists must have had a cause. So, causation only applies to the universe when you say it does?

I am saying that there are philosophical problems with a universe popping into being out of nothing. See, I have reasons for NOT believing otherwise.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The conclusion follows logically from the premises. If they are true, it must also be true.

Not so fast.

(02-05-2015 05:04 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I find it hard to believe you haven't seen the point by now, that arguing against this syllogism is only possible the same way you would argue against the Kalam. If you try to show that its premises are false, you are shedding harsh light on the same inadequacies in the premises of the Kalam. The cleverness isn't that it's true, but that it forces you to be consistent.

Your entire syllogism is based on human experience, which is baffling, considering how limited human experience is. I guess Native Americans didn't exist before Columbus came to town, huh? Laugh out load
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12-05-2015, 02:49 PM
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
Christian Barbarism

I sometimes wonder whether any Christian has ever really shown his true colors if he has not yet threatened someone with eternal damnation. When Christianity was at the height of its power it was actually able to deal out violence and torture, which it did with its inquisitions, witch hunts, and crusades. Modern Christians will almost entirely claim to denounce these as the immoral horrors they were, right up until the moment when they tell you that when you go to hell, the torture lasts forever this time. They won't hurt you, but their god will.

I think I have reached a point now when this kind of thing genuinely puts a smile on my face. Just imagine it, that when your enemies take the gloves off, they mean to beat you up with imaginary fists! What you are really telling me is that your arguments are so inadequate they require fear to be believed.

Just take a moment to notice how much it doesn't alarm you that your primary understanding of what unbelievers think and stand for comes from a bronze age holy book rather than from talking and listening to unbelievers in our day. I don't see how it would matter what reasons I give for not believing, because you have already decided what to believe about me in advance, and you will not be swayed because it is a supposedly "inspired" opinion.

At this moment, I can say without the slightest hesitation that your belief has absolutely nothing to do with science or reason. We can gab about Cosmology all day, and you will still have not applied even one tenth the scrutiny we have used in our discussion toward assessing the bible. It is as clear as noonday that you care only about those aspects of science that appear to support your superstitiously derived views about god. If you cannot consider the bible to be wrong about anything at all, especially about a group of people its authors wanted desperately to suppress and intimidate, you are espousing a science of human perfection, and purity of motivation, that boggles the mind.

So ultimately what you are admitting to me by telling me where you source your beliefs about unbelief, is that you are not capable of participating in this discussion honestly, taking the views of another human being as genuine. You are approaching your fellow men and women with distrust, and discourtesy, and then not fairly considering their point of view.

A Eulogy For Infinity

Read very carefully because I am not going to repeat myself again. After this I am putting our cosmological discussion to bed. We obviously have reached an utter impasse and should move on.

The Kalam argues for a creation from literally nothing, as in, NO THINGS, emptiness, No space, time, energy, or matter. That is a fact. Remember what Dr. Craig said?

"When we say creation out of "nothing" we don't mean that "nothing" is a sort of "something" out of which god made the world. Rather, we can express it more clearly by using a negative. God did not create out of anything. He created, but he did not create out of anything. That's what we mean when we say he created out of nothing. We don't mean that nothing is something. We mean "not anything". "

BVG doesn't prove any such thing. It proves that all inflationary space-times are past incomplete. It makes no comment whatsoever on possible pre-histories to inflationary space times, such as Quantum Nucleation. That's just it of course, "possible pre-histories". The universe has neither been proven finite, nor infinite.

I am cynical at this point that you will grasp the significance of that statement. You have proven yourself utterly incapable, or at least unwilling, to understand a position that is not either side of a dichotomy. I think "simple" is the right term for a view that must necessarily be either A or B, especially when neither is proven, and that is all I ever meant to point out to begin with. When Vilenkin says that there is no satisfactory answer for the origins of the universe, that means that origins have not yet been proven to exist at all. Until you find one and confirm it, there is always the possibility that there might not be one.

Time doesn't prove it either, because existence does not necessarily require time. Obviously the creators of the Kalam agreed with me on this since they came up with a timeless being outside of all Space, Time, Energy, and Matter, and he supposedly "exists". What I have said, nigh on three or four times now, in different ways, is that your little supposed problem of infinity doesn't apply to existences outside of time itself.

I gave two examples from well known Cosmologists. Guth pointed out that Inflation cannot have begun without a pre-existent piece of negative gravitational material. Vilenkin pointed out that it would not violate conservation laws in a closed universe for it to spring into existence out of nothing more than Quantum energy.

It is frustrating to say the least that you have not, and maybe cannot grasp something as simple as "terminology among scientists is different than non-scientists." Since clearly I have to, let's dive back into Vilenkin again.

"It is a mathematical fact that in a closed universe...the positive energy of matter is exactly compensated by the energy of gravity, which is always negative. So, the total energy of a closed universe is necessarily zero. There is no conservation law that forbids creation of a closed universe out of nothing.

In Quantum Mechanics everything that is not forbidden by conservation laws necessarily happens with some probability. So Quantum Mechanics allows a spontaneous nucleation of a closed universe out of nothing.

Where by "nothing" I mean a state which has not only no matter, but not space and no time.


Vilenkin goes out of his way to explain "by 'nothing' I mean" quantum energy. His theory relies upon fluctuations of quantum energy which must exist outside of the universe, or how else could they spontaneously nucleate it? Thus he describes the state before the birth of a closed universe as having no Matter, Space, or Time, yet energy is left off the list because it must necessarily exist in advance.

In order for the Kalam to work, a finite universe must be proven, with absolutely NO THINGS outside of it other than god. We can't have the possibilities open, or the Kalam isn't sound. Of course, this is what happens when you jumble together theology and Cosmology and expect them to work into a coherent proof. You are asking for trouble.

Congratulations, You Refuted the Kalam

Just as I said before, by arguing against my syllogism, you showed exactly what is wrong about the first premise of the Kalam. Your example of the mermaid civilization is perfect. The world outside of the water is a different scale than the underwater world, so the same rules do not apply.

The Kalam makes the same compositional error when it determines that everything which began to exist has a cause. In our experience cause and effect function normally with everything

Just as it does not follow that everything sentient has a cause, neither does it follow that everything beginning to exist is caused. Especially not necessarily when it comes to taking the whole universe as a scale all its own.

Normally, when dealing with scales outside our experience, higher mathematics and physics are required, such as Quantum Mechanics, which describes the very small. It should be enough for the first premise to die out that we do not have such physics for the universe as a whole.

You can't be right and wrong about this. Either compositional errors are fallacious and both syllogisms are false, or they are not, and they are both true. If they are both true, god has a cause and we are right back to an infinite regress.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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16-05-2015, 07:26 AM
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I sometimes wonder whether any Christian has ever really shown his true colors if he has not yet threatened someone with eternal damnation.

Well, I will put it to you this way, DP; if Christianity isn't true, then there is nothing to feel threatened about, right?

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  When Christianity was at the height of its power it was actually able to deal out violence and torture, which it did with its inquisitions, witch hunts, and crusades.

I'm sure practically ever religion has had its fair share of abuse, but that doesn't have anything to do with the truth value of whether or not the religion is true.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Modern Christians will almost entirely claim to denounce these as the immoral horrors they were, right up until the moment when they tell you that when you go to hell, the torture lasts forever this time. They won't hurt you, but their god will.

Again, if Christianity isn't true, then there is nothing to worry about, right? Or am I missing something here?

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I think I have reached a point now when this kind of thing genuinely puts a smile on my face. Just imagine it, that when your enemies take the gloves off, they mean to beat you up with imaginary fists! What you are really telling me is that your arguments are so inadequate they require fear to be believed.

Actually, that isn't what I am telling you. Not every Christian sect/denomination even believes in hell. Take Jehovah's Witnesses, for instance. They don't believe in the doctrine of hell, so their interpretation of the scripture doesn't require "fear" to believe.

Hell is just an unfortunate place for one to spend eternity. The idea is accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and realize that you are a sinner and need a Savior, and give your life to Christ. Is that asking for to much? Apparently, it is.

No one is asking anyone to give money or offer any kind of material thing that they don't have. No one is asking anyone to do an incredible feat like jump through rings of fire or do 100 consecutive back flips or something.

Just accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, but not before you examine all the evidence for and against the Resurrection of Christ. Ask God, if he exist, to open your heart and eyes to the evidence, then examine the evidence...and if you are truly genuine and sincere, you will come to God and he will welcome you with open arms.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Just take a moment to notice how much it doesn't alarm you that your primary understanding of what unbelievers think and stand for comes from a bronze age holy book rather than from talking and listening to unbelievers in our day.

Do I, or do I NOT have hundreds of posts on the internet from quite a few atheist and religions forums, where I engage with the opposition on a day by day basis? I have been a Christian apologist for the past 15 years, and I am currently active...so I have been talking and listening to unbelievers in our day.

Thus far, no one has yet to convince me that intelligence can come from "mind-lessness".

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I don't see how it would matter what reasons I give for not believing, because you have already decided what to believe about me in advance, and you will not be swayed because it is a supposedly "inspired" opinion.

The question is, do you WANT to believe? That is the question.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  At this moment, I can say without the slightest hesitation that your belief has absolutely nothing to do with science or reason.

And I can say without the slightest hesitation that your lack of belief has absolutely nothing to do with lack of evidence. It is my firm opinion that if Christianity actually allowed people to do what they wanted to do, like have sex with anyone they wanted without consequence, then we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

Or better yet, a deistic religion that allowed people to do whatever they wanted without consequence, that is a lot more attractive than a religion which tells you "you are a man, so you shouldn't lust after other men"...or, "that woman is married, you shouldn't lust after her"....or, "that is a young child, you shouldn't have relations with her", or "that bike doesn't belong to you, so you shouldn't take it".

If the God of Christianity turned a blind eye to those kinds of things, about 80% of the world would be Christian, in my opinion.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  We can gab about Cosmology all day, and you will still have not applied even one tenth the scrutiny we have used in our discussion toward assessing the bible.

We discussed the Bible?

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is as clear as noonday that you care only about those aspects of science that appear to support your superstitiously derived views about god.

Actually, I have no problems going whereever the science takes me. No problem at all. I know that science is incapable of disproving my religious beliefs, so there is nothing to worry about. But it is worth mentioning that science & religion aren't incompatible, and there are many theistic scientists out there.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If you cannot consider the bible to be wrong about anything at all, especially about a group of people its authors wanted desperately to suppress and intimidate, you are espousing a science of human perfection, and purity of motivation, that boggles the mind.

Wrong about what? I need specifics, not generalizations.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So ultimately what you are admitting to me by telling me where you source your beliefs about unbelief, is that you are not capable of participating in this discussion honestly, taking the views of another human being as genuine. You are approaching your fellow men and women with distrust, and discourtesy, and then not fairly considering their point of view.

I am a follower of truth, and I am willing to go where the evidence takes me, unlike some people.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  A Eulogy For Infinity

Read very carefully because I am not going to repeat myself again. After this I am putting our cosmological discussion to bed. We obviously have reached an utter impasse and should move on.

You are a funny dude, DP. Laugh out load

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The Kalam argues for a creation from literally nothing, as in, NO THINGS, emptiness, No space, time, energy, or matter. That is a fact. Remember what Dr. Craig said?

Correct. That is because I don't know of anyone that has ever advocated that the singularity from which STEM originated from was just sitting there for eternity and waiting to expand, and for some reason some 13.7 billion years ago, it expanded. Nor am I aware of anyone that can prove that infinite regress is something that can occur in reality.

Based on those two accounts, Dr. Craig is absolutely right in his conclusion. Now, if there is a refutation of those two floating around somewhere in the universe (no pun intended), I haven't heard it yet.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  BVG doesn't prove any such thing. It proves that all inflationary space-times are past incomplete.

Newsflash, DP. If something is "past incomplete", that would mean it had a beginning, just sayin'. If time cannot be extended into the infinite past, that would mean it is has a finite beginning.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It makes no comment whatsoever on possible pre-histories to inflationary space times, such as Quantum Nucleation. That's just it of course, "possible pre-histories". The universe has neither been proven finite, nor infinite.

You can get as technical as you want, good friend. A "pre-history" is still a temporal concept, and temporality isn't something that can be extended to past infinity.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am cynical at this point that you will grasp the significance of that statement. You have proven yourself utterly incapable, or at least unwilling, to understand a position that is not either side of a dichotomy.

Think so? Since we've had this discussion, I've tried to bait you into at least half hearted discussion on infinity, but all you want to do is talk about the cosmology, which doesn't negate my point at the least bit.

Keep up the bad work Thumbsup

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I think "simple" is the right term for a view that must necessarily be either A or B, especially when neither is proven, and that is all I ever meant to point out to begin with.

Then refute my points, please.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  When Vilenkin says that there is no satisfactory answer for the origins of the universe, that means that origins have not yet been proven to exist at all. Until you find one and confirm it, there is always the possibility that there might not be one.

The fact that infinite regression is impossible <----confirmed.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Time doesn't prove it either, because existence does not necessarily require time.

No shit, Sherlock. Of course, existence doesn't require time...BUT, if there is no ultimate First Cause, then you are again implying that every single event that comes to past is part of an infinitely long chain of cause/effect relations, which goes all the way back to past eternity...and THAT, my friend, DOES necessarily require time.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Obviously the creators of the Kalam agreed with me on this since they came up with a timeless being outside of all Space, Time, Energy, and Matter, and he supposedly "exists". What I have said, nigh on three or four times now, in different ways, is that your little supposed problem of infinity doesn't apply to existences outside of time itself.

This is a misunderstanding of the concept of time, on your part. The argument is that God was timeless "before" creation, and after creation, he BECAME temporal. God is now forever subjected to time...it was a irreversible effect that he is now subjected to. So as of right now, there is no such thing as being "outside of time". However, before time began, God was obviously outside of time.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I gave two examples from well known Cosmologists. Guth pointed out that Inflation cannot have begun without a pre-existent piece of negative gravitational material.

Ok, so where did this piece of negative gravitational material come from? And as long as this gravitational material existed, it had to exist in time...the problem is, it cannot be infinite. That is the problem you have.

And I will say again, for the umphteenth time, the problem of infinity is independent of what Mr. Guth says, or anyone else. Guth can explain the science aspect of it all he wants to, but science won't be able to save him, or you, when it comes to the philosophical stuff.

You can't just sweep that shit under the rug as if it isn't significant. Now, you can either admit that you have problems but still carry on the "Any answer but the God one" attitude...or you can admit that you have problems and change your worldview so that it is consistent with reality.

Either way, the problem needs to be admitted, otherwise you are living in irrational denial.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Vilenkin pointed out that it would not violate conservation laws in a closed universe for it to spring into existence out of nothing more than Quantum energy.

So what is it about quantum energy that allows it to only spring universes out of existence? What is the natural law that allows this to happen??? If you can't answer that, then you don't really have a theory.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is frustrating to say the least that you have not, and maybe cannot grasp something as simple as "terminology among scientists is different than non-scientists." Since clearly I have to, let's dive back into Vilenkin again.

Oh, I'm sorry for not grasping the concept of "nothing" being shaped and molded to be defined as "something". My bad.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  "It is a mathematical fact that in a closed universe...the positive energy of matter is exactly compensated by the energy of gravity, which is always negative. So, the total energy of a closed universe is necessarily zero. There is no conservation law that forbids creation of a closed universe out of nothing.

Nonsense. You start the quote off with a "in a closed universe" <---something that exists....then the quote is ended with "there is no conservation law that forbids creation of a closed universe out of nothing"...makes no sense.

Please explain to me the natural law that allows SOMETHING (an entity that exists) to come from nothing (non-being).

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In Quantum Mechanics everything that is not forbidden by conservation laws necessarily happens with some probability. So Quantum Mechanics allows a spontaneous nucleation of a closed universe out of nothing.

And there would have to be an infinite amount of events which lead to that spontaneous nucleation of a closed universe out of nothing, which is impossible. For every moment that comes to past, an infinite amount of past moments preceded it...so that no moment would ever come to past if there was an infinite number of moments which preceded it.

Again, this is a philosophical problem, and quantum mechanics just can't save you or Vilenkin here.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Where by "nothing" I mean a state which has not only no matter, but not space and no time.

Please give me the term you would use to describe a state at which there is no physical matter, space, or time???

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Vilenkin goes out of his way to explain "by 'nothing' I mean" quantum energy.

Nonsense. Isn't quantum energy "something"? Laugh out load

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  His theory relies upon fluctuations of quantum energy which must exist outside of the universe, or how else could they spontaneously nucleate it?

If it is fluctuations of quantum energy, then that would make it...something, correct? Apparently, "nothing" is not the same as "non-being" here, now is it?

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Thus he describes the state before the birth of a closed universe as having no Matter, Space, or Time, yet energy is left off the list because it must necessarily exist in advance. '

So let me get this straight...you just said "energy is left off the list because it must necessarily exist in advance"...so you are saying that "something" must necessarily exist in advance...yet above you and Vilenkin are up there talking about something from nothing? Makes no sense.

Second, please explain to me how energy can exist without time??? Just take some time (no pun intended) to do that for me. As big of a hole you are in, I just want to see you dig yourself a bigger one.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In order for the Kalam to work, a finite universe must be proven, with absolutely NO THINGS outside of it other than god.

If the the physical realm is past eternal...you shouldn't have a problem explaining to me how a single event can come to past on an infinitely long cause/effect chain, leading to the present moment. This is something that HAD to have occurred if the universe is past eternal, so I expect an answer from you in this regard. The Kalam gives both scientific and philosophical evidence for a finite universe. All of these pieces of evidence are independent from the other, so even if you shoot one down (which you haven't yet, but hypothetically speaking), you still have the others to deal with.

The day you do that is the day I become a naturalist

And we haven't even discussed the other scientific evidence, like entropy and thermodynamics yet.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  We can't have the possibilities open, or the Kalam isn't sound. Of course, this is what happens when you jumble together theology and Cosmology and expect them to work into a coherent proof. You are asking for trouble.

No trouble for me. I don't think theology and cosmology are incompatible. Also, I like how you felt the need to capitalize Cosmology...but you didn't feel the need to capitalize Bible Laugh out loadLaugh out load

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Congratulations, You Refuted the Kalam

Just as I said before, by arguing against my syllogism, you showed exactly what is wrong about the first premise of the Kalam. Your example of the mermaid civilization is perfect. The world outside of the water is a different scale than the underwater world, so the same rules do not apply.

I was talking about YOUR notion that just because X goes against human experience, it is a leap of faith to determine whether Y is either true or false.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The Kalam makes the same compositional error when it determines that everything which began to exist has a cause. In our experience cause and effect function normally with everything

Again, in the mermaid example, land dwelling creatures goes against the mermaids experience, but does it follow that there are no land dwelling creatures?? No, it doesn't.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Just as it does not follow that everything sentient has a cause, neither does it follow that everything beginning to exist is caused. Especially not necessarily when it comes to taking the whole universe as a scale all its own.

If you can show how infinity can be traversed, then I will agree with you. But unfortunately for you, this is impossible. Unlike your position, mines can be demonstrated with mathematical certainty. Your's cant. So I actually have good reasons to conclude that there had to been an ultimate First Cause, and I have reasons against infinite regression, and being the logical person that I am, I just simply follow the evidence where it goes. It goes right to theism.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Normally, when dealing with scales outside our experience, higher mathematics and physics are required, such as Quantum Mechanics, which describes the very small. It should be enough for the first premise to die out that we do not have such physics for the universe as a whole.

Again, for the umphteenth^2 time....the infinity problem is independent on physics, quantum mechanics, and higher mathematics. That is like going to a foreign country and speaking out against the countries dictator, and you are arrested and sent to prison awaiting a death sentence....and you say "wait a minute, according to the Constitution, I have freedom of speech"....and everyone standing there laughs and say to you "Your Constitution doesn't mean anything here, if you want rights, you should have stayed in the United States" Laugh out load

In other words, quantum mechanics/higher math doesn't mean a damn thing when it comes to logical problems, buddy.

(12-05-2015 02:49 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You can't be right and wrong about this. Either compositional errors are fallacious and both syllogisms are false, or they are not, and they are both true. If they are both true, god has a cause and we are right back to an infinite regress.

I am still waiting on a response to the infinity problem. I am getting everything BUT that.
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19-05-2015, 01:24 PM
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
At this moment I am discussing Christianity in particular. Religions are not all created equally and are not endowed with certain inalienable rights of equality in criticism, despite the way they throw a tantrum about unfairness every time someone calls them on their nonsense.

First off, threats don't necessitate hell. Christians can threaten with the second coming for example, with their stories of how Christ's return will rain violence and death down on unbelievers. There is always some form of supernatural coercion just waiting to be drawn from the theological holster and pointed at unbelievers.

I think threats of violence actually have a lot to say about the truth of a given proposition. Obviously Christians feel it is absolutely vital, paramount, important beyond all reason, that everyone believe and act as they do. If formal arguments and missionary work were all that was required to show the truth of Christianity, what need would Christians ever have to harm anyone in the name of faith? It is precisely because Christian thinking is so deluded and pathetic, and so underwhelming and illogical, that they need violence to compel anyone who doesn't comply with the message. Thus, the need for violence is evidence of ideas that are not universally convincing and not obviously true.

You are certainly not the first believer who has invited me to stop being so skeptical when it comes to examining the evidence. You guys usually call it "getting into the spirit of the gospel" or "opening your mind to light" or some other foolish half-phrase meaning STOP BEING SO CRITICAL and JUST BELIEVE. In your case "open your heart and mind to the evidence". You might as well give up on that front right now, for two reasons. First, I am never going to stop using my critical thinking skills to evaluate things. Second, I have already examined what evidence is available and found it wanting.

You certainly talk to unbelievers, you just don't treat them with honest respect. I have read everything you have to say, and concluded that you genuinely believe as you say, for the reasons you give. I understand that you truly believe your arguments are obviously sound and your belief is the only rational view of the evidence. In other words, I do not doubt your motives simply because I disagree with you.

I think, based on your own words, that you don't believe me when I give my reasons and arguments for unbelief. It isn't just that you disagree with me. You don't believe that these are my genuine reasons. Based on what the bible says about unbelievers, as you quoted it to me, and your own private beliefs about atheist motives, you have already decided that I am motivated solely by a desire to rid myself of all moral obligations. I just don't understand how any kind of meaningful conversation can take place when you have predetermined conclusions about other people that you then believe despite everything they actually say.

What I want to believe is what is true, and nothing short of it. Therefore, I go about finding out what is true as best I can, skeptically, believing only what I can demonstrate with evidence or logic. I don't care if the truth is nice or not. There are plenty of beautiful lies for those who prefer a story. I have better things to do.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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22-05-2015, 08:49 AM
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  At this moment I am discussing Christianity in particular. Religions are not all created equally and are not endowed with certain inalienable rights of equality in criticism, despite the way they throw a tantrum about unfairness every time someone calls them on their nonsense.

Nonsense comes from every belief system, not just religion.

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  First off, threats don't necessitate hell. Christians can threaten with the second coming for example, with their stories of how Christ's return will rain violence and death down on unbelievers. There is always some form of supernatural coercion just waiting to be drawn from the theological holster and pointed at unbelievers.

Well again, if Christianity isn't true, then you as an unbeliever don't have anything to worry about...unless you are threatened by an imaginary gun being pointed at you.

And that doesn't just apply to you, either. Heck, if a Muslim told me that Allah is sending me to hell when I die, I would not feel threatened in the slightest regard. However, if a prophet of God came to me and told me that I am not part of the Kingdom of the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob...and that Jesus does not know me...not only would I feel threatened, but I would be FRIGHTENED.

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I think threats of violence actually have a lot to say about the truth of a given proposition. Obviously Christians feel it is absolutely vital, paramount, important beyond all reason, that everyone believe and act as they do.

"....that eveyone believe and act as Christ do".

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If formal arguments and missionary work were all that was required to show the truth of Christianity, what need would Christians ever have to harm anyone in the name of faith?

The Crusades were a long time ago, buddy.

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is precisely because Christian thinking is so deluded and pathetic, and so underwhelming and illogical, that they need violence to compel anyone who doesn't comply with the message. Thus, the need for violence is evidence of ideas that are not universally convincing and not obviously true.

I don't know who "they" is, as nothing you said applies to me or anyone I know.

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You are certainly not the first believer who has invited me to stop being so skeptical when it comes to examining the evidence.

I am not asking you to not be skeptical...I am asking you to be fair and balanced in your inquiries, and to have an open mind...and to examine the evidence on both sides....if you can do all of that and still remain an unbeliever, then hey.

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You guys usually call it "getting into the spirit of the gospel" or "opening your mind to light" or some other foolish half-phrase meaning STOP BEING SO CRITICAL and JUST BELIEVE. In your case "open your heart and mind to the evidence". You might as well give up on that front right now, for two reasons. First, I am never going to stop using my critical thinking skills to evaluate things. Second, I have already examined what evidence is available and found it wanting.

Failing to engage the infinity problem is not an example of "examining what evidence is available"...that is an example of "deliberately dodging the evidence that is being presented against naturalism, which is the default position if theism is negated".

And it is this kind of avoidance that allows me to draw the conclusion that you (and others) don't want there to be a God. You don't want theism to be true.

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You certainly talk to unbelievers, you just don't treat them with honest respect. I have read everything you have to say, and concluded that you genuinely believe as you say, for the reasons you give. I understand that you truly believe your arguments are obviously sound and your belief is the only rational view of the evidence. In other words, I do not doubt your motives simply because I disagree with you.

Thumbsup

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I think, based on your own words, that you don't believe me when I give my reasons and arguments for unbelief. It isn't just that you disagree with me. You don't believe that these are my genuine reasons. Based on what the bible says about unbelievers, as you quoted it to me, and your own private beliefs about atheist motives, you have already decided that I am motivated solely by a desire to rid myself of all moral obligations. I just don't understand how any kind of meaningful conversation can take place when you have predetermined conclusions about other people that you then believe despite everything they actually say.

Because, to believe that life came from nonlife, that consciousness came from unconsiousness, that intelligence came from ignorance, that verbal language came from the mute, and that the universe either popped in to being out of nothing, or that it existed eternally in time...those positions are all irrational, according to my view.

And I don't think any person with common sense would believe these things. That is just my opinion. Those are all default positions if one is to reject theism. I don't believe any intelligible person can accept those positions, so therefore, for them to reject the more rational/plausible position, there has to be a reason why, and it all comes back to accountability. People don't want someone telling them who they can sleep with, for the most part.

(19-05-2015 01:24 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What I want to believe is what is true, and nothing short of it. Therefore, I go about finding out what is true as best I can, skeptically, believing only what I can demonstrate with evidence or logic. I don't care if the truth is nice or not. There are plenty of beautiful lies for those who prefer a story. I have better things to do.

Yeah, you have better things to do, in this finite lifetime, right? (think about it).
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23-05-2015, 12:59 PM
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
I think you are falling into a common defense mechanism in the face of a criticism of your particular religion. It may well be true that many religions have committed terrible crimes or are coercive and dangerous. That fact is not at all relevant to my comments about Christianity in particular.

Imagine a man who has committed a terrible crime. Perhaps he has killed his neighbor. When cornered, arrested, and then questioned he shrieks "But all my friends have murdered their neighbors at some time or another!". The point is the criticism itself, not whether other religions are guilty as well.

It is not so much the supernatural elements of the threats that we object to, but the earthly consequences in the behavior of those who utter them. Take the medieval example of the inquisition. A short foray into the ugly written works on the subject will reveal that the doctrine of hell was a driving factor in rationalizing torture. It was thought that earthly finite torture is even a compassion when used to save a soul from the eternal torture of hell.

As you say, that was a long time ago. What about today? Well, Fundamentalist Christians who believe Jesus is returning sometime soon have successfully prevented any meaningful progress on the issue of climate change. Similar facets of the Christian Right have prevented valuable stem cell research lest the souls of people supposedly inside them be disturbed. History has taught me a lesson. Let Christianity grow in power and influence, and it won't be long before it not only deals with the afterlife, but makes decisions in this one too, regardless of whether or not nonbelievers like it.

I could see why someone who believes in Christianity might not understand or even see why nonbelievers would object to having supernatural threats leveled at them. You are a part of a majority, one that has embedded itself into the history, culture, literature, music, and government of country and our time. You are not necessarily concerned with the adverse effects your cult might have upon outsiders.

Perhaps if you were living in a Muslim country and were told every other day you were going to hell, you might take offense. I very much doubt you would be as understanding as you expect me to be.

Take for example the indoctrination of children. Religion relies heavily upon the right of parents to teach their religion to their children, as absolutely true beyond all doubt, regardless of what faith that may be. Thus, doctrines of fear such as eternal hell, and the tribulation, are taught to people who's minds have not developed sufficiently to recognize there is no tooth fairy.

I was lucky enough to be a part of a faith that didn't believe in the doctrine of hell, but I know many unbelievers who were not spared likewise. They have rational reasons now to disbelieve in hell, yet some of them still feel sick to their stomach when some fanatical Christian says something horrible like "I hope you like burning in hell!".

If I got you when you were young enough, and taught you that a horrible demonic beast would be unleashed upon you in your bedroom should you ever utter a bad word, I think I could bring you to believe me. When you got older, and wiser, you might figure out that I lied. Yet, the fear of the beast I described so often and such vivid detail might still claw at your subconscious, your underlying fears. I doubt you would be thrilled to have that fear excited by passersby repeating the stories I used to tell, and threatening you with them.

Besides those reasons, isn't just a terrible way to speak to another human being? Isn't it more important that someone has enough callousness or even hatred in their heart that they would actually revel in someone being tortured forever? I find it very telling that Christians might think non-belief of their neighbors is a license to treat them in any way they like when it comes to religion. It isn't exactly a compassionate, neighbor loving policy.

I have considered the evidence as fairly as I know how and concluded not only that I don't believe, but that I am not sure how anyone could do the same and still believe.

I have read your comments carefully, and even re-read some of the older ones. I do not think that I have failed to address what you call the problem of infinity, but that I have done so multiple times. I can't help it if you find my answers unconvincing, but I don't think you should be able to say that I have failed to give a rebuttal. When I tell you that I think existence isn't bound in time necessarily, you continue to act as though a timeless state prior to the big bang can be subject to a finite series of events, and thus necessitate a first cause. Your only comments on why this objection doesn't seem valid to you have been statements like "You can't just dismiss infinity" or "Infinity will follow you no matter what you argue". I don't consider that even addressing my objection at all. It seems to be nothing more than an unproven statement of your opinion.

Here is another text model, just so I can be as clear as possible about this objection.

TIMELESSNESS => THE BEGINNING OF TIME => A FINITE SERIES OF EVENTS IN TIME => THE UNIVERSE AS WE KNOW IT TODAY

How have you ruled out physical existence in the first part of my model, the timeless state? It seems to me that you would have to rule it out in order to say that all existence is bound in time, and thus subject to this problem of infinity.

I have given more than one example of scientists who are working on scientific models that have preexisting physical existence outside of time as we know it. It seems to me that Cosmologists are not prevented from creating their models by this supposed problem of infinity, which seems to me a reason to believe that what you say about infinity is not objectively true. You are asking me to believe that these scientists are making it their life's work to violate, and not even be aware of, a principle that you and I, laymen in Cosmology, can supposedly determine to be objectively true. I just don't think I can accept that.

I do not think it is true that in order to reject Theism, you must therefore become a naturalist, believe that life and consciousness have their origins in non life. Like I said before, I think these are unreasonable conditions upon which to base a belief in a Theism. For example, one could be a deist, disbelieve in all these things, and yet not be a Christian. To require our species to prove these assertions, which are not directly related to Theism as proofs, is not only unreasonable, but inaccurate.

For the main example, one can be an Atheist and accept the reality that no one living yet knows the answers to these questions. Life and thus consciousness may have always been around in the universe, or they might come to be in the universe naturally by an unknown process. I don't see what is so difficult about believing that this could be a possibility in a universe where we already understand such mysterious and counter intuitive things as the Quantum and Evolution.

I know you don't accept Evolutionary Biology as science, but it seems to me a very good example of how a lack of imagination shouldn't be a reason to assume something is impossible in nature. Design was for thousands of years considered the only process capable of shaping biology in a manner consistent with the complexity of life. Yet, a simple, elegant, natural process was behind that complexity all along.

So yes, I believe origins could have possibly arisen naturally. I don't know if they did or not. I am going to suspend my judgement until I can find out, or until I die. It is simply not true that I have to then believe without evidence that life arose naturally from non life. I don't have to be a Naturalist.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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23-05-2015, 07:06 PM
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
There is another point upon which we have touched several times that has not gotten any clearer. Do you have an objection to the universe coming into existence out of absolutely nothing or not?

The bold sections are my handiwork.

Quote:But it is. It is an argument for a First Cause...since the universe was a beginning of a space-time continuum, that would mean whatever caused it had to be timeless, and immaterial, with the POWER to create from nothing.

Coincidentally, the only Being that is capable of producing such an effect is what we call God...a timeless (before the universe), immaterial (spirit) with the POWER (omnipotence) to create a universe from nothing.

You were very explicit from the beginning that the Kalam argues for a universe created by god out of nothingness, or no materials. You had absolutely no problem the first time around when I quoted Dr. Willaim Lane Craig as saying the same thing. Yet, later you had some very different things to say.

Quote:Well, fortunately, you are not among the single digit % of folks that believe that the universe could have began to exist out of a literal nothingness, right?

If that is the case then we shouldn't even be talking about the whole "universe out of nothing" stuff, since in my human experience, I've never seen something come from nothing, and I don't think you have, either.

I am saying that there are philosophical problems with a universe popping into being out of nothing. See, I have reasons for NOT believing otherwise.

Perhaps you could clarify whether or not you think a universe brought into existence out of nothing is plausible or not.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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10-06-2015, 10:18 AM
RE: Sending out a Call_of_the_Wild
Long enough without a reply. Thread closed.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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