Why do theists come to this forum?
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21-02-2016, 03:23 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 03:15 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(21-02-2016 02:48 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  I'm not here to discuss how valid the idea of Intelligent Design is. It's really not important whether or not life was seeded by extraterrestrials. I'm not arguing for it because I believe it, I'm arguing for it because it's a valid possibility and no one here ever wants to admit that.

Not sure if that's a red herring or a strawman or both...

I don't see how you can say it is a valid possibility (or how we got from a valid theory to a valid possibility) when there is no good evidence that there is a possibility that some intelligence was involved or even exists. Not being able to show that something is impossible is not grounds for assuming that it is possible.

Go ahead and add Argument from Incredulity Drinking Beverage

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21-02-2016, 03:26 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 02:48 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  I'm not arguing for it because I believe it, I'm arguing for it because it's a valid possibility and no one here ever wants to admit that.

That would be because it's not a valid possibility.

There is no getting around this. You are simply wrong.

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21-02-2016, 03:39 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 01:23 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  Yes. Intelligent Design is a valid theory for how life originated after all. It doesn't have to be attributed to an all-knowing God by any means, but since we don't know the origin of life, any reasonable person must be willing to admit that it's a possibility.

Time out! One of the distinguishing characteristics of a scientific theory is that it makes at least one prediction with a measurable probability of accuracy that is greater than chance allows; another characteristic is that it can be tested. If a "theory" fails either question, then it is speculation.

Intelligent Design cannot be tested. Further, since it depends on the existence of a Being capable of creating, amending, suspending, and abolishing physical law for unknowable reasons, it cannot make predictions.

Therefore, Intelligent Design is *not* a valid theory. Discuss it as fantasy or religion, but not as science.
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21-02-2016, 03:57 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 02:48 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  I'm not here to discuss how valid the idea of Intelligent Design is. It's really not important whether or not life was seeded by extraterrestrials. I'm not arguing for it because I believe it, I'm arguing for it because it's a valid possibility and no one here ever wants to admit that.

How exactly are you intending to argue for the validity of something without addressing its validity? In order to argue that ID is a valid hypothesis, you actually need establish that it can be valid to begin with by defining it in the manner others have described.

Possibility in liberal usage does not translate into valid ideas...

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21-02-2016, 05:20 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 03:06 PM)unfogged Wrote:  I don't find any attempts to understand things better to be wasted effort. We don't know what effect a new and better theory of how life got started or how the universe came to be as we find it would have. I also don't see it as distinct from trying to figure out how to create life ourselves since knowing how it started might help us along that path and advances along that path might help us to figure out how it happened before.
I guess what I was really getting at with that is that the actual scientific advances are what are useful, and the ideas driving people to make them don't matter as much. If you're a bio-chemical engineer and your goal is to prove life could have originated without a creator, that's great. Similarly, if you're in the same field and your goal is to show how life could have been created, that's also great. I don't see either motivation as inferior so long as it doesn't affect the scientist's objectivity in their research.
Quote:I'm having a hard time understanding how you can categorize ID as a "valid theory" and, when pressed, dismiss it as unimportant and do the same thing when asked if you are a believer or not. On the one hand you say you want to engage in discussions but then refuse to support your claims or define your position. i think you are going to find it very difficult to have any useful discussions with anybody.
On the topic of ID, my stance is defined as follows: ID is a valid possibility for the origins of life and shouldn't be discredited without proof. I said "theory" before and everyone took that to mean "scientific theory" in a more strict sense than I actually meant. When I say "ID", I'm referring to the idea that life was somehow created or seeded on the planet from an intelligent source, nothing more. I've heard so many arguments about this point I'm tired of it and I wish I'd never mentioned it in this forum.

On the topic of what I believe, I still don't understand why I need a definite stance. Sometimes I argue the side of the religious, sometimes I argue the side of the atheist. It depends on which side I think is right at the time. Neither side is right about everything, so it makes little sense to choose one stereotype over the other.
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21-02-2016, 05:27 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 03:57 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  How exactly are you intending to argue for the validity of something without addressing its validity? In order to argue that ID is a valid hypothesis, you actually need establish that it can be valid to begin with by defining it in the manner others have described.

Possibility in liberal usage does not translate into valid ideas...
The only criteria for a hypothesis is that it can be tested. The idea that life was created might have empirical evidence behind it that we haven't yet discovered, so it remains possible to test and since there's no counter-evidence either, it remains a hypothesis. "Hypothesis" really is more accurate than "theory".
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21-02-2016, 05:31 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 05:20 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  When I say "ID", I'm referring to the idea that life was somehow created or seeded on the planet from an intelligent source, nothing more.

They're not very intelligent but they are capable of surviving outer space. Oh, and they can come back from the dead.

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#sigh
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21-02-2016, 05:57 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 05:27 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  
(21-02-2016 03:57 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  How exactly are you intending to argue for the validity of something without addressing its validity? In order to argue that ID is a valid hypothesis, you actually need establish that it can be valid to begin with by defining it in the manner others have described.

Possibility in liberal usage does not translate into valid ideas...
The only criteria for a hypothesis is that it can be tested. The idea that life was created might have empirical evidence behind it that we haven't yet discovered, so it remains possible to test and since there's no counter-evidence either, it remains a hypothesis. "Hypothesis" really is more accurate than "theory".

It is also possible that the big bang was a fart and the universe is just a dingle berry on some big hairy monster's butt....

That also still might have empirical evidence behind it that we haven't yet discovered, so it remains possible to test and since there is no counter evidence either, it remains a hypothesis.

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21-02-2016, 06:02 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 05:20 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  On the topic of ID, my stance is defined as follows: ID is a valid possibility for the origins of life and shouldn't be discredited without proof.

And my stance would be that it is not reasonable to call it a valid possibility without evidence that it is, in fact, possible. The burden of proof is on the claim and you seem to be getting that backwards.

Quote:I said "theory" before and everyone took that to mean "scientific theory" in a more strict sense than I actually meant.

We deal often with theists promoting "creation theory" and denigrating evolution as "just a theory" so we may be a bit sensitive to the use of the term when what is meant is a guess, conjecture, or hypothesis.

Quote:When I say "ID", I'm referring to the idea that life was somehow created or seeded on the planet from an intelligent source, nothing more.

That would be more commonly referred to as (directed) panspermia. At least in my experience, ID usually refers to the reworked "creation science" that theists often try to pass of as of at least equivalent value as the theory of evolution. When you come in using terminology in a less common way you have the onus to explain what exactly you mean.

Panspermia is a pointless conjecture in my opinion since it just pushes the question of how life arose back a step and there's no apparent need to propose it. It may not be impossible but Occam's razor would seem to eliminate it.

Quote:On the topic of what I believe, I still don't understand why I need a definite stance. Sometimes I argue the side of the religious, sometimes I argue the side of the atheist. It depends on which side I think is right at the time. Neither side is right about everything, so it makes little sense to choose one stereotype over the other.

It does lead to people needing to make assumptions, especially when you use terminology and phrasing that is commonly theistic.

(21-02-2016 05:27 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  The only criteria for a hypothesis is that it can be tested. The idea that life was created might have empirical evidence behind it that we haven't yet discovered, so it remains possible to test and since there's no counter-evidence either, it remains a hypothesis. "Hypothesis" really is more accurate than "theory".

I can agree that a hypothesis needs to be testable but saying that maybe someday we'll find something that can be used to test it doesn't meet that criteria. Without some evidence behind it you have little more than a random guess. Again, the burden of proof is on the claimant and "you can't disprove it" just doesn't cut it.

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21-02-2016, 06:22 PM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(21-02-2016 01:23 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  
(21-02-2016 08:30 AM)unfogged Wrote:  There are some that hold water?
Consider
Yes. Intelligent Design is a valid theory for how life originated after all. It doesn't have to be attributed to an all-knowing God by any means, but since we don't know the origin of life, any reasonable person must be willing to admit that it's a possibility.

No, a reasonable person will require you to demonstrate the possibility of the existence of an intelligence that would do the design.

There is absolutely no evidence of one, so 'intelligent design' is not a reasonable hypothesis and no reasonable person need give it the time of day.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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