Why should a deity exist?
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23-01-2017, 05:17 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(23-01-2017 04:26 PM)SYZ Wrote:  So you're saying, for example, that an amoeba has a "rational" brain because it lives in a suitably supporting atmosphere, and at a specific distance from some star—both due to gravity? Uh... whatever LOL.

As near as I can figure it's that we evolved the way we did partly because of the way gravity works and if things had been different we would not be here so we should be grateful that gravity is the way it is and since it doesn't make sense to be grateful to something that has no intent behind it we would be justified to believe in a god that made gravity so we could be here to thank it.... if so, it's just a convoluted fine-tuning argument.

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23-01-2017, 09:39 PM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
Yet another version of the "perfect puddle pothole" argument.

*sigh*

They always think it's so clever. Dodgy

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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24-01-2017, 07:11 AM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2017 08:55 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
We can't go back to anything "before" the big bang because we don't know if time (and therefore causality) exists only within our universe, time and causality do not necessarily exist beyond the big bang.

We also can't know if gravity (or whatever else) is a cause to minds, we don't have any other examples of universes to see if things other than time and matter as we know can exist in any other configuration of universes.

As far as we can know the only way a big bang occurs is the exact way in which our occurred (because it did), that will result in a universe which includes both gravity and minds, other than that we just can't possibly know.

I'm not responding to the "I need something to be thankful" part because is bullshit.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
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24-01-2017, 08:28 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(23-01-2017 01:28 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  What you seem to be describing is deism. You're at the point of a non-falsifiable argument, which is logically irrational.
I disagree that your Popperism of non-falsifiable argument is irrational. Its just outside the strictures of the scientific method - noting that philosophy and theology are not science.

(23-01-2017 01:28 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Even if you were to prove the existence of a divine superintelligence at the root of it all - and if you were, in the thousands of years of trying, you'd be the first - you still haven't gone anywhere to support your thesis (if this is your thesis) that this divine superintelligence is interested in human affairs, answers prayers, etc etc.
If I were to "prove God", that would be the end of faith for billions of rational minds on this planet. I can't be comfortable with being responsible for that.

(23-01-2017 01:28 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Lots of highly intelligent and rational people were deists, by the way: Einstein, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln just to name a few.
I see atheism as the "closing off" of valid knowledge that is possible within rational thought, preferring instead to limit itself to the scientific method alone, which may be simply distilled as predictive, rather than the contemplative. There is an entire sphere of thought missing from the idea that one should be able to predict, and if one can't, the topic is irrelevant.

My personal experience and my purely anecdotal evidence, for what its worth in the discussion, finds that the religious are able to make contemplative "leaps of faith", which are relevant to accomplishment and fulfillment, where either by discipline or ignorance, the atheist doesn't allow himself.

I'm here to seek dialogue with those who do reject faith to understand, for example, how fulfillment is experienced, and what informs choice and inspires accomplishment absent the exercise of faith as opposed to facts.

The answer of "nothing" seems to be an avoidance of the issue, to me.
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24-01-2017, 08:39 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(23-01-2017 05:17 PM)unfogged Wrote:  As near as I can figure it's that we evolved the way we did partly because of the way gravity works and if things had been different we would not be here so we should be grateful that gravity is the way it is
I'm more interested in your personal view than an impersonal characterisation, and its hard for me to tell which one this is.

(23-01-2017 05:17 PM)unfogged Wrote:  and since it doesn't make sense to be grateful to something that has no intent behind it
Is this a statement of faith, or is it supported by fact?

There is an argument that things that have purpose are the result of design. I observe Boston Terriers in captivity, but note no similar looking canine in the wild. Boston Terriers have come from selective breeding of domestic dogs to result in the Boston Terrier. The intelligent agent is the one doing the selective breeding (a dog breeder), and the objective is the purpose of a short-nosed dog of a smallish stature and a playful personality.

(23-01-2017 05:17 PM)unfogged Wrote:  we would be justified to believe in a god that made gravity so we could be here to thank it.... if so, it's just a convoluted fine-tuning argument.
I think that's jumping ahead - presuming a conclusion.

Gravity "is", and we (you and I specifically) have resulted. This could be a mere coincidence - the output of a succession of random events, shaped by the immutable behaviors of nature. It might then be argued that - had gravity not behaved as force proportional to mass of the bodies upon which it acts, but rather force proportional to the square of 1/2 the mass, there could very well be rational minds which evolved within that gravity, but it wouldn't be your rational mind and my rational mind, as we are rational minds within the existence containing gravity that acts as we know it to act. The same might be said if gravity were dynamic, rather than unchanging.
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24-01-2017, 08:48 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(23-01-2017 09:39 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Yet another version of the "perfect puddle pothole" argument.

*sigh*

They always think it's so clever. Dodgy
I don't believe I've offered that. I think science demonstrates that the agent of adaptability is natural selection, and that speciation can be the result of mutations of genes, resulting in changed organisms, of which the most suited for the environs are the ones that are here.

At the same time, I note that rationality has resulted from this incredibly complex interaction of elements over vast sums of time.

So having said that, our environment has determined what we are. My question then goes back to whether or not rationality then is a chance outcome of this system, shaped by natural selection operating within it, or whether the rational mind reflects purpose.

I observe that plants exist and have been developed and "live" in our existence, and yet they have managed to do this without rationality. I observe that rationality then is an "option" of existing, not a "necessity" of existing.

The questions that follow would then be that if it is not necessary for rationality to exist in order to survive, then what forces or influences lead to the development of primates, and the development of one primate in particular to possess a unique characteristic among creatures (may I use that term?) of a rational mind.
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24-01-2017, 09:00 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(24-01-2017 07:11 AM)Velvet Wrote:  We can't go back to anything "before" the big bang because we don't know if time (and therefore causality) exists only within our universe, time and causality do not necessarily exist beyond the big bang.

We also can't know if gravity (or whatever else) is a cause to minds because we don't have any other examples of universes to see if things other than time and matter as we know can exist in any other configuration of universes and if those infinite number of outcomes could include something that fit the criteria of what we would call a "mind" (but since they are infinite then I guess yeah, they would)

As far as we can know the only way a big bang occurs is the exact way in which our occurred (because it did), that will result in a universe which includes both gravity and minds, other than that we just can't possibly know.

I'm not responding to the "I need something to be thankful" part because is bullshit.
So I give the concession to you in this line of thinking regarding relevance. I would define "time" as the sense of the universe as we know it in the motion that we now observe. So if there was a "big bang", which represents the singularity that initiated "time" as I have defined it, I will concede that anything occurring before the "Big Bang" is irrelevant, becuase the mechanisms and events that resulted in rationality must have occurred after this singularity. For want of a terminology here, we might refer to this as "light cone", similar to Hawking's scientific "light cone".

As to gravity being a cause, as opposed to an influence, I note that I am here, and I note that gravity is here, and I note that thus far, gravity is immutable in that appears to behave in very predictive ways. I can contemplate that without gravity, there could be no atmospheric pressure on earth, and I observe that astronauts must be contained in pressurized space capsules, and not merely tethered to breathing apparatus, in order to survive in space.

So, as gravity serves the purpose of creating atmospheric pressure on earth, and observing pressurized spacesuits and space capsules, I draw the conclusion that gravity has been necessary in the evolution of rational minds. And from this necessity, I infer cause, at least in part.

So am I being unreasonable?
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24-01-2017, 09:03 AM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2017 09:14 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(24-01-2017 08:48 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  I observe that plants exist and have been developed and "live" in our existence, and yet they have managed to do this without rationality. I observe that rationality then is an "option" of existing, not a "necessity" of existing.

The questions that follow would then be that if it is not necessary for rationality to exist in order to survive, then what forces or influences lead to the development of primates, and the development of one primate in particular to possess a unique characteristic among creatures (may I use that term?) of a rational mind.
Non-rational creatures being able to survive does not rule out that rationality was developed in some creature(s) in order to survive.

As you said, is just not necessarily the only way of surviving.

Some creatures developed a body capable of flight, some developed a huge resistance to environment, some have senses way better than ours, in this sense rationality is just one more tool, and noting that it is "seemingly exclusive" to us is not really all that amazing, many creatures have exclusive features that allow then to survive.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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24-01-2017, 09:09 AM
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(24-01-2017 08:48 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  I don't believe I've offered that. I think science demonstrates that the agent of adaptability is natural selection, and that speciation can be the result of mutations of genes, resulting in changed organisms, of which the most suited for the environs are the ones that are here.

At the same time, I note that rationality has resulted from this incredibly complex interaction of elements over vast sums of time.

So having said that, our environment has determined what we are. My question then goes back to whether or not rationality then is a chance outcome of this system, shaped by natural selection operating within it, or whether the rational mind reflects purpose.

I observe that plants exist and have been developed and "live" in our existence, and yet they have managed to do this without rationality. I observe that rationality then is an "option" of existing, not a "necessity" of existing.

The questions that follow would then be that if it is not necessary for rationality to exist in order to survive, then what forces or influences lead to the development of primates, and the development of one primate in particular to possess a unique characteristic among creatures (may I use that term?) of a rational mind.

Ah, I see. I mistakenly thought you had brought the "perfect puddle" argument; it appears instead that you have brought the anthropocentric version of the "god of the gaps" argument. My deepest apologies.

Our environment has determined what we are, yes, as has chance and a host of other factors that all interplay. That equally is true for literally every living creature on the planet, from bacteria to plants to eyeball-eating parasites to algae to human beings to fungi, and everything in between.

Furthermore, we don't have the only rational mind. We simply have the most highly-developed rational mind. We observe almost literally every characteristic found in humans in the other primates, in rudimentary form. This is true for complex puzzle solving, high-order memory, displays of empathy and altruism, and pretty much everything else humans do by the age of five... when our brains are roughly the size of that of a chimpanzee. (Chimps actually exceed adult humans in certain types of memory-based puzzle solving, due to brain architecture.) [Link is to a video.]

We also observe several of these characteristics in other intelligent, social animals, such as dolphins and sea lions.

It is clear that you are placing undue importance on our high intelligence, which is why I call it an anthropocentric argument. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that our intelligence is anything other than an evolutionary direction, any more than the minimizing/loss of our body hair and bipedal architecture are noteworthy.

The short answer to your implied question is that it was not magic, but our hands... and their usefulness for crafting tools (something we already see chimpanzees beginning to do) and aiding in the hunt, which seem to have prompted our rising intelligence.

Your willingness to try to insert magic where it is wholly uncalled-for is at the root of why people trained in science tend to mistrust the wisdom/pronouncements of the theologically-minded.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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24-01-2017, 09:13 AM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2017 09:22 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Why should a deity exist?
(24-01-2017 09:00 AM)JHaysPE Wrote:  As to gravity being a cause, as opposed to an influence, I note that I am here, and I note that gravity is here, and I note that thus far, gravity is immutable in that appears to behave in very predictive ways. I can contemplate that without gravity, there could be no atmospheric pressure on earth, and I observe that astronauts must be contained in pressurized space capsules, and not merely tethered to breathing apparatus, in order to survive in space.

So, as gravity serves the purpose of creating atmospheric pressure on earth, and observing pressurized spacesuits and space capsules, I draw the conclusion that gravity has been necessary in the evolution of rational minds. And from this necessity, I infer cause, at least in part.

So am I being unreasonable?

Yes.

We as a species rely on gravity because we are the kind of life that would exist in a universe that has something that acts like gravity.

There's no way to assume that any other kind of universe not composed by time and matter as we know, and(or) not having gravity would be unable to produce something like a rational mind.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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