Best Universities are Blue

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Tom57, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Hi, Splas. I'm gonna disagree with you about that.

    If you are arguing that it's rational to believe in something because you can't disprove it, then why isn't it rational for me to believe that I'm surrounded by invisible demons who, it just so happens, fail to register on any physical instrument?

    The problem is that the class of things that we can't disprove is unbounded and unknowable. It includes an uncountable number of possibilities, many of them never conceived by man and many more probably inconceivable by humans.

    I think that the most rationally defensible position to take is agnosticism.

    It's almost certain that there are countless things that we don't currently know. Most likely there are many things that we can never know. (Humans have limited information and cognitive capacity.)

    So it is intellectual honesty to admit that we don't have all the answers, that we don't fully understand the big picture.

    Problems occur when we try to personalize the unknown, and then claim that Jewish and Christian mythology provides us with privileged access to understanding something about it. That claim is going to be very hard to justify.

    How does one justify knowledge claims about things that are unknowable in principle? And whether or not any experience, no matter how astounding, is truly an experience of the divine, is unknowable I think.

    I should add that this problem isn't unique to Christianity, by any means. It afflicts all religions that claim to provide us with knowledge of the divine.

    I'm gonna disagree with that too.

    I think that what you are proposing is an analogy, asserting that all cases where something comes to be are analogous to a craftsman intentionally creating something.

    But the vast majority of the universe seemingly comes to be without the intentional action of conscious agents. The blue of the sky, the sand on the beach, the moon overhead, the trees rustling in the wind, the eggs hatching into caterpillars...

    So I don't think that your analogy is very persuasive. Intentional action by conscious agents is just one of the many ways that things come to be. I'm sure that we don't know them all.

    I might be somewhat willing to follow you there, if by 'God' you just mean 'some source or explanation or something'. I don't really know that everything needs an explanation. Certainly theists act like God doesn't require one. And I have absolutely no reason to think that the explanation has anything to do with the Bible or with any religious mythology.

    But I am just intuitively inclined to think that there's some explanation for the universe out there, some reason for the brute fact that there's something rather than nothing.

    Of course, whatever that source is would just add to the inventory of being, so we wouldn't really be any closer to answering the problem of where everything, including all the transcendent sources and Gods, come from.

    The question of where everything originates is kind of a boot-strap problem, because it can't appeal to anything beyond what's to be explained.

    At this point, I don't know how to address that and I kind of suspect that the ultimate question of being itself is unanswerable.

    Certainly it is by a being like me in a lifetime like this.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2004
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    There are three pages relating to this topic on here.

    Education is commendable. Academia is honorable.

    But, the real ideas and critical thought come from the great think tanks in America.

    Think tanks like the Cato Institute and the Center for American Progress contribute much to American political thought, debate, and dialogue.
  3. Splas

    Splas New Member

    Ok, now we've gone full circle.

    The Big Bang theory is joke if my theory is a joke (as you seem to think it is). Their is 0% proof of it and 0% logic behind it (things do not come from nothing, it is NOT logical to think they do).

    You say my theory is unscientific yet you seem to imply that somehow the Big Bang theory has more scienctific relavance then my idea of God (now thats a joke).

    I could experiment, give me a couple billion dollars and me and the guys MIT will ram particals together til the end of time and nothing will ever happen, and if something did happen, who cares, because then we have to prove where the particals came from that we were ramming together.
  4. Splas

    Splas New Member

    That is not my argument, my argument is that is it rational to believe in things I see and know. Things are made, things are created, things are formed, they do not appear for no reason whatsoever out of nothing.

    My heart beats yet I do not control it, trees change their leaves to wonderful colors in fall and drop seeds to reproduce, rain falls on land to yield livable habitats..... I could go on forever. This world was not created by chance, it was created by a master craftsman.

    That is what I believe and it is very rational, scientifically sound, and highly logical to think to think this way.

    Two particals hit each other and created galaxies, humans, heartbeats, emotions and livable habitats and..... does that sound rational, logical, or scientifical provable?

    I don't know all the answers, I've never claimed to, but the Big Bang Theory is nothing but a bucket full of holes and it is impossible to prove that this world wasn't created because it was.

    That is how everything we know, see, touch, and feel is so why would I think this world was made any differently?

    What I am saying is not an analogy because it is how everything works as we know it. Why is it not the same?

    I'm not trying to explain the mysterys of the universe, I'm just trying to show that the idea of God existing is not irrational or illogical it simply makes the most sense.

    By thinking, by experimenting, and by putting it up against other theories, I think it is clearly the most sound choice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2004
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Just simply being is proof enough God exists. However, the classical arguments for His existence are sufficient for most who believe in Him.

    1. The Cosmological Argument

    Existence of creatures requires the existence of a Creator. Every effect must have an adequate cause. The universe has not always existed. There was a time when the universe did not exist. The universe must have had an origin.

    2. The Teleological Argument

    God has left His fingerprints on everything He has made. Everywhere one looks in nature he can see the fingerprints of God. Order and design everywhere in nature identify the universe as the handiwork of God.

    3. The Anthropological Argument

    The first two arguments consider proofs derived from the universe as a whole. The anthropological argument considers indications of God's existence as derived from man himself.
  6. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I agree that being itself, the brute fact that there is something rather than nothing, is a real problem (the ultimate problem), for those of us wih a philosophical sensibility.

    But as I tried to suggest in my last post, if we try to explain being by reference to a transcendent source (whether divine or not, which is another difficult question), we have simply added to the inventory of being. Now being consists of the natural world plus transcendent beings. But why does this larger collection exist, rather than nothing at all?

    I think that the problem is appealing to a new kind of being in order to account for being itself. I don't see how that explanatory strategy can succeed.

    The cosmological argument is asserting that if we want to terminate the chain of causation someplace and avoid an infinite regress, then we have to posit some kind of uncaused being. Of couse, if we admit uncaused causes, then we have just contradicted the assumption of the cosmological argument, that everything requires a cause.

    In our lives, we observe examples of order all over the place. Some of that order is clearly the result of the intentional actions of conscious agents, but most of it doesn't seem to be. The design argument is a proposed analogy. It suggests that we treat all cosmic order as if it is the result of intentional actions by conscious agents.

    I think that analogy is rather anthropocentric and not very persuasive. It makes more sense to me to admit that order can originate in a number of different ways, only one of which is intentional action by conscious agents.

    I agree that religion, in some sense, is probably a cultural universal. Every culture known to man, at every period for which information exists, has had some kind of religious belief. But not all of those religious beliefs include an entity resembling the Christian God.

    But more fundamentally, the universality of religious belief doesn't necessarily imply the truth of religious belief, let alone the truth of any particular religion. What it suggests to me is that religion probably has valuable functions in human psychology and sociology.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2004
  7. Tom57

    Tom57 Member

    You can't say the Big Bang is a "bucket full of holes" and then say your "belief" in God is rational and scientifically sound. There is nothing scientific in your "belief". Nothing at all. Your belief is an "assumption." It is your starting point. You cannot be led there through logical reasoning.

    You cannot use science to both poke holes in scientific theory (the BB e.g.) and at the same time claim it bolsters Creationism. You cannot. Creationism is not science. It is philosophy, or religion, or phantasm. It is not even a "theory." I could explain all of the phenomena that you cite (changing color of leaves etc.) and say that Big Bird is responsible for all of that. My "theory" would be just as good as yours - every bit as improvable and irrefutable.
  8. Splas

    Splas New Member

    The Big Bang theory is not a scientific theory, it is barely even decent scientific philosophy.

    It cannot be proven correct and is utterly irrartional, unprovable, and illogical from a rational human's perspective. I'll say it once again, something cannot come from nothing, it is impossible.

    I don't know what all of Creationism's ideas are, but what I'm talking about is a 100% valid theory. Mock it all you want to, but you disprove nothing simply by mocking it. It is sound.

    Your comment about Big Bird is simply an example of you not taking what I'm saying seriously.

    I am not naming who God is, what He is, or how he came to be, all I'm saying is that we were created/formed/brought into existance by something/someone (God). Because there is nothing that man has ever known, seen, or experimented with that did not come from something.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2004
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Theology and philosophy have always struggled to coexist.

    Your arguments have some merit as they stand alone; however, when looking at all classical arguments for the existence of God, in toto, then I think they hold no merit.

  10. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

    Those are arguments which can make it to the stage when it comes to philosophical debate, but they have absolutely nothing to do with science.

    Science is not ontology. You don't scientifically prove something exists or that something must exist. In the case of intangible things like subatomic particles, elements that may or may not exist on Earth, etc. you establish a THEORY that they exist, and then that THEORY is either:
    1) proved right for the present (until someone happens to prove it wrong in the future)
    2) not proved, but not disproved either
    3) disproved.
  11. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

    It is impossible to take you seriously when you refuse to understand that you don't have the most basic grasp of what science really is. No one is disputing your knowledge of religion or God, but you could show a little more humility when it comes to other topics and actually read what people are trying to explain to you about science.
  12. Splas

    Splas New Member

    Are you saying establishing a theory is scientific or is not scientific.

    Please tell me what basic knowledge of science am I missing.

    If I came off as arrogant please forgive me, I'm mearly trying to make fun of the Big Bang Theory and get in a few punches for God's existance while I'm at it. :D

    Answer me this at least. Do you think the BBT is scientific, if so, why?
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I didn't say they did.

    Neither is it an absolute.
  14. grgrwll

    grgrwll New Member

    The only person here saying that science is an absolute is Splas, who claims that science can be used to prove the existance of God with 100% certaininty.

    I suspect that he can also prove with 100% scientific certainity that his daddy can beat up my daddy.
  15. grgrwll

    grgrwll New Member

    "Establishing a theory" is part of science, but in itself is not scientific.

    When I go to church, we sing. Does that mean that singing is religious?

    What is the scientific method?

    What is a null hypothesis?

    What is a control group?

    How do you determine what type of statistical analysis is necessary to determine of the results of an experiment are significant?

    What does it mean to have statistically significant results?

    I could go on and on and on. But there is absolutely no point.

    Your arrogance is not in making fun of the Big Bang Theory, it is in believing that you know more about science than Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and every sceientist who has ever lived, for that matter.

    (Hint: every scientist knows you can not use science to prove the existence of God. Thankfully, you in your almighty wisdom, have enlightened us.)
  16. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I don't understand how something can be a part of science but be unscientific. Stated another way, I'm not sure that science can be reduced to a formal algorithm.

    Singing in church certainly is. I think that singing in church is a part of religious practice, and religious practice is obviously part of religion.

    I'm not sure that there is a single scientific method. There are lots of scientific methods, mostly consisting of elaborate technical applications of common sense.

    I think that the history of science would provide a number of examples of scientists who believed that their discovery of natural law was a sort of religious exercise, revealing God's reasoning when the universe was created.

    There has always been a theological tension between those who perceived the natural world as a revelation in its own right, and those who sought to restrict revelation to the church and to scripture. (Or at least to the events described in scripture.) It's illustrated in things like medieval signs and wonders, through renaissance astrology and divination, to some aspects of early modern physics. That's the intellectual environment from which the scientific revolution arose.

    But I certainly do agree with you that we can't use science to prove (or disprove) the existence of God, but I think that the reasons for that are probably more philosophical than scientific.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2004
  17. grgrwll

    grgrwll New Member

    I guess it's a matter of "necessary" and "sufficient".

    Formulating a theory is a necessary part of science. But formulating a theory is not a sufficient test to determine if something is scientific.

    Just as singing is not a sufficient test to determine if something is religious.

    Bill, I think you are obfuscating here. Yes, there might be variatons of the scientific method, but, in general, it is well defined:The Scientific Method.

    And I think that we will both agree that Splas' "scientific" proof of God is in no way related to any legitimate variation of the scientific method.

    I could not agree more. Einstein believed in God. But he realized that this was a matter of faith, not science. He wasn't foolish enough to insist that his faith could be proven scientifically.

    In fact, it seems that this is currently a major trend among physicists.

    But the fact that a scientist's discovery of natural laws creates or enforces a belief in God does not mean that science has proven that God exists.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2004
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Then he needs to engage in some serious research regarding all the nutritional, psychiatric, psychological, and medical junk science that has come down the pike in the last 50 or so years.
  19. Splas

    Splas New Member

    Here's a quote from Einstein

    "Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind." (Albert Einstein)

    Science and religion (defined by me as a belief in God) fit together like a most perfect puzzle. The Big Bang Theory and science have little if anything in common.

    Atheists love to label the belief in God as purely faith logic and not rational and/or scientific thinking so they can write it off as dimwitted. And yet, without any factual evidence supporting the BBT, these idividuals cling to something thats even less scientific and logical then what they make fun of. It is to laugh.

    And why doesn't someone answer my question about the Big Bang Theory? Why is it scientific, yet God existing is not. Please answer me how this is possible?

    LOL when did I say that. I'm too dumb to know what is absolute and what isn't.

    Perhaps science has not proven God exists YET, that does not mean it cannot.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2004
  20. kansasbaptist

    kansasbaptist New Member

    To be direct. There is nothing illogical about believing that God created the universe.

    Read this excerpt on the formations of crop circles and the plasma vortex theory

    In another paper for Physiologia Plantarum (1999), Levengood and Talbott suggested that the energy causing crop circles could be an atmospheric plasma vortex -- multiple interacting electrified air masses that emit microwaves as they spiral around the earth's magnetic-field lines. Some formations, however, contain cubes and straight lines. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch, of the California Institute for Physics and Astrophysics, says that such "highly organized, intelligent patterns are not something that could be created by a force of nature."

    I find it amazing that astrophysicists find that geometric shapes in the fields are to complex to be random in nature, but the miracle of life is not!

Share This Page