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August 05, 2005

Comments

No Spam

"The atheists have yet to come up with a persuasive explanation why we shouldn't credit a Creator."

Gee, maybe because there's absolutely no proof of any kind of a "creator's" existence?

Be honest, all of your arguments for such a being are always reduced to "but I feel in my heart that He exists".

Well, some of us have no such feelings in our hearts. So you will have to offer something more convincing if you want others to adhere to your beliefs.

Have a nice day.

No Spam

One final point: he who makes the claim has to provide the evidence. That's how it works.

Otherwise, nothing would get done in this world because bozos would tie up smart peoples'time with demands that the latter disprove the existence of fairies, hobbits, unicorns, elves, angels, and bible god.

D. C.

No Spam, I like to flatter myself that I'm a rigorous thinker. I don't buy theistic arguments of the kind you cite ("I feel in my heart that He exists"). And certainly there's no proof of God's existence in a mathematical sense.

But we don't live our lives insisting on mathematical proof for everything: We digest available data; infer patterns and match them against patterns we already know about; make our bets; and take our chances.

To me, the available data says pretty compellingly that there's a Creator somewhere, at some time. For support of that claim, you might want to check out some of my other postings in the "God" category (see the Category links at right).

No Spam

If there was a creator it was one in the Deistic sense, who shortly afterwards turned "his back" on his creation.

No Spam

Regarding the whole Big bang thing: There are some physicists who believe that rather than a Big Bang occuring the universe simply always existed. This makes more sense to me than trying to believe that some mysteriouus explosion created the universe.

I think the Big Bang thing was created by religionists who wanted to justify their belief system.

Barry Fernelius

Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest, was the first to propose that the universe began with the explosion of a primeval atom. (Perhaps there's a bit of merit in what No Spam wrote.) Lemaître observed red shifts in distant nebulas, and he compared his observations with a model of the universe based on relativity. Edwin Hubble's work provided experimental evidence that showed that distant galaxies in every direction are moving away from us with speed proportional to their distance. Finally, Penzias and Wilson showed that there is a cosmic microwave background radiation which pervades the universe. This is thought to be the remant of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang theory wasn't really created by religionists. Rather, it's a theory that tries to explain a wide range of different observations that have been made about the universe.

MGW

No Spam, can you prove that if there's a creator, then he's "turned his back"? As you stated earlier, you have made the claim, so you have to provide the evidence.

No Spam

Here's good discussion on ID http://theunitedamerican.blogs.com/bring_it_on/2005/08/step_right_up_k.html#more

"No Spam, can you prove that if there's a creator, then he's "turned his back"? As you stated earlier, you have made the claim, so you have to provide the evidence."

Just look at the state of the world.

What interested creator would allow something like untreatable childhood leukemia to exist?

No Spam

"If the Bible and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and my brain do not agree?"
--Robert G. Ingersoll

D. C.

1. No Spam writes: "What interested creator would allow something like untreatable childhood leukemia to exist??

I don't mean to trivialize disease, famine, war, genocide, or other bad things. But to me those things could be simply the cost of building a universe in the way that ours appears to be under construction; by analogy, I'd prefer that I not get sore and tired when I work out, but the long-term results more than makes up for the pain.

Adopting this attitude is easier when you believe in, or at least hold out hope for, an after-life. I fall in the latter category. I don't buy the idea that we should believe in heaven just because the church or the Bible says so. Nor do I put that much stock in near-death experiences, because for all we know, those could be simply physical or biochemical reactions of a severely-stressed brain.

But still, there's enough anecdotal evidence of dead people seeming to appear to others -- including in my own family -- that I'm not willing to rule out the possibility of a heaven.

Moreover, if God is a loving God (as arguably is the case), I'd be reluctant to assume that he uses us as construction workers and then completely discards us when we're worn out.

* * *

2. No Spam quotes Ingersoll: "If the Bible and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and my brain do not agree??

Why do they have to agree? What if God uses something like distributed computer processing -- perhaps he parcels out partial insights and revelations to different people, and expects us to communicate with each other to put together the pieces of the puzzle. From my perspective, that makes a heck of a lot of sense, and also argues for people trying to work together whenever possible.

In any case, No Spam, thanks for livening up the discussion.

No Spam


You simply must go to www.thislife.org where you will then click on "05" at left under Complete Archives. Then scroll down to the program called "Godless America". You want to listen to the second half of this hour long program. RealPlayer allows you to push the scroll bar to fast forward to minute 35 or so where the woman begins to speak.

Good luck.

mynym

No Spam, you remind me of a story:

Once upon a time there was an atheist. Like most atheists they did not believe in God because they thought he was a Big Meanie. The argument looks a little like this, "God, why do you let these bad things happen? You know, if you keep letting bad things happen then I will not believe in you. Alright God, you just let another bad thing happen, so now I will not believe in you! You do not exist. So take that, God!"
A parable of an Atheist

mynym

"...science should be taught in science classes. And right now, Intelligent Design simply isn't science."

And Darwinism is? Perhaps Darwinism should be taught in a humanities or history course with an emphasis on its influence on the eugenics movement and Nazism. They could also note that it became defunct as the result of this type of fact: "Neither of the two fundamental axioms of Darwin’s macroevolutionary theory—the concept of the continuity of nature. . . and the belief that all the adaptive design of life has resulted from a blind random process—have been validated by one single empirical discovery or scientific advance since 1859." --Michael Denton
cf.
(Doubts About Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design
By Thomas Woodward :47-49)

mynym

"Gee, maybe because there's absolutely no proof of any kind of a "creator's" existence?"

Maybe there is "no proof" for the "existence" of your mind as a cause for the text that you write in a similar way. So, can one take what is written above as an artificat of the biochemical state of your brain on August 5, 2005 at 01:35 PM? It's your brain that can be observed empirically and all that exists, correct?

Besides, would you just look at the science of that! I wonder though, if there may be a mind of the synaptic gaps that can fire electrical signals through neural nets causing signs of design by encoding specified information in patterns. I suppose that you may be stupid and igorant enough to believe that science must be barred from dealing with sentences as if they are an artifact of sentience. After all, that which is intelligable as an artifact of design must come to be by Intelligent Design and those whose understanding is shaped through emotional conditioning with respect to "science" and "religion" only understand issues through buzzwords. (And now that it is being discussed by ignorant people ID will become another buzzword for half-wits.)

No Spam

mynym,

Nice attempt at an ad hominem but no cigar for you.

If you want to persist in claiming that your invisible, silent, intangible, weightless, and unknowable pixie exists, then provide some proof. Any proof.

It's that simple.

No Spam

(And now that it is being discussed by ignorant people ID will become another buzzword for half-wits.)


Let me correct the above for you:

And now that it is being pushed by ignorant people ID has become another buzzword for half-wits.

No Spam

Let's cut the BS, friends. "Intelligent Design" is merely "creation science" under a new label. The name had to be changed as creationism is now totally discredited. You can try to wrap ID up in pseudo-scientific language but it's still the same old nonsense as before.

No Spam

Good 6 minute interview http://www.wbhm.org/Tapestry/Brian%20Fleming%20Interview.m3u

No Spam

Listen, this is not a bad site for a Christian one.

You have an open mind unlike many staunch bible-thumpers.

Good work.

gts

“Intelligent Design” is a New Age term –– so now they want to put new age teachings into science classes? How did the crazy people co-opt the terminology? These are dishonest people and they'll lie to get what they want. Their ‘god’ is one built on lies.
If the “designer” is ‘not of this earth’ or if their ‘god’ is a software programmer in another galaxy or parallel universe, then it’s either an “Alien” or “Foreign” Designer. Make them say that.

Whenever they try to use the term ‘Intelligent design” don’t let them, make them use the right terminology so everyone knows exactly what they’re talking about.
“Alien Design” or “Foreign Design” is what they really mean and it should be what they say. Don’t let them get away with subverting and stealing the language. Thieves and liars, the lot of ‘em.

mynym

"Nice attempt at an ad hominem but no cigar for you."

You expect me to attack anything other than the biochemical state of your brain? If you want to persist in claiming that your invisible, intangible, weightless, and idiotic mind exists, then provide some proof. Any proof.

It's that simple.

Your mind lives as an intellectual parasite on transphysical principle, language, intelligent design and information, living on it even as you seek to deny it. So provide "the proof" that your ideas are worth trying to read instead of deconstructing.

mynym

"And now that it is being pushed by ignorant people ID has become another buzzword for half-wits."

ID has been around a long time based on knowledge, it is now becoming a political issue. Given that, someone whose knowledge about ID approaches nil, such as yourself, is bound to begin to make ignorant statements about it.

mynym

"“Intelligent Design” is a New Age term..."

Not it isn't.

"...so now they want to put new age teachings into science classes? How did the crazy people co-opt the terminology?"

Biologists use the term design all the time, yet sometimes they are not quite clear in their meaning that their Mommy Nature supposedly designed all that is as the "Blind Watchmaker." Why do you suppose that is and why do they use the terminology that they are using?

"These are dishonest people and they'll lie to get what they want."

What is a lie when Nature selects all that is? Why shouldn't anyone lie? Is a "lie" the biochemical state of your brain in that moment? Doesn't Nature favor and "select" liars? E.g. (Thieves Deceivers and Killers: Tales of Chemistry in Nature By William Agosta)

"Their ‘god’ is one built on lies."

That's false. It is the anti-Word that relies on "Did God really say?" But if one asked it what it is really saying and how it is really saying it, then would it have an answer?

"Make them say that."

Why are you so anxious to prevent people from saying something or to control what they say? The "right terminology" is defined by your vague handwaving towards supposedly New Age ideas which are wrong and not the clear definition of language and words? I wonder, what are you really saying?

"“Alien Design” or “Foreign Design” is what they really mean and it should be what they say."

What they're really saying and what they really mean, eh?

No, not if it is unintelligable. What they mean by intelligent design, is the detection of design that comes about by intelligence.

"Don’t let them get away with subverting and stealing the language. Thieves and liars, the lot of ‘em."

How in and of the world is the clear language of "intelligent design" subverting and stealing the language? It is those who believe in scientism who would reduce all language down to the biochemical states of brains and so on, even as such thieves and deceivers steal enough to say what they are "really saying."

To those who support civilization, intelligence and the Word of Christianity I note, do not let them.

D. C.

Let's cool it with the invective, folks, or I'll start deleting comments — which I do not want to do, because "full and frank discussion of the issues" (to use diplomat-speak) can help all concerned to see other possibilities.

John


I love to read conservative argument. Pick a minor point or two on a larger issue, dwell on the minutia, claim you have made sense, then take the false high ground, all the while forgetting the bigger picture and attempting to confuse the issue. If all else fails start a circular argument, so as to at least, not lose..
The attempt to win a point far outweighs any larger view or real understanding of issues.
-Operating purely on ego and groupthink.-

Tom

Throughout recorded history, many phenonmena that were not understood were ascribed to the "gods" or to "God." Over time the scientific methodology ( observing and measuring phenomena, construcing hypothesis to explain the observations, and testing them against further experimental observations and continued ability to explain new information) has reclassified many phenonema from the supernatural to the natural. Simple examples, include weather, eclipses, thunder.
Looked at this ways, the term "god" or "intelligent designer" is equivalent to the statement "we do not understand this now; we may never understand it; it may be unknowable." But it is not a proof or disproof of the existence of a supernatural entity. It is simplay a statement (i mean this non-prejoratively) of a current or perhaps permanent state of ignorance.

No Spam

Thus spaketh mynym: "You expect me to attack anything other than the biochemical state of your brain?"

It's like a parrot spouting a line it thinks clever over and over.

Really how many times will you repeat this line? You are not impressing anyone.

No Spam

nymyn repeated: "Your mind lives as an intellectual parasite on transphysical principle, language, intelligent design and information, living on it even as you seek to deny it. So provide "the proof" that your ideas are worth trying to read instead of deconstructing."

Let me throw this back at you then.

Your mind lives as an intellectual parasite on transphysical principle, language, intelligent design and information, living on it even as you seek to deny it. So provide "the proof" that your ideas are worth trying to read instead of deconstructing.

LOL!

Steve

Those 'Chariots of Fire' that were flying angels into the sky is proof enough for me of alien design in man's development – I'm all for teaching it in science. Here's a little more from my bible-study class:

* In Exodus 13:20-22 the angel of The Lord traveled ahead and all around the Israelites in a "pillar of cloud" - it was seen as a dark "cloud" during the day in the bright sunlight, and as a flame at night in the darkness. (Exhaust smoke and flame from a jet engine?)
* In Judges 13:20 the parents of Samson spoke with an angel who upon leaving them ascended into the sky "in a flame." The flame did not come from the angel; the angel somehow rode the flame. (Again, some sort of jet or rocket engine?)
* In Deuteronomy 7:20, Joshua 24:12, and Exodus 23:28, The Lord sent "the hornet" ahead of the advancing Israelites to drive out their enemies. Although this could simply mean sending swarms of stinging insects, the Scripture does not say "hornets" - it says the hornet. (coincidentally, the modern-day Mcdonnell Douglas F-18 fighter aircraft is named the Hornet)

Remember, not all aliens are friendly, but some of those alien designers must be gay.


No Spam

Here's a sincere question. Why does your god hide if he's real? Why doesn't he show himself--if only occasionally?

His behavior makes no sense at all. Face it, he has done such a fantastic job of hiding himself that many people no longer believe in him. Amongst his followers there is much disagreement over even the most important tenets of christain belief.

So why has He chosen to remain invisible, intangible, weightless, scentless, and soundless since the OT?

It appears that the only ones who truly believe are the ones who are predisposed to believing without any need for evidence. When the rest of us ask for some proof in response to being told that we too need to believe, we are treated with smug condencension and told merely to "just believe".

Well, that's not good enough if you want us to adopt your religion.

bls

No Spam, think of it this way: it's highly and extraordinarily unlikely that a few molecules from the primordial ooze would ever have assembled themselves into the incredible variety of life that exists on earth today. This doesn't seem to happen on an everyday basis, that's for sure. It's never happened again on earth as far as we know. Nobel laureate Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, once said that the origin of life seems "a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to be satisfied to get it going."

The universe is incomprehensively vast. The Voyager spacecraft took 20 years to leave the solar system - and we're a tiny backwater in a little galaxy in one small corner of the universe. It will take us 2 years just to get to our closest neighbor Mars.

The universe is really an astounding, shocking place. We know that we can't possibly create anything like this. Religious people are responding - quite correctly, IMO - to incomprehensible mystery. Also, we have found that a spiritual/religious life brings certain benefits - including physical ones. And we find truth in religious precepts. It's not necessary to come to all of this at once, BTW. And IMO, it's not important that God be anything like us, or in fact like anything we can imagine.

So another possible answer is this: any creator God is much greater than we are, by definition. So it's quite possible that we cannot even perceive such a God; it's certainly true that such a God would be nothing like anything else we've ever experienced.

bls

But the major question is still the same one it's always been: Why is there something, rather than nothing? And on top of that: why are there carbon-based life forms teeming over all the earth, when it all started out as heat and methane gas?

Chance? Maybe. But the probabilies are very, very small that life should ever have arose on earth (and maybe elsewhere). In that tiny probability, we see God.

And it's easy enough to think of "God" as this amazing creative power in the universe, don't you think? That was my way in, anyway.

No Spam

"So it's quite possible that we cannot even perceive such a God...."

Then why do you pretend to know this god, its gender, it's alledged aversion to gays, etc?

This baffles me.

bls

Well, of course, I don't.

No Spam

Then why belong to a faith which tells you how to live your life?

bls

I don't think of it that way. I think of it as belonging to a faith that shows me what the truth is and how to love.

This does, of course, in turn help me to live a better life, when I can manage to do it.

No Spam

Tell what you believe to be the truth about gays. I am not gay but have struggled with whether or not to accept them. In my youth they were reviled. Now I see them as just people trying to get through life and find love just like me.

So what does your god tell you about how to view them and how to deal with the?

bls

I am gay, No Spam. You're right in what you say, BTW. Gay people are pretty much like everybody else in most respects.

Christianity is not the same thing everywhere, No Spam. It's true that a lot of it is very rigid and that most of it is currently anti-gay. We don't think it has to be that way, though. I personally think that right now is a reactionary period, but that a sort of Reformation for the modern world is going on underneath. I think that all religion is going through a metamorphosis. And I think something better is on the other side - something that will retain the best parts of the religion and that will let all the excess baggage drop away.

There are a lot of good people in my Church, the Episcopal Church, who are not anti-gay. In fact, one of them is the proprietor of this blog.

No Spam

There are some good people here. Plus one arrogant twit who shall remain nameless as he appears to have scarpered away.

mynym

"It's like a parrot spouting a line it thinks clever over and over.

Really how many times will you repeat this line? You are not impressing anyone."

I'm not trying to impress anyone. I am asking you a question that you do not seem to have an answer to because of the ignorance and stupidity typical to your philosophy. The only thing impressing about it would be me impressing upon your brain events by an act of will and creativity my own ideas, while perhaps you sit their passively trying to let Mommy Nature select your thoughts for you just as you seem to believe that she has the capacity to select all things by natural selections, naturally enough.

Why didn't you answer the question, is your text an artifact of the biochemical state of your brain or not? If there is no such thing as "intelligent design" because of your misinformed opinions about what "science" is or is not, then there is no intelligent design. If there is nothing transphysical capable of writing on Nature like a book and leaving artifacts bearing designed information because nothing like that can "exist" then there is nothing capable of writing. Such a capacity does not "exist," and so insight about anything invisible is the epistemic equivalent of fairy tales, as the village idiot who places sight before insight typically believes.

And you are deluding yourself if you think that you are thinking given the forms of scientism and Naturalism that do away with intelligent design.

mynym

"There are some good people here. Plus one arrogant twit who shall remain nameless as he appears to have scarpered away."

You'd be attacking the "good people" and prissy Christians as believers in the invisible and so on if I was not here. Along these lines: "Which is just like Santa or somethin'...and because I learned that Santa didn't exist when I was wittle and he was invisible, then everything invisible is just like that."

You argue that you want God to be known, yet I suspect that you would scamper away from anything active that may be "imposing views on me!" and so on. If God worked through allowing people the opportunity to be witnesses and disciples for him, also giving the opportunity to seek and find, then there are some things that some people would never accept as the result of their own pride, etc. If the evidence written in one's own thoughts and conscience is not enough, then nothing is enough.

In modern times and in an age of spirit and wisdom, angels will be said to be aliens, any number of witnesses can be written off as: "It was a hallucination, must've been something in the water." And so on, and on.

After all is said, done and witnessed in one form or another, it's often an internal issue of the heart and a rebellious will.

.

You'd be attacking the "good people" and prissy Christians as believers in the invisible and so on if I was not here.


You are kookoo for coco-puffs.

.

nymym,

You are a very arrogant and deluded young man. You avoid answering questions put forth to you. You resort to personal attacks instead. And finally, you do parrot rubbish from a long discredited text.

If you refuse to take seriously everyone else's opinions because their biichemical minds can't be trusted, then why on earth should we trust yours?

You need to smarten up.

D. C.

I've been camping in the mountains, far away from an Internet connection, and therefore haven't been able to monitor the comments.

Mynym and No Spam, I appreciate the the sincerity of your beliefs, but both of you need to moderate your tone and scruplously stay away from ad hominem attacks. The same goes for the anonymous poster of today at 11:29 a.m. and 11:42 a.m. Last warning for all of you.

The comments for this post have provided food for thought, but I think we've hit the point of diminishing returns, so I'm closing the comments (for this post only). Thanks to all for their contributions.

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