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Old 12-16-2005, 12:01 AM   #61
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I know that to understand something we must look at it in a reductionist and empirical fashion. Understanding the facts of it and being able to explain it with logic are far more powerful tools of investigation than comforting assumptions.

The "perfect forms" listed are not a matter of accident, it is a matter of cosmic inevitability. The solar system for instance is a distribution of objects with mass in a state of constant freefall. Now the element distribution with the heavier elements concentrated in the inner solar system and lighter ones furthur out is a direct concequence of gravitational attraction during accreation, now as for why the planets all more or less perfectly operate in orbit firstly they are not all perfect (e.g. Venus and the kuiper belt objects) and secondly the reason that they are all in stable orbits is because if any object was not in a stable orbit then it would have wound up colliding at some point in the past (and what do you know we have evidence for this with the crater scarred planets like Mars, Mercury - The Moon Itself is the product of a collision, it is the reason that the earth has a higher core to mantle ratio than the other terrestrial planets). The theory of gravity as well as nucleosynthesis and stellar physics has only boosted our understandings of why this is the way it is. Things are the way that they are because they conform to fundamental physical laws, it is this principle that moves us away from thinking that we are an exception to the rule to understanding that we are part of and conform to those rules.

Now secondly a completely nontheistic naturalistic worldview does not mean that human beings were instantly formed from raw carbon, oxygen, hydrogen etc. It is about random variation in all replicating organisms, all the way back to the first organic molecules, but these variants are put under a tremendous selective pressure and those that reproduce more effectively in the conditions will be at an advantage, that is very non-random. Natural selection is the driving force of evolution, it is what enables certain forms to florish and others to die. It is also what has enabled the formation of higher life. This theory explains a lot of problems from transmission of infectious diseases (strains etc.), the fossil record, the genetic similarities between organism and pretty much all biology. Given what has been accomplished by scientific method I think the burden of explaination rests upon the theistic creationists to justify why they are not wrong. Facts are not faith, evolutionary biology as a framework of knowledge is not just taken as faith, it is tested time and time again and every time the observations conform to it. It is dynamic so when we come across something that we didn't know could exist we may formulate explainations for why (for instance siblicide and why in certain situations parents will not interevene). Science is the antithesis of faith because it starts from the premise that we know nothing and moves forward from there. Organised religion starts from the premise that everything is a known creation of a divine omnipotent being and it can be understood through scripture and uncritical belief.

As far as astronomical chances you are probably right, the odds of sentient life coming into existence are probably infitesimally small. But you have to remember that the universe may be infinitely big . If every possible permutation of particles within the confines of the laws of physics takes place within an infinite set then it is but a cosmic inevitability that not only organic life, but intelligent life will come to be. It can only exist in more or less the best of all possible worlds for life of its type so when we look at the world and how perfect it is for the type of life that we know we can either see it as perfectly designed or that life is brilliantly adapted for its conditions. In the absence of any empirical evidence of an onnicient and omnipitent being I think that we must go with what is observable and known and generate an understanding based on fact and not fiction.

The puzzle/jet engine/watch paradigm is flawed, it assumes that life on earth in it's complexity is a static system and overlooks its dynamic nature. Extinction takes species out the equation at varying rates, speciation adds them, life is a constantly changing system and too place human beings as the be all and end all is very anthropocentric. It also overlooks physical constants that govern our universe producing the optimum conditions for the chemical reactions that life as we know it uses; the anthropic principle / best of all possible worlds is the best philisophical argument that is consistent with what we know. Infinite possibilities means that the world as we know it will turn up every once in a while.
you are a materialist yes? at least, you present the materialist's point of view very well.
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:07 AM   #62
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Originally posted by Irvine511

it makes emotional sense, perhaps even logical sense, but it makes no more sense than any other explanation for the complexity of nature.

i would argue that there's no love within any creation beyond the love you, the human, who understands love on human terms, chooses to put there.

i suppose i think that things simply are. and there's really no comment, no love, no meaning, no anything beyond what we choose to put there.
But where does love come from? Why is it something we all need? It's not just something we desire out of greed, it's something we need. My 2- and 1-year-old boys need my love. They depend on it. Where does that come from? They're too young to understand the concept of "choosing to put" out love or take it in.
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:12 AM   #63
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But where does love come from? Why is it something we all need? It's not just something we desire out of greed, it's something we need. My 2- and 1-year-old boys need my love. They depend on it. Where does that come from? They're too young to understand the concept of "choosing to put" out love or take it in.


might love be insulation -- necessary for survival -- against an amoral, harsh world?

and even if it isn't, why does it follow that love must therefore be from God?
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:14 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I know that to understand something we must look at it in a reductionist and empirical fashion. Understanding the facts of it and being able to explain it with logic are far more powerful tools of investigation than comforting assumptions.

The "perfect forms" listed are not a matter of accident, it is a matter of cosmic inevitability. The solar system for instance is a distribution of objects with mass in a state of constant freefall. Now the element distribution with the heavier elements concentrated in the inner solar system and lighter ones furthur out is a direct concequence of gravitational attraction during accreation, now as for why the planets all more or less perfectly operate in orbit firstly they are not all perfect (e.g. Venus and the kuiper belt objects) and secondly the reason that they are all in stable orbits is because if any object was not in a stable orbit then it would have wound up colliding at some point in the past (and what do you know we have evidence for this with the crater scarred planets like Mars, Mercury - The Moon Itself is the product of a collision, it is the reason that the earth has a higher core to mantle ratio than the other terrestrial planets). The theory of gravity as well as nucleosynthesis and stellar physics has only boosted our understandings of why this is the way it is. Things are the way that they are because they conform to fundamental physical laws, it is this principle that moves us away from thinking that we are an exception to the rule to understanding that we are part of and conform to those rules.

Now secondly a completely nontheistic naturalistic worldview does not mean that human beings were instantly formed from raw carbon, oxygen, hydrogen etc. It is about random variation in all replicating organisms, all the way back to the first organic molecules, but these variants are put under a tremendous selective pressure and those that reproduce more effectively in the conditions will be at an advantage, that is very non-random. Natural selection is the driving force of evolution, it is what enables certain forms to florish and others to die. It is also what has enabled the formation of higher life. This theory explains a lot of problems from transmission of infectious diseases (strains etc.), the fossil record, the genetic similarities between organism and pretty much all biology. Given what has been accomplished by scientific method I think the burden of explaination rests upon the theistic creationists to justify why they are not wrong. Facts are not faith, evolutionary biology as a framework of knowledge is not just taken as faith, it is tested time and time again and every time the observations conform to it. It is dynamic so when we come across something that we didn't know could exist we may formulate explainations for why (for instance siblicide and why in certain situations parents will not interevene). Science is the antithesis of faith because it starts from the premise that we know nothing and moves forward from there. Organised religion starts from the premise that everything is a known creation of a divine omnipotent being and it can be understood through scripture and uncritical belief.

As far as astronomical chances you are probably right, the odds of sentient life coming into existence are probably infitesimally small. But you have to remember that the universe may be infinitely big . If every possible permutation of particles within the confines of the laws of physics takes place within an infinite set then it is but a cosmic inevitability that not only organic life, but intelligent life will come to be. It can only exist in more or less the best of all possible worlds for life of its type so when we look at the world and how perfect it is for the type of life that we know we can either see it as perfectly designed or that life is brilliantly adapted for its conditions. In the absence of any empirical evidence of an onnicient and omnipitent being I think that we must go with what is observable and known and generate an understanding based on fact and not fiction.

The puzzle/jet engine/watch paradigm is flawed, it assumes that life on earth in it's complexity is a static system and overlooks its dynamic nature. Extinction takes species out the equation at varying rates, speciation adds them, life is a constantly changing system and too place human beings as the be all and end all is very anthropocentric. It also overlooks physical constants that govern our universe producing the optimum conditions for the chemical reactions that life as we know it uses; the anthropic principle / best of all possible worlds is the best philisophical argument that is consistent with what we know. Infinite possibilities means that the world as we know it will turn up every once in a while.

A_Wanderer — you're a brilliant person. No doubt you have a great education and intellect. I know very little of what you're talking about here -- it's way over my head. In this thread and in others I've seen you break down existence to the smallest bit. I have to ask though, how is that contradictory to the idea of there being a God? In fact, how is it not evidence of God?

For you personally, from your own heart, when you study the Earth and everything on it, what does it do to you? Why are you drawn to know all this? Where does that come from?
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:29 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

might love be insulation -- necessary for survival -- against an amoral, harsh world?

and even if it isn't, why does it follow that love must therefore be from God?
It is necessary for survival, that's my whole point. Why? This is what I hope you and others will see —*if we're just here by accident don't you think it's funny that all this stuff we need to continue existing is available to us? Food. Water. Shelter. Love. etc. A_Wanderer can write a thesis on how we're here, and I'm in awe of his mind power in that area, but why is all the stuff we need to exist here too?

If we're just here by accident, we're talking astromical odds we must've beat for that to happen. A lot of faith is required for me to believe that. Less faith, in fact, than a belief that we were designed. But when you consider that all this stuff we need to survive and continue existing is available to us, is that accident too? What an accident!!!

That's the other part of my point -- if it is here, it's not here out of hate. You know? Love must be from God because why would he create us out of hate? That'd be like my wife and I saying, "You know, I hate kids. Let's have children." The Bible tells us that God IS love.

I hope none of this comes across in a negative manner. I respect where you're coming from, Irvine. I totally understand. I'm just passionate about making God famous and trying to help people along in a relationship with him -- not for my gain, but for there gain.

Can I ask you a question? (and anyone else) If there is any possibility of a loving God -- why not sprint toward it? Why not seek it with all your heart? Isn't it worth the gamble? Why is it a gamble? Wouldn't it be nice to experience that after all the crap we go through down here?
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:49 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




might love be insulation -- necessary for survival -- against an amoral, harsh world?

and even if it isn't, why does it follow that love must therefore be from God?
Love is not "sent from" God.. God is Love.

What kind of love do bumblebees feel? Is it necessary for survival for them?

You are referring to human standards re: amoral, harsh world etc. - God is in all and everything. God is an earthquake, a tsunami.
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:57 AM   #67
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


Love is not "sent from" God.. God is Love.

What kind of love do bumblebees feel? Is it necessary for survival for them?

You are referring to human standards re: amoral, harsh world etc. - God is in all and everything. God is an earthquake, a tsunami.


but this doesn't make any sense to me -- it seems like mix-and-match metaphysics, that is neither provable or disprovable. it's incoherent, and largely rests upon the subjective definitions of the observer. you can sense and intuit these things, and that's fine, and i have no doubt that they have meaning for you, and i respect that, but it does not then add up to the indepenent existence of a diety, or even proof that there must be something else. all of what you're saying, to me, sounds like a defense mechanism against the fear of death, and saying "i'm not afraid of death" is pretty much admitting that you do have a fear of death, but that you've conquored it. at least to yourself.

and again, i don't mean this at all to attack or deride anyone's beliefs. i'm just trying to explain where i'm at with my thinking, and i speak only for myself.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:08 PM   #68
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Originally posted by coemgen


It is necessary for survival, that's my whole point. Why? This is what I hope you and others will see —*if we're just here by accident don't you think it's funny that all this stuff we need to continue existing is available to us? Food. Water. Shelter. Love. etc. A_Wanderer can write a thesis on how we're here, and I'm in awe of his mind power in that area, but why is all the stuff we need to exist here too?

If we're just here by accident, we're talking astromical odds we must've beat for that to happen. A lot of faith is required for me to believe that. Less faith, in fact, than a belief that we were designed. But when you consider that all this stuff we need to survive and continue existing is available to us, is that accident too? What an accident!!!

That's the other part of my point -- if it is here, it's not here out of hate. You know? Love must be from God because why would he create us out of hate? That'd be like my wife and I saying, "You know, I hate kids. Let's have children." The Bible tells us that God IS love.

I hope none of this comes across in a negative manner. I respect where you're coming from, Irvine. I totally understand. I'm just passionate about making God famous and trying to help people along in a relationship with him -- not for my gain, but for there gain.

Can I ask you a question? (and anyone else) If there is any possibility of a loving God -- why not sprint toward it? Why not seek it with all your heart? Isn't it worth the gamble? Why is it a gamble? Wouldn't it be nice to experience that after all the crap we go through down here?


i suppose i think we're preconditioned -- both socially and genetically -- to believe that we are special, that we were designed, and there's a love and logic and purpose to everything. but i see that as a result of being human and how the human brain works to interpret and make meaning out of random events. i think love serves a purpose, and i think love is a wonderful part of being human, but i can't make the leap that says that the existence of love therefore suggests the existence of a diety. and by saying "God is love" also strikes me as being sort of nonsensical -- i think we need to work out what we mean when we say "God", first of all, and i think it's also fairly clear that while the God of the Bible might love us, i don't think we can fairly say that he is love.

it would be nice to believe in a God, and i find that point compelling -- the whole, well, why not? what have you got to lose? i admit and admire that point.

but, for right now, i see a sort of nobility and honesty in acknowledging what i perceive to be the hard, biological truth of our existence -- that we are animals, that when our hearts explode, when we succumb to cancer, when our necks snap, the lights go out and that's it, and that all explanations and proclomations of an afterlife, of a reuniting with loved ones and being in the presence of God are easily explained by biology as well as real human needs to explain what cannot be explained or understood, which is the fundamental absurdity of existence.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:10 PM   #69
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Great thread.

"Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it."
The Teaching of Don Juan.

This is the intro to this book ...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1570...35#reader-page

Fascinating stuff
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:18 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




but this doesn't make any sense to me -- it seems like mix-and-match metaphysics, that is neither provable or disprovable. it's incoherent, and largely rests upon the subjective definitions of the observer. you can sense and intuit these things, and that's fine, and i have no doubt that they have meaning for you, and i respect that, but it does not then add up to the indepenent existence of a diety, or even proof that there must be something else. all of what you're saying, to me, sounds like a defense mechanism against the fear of death, and saying "i'm not afraid of death" is pretty much admitting that you do have a fear of death, but that you've conquored it. at least to yourself.

and again, i don't mean this at all to attack or deride anyone's beliefs. i'm just trying to explain where i'm at with my thinking, and i speak only for myself.
That´s all good, Irvine

You´d need a proof, but can´t find one. I ´m not thinking in terms of proof, because it doesn´t make sense to me in that case. I have the "proof" if you want to call experience that, and don´t need to prove with a rational argument because this would be an inadequate way. It´s the same when we´re talking about love. What coherent proof do you have that anyone loves you? None. But you can feel it when this is the case. What coherent proof do you have that love exists at all? And still, it exists.

I would like to ask you why you are looking for proof - because apparently you are. Why are these matters of any importance to you? What are you searching for, if anything at all?
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:18 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i suppose i think we're preconditioned -- both socially and genetically -- to believe that we are special, that we were designed, and there's a love and logic and purpose to everything. but i see that as a result of being human and how the human brain works to interpret and make meaning out of random events. i think love serves a purpose, and i think love is a wonderful part of being human, but i can't make the leap that says that the existence of love therefore suggests the existence of a diety. and by saying "God is love" also strikes me as being sort of nonsensical -- i think we need to work out what we mean when we say "God", first of all, and i think it's also fairly clear that while the God of the Bible might love us, i don't think we can fairly say that he is love.

it would be nice to believe in a God, and i find that point compelling -- the whole, well, why not? what have you got to lose? i admit and admire that point.

but, for right now, i see a sort of nobility and honesty in acknowledging what i perceive to be the hard, biological truth of our existence -- that we are animals, that when our hearts explode, when we succumb to cancer, when our necks snap, the lights go out and that's it, and that all explanations and proclomations of an afterlife, of a reuniting with loved ones and being in the presence of God are easily explained by biology as well as real human needs to explain what cannot be explained or understood, which is the fundamental absurdity of existence.
By sharing the verse about "God is love," I wasn't trying to win an argument, I was just sharing that to let you know what the Bible says because we were talking about that.

How do you know what's on the other side of death? How can you be certain? This is where faith offers way more than science ever will.

Also, I'm not saying this to belittle you or any other negative way, but read back what you said in your last two paragraphs: The idea of God is compelling, however, I'm happy with not believing in anything after death or any God. Are you? (I'm just asking this to challenge you, not put you down in any way).

To me, even the slightest possibility of finding God through faith is worth whatever it takes. It's God. I think that's the problem —*people don't understand the concept of God. (Well, he is GOD, so it's impossible totally know everything about him ) I guess why is there a fear of believing in God. What is there to lose?
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:20 PM   #72
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


That´s all good, Irvine

You´d need a proof, but can´t find one. I ´m not thinking in terms of proof, because it doesn´t make sense to me in that case. I have the "proof" if you want to call experience that, and don´t need to prove with a rational argument because this would be an inadequate way. It´s the same when we´re talking about love. What coherent proof do you have that anyone loves you? None. But you can feel it when this is the case. What coherent proof do you have that love exists at all? And still, it exists.

I would like to ask you why you are looking for proof - because apparently you are. Why are these matters of any importance to you? What are you searching for, if anything at all?


i will definitely get back to you on this one. got to crank through some boring paper work (which is why i'm posting so much these past few days, so much more fun than the task at hand), but i will get back to you.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:33 PM   #73
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Irvine, consider this.

Maybe the proof of God you're looking for is up to you -- a relationship with him. God works that way sometimes — he tugs on our hearts and arouses our curiosity just enough to push us to the edge, but we have to jump. He's done his part through Christ, do yours and I promise, you'll have your proof. I'm not saying this to convert you to my club, I'm saying this as part of our little debate/discussion we're having. My relationship with God is my best argument, but I can see it being irrelevant to those who don't know him, because you don't understand and I people like me come across as Star Trek fans at a Star Trek convention. Take the jump though. If you want a visual analogy of what the jump's like, watch the entire video for Glosoli by Sigur Ros.

http://www.emichrysalis.co.uk/quickt...ndwidth=100000

or

www.sigur-ros.is/sirkus.html

Yes, I'm serious.
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:01 PM   #74
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People kept asking Jesus to prove that He was the Son of the Father, instead of some conjurer (or worse, a messenger of Satan). His response: "Do what I say, and you will know who sent me."

My father, a biologist by trade and agnostic by nature, finally came to a point where he had met so many Christians -- and found so much pain, anger, and hatred for others in his own soul -- that he couldn't empirically disprove the evidence for God, and in fact found something Christians had that he didn't, so he decided to read the Bible and do what it said until he found a lie.

Thirty-one years later, he's still walking.
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:06 PM   #75
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And a perspective on Love from C.S. Lewis:

"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."
--Answers to Questions on Christianity

I'd say then that this isn't really possible unless God is with you -- because Love then is the absence of selfishness, and I would hazard a guess that, left to our own devices, humans are the most selfish of all God's creatures... so we need Love in order to love.
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