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Old 12-19-2004, 11:38 PM   #136
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Art is in most instances the creation of the human brain, a tightly packed region of neurons where electrochemical interactions allow for concious thought. Pleasure is the release of neurochemicals to stimulate an emotional response and beauty is merly human beings appreciating things as they are in a manner that can be culturally subjective.

The natural laws of the universe are themselves properties of it. Where they come from is the question of where the universe comes from and there is no evidence that it was crafted exactly by a God. The anthropic based argument that the universe must be in balance for us to exist ergo it must be created is flawed in that the universe as we know it may have emerged through random chance and it is only because of this that we are here to observe it.

With absence of evidence I am not claiming that I know what crafted the universe, however I am saying that with what we know - the scientific facts - God is not the logical conclusion.
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Old 12-19-2004, 11:56 PM   #137
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How does an atheist explain life then?

The water cycle, the food chain, excretory systems, red blood cells; all of them a result of a lucky shot.

I think not.
Please define it for me, what you are assuming is that all of these elements existed as soon as life existed. What you fail to grasp is that life is a complex and dynamic system and that the interactions between all of what you said can be explained in the context of evolutionary biolgy better than it can through divine intervention, the food chain is the interactions of life within an environment - the predator prey relationships that we find here are a driving force of evolution, it is a system built up over time through the appearance of different species of organism over time. The excretory system evolved over time too, from the extracelluar digestion in a gastrovascular cavity that you see in something like a cnidarian hydra which is very basic to that of an internal digestive tract which evolved as aminals became larger and developed more celluar layers.

I think that the formation of self-replicating macromolecules is a natural event that occurs where the right conditions are met. I also think that the evolution of life on our planet can be explained through natural processes - looking at life in all of its complexities today but denying the relative simplicity of it's origins is the problem, creationism does adequately explain the question - it simply excuses one from investigation.

3,700,000,000 - this is how long we are talking about here, this vast stretch of time during which life has existed on this planet is what I am talking about, surely it is possible to you that these natural processes of evolution that can be demonstrated in the lab and that are observed on a larger scale in the world around us could have driven the formation of life as we know it today.
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:35 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Art is in most instances the creation of the human brain, a tightly packed region of neurons where electrochemical interactions allow for concious thought. Pleasure is the release of neurochemicals to stimulate an emotional response and beauty is merly human beings appreciating things as they are in a manner that can be culturally subjective.

The natural laws of the universe are themselves properties of it. Where they come from is the question of where the universe comes from and there is no evidence that it was crafted exactly by a God. The anthropic based argument that the universe must be in balance for us to exist ergo it must be created is flawed in that the universe as we know it may have emerged through random chance and it is only because of this that we are here to observe it.

With absence of evidence I am not claiming that I know what crafted the universe, however I am saying that with what we know - the scientific facts - God is not the logical conclusion.
A_Wanderer you have a marvelous grasp of the english language and I thank you for your response to my questions.

It may be just me, but I kinda get this impression you're working very hard to convince yourself. Do you realise how amazingly sad your description of pleasure sounds? "Pleasure is the release of neurochemicals to stimulate an emotional response" - is that really how you FEEL about pleasure. Have you never experienced the exhiliration of an orgasim? Have you not tasted the delicious sweetness of a fine chocolate? Have you not had the rush of excitment as your body hurtled down a roller coaster to name but a few.

As for Art, can you really reduce it's appreciation down to some reaction in a tightly packed region of neurons where electrochemical interactions allow for concious thought. Is that how you describe the euphoria of that moment in a U2 concert when the red glow and the shimmering sounds of a "Streets" intro starts up.

And if beauty is merly human beings appreciating things as they are in a manner that can be culturally subjective, I wonder if your partner (if you have one) likes the way you look at them?

I think you have missed my point completely. If we are simply the result of a cosmic accident emerging out of some primordial soup then why do we have these abilities- they have no useful application in terms of evolutionary theory. You are great at explaining the hows, just haven't touched on the whys.

In the same ways that you say "creationism does adequately explain the question - it simply excuses one from investigation" - my question to you is have you excused yourself from the investigation of these "whys".

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Old 12-20-2004, 02:42 AM   #139
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it is extremely unlikely that on avarage atheists are more friendly, loving, sane, positive, open minded etc etc people than christians, muslims or satan worshippers
and vice versa


because not as many satan worshippers post in fym they do have a better rep than christians though
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:45 AM   #140
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Originally posted by Salome
it is extremely unlikely that on avarage atheists are more friendly, loving, sane, positive, open minded etc etc people than christians, muslims or satan worshippers
and vice versa


because not as many satan worshippers post in fym they do have a better rep than christians though
Not sure what your point is here Salome..can u explain?
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:46 AM   #141
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As I guess what can only be labelled an agnostic, I still have to agree with A_W on that. I believe more in art than any religion, coincidentally and I honestly think that art in itself is a truly outbound motion. Everything is taken in, then churned out again to produce what we all admire and appreciate in given forms. It resembles a scientific explanation much more readily than a dreamy poetic one, as hard as it might be to reason. bugger, I'm sounding like an arse. This is just opinion, but we all agree regardless that the human brain is probably the most intricate and most difficult to understand organ of all. In all animals and living things, the human brain is beyond what we can really understand. Yet we always seem so hesitant to think that such a clinical and precise creation can be so flowery and poetic. We'd rather look at where the inbound causes the finished product as the true motivation and the actual thing of beauty.

I really fucked up explaining what I wanted to here
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:51 AM   #142
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Yet we always seem so hesitant to think that such a clinical and precise creation can be so flowery and poetic. We'd rather look at where the inbound causes the finished product as the true motivation and the actual thing of beauty.

I really fucked up explaining what I wanted to here
lol! You said it Angela! Did you notice that you called the brain a creation in a post where you were trying to agree with A_W that it was the opposite

Thanks for your thoughts though!
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:03 AM   #143
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The point that I am making is that I am not a cosmic accident. I am the sum product of 3.7 billion years of life on this planet. Part of the most intelligent species ever to roam the Earth I am a human being, a sentient organism who can live its life and comprehend the universe in its brilliance. I am not the invention of an infinitely powerful deity, that solution lacks evidence, it runs contrary to what we see around us in the real world and I do not find this to be a problem at all. I find that there is nothing more enduring than the human spirt - the will to investigate and explore; to understand.

The questions of where we come from are important, and science - objective investigation - is how the answers are uncovered. I do not need to convince myself of evolution, I do not believe in evolution any more than I believe in gravity - I know that both occur, I can observe them occur - gravity by merely dropping a ball or looking at the moon in the sky or evolution by looking at fossils, the vast ammount of ancient life on this planet that bears reference for what we see today.

These things that you speak of are useful attributes that arose in the context of natural selection. Emotions are very powerfull, and they most certainly evolved through regular process. The advantages of emotion are things like the ability to care and rear young - the attatchment between a mother and child is in large part caused by hormones. Emotion is a critical part of social interaction, social interaction allows for mutually beneficial arrangements between members of the same species that will increase the chances of survival and reproduction, it was theses highly advanced communication skills that enabled man to spread around the globe.

To answer your question exactly; human beings posess these abilities partly through random chance; the mutations and behavioral changes that were adopted over time and partly because they enabled our ancestors greater odds of survival and reproduction - these processes alone can drive the emergence and sucess of new attributes in organisms down the generations. Divine intervention is not required if one begins an objective investigation based on the evidence at hand.

I feel, I live, I love and all that - the explanation of such events does not detract from them in any way.

To deny the existence of a deity is not to deny the existence of my humanity.
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:04 AM   #144
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Ah! I'm bogged down with 3 lines of thought, barely grasping even mine, let alone both your thoughts as well

I've had a quick re-read and while this is still fresh (? ha!) in my mind, I want to try one more stab at this lol.
The brain is a creation/organism/whatever. God might have designed it, science could have. As I dont know, I cant offer much more on that. No matter who or what was responsible, it is probably the most remarkable 'thing' to ever exist. I see it as a 'tool' for creating some of the most incredible things we can ever know. It seems the differences in this line of the discussion, are where we view those incredible things as having come from. in a way...I'm losing this thin grasp here lol..You said can we really reduce it down to [insert your description]. Is it really reducing it though? The process the human brain goes through to give us these incredible highs or utter exhiliration is in itself incredible. We take in the influence from outside us and around us, be it a fine chocolate, the image of a sun set, an orgasm lol, and it's our brain that allows us to react as we do. Without our brains being there, and taking it in, is it still as remarkable? ...I think I'm losing the gist again....lol
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:20 AM   #145
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The point that I am making is that I am not a cosmic accident. I am the sum product of 3.7 billion years of life on this planet. Part of the most intelligent species ever to roam the Earth I am a human being, a sentient organism who can live its life and comprehend the universe in its brilliance. I am not the invention of an infinitely powerful deity, that solution lacks evidence, it runs contrary to what we see around us in the real world and I do not find this to be a problem at all. I find that there is nothing more enduring than the human spirt - the will to investigate and explore; to understand.

The questions of where we come from are important, and science - objective investigation - is how the answers are uncovered. I do not need to convince myself of evolution, I do not believe in evolution any more than I believe in gravity - I know that both occur, I can observe them occur - gravity by merely dropping a ball or looking at the moon in the sky or evolution by looking at fossils, the vast ammount of ancient life on this planet that bears reference for what we see today.

These things that you speak of are useful attributes that arose in the context of natural selection. Emotions are very powerfull, and they most certainly evolved through regular process. The advantages of emotion are things like the ability to care and rear young - the attatchment between a mother and child is in large part caused by hormones. Emotion is a critical part of social interaction, social interaction allows for mutually beneficial arrangements between members of the same species that will increase the chances of survival and reproduction, it was theses highly advanced communication skills that enabled man to spread around the globe.

To answer your question exactly; human beings posess these abilities partly through random chance and partly because they enabled our ancestors greater chances of survival. Divine intervention is not required if one begins an objective investigation based on the evidence at hand.

I feel, I live, I love and all that - the explanation of such events does not detract from them in any way.

To deny the existence of a deity is not to deny the existence of my humanity.
Please excuse me if you thought that I was discounting your humanity- I was trying to remind you of it.

Natural selection does not really explain the things I was refering to- and it was not simply emotion. For instance, how do you think the first living being that appreciated art got to? Like how did it get from not appreciating art to appreciating it? I can't really see an incremental series of steps there. And why? How does that help the species to thrive?

Also how are you not a cosmic accident? Doesn't 3.7 billion years just makes you an even larger accident or series of amazing coincidences if you hold your views on the origin of life. You say yourself that we exist partly through random chance.

By the way you have a much stronger commitment to the theory of evolution than most evelutionary scientists I have struck. Most will not claim it as a completely infalliable theory- that requires a fair bit of faith. Incidently I don't see evolution and creation as 2 mutually exclusive propositions.

The whys still have not been adequately explained.

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I find that there is nothing more enduring than the human spirt - the will to investigate and explore; to understand.
I wonder where this desire comes from?
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:27 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Ah! I'm bogged down with 3 lines of thought, barely grasping even mine, let alone both your thoughts as well

I've had a quick re-read and while this is still fresh (? ha!) in my mind, I want to try one more stab at this lol.
The brain is a creation/organism/whatever. God might have designed it, science could have. As I dont know, I cant offer much more on that. No matter who or what was responsible, it is probably the most remarkable 'thing' to ever exist. I see it as a 'tool' for creating some of the most incredible things we can ever know. It seems the differences in this line of the discussion, are where we view those incredible things as having come from. in a way...I'm losing this thin grasp here lol..You said can we really reduce it down to [insert your description]. Is it really reducing it though? The process the human brain goes through to give us these incredible highs or utter exhiliration is in itself incredible. We take in the influence from outside us and around us, be it a fine chocolate, the image of a sun set, an orgasm lol, and it's our brain that allows us to react as we do. Without our brains being there, and taking it in, is it still as remarkable? ...I think I'm losing the gist again....lol
Nah, i think I get what you're saying Angela. To me though, the obvious question seems if there is some slight possibility that there is a creative force behind it all (as seems pretty straight forward imho) isn't it worth trying to find out. And wouldn't it make sense that such a creator would make that possible? And if there isn't a creator, then what have you lost in trying to find out?

And I think it is reducing things to describe them simply in biological terms when I have experienced them to be something beyond just that.
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:40 AM   #147
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4 centuries of investigation does not a complete picture make.

There is no complete theory of life, there are various theories that can often be applicable in particular circumstances. There is no need for God in this, there is no need to actively work to deny the influence of God in biology because God is a negligable element that cannot be proven or disproven.

Evolution is a fact, over the generations changes are taken up into the gene pool and the frequency of their expression can increase or decrease depending on the population pressures - this occurs and the evidence that we have for it gives it a very large confidence level. Now there is the fact, the scientific theory is how this can be explained, be it natural selection, puntuated equallibrium or any manner of theories regarding the mechanisms that drive evolution. Likewise gravity is a fact, the theories to explain it can be improved as tools of investigation are increased. We have gone from a clockwork view of a newtonian universe to the concept of a fixed speed of light with general relativity - the theory to explain gravity has changed but that has not altered the fact that gravity exists.

There is no God, look around there is no divine intervention, miracles do not happen and the world is a harsh and dangerous place. I do not believe in God and I most certainly do not justify my thoughts because of God or lack therof the concept that atheists are always seeking belief by not believing is not one that is proposed by atheists rather by people who believe.
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:44 AM   #148
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i cant do this at 11pm lol
are you guys on the caffeine pills or something?
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:47 AM   #149
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i cant do this at 11pm lol
are you guys on the caffeine pills or something?
lol- taking caffine intraveniously now! It's the only way
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Old 12-20-2004, 03:49 AM   #150
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Really? I have just finished off my vodka.
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