Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 120 (8763 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 06-24-2017 4:49 AM
360 online now:
Boof, Dr Adequate, NoNukes, PaulK, Tangle (5 members, 355 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: aristotle
Post Volume:
Total: 811,970 Year: 16,576/21,208 Month: 2,465/3,593 Week: 578/882 Day: 10/86 Hour: 2/0

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
212223
24
2526Next
Author Topic:   I Am Not An Atheist!
ringo
Member
Posts: 13187
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 346 of 382 (670265)
08-11-2012 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 344 by GDR
08-11-2012 5:34 PM


GDR writes:

ringo writes:

By contrast, most theistic gods are depicted as obsessive and often bumbling tinkerers.


You've been listening to the wrong theists.

So how is an interfering god "more plausible"? Since we discovered evolution, antibiotics, etc. by using science, why is it less plausible that a god would use a similar process?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 344 by GDR, posted 08-11-2012 5:34 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 351 by GDR, posted 08-11-2012 8:05 PM ringo has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 347 of 382 (670267)
08-11-2012 6:08 PM
Reply to: Message 341 by GDR
08-11-2012 5:07 PM


I think you're missing Modulous's point. He's not talking about the Problem of Evil, but about the question of attributing causes.

We can always imagine a supernatural explanation for something for which we have a perfectly good natural explanation, but why should we particularly mention it? This is the background noise of epistemology.

We do not, for example, teach children: "Snowflakes are formed by the crystallization of water, or maybe some of them are made by Jack Frost"; "Epidemic diseases are caused by the spread of germs, but maybe some of them were caused by witchcraft"; "Fairy rings are produced by the growth patterns of mushrooms, or maybe some of them were made by fairies dancing"; "Metamorphic rocks were formed by temperature and pressure acting on non-metamorphic rocks, or maybe some of them were made by wizards"; "If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it's either a duck or maybe it's a magic pixie using its magic powers to disguise itself as a duck."

It is, indeed, precisely because we can imagine this in every case that it becomes otiose to mention it in any case in particular. We can always imagine it, we never really have a reason to think it. So why mention it in the case of evolution? As a sop to the religious?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 341 by GDR, posted 08-11-2012 5:07 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 350 by GDR, posted 08-11-2012 7:55 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 348 of 382 (670268)
08-11-2012 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 343 by foreveryoung
08-11-2012 5:34 PM


foreveryoung writes:

How is the theory of evolution anything other than "a solely natural mindless process"?

Firstly, for the evolutionary process to even have started a first cause is required. It seems to me that it is more plausible that the first cause that brought about intelligent life is intelligent itself, than is the idea that intelligent life had a non-intelligent first cause.

Secondly, we have no way of knowing whether the evolutionary process is unguided or not. From our perspective it all looks the same.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 343 by foreveryoung, posted 08-11-2012 5:34 PM foreveryoung has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 360 by Percy, posted 08-12-2012 6:42 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 349 of 382 (670269)
08-11-2012 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 345 by Modulous
08-11-2012 5:50 PM


Modulous writes:

But the objection wasn't about whether they should be taught - it was whether we should disclaim all scientific statements by referencing specially privileged unfalsifiable propositions such as undetectable manipulations of theistic gods or undetectable design by deistic ones.
I don't think we should, you seem to imply maybe we should.

Unless a question is asked then the issue shouldnít even come up. Evolution should be taught in the same way algebra is. If someone young bright light asks a question pertaining about cause or possible guidance the answer should simply be that scientifically there is no way of coming to a conclusion. Any answer beyond that is no longer scientific.

The point is that evolution is science or biology and has nothing to do with whether one is an atheist, a deist or a theist. One can be anyone of the three and either accept evolutionary science or reject it. In terms of the OP there is no actual connection regardless of how fundamentalist Christians, or dare I say it, fundamentalist atheists try to make one.

Modulous writes:

The other points you raised about the 'problem of evil' to summarize it, was not what I was going after. I was merely describing how other scientific conclusions can be polluted if we teach alternative metaphysical possibilities that by their ve ry nature cannot be falsified. I chose the plague at random, you can insert the science of urine formation in there if you want (its just that I don't have any historical theistic/deist based arguments to draw on on that subject)

Sorry. I missed your point. Science is the study of the physical and not the metaphysical so there are no grounds on which to discuss the metaphysical. Mind you, in some ways when science starts talking about alternative universes etc the lines do seem to blur so who knows what the future holds.

Modulous writes:

Do you think that by only talking about natural and mindless causes is the same as making the philosophical statement that is all there is? In a science class, surely the most that can be being said is 'that is all that science can tell us'. Do you remember high school evolution classes? Was it taught as if God is dead?

Frankly, when I was educated during the dark ages I have never had a class on evolution that I can recall. I loved physics when I was young but didnít have any interest in biology. In any science classes I took the subject of God was never raised. I also donít see why the term natural and mindless causes should be used. It should simply be taught that this is the conclusions that can be drawn from the fossil record and the DNA record. It isnít scientific to either accept or reject the record as being mindless or intelligently cause.

Modulous writes:

A deistic one doesn't interfere with the universe post creation, generally speaking whereas a theistic one does. If the theistic god acts in ways which c an't be detected, then the two are practically indistinguishable.

Absolutely. There is nothing to distinguish them scientifically. The best that we can do is to apply our own reasoning to arrive at what we as individuals view as the most plausible answer to the god question.

Modulous writes:

Why? Surely that would make it a more perfect deity? No need for course corrections - it just gets the right result first time.

I know. That is the crux of the biggest issue that Christians such as myself have to deal with and there are no pat answers. I am happy to answer it but I think as you rightly pointed out we are treading on the boundaries of the topic of the OP here. You have influence. Am I allowed to answer the question in this thread or not?

Modulous writes:

I think philosophy should be taught - but at high school I think the main focus should be on ethics and logic. In the UK reference is made to the beliefs of others, as well as the history of teleological arguments when teaching evolution. Would you regard this as sufficient, or do you think we should get into the discussion in depth and include theism and deism and pantheism and panentheism and atheism and...? Personally I'd sooner see epistemology and aesthetics taught before metaphysics.

I think that if we sat down and talked about it in depth that we would agree. Frankly a lot depends on what else is being taught and how much time is available. I also think that schools should not be wading into issues that are best left to parents.

By the way. I know that Manchester is somewhat north of London but your country can take great pride in the job you have done with the Olympics.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 345 by Modulous, posted 08-11-2012 5:50 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 352 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-11-2012 9:13 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 350 of 382 (670270)
08-11-2012 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 347 by Dr Adequate
08-11-2012 6:08 PM


Dr. Adequate writes:

I think you're missing Modulous's point. He's not talking about the Problem of Evil, but about the question of attributing causes.
We can always imagine a supernatural explanation for something for which we have a perfectly good natural explanation, but why should we particularly mention it? This is the background noise of epistemology.

We do not, for example, teach children: "Snowflakes are formed by the crystallization of water, or maybe some of them are made by Jack Frost"; "Epidemic diseases are caused by the spread of germs, but maybe some of them were caused by witchcraft"; "Fairy rings are produced by the growth patterns of mushrooms, or maybe some of them were made by fairies dancing"; "Metamorphic rocks were formed by temperature and pressure acting on non-metamorphic rocks, or maybe some of them were made by wizards"; "If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it's either a duck or maybe it's a magic pixie using its magic powers to disguise itself as a duck."

It is, indeed, precisely because we can imagine this in every case that it becomes otiose to mention it in any case in particular. We can always imagine it, we never really have a reason to think it. So why mention it in the case of evolution? As a sop to the religious?

You're right that I misconstrued Mod's point. I hope I did better in my next response. As far the rest of your post, although I don't view Christianity in the way anyone does Jack Frost, I agree with your point.

Actually I see it as essentially what I was trying inadequately to say.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 347 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-11-2012 6:08 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 354 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-11-2012 9:26 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 351 of 382 (670271)
08-11-2012 8:05 PM
Reply to: Message 346 by ringo
08-11-2012 5:51 PM


Ringo writes:

So how is an interfering god "more plausible"? Since we discovered evolution, antibiotics, etc. by using science, why is it less plausible that a god would use a similar process?

But if science is a natural theology, or from my point of view the study of what God has created, then if our science is accurate it isn't a similar process but THE process that God used.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 346 by ringo, posted 08-11-2012 5:51 PM ringo has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 352 of 382 (670272)
08-11-2012 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 349 by GDR
08-11-2012 7:47 PM


Unless a question is asked then the issue shouldnít even come up. Evolution should be taught in the same way algebra is. If someone young bright light asks a question pertaining about cause or possible guidance the answer should simply be that scientifically there is no way of coming to a conclusion.

This is arguably true of a First Cause, but not of immediate causes. Scientifically, we are obliged to (provisionally) conclude that what looks and walks and quacks like a duck is a duck and not a fairy magically disguised as a duck. The fact that we can still imagine that it's a fairy is something that one might mention in a philosophy class, but it's no reason at all for a science teacher to say that scientifically there's no way of knowing that it's a duck.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 349 by GDR, posted 08-11-2012 7:47 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3794
Joined: 09-26-2002
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 353 of 382 (670273)
08-11-2012 9:16 PM


Deism anyone?
Ah say "Deism anyone?"

Adminnemooseus


Or something like that©.

Replies to this message:
 Message 355 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-11-2012 9:28 PM Adminnemooseus has acknowledged this reply

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 354 of 382 (670274)
08-11-2012 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 350 by GDR
08-11-2012 7:55 PM


You're right that I misconstrued Mod's point. I hope I did better in my next response. As far the rest of your post, although I don't view Christianity in the way anyone does Jack Frost, I agree with your point.

Well, I'm not talking about Christianity as a whole, but about particular speculations about what God might or might not have done. In the immortal words of William of Conches: "God can make a cow out of a tree, but has He ever done so? Therefore show some reason why a thing is so, or cease to hold that it is so."

Actually I see it as essentially what I was trying inadequately to say.

Except that we seem to have come to opposite conclusions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 350 by GDR, posted 08-11-2012 7:55 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 355 of 382 (670275)
08-11-2012 9:28 PM
Reply to: Message 353 by Adminnemooseus
08-11-2012 9:16 PM


Re: Deism anyone?
Oh, OK then.

Question for Percy: Why are you a deist?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 353 by Adminnemooseus, posted 08-11-2012 9:16 PM Adminnemooseus has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 361 by purpledawn, posted 08-12-2012 6:48 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
marc9000
Member
Posts: 862
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 356 of 382 (670277)
08-11-2012 10:06 PM
Reply to: Message 312 by Percy
08-09-2012 9:49 PM


marc9000 writes:

Anyone who is the slightest bit religious, anyone but the most militant of atheists, should show some interest, however slight, in Intelligent Design.

Since you believe deists are just atheists by another name, this deist/atheist is so interested in intelligent design that he dedicated an entire forum of his discussion board to it.

What that seems to have resulted in is an attractive looking place for atheists to shout down Intelligent Design, and give each other more and more ideas in how to further shout it down in places other than just these forums. If it was your attempt to genuinely search for new knowledge about Intelligent Design, and how it may fit with your religion, I donít think it worked out very well for you. A quick glance through that forum showed me one of your messages on it, a complete dismissal of ID.

Your messages are full of statements that reflect extreme unfamiliarity with the very people you're debating with. Your opinions never seem influenced by your experience, or even the dictionary for that matter.

I never did have all that much trust for evolution proponents, and my experiences on forums like these, as well as books and internet reading, have caused my trust to go down even lower. You seem to be mistaking my mistrust with unfamiliarity. Im not alone, many other creationists experience less and less trust of evolutionists once they learn more about just what's going on in the politics of science. Itís the reason they're more likely to label some theistic evolutionists as atheists, and it's my best attempt to answer the questions you posed in your opening messages of this thread.

___________________

Science doesn't reject the concept of intelligent design. It rejects claims that intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory supported by a broad body of evidence that deserves more serious consideration by scientists and should even be taught as accepted theory in public school science classrooms.

So Science doesn't at all reject its concept, it just rejects that it's a legitimate theory? Sounds like a dance to me, does nothing to garner an increased trust in me. Here is a list at Wikipedia;

LIST OF SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES EXPLICITLY REJECTING INTELLIGENT DESIGN

Notice how the title, or the list, do nothing to distinguish between a concept, or a theory. They all reject it, period. And thereís no indication that anything that ID proponents ever do is going to change it. Because atheists donít believe in the possibility of designers other than humans, and atheists control science. (there is evidence for it)

Any hostility you might feel is not directed at the concept of intelligent design but at the exaggerated claims of its legitimacy as an accepted scientific theory.

So you believe atheists arenít opposed to the concept? Another important question, the second one. No. 1 has thus far gone unanswered. (repeated below)

Since you have stated many times that science is hostile to intelligent design, and since this misunderstanding has been corrected many times, could we finally reach a resolution on this?

Corrected??

Do you now understand that science is not hostile to the concept of intelligent design? Can we hope to have seen the last of this claim, at least from you?

Only after you and I do a great debate on it. You provide evidence that science is not hostile to the concept of Intelligent Design, and I'll provide evidence that it is, and weíll see how they compare. Shouldn't take long.

______________________

This post [message 303]has received a POTM nomination from Minnemooseus and a 2nd from NoNukes, but what I see is a message where almost every sentence contains something that is either wrong or misunderstood, much of it about things that Marc has been wrong about in the past and already been corrected multiple times, and the comments about Bryan Rehm are just the same despicable Christian bigotry Marc has been spouting since he joined. Perhaps Moose and NN, who haven't yet participated in this thread, can chime in here and help Marc defend that post.

Here's another idea, you could attempt to refute that post. Please address the bigotry in these paragraphs;

quote:
Also, creationists are aware that conflicts, such as the creation/evolution conflict, are almost always a disagreement between TWO opposing forces. Itís a rare conflict that has three or more equally opposing forces. I've never seen the creation/evolution controversy labeled as the creation/deist/evolution controversy, for example.

In the rare conflicts that do involve three or more, I canít imagine any that have two extremes, along with one or more central ones that donít heavily favor one extreme or the other. We all know which side Deism and/or theistic evolution favors.


And this one;

quote:
It would be interesting to know if his teachings in school are compatible with his teachings in Bible class, or if he teaches conflicting things depending on where he is.

And this one, from message 304;

quote:
What is the difference in the beliefs of how the world works, between a Deist and an Atheist? Why is it important for Deists to (in one way) separate themselves from atheists? If youíre really looking for understanding in how creationists think, I think that's an important question for you to answer.
(important question No. 1)

Minnemooseus showed the POTM (whatever that means) for all three of my messages there, 303, 304, and 305, which I appreciate of course. I suspect, and he somewhat confirmed, that this statement of mine is one of the main sources of his approval;

quote:
Iím not bumping this thread to attempt to sway anyoneís worldview, or start a flame war. Iím just going to try to better help you understand why the creationists at Dover, and sometimes forums like these, react to all evolutionists the way they do. Itís a logical reaction.

And he probably suspected that I'm not going to feed the trolls. If any of them have asked me something that you think to be an on-topic question, repeat that question and Iíll answer it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 312 by Percy, posted 08-09-2012 9:49 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 357 by Tangle, posted 08-12-2012 3:37 AM marc9000 has acknowledged this reply
 Message 358 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-12-2012 5:21 AM marc9000 has not yet responded
 Message 364 by RAZD, posted 08-12-2012 7:04 AM marc9000 has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4765
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 357 of 382 (670278)
08-12-2012 3:37 AM
Reply to: Message 356 by marc9000
08-11-2012 10:06 PM


marc9000 writes:

.....and atheists control science. (there is evidence for it)

I'm calling you on this one. Would you like to start a new thread to defend your assertion?


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
 Message 356 by marc9000, posted 08-11-2012 10:06 PM marc9000 has acknowledged this reply

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 358 of 382 (670279)
08-12-2012 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 356 by marc9000
08-11-2012 10:06 PM


I never did have all that much trust for evolution proponents, and my experiences on forums like these, as well as books and internet reading, have caused my trust to go down even lower. You seem to be mistaking my mistrust with unfamiliarity. Im not alone, many other creationists experience less and less trust of evolutionists once they learn more about just what's going on in the politics of science. Itís the reason they're more likely to label some theistic evolutionists as atheists, and it's my best attempt to answer the questions you posed in your opening messages of this thread.

But when you call people atheists when they are in fact theist evolutionists, this does not actually betoken familiarity with their views so much as willful blindness to their views.

So Science doesn't at all reject its concept, it just rejects that it's a legitimate theory?

Quite. It's like cold fusion: it would take a bold man to say that it is impossible in principle, but it is safe to say that it has not actually been demonstrated.

Same with ID. It is one thing to admit the possibility in principle, another thing to be actually swayed by reading William Dembski making some godawful mistakes about mathematics.

So you believe atheists arenít opposed to the concept?

Well, only because it appears to be wrong. I also disbelieve in perpetual motion machines, but let someone build one that works and I, for one, would change my stance.

---

In general, you seem to be putting the cart before the horse. You go running off for psychological or political explanations of why scientists, even theist scientists, say that creationist arguments aren't very convincing. But that's actually because they aren't. They're not very good. (How long has it been, by the way, since you've started a thread to argue for one of their arguments?)

If someone wraps themselves in bacon rind and claims to be Joan of Arc, then we need a psychological explanation. But if I put on my socks before my shoes, then we need a cognitive explanation. Before you start explaining how it's because of my unhappy childhood, my latent homosexuality, or my bipolar disorder, you might consider that the reason I do it is because it would be damn silly not to.

Here, let me help you put yourself in the position of a theist scientist. Here's the website of a guy who talks to the Angel Gabriel. Now by your logic, as a theist you ought to endorse this sort of thing, because if the Angel Gabriel exists, that's supporting evidence for the truth of theism. But you don't actually find it credible, do you? If someone were to try to associate his website with theism as a whole, you would think of that as a malicious attempt to discredit the intelligence, not to say the sanity, of theists, wouldn't you?

Well, the IDists are also making mistakes. And this may not be evident to you, but it sure is to anyone who's an expert in the subject-matter. A theist scientist would want to distance Christianity from this stuff, not tie the two together.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 356 by marc9000, posted 08-11-2012 10:06 PM marc9000 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 359 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-12-2012 6:40 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 359 of 382 (670280)
08-12-2012 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 358 by Dr Adequate
08-12-2012 5:21 AM


me writes:

(How long has it been, by the way, since you've started a thread to argue for one of their arguments?)

January 2010.

It's interesting to note that in this thread, which you begin with the words: "Hello, newbie here!", and which was started less than a month after you joined these forums, you write stuff such as the following:

marc writes:

Maybe weíre getting somewhere, youíre right, my problem IS with science, because itís controlled by atheists!

But wait! You say now that:

marc, now writes:

I never did have all that much trust for evolution proponents, and my experiences on forums like these, as well as books and internet reading, have caused my trust to go down even lower.

Well, perhaps on "forums like these", I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but certainly not on these forums. You came here with your prejudice fully-formed. And since then you have continued to prefer to discuss your prejudices rather than any substantive question such as whether any particular creationist argument is right or wrong.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 358 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-12-2012 5:21 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 15645
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 360 of 382 (670281)
08-12-2012 6:42 AM
Reply to: Message 348 by GDR
08-11-2012 6:41 PM


GDR writes:

Firstly, for the evolutionary process to even have started a first cause is required. It seems to me that it is more plausible that the first cause that brought about intelligent life is intelligent itself, than is the idea that intelligent life had a non-intelligent first cause.

The "first cause" concept in general is just creationist mumbo-jumbo, it has no scientific basis. Regarding its application to intelligent life, you seem to have forgotten about the infinite regression - what is the first cause of the first intelligent life?

Secondly, we have no way of knowing whether the evolutionary process is unguided or not. From our perspective it all looks the same.

Science accepts that which has evidence. Mechanisms without evidence, as Jar described a few posts earlier, can be imagined without limit and have no place in scientific theory. At best they have a place as hypotheses awaiting evidence, like string theory (which is a hypothesis despite the name).

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 348 by GDR, posted 08-11-2012 6:41 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 362 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-12-2012 6:49 AM Percy has responded

    
RewPrev1
...
212223
24
2526Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017