Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 84 (8914 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 06-16-2019 7:24 PM
27 online now:
4petdinos, AZPaul3, Coragyps, DrJones*, edge, Percy (Admin), xongsmith (7 members, 20 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Arnold Wolf
Post Volume:
Total: 853,869 Year: 8,905/19,786 Month: 1,327/2,119 Week: 87/576 Day: 87/50 Hour: 1/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23456
...
21NextFF
Author Topic:   God & the Fairy Tree
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 859 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 1 of 306 (407323)
06-25-2007 5:51 PM


Just back from another holiday in England (Cumbria this time) I thought I'd relate to you something I've seen there during a woodland walk in a beautiful garden. There was a tree with a small notice that went something like this:

This is the Fairy Tree. If you look closely you might see the fairies. If you don't see them it's probably because you have scared them off already.

Of course this is just a little joke of the gardeners, and parents will probably enjoy reading it to their small children, and watching their reactions, but it made me wonder how this line of reasoning is any different from the religious variety that goes: if you don't feel the presence of God in your life, then it's probably "because you don't believe hard enough", or "because you lead a sinful life", or whatever ad hoc reason is given.

Why should I interpret the fairy tree sign as an obvious joke, and take religious reasoning in the same vein seriously? To be sure, the form is identical, which leads me to regard religious people who buy into this kind of logic as the toddlers of our grown-up world. They are, as it were, intellectually immature. (I realize this may come over as arrogant and derogatory, but that is not how I mean it. It should be seen as a simple statement of my perception, detached from any emotional or judgmental connotations.)

I wonder if any of the religiously inclined here can explain to me exactly how these two cases, the fairy story and the God story, are different.

Faith & Belief, obviously.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-25-2007 6:48 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded
 Message 4 by jar, posted 06-25-2007 7:11 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded
 Message 7 by Chiroptera, posted 06-25-2007 7:26 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded
 Message 8 by pbee, posted 06-25-2007 8:58 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded
 Message 14 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-25-2007 11:04 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded
 Message 23 by Jon, posted 06-26-2007 5:46 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded
 Message 73 by macaroniandcheese, posted 06-26-2007 3:04 PM Parasomnium has responded
 Message 119 by Chiroptera, posted 06-27-2007 1:09 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded
 Message 268 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-01-2007 11:48 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded

AdminSchraf
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 306 (407332)
06-25-2007 6:35 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12414
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 3 of 306 (407336)
06-25-2007 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Parasomnium
06-25-2007 5:51 PM


Just Be Cause
Some people just think that its illogical for intelligence to evolve from mere elements, as if there is no need for a-priori intelligence.

God as uncaused first cause makes more sense than 4 to 6 elements from the atomic table.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Parasomnium, posted 06-25-2007 5:51 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by jar, posted 06-25-2007 7:12 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded
 Message 6 by Chiroptera, posted 06-25-2007 7:23 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 30980
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 4 of 306 (407341)
06-25-2007 7:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Parasomnium
06-25-2007 5:51 PM


Best answer I can find.
Of course this is just a little joke of the gardeners, and parents will probably enjoy reading it to their small children, and watching their reactions, but it made me wonder how this line of reasoning is any different from the religious variety that goes: if you don't feel the presence of God in your life, then it's probably "because you don't believe hard enough", or "because you lead a sinful life", or whatever ad hoc reason is given.

Those who provide such an answer never seem to be able to give any reasoning for their position.

Why should I interpret the fairy tree sign as an obvious joke, and take religious reasoning in the same vein seriously?

There is absolutely no reason you should do so.

But, of course, maybe it wasn't just a little joke of the gardeners?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Parasomnium, posted 06-25-2007 5:51 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 30980
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 5 of 306 (407342)
06-25-2007 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
06-25-2007 6:48 PM


Re: Just Be Cause
God as uncaused first cause makes more sense than 4 to 6 elements from the atomic table.

Why?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-25-2007 6:48 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6617
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 6 of 306 (407344)
06-25-2007 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
06-25-2007 6:48 PM


Re: Just Be Cause
Some people just think that its illogical for intelligence to evolve from mere elements....

This is just a single sentence, a statement, and is neither logical nor illogical. Logic can only be used to evaluate arguments, that is, they can only determine whether a conclusion does necessarily follow from the premises, or it doesn't necessarily follow from the premises.

"My coffee cup is blue" is neither logical nor illogical -- it is a statement that may either be true or false.

"The intelligent species, Homo sapiens, evolved from earlier species by natural selection acting on naturally occurring variations, and life originally arose through the impersonal forces of chemistry on the primordial earth, all without any intervention at any time by an outside intelligent agency" is a statement that may be true or false, but it is not itself illogical.

Where logic is used in science is to test theories. A prediction of a theory is basically a conclusion suported by a logical argument where the theory under question (as well as other facts and theories known or assumed to be true) is used as premises. If logic is properly applied so that the argument is valid, then the prediction is an unescapable consequence of the theory; then, if observation shows that the phenomenon is not observed then there is a problem with the premises; either there is a factor that is not being taken into account (a source of error in the experiment, for example), or the theory must be modified a bit to form a new set of premises, or the theory must by scrapped altogether and a new theory developed.

"Intelligence evolved without the intervention of an outside intelligent agency" is not itself illogical. Now, it may be that the premises accepted by a person necessarily lead to the impossibility of intelligence without an outside intelligent agency, and so in that case it is true that accepting both the premises and the conclusion would be illogical. However, it is not simply the conclusion which may be flawed; it may be the conclusion is true after all, and so the problem may lie in the premises.

It may be that our naturalistic theories, taken all together, are inconsistent in that it may be possible to derive contradictory conclusions from different theories. In fact, we already know that our naturalistic theories are not complete. But it does not necessarily follow that naturalism is false; it may very well be that we just have not yet developed the "correct" theories.

This is getting off the topic of the OP, and I apologize for that. I do think it needs to be pointed out that although logic does have a place in science, logic itself cannot either prove or disprove facts that are empirically observed, nor can it prove or disprove conclusions that are themselves logically derived from observable facts and accepted theories. At most, it can only show that a theory or collection of theories is not yet complete and that more research is needed to resolve the discrepancies.

-

By the way, speaking of the topic, good post Parasomnium. I think you make a good point.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-25-2007 6:48 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6617
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 7 of 306 (407345)
06-25-2007 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Parasomnium
06-25-2007 5:51 PM


Yes, this is similar to the idea that atheists really secretly do believe in god but must actively deny this -- because the thought of eternal bliss is supposed to be such a burden or something.

To make their theology consistent, evangelicals have to make a lot of assumptions about how people behave or how people think -- assumptions that could be dispelled if they would just ask the atheist about this and actually listen to the answers.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Parasomnium, posted 06-25-2007 5:51 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

pbee
Member (Idle past 4191 days)
Posts: 339
Joined: 06-20-2007


Message 8 of 306 (407349)
06-25-2007 8:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Parasomnium
06-25-2007 5:51 PM


Why should I interpret the fairy tree sign as an obvious joke, and take religious reasoning in the same vein seriously?

This raises an even bigger question. Why do people need others to comfort there insecurities of the unknown?. The fairy tree doesn't share many serious implications with the origin of life. It does however, raise some interesting questions as we move to reason. Within the context of life and it's origin, the absolutes always seem just out of reach. - Beyond the frustrations, the only assured fact we actually possess is that we exist!

So, under the terms, it would seem as though we are left with nothing but personal choices and decisions to satisfy our needs.

I will say however, that for anyone truly quantifying the available possibilities regarding the origin of life, to the distaste of many, there will always be one outstanding theory in the pack. The the others will lack plausibility and the supporting data to make a good showing.

The tree illustration is interesting nonetheless. If it came down to a personal opinion, I would say that people choose to invest in faith as a response to satisfy the unanswered. Ever notice how people with faith commonly challenge there own beliefs with standing evidence? While, I would never sell out on such a shorthanded answer, in a nutshell this is how it most likely works.

In a world crumbling beneath our feet, we are all subject to salvation.

Edited by pbee, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Parasomnium, posted 06-25-2007 5:51 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by bluegenes, posted 06-25-2007 9:57 PM pbee has responded
 Message 11 by ringo, posted 06-25-2007 10:25 PM pbee has responded
 Message 63 by macaroniandcheese, posted 06-26-2007 1:46 PM pbee has not yet responded

bluegenes
Member (Idle past 640 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 9 of 306 (407356)
06-25-2007 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by pbee
06-25-2007 8:58 PM


pbee writes:

If it came down to a personal opinion, I would say that people choose to invest in faith as a response to satisfy the unanswered

Isn't that just another way of describing the "God of the Gaps"?

And isn't it questionable how much choice is involved, when we consider that most people of faith believe in pretty much the same thing as their parents, which makes it look as though childhood indoctrination plays a big role in what people may describe as "choice"?

Ever notice how people with faith commonly challenge there own beliefs with standing evidence?

I may've misunderstood you here, but no, I'd never really noticed that. I think that if people of faith really did challenge their own beliefs, they wouldn't be people of faith for very long.;)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by pbee, posted 06-25-2007 8:58 PM pbee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by pbee, posted 06-25-2007 10:18 PM bluegenes has not yet responded
 Message 65 by macaroniandcheese, posted 06-26-2007 1:50 PM bluegenes has responded

pbee
Member (Idle past 4191 days)
Posts: 339
Joined: 06-20-2007


Message 10 of 306 (407359)
06-25-2007 10:18 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by bluegenes
06-25-2007 9:57 PM


Isn't that just another way of describing the "God of the Gaps"?

I'm not familiar with that theory or belief.

And isn't it questionable how much choice is involved, when we consider that most people of faith believe in pretty much the same thing as their parents, which makes it look as though childhood indoctrination plays a big role in what people may describe as "choice"?

Given our nature, it is quite inevitable to avoid transcending physical, and psychological traits down to our children. We also have strong evidence which demonstrates that our offspring inherently share various genetic patterns which facilitate specific social circumstances with or without intervention.(be careful what you believe in!)

However, this is not at all a bad thing. If the biblical accounts are at all true, then the only way for humanity could survive the ordeal *would be through lineage.

I may've misunderstood you here, but no, I'd never really noticed that. I think that if people of faith really did challenge their own beliefs, they wouldn't be people of faith for very long.

I am a man of faith, and I find myself constantly scrutinizing the scriptures and claims. - Many people(deep down) don't truly have faith in God and are afraid of what they may find. This could very well be the results of the hand me down belief system(as mentioned earlier).
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by bluegenes, posted 06-25-2007 9:57 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 11 of 306 (407361)
06-25-2007 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by pbee
06-25-2007 8:58 PM


pbee writes:

... for anyone truly quantifying the available possibilities regarding the origin of life, to the distaste of many, there will always be one outstanding theory in the pack.

Yes, the outstanding theory on the origin of life is abiogenesis and the outstanding theory on the diversity of life is evolution. What does that have to do with God or fairies?


Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by pbee, posted 06-25-2007 8:58 PM pbee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by pbee, posted 06-25-2007 10:45 PM ringo has responded

pbee
Member (Idle past 4191 days)
Posts: 339
Joined: 06-20-2007


Message 12 of 306 (407362)
06-25-2007 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by ringo
06-25-2007 10:25 PM


Yes, the outstanding theory on the origin of life is abiogenesis and the outstanding theory on the diversity of life is evolution. What does that have to do with God or fairies?

Well thats the beauty of it isn't it. We cannot prove anything. While many do speak with authority, the reality of it is that there are no absolutes beyond our own personal beliefs.

However, this does not hinder our capacity to evaluation and reason. In fact, the remaining unknown variable in the formula becomes key to peoples willingness to apply faith in something they cannot see or even confirm.

Beliefs aside, the theory of abiogenesis seemed better suited the earlier scientific era's(see Pasteur’s experiments). It seems to ride merely on speculation nor considered scientific since it is not subject to observation or experiment. Consequentially, it does not do well against other theories. - But it is an interesting theory nonetheless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by ringo, posted 06-25-2007 10:25 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by ringo, posted 06-25-2007 10:54 PM pbee has responded

ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 13 of 306 (407363)
06-25-2007 10:54 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by pbee
06-25-2007 10:45 PM


I don't know if you got a chance to read the OP.
If I understand it, the question is: What's the difference between a child's concept of invisible (and timid) fairies and an adult's concept of an invisible (and timid) God?

Would you care to address the topic instead of displaying your misunderstanding of science?


Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by pbee, posted 06-25-2007 10:45 PM pbee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by pbee, posted 06-25-2007 11:05 PM ringo has responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 306 (407364)
06-25-2007 11:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Parasomnium
06-25-2007 5:51 PM


I thought of a difference
I wonder if any of the religiously inclined here can explain to me exactly how these two cases, the fairy story and the God story, are different.

There aren't a lot of intellectually mature people saying that the sign is correct and that the fairies do exist like there are for god.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Parasomnium, posted 06-25-2007 5:51 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by ringo, posted 06-25-2007 11:22 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

pbee
Member (Idle past 4191 days)
Posts: 339
Joined: 06-20-2007


Message 15 of 306 (407365)
06-25-2007 11:05 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by ringo
06-25-2007 10:54 PM


Now now... lets not be petty. I commented to the OP by giving my views on the topic in a responsible and receptive way. - As I see it, these discussions are not about being right or wrong but at getting the opportunity to broaden our views on matters. Who cares if someone disagrees with our ideas, that should have 0 affect on our own personal beliefs in the end.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by ringo, posted 06-25-2007 10:54 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by ringo, posted 06-25-2007 11:12 PM pbee has not yet responded

1
23456
...
21NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019