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Author Topic:   How can there be a creator without creation?
tuffers
Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 16 of 111 (519204)
08-12-2009 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Huntard
08-12-2009 8:40 AM


Hi Huntard

I'm mainly having a go here at the so called moderate christians who accept the current scientific understanding of the world, but somehow still believe in God of the Bible.

I fully agree with your view and Dawkins view that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The point I'm trying to make is that the statement THERE PROBABLY IS NO GOD, should be changed to THERE PROBABLY IS NO CREATOR. It is not just semantics. It is important because many of those who still believe in a real creator not only still use the name God, they still attribute him with being the actual character from the Bible.

The fictional Leonardo and the real Leonardo in Mr Jack's analogy are 2 different things. They are not the same Leonardo. One is false and one is real. In a similar way, God is false and a creator is, well, maybe real.

To find a creator responsible for the 14 billion year old Universe, the 4.5 billion year old Earth, and the 3-4 billion year old process of Evolution, you have to start afresh. You have to completely forget God. He can't have created man through the process of evolution over billions of years and also have created him from scratch a few thousand years ago.

I do not consider it intellectually or logically justifiable to pluck a character out of any fictional story and somehow make him a real creator. And I don't consider it intellectually or logically justifiable even to propose a creator without first finding evidence of a creation.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Evlreala
Member (Idle past 1153 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 17 of 111 (519226)
08-12-2009 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Jack
08-12-2009 5:43 AM


I'm afraid your analogy is a bit misleading..

Your analogy invokes a character from history that there is more then suffecient evidence to conclude that he did, in fact, exist. The same can not be said for the god of the christian bible.

Joe Walters of 47 e. 3rd street checked his mailbox and pushed the flag back down a moment ago.
-The mail has not been checked yet and the flag is still up at 47 e. 3rd street.

If we assume that there can be no other reason for mail to have not been checked yet or for the flag to have not been down, we can conclude that the story of Joe Walters checking his mail to be falseified.

This, however, is only conclusive in respect to the story not nessessarily to the character in the story. If, on the other hand, this story is the only "evidence" for the existance of the man Joe Walter then it is reasonable to conclude that the man does not exist at 47 e. 3rd street until evidence shows otherwise.

Now, if we assume that "God" in questoion is only in referance to the christian god, and no other, it is my understanding that this paradigm applies. If not, then it is inconclusive.

Edited by Evlreala, : typo (I know.. forgive the spelling..)


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 775 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 18 of 111 (519261)
08-12-2009 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by tuffers
08-12-2009 10:55 AM


Fiction vs. Wrongness
Hi, Tuffers.

I don't think I've welcomed you to EvC yet, so... welcome!

tuffers writes:

The fictional Leonardo and the real Leonardo in Mr Jack's analogy are 2 different things. They are not the same Leonardo. One is false and one is real.

This is a really non-sensical argument.

It sounds to me like you are saying that, if I tell a story about my brother Steve's days as a high school football star, and I get a few details wrong, I have somehow invented a new brother. Your solution to this is for me to no longer use the name "Steve," and to completely wipe my mind clear of all things I thought I knew about Steve, when talking about Steve's football career.

This is about the least sense I have ever heard anybody make in my life.

-----

I think the major misconception that you are suffering from is equivocation on the words "fictional" and "wrong." Being wrong doesn't make something fiction. Fiction is written with no intention of being right. Wrongness comes from trying to be right, and failing. The Bible was not written as fiction: its writers intended it, and its believers read it, as a factual exposition on what they thought was an actual, historical person.

When some facts are wrong, you don't completely remove a historical character from the history books: you simply remove the errors. And, that's how Christian evolutionists view God.

To theistic evolutionists, God is not a fictional character: He is a historical character about whom the writers got some of their facts wrong. Maybe they got all the facts wrong, in which case we should subscribe to your proposal; but, since the religious community, including the theistic evolutionists, still view God as a historical character, asking them to treat Him as a fictional character will get you nowhere.

-----

tuffers writes:

He can't have created man through the process of evolution over billions of years and also have created him from scratch a few thousand years ago.

Who are these people you're talking about who believe both of these things simultaneously and on purpose?

I say these people do not exist.

Those who believe both believe the first to be literal, and the second to be metaphorical. There is no paradox: there is only the question of why God gave us a metaphor when it would only confuse and mislead us.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by tuffers, posted 08-12-2009 10:55 AM tuffers has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by tuffers, posted 08-13-2009 5:30 AM Blue Jay has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1369 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 19 of 111 (519266)
08-12-2009 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by tuffers
08-12-2009 5:55 AM


Apparently, you haven't heard of Last Thursdayism.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by tuffers, posted 08-12-2009 5:55 AM tuffers has responded

Replies to this message:
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tuffers
Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 20 of 111 (519304)
08-13-2009 4:40 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Taz
08-12-2009 8:14 PM


Last Thursdayism?
No. I haven't heard of it, and I fear I'm going to regret asking this: what is it?
This message is a reply to:
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Huntard
Member (Idle past 373 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 21 of 111 (519305)
08-13-2009 4:50 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by tuffers
08-13-2009 4:40 AM


Re: Last Thursdayism?
tuffers writes:

No. I haven't heard of it, and I fear I'm going to regret asking this: what is it?


It is the belief that the universe and everything in it (including your memories and all evidence that points to an older universe and earth) were created only last thursday. Impossible to disprove.


I hunt for the truth
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tuffers
Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 22 of 111 (519307)
08-13-2009 5:30 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Blue Jay
08-12-2009 6:23 PM


Hello Bluejay
Hi Bluejay

Thanks for your welcome and your reply. Not surprisingly I disagree that my argument is non-sensical, so let me have another go.

The whole Bible story hangs on the proposition that God was a creator. But they got that FUNDEMENTAL part wrong.

In your analogy, it as if you told me about your brother Steve's days as a high school football star, but you didn't even have a brother, and there was no such thing as football. It's not like they just got God's hair colour wrong! They got the fundemental idea of what God supposedly was, a creator, wrong. And they were so far off the mark that they had to have made the story up. It's not as if they just misread the evidence and said he made the Earth a billion rather than 4.5 billion years ago, or that humans descended from squirrels rather than apes. If they'd said that, I might accept that maybe they made a few honest mistakes and there was still some substantial truth in their story. But their creation story is so far off the mark that they blatantly made it up, and therefore they made up the creator to fit in with that creation. They never had any evidence for a creation and so never had any evidence for any creator, and certainly not the very specific creator depicted in the Bible.

I accept your point that there can be a difference in meaning between the words wrong and fiction, but whether God of the Bible was a wrong guess or a deliberate invention, the end result is the same.

I know nobody claims out loud that God created man through evolution over billions of years and also created him from scratch just a few thousand years ago. But that is effectively how illogical it is to pluck the God character out of the Bible and propose that he is the creator of the 14 billion year old Universe we are aware of today.

No! There is no logic or sense whatsoever to that!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Blue Jay, posted 08-12-2009 6:23 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Huntard, posted 08-13-2009 5:40 AM tuffers has responded
 Message 26 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-13-2009 8:32 AM tuffers has responded
 Message 36 by Blue Jay, posted 08-13-2009 10:08 PM tuffers has responded

    
Huntard
Member (Idle past 373 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 23 of 111 (519309)
08-13-2009 5:40 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by tuffers
08-13-2009 5:30 AM


Re: Hello Bluejay
tuffers writes:

But they got that FUNDEMENTAL part wrong.


How do you know? They may have got the manner of creation wrong, however, it might still be the case god is the creator of everything.

I know nobody claims out loud that God created man through evolution over billions of years and also created him from scratch just a few thousand years ago. But that is effectively how illogical it is to pluck the God character out of the Bible and propose that he is the creator of the 14 billion year old Universe we are aware of today.

I think I'm beginning to see your point. However, God might be exactly as described in the bible, just not acting as described in the bible (if that even makes sense). Logic has also never stopped the "true believers" from claiming all sorts of stuff.


I hunt for the truth
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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tuffers
Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 24 of 111 (519313)
08-13-2009 6:55 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Huntard
08-13-2009 5:40 AM


Hi Huntard

I'm glad you're finally beginning to see my point. I fully take the blame for not articulating it very well.

In my reply to Bluejay I was trying to argue that there comes a point where a story is so fundementally wrong that it has to be regarded as complete fiction. I would maintain that is the case with God, as the creation story is so far off the mark.

I don't consider it logical at all to state that God might be exactly as described in the bible, just not acting as described in the bible. In the story, he is described primarily BY his actions.

It sounds like this Last Thursdayism is similar to what I understand is called post-modern relativism. I.E. nothing can be ultimately proved or disproved and any idea is as valid or invalid as any other. My response to that is always that that in itself is an idea and therefore worthless by its own definition. I admire you for being totally open-minded, but I can't see the point of joining in a debate if you are so open-minded that you don't think any view can be logically reasoned or proven. Apologies in advance if I misunderstood you there.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Huntard, posted 08-13-2009 7:19 AM tuffers has responded
 Message 27 by ICANT, posted 08-13-2009 10:05 AM tuffers has responded

    
Huntard
Member (Idle past 373 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 25 of 111 (519315)
08-13-2009 7:19 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by tuffers
08-13-2009 6:55 AM


tuffers writes:

I'm glad you're finally beginning to see my point. I fully take the blame for not articulating it very well.


Understanding comes from both sides.

In my reply to Bluejay I was trying to argue that there comes a point where a story is so fundementally wrong that it has to be regarded as complete fiction. I would maintain that is the case with God, as the creation story is so far off the mark.

Probably, yes.

I don't consider it logical at all to state that God might be exactly as described in the bible, just not acting as described in the bible. In the story, he is described primarily BY his actions.

You might have a point there. However, the creation story is not the only story about god in the bible.

It sounds like this Last Thursdayism is similar to what I understand is called post-modern relativism. I.E. nothing can be ultimately proved or disproved and any idea is as valid or invalid as any other. My response to that is always that that in itself is an idea and therefore worthless by its own definition.

Yep.

I admire you for being totally open-minded, but I can't see the point of joining in a debate if you are so open-minded that you don't think any view can be logically reasoned or proven. Apologies in advance if I misunderstood you there.

Apologies accepted. For you did.

My stance is that nothing is absolutely certain. I also maintain that things that have no evidence for them should be treated as if they don't exist, since they apparently don't influence reality. So while there is some open-mindedness there, you'll never see me defend for example the great flood as something that happened. For all intents and purposes that to me didn't happen. Neither did the genensis creation story, or other supernatural "miracles" and so forth. I however maintain they could be true, however find it pointless to consider their truth without any evidence for it.

In short, it's all based on evidence. I just don't like absolutism, since absolute proof can never be obtained.

That's how I go about my life.


I hunt for the truth
This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 26 of 111 (519327)
08-13-2009 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by tuffers
08-13-2009 5:30 AM


Hmm ...
The whole Bible story hangs on the proposition that God was a creator. But they got that FUNDEMENTAL part wrong.

In your analogy, it as if you told me about your brother Steve's days as a high school football star, but you didn't even have a brother, and there was no such thing as football. It's not like they just got God's hair colour wrong! They got the fundemental idea of what God supposedly was, a creator, wrong. And they were so far off the mark that they had to have made the story up. It's not as if they just misread the evidence and said he made the Earth a billion rather than 4.5 billion years ago, or that humans descended from squirrels rather than apes. If they'd said that, I might accept that maybe they made a few honest mistakes and there was still some substantial truth in their story. But their creation story is so far off the mark that they blatantly made it up, and therefore they made up the creator to fit in with that creation.

Well, I don't think this argument is very good.

Look, suppose (for the sake of argument) there was some supernatural being that (for example) created the universe, but not in the way depicted in Genesis, who spoke to Abraham, who gave Moses the Ten Commandments and parted the Red Sea for him, who cast down the walls of Jericho, who laid waste the armies of Sennacherib, who was incarnate as Jesus, who spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus ... then would inaccuracies in Genesis lead us to say "God doesn't exist; or "Genesis is an inaccurate story about God"?

---

And that's just the Bible God. There are others. Why, apart from cultural chauvinism, didn't you begin your argument by defining God as the guy who dictated the Qur'aan to Muhammad?

---

Or then again, consider the following. If you read a Scientologist biography of L. Ron Hubbard, you will read a work of fiction containing an entirely fictional account of how he created Scientology.

But instead of this leading us to say that L. Ron Hubbard didn't exist, we would rather say that Scientologist writings about him are inaccurate, wouldn't we? Because he isn't defined as being the person whom Scientologists have described with perfect accuracy.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 27 of 111 (519337)
08-13-2009 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by tuffers
08-13-2009 6:55 AM


Hi tuffers,

Welcome to EvC.

tuffers writes:

In my reply to Bluejay I was trying to argue that there comes a point where a story is so fundementally wrong that it has to be regarded as complete fiction. I would maintain that is the case with God, as the creation story is so far off the mark.

Are you saying the Bible is wrong?

OR

Are you saying what you believe the Bible says is wrong?

Because according to what you have written so far you don't have a clue as to what the Bible says.

If God did not create the universe as stated in Gen 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth", Would you please inform me who, or what created the universe.

Or is infinite?

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by tuffers, posted 08-13-2009 1:18 PM ICANT has responded

    
tuffers
Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 28 of 111 (519389)
08-13-2009 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by ICANT
08-13-2009 10:05 AM


Hi Icant

I admit to not owning a copy of the Bible, and it's been a very long time since I read it, but I'm fairly sure I'm right that it makes several specific claims about creation, including such things as God made the Earth in 6 days and that he made the first man out of some dust and the first woman out of one of the man's ribs.

Now those are very specific accounts, and ultimately the undoing of the story.

If the writers of the Genesis story had only made a general statement "In the beginning God made the Heaven and the Earth", then it would be much harder to disprove that God was a creator.

There are only 2 possibilities regarding the originators of the Genesis story:

1) They were telling the truth, in which case they must have had evidence at the time for the specific events and characters they depicted. (How else could they have known of the events and characters they depicted.)

2) They simply made up the story.

For centuries it was accepted on faith that they told the truth, that they had somehow known of the events and characters they reported. However, I maintain that science has now proven (beyond all reasonable doubt) that the specific account of how God made the Earth and Life was completely false.

What science has proven above all, is that the originators of the Genesis story had no valid evidence for their creation or their creator. So they must have made up the claim that God was a creator. (Anything else related to God in the Bible is irrelevant to this discussion.)

Therefore, as the creation story was made up, it is as intellectually and logically unjustied to claim that God is a creator as it would be to claim that any other entity, fictional or real, is a creator.

I would also say that it is intellectually and logically unjustified even to begin to consider what the characteristics of an intelligent creator are before we have even determined whether or not there was a creation, let alone how the creation was carried out. Without evidence for a creation, there can't be any evidence for a creator.


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 Message 27 by ICANT, posted 08-13-2009 10:05 AM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
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tuffers
Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 29 of 111 (519396)
08-13-2009 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Dr Adequate
08-13-2009 8:32 AM


Re: Hmm ...
Hi Dr Adequate

I fully understand the point you are making and if you read my long-winded reply to Icant I hope you can see what my position is.

I think there is sufficient evidence now to establish beyond all reasonable doubt that the creation story of Genesis was made up, which means that whatever else it says in the bible, it is completely unjustified to continue to consider that God above anything else as a potential creator. We should therefore abandon all reference to God when talking about the possibility of a creation, unless any evidence is found for a creation and to link it to the character depicted in the bible.

I have deliberately avoided refering to any other religions and their creation stories for the sake of simplicity and also because I know nothing whatsover about them and hopefully never will.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-13-2009 8:32 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
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tuffers
Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 92
From: Norwich, UK
Joined: 07-20-2009


Message 30 of 111 (519402)
08-13-2009 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Huntard
08-13-2009 7:19 AM


I agree!
Thanks for your reply, Huntard.

I think we are in entire agreement. When I proposed that science has proven the creation story to be wrong, I did of course mean proven beyond all reasonable doubt. I.E. proven as much as anything can be proven.

I think I'll leave this topic now, life's too short (that is definitely beyond all reasonable doubt).


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