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Author Topic:   Faith vs Science
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 64 of 186 (788567)
08-02-2016 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Thugpreacha
08-01-2016 4:29 AM


Re: Topic Remix
Phat writes:

What constitutes valid evidence? (In regards to both Faith & Belief and Science Forums) Is valid evidence the same for both science and faith?

"Valid evidence" is the same for both Faith & Belief and Science Forums.

Valid evidence is stuff that is repeatable.
You can do it, I can do it, anyone can do it, and it always results in the same thing, pointing towards the same conclusion.
It DOES NOT imply that the conclusion IS DEFINITELY correct. Just that it's LIKELY that the conclusion is correct... that we can be confident that the conclusion is correct.

The amount of confidence in the conclusion depends on the situation and the evidence. More information, more tests, more repeatability = higher confidence. Less information, less tests, less repeatability = lower confidence.

There is never an amount of evidence that gives 100% absolute proof that the conclusion is correct.

Must Faith have evidence?

No.

We know that science requires evidence.

Yes.

Faith is often personal. Should people of faith be allowed to get angry when their beliefs are challenged?

Yes. Not just people of faith, and not just when beliefs are challenged.
Anyone is perfectly allowed to get angry over anything that happens to them. That's part of being human.

What you're not allowed to do is use that anger as an excuse to hurt another person.
You are also not allowed to consider your anger as a reason to imply that what you're doing is more important than someone who is not angry.

You are, however, allowed to get angry about anything.
That includes getting angry if your beliefs are challenged.

And, of course, anyone witnessing your anger is allowed to think how silly you look and how useless it is for you to get angry because your beliefs were challenged. Poor you. Perhaps you should save your anger for when something bad actually happens to you.

Getting angry over having your beliefs challenged is like bragging about finding a nickel on the ground.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-01-2016 4:29 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 66 of 186 (788572)
08-02-2016 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Thugpreacha
08-01-2016 4:29 AM


Re: Topic Remix
Phat writes:

How should creationists defend their faith and still represent science?

If they want to be able to represent science, they need to learn about evidence.

Learn about confidence levels and how evidence helps with such things.
Learn about human bias, mistakes and memory issues and how evidence helps clear up such things.
Learn about following the evidence... being wrong, dealing with the embarrassment and/or anger that may grow from such things and how to deal with it.

Once they understand evidence, then can see how to defend their faith while representing science.

They can see if some of their faith was based on erroneous data from poor sources that was not compatible with the science.
They can see that faith and science and humans are all things that grow and change and shift as new information comes along.
They can see the limits of faith on reality. No amount of faith can spin straw into gold or turn water into wine.
They can see the power of faith on reality. Faith can be an unstoppable motivational factor. It is best to ensure such motivation is directed in a beneficial manner.

Without learning about evidence or seeing how faith fits into reality... they will be doomed to constant frustration and depression as their faith continues to motivate them directly into the limits of faith where they will constantly be let down and discouraged again and again and again.

Faith is not omnipowerful. If it was, those with faith wouldn't be so angry as they attempt to deny the limits of faith as they crash into them over and over and over.

It's like watching a fly bang against a window.
It just doesn't understand why it can't get to where it sees no barrier.
But no matter how angry it gets. No matter how many times it tries. No matter how unstoppable it's motivation.
It's lack of understanding simply has no bearing on the glass.

Living with faith means learning about faith's limitations and trying other things as the situation requires. Or else you'll forever be a fly banging against a window instead of learning how to open it.

Edited by Stile, : Grammars


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-01-2016 4:29 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 68 of 186 (788575)
08-02-2016 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by GDR
08-02-2016 10:45 AM


Re: Topic Remix
GDR writes:

I am comparing your faith in atheism to my (faith in) theism.

...

I am simply looking at the world as we know it, including science, and come to a theistic conclusion. You have come to an atheistic conclusion. Those are our beliefs.

You seem to be missing a point, though.

Yes, it's possible for an atheistic conclusion to be based on beliefs just as a theistic conclusion is.
However, it's also possible to look at the world as we know it, and come to an atheistic conclusion based on the evidence without requiring the sort of belief that is used while making a theistic conclusion.

There is lots and lots and lots of evidence showing us that God does not exist.
Most of it involves looking for God wherever someone says He is, and then seeing that He does not exist there, but there's much more.

Yes.. perhaps the evidence that God does not exist is wrong and God does exist.
This doesn't make the evidence that God does not exist go away. It would simply make the conclusion incorrect.

However, currently, without any evidence that God does exist, and much evidence that God does not exist... it does not take belief to come to an atheistic conclusion about the world as we know it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by GDR, posted 08-02-2016 10:45 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by GDR, posted 08-02-2016 11:17 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 72 of 186 (788599)
08-02-2016 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by GDR
08-02-2016 11:17 AM


Re: Topic Remix
GDR writes:

What is the evidence that shows that there is not an intelligence that is ultimately responsible for the fact that we exist

The fact that every time we look for evidence of an intelligence that is ultimately responsible for our existence we do not find any.

Being unable to find evidence of an-intelligence-that-is-ultimately-responsible-for-the-fact-that-we-exist is itself evidence that an intelligence is not ultimately responsible for the fact that we exist.

Find some evidence leading to your belief, and it would then, necessarily, take a belief to lead to an atheistic conclusion.
Without that evidence, it is not a necessity for one to have faith to reach an atheistic conclusion. One can follow the evidence.

Have you ever heard of the analogy between atheism and baldness?
If atheism is a religion (ie - belief)... than being bald is a hair colour?

If you have no evidence that someone has a hair colour... than this is evidence that they are bald.

On further information, we may find some evidence of their hair and update the conclusion.
On further information, we may find some evidence of an-intelligence-responsible-for-existence and update the conclusion.

But until then, it does follow the evidence to say that they are bald.
But until then, it does follow the evidence to reach an atheistic conclusion.

It is possible to believe they are bald, but not necessary.
It is possible to believe an atheistic conclusion, but not necessary.

Of course... bald/hair is in a much better position since we at least know people who do have hair and different colours. It's at least rational to refrain from making any conclusion because having hair of some colour is so likely in our lives.
But... we don't even have such basic possible-existence knowledge of an-intelligence-responsible-for-existence, though. So there is an even higher confidence level in an-intelligence not existing than there is for someone being bald when no evidence exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by GDR, posted 08-02-2016 11:17 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-02-2016 3:56 PM Stile has responded
 Message 95 by GDR, posted 08-04-2016 10:11 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 91 of 186 (788647)
08-03-2016 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Thugpreacha
08-02-2016 3:56 PM


Re: Topic Remix
Phat writes:

Did it ever occur to you that this intelligence does not want us to find any evidence?

Yes.
Many things occur to me.

Perhaps the current evidence is leading us to an incorrect conclusion. It's happened many times with science. As soon as new information comes along, and the evidence points somewhere else, then the conclusion changes to match the evidence.

But that still doesn't change what the current evidence says.

It also occurs to me that an intelligence that does not want to be found looks eerily similar to an intelligence that doesn't exist while some people would really like Him to.

Following the evidence is about keeping an open mind.
Remembering that everything we "know" we only know based on the *current* evidence. And new information can always overturn or change things.

That doesn't stop us from making progress based on the current evidence.
That doesn't stop the best-track-record-humans-have-ever-had-for-being-correct-about-things coming from basing ideas on current evidence.

It's just part of learning, moving forward, accepting when you're wrong and understanding the interesting relationship between following evidence vs. what reality actually is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-02-2016 3:56 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(3)
Message 97 of 186 (788749)
08-04-2016 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by GDR
08-04-2016 10:11 AM


Re: Topic Remix
GDR writes:

You discount the evidence and draw another conclusion.

No, I don't. What you're talking about is not evidence-of-an-intelligence-behind-the-universe.

Life exists. You exist. You are able to reason. You are able to make moral decisions. Science has found order in our existence.

These are facts.
This is not evidence-that-an-intelligence-is-behind-the-universe.
This is not evidence-that-no-intelligence-is-behind-the-universe.

These are simply facts that are compatible with both conclusions.
They are also compatible with the conclusion that we were all created yesterday, or that we're brains in jars, or that a non-intelligent unicorn is ultimately responsible for our existence.

However the best that science can do is to understand the processes that have resulted in things being the way they are. They don’t tell us why they processes came into existence, but through human intelligence we have been able to understand those processes. It is reasonable to conclude then that there was an intelligence that is ultimately responsible for them.

It is not reasonable to conclude an intelligence is ultimately responsible based on the facts you've listed.
It just sounds like something you are personally hoping for.

Human intelligence has been able to understand many, many processes and never found any hint that there is some other-intelligence behind any of it. They simply find more processes. Even when the ones looking are hoping for any sign of intelligence.

Yes, there may be an intelligence at the end-of-the-line. But there's no evidence to suggest such a thing. And the more processes we understand, with no sign of any other-intelligence... is more evidence that no other-intelligence exists.

A man is dead.
A gun is found.
This is evidence that a man was shot to death.

This is not evidence that Jim shot the man.
This is not evidence that any person shot the man.
This is not evidence that any intelligence shot the man.

You are jumping to "an intelligence did it" without evidence.
Maybe Jim did do it... but the evidence (as listed here) does not say such a thing. You need more information.
Maybe some other intelligence did it... but the evidence (as listed here) does not say such a thing. You need more information.

At least in my example we know that Jim's exist. We know that other people exist and can shoot guns. In your argument... we do not know that intelligences-outside-the-universe can exist. We do not know that even upon existing they are capable of being ultimately responsible for universes.

You are not only jumping the gun, you are jumping a lot of guns.

GDR writes:

There is all sorts of evidence.

All you have to do is list a single piece of evidence for an intelligence-being-responsible-for-the-universe.

You haven't even been able to list a single piece of evidence for an-intelligence-external-to-our-universe-existing-at-all, regardless of whether or not they created, or are ultimately responsible for our universe.

Simply wanting an answer to a question does not give credence to hoping for an answer and saying it's a valid conclusion.

Facts simply compatible with a conclusion are not evidence of that conclusion.
Parking my car at the mall is not evidence that I'm getting a haircut.
You need more information to paint the picture you're hoping for.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by GDR, posted 08-04-2016 10:11 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by GDR, posted 08-04-2016 12:02 PM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 104 of 186 (788777)
08-04-2016 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by GDR
08-04-2016 12:02 PM


Re: Topic Remix
GDR writes:

If you had awoken after being asleep for 1000 years and saw something as complex as an airplane going by you might think that there were aliens involved or come to some other conclusion but you would think it likely took some form of intelligence to put it there.

I totally agree.
If we remove a bunch of our knowledge, and a bunch of the information that we have, and restrict our information to a few things... then that information can reasonably lead us to think that an intelligence is involved. That would be based on the evidence.

But we do have that knowledge, and we do have that information.

Based on the knowledge and information that we do have... it is not "based on the evidence" to conclude that an intelligence is ultimately behind the universe.

Life is far more complex than that airplane so although we are unable to perceive the designer with our 5 senses it is not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that life is the result of intelligence.

But those two are not connected.

I agree that life is far more complex than an airplane.
However, we know that complexity does not have to come from intelligent sources.

We have identified (and created ourselves) many, many non-intelligent sources that create things that are much more complex than airplanes.

Snowflakes are created non-intelligently, they are complex (I would say, not-as-complex-as-an-airplane, but still complex).
Crystals are created non-intelligently, they are complex.
Comets, planets and stars are created non-intelligently, they are complex (much more complex than an airplane).
We have programmed non-intelligent software models that create solutions to problems so complex that we can't even figure out how they work! But they work...

So, we know of many complex things that we understand took intelligence to design them.
We also know of many complex things that we understand did not take intelligence to design them.

I agree that if we ignore the information about knowing how non-intelligent processes can create complex things... than it would be reasonable to conclude that an intelligence is behind the complex creation of our universe and existence.

However, if we look at all the information we have, then it is very UNreasonable to conclude that intelligent-agents are behind the creation of our universe when we know for a fact that non-intelligent processes are quite capable of creating complex things all the time.

Therefore, the fact that life is complex is not evidence that an intelligent being is involved.

Otherwise, the fact that I parked at the mall would be evidence that I am, indeed, going to get a haircut. Are you sure you want to call that "reasonable?"

Edited by Stile, : Had to correct a really confusion sentence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by GDR, posted 08-04-2016 12:02 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by GDR, posted 08-04-2016 6:54 PM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 109 of 186 (788821)
08-05-2016 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by GDR
08-04-2016 6:54 PM


Re: Topic Remix
GDR writes:

My conclusion is that with the knowledge that we have it is more than reasonable to conclude that we are the result of an intelligent agent or agents.

Here, "more than reasonable" is an undefined, personal term. I'm not sure what you mean by it.
It may very well be "more than reasonable" to you.

However, if we are basing things on the evidence, then it most certainly is not "more than reasonable" to make a conclusion that only comes from the evidence if you ignore most of it.

When conclusions are based on evidence, it is implied that we are taking into account *all* the information we have available to us.

Conclusions based on evidence cannot be "interpreted" one way or another... there is always only 1 way to interpret evidence. Otherwise it's not evidence.

It is also quite possible to type out the words "I look at all the evidence and I find it most reasonable to conclude that the earth is flat."
Such strings of characters are meaningless when it is obvious that certain information is being ignored.

But you keep making the same mistake.

I don't think I am.

What we see is many things created by humans can be complex and require intelligence to be formed.
We also see many things created by nature that can be complex and do not require intelligence to be formed.

What we're discussing is the beginning of the universe and wondering whether or not it may have an intelligence behind it's formation.

All testing so far indicates that no intelligence is necessary and there are no signs of finding one.

Therefore, the evidence is telling us that the current conclusion is that no external intelligence behind the creation of the universe exists.

Of course it may be wrong.
Of course an intelligence could hide itself.

However, to say that this is not what the current information we have actually says... is akin to saying that the world is flat and you're just interpreting the evidence differently and everyone's free to do that.

Understanding the process does not explain the existence of the process itself.

This is correct.
What makes you think the existence of the process itself can be anything other than it is?
Answer that with some evidence leading towards an intelligence... and you'll have a point.
Without being able to answer that, the "current evidence" is still such that no intelligence is required and no signs of any intelligence is found... therefore no intelligence exists.

It is the equivalent of you understanding how a car is assembled on an assembly line and then using that for an argument that a car is simply the result of a chance combination of particles.

No, it's not. Again, this is like the airplane. It's only reasonable if you ignore a lot of the information we have. This analogy does not depict the sort of information we have on the issue.

Here's a better analogy:

What we have is seeing a bunch of play-doh.
Then we see perfectly square play-doh. And perfectly round play-doh. And perfectly octagonal-playdoh.

...at this point, it is reasonable to conclude that an intelligence is behind the perfect shapes.

But then we find a play-dough extruder (that fun little thing that pushes play-doh through to make perfect shapes.)
And we see how it works, but it does not require intelligence.

Now we can explain perfect play-doh squares, perfectly round play-doh and perfectly octagonal-playdoh.
But where does the machine come from? How does it work without intelligence?

We search around further and we find play-doh-extruder-makers occurring naturally. They also do not require intelligence.
We search around further and we find different styles of play-doh-extruders occurring naturally, some very different but still resulting in the same perfect play-doh squares and octagons. None of them require intelligence to operate.

We attempt to make some models ourselves. We make a bunch of extra assumptions... but we are able to create non-intelligent models that, given the right conditions, form play-doh-extruder-makers on their own and start producing perfect squares, circles and octagons. We look into it and discover that the "right conditions" are very similar to those we find in our past.

We search around further and we find out that the play-doh-extruder-makers are made up entirely of materials that form naturally, without the requirement of any intelligence, found throughout our data concerning the distant past.

We start looking further and further into the past. We find lots of things that may-or-may-not ever become play-doh-extruder-makers, but there is some potential. We also find lots of processes and systems for creating all those things... naturally, without intelligence involved.

We also have some people who insist that all play-doh-perfect-squares are divinely inspired.
They have searched all the information available as well, but they cannot find a single piece of evidence pointing towards the existence of any divine-ness at all... let alone one that decides to create perfect play-doh squares.

This is what we have.
This is *all the information*.

Every step we take we find another layer that does not require intelligence to occur. It just happens because that's what happens when these conditions are present.

Yes, it's possible that there's "an intelligence" behind it all.
It's also possible that a non-intelligent unicorn is "behind it all."
We are able to imagine many, many things that align with the available evidence.

However, with all this information there is only one idea that keeps re-occurring... that all these processes occur because it's just the way things are and there's no intelligence behind them.

Again, yes, it's possible for this inductive-reasoning to come to a grinding halt on the very next level... if we actually do find evidence of some intelligence behind it.

But... we haven't found that information yet.
Perhaps we never will and the intelligence actually exists and the conclusion-that-the-evidence-points-at will just always be wrong.
Perhaps we never will and the conclusion that no intelligence actually exists has always been correct... but we'll never know because we never end up knowing "everything."

There are many, many possibilities.

But there is only one reasonable conclusion that comes from the current evidence - there is no such thing as an intelligence ultimately behind the universe and our creation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by GDR, posted 08-04-2016 6:54 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by GDR, posted 08-07-2016 2:37 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 119 of 186 (788919)
08-07-2016 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by GDR
08-07-2016 2:37 AM


Re: Topic Remix
GDR writes:

Processes such as an automobile assembly lie or evolution are indicative of intelligence.

Yes. On their own, I agree. Just like airplanes.
My point is that these ideas are not an accurate representation of all the information available to us. That's why I provided a more in-depth analogy.

Antony Flew writes:

...I now think it [the evidence] does point to a creative Intelligence almost entirely because of the DNA investigations.

Again, DNA taken on it's own, without knowledge of the rest of the information available... may very well act as evidence leading one to a conclusion that intelligence is required for our existence.

The point, however, is that this ignores the entire picture.

Taking the entire picture into account, anyone who says this is incorrect, including Antony Flew.
They are either unaware, or ignoring all the evidence as I've described it.

GDR writes:

I'm sorry that I can't respond to more of your post but I just don't have the time to keep up with so many responders.

It's okay, and understandable.

The crux of what I'm saying is in this large analogy. Any simpler of an analogy wouldn't be able to adequately describe the vastness of the information available to us today.

Airplanes, assembly lines, DNA, evolution... are all single ideas. Any single idea, without all the surrounding information, is very much lacking the vastness of the information available to us for judging such ideas of whether or not an intelligence is behind our universe.

Here's my analogy again:

quote:
What we have is seeing a bunch of play-doh.
Then we see perfectly square play-doh. And perfectly round play-doh. And perfectly octagonal-playdoh.

...at this point, it is reasonable to conclude that an intelligence is behind the perfect shapes.

But then we find a play-dough extruder (that fun little thing that pushes play-doh through to make perfect shapes.)
And we see how it works, but it does not require intelligence.

Now we can explain perfect play-doh squares, perfectly round play-doh and perfectly octagonal-playdoh.
But where does the machine come from? How does it work without intelligence?

We search around further and we find play-doh-extruder-makers occurring naturally. They also do not require intelligence.
We search around further and we find different styles of play-doh-extruders occurring naturally, some very different but still resulting in the same perfect play-doh squares and octagons. None of them require intelligence to operate.

We attempt to make some models ourselves. We make a bunch of extra assumptions... but we are able to create non-intelligent models that, given the right conditions, form play-doh-extruder-makers on their own and start producing perfect squares, circles and octagons. We look into it and discover that the "right conditions" are very similar to those we find in our past.

We search around further and we find out that the play-doh-extruder-makers are made up entirely of materials that form naturally, without the requirement of any intelligence, found throughout our data concerning the distant past.

We start looking further and further into the past. We find lots of things that may-or-may-not ever become play-doh-extruder-makers, but there is some potential. We also find lots of processes and systems for creating all those things... naturally, without intelligence involved.

We also have some people who insist that all play-doh-perfect-squares are divinely inspired.
They have searched all the information available as well, but they cannot find a single piece of evidence pointing towards the existence of any divine-ness at all... let alone one that decides to create perfect play-doh squares.

This is what we have.
This is *all the information*.


Anyone who reads this analogy can understand that the evidence only points in one-direction - that no intelligence-responsible-for-our-universe exists.

There is no other way to "interpret" this evidence.

Not by you, not by Antony Flew, not by anyone. That's what makes it "evidence."

You can, of course, propose an argument that this analogy of mine does not accurately describe the state of the current evidence. But I'm fairly sure I have not said anything that is incorrect. Please feel free to indicate anything within the analogy that you think has not actually happened in reality with regards to evolution and our search for intelligence.

Or if you do not have time to respond, that is perfectly okay. Don't stress yourself, it isn't worth it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by GDR, posted 08-07-2016 2:37 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3577
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 127 of 186 (788999)
08-09-2016 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by GDR
08-08-2016 7:41 PM


Re: Faith in common.
GDR writes:

That is pretty much the point I have been trying to make all along. It does seem to me that you shouldn't be able to absolutely rule out an interventionist god either but that's kinda splitting hairs.

Science, and evidence-based conclusions in general never "absolutely rule out" anything. Ever.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by GDR, posted 08-08-2016 7:41 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 128 by Tangle, posted 08-09-2016 9:06 AM Stile has not yet responded

    
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