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Author Topic:   The Word Evolutionists
jar
Member
Posts: 30996
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 16 of 93 (116683)
06-19-2004 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by mike the wiz
06-19-2004 2:21 PM


Re: Relevance?
There are Atheists who rule out GOD. Period.

But what does that have to do with Evolution?

I think it's great that you are starting down this path. But where you need to concentrate are on Atheists to convince them that there is a GOD (admitedly a daunting task) and Creationists who insist that Evolution = No God.

One thing that has always helped me is to simply look at the products that might have been created by GOD.

On one hand are a bunch of objects, poorly designed, many failures that went extinct and even those that have survived, cobbled together with makeshift and jury rigged systems, with bits and pieces left over like the apendix, with no padding on the shins, hair that falls out, eyesight that fails, subject to wear, tear and desease.

On the other hand are a set of rules, interactions that work wonderfully, forces and laws that regulate everything from galaxies to light itself. The more we learn about these rules, the beauty that is a crystal, the wonder that is gravity, the forces that hold the electron away from the nucleus, string theory and branes, the adaptability that is Evolution, the more awsome it becomes.

Of the two, poorly designed and patched KINDS or the symmetry, beauty, awesomeness and functionality of the underlying rules, which is more likely the product of a GOD?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 2:21 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 2:55 PM jar has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 17 of 93 (116685)
06-19-2004 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by jar
06-19-2004 2:39 PM


Re: Relevance?
Hey, it has this to do with evolution; the program made out that the natural processes of natural selection rule out a creator - and Dawkins and co, were all about that. So then obviously, if scientists agree that God isn't a precursor, then that's how evolution is relevant to the discussion.

Ofcourse, you're being too defensive, I'm not attacking the ToE. I'm attacking this mindset that creos/evos might certainly have co- concocted.

As for convincing atheists of God, they're not interested. I'm not one to force the Gospel down someones' throat if they aint interested. I respect people like Ned who are atheist, and are interested in the "how". And I respect their wishes. Don't be so sensitive to my inquiries Jar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by jar, posted 06-19-2004 2:39 PM jar has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 18 of 93 (116692)
06-19-2004 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by mike the wiz
06-19-2004 12:19 PM


One persons opinion
Dawkins and his crew thought this. So, - God then becomes an unnecessary precursor to the natural processes. Would you agree with that conclusion? You see, these kind of comments make creationists defensive. I thought their concept of faith was most innacurate though.

Would I agree? That depends on which "god" we are talking about. Dawkins is a bit too strident for my tastes even if I agree with his conclusions.

However, it is important we be clear about what this "god" thing is. The little god of the genesis literalists is ruled out by facts at hand.

The larger God of the majority of Christians may be unnecessary as an explanation of life. That God may or may not be unnecessary as a "precursor" as we don't know enough to be too conclusive on that yet (though I think there is lots pointing that way). That larger God may not even be "necessary" as the source of the big bang. But so what? God is taken on faith, isn't he? That's what my minister friend and other devote Chrisitians tell me. He doesn't have to be "necessary" to the science, does he?

Dawkins and I are not people of faith. We may be more or less sensitive to the bad effects of faith and not sensitive enough to the good things it brings. What our personal views are shouldn't matter particularly to you.

If we espouse those personal views on TV then you and I would hope that there is time for opposing views to be promolgated too. Of course, channel hoping on Sunday morning will show you that there is plenty of such time.

However, let's look at Dawkin's argument shall we? All he apparently said was God was "unnecessary". As God is supernatural and Dawkin's only can see and experiment with the natural,well, of course he will conclude God is "unnecessary". If that is the whole argument it will mean squat to someone of faith. As we have repeated here many a time science doesn't disprove some forms of a god. As others have noted it is the creationists that insist that they know the mind of God and that their ideas are right and that the sciences are antithical to God. Well, to thier simple, little god, yea. Not to the God of the majority of Christians however.

As you note Dawkins may be picking on one particular sort of god as an easy target. Guess who helps him in that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 12:19 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 6:23 PM NosyNed has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 19 of 93 (116701)
06-19-2004 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by NosyNed
06-19-2004 5:57 PM


Re: One persons opinion
That larger God may not even be "necessary" as the source of the big bang. But so what? God is taken on faith, isn't he? That's what my minister friend and other devote Chrisitians tell me

Yes. Good point. This particular program was trying to find out if the how and why could be reconciled, which interests me. But yes, God is taken on faith, but others might need evidence in order to believe.

However, let's look at Dawkin's argument shall we? All he apparently said was God was "unnecessary". As God is supernatural and Dawkin's only can see and experiment with the natural,well, of course he will conclude God is "unnecessary

Well, he made other remarks, comparing people's faith with "a big invisible teacup orbiting Pluto". And basically said when asked the question "why not leave them to their beliefs" that it's unnacceptable because he could say there's "fairies at the end of the garden".

It's not that these personal views upset me, it's just that they all seem pretty similar, and not particularly apropriate and/or clever. It was quite a few scientists that had this attitude, which surprised me a little, considering how intelligent these people are. Maybe it's their lack of understanding of the "why". Anyhows....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by NosyNed, posted 06-19-2004 5:57 PM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 6:48 PM mike the wiz has responded
 Message 21 by NosyNed, posted 06-19-2004 7:07 PM mike the wiz has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 93 (116703)
06-19-2004 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by mike the wiz
06-19-2004 6:23 PM


Maybe it's their lack of understanding of the "why".

I'm not sure it's a lack of understanding so much as a lack of respect.

I mean, I imagine scientists understand maybe better than anyone what might prompt someone to faith in a higher power. But they may feel no particular need to "coddle" what they see as a sort of mental laziness.

For instance, with a little training in psychology I could easily understand why someone might become an alcoholic, and how that might cause them to visit abuse on others. That doesn't mean, though, that I'm not going to have anything but sharp words for an abusive alcoholic.

I don't think Dawkins thinks of you as abusive alcoholics, or anything, but I'd say it's pretty fair to characterize his position as being fairly disdainful of religion and supernaturalism in general, and I imagine it's because he sees it as a kind of mental cowardice - an unwillingness to face the universe without a sort of spiritual safety blanket.

Yeah, I dunno. I'm not sure it's fair for Dawkins to criticize - I'm sure he has his own little comfort space, his own little things he does to carve out a safe corner of the world. Then again, his macaroni-and-cheese habit - or whatever - probably isn't the source of anything like the Spanish Inquisition.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 6:23 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 7:11 PM crashfrog has responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 21 of 93 (116707)
06-19-2004 7:07 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by mike the wiz
06-19-2004 6:23 PM


Re: One persons opinion
It's not that these personal views upset me, it's just that they all seem pretty similar, and not particularly apropriate and/or clever. It was quite a few scientists that had this attitude, which surprised me a little, considering how intelligent these people are. Maybe it's their lack of understanding of the "why". Anyhows....

To some degree, I agree with you. Dawkins may be talking about the most unsophisticated of the faithful and painting them all with the same brush. I think that is wrong. There are atheists with all sorts of opinions. Some are what I called "dawkinists" in another thread.

I will use insulting terms for some peoples beliefs too. Some, IMO, deserve it. Someone here recently commented that God intervened so his recent injury wasn't so severe or somesuch. I'm afraid that many faithful would find this even funnier than I do. However, I'd rather not be tagged as a dawkinist as I am much more respectful of the beliefs of those who aren't so obviously silly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 6:23 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 22 of 93 (116709)
06-19-2004 7:11 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by crashfrog
06-19-2004 6:48 PM


Erm, yeah...however, what about scientists who are not intellectually lazy and do have faith?

This whole "comfort" thing is more common amongst your side than you might imagine. Have you read from Schrafinator lately? She's saying belief is because of fear of death....These explanations by your side can be a bit tedious concerning the "comfort" thing. Especially when you know that your "faith" has bugger all to do with fear/laziness/comfort. You do realize that "trust" would be a better explanation, right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 6:48 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 7:23 PM mike the wiz has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 23 of 93 (116710)
06-19-2004 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by NosyNed
06-19-2004 7:07 PM


Re: One persons opinion
Clearly this Dawkin guy is more well known than I anticipated.

commented that God intervened so his recent injury wasn't so severe or somesuch

So you don't think he lessened the injury.

I can imagine the prayer right now, "Please God, just a broken leg, two black eyes and a broken collar bone....rather than a mangled body".

Okay Ned, I'll leave you alone then, as you are not one who has partaken in the Dorkinisms. I suppose everyone is entitled to an opinion....


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 93 (116711)
06-19-2004 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by mike the wiz
06-19-2004 7:11 PM


This whole "comfort" thing is more common amongst your side than you might imagine.

Well, you can imagine that the existence of religion is a little puzzling to us, sometimes. I mean, it's pretty obvious to many of us that you're believing in something that there's no evidence for whatsoever. Why would someone believe in something that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't even exist?

Anyway, our suspicions that it's about fear and comfort tend to be confirmed every time one of you believers busts out Pascal's Wager - "shouldn't you believe like we do just in case?" - or tries to paint atheism as a belief system that can't protect people against baby-eating psychos.

Especially when you know that your "faith" has bugger all to do with fear/laziness/comfort.

Again, you may think that, but just about everybody who has faith talks about the comfort and peace of mind they get from the knowledge that a higher power is looking out for them and will greet them and their loved ones in the afterlife.

When we characterize faith as a comfort thing, it's because the faithful are always talking about the comfort they get from faith.

You do realize that "trust" would be a better explanation, right?

If there was really something there to trust, it would be.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 7:11 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Unseul, posted 06-19-2004 7:48 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 26 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 7:57 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Unseul
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 93 (116719)
06-19-2004 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by crashfrog
06-19-2004 7:23 PM


I think that the pascals wager, when used by theists, is purely a way to get us athiests to start believing, cos once we do it, then we shall realise theres no wager at all, because god obviously does exist... I dont think that they are using the wager personally though.

To mike,
Dawkins is an extremely well known science writer (i think at least two of his books were on the recommended reading list for several of my courses), i know that other unis recommend him also for bio courses. If you havent read his books, tho i suspect u may have done, i would highly recommend them, his theory on the selfish gene is really quite interesting, and personally i feel is the most sensible evolutionarily speaking.

In terms of faith as a comfort, or safety blanket etc i think that there is a lot of truth in that, however yes lots of people have different safety blankets (a classic case is when people start rocking in times of real stress, the tempo is usually equal to the normal heart rate, its thought this comes from the time spent in the womb) So there are a lot of comfort acts that we use, i just think faith is one of the bigger (and possibly better) ones.

As we have already discussed before those that believe lose nothing in death either way, those that dont feel that they have nothing to lose either, i mean either they are right and nothingness is exactly that, or there is life eternal of one sort or another and so will just be content with that.

And now to be ontopic, personally i dont have a problem with being classed as an evolutionist, its merely a tag that helps explains what some of my views are, same as athiest, zoologist, kleptomaniac etc etc etc

Unseul


Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life....

Do unto others before they do unto you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 7:23 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 8:19 PM Unseul has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 26 of 93 (116723)
06-19-2004 7:57 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by crashfrog
06-19-2004 7:23 PM


If there was really something there to trust, it would be.

I don't think you have a great understanding of faith. I'm not saying that without reason. I mean, it's like me telling you that I know more about atheism.

But faith is infact trust. And I have trusted in the past, and that's when things happen.

Here is a small but infinitely more accurate, example of faith;

If I have a small child, and I stand him on the third step of the stairway, and say, "Fall", and he then asks, "will you catch me?", and I say, "I might". If s/he falls, she has faith. This is the concept I have, this is the faith I try to practice. It's a hard thing to a lot of aswell.

Anyway, our suspicions that it's about fear and comfort tend to be confirmed every time one of you believers busts out Pascal's Wager - "shouldn't you believe like we do just in case?"

Hey, by all means don't believe, that's completely your choice. Just don't think you can understand that which you don't have, nor partake in, via an intellectual and logical investigation.

Well, you can imagine that the existence of religion is a little puzzling to us, sometimes. I mean, it's pretty obvious to many of us that you're believing in something that there's no evidence for whatsoever. Why would someone believe in something that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't even exist?

Is it really so puzzling to you though, when only 14% of the population don't have a belief system?

I understand that you feel there is no proof or evidence of God. That's fair enough - but others feel there is evidence. Yet even if there isn't, you seem to be grasping to understand something that you have just said "puzzles" you - yet are still telling me what "faith" is??? So which is it? Does it puzzle you, or do you have it all figured out? I think the former.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 7:23 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 8:13 PM mike the wiz has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 93 (116726)
06-19-2004 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by mike the wiz
06-19-2004 7:57 PM


I don't think you have a great understanding of faith.

Well, I'd say I have as great an understanding as possible - I had some, once.

As far as I can tell now it's much like how abusive relationships work - when the relationship works, it confirms for the victim that the abuser isn't really that bad, that he's really a basically good guy. When it isn't working, the victim makes excuses for the abuser - it's not his fault, I can't understand why he does that, it must be something I did.

Every time I hear a believer give glory to God for the good things and excuse Him from the bad, I hear an abused girlfriend defending her abuser. So yeah, I think I have a fairly good understanding of faith - a deeper and better understanding than most people who have faith.

Why do abuse victims stay with, and even return to, their abuser? The same reason many people won't even countenance a life without faith. Because they don't have the confidence in their own abilities that it takes to abandon what you know, what makes you comfortable, and face uncomfortable truths.

I mean, it's like me telling you that I know more about atheism.

Well, if you were, or had been an atheist, I would at least consider that that might be true.

Just don't think you can understand that which you don't have, nor partake in, via an intellectual and logical investigation.

Again, you seem to forget that I was once a believer just like you, with just as much faith then as you have now.

Does it puzzle you, or do you have it all figured out?

It puzzled me at first, then I figured it out. But it's a puzzle that a lot of atheists go through.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 7:57 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by NosyNed, posted 06-19-2004 8:24 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 32 by mike the wiz, posted 06-19-2004 8:43 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 93 (116727)
06-19-2004 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Unseul
06-19-2004 7:48 PM


I think that the pascals wager, when used by theists, is purely a way to get us athiests to start believing

Oh, of course it is. But read between Pascal's lines, and you'll see the motivation of their own faith:

"Aren't you afraid we're right and you're wrong? Wouldn't it be safer and more comfortable for you to play it safe, not to take the risk you might be wrong?"

Honestly the intellectual cowardice of Pascal's Wager is very off-putting, and I thought so even when I was a Christian. Why on Earth would anyone be convinced by the idea "dont bother to try to find out what's true or not; just play it safe and make sure you've covered all the bases." It's like that wormy guy in The Mummy who prays to all the different religions. What kind of honest faith is supposed to stem from covering your ass?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Unseul, posted 06-19-2004 7:48 PM Unseul has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Unseul, posted 06-19-2004 8:33 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 29 of 93 (116728)
06-19-2004 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by crashfrog
06-19-2004 8:13 PM


Once was, never was
Again, you seem to forget that I was once a believer just like you, with just as much faith then as you have now.

I wonder if there is a difference between how we veiw things. I never had any faith. It isn't a viewpoint I might understand as well as you.

There is no hint in what you post that your views are colored differently than mine but I wonder. Do we end up in very much the same place even though starting from very different ones?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 8:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by crashfrog, posted 06-19-2004 8:29 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 93 (116730)
06-19-2004 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by NosyNed
06-19-2004 8:24 PM


There is no hint in what you post that your views are colored differently than mine but I wonder. Do we end up in very much the same place even though starting from very different ones?

I hope so. I can't even wrap my brain around the idea of always having been an atheist; so I'm slightly worried about my future children. I've considered adopting a fake faith just so that they have something to reject later as they mature, because that was a pretty important part of my maturity.

I have no idea how to raise a kid who doesn't believe in God. But then, I have no idea how to raise a kid at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by NosyNed, posted 06-19-2004 8:24 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
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