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Hence the arguments I've been making about the supposed randomness of evolutionary creationism. I could certainly accept it if it convinced me.

 

"It's too random" is not an argument. It is a logical fallacy. And also, nobody is making the claim "Evolution was unguided." The idea is that we have no reason to think that it was guided. Nobody is saying that the evolution evidence we have should convince you that it is unguided. The evidence for evolution tells you that it happened. The lack of evidence for guided evolution is why we don't think it was guided.

 

These books contain exactly what any book attempting to argue a topic contains - well thought out, sourced arguments for the existence of God.

 

Then present some. I've presented some of evolutionary theory in this thread, so why not present whatever it is that supports your theory?

 

It's just hard to believe that there is going to be any sort of valid argument in these books. I didn't need to read a book to learn about evolution so why do I need to read a book to hear the arguments for god?

 

These aren't really arguments. I'm not saying "You are wrong because this is creationist babble." Or "You are wrong because you can't even pay attention in class." These comments are just my linguistic embellishments.

 

"Anyone can write a book" is my way of saying "You're making an argument from authority - just because the book exists doesn't mean anything for your case." I see now that you are saying you aren't just trying to use the existence of books as support for your case, so don't worry about that now.

 

Fair enough to the second point. Your linguistic embellishments, however, don't help your case, and are unnecessary.

 

Perhaps, yes. But I think it's quite telling that every atheist state in history has failed, and not even that - been a brutal dictatorship. I do wish to reiterate, however, that this certainly isn't any kind of proof for the existence of God.

 

I would say that it is more likely because the atheist leaders so far have been jerks. I'd like to see a democratic atheist state.

 

Yes, but that's precisely the argument i'm trying to present to you.

 

If evolution is not unguided, then some kind of creationary force (not necessarily a god as we envision) must have guided it.

 

....why?

 

The idea of God is both comforting and difficult. Comforting, because of the points you made. Difficult, because it dictates you must live your life in a difficult way. You must be selfless, and work towards an ideal greater than oneself. This attitude is very hard to prescribe to - which is precisely why true religion cannot be populist.

 

Has it occurred to you, I wonder, that some theists perhaps wish there is NO God? I don't believe in God because it comforts me,

 

On the contrary, many of your arguments seem to be "I just don't think it is possible...I mean, how could life be unguided?" This is an argument from personal incredulence. The basis of your argument is that the alternatives sound "too random". I think this sounds like some of your main points are argued just because you find the alternative hard to deal with.

 

I believe in God because through logic and reason

 

Mmmm, I would say through flawed logic and flawed reason. Theres a reason that no scientists have published peer reviewed work on the god hypothesis. To believe in god takes a logical mistake.

 

I have come to the conclusion that God must exist. I sometimes think life would be easier if God did not exist. However, just as you are unwilling to take a reassuring path for something you do not believe, I too refuse to take a reassuring path for something I do not believe.

 

Well if you truly only use logic and reason to arrive at your theism then you must not have heard all of the arguments for atheism.


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"It's too random" is not an argument. It is a logical fallacy. And also, nobody is making the claim "Evolution was unguided." The idea is that we have no reason to think that it was guided. Nobody is saying that the evolution evidence we have should convince you that it is unguided. The evidence for evolution tells you that it happened. The lack of evidence for guided evolution is why we don't think it was guided.

 

You misunderstand my basic logic. Nothing can be "too random". It either is random, or it is not. There's no logical fallacy there.

 

If there is no God or creative force, the creation of the universe must have been completely self-initiated, with no outside influence of any kind, and thus, random. Not "too random", not "a bit random", not "realistically random", just random. Since random does not exist in our universe (I've asked you to prove me wrong in this regard which you've failed to do) it stands to reason that the universe could not have been created randomly - therefore some kind of rudimentary causality or creative force is required.

 

Why do you choose to think evolution was unguided, if, in your own words, there is no evidence in either direction?

 

 

Then present some. I've presented some of evolutionary theory in this thread, so why not present whatever it is that supports your theory?

 

It's just hard to believe that there is going to be any sort of valid argument in these books. I didn't need to read a book to learn about evolution so why do I need to read a book to hear the arguments for god?

 

Then how, I wonder, did you learn about evolution? I assume you were taught, or educated yourself in some way. The reason I don't quote these arguments is because, like I've said, it takes a book length dissertation to properly do so.

 

 

Yes, but that's precisely the argument i'm trying to present to you.

 

If evolution is not unguided, then some kind of creationary force (not necessarily a god as we envision) must have guided it.

 

....why?

 

Because nothing on earth is unguided. We have literally never witnessed anything on our planet without a creator or causality. I think it's an illogical assumption to assume that unguided creation (despite no evidence to prove such) is more logical then what we see in our day to day lives.

 

 

On the contrary, many of your arguments seem to be "I just don't think it is possible...I mean, how could life be unguided?" This is an argument from personal incredulence. The basis of your argument is that the alternatives sound "too random". I think this sounds like some of your main points are argued just because you find the alternative hard to deal with.

 

Absolutely - I personally am incredulous that you're attempting to argue something can come from nothing. The logical assumption, given no evidence, is to assume something has a creator (as per what we see in our lives) rather then an evidence-less straying from the norm.

 

Mmmm, I would say through flawed logic and flawed reason. Theres a reason that no scientists have published peer reviewed work on the god hypothesis. To believe in god takes a logical mistake.

 

Well if you truly only use logic and reason to arrive at your theism then you must not have heard all of the arguments for atheism.

 

Both these quotes seem to demonstrate you share the belief (with many other atheists) that theism is a character flaw. How is it, I wonder, that so many scientists, with decades of experience and multiple university degrees can believe in God? Are they somehow not real scientists?

 

Are atheists somehow more intelligent then theists? Do you, for example, consider yourself more intelligent then the president, for example?

 

Please note: none of this certainly proves there is a god - but I do think you're being incredibly pretentious about the issue.


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Quote

 

Then present some. I've presented some of evolutionary theory in this thread, so why not present whatever it is that supports your theory?

 

It's just hard to believe that there is going to be any sort of valid argument in these books. I didn't need to read a book to learn about evolution so why do I need to read a book to hear the arguments for god?

 

 

Then how, I wonder, did you learn about evolution? I assume you were taught, or educated yourself in some way. The reason I don't quote these arguments is because, like I've said, it takes a book length dissertation to properly do so.

 

There is absolutely no reason not to disclose your sources for the arguments you are presenting. Not doing doing so is tantamount, in my view at least, to their actual validity as doing so would actually help your argument if they are logically sound.

 

Quote

 

On the contrary, many of your arguments seem to be "I just don't think it is possible...I mean, how could life be unguided?" This is an argument from personal incredulence. The basis of your argument is that the alternatives sound "too random". I think this sounds like some of your main points are argued just because you find the alternative hard to deal with.

 

 

Absolutely - I personally am incredulous that you're attempting to argue something can come from nothing. The logical assumption, given no evidence, is to assume something has a creator (as per what we see in our lives) rather then an evidence-less straying from the norm.

 

You are putting words in his mouth as he has clearly said that neither you nor science has the answer to the creation of the universe via this line(somewhat paraphrased) "We do yet know what happened before the big bang"

 

You have also committed the fallacy of "Argument to Logic"

 

 

 

View PostMyweponsg00d, on 16 February 2011 - 06:33 AM, said:

"It's too random" is not an argument. It is a logical fallacy. And also, nobody is making the claim "Evolution was unguided." The idea is that we have no reason to think that it was guided. Nobody is saying that the evolution evidence we have should convince you that it is unguided. The evidence for evolution tells you that it happened. The lack of evidence for guided evolution is why we don't think it was guided.

 

 

You misunderstand my basic logic. Nothing can be "too random". It either is random, or it is not. There's no logical fallacy there.

 

If there is no God or creative force, the creation of the universe must have been completely self-initiated, with no outside influence of any kind, and thus, random. Not "too random", not "a bit random", not "realistically random", just random. Since random does not exist in our universe (I've asked you to prove me wrong in this regard which you've failed to do) it stands to reason that the universe could not have been created randomly - therefore some kind of rudimentary causality or creative force is required.

 

Why do you choose to think evolution was unguided, if, in your own words, there is no evidence in either direction?

 

He was referring to the logical fallacy of boiling the process down to only two outcomes when there could be more than 2.

 

Example of this fallacy is "you are either with us or against us".

 

You also committed the fallacy of "argument from ignorance"

Simply because your argument has not been refuted does not make it automatically true by default.

 

His fallacy call about incredulity still stands as you committed it again.

 

At this point in the thread I have counted well over 100 logical fallacy occurrences(including the trolls).

 

All fallacies are bolded.


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There is absolutely no reason not to disclose your sources for the arguments you are presenting. Not doing doing so is tantamount, in my view at least, to their actual validity as doing so would actually help your argument if they are logically sound.

 

I haven't not disclosed my sources at all. I've repeatedly linked to said sources. What I'm saying is that I have no desire to spend hours typing chapters from books.

 

You are putting words in his mouth as he has clearly said that neither you nor science has the answer to the creation of the universe via this line(somewhat paraphrased) "We do yet know what happened before the big bang"

 

You have also committed the fallacy of "Argument to Logic"

 

Nor am I claiming to know the answer to the creation of the universe. I don't understand what you mean by that fallacy - all I can infer by this is that using logical arguments is somehow a fallacy?

 

 

 

He was referring to the logical fallacy of boiling the process down to only two outcomes when there could be more than 2.

 

Example of this fallacy is "you are either with us or against us".

 

You also committed the fallacy of "argument from ignorance"

Simply because your argument has not been refuted does not make it automatically true by default.

 

His fallacy call about incredulity still stands as you committed it again.

 

At this point in the thread I have counted well over 100 logical fallacy occurrences(including the trolls).

 

All fallacies are bolded.

 

Ahh ok, so what is the third option, pray tell? Something is random, or not random, or....? Please, enlighten me. As far as I can tell any sort of guidance or causality causes creation to fall into the "not random" category. Is something "partially" random? If so it is not random.

 

I also never claimed my argument was inherently true, I'm trying to demonstrate how I believe my views are more likely to be correct than not.


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Y_Guy, what is your feeling on the claim that certain subatomic processes are completely random?

 

Edit: and by "claim" I mean "widely-accepted fact".


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Y_Guy, what is your feeling on the claim that certain subatomic processes are completely random?

Well, if you'll be so kind as to elaborate I'll be glad to voice my opinion.

 

As far as I've seen, everything that "seems" random is not random at all - atomic radioactive decay was the previous example given.


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Y_Guy, what is your feeling on the claim that certain subatomic processes are completely random?

Well, if you'll be so kind as to elaborate I'll be glad to voice my opinion.

 

As far as I've seen, everything that "seems" random is not random at all - atomic radioactive decay was the previous example given.

 

http://www.askamathematician.com/?p=612

That's the best overview description I could find of Bell's expiriment.


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Y_Guy, what is your feeling on the claim that certain subatomic processes are completely random?

Well, if you'll be so kind as to elaborate I'll be glad to voice my opinion.

 

As far as I've seen, everything that "seems" random is not random at all - atomic radioactive decay was the previous example given.

 

http://www.askamathematician.com/?p=612

Yet the question still arises that, if atomic radioactive decay is truly random, why is it linear and predictable outside of a single molecule?


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Y_Guy, what is your feeling on the claim that certain subatomic processes are completely random?

Well, if you'll be so kind as to elaborate I'll be glad to voice my opinion.

 

As far as I've seen, everything that "seems" random is not random at all - atomic radioactive decay was the previous example given.

 

http://www.askamathematician.com/?p=612

Yet the question still arises that, if atomic radioactive decay is truly random, why is it linear and predictable outside of a single molecule?

 

The link I posted has nothing to do with radioactive decay.

 

Also, what? I'm not a quantum physicist but are you saying because we can run statistical analyses on the decay of certain atoms and determine a window for when that particle might decay it means that it's not random? Because that's fallacious.


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Y_Guy, what is your feeling on the claim that certain subatomic processes are completely random?

Well, if you'll be so kind as to elaborate I'll be glad to voice my opinion.

 

As far as I've seen, everything that "seems" random is not random at all - atomic radioactive decay was the previous example given.

 

http://www.askamathematician.com/?p=612

Yet the question still arises that, if atomic radioactive decay is truly random, why is it linear and predictable outside of a single molecule?

 

The link I posted has nothing to do with radioactive decay.

 

If, on the other hand, you try to predict something like the moment that a radioactive atom will radioact, then youll find yourself at the corner of [cabbage] Creek and No.

 

??


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I never claimed you did think the USSR was proof of God...

My apologies then. What I DO think is that it's a potent example of how an atheist society could be worse than a Christian one.

This argument is as fallacious as an ad hominem attack, as the USSR was not a society rooted in atheism, but a society rooted in communism atheism was a one of many characteristics of some communist leaders. It's but a reminder of the failing of communism. Your argument is equivalent to(Reductio Ad Absurdum) to saying that the USSR is a potent example of how a society with ice is far worse than a warmer one. Clearly we wouldn't acknowledge this statement as logical, so we must reject your statement as well. It's not only totally irrelevant, but it is also, from a logical standpoint, meaningless.


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You misunderstand my basic logic. Nothing can be "too random". It either is random, or it is not. There's no logical fallacy there.

 

If there is no God or creative force, the creation of the universe must have been completely self-initiated, with no outside influence of any kind, and thus, random. Not "too random", not "a bit random", not "realistically random", just random. Since random does not exist in our universe (I've asked you to prove me wrong in this regard which you've failed to do) it stands to reason that the universe could not have been created randomly - therefore some kind of rudimentary causality or creative force is required.

 

I want to know why you lump God and "creative force" together in your logic...I don't want to get creative force entangled with God. What I'm denying is the claims that people believe there to be some type of intelligent being who created the universe. I am not going to start talking about all other theories that involve the universe coming from somewhere else.

 

Why do you choose to think evolution was unguided, if, in your own words, there is no evidence in either direction?

 

I don't claim that evolution IS unguided. My stance is that we shouldn't claim anything for which we have no evidence. We have no evidence that evolution was guided, therefore we shouldn't think it was guided. Pick up a paper on evolution, you won't see anyone say "This is a process that definitely wasn't assisted by God." That would be a ludicrous thing for a scientist to claim, because theres no evidence for either side.

 

Then how, I wonder, did you learn about evolution? I assume you were taught, or educated yourself in some way. The reason I don't quote these arguments is because, like I've said, it takes a book length dissertation to properly do so.

 

My understanding of evolution has come largely from biology classes, lectures, and various educational documentaries and programs. I mean, if you count textbooks maybe I've gotten some knowledge from "books". I've also read "Of Pandas and People" which is basically the creationist version of a textbook. I was referring to "books" meaning the common type of book, typically written by one author.

 

 

Because nothing on earth is unguided. We have literally never witnessed anything on our planet without a creator or causality. I think it's an illogical assumption to assume that unguided creation (despite no evidence to prove such) is more logical then what we see in our day to day lives.

 

Nobody is assuming it is definitely unguided. We are saying we shouldn't assume anything about its nature that we don't have evidence for.

 

Absolutely - I personally am incredulous that you're attempting to argue something can come from nothing.

 

I am not attempting to argue this. I am not making any claims about where the universe came from. I am rejecting a claim that an intelligent being created us. Nothing more.

 

The logical assumption, given no evidence, is to assume something has a creator (as per what we see in our lives) rather then an evidence-less straying from the norm.

 

Okay, so if we want to stick with "the norm", "the norm" is to answer questions about the physical world with the use of science. We do it for literally everything else concerning the physical world except for things in the "origin" category. If you'd want to follow "the norm" you wouldn't answer this question with philosophy, faith, or anything of the like.

 

Both these quotes seem to demonstrate you share the belief (with many other atheists) that theism is a character flaw.

 

It is not a character flaw, but it is definitely not pure logic. Just because someone is illogical doesn't mean anything about whether or not I see this person as a worthy human being. Many creationists, such as my parents, have outright told me that they just don't care if they are right or wrong about where stuff came from. They just want to believe what they want to believe. They acknowledge that this might not be a rational or logical thing to do, fine. And I don't harass them about having illogical beliefs or anything like that when I get to see them. They don't claim to be right, and they don't think the issue is worthwhile enough to talk about.

 

My beef is with people who assert the "God hypothesis" as something that they have a reason for believing, or if they want me to believe it too.

 

How is it, I wonder, that so many scientists, with decades of experience and multiple university degrees can believe in God? Are they somehow not real scientists?

I hate repeatedly pointing out logical fallacies but this is an argument from authority. "Some scientists believe X, therefore it's gotta have merit right?" Not necessarily. You should see some of the pre-journal papers that get passed around for peer review. Individuals with great credentials are capable of putting out some strange stuff.

 

Also I mean there really is a lot of social pressure to be a theist.

 

Are atheists somehow more intelligent then theists? Do you, for example, consider yourself more intelligent then the president, for example?

 

Well for starters my view on "intelligence" is sure a lot more complicated than that. But secondly, no, one view on any issue has nothing related to natural giftedness in any area.

 

Now, I might say that my views about the cosmos are perhaps more correct, adanced, or respectable. I also might say that I have a better understanding of the scientific process. None of this makes me a better person, as I'm sure he has a deeper understanding than me of how other things work.

 

The only thing I will say is that I do think it is incredibly...odd..for people to have claims about things that they haven't really mastered. Do average people have claims about the nuclear processes that take place in the Sun? Do average people have claims about what the social norms in 5th century Asia mean? Do average people claim to know how to build the parts for a computer? No. Yet for some reason, when it comes to the origins of the universe, everybody feels like they are qualified to come on in and make a judgment about what happened.

 

Yet the question still arises that, if atomic radioactive decay is truly random, why is it linear and predictable outside of a single molecule?

 

First of all, you mean exponential (or logarithmic) not linear.

 

Secondly, it is not "predictable" but rather "able to be simulated/approximated".

 

Thirdly, we are able to model radioactive decay somewhat reliably because what we model with the logarithmic function is the decay of a substance, not the decay of a single atom. If you have a large number of things that all have the random chance of decaying, a large number of them will decay and then the number will be cut in half after a certain time. Think of it like...if I had 100 TVs on a wall, each of them has a random chance of shutting off with each passing second. Certain properties of the atoms will tell you how quickly their random clock "ticks". Basically, how many random events occur per second.

 

This "loss of randomness" also happens with light. Nobody would ever think that a photon demonstrates quantum behavior, since when we shine lasers at things, the light follows a predictable path. But, it only appears to do this because of the sheer number of photons that are travelling together, each with a quantum path.


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This argument is as fallacious as an ad hominem attack, as the USSR was not a society rooted in atheism, but a society rooted in communism atheism was a one of many characteristics of some communist leaders. It's but a reminder of the failing of communism. Your argument is equivalent to(Reductio Ad Absurdum) to saying that the USSR is a potent example of how a society with ice is far worse than a warmer one. Clearly we wouldn't acknowledge this statement as logical, so we must reject your statement as well. It's not only totally irrelevant, but it is also, from a logical standpoint, meaningless.

 

Atheism is inherent and necessary to communism. Saying atheism had nothing to do with the atrocities committed by Stalin is ridiculous - as the death camps, the outlawing of religious teaching, the destruction of churches and the killing of religious all serve to show.

 

 

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I want to know why you lump God and "creative force" together in your logic...I don't want to get creative force entangled with God. What I'm denying is the claims that people believe there to be some type of intelligent being who created the universe. I am not going to start talking about all other theories that involve the universe coming from somewhere else.

 

Because God fulfills the role of the creative force.

 

 

I don't claim that evolution IS unguided. My stance is that we shouldn't claim anything for which we have no evidence. We have no evidence that evolution was guided, therefore we shouldn't think it was guided. Pick up a paper on evolution, you won't see anyone say "This is a process that definitely wasn't assisted by God." That would be a ludicrous thing for a scientist to claim, because theres no evidence for either side.

 

Of course, but that doesn't stop us from hypothesizing on which of many possible scenarios is the more likely one given the same amount of evidence.

 

My understanding of evolution has come largely from biology classes, lectures, and various educational documentaries and programs. I mean, if you count textbooks maybe I've gotten some knowledge from "books". I've also read "Of Pandas and People" which is basically the creationist version of a textbook. I was referring to "books" meaning the common type of book, typically written by one author.

 

Ahh. Well I was referring to media in general, with books being my preference.

 

 

 

Nobody is assuming it is definitely unguided. We are saying we shouldn't assume anything about its nature that we don't have evidence for.

 

I am not attempting to argue this. I am not making any claims about where the universe came from. I am rejecting a claim that an intelligent being created us. Nothing more.

 

You're rejecting a claim based on zero evidence.

 

 

Okay, so if we want to stick with "the norm", "the norm" is to answer questions about the physical world with the use of science. We do it for literally everything else concerning the physical world except for things in the "origin" category. If you'd want to follow "the norm" you wouldn't answer this question with philosophy, faith, or anything of the like.

 

God is not physical (if he exists). That's why philosophy must also be considered.

 

 

 

I hate repeatedly pointing out logical fallacies but this is an argument from authority. "Some scientists believe X, therefore it's gotta have merit right?" Not necessarily. You should see some of the pre-journal papers that get passed around for peer review. Individuals with great credentials are capable of putting out some strange stuff.

 

Also I mean there really is a lot of social pressure to be a theist.

 

It would be an argument for authority if I was attempting to show it proved a god existed. I'm attempting to persuade you to be a little less aloof about the issue. Certainly I agree that because many intelligent people believe something doesn't make it true.

 

Well for starters my view on "intelligence" is sure a lot more complicated than that. But secondly, no, one view on any issue has nothing related to natural giftedness in any area.

 

Now, I might say that my views about the cosmos are perhaps more correct, adanced, or respectable. I also might say that I have a better understanding of the scientific process. None of this makes me a better person, as I'm sure he has a deeper understanding than me of how other things work.

 

The only thing I will say is that I do think it is incredibly...odd..for people to have claims about things that they haven't really mastered. Do average people have claims about the nuclear processes that take place in the Sun? Do average people have claims about what the social norms in 5th century Asia mean? Do average people claim to know how to build the parts for a computer? No. Yet for some reason, when it comes to the origins of the universe, everybody feels like they are qualified to come on in and make a judgment about what happened.

 

I won't claim (and have never done so) that I am an expert in physics or even math. However, I am an intelligent person, so I believe I can at least hypothesize and attempt to come to a logical conclusion based on what I do know.

 

 

First of all, you mean exponential (or logarithmic) not linear.

 

Secondly, it is not "predictable" but rather "able to be simulated/approximated".

 

Thirdly, we are able to model radioactive decay somewhat reliably because what we model with the logarithmic function is the decay of a substance, not the decay of a single atom. If you have a large number of things that all have the random chance of decaying, a large number of them will decay and then the number will be cut in half after a certain time. Think of it like...if I had 100 TVs on a wall, each of them has a random chance of shutting off with each passing second. Certain properties of the atoms will tell you how quickly their random clock "ticks". Basically, how many random events occur per second.

 

This "loss of randomness" also happens with light. Nobody would ever think that a photon demonstrates quantum behavior, since when we shine lasers at things, the light follows a predictable path. But, it only appears to do this because of the sheer number of photons that are travelling together, each with a quantum path.

 

Forgive me if I sound unlearned in this issue(as I've said before, science is not my area of specialty) but if radioactive decay is truly random, it stands to reason that it would be random across all radioactive atoms. "The number will be cut in half after a certain time". Is this number not standard? Does not the half life of different elements differ?

 

Same thing with light. What makes these photons follow the path that forces them to travel together?


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Because God fulfills the role of the creative force.

 

You still need evidence for this.

 

Of course, but that doesn't stop us from hypothesizing on which of many possible scenarios is the more likely one given the same amount of evidence.

 

If your stance is that "Hey, maybe God exists." then okay. Yeah, maybe he does. I think God could exist. The point is that theism says "I believe theres a god" and atheism says "I don't believe that claim to be true." It isn't saying that god can't or doesn't exist. It is saying that you simply are not convinced of the claim, because of a lack of evidence.

 

 

You're rejecting a claim based on zero evidence.

 

You don't need evidence to reject a claim. Making claims about the world requires that the burden of proof be put on the person making the claims. If you want to disagree with this then you are essentially just disagreeing with the way that we use science to figure things out.

 

God is not physical (if he exists). That's why philosophy must also be considered.

 

More claims. How do you know he isn't physical?

 

Also, where did God come from?

 

 

 

It would be an argument for authority if I was attempting to show it proved a god existed. I'm attempting to persuade you to be a little less aloof about the issue. Certainly I agree that because many intelligent people believe something doesn't make it true.

 

I apologize if I seem rather stubbornly convinced of my side, but I have spent most of the last 10 years debating this issue on a regular basis. Perhaps if you had met me when I still didn't figure out why every argument for God is illogical, I would be a little less firmly convinced that there aren't any strong arguments for God. It's just that I have debated tons of creationists, and I hear the exact same stuff over and over.

 

I won't claim (and have never done so) that I am an expert in physics or even math. However, I am an intelligent person, so I believe I can at least hypothesize and attempt to come to a logical conclusion based on what I do know.

 

Right well I mean...I know nothing about how to knit. I can put some ideas together and make my best guess on how to sit down with knitting materials and create a sweater. But I think it would be naive of me to think that I know better than the knitting experts. You can come to a novice conclusion about the issue, but I think most people would be modest enough to say that their best logical conclusion probably still isn't correct.

 

Forgive me if I sound unlearned in this issue(as I've said before, science is not my area of specialty) but if radioactive decay is truly random, it stands to reason that it would be random across all radioactive atoms.

 

It is, each atom's decay is still random. But an assemblance of random events loses its unpredictability once we quantify a certain number of atoms and quantify a certain length of time.

 

"The number will be cut in half after a certain time". Is this number not standard? Does not the half life of different elements differ?

 

Yeah not everything that is radioactive has the same half life. Some substances will decay entirely in a matter of seconds, some will take years, some even more. For example, Potassium 40 has a half life of 1.3 billion years, while some isotopes have half-lives in the miliseconds.

 

Same thing with light. What makes these photons follow the path that forces them to travel together?

 

They just originate in the same place. The path of any photon will be restricted by where it originates, but its exact location along this path follows a wave of probability.

 

 

Found this video for anyone wondering why atheism might be beneficial to your life.


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If your stance is that "Hey, maybe God exists." then okay. Yeah, maybe he does. I think God could exist. The point is that theism says "I believe theres a god" and atheism says "I don't believe that claim to be true." It isn't saying that god can't or doesn't exist. It is saying that you simply are not convinced of the claim, because of a lack of evidence.

 

If people asked you if you like sushi and you never tried it, would you say, "No, I don't like it," or "I don't know - I never tried it."? Technically both are correct, but I have no idea what would cause you to prefer saying the first over the second, since admitting ignorance would be the much less misleading option.

 

Also, this is in a much different vein than your recent arguments. Any time it would be mentioned that god is a mere possibility, you made sure to say the same for Santa or invisible men. If this was your point all along, I don't think I would have argued with you. What got me was Santa = God, which, when you think about it, is a pretty strong suggestion that "God doesn't exist".

 

Maybe he stops giving families presents when they stop believing. Or if the family tries to tell other people that Santa is real.

 

It's quite amazing seeing an atheist be so open-minded about Santa Claus. By the way, you pretty much evaded my whole point with the four-sided triangle thing. I have proven that you do hold absolute knowledge over certain issues - that it is possible (and reasonable) to be sure of some things. Why doesn't Santa apply here? Why can we not be certain about whether a flying man in red is going around the world giving us presents or if it's just our family and friends?

 

Furthermore, why did you personally pick Santa Claus as an example? Probably because he's only technically "possible" - possible in the most-outlandish-you-can-possibly-think-of sense. If I saw more practical and fair comparisons (like extraterrestrials [a strange concept lacking evidence but yet isn't to the point where "ridiculous" is always the first word that comes to mind), then you'd be much more convincing. But no, it's always conveniently straight to the most ridiculous. Time and time again, atheists reveal themselves to be just as religious-minded as the ones they are ridiculing. Just ask a few honest questions here and there and you'll see the belief "there is no god" hinted very subtly but surely.

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If your stance is that "Hey, maybe God exists." then okay. Yeah, maybe he does. I think God could exist. The point is that theism says "I believe theres a god" and atheism says "I don't believe that claim to be true." It isn't saying that god can't or doesn't exist. It is saying that you simply are not convinced of the claim, because of a lack of evidence.

 

If people asked you if you like sushi and you never tried it, would you say, "No, I don't like it," or "I don't know - I never tried it."? Technically both are correct, but I have no idea what would cause you to prefer saying the first over the second, since admitting ignorance would be the much less misleading option.

 

Also, this is in a much different vein than your recent arguments. Any time it would be mentioned that god is a mere possibility, you made sure to say the same for Santa or invisible men. If this was your point all along, I don't think I would have argued with you. What got me was Santa = God, which, when you think about it, is a pretty strong suggestion that "God doesn't exist".

 

If someone asked "Do you like sushi?" and I hadn't tried it, I would say "I don't know."

 

And if someone asked me "What are the origins of the universe, before the big bang?" I would say "I don't know".

 

But if someone makes the statement "You like sushi" I would have to say "No...I don't know if I like sushi."

 

If someone says "There is a God that explains what happened before the big bang." I would have to say "No...we lack that knowledge"

 

You keep coming back to Santa and invisible men like this comparison HURTS my case. It doesn't. Why are you so certain that these things DON'T exist? My point is that all of these things (Santa, invisible men, undetectable teapots circling the moon, the flying spaghetti monster) ALL have the same ammount of evidence. If you think God is more likely to exist than Santa, then please go ahead and list the evidence that makes a stronger case for God's existence.

 

In fact I would be willing to take the statement you quoted and replace it with any of these things.

 

If your stance is that "Hey, maybe invisible men exist." then okay. Yeah, maybe they do. I think invisible men could exist. The point is that theism says "I believe theres an invisible man" and atheism says "I don't believe that claim to be true." It isn't saying that invisible men can't or don't exist. It is saying that you simply are not convinced of the claim, because of a lack of evidence.

 

 

 

It's quite amazing seeing an atheist be so open-minded about Santa Claus. By the way, you pretty much evaded my whole point with the four-sided triangle thing. I have proven that you do hold absolute knowledge over certain issues - that it is possible (and reasonable) to be sure of some things. Why doesn't Santa apply here? Why can we not be certain about whether a flying man in red is going around the world giving us presents or if it's just our family and friends?

 

I did not avoid this. I already answered a few pages back.

 

A triangle is not a physical object, it is an abstract idea. Asking "Can there be a 4 sided triangle?" is like asking "Can there be a true lie?" No. There can't, because we invented these ideas; these are not objects in the physical world. A "lie" only exists because we define it.


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A triangle is not a physical object, it is an abstract idea. Asking "Can there be a 4 sided triangle?" is like asking "Can there be a true lie?" No. There can't, because we invented these ideas; these are not objects in the physical world. A "lie" only exists because we define it.

 

A "god" can only exist, or not, because you define it. They are epistemological assertions no matter how you want to slice it - knowledge always ties back into subjective abstract thought.

 

How can you be 100% sure that there can't be four-sided triangles? If you want to go by, "Well maybe Santa just doesn't appear for those who don't believe" then we can also go by, "Well maybe mathematicians have just been lying to you your entire life." Both sound pretty cop-outish to me, but still technically possible (in the most ridiculous sense).

 

I must have edited my other point in after you already read the first part, so I'll repeat: Why do you choose Santa or invisible men controlling gravity instead of a more respectable less ridiculous theory that lacks evidence, such as aliens?

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A "lie" only exists because we define it.

 

A "god" can only exist, or not, because you define it. They are epistemological assertions no matter how you want to slice it.

 

No. I look at this object on my desk and call it a "mug". Are you saying that this object only exists because I call it a mug? Regardless of what I chose to call this mug, the item that the word represents will always exist.

 

How can you be 100% sure that there can't be four-sided triangles?

 

I already explained this to you. We define a triangle to have only three sides. Can something have only three sides but have four sides? No.

 

Do you believe that there can be a true lie?

 

If you want to go by, "Well maybe Santa just doesn't appear for those who don't believe" then we can also go by, "Well maybe mathematicians have just been lying to you your entire life."

 

How could it possibly be a lie? Its not like a bunch of mathematicians got together in a room and did years of research to discover a triangle. A triangle is just a definition. It is just a three sided object. We just CALL that a triangle. Theres nothing to lie about...its just a term that we use to refer to something.

 

Thats like saying "Maybe those tricky physicists have been lying to you about what we call "red"!" What? How can it be a lie? We just see a color, and we choose to call it red. Regardless of what word we picked to explain this color, it would still be the same...

 

Both sound pretty cop-outish to me, but still technically possible (in the most ridiculous sense).

 

No. A four-sided three-sided object is not possible. It just isn't, because of the way we define the terms "three" "four" and "side".

 

 

I must have edited my other point in after you already read the first part, so I'll repeat: Why do you choose Santa or invisible men controlling gravity instead of a more respectable less ridiculous theory that lacks evidence, such as aliens?

 

Fine then, aliens control gravity. Let's start the presses because I just answered a huge scientific question. Whats your point?

 

 

 

Furthermore, why did you personally pick Santa Claus as an example? Probably because he's only technically "possible" - possible in the most-outlandish-you-can-possibly-think-of sense. If I saw more practical and fair comparisons (like extraterrestrials [a strange concept lacking evidence but yet isn't to the point where "ridiculous" is always the first word that comes to mind), then you'd be much more convincing. But no, it's always conveniently straight to the most ridiculous. Time and time again, atheists reveal themselves to be just as religious-minded as the ones they are ridiculing. Just ask a few honest questions here and there and you'll see the belief "there is no god" hinted very subtly but surely.

 

Aliens would not be a good example because there is more evidence for alien existence than there is for invisible man existence.

 

The fact that you consider aliens more plausible than Santa or flying spaghetti monsters shows you exactly why aliens are not used as an example.


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Are you saying that this object only exists because I call it a mug?

 

No, more that the "mug" exists as a "mug" because we call it a "mug".

 

How could it possibly be a lie? Its not like a bunch of mathematicians got together in a room and did years of research to discover a triangle. A triangle is just a definition. It is just a three sided object. We just CALL that a triangle. Theres nothing to lie about...its just a term that we use to refer to something.

 

Uhh, how can someone decide to appear or not appear in front of certain people depending on whether they believe in him or not? Seriously, how can you think that the concept of Santa Claus is even possible?

 

I did not avoid this. I already answered a few pages back.

 

You said you don't fully reject any idea with 100% certainty. I refuted your claim by showing you an idea that you rejected with 100% certainty. You then went off on irrelevant tangent about the difference between physical and abstract claims (even though the point was aimed at any claim/idea/concept) so I pointed out how you were avoiding the point, and you just avoided that too.

 

Aliens would not be a good example because there is more evidence for alien existence than there is for invisible man existence.

 

Really? I'd like to see evidence for aliens then.

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Are you saying that this object only exists because I call it a mug?

 

No, more that the "mug" exists as a "mug" because we call it a "mug".

 

...

 

Is there an object sitting on my desk that has a handle and is about 4 inches tall?

 

Well it depends on how we define all of those words, but the object is there no matter what we call it.

How could it possibly be a lie? Its not like a bunch of mathematicians got together in a room and did years of research to discover a triangle. A triangle is just a definition. It is just a three sided object. We just CALL that a triangle. Theres nothing to lie about...its just a term that we use to refer to something.

 

Uhh, how can someone decide to appear or not appear depending on whether they believe in him or not? Seriously, how can you think that the concept of Santa Claus is even possible?

 

How can an invisible man in the sky create the universe?

 

If we knew of a mechanism for how Santa could fly around the Earth in a night, then the idea wouldn't seem unlikely at all. Anything that we don't understand or don't have an explanation for will always seem baffling.

 

I did not avoid this. I already answered a few pages back.

 

You said you don't fully reject any idea with 100% certainty. I refuted your claim by showing you an idea that you rejected with 100% certainty. Then I pointed out how you were avoiding the point, and you just avoided that too.

 

I didn't say that any IDEA is possible. My point is that the existence of a thing in the physical world cannot be determined to be impossible. Once you start adding labels and linguistic descriptors to these things, you aren't talking about the existence of a physical thing, you're classifying it into abstract categories.


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Is there an object sitting on my desk that has a handle and is about 4 inches tall?

 

Well it depends on how we define all of those words, but the object is there no matter what we call it.

 

Human definition dictates what constitutes as "physical", "object", "there". There's no cutting our humanity and subjectivity out of our claims. All knowledge eventually boils down to abstract ideas.

 

How can an invisible man in the sky create the universe?

 

If we knew of a mechanism for how Santa could fly around the Earth in a night, then the idea wouldn't seem unlikely at all. Anything that we don't understand or don't have an explanation for will always seem baffling.

 

Even if there was a scientific explanation for flying around the Earth in one night, that still wouldn't explain all the mysterious receipts and a handful of other enigmas. I still stand behind my claim that Santa is nothing but a fictitious child's tale and I have evidence for this claim.

 

I didn't say that any IDEA is possible.

 

Then what exactly does, "I don't fully reject any idea with 100% certainty" mean?

 

My point is that the existence of a thing in the physical world cannot be determined to be impossible.

 

A wooden four-sided triangle cannot be determined to be impossible?

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Is there an object sitting on my desk that has a handle and is about 4 inches tall?

 

Well it depends on how we define all of those words, but the object is there no matter what we call it.

 

Human definition dictates what constitutes as "physical", "object", "there". There's no cutting our humanity and subjectivity out of our claims. All knowledge eventually boils down to "abstract ideas".

 

Language doesn't change anything about what is actually occuring in the physical world.

 

How can an invisible man in the sky create the universe?

 

If we knew of a mechanism for how Santa could fly around the Earth in a night, then the idea wouldn't seem unlikely at all. Anything that we don't understand or don't have an explanation for will always seem baffling.

 

Even if there was a scientific explanation for flying around the Earth in one night, that still wouldn't explain all the mysterious receipts and a handful of other enigmas. I still stand behind my claim that Santa is nothing but a fictitious child's tale and I have evidence for this claim.

 

The flying around the world thing was just an example. If we had explanations for all of that other stuff then it also wouldn't be mysterious.

 

I didn't say that any IDEA is possible.

 

Then what exactly does, "I don't fully reject any idea with 100% certainty" mean when I ask if you fully reject the concept of Santa Claus?

 

If that is exactly what I said, then what I mean is that I don't fully reject the existence of an object or possibility of physical event. It is just a lot more convenient to say "idea" than to say "physical existence or nonexistence or probability of a physical event".

 

My point is that the existence of a thing in the physical world cannot be determined to be impossible.

 

A wooden four-sided triangle?

 

First of all, no three dimensional object is a triangle.

 

But, anyway, no. It still doesn't exist. You are taking something and abstracting it by calling it a triangle. If we had a wooden object that had 4 sides to it, we would never use the word "triangle" to describe it. If we knew that something had 4 sides, how could it make any sense to say that it only has 3 sides?

 

But really it isn't even possible for a true triangle to exist in our space, let alone a four sided one.

 

What is the point of all of this anyway? How does any of what you are trying to discuss help creationism? Every time I debate a creationist, I feel like I end up discussing what my definition of the word "is" is.


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Language doesn't change anything about what is actually occuring in the physical world.

 

That was never my point. My point is that a lie's existence is just as "physical" as a god's existence. Did Billy tell you he was paying you back? Yes. Did he? No. He lied. The same action would still physically happen no matter what we decided to call a "lie".

 

So, physical, abstract, whatever, it is still an epistemological claim about knowledge and truth.

 

The flying around the world thing was just an example. If we had explanations for all of that other stuff then it also wouldn't be mysterious.

 

Obviously, since one of the prerequisites for being "mysterious" is to not have an explanation. But the big thing is that there are no such explanations. Santa Claus is just a fun absurd concept.

 

But really it isn't even possible for a true triangle to exist in our space, let alone a four sided one.

 

The whole point of the four-sided triangle is just to show that impossibility is possible.

 

And I wholeheartedly agree with you - it is not possible for a triangle to have four sides, just like it's not possible for spaghetti to be sentient and fly, or a jolly fat stranger in red being the one who gives you presents every year via flying reindeer and chimney (WHEN THERE ARE RECEIPTS DIRECTLY SAYING OTHERWISE).

 

Aliens would not be a good example because there is more evidence for alien existence than there is for invisible man existence.

 

I'd like to see the evidence for this claim.

 

What is the point of all of this anyway? How does any of what you are trying to discuss help creationism? Every time I debate a creationist, I feel like I end up discussing what my definition of the word "is" is.

 

When did I ever say I was a creationist? My argument is just that equating God to Santa isn't very logical, but you keep finding entertaining ways to defend an appeal to ridicule.

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Language doesn't change anything about what is actually occuring in the physical world.

 

That was never my point. My point is that a lie's existence is just as "physical" as a god's existence. Did Billy tell you he was paying you back? Yes. Did he? No. He lied. The same action would still physically happen no matter what we decided to call a "lie".

 

So, physical, abstract, whatever, it is still an epistemological claim about knowledge and truth.

 

So then whats the point? A true lie would never exist because we wouldn't call it true and a lie at the same time.

 

The flying around the world thing was just an example. If we had explanations for all of that other stuff then it also wouldn't be mysterious.

 

Obviously, since one of the prerequisites for being "mysterious" is to not have an explanation. But the big thing is that there are no such explanations. Santa Claus is just a fun absurd concept.

 

Intelligent creation is the same thing. Its just a fun story that has no evidence or explanation.

But really it isn't even possible for a true triangle to exist in our space, let alone a four sided one.

 

The whole point of the four-sided triangle is just to show that impossibility is possible.

 

And I wholeheartedly agree with you - it is not possible for a triangle to have four sides, just like it's not possible for spaghetti to be sentient and fly,

 

How do you KNOW that it is IMPOSSIBLE?

 

or a jolly fat stranger in red being the one who gives you presents every year via flying reindeer and chimney (WHEN THERE ARE RECEIPTS DIRECTLY SAYING OTHERWISE).

 

Again, these don't disprove Santa. These just prove that if Santa exists, he didn't come to those people on those years. Or he decided that they weren't worthy of presents. Or maybe he forgot. It doesn't prove that this man is nonexistent.

 

Aliens would not be a good example because there is more evidence for alien existence than there is for invisible man existence.

 

I'd like to see the evidence for this claim.

 

http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/articles/evidence-of-ancient-aliens

 

I'm no expert in the field of extra terrestrial existence but there are many historians who think that aliens may have meddled in human history.

 

Also, the existence of aliens would not need to violate any of our current understandings of the laws of physics, biology, etc. This makes them instantly more probable than something that would violate our expectations of what could occur in reality.

 

For example, imagine we want to investigate the question: "Is there life on this part of the ocean floor?" Imagine person A makes a guess that there are deep sea fish down there, and person B makes a guess that there are zombies down there. Person A's guess is more probable because it doesn't go against anything we have observed elsewhere, even though we might not have ever seen this particular part of the ocean floor.

What is the point of all of this anyway? How does any of what you are trying to discuss help creationism? Every time I debate a creationist, I feel like I end up discussing what my definition of the word "is" is.

 

When did I ever say I was a creationist? My argument is just that equating God to Santa isn't very logical, but you keep finding entertaining ways to defend an appeal to ridicule.

 

It isn't an appeal to ridicule. An appeal to ridiculue would be if I said "You think some magical dude with a beard just performed a magic act and created the universe? How silly!" That is appeal to ridicule.

 

My comparison to Santa is that both beings have the same ammount of evidence for their existence. One who tries to argue for the existence of Santa has the same ammount of ammunition as someone who tries to argue for the existence of a supernatural intelligent being that created the planet, galaxy, life, universe, or whatever you choose.


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