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Thread: The God Delusion
22-05-2012, 04:29 AM #121
Without wanting to delve into my personal history and conversion story too much, let me say that my studies in molecular and microbiology were faith-building and helped me to accept the notion of God and a creation.I very much believe in evolution, but I also believe that the history of our world could have been influenced, guided, and planned for by deity to meet certain purposes.
At this time in my life I ascribe to the Mormon faith. The creation story is a little different for us. We believe that God, with other spirits, planned the mortal world and its inhabitants and the shape they would take. All things were created in the spirit before being created physically. The story of creation thus becomes a tale of design and execution. And, I believe, evolution is the mechanism by which the design is being executed.
As an aside, I am very friendly and respectful to agnostics. I find them generally intelligent and open-minded. I've been an agnostic, myself. But I am beginning to despise these brash, elitist, sneering sorts of Atheists that worship Dawkins.
22-05-2012, 05:11 AM #122
I'd like to work through the reasoning of any religious person here as to why they believe in god(s), just for curiosity's sake - but after they watch this incredibly well-thought-out video:
22-05-2012, 05:34 AM #123
This video is a variation of Russell's Teapot, except instead of the hypothetical teapot it's a hypothetical container. Namely the point being that the answer can't be verified, thus the burden on proof should be on who makes the claim or asserts their answer to be correct.
Which isn't necessarily illogical from their perspective. For example, a person against homosexuality can label it immoral and see it being perfectly logical from their side of the fence, while you can claim it is moral and arrive at an equally logical answer. But who is correct? You can't determine who is correct because there's no way to verify what is correct.
Point being these videos and claims are fun but ultimately mean nothing. The faithful need no proof, the faithless need it, and there's no middle ground between the two. You don't need a thought experiment to prove that, nor does the absence of a universal verifiable fact suddenly render something entirely invalid. Which is just as well because a world run entirely on scientific objectivity without subjective morality wouldn't be much fun at all.
22-05-2012, 07:03 AM #124"You can replace "faith/god" with "morality" and get a similar answer because there is no definitive, objectively-verifiable answer."
Exactly. Which is why the morality system /we design/ would likely be inherently better in the long run for humanity.
"The faithful need no proof, the faithless need it, and there's no middle ground between the two."
I disagree. Society and real-life interactions are the middle ground - to selectively disregard reason (ie. not require proof) when it comes to issues as important as "what are the fundamental rules of the universe", "how should we stand on X scientific/moral challenge", "how should we run our society", or even "how should I spend a great deal of my only life" (in the case of the devout), is really, really dangerous. Which would be fine, but it's not dangerous /just to the believer/. To act rationally is a social obligation.
22-05-2012, 07:51 AM #125But as I said, and as you agreed, things like morality do not have scientific explanations. Science doesn't provide a justification for why I shouldn't just kill someone and take their stuff, nor why I should act honestly, or really do anything that morality compels us to do. As we agreed, there's no absolutes in this realm. It isn't governed by scientific law like electromagnetism, or thermodynamics, or whatever. Under science something can be definitively wrong; for example I can prove to you that there are no surface-dwelling moonbeast cities on the Moon, and you can't deny it. It's an objective fact, it only has one correct answer.
Um... humanity did design religion. We created it, it didn't create itself. I don't understand your point here. Are you just using the term "we" to mean "everyone who agrees with my morality" because if so that's a dangerous path to tread...
Morality does not. You can have an entirely different set of morals to me and still be a moral person by your own and somebody else's definition, as can I. Nobody can definitively say "This is the correct moral to adopt" because there's no universal definition, and little universal consensus (if any). You haven't really disagreed with what I've said - the faithful don't need proof, they just hold their truth to be self-evident, it doesn't need proof for them to believe in it, or they'll find 'proof' in whatever they see (as a ridiculous example, that stupid God's Banana video on YouTube). Someone who does not believe will require proof which they won't find. That statement doesn't mean that what the faithful believe isn't wrong (so far we've found zero evidence for any god/s or space monsters), just that they don't require scientific proof to believe.
There isn't any middle ground; you either believe or you don't. Meeting to decide on issues isn't a middle ground; both come forward either as believers or skeptics. And it isn't just the devout that bring forth 'dangerous' ideas; you can pick a political extremist and get the same result. Hell, even some of the best moves scientifically would be unpalatable for many people.
22-05-2012, 09:33 AM #126
22-05-2012, 01:14 PM #127
But yeah, I realise how that sounds now reading it back. But still it's true, we did construct the systems of belief. Hell Jesus Christ could have been the L Ron Hubbard of their time. I guess Judas might have even been Tom Cruise.
22-05-2012, 01:58 PM #128
Let's just all get COEXIST bumper stickers.
Utopia here we come!Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.
22-05-2012, 06:26 PM #129
I'm still laughing at the idea of the second coming. If some random dude named Jesus (likely surnamed Gonzalez) started preaching about the evils of bankers and for universal welfare and health care, we'd call him a lib'rul commie jew bastard and likely kill him again. Hell, that was basically the plot of the grand inquisitor in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.
22-05-2012, 07:07 PM #130
22-05-2012, 07:41 PM #131
22-05-2012, 07:43 PM #132
22-05-2012, 08:02 PM #133
22-05-2012, 08:15 PM #134
22-05-2012, 08:23 PM #135
I was listening to an interesting podcast today all about colour (http://www.radiolab.org/) and one of the more pertinent things that it talked about was how it was discovered that civilizations evolved their words for colours over time. The ancient Greeks for example didn't have a word for blue for instance. Green, red yellow all existed, but blue was outside their perception. In fact it's the colour that generally comes last in terms of realization (or visibility) to nearly all civilizations, principally because it's not found that much in nature, and to most early people the sky was just the sky. Now that's not to say that blue didn't exist, but people didn't distinguish it from green.
Last edited by Kadayi; 22-05-2012 at 08:55 PM.
22-05-2012, 08:29 PM #136
22-05-2012, 11:28 PM #137
22-05-2012, 11:46 PM #138
2x3 = 2+2+2. 23 = 2x2x2. 32 = 2^2^2 = ((2+2)+(2+2))+((2+2)+(2+2)).
I mean, dude, if you can't think this deep, no wonder religion is so prevalent.
23-05-2012, 12:02 AM #139They're both concepts. A level of abstraction doesn't stop the concept from being directly verifiable
You can physically demonstrate addition. Multiplication requires a person to engage with the abstract, and make a jump beyond the perceivable. Addition and multiplication are distinct concepts.
Your relentless desire to argue for the sake of it never fails to amuse tbh Nalano.
The original point was to highlight the fact that much of what is, exists within the mind and by cultural agreement. Like the thing about colour and the absence of blue.
Last edited by Kadayi; 23-05-2012 at 12:09 AM.
23-05-2012, 12:24 AM #140
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
- Washington, DC
Also, your relentless desire to be subtly belligerent is somewhat offset by your use of the word "chortle", Kadayi.
Last edited by outoffeelinsobad; 23-05-2012 at 12:33 AM.