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Michael Martin

Is There a God?

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A painting does not paint itself.

 

 

The wind blew itself, the sun "shined" itself, the brain though of itself.

 

Just because something is complex, does not mean it must have been created by a creator.

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A painting does not paint itself.

 

 

The wind blew itself, the sun "shined" itself, the brain though of itself.

 

Just because something is complex, does not mean it must have been created by a creator.

 

But doesn't a painting reflect a painter, a car it's designer, the building it's architect?

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What you say is true, when an intelligent being creates something it can be a reflection of them in many senses, but how does that relate to what we're talking about here? Many things are created without someone or something actually doing the 'creating'. Mountains, valleys, canyons, cliffs...these are created by rivers, oceans, the wind and rain, even the movement of earth itself.

 

Just because something is, doesn't mean something intelligent made it.

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What you say is true, when an intelligent being creates something it can be a reflection of them in many senses, but how does that relate to what we're talking about here? Many things are created without someone or something actually doing the 'creating'. Mountains, valleys, canyons, cliffs...these are created by rivers, oceans, the wind and rain, even the movement of earth itself.

 

Just because something is, doesn't mean something intelligent made it.

Can you explain in consideration of Newton's Laws of Motion how the universe started to spin? The photon of the sun travels to earth enters earths atmosphere hit's the ocean causes the water to evaporate which then turns to rain hitting the mountain creates work all the way to the ocean and repeat.  So if there was no start than was the cycle always a cycle and the cycle has no beginning or end?  If so the sun must have always shown, but science says that even the sun is finite like a fire in a fire place and that is supported by the law of thermodynamics.  

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No, I cannot explain it. There are many things which we cannot explain. However, attributing the unexplained to some higher being is not providing explanation, its avoiding it.

 

We once thought the rain was 'the god's will'. Now we have a greater understanding for the mechanics behind the process, and it can be explained. Will we ever understand everything in the universe? Time will tell, I personally doubt it. But that does not bother me, I'm content with the understanding we have now :)

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What you say is true, when an intelligent being creates something it can be a reflection of them in many senses, but how does that relate to what we're talking about here? Many things are created without someone or something actually doing the 'creating'. Mountains, valleys, canyons, cliffs...these are created by rivers, oceans, the wind and rain, even the movement of earth itself.

 

Just because something is, doesn't mean something intelligent made it.

Can you explain in consideration of Newton's Laws of Motion how the universe started to spin? The photon of the sun travels to earth enters earths atmosphere hit's the ocean causes the water to evaporate which then turns to rain hitting the mountain creates work all the way to the ocean and repeat.  So if there was no start than was the cycle always a cycle and the cycle has no beginning or end?  If so the sun must have always shown, but science says that even the sun is finite like a fire in a fire place and that is supported by the law of thermodynamics.  

 

 

Well, we're not even sure if the universe does spin. Some scientists think so. It goes back to the age old question, if the universe does spin, spinning in relation to what? That goes to the very heart of the definition of "space", which scientists like Galileo, Newton, Mach, Einstein each have explored and redefined each time.

 

But that's beside the point. Even if you take the view that we're all caught up in some cosmological merry-go-round, or maybe we're even riding on the back of a Giant Star Turtle, I still don't see how that is in anyway relevant to whether an intelligent creator exists.

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Apparent design or complexity is an indicator that an intelligent designer might possibly have created it. Just because something is a possibility doesn't mean it's true, BUT:

 

- Either 'a god' created it or some cosmic process created it

- Let P1 be the probability that the source of a universe is 'an intelligent being or some process initiated by an intelligent being'

- Let P2 be the probability that the source of a universe is 'a cosmic process not initiated by any intelligent being'

 

Then, for any given universe that exists, if we accept causality, then P1 + P2 = 1

 

Then the probability that 'a god' exists (independent of any other information or evidence) is at least P1, or, in other terms, 1-P2. The only way you can completly and utterly dismiss a god's existence is to make P1=0 and P2=1, in other words claim that there is 100% confidence that absolutely everything we see and know was started by a cosmic process with no designer. That's a ridiculous claim to make at this point in mankind's understanding of science, nature, big bang theory, evolution theory, etc. In my mind I think the most anyone could go in the cosmic process direction is about P1 = 0.3, P2 = 0.7

 

Edit: If you go into this whole thing with the assumption "a god" doesn't exist, then you must logically conclude that P2 = 1 only because there are no other options. But in that case, what can you contribute to this discussion except "I don't belive a god exists therefore a god does not exist"

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Simeon, the argument works the other way too:

 

If you go into the whole thing with the assumption "a god" does exist, then you must logically conclude that P2=0 only because there are no other option, but in that case, the only thing you can contribute to this discussion is "I do believe a god exists, therefore a god exists."

 

Which doesn't really help either...

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Apparent design or complexity is an indicator that an intelligent designer might possibly have created it.

 

Is it? There are many geological formations, or natural phenomena, which are so well formed or complex that one would have thought that they were made by someone but, in fact, were formed without the agency of an intelligent being (man or otherwise). For instance, this structure looks pretty man made:

 

nesshead_natureblocks3.jpg

 

From the website from which this was taken:

 

In Scotland, near the eastern coastline of the Caithness district, these magnificent rocks look like ancient building blocks and man-made walls. Instead, ravaging winds and the turbulent sea have carved out the rocks over many centuries. A human’s visual perception mistakes natural forces for complex right-angled blocks and walls. Nature, not technology, molded and carved these millions of colored stone layers.

 

 

It's important to note the part about "visual perception". "Apparent" leads one to the same mistake. It may appear to you that someone designed something. You've already built into your expectations that that there is some sort of designer, as part of an assumed, underlying fact. In other words, "a positive bias".

 

As for complexity being evidence of the possibility of the existence of a creator, I would recommend reading some of arguments about complexity and Darwin, for instance http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity (not exactly the most tone neutral article but it gets the point across).

 

 

Then the probability that 'a god' exists (independent of any other information or evidence) is at least P1, or, in other terms, 1-P2. The only way you can completly and utterly dismiss a god's existence is to make P1=0 and P2=1, in other words claim that there is 100% confidence that absolutely everything we see and know was started by a cosmic process with no designer. That's a ridiculous claim to make at this point in mankind's understanding of science, nature, big bang theory, evolution theory, etc. In my mind I think the most anyone could go in the cosmic process direction is about P1 = 0.3, P2 = 0.7

 

I myself would probably not say with 100% certainty that there is 100% no chance of there being a god. Unfortunately, the very defect in reasoning you illustrate is the symptom of many religious people (no offence). Often, the mere possibility that god or gods may exist leads them to 100% certainty of their existence. That's not to say that there aren't any self-examining religious people, who examine the basis for their faith. But all too often, it seems that some religious people take a very dogmatic approach to belief and faith all too quickly.

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I agree that the mere possibility of a god's existence should not, in any way, lead one to conclude that a god exists and start believing that.  Unfortunately factors like peer pressure and wanting to fit into a certain cultural norm around them can cause people to believe things in the spiritual realm that may or may not have any truth to them.

 

The irony in all of that is that IF a spiritual belief (i.e. the existance of a god) is, in fact, true, the most effective way to communicate or spread the belief in that is socially i.e. through story telling, cultural or traditional practices, meetings, music, etc which you will find in any major religion.   The big deal is whether or not there's any truth in it to start with.  People have demonstrated time and time again it's possible to spread an outright lie to a large group of people.  Certainly not all of what is taught/spread in all religions is true, since different religions contradict each other pretty seriously on points like one vs many gods and what a god or gods would want us to do (what sort of life/worship is pleasing/expected).

 

For me, that's why disucssing / debating the existence of a god (or not) is an interesting (and perhaps very valuable) thing to do, as long as it can be done without bias from of all the cultural/religious stuff. 

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Well I'm a Roman Catholic and I struggle with my faith alot. I believe that there is a god because in my opinion it's seems wierd or odd that the universe was created by an "accident". Debating ones faith is a very good way to, learn about it, defend and grow closer to it.

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I also find it weird to think that the universe was created by accident.  I don't mean the formation of stars and planets, that's not such a big deal.  I mean, where did all the matter / energy and all the space come from?  It just eternally existed with no beginning and no end? Don't tell me it's just an illusion - that poses even bigger questions.  I also don't have a problem with evolution creating something like new species, but elevating a life form from cell level to cells that can specialize into organs is a pretty big jump, and elevating a life form from one that can't reproduce to one that can is also a pretty big leap.  It's got to take an awful lot of lightning striking an awful lot of primordial soup over an awful long time frame.

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I also find it weird to think that the universe was created by accident.  I don't mean the formation of stars and planets, that's not such a big deal.  I mean, where did all the matter / energy and all the space come from?  It just eternally existed with no beginning and no end? Don't tell me it's just an illusion - that poses even bigger questions.  I also don't have a problem with evolution creating something like new species, but elevating a life form from cell level to cells that can specialize into organs is a pretty big jump, and elevating a life form from one that can't reproduce to one that can is also a pretty big leap.  It's got to take an awful lot of lightning striking an awful lot of primordial soup over an awful long time frame.

 

To be honest, I don't see what's so weird about it. Certainly, it's no weirder than thinking that there is some supernatural being who created the entire universe. That theory raises a lot more questions itself. How did such a being come to exist? Did he/she/it just spring into being?

 

As for evolution's jumps, I would again recommend reading about irreducible complexity. Richard Dawkins also explains how the theory of evolution accounts for the fact that we have very complex, specialised organs developed over millions of years from simple cells.

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I also find it weird to think that the universe was created by accident.  I don't mean the formation of stars and planets, that's not such a big deal.  I mean, where did all the matter / energy and all the space come from?  It just eternally existed with no beginning and no end? Don't tell me it's just an illusion - that poses even bigger questions.  I also don't have a problem with evolution creating something like new species, but elevating a life form from cell level to cells that can specialize into organs is a pretty big jump, and elevating a life form from one that can't reproduce to one that can is also a pretty big leap.  It's got to take an awful lot of lightning striking an awful lot of primordial soup over an awful long time frame.

Just saying, 2 billion years in an awfully long time, and the entire surface of the Earth is an awful lot of primordial soup. Cell specialization is also pretty common, even in prokaryotes (it's called slime mold). Also, asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction isn't really that hard of a leap either. Bacteria exchange genetic material through pilus all the time, and species such as jellyfish, mushrooms, and some plants can use both forms of reproduction.

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To be honest, my last post was a bit of a rant departing from objective discussion.  But thanks for your answers.

 

Do you (on the life not created by a god side of this debate) accept something like Wikipedia's timeline?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

 

Suppose it's correct and the species Homo has really been around for 2.5 million years.  How did we get by with no catastrophic events wiping out all life (except maybe in the oceans) for that long?   A species resembling humans/apes with only rudimentary technology would have had to survive some crazy temperature fluctuations, ice, fire, atmospheric conditions, etc. somewhere on the planet.  Sure, it's survival of the fittest, but is it really plausable?  Food, drinking water, oxygen, and shelter had to be available for that whole time.

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To be honest, my last post was a bit of a rant departing from objective discussion.  But thanks for your answers.

 

Do you (on the life not created by a god side of this debate) accept something like Wikipedia's timeline?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

 

Suppose it's correct and the species Homo has really been around for 2.5 million years.  How did we get by with no catastrophic events wiping out all life (except maybe in the oceans) for that long?   A species resembling humans/apes with only rudimentary technology would have had to survive some crazy temperature fluctuations, ice, fire, atmospheric conditions, etc. somewhere on the planet.  Sure, it's survival of the fittest, but is it really plausable?  Food, drinking water, oxygen, and shelter had to be available for that whole time.

 

I believe in things substantiated by facts. Whilst is may seem highly unlikely that earlier versions of man would have survived in such conditions, the fact is that they did. We are living proof of that fact, being descendants of those early men. Also, more and more evidence continues to be uncovered which shows how these early men did indeed survive such harsh conditions.

 

Furthermore, even if a particular end result may seem highly unlikely, I don't see how this in any way evidence in favour a creator.

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To be honest, my last post was a bit of a rant departing from objective discussion.  But thanks for your answers.

 

Do you (on the life not created by a god side of this debate) accept something like Wikipedia's timeline?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life

 

Suppose it's correct and the species Homo has really been around for 2.5 million years.  How did we get by with no catastrophic events wiping out all life (except maybe in the oceans) for that long?   A species resembling humans/apes with only rudimentary technology would have had to survive some crazy temperature fluctuations, ice, fire, atmospheric conditions, etc. somewhere on the planet.  Sure, it's survival of the fittest, but is it really plausable?  Food, drinking water, oxygen, and shelter had to be available for that whole time.

 

I believe in things substantiated by facts. Whilst is may seem highly unlikely that earlier versions of man would have survived in such conditions, the fact is that they did. We are living proof of that fact, being descendants of those early men. Also, more and more evidence continues to be uncovered which shows how these early men did indeed survive such harsh conditions.

 

Furthermore, even if a particular end result may seem highly unlikely, I don't see how this in any way evidence in favour a creator.

 

 

On the contrary, the fact that it seems unlikely that earlier versions of man would have survived should cast doubt on "we are living proof of that fact". 

 

To be more specific, if surviving for a million years is the only possible explanation for humans being here today, there is no doubt.  If there is any other possibility at all, that other possibility has to be ruled out or at least it has to be many times less likely to dismiss it.

 

If there is 1% chance that humans could survive for a million years under harsh conditions, and a 1% chance that 'a god' created them, it's still 50/50 for the purposes of this debate.

 

You point to more and more evidence of humans surviving harsh conditions.  I presume you are referring to archeological evidence.  If you are, for me that evidence doesn't weigh on either side of the equation.  It's simply evidence that doesn't contradict either evolution or 'a god'.  Unless you think there is some weight to the statement "if there was a god, and that god created a universe including human life, that god would probably not create any artifacts, fossils, etc." 

 

Maybe this is circular and I have my head in the sand.  Am I crazy to think that if a god could create the universe that the simulated passage of time (simulated past fossil record, simulated electromagnetic radiation record) would be a no-brainer?   Or is this just a conclusion I have come up with trying to explain the possibility of the existence of a god?

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I don't have a particular problem of the concept of a "God," because it can be so loosely defined. I do however do not accept organised religion. I wish people just embraced being human, and try to be the best person they can be -- religion does not need to fill that gap. Imo religion is just a failed attempt at some sort of Science.

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:@)B)

 

            Hey! Greetings to all here and there...!  Quite the "Theme" you got here!  Pretentious indeed,but very Human in nature!

 

My 2 cents... :  Isn't it nice to think there's is Someone or Something capable of assuring to us the continuity of our essential being,

 

beyond the natural span of our earthen LIVES...?  Aha, I do. Super Nice.  To know that after all our toiling and suffering -with some

 

sparse happiness and bright points -  on this Earth of ours, we'll be received by this Wonderful, Fantastic, beyond-Superb Being and 

 

at last  have the Rest and Joy needed, in a Glorious setting... all of this with the Love and eternal care of  the Creator himself...! 

 

Insuperable! Doesn't it?  I do like it!   And I think all of you have thought of that too...  The problem it seems is,  to actually BELIEVE

 

IT...!   Why? Ha! It is obvious,isn't it, my CN pals?  'Cause we need a Fundamental "element" called "FAITH" !  And what IS Faith? 

 

Well, it is a   "something", a "substance".  AND, has been called a "Demonstration" of that which haven't been  seen...!  ? ? ?   Easy

 

enough,right?  NO!!!  Not at all...! Otherwise EVERYBODY would exercise it for their undoubtedly convenience ...!  And the

 

observable phenomena is somewhat to the contrary.  Millions around the World can't believe it. That's a heck of a lot of

 

unbelievers...!  Because to confide one's faith to a "system", philosophy or religious thought means,among other things, a selfgiving

 

to that "knowledge" without hesitations,with all the possible might from within...! Like "believing" your money is at the bank waiting for

 

 

you to be claimed thru your plastic "bankcard" when you need it,and things like that...  But,"God"...   God is a jump way to

 

uncomfortable to make without well established "proves" .  Problem is,  God is not easy to put thru labs' tests and physical

 

experimentation,ho-hum.  And lengthy discussions about what's wrong with life and the world, even the universe itself, can not be

 

definitive at shunning the Deity!  But at the same time presents a questionable development  in our mortal realm...  Can We, indeed

 

accuse God for all that goes wrong,for all the evil and sadness on Earth?   Is God responsible for the good and the greatness

 

surrounding us ?  Is better not to think of Him? Or, we better find out the Truth of His existence?  What if God IS real...?  Just that we

 

don't understand Him...? That we don't exercise FAITH on Him, 'cause we are hurt, or we are Proud...?  Those,my friends, are

 

questions that usually sprout from the inside of each human being on Earth that haven't used of the "something", the"substance" that

 

is capable of "demonstrate" what can not be seen... 

 

That Power called "FAITH".                        

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I think we're all just a part of some type of kids science experiment. It's very egotistical for us to think that we are the be all and end all of the universe. Man creates God in his own image, not the other way around. The things people do in the name of God is very unsettling. Killing and torturing other people of your species would really piss me off if I were the Supreme. Yet people stick with it. Why doesn't any religious text explain the science of our universe to us? It's still a mystery for the most part. And what about paralell universes? Top physicists claim that the question isn't IF they exist, the real question is HOW MANY exist. Very interesting to me, of course I'm not so self absorbed that I'd believe that any creator would only make sustainable life in one place. If you want a real example of what I'm trying to say imagine this, you're body is covered in germs right now. If you knew how many, you'd live in a shower. Germs are living organisms, they help us, they hurt us, depends on which tribe they belong to. Think about other micro-organisms living in different places on earth, like cracks in the sidewalk. Because we can't hear or speak to them, we generally overlook them but the fact is, you have an entire universe living on your body. They know nothing else. Much like humans on Earth, small and insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. Also the smaller you are, the longer your concept of time. Fruit flies live 24 hrs. They're born, grow, make babies, have babies, get old, then die. To us it's just 24 hours, to them it's a lifetime. Weird huh?

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lonzomac, on 29 Jul 2013 - 12:03 PM, said:

 

I think we're all just a part of some type of kids science experiment. It's very egotistical for us to think that we are the be all and end all of the universe. Man creates God in his own image, not the other way around. The things people do in the name of God is very unsettling. Killing and torturing other people of your species would really piss me off if I were the Supreme. Yet people stick with it. Why doesn't any religious text explain the science of our universe to us? It's still a mystery for the most part. And what about paralell universes? Top physicists claim that the question isn't IF they exist, the real question is HOW MANY exist. Very interesting to me, of course I'm not so self absorbed that I'd believe that any creator would only make sustainable life in one place. If you want a real example of what I'm trying to say imagine this, you're body is covered in germs right now. If you knew how many, you'd live in a shower. Germs are living organisms, they help us, they hurt us, depends on which tribe they belong to. Think about other micro-organisms living in different places on earth, like cracks in the sidewalk. Because we can't hear or speak to them, we generally overlook them but the fact is, you have an entire universe living on your body. They know nothing else. Much like humans on Earth, small and insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. Also the smaller you are, the longer your concept of time. Fruit flies live 24 hrs. They're born, grow, make babies, have babies, get old, then die. To us it's just 24 hours, to them it's a lifetime. Weird huh?

B)

 

Many Atomic & Subatomic particles are known to "live" for just millionths or even billionths of a second of time... like the germs,those do not "think" or "talk", just ARE ...! And then transform to other type of "energy". Without more personality than a ... than a, an atomic/subatomic particle, or a germ is able to develop... You have Personality; you are able to THINK. A particle, or a Germ does NOT! You see? you are a Person. And that makes you Superior over THAT, that don't have it,saying the least. When you go down lower than what you are you are exercising against what you ARE... possibly towards nothingness... but remember that NOTHING COMES from NOTHING, and this is a Scientifically explained "truth" among US Humans...! With personality... that can THINK & Talk...! :)

 

___________

 

About those parallels Universes... aren't those a mathematics "product" that even Einstein didn't like much 'cause it made his Relativity theories look like fiction' stories, and God as playing Dice with Life? Which, btw,the notable and genial physics theoretician Stephen Hawkins has said IT is what "God" is actually doing (He has no qualms with declaring Einstein wrong. I think Ol' Al is more photogenic,thou :089: ).

 

What can you tell me about those "Strings"...? :psy:

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