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Forums > Social Discussion > God, what's the nature of... ?

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Definition of god...



Written by: wikipedia
God is the term used to denote the Supreme Being ascribed by monotheistic religions to be the creator, ruler and/or the sum total of, existence. Conceptions of God vary widely, despite the common use of the same term for them all.





Or according to Dictionary.com



Written by: Dictionary.com
God

A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.



The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.



A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.



An image of a supernatural being; an idol.



One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.



A very handsome man.



A powerful ruler or despot.





"God" is a term that is used by many to decribe something totally different. Just as "love" I consider the word "god" to be as one of the least defined.



What's your conception/ understanding of "the supreme being"?



Tell me/us... To you: is it a "very handsome, perfect man, ruling the universe"? Or is it more the "universal life force" - as in my personal understanding - that is in all beings and objects that exist/ don't exist... ???


EDITED_BY: FireTom (1139497747)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


Pommy Bubbles
Pommy Bubbles

stranger
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Member Since: 19th Aug 2005
Total posts: 20
Posted:Originally Posted By: WoodlandApplewell, technically in logic you cant prove a double negative, so its impossible to prove there is no God using logic.

So Pommy bubbles, getting back to the topic, if you dont believe in a God, how can you have a definition of Him?

God is a concept, that in times gone by has been a stopgap for science

and why do you keep saying 'him'?

lots of people have been using this term

if god is a formless entity throughout the universe how can it have a gender

and people asking how to disprove god???

i have 7 arms.

seeing as you don't know my how would you disprove me? through experience? that is a form of evidence. whre is the evidence for God?

and don't try to cite the 'design' of the world and all those other theological ideas i'm talking about hard evidence



WoodlandApple
WoodlandApple

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Location: Australia
Member Since: 1st Dec 2009
Total posts: 474
Posted:Mynci, I dont disagree with your last point at all. I guess Im looking at it from a what do things mean to us, not just from a what they are. Identities and our relationship with things are defined by our experiences, and tend to shape our way of thinking.

I believe that there is evidence for God outside of blind faith. And my point at trying to get people to think more about their own definition of God is in a way trying to make people realise that you cant use your definition of God to undermine someone else's.

Pommy Bubbles;
I refer to God as Him because Im christian, and the bible refers to God as "He"; so I do also. I also capitalise the first letter to show it as a noun.

I wouldnt be able to disprove your having 7 arms using logic. which was my point, you cant prove a negetive using logic. I could use logic to prove you only have two arms, or less.

I refuse to get drawm into a proof thing with you particulary as you have made it clear you are going to refute anything I might say if you personally dont agree with it. Its a pretty handy way of always being right.

I could easily throw it the other way, where is the hard evidence for the evolution origins of life? Or if thats too hard just enough hard evidence to prove evolution, it is harder than you think.


sticks and stones my break my bones, but ski patrol will save me.


Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:twocents You cannot prove, nor disprove a being whose very nature is beyond our understanding.
Neither can you prove or disprove the nature of such a being.

On this topic there is only belief based on faith, or a lack of belief.

Even the belief that there is no god is a belief based on faith.

The lack of belief is to believe neither option, not to believe there is a god and not to believe there is not one, knowing only that we do not know.
peace


hug


FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:.... whereas "knowing that we don't know something" would already indicate that we at least know that bit. ...

And personally I'm not certain of even this anymore...

Hence we might all be much closer to the answer than we are ready to admit to ourselves and others.
Maybe ALL that what we project and imagine - each of it - is a bit of 'that' what really is.

Maybe that what we want God to be doesn't need any proof, because all IS proof of it. Maybe we're getting caught up in semantics, comfuzzling/struggling to put in words something that in reality needs to be experienced (thanks Mynci hug ). Maybe the idea of the flying spaghetti monster is as valid as that of any other cult or religion... ?

If God is omnipotent and omnipresent, then all of that what is t/here has a right to exist and to be expressed.

If I would have a distinct experience of that what God is then all that what is around me is beyond any judgment because it simply is an expression of the divine, an expression of beauty.

Beyond my own cheekiness and attempt to prove everybody else wrong and my own ass to be the only right(eous) one: I just came back to the state of simply being interested in how that divine manifests within someone I call 'you'... and how this 'you' looks at the exact same as 'me', seeing it (completely) different...

wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8735
Posted:Originally Posted By: WoodlandAppleMynci, I dont disagree with your last point at all. I guess Im looking at it from a what do things mean to us, not just from a what they are. Identities and our relationship with things are defined by our experiences, and tend to shape our way of thinking.

I could easily throw it the other way, where is the hard evidence for the evolution origins of life? Or if thats too hard just enough hard evidence to prove evolution, it is harder than you think.

When you say you believe there is evidence do you believe evidence will be found or do you just believe we already have the evidence? or is this another example of religion relyinig on belief / faith wink

Proof of evolution:

1 - every living organism has to come from a live parent - true
2 - Not all creatures are the same some are simple some are comples (vertebrates and invertebrates for example) - true
3 - There is fossil evidence of both complex and simple creatures layered through the strata - depest rock layers = no life, middle layers simple life, upper layers many types of life and the earliest fossils are all simple the more recent layers more complex - in every excavation there has not been 1 example of this trend breaking (and it would take only 1)

if every living creature had to have at least 1 parent and fossils from before do not match any creatures living today it means what was around before was our ancestry if it was different to us now we must have gone through speciation (evolution) this is evidentary fact, once we find a break in the trend then darwinism will have had it's day. Those who cannot see this as evidence need to go back and spend a little more time in the classroom and stop repeating tired arguments that are now outdated.

Also dogs are on the verge of speciation we have selectively bred them for so long that there are several breeds which are already unable to reproduce togther (although for purely physiological reasons however this is the first step to speciation.

finally - whales have vestigial hip bones meaning they had an evolutionary past on land as this does not occur in any other marine creature.
Giraffes have a nerve (vagus nerve) that runs from the throat to the brain which loops down round the aorta and then up the neck to the brain, this has been proven as occuring due to evoultion because fish have the same nerve, however in fish it runs straight from the throat to the brain, however as the neck extends and the head angles down the distance between the brain and throat increases and the most direct route is no longer the route the nerve can take because in fish it passed behind the aorta straight up, in mammals it now has to go down, round the aorta and back up.

True most of the evidence is indirect but the volume of evidence the frequency and the fact that even humans have used selective breeding to prove the process works builds a clear picture - (like the wobble of a star showing a planet in orbit)

Also there is the clear and total lack of ANY evidence of any other method for the diversity of life, god(s) would have had to create large populations of each creature otherwise they would never have survived, there is a genetic diversity of only about 800 bengali tigers (many more individuals, and may be a different species of tiger I can't recall exactly) and even this is seen as too small a population to save the species.

Oh and the Miller-Urey Experiment also shows how bio-molecules can be formed using earths early atmosphere from inert chemical compunds also present in earths early past for a start of biology from chemistry

No you will not SEE evolution occuring as it takes thousands of years in most cases, but now we understand the process it will be possible to keep track of species to see if they do change it may only take 60,000 years but time is on darwins side (if we can only survive that long)

frown

I'm very disappointed you brought up the "prove evolution" card, it's a little depressing when those with faith try and batter down probably the most tried and tested scientific biological principle, for no other reason than because it has been tried before, only those with no capacity for reason would even suggest it wasn't a real and valid process, or doubt it as a mechanism cfor change.

I'd prove he didn't have 7 arms and legs using logic by asking where they shopped for clothes wink

one other thing
Quote woodland apple:

"I believe that there is evidence for God outside of blind faith. And my point at trying to get people to think more about their own definition of God is in a way trying to make people realise that you cant use your definition of God to undermine someone else's."

What like trying to convert non-believers, or the crusades wink I think that's the pot calling the kettle black, I'm sure the bible says to go and spread the word of god - without spreading it and convincing people there WAS a god in the first place no one would believe becausae you would be unaware of god(s) existance as there is no evidence. without using your own view to undermine someone elses you wouldn't have religion, we aren't born believing in god someone has to tell us they believe he exists and use their definition of god to undermine the individual they are trying to convert - just like your parents did to you when you were so young you can't even really remember - it's called indoctrination of the young, commonly called grooming tactics it's what cults and paedophiles use to gain the confidence of children. I'm sorry for putting it like that but it's the unfortunate truth and the core behind my dislike for the church.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8735
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Sontwocents You cannot prove, nor disprove a being whose very nature is beyond our understanding.
Neither can you prove or disprove the nature of such a being.

On this topic there is only belief based on faith, or a lack of belief.

Even the belief that there is no god is a belief based on faith.

The lack of belief is to believe neither option, not to believe there is a god and not to believe there is not one, knowing only that we do not know.
peace

sorry but that's cobblers laugh3 the belief there is no god is a belief based upon lack of evidence not faith.

You CAN prove a beings existance by communication in corporeal form - a form of address which apparently occurred quite a lot 2000 years ago, maybe this god fella died? the pictures all have him as looking pretty old and no-one has seen it for quite a long time. also if we don't know if it exists how can you know it's nature is beyond our understanding without having first communicated? this comment is pure sophistry.
Good try though wink laugh3


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:You can prove some types of beings existance, Mynci... but only if it interacts in ways we can are familiar with.

Originally Posted By: Myncialso if we don't know if it exists how can you know it's nature is beyond our understanding without having first communicated?

Why force the ideas solidified by the laws of this realm onto other forms of existance that is potentially unlike anything ever encountered?

There is no limit to possibility. The flying spaghetti monster is as valid a concept as anything else, even the infinite number of things nobody has ever dreamed about.

By founding your ideas based off our historical "interactions" with God you limit your concept of what "god" is. This makes your arguments deceptive by not specifying that it refers to a limited subset of the concept of a higher being. Does that mean your mention of "this comment is pure sophistry" hints at your own comment rather than mine?



Originally Posted By: Myncithe belief there is no god is a belief based upon lack of evidence not faith.

Do you not put faith in the lack of evidence to indicate that there is no god?

And do you not put faith in the logical process that brought you to that conclusion?


hug


Teamo
Teamo

Almost again
Location: Finland
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2009
Total posts: 124
Posted:Sorry to jump to the discussion uninvited, but that seems to be the trend anyway, and this is a topic of interest to me. If you feel it too inappropriate for me to cut in the middle of your dialog, you're free to ask me to leave.
Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Son
Why force the ideas solidified by the laws of this realm onto other forms of existance that is potentially unlike anything ever encountered?

There is no limit to possibility. The flying spaghetti monster is as valid a concept as anything else, even the infinite number of things nobody has ever dreamed about.
When someone claims that something "exists" outside this realm, they are already attributing it to something that as far as we know happens only inside of this realm. It's perfectly fine to say that it is a possibility, or a possible concept. But to claim that it actually manifests is another thing, and needs grounding upon to be a reasonable statement. And the only convinving grounding one could possibly have would be based on the laws of this realm, because those are the only ones we know of. But then again, if one is saying that it isn't in our realm, this leads us to conclusion that there can't be a coherent statement made to support the existence or non-existence or said thing.

So yes, the possibilities are endless. But just because there can't neccesarily be positive evidence either way, that doesn't mean the probability of it actually existing is 50/50. The probability of a flying spaghetti monster actually existing is almost infinitely minute when compared to the probability or it being made up. That's because we know things are very easy to make up, and it happens all the time, we have evidence and past experience of it. There's no such evidence for a creature that defies the laws of physics. (Actually the FSM was started by a satired letter to a school council to protest the teaching of ID, saying that by those standards the concept of FSM should be tought aswell.. :p)
So as close as we can get to absolute certainty without actually getting there, we can say that the FSM doesn't exist. The concept of absolute certainty is useless anyway, because no one can have absolute certainty about anything. That would lead to nothing that anyone ever says having any bearing, if one only relied on absolute certainty.
Quote:By founding your ideas based off our historical "interactions" with God you limit your concept of what "god" is. This makes your arguments deceptive by not specifying that it refers to a limited subset of the concept of a higher being.
The word "God" has to have some meaning of it's own, otherwise it's useless. If God is synonymous with "higher being", the term becomes vague beyond practical use. What does "higher being" even mean? I admit that there are more powerful and bigger beings than I am (aka other humans and animals). But in no way are they supernatural, which is what most people refer to when they say God. But the supernatural in your standards would be "a limited subset"? Then I totally agree that higher beings do exist, but we have other names for them and there's no need to call them God.

If one has a different view of what God is, they are welcome to define it. Either way, the concept of God has to be defined, in order for anyone to know what you are talking about.
Quote:Do you not put faith in the lack of evidence to indicate that there is no god?

And do you not put faith in the logical process that brought you to that conclusion?

Here too you redefine faith to be a word that holds no meaning to it. Belief is an assumption made about something based on the knowledge one has. Faith is belief without evidence. But in your terms anything that can't be known with absolute certainty, must be relied on with faith. Again, going with that definition, nobody could ever say anything definitive without having it be on faith. And that would leave the word "faith" without any true meaning, because there would be nothing to compare it to.

But even after redefining the word, a person who believes in the supernatural isn't left on the same grounding as someone who doesn't. Going with what seems to be your definition of faith, one could say that they have faith that things that are empirically verifiable, are so. The believer has faith in not only that, but in that things that aren't empirically verifiable, are so aswell. So the believer is still left with more faith, which I think was the issue here in the first place.

But to go to the actual definition of the word faith: belief without evidence. Belief in a lack of God is still more reasonable than a belief in one. Because absence of evidence is evidence of absence. So the non-believer still has more evidence on his side.
And there are of course mountains of empirical evidence that the logical process is a working process, which produces accurate results and lets us make observations and conclusions about the world. Therefore it doesn't take faith to believe that logical processes work.



WoodlandApple
WoodlandApple

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Location: Australia
Member Since: 1st Dec 2009
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Posted:Originally Posted By: Mynci

When you say you believe there is evidence do you believe evidence will be found or do you just believe we already have the evidence? or is this another example of religion relyinig on belief / faith wink
I believe there is evidence now, or quite frankly I wouldnt be christian.

Quote:
Proof of evolution:

1 - every living organism has to come from a live parent - true
2 - Not all creatures are the same some are simple some are comples (vertebrates and invertebrates for example) - true
3 - There is fossil evidence of both complex and simple creatures layered through the strata - depest rock layers = no life, middle layers simple life, upper layers many types of life and the earliest fossils are all simple the more recent layers more complex - in every excavation there has not been 1 example of this trend breaking (and it would take only 1)
This is not direct evidence. These three points are so general and can be used to support any number of claims. There is no proof in these, proof would actually be the thousands of little details that link these three points.

Quote:if every living creature had to have at least 1 parent and fossils from before do not match any creatures living today it means what was around before was our ancestry if it was different to us now we must have gone through speciation (evolution) this is evidentary fact, once we find a break in the trend then darwinism will have had it's day. Those who cannot see this as evidence need to go back and spend a little more time in the classroom and stop repeating tired arguments that are now outdated.
Again you are using reasoning to make one link from an evolutionary belief to another, and have again not offered any FACTS. Also just to let you know, speciation is not evolution. Speciation is the removal of genes from a species. Evolution is the adding of them. Before you argue this then please go and actually read Darwins books. Because he himself makes the distinction. Darwin made three theories. Variation (Speciation), natural selection (survival of the fittest) and evolution. Creationism only argues against evolution. In fact speciation is how creationists defend the spread of animals after the flood.

Quote:Also dogs are on the verge of speciation we have selectively bred them for so long that there are several breeds which are already unable to reproduce togther (although for purely physiological reasons however this is the first step to speciation.
Finally getting to actual proof. Though again your defending speciation which is what I agree with. I would also add that these new dog breeds are more prone to disease, have a shorter life span and seem to contradict the idea that we evolve into something better.

Quote:finally - whales have vestigial hip bones meaning they had an evolutionary past on land as this does not occur in any other marine creature.
Nice, some actually proof. Allow me to retort.
On of the problems with whale land to water evolution is that a land whale (for want of a better term) would have had to get rid of its pelvis. As this would crush the reproductive orifice with its tail movements through water. But a shrinking pelvis would not be able to support limbs for walking. So the transitional animals wouldnt be suitable for land or sea. This would fly against the theory of natural selection (unless the whale knew that it would eventually swim in future generations. Hmmmmm) Also the hind part of the body must twist on the fore part, so the tails sideways movement can be converted to a vertical movement. Now given a 5 million year timeline, with a generation time of say 10 years, popular genetic calculations say that no more than 1700 mutations could occur. Not enough for a land to sea evolution to have occurred.

As you can see, it is not as simple as, a whale shares something in common with land animals, it must have been one. This evidence could just as easily describe a common maker.


Quote:Oh and the Miller-Urey Experiment also shows how bio-molecules can be formed using earths early atmosphere from inert chemical compunds also present in earths early past for a start of biology from chemistry
First of, scientists were able to produce only small amounts of less than half of the 20 amino acids required for life. The rest require much more complex synthesis conditions. This can prove that this experiment that it is not enough to create life.
Maybe a quote from a biology professor at oxford is in order:
Soon after the MillerUrey experiment, many scientists entertained the belief that the main obstacles in the problem of the origin of life would be overcome within the foreseeable future. But as the search in this young scientific field went on and diversified, it became more and more evident that the problem of the origin of life is far from trivial. Various fundamental problems facing workers in this search gradually emerged, and new questions came into focus . Despite intensive research, most of these problems have remained unsolved.
Indeed, during the long history of the search into the origin of life, controversy is probably the most characteristic attribute of this interdisciplinary field. There is hardly a model or scenario or fashion in this discipline that is not controversial (Lahav, N., Biogenesis: Theories of Lifes Origin, Oxford University)


Quote:No you will not SEE evolution occuring as it takes thousands of years in most cases, but now we understand the process it will be possible to keep track of species to see if they do change it may only take 60,000 years but time is on darwins side (if we can only survive that long) well actually, current theories show that in order for the transition from ape to man, roughly 130 mutations needed to occur every generation, which I think it is perfectly reasonable to have noticed SOME sort of intermediates, the lack of any cannot be so easily dismissed. Evolutionists want to jump in a straight line from A to Z while completely ignoring the rest of the alphabet.
Quote:I'm very disappointed you brought up the "prove evolution" card
Hold on, its OK for people to challenge and demand from Christians, but not OK for it to be reversed, why are you not disappointed in pommy bubbles? VERY hypocritical.
Quote: it's a little depressing when those with faith try and batter down probably the most tried and tested scientific biological principle Are you kidding me? Biogenesis is one of the most CONTRAVERSIAL of all sciences. Im starting to think your faith is blinder than mine smile
Quote: What like trying to convert non-believers, or the crusades wink I think that's the pot calling the kettle black, I'm sure the bible says to go and spread the word of god - without spreading it and convincing people there WAS a god in the first place no one would believe becausae you would be unaware of god(s) existance as there is no evidence. without using your own view to undermine someone elses you wouldn't have religion, we aren't born believing in god someone has to tell us they believe he exists and use their definition of god to undermine the individual they are trying to convert - just like your parents did to you when you were so young you can't even really remember - it's called indoctrination of the young, commonly called grooming tactics it's what cults and paedophiles use to gain the confidence of children. I'm sorry for putting it like that but it's the unfortunate truth and the core behind my dislike for the church.
I apologies if I came across that way, I have the same arguments against people pushing their faith of God, as I have for those that push their disbelief in God. If anyone came on this site scream hellfire and brimstone I would be first on the flame wagon. You would also notice that I only revealed my personal beliefs when directly asked. I was not groomed from birth to believe in God, I was raised Athiest, I also have mixed feeling about the church which is why I raised the distinction earlier about religion and faith. Im not going to argue against your point of view yet I was saddened when you related my faith with paedophilia, and while I am trying to respect your stance It hurts that you would put me in that category.
Honestly a lot of churches are not like that (at least the ones I go to) and by putting us all in the one basket and then making hurtful generalised claims are only dividing the community more. The attitide you bring to the table is why I get discriminated against every time I walk around wearing a cross.


sticks and stones my break my bones, but ski patrol will save me.


WoodlandApple
WoodlandApple

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Location: Australia
Member Since: 1st Dec 2009
Total posts: 474
Posted:oh, and to clear the air, I wasnt actually trying to get anyone to prove anything, I was showing that trying to prove anything to a hostile judge that gets to define what to reject and hat to keep is really hard.
you can throw evolutionary claims at me all day and I can find problems and dissect them all day, as you could if I go around trying to prove creation.

Trying to 'prove' anything is hard.


sticks and stones my break my bones, but ski patrol will save me.


triptrician
UFO Spotting
Location: Queensland
Member Since: 26th Feb 2010
Total posts: 350
Posted:The only religous teaching i follow is treat others how you would like to be treated(in my limited understanding of religions this is taught in just about evry religion in some way shape or form). Therefore the big man(if He truly exists) is only treating us how we are treating Him.

Just my theory on Why Bad Sh*t Happens


would rather have a bottle-in-front-of-me than a frontal lobotomy

"The dangers of life are infinate and among them is safety"(geothe)


Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:ReVo, welcome to the discussion... I'm going to keep this pretty short for reasons that may or may not become apparent.


I wasn't really saying that the probability of anything was 50/50. I was saying the the probability is by its very nature incalculable.

On the definition of 'god' I threw in the term "higher being" quite simply because in discussions on this forum I have had certain things assumed about my beliefs that drew the discussion into petty semantics.

I referred to a creator being or a being with some sort of limited or unlimited power to manifest itself in ways that are considered beyond the scope of humans.

"Supernatural" is an interesting word to use... why could it not be natural to this being?

On the topic of faith I totally disagree that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, this assumes that this being is measurable by our own standards, which theres no reason to assume.

The only thing to deny faith is proof, so if something is empirically verifiable then theres no real reason to bring faith into it, unless of course, you wanted to put faith into your sensory perceptions accurately conveying information, which isn't at all helpful to our discussion.


You say it doesnt take faith to believe in logical processes?

Logical processes are carried out by people. People are not perfect. Logical processes are often carried out by people holding contrary positions... Have both sides produced accurate results? Are they both true?

Or is it possible to have flawed logic? In which case you would have to have faith in your own reasoning skills.




I find the instant aversion that people have to certain words based on their connotations to be pretty funny.


hug


Teamo
Teamo

Almost again
Location: Finland
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2009
Total posts: 124
Posted:Originally Posted By: WoodlandAppleyou can throw evolutionary claims at me all day and I can find problems and dissect them all day
In this case, I hope you don't mind if I give it a shot, since I don't think Mynci's points were particularly poignant, even if they were correct or not. Fossils aren't really what makes evolution a valid theory, they are just bonus stuff that fits into, and seem to be abiding within the constraits of the theory. There are much straighter ways to get to the bottom of what evolution is about without getting into the nitty-gritty about specific transitional forms. Because those are usually where people get confused, and it's easy to spread misinformation once you have gotten people confused.

And I would agree, there is no such thing as "proof" in science, it is a mathematical term. But I would argue that there is an extremely convincing case to be made for the Theory of Evolution, as is it as widely accepted in academia as the Theory of Gravity.
Quote: Also just to let you know, speciation is not evolution. Speciation is the removal of genes from a species. Evolution is the adding of them. Before you argue this then please go and actually read Darwins books. Because he himself makes the distinction. Darwin made three theories. Variation (Speciation), natural selection (survival of the fittest) and evolution. Creationism only argues against evolution. In fact speciation is how creationists defend the spread of animals after the flood.

I think there is a misunderstanding here of what the Theory of Evolution, as it is understood now, is actually about. Variation and Natural selection are parts of the Theory of Evolution, not theories in and of themselves. The theory has evolved (sorry for the pun) a lot since Darwin, but here's how it basically goes in its most simplest logical form:

Premise 1: Everything that lives, dies.
Premise 2: Life produces with slight variation, with true inherency. AKA genes and attributes are passed on from one generation to another, with small random changes (this is the Variation you mentioned earlier)
Premise 3: Lifeforms that are better suited to their environment are more likely to pass on their genes than ones that aren't (Natural Selection)
Premise 4: The environment changes depending on time and place
Conclusion: As the environment changes, the portion of a given species(which has random variation in its gene pool due to Premise 2) that has the attributes to most aptly survive and reproduce in the new environment will become the prominent form of that species, because they will be producing more offspring(which shares the attributes of its predecessors due to true inherency) than their less adapted counterparts.

This is evolution, which leads to speciation. To correct you, evolution is not specificly about increasing the amount of genes, neither is speciation specificly about reducing unwanted genes. The fact that Darwin believed so doesn't make a difference, because he didn't have the understanding of genes and DNA that we do now. Evolution and speciation are both just about change in the genes, not specifically adding or substracting. Within Premise 2 of Variation is included all kinds of variation. This includes genes multiplying, genes dissappearing, altering, creating new genes, cutting a gene in half etc.. The point is that all of the variation is random and produces all kinds of results with equal probability. And from that matte of all different kinds of variation, Natural Selection picks out the ones that stand the test of being able to pass themselves on to another generation. Speciation is basically a result of evolutionary processes over enough time, and it isn't really sensical to approve the first but deny the latter.

Quote: I would also add that these new dog breeds are more prone to disease, have a shorter life span and seem to contradict the idea that we evolve into something better.

Theory of Evolution doesn't say that we evolve into anything "better", it doesn't have a specific direction to go towards. It simply states that those more adapted to the current environment will more likely pass on their genes than those that are not well adapted. This just leads to change, as the environment changes.
For example, in one environment it might be an advantage for a species to have dark fur instead of a light one so as to not get caught by predators. This doesn't change the fact that some individuals will be more lightly colored than others, and there might even be small amounts that are very light. Now, if the environment changes so that it's actually more beneficial to have light fur for hiding, then those light ones will soon become the majority as the dark ones get killed by the predators.

The only differences between dog breeding and natural evolution are the forces being applied upon the gene pool. In the case of dogs, the agent causing the selection is humans. In the case of evolution it is the environment. And unlike the environment, which breeds the animals to survive and reproduce better, we breed dogs to have whatever attribute we want. Therefore it shouldn't be expected that more breeded dogs should have longer lifespans, because that's not what they are being bred for.
For example when breeding to get a small breed (like was done with chihuahua), the breeder takes the smallest pups from a given litter of some dog breed and mates it with other small pups in order to bring together all the genes that cause small size in said dogs.(In nature, if smallness were an advantage to survival, this would happen naturally as the smallest pups of the litter would be more likely to survive until mating age.) Mixing together multiple small breeds of dogs will concentrate the smallness-genes even further. Many of the health issues that you mentioned stem from the process on inbreeding, which is widely used to isolate certain gene-related attributes.


I wont go into the topic of abiogenesis (you said biogenesis but I think you meant Abiogenesis - as in life coming from non-life), because it really is a separate issue from evolution. Abiogenesis is admittedly a relatively new branch of science, but new discoveries are made all the time. But in any case, Theory of Evolution doesn't have anything to say about the origin of life. It just deals with the diversity and progression of life.

Quote:well actually, current theories show that in order for the transition from ape to man, roughly 130 mutations needed to occur every generation, which I think it is perfectly reasonable to have noticed SOME sort of intermediates, the lack of any cannot be so easily dismissed. Evolutionists want to jump in a straight line from A to Z while completely ignoring the rest of the alphabet.

No one knowledgable about evolution would have actually said that man evolved from apes. What evolution says is that apes and humans share a common ancestor, which ended up branching into 4 different lineages of population in several different stages. 3 of them evolved into the great apes (more specifically the modern gorilla, chimps and orangutan), and the one branch led to us. So we did not evolve from apes, they are more like cousins to us.

And just to clarify, every species and fossil that ever existed is a transitional or an intermidiary form of some kind. Evolution is a gradual path, it doesn't jump from one species to another, like you said. Every species is in process of transitioning from something it was before into something that it will become in the future. So to say that we don't have intermidiary or transitional forms identified is misinformed. And since the time scale of these changes are within millions of years, and the differences within the primate genome are considerably less than 1%, I'm very sceptical about the figure of 130 mutations per generation (as if mutations even happened evenly per generation) despite of the fact that it falsely treated apes as the ancestors of humans.
But fossils and time effiency issues are exactly the kind of detail that I don't really want to get into, because they are hardly relevant and unnessecarily tedious.

Quote:Are you kidding me? Biogenesis is one of the most CONTRAVERSIAL of all sciences. Im starting to think your faith is blinder than mine smile

Again, I'm pretty sure you mean Abiogenesis, because the subject of biogenesis (= the idea of life generating more life) is certainly not debated, not even among creationists. More often than not they actually falsely try to use it to prove that life can't come from non-life (which is ofcourse under the realm of abiogenesis, not biogenesis, thus making that argument a non sequitur).

It's obvious that you've done some research on the subject, I'm not questioning that. I'm just getting the idea that your sources aren't the most reliable ones, if they are ones stating things such as "humans supposedly evolved from apes" (which understandably is a common strawman argument against evolution for someone not properly informed on the subject)
As for the subject of faith and religion, I don't personally mind what someone believes as far as they aren't harming anyone else. Besides, evolution doesn't inherently have any stance on theism/atheism. I do however consider spreading misinformation to be harmful, and I would suggest researching more about the current understanding of evolution to avoid stating such strawman-arguments as "evolution is the adding of genes". Most reliable sources for this would for example be various big, widely recognized scientific organizations, because they will more likely have better data than small individual scientists. Plus smaller communities are more prone to bias, unlike huge prestigious communities that entail thousands of scientists.

If you are going to debate against evolution, atleast debate against what it actually says, not what creationist websites claim it says.

Edit: @ Mother_Natures_Son, I'll reply to you later in a separate post, as it is now 5:04 AM and I wanna go to sleep grin . But I'm glad you responded, I'll definitely get back to you.

EDITED_BY: ReVo (1268795074)
EDIT_REASON: See note



FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:wow that's a whole LOT to catch up with...

Rather than saying: "wow, how amazing, I've never seen it that way and though it actually doesn't make any sense to me, because of ... ! and have you ever considered ... ?" we claim to know because of this or that scientific proof... umm wink

It seems to be part of human nature (being a 6 billionth part of mankind) to sit on a microscopic spec in a huge solar system, itself being a microscopic spec in a galaxy that itself is not even a billionth fraction of the entire universe and claiming to have solid evidence of all that which is existing in the entire Cosmos... laugh3

sorry if that came across as condescending hug but "science" has always pretended to have the ultimate answer... until more recent studies have proven otherwise.

Not THAT long ago we were still sitting on a discworld, with ALL stars circling around it... crazy wink

on a sidenote: has any of you ever taken into consideration that it might only be the physical body that has evolved from a common ape/human ancestor? But that this consciousness/ awareness has always been around? And further that the same consciousness/awareness is present in all beings alike, only bound individually to physical limitations and a genetic memory? (*)

To me that entire ID-topic is like saying that water has been designed by mankind, just because someone found a bottle.

Welcome to the discussion, ReVo wave

(*) btw this is not a thread about "ID vs. evolution" - there is already another thread on this topic in existence (which I can't find at this point) - I feel it would be sad to have this thread drifting "off" in this direction, because neither evolution nor ID dis/proves the existence of God.

This would more be an open exchange about "what that term "God" means to you".... wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


WoodlandApple
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Posted:Revo, your absoulutly correct, I was dumbing down what I was saying so that it fits into context of my arguement, that people will be able to find flaws in anything you say if they are so inclined.

Yes the definition of evolution has evolved, yet when in a creation vrs evolution context I feel it is important to distinguish the things that both have in common and those that seperate it.The newer terminology is based on the presumption that the older models were correct. IT is easy for people who believe in the whole to merge its theories, the differences of opinions still revolve around the original principles. It seems that science (and a lot of creationism for that matter) runs with the dangerous assumption that it is pursued without presuppositions.

I dont agree with the idea you propose that every fossil is transitionary. I mean I understand your premise. But for want of a better term there is no missing link. Just A and Z. To suggest that there is absolute proof of a theory that has many inherant problems is silly.

Also, guilty blush I based the figure of mutations that on the estimate of a 6 million year guess as to common ancestry vrs the roughly 45 milliion changes that have to be made, as well as a few chromosonal fusions; and changed sequence of proteins. essentially it was an educated pull out of my arse to emphasis the fact that with soo much change occuring very little of it is documented.

EDITED_BY: WoodlandApple (1268806862)
EDIT_REASON: clearing up a point in my head


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WoodlandApple
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Posted:oh and I used terms like ape and land whale because these creatures that the evolution came from havnt been found yet; have no names and cant yet be identified. They are common terms that people can relate to. I assumed that the semantics of a name wouldnt change its context as I was more about pointing out my argument against argument, Im sorry if I confused.

Your right I do study this stuff, and I make no claims to be an expert so I speak very much in the laymans terms. I read from every source I lay my grubby little hands on because these things are central issues to my core faith and I want to be as informed as possible.


sticks and stones my break my bones, but ski patrol will save me.


brenonfire413
brenonfire413

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Posted:NPR Radio had this interesting discussion a few months back where the guest speaker was talking about this theory that the capacity for faith to be influenced by genetics. That certain gene sets made a difference in whether people had the capacity for faith, or if people basically only believed in what they had experienced in life. How these differences helped early man to survive by having some with the capacity to keep going in dire or hopeless situations because they had those ideas and inclinations to hold on to when other people would say "censored it" and give up. It was a very interesting show and maybe in my free time I'll see if I can find a linkie to the archived episode. I don't know if I believed everything he said, but it was good food for thought nonetheless.

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Teamo
Teamo

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Posted:@ WoodlandApple, I'll try to find the thread that FireTom mentioned and continue the evolution-discussion there, as it is a bit offtopic here. But rest assured I'll get back to it.

Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Son
I wasn't really saying that the probability of anything was 50/50. I was saying the the probability is by its very nature incalculable.
Agreed, the probability can't be numerically calculated, but that doesn't mean we can't know whether the probability is closer to 0 than it is to 1, or the other way around. In a sentence: The claim that something exists outside our universe is unfalsifiable (meaning just what we've been talking about, that positive evidence for it or against it could never be obtained as far as we know), and therefore not a claim to be taken scientifically seriously.

Besides, the burden of evidence is always on the one making the positive claim. Just like in good justice systems a defendant is innocent until shown otherwise, a thing is considered non-existant until there is reason to believe otherwise. If this was not the case, then every single concept ever concieved by anyone could be considered existant, which would render the word "existance" completely meaningless. Because there wouldn't be anything that didn't exist. And "things that exist" only mean something in comparison to "things that don't exist".
Quote:
I referred to a creator being or a being with some sort of limited or unlimited power to manifest itself in ways that are considered beyond the scope of humans.

"Supernatural" is an interesting word to use... why could it not be natural to this being?
I don't quite understand the question, and I think we're using the word "natural" in a different sense. "Natural" in "supernatural" to me means somethings that is a part our known reality.. and in that sense the question "Couldn't supernaturality be natural to this being?" is nonsensical. But if with "natural" you mean "a common characteristic feature", then you're back in a claim that is unfalsifiable and can't be intelligently discussed, other than in a hypothetical sense.
Quote:
On the topic of faith I totally disagree that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, this assumes that this being is measurable by our own standards, which theres no reason to assume.

The only thing to deny faith is proof, so if something is empirically verifiable then theres no real reason to bring faith into it, unless of course, you wanted to put faith into your sensory perceptions accurately conveying information, which isn't at all helpful to our discussion.

If a being isn't causing anything to happen or occur in the realm that we perceive, then it is doing the exact same thing that a non-existant thing would be doing. So it's not proof of it's non-existance, but it is evidence for it (to specify, negative evidence).

I think it's important to remember the distinct difference between evidence and proof, and to think which is a more useful term to use. I know you know the difference, because you pointed it out yourself in the "Atheist&Agnostic" thread a while back (yes, I dug it from the grave and read through it tongue2 ). You're saying that the only thing to deny faith is proof. I assume you mean absolute proof,(because that's what the word basically means). But absolute proof is another concept that can't be intelligently discussed, because there is no such thing aside from the world of mathematics, from which the term originates. By setting "proof" as the only bar that a thing has to succeed in order to be knowable, your render both the words "knowledge" and "faith" totally meaningless. Because "things that are known" only mean something in comparison to "unknown things", much in the same way as "things you have faith in" only mean something in comparison to "things you don't have faith in". You are thrown into the pit of nihilism where no one can ever know anything. If you only went by proof, you would have to admit that you can't know if your sensory abilities are accurate, which is the exact thing you admit not to be productive at all.

This is why I say the use of the word "proof" is in the same way not productive at all, and I use evidence instead. The only productive way of defining "faith" is "belief without evidence", because "belief without proof" as a definition gets us nowhere.

Quote:
You say it doesnt take faith to believe in logical processes?

Logical processes are carried out by people. People are not perfect. Logical processes are often carried out by people holding contrary positions... Have both sides produced accurate results? Are they both true?

Or is it possible to have flawed logic? In which case you would have to have faith in your own reasoning skills.
According to my definition of faith (which as I explained earlier, is a sensically usable definition unlike the one you seem to have), it is not needed to put trust in logic. I don't claim people or their reasoning skills to be perfect, but we have evidence for what works and what doesn't work. Logical processes work. If you have a problem with my definition of faith, you're more than welcome to object.
Quote:
I find the instant aversion that people have to certain words based on their connotations to be pretty funny.
I came to this same realization when reading your posts in the "Atheist&Agnostic"-thread. People who quite obviously are atheists refuse to call themselves that because they think it's some sort of a leap to use the term. Atheist and Agnostic are not mutually exclusive terms. Here's why:

Gnosticism and Theism are two different sets of subjects. One deals with belief (=an assumption made about reality based on the information we have), one deals with knowledge. They can be mixed in various sorts of ways. These definitions simply come from the root word and the "a-"prefix, which means "without":
Theism = belief in a god
Atheism = lack of belief in a god
Gnosticism = certain knowledge
Agnosticism = lack of certain knowledge

From these 4 different categories we can get 4 different kinds of combinations:
Gnostic theist = Someone who believes and knows there is a god
Agnostic theist = Someone who believes in a god but does not claim to know for certain.
Agnostic atheist = Someone who doesn't believe in a god but doesn't claim to know for certain.
Gnostic atheist = Someone who doesn't believe in a god and knows that there isn't one.

The only one of those positions that doesn't hold the burden of evidence is Agnostic Atheist, which is what I think most atheists would identify as (I can't of course speak for everyone, but that assumption comes from past experience and talking to atheists). And a lot of people who identify themselves as agnostic are also atheists, but for some reason just are too afraid of the label. Admittedly, a lot of agnostic atheists, if the notion of absolute proof were to be removed from discussion, would consider themselves gnostic atheists. I would consider myself in this group aswell.

I'm sorry if it seems like petty semantics to you, but to have an intelligent discussion we need to be straight about what words mean and what they don't mean. Otherwise misconceptions are not only unavoidable, but also magnified.



WoodlandApple
WoodlandApple

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Posted:I think you are using the words intelligent and really meaning scientific. correct me if Im wrong but there are other accepted ways of thinking than just the scientific one. And to be honest scientific reasoning is not much use in this type of topic.

Revo, what sort of credance do you give to intuition, 6th sense, womans intution etc?

Also on a side note I am heading off climbing (yay!) for 3 or four days so will be unable to respond until I get back.


sticks and stones my break my bones, but ski patrol will save me.


Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
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Posted:Originally Posted By: ReVoAgreed, the probability can't be numerically calculated, but that doesn't mean we can't know whether the probability is closer to 0 than it is to 1, or the other way around. In a sentence: The claim that something exists outside our universe is unfalsifiable (meaning just what we've been talking about, that positive evidence for it or against it could never be obtained as far as we know), and therefore not a claim to be taken scientifically seriously.

How can you attempt to make any judgement on somethings possibility when we don't understand the parameters by which it operates?


This in some ways relates to what you addressed next regarding the "supernatural".

My aim in suggesting the supernatural was natural was simply to highlight that that which is supernatural to us isn't necessarily supernatural in another realm (A realm which could potentially house millions of 'gods', each complete with their own hobby universes to entertain themselves as they go about their normal lives)


Originally Posted By: ReVoIf a being isn't causing anything to happen or occur in the realm that we perceive, then it is doing the exact same thing that a non-existant thing would be doing. So it's not proof of it's non-existance, but it is evidence for it

To me, this doesn't provide any evidence save that it is evidence for the concept that if there IS indeed something, then it operates under a different set of rules to ourselves... or that it no longer cares, not that it does not exist.

Originally Posted By: ReVoYou are thrown into the pit of nihilism where no one can ever know anything.

Knowing that someone doesn't know for certain is more liberating and meaningful than knowing in the first place. Implying its nihilistic assumes that only knowledge is meaningful and the search for knowledge means nothing.

Originally Posted By: ReVoAccording to my definition of faith (which as I explained earlier, is a sensically usable definition unlike the one you seem to have), it is not needed to put trust in logic.

How about if I put it a different way? You seem to be using "Logical processes" as a process by which things can be ascertained. My original usage of it was somewhat different and probably incorrect.

What if I said that you need to put faith into your usage of logical processes?

Just as mathematical processes can be trusted, but not always can you trust someones usage of a mathematical process, so it would take faith in ones own knowledge of the mathematical process to trust that the numbers are all in the right places and as such the conclusion is the right one.
Originally Posted By: Myself!
I find the instant aversion that people have to certain words based on their connotations to be pretty funny.
You have no idea how funny it is to myself when it applies directly to me! grin grin

My aversion is based on speaking to people that don't understand the definitions you've put forward there. I've come across them before and still choose not to use them, despite having the same 4 sets, yet naming them differently in order to make it simpler for those not used to using the complete terminology.
I choose to use Atheist and Theist as the absolutes, this is the gnostics.

Then Agnosticism I break into absolute agnosticism or soft agnosticism...

There is another reason for this, because I don't even feel I fit into the other system.

I would be classified an Agnostic Atheist.... but I also have some form of theistic beliefs that are based on "ifs" as well as probabilities.

I believe IF there is a god, then it does indeed love me. (IF there isnt, then I am probably the luckiest guy on the face of the earth, or I'm the subject of a truman showesque situation)

Even you yourself have wanted to put more variation into the term, which is why I use only the three terms with a note added to "agnostic"



Edit: I'd also like to add that as far as the practical usage of the word "knowledge" goes there are varying degrees to what we know... I know with a large amount of certainty that I am wearing clothes... I know with a much smaller amount of certainty what actually goes into a Dim Sim.

Science admits this in that there are "theorys" and "laws"

But using scientific approaches to something that most likely exists outside our own frame of existance is illogical, science covers what we can discover, not what it is impossible for us to discover.

EDITED_BY: Mother_Natures_Son (1268877892)


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Mynci
Mynci

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Posted:Originally Posted By: WoodlandApple

Finally getting to actual proof. Though again your defending speciation which is what I agree with. I would also add that these new dog breeds are more prone to disease, have a shorter life span and seem to contradict the idea that we evolve into something better.

Sorry but you seem to completely misunderstand the process of evolution creatures do not evolve into something "better" they evolve into something more specialised, or more focused to a particular niche or to a specific role, which generally leads to extinction when the niche no longer exists or the adaptions become extreme,

Quote:finally - whales have vestigial hip bones meaning they had an evolutionary past on land as this does not occur in any other marine creature.
Originally Posted By: WoodlandApple
Nice, some actually proof. Allow me to retort.
On of the problems with whale land to water evolution is that a land whale (for want of a better term) would have had to get rid of its pelvis. As this would crush the reproductive orifice with its tail movements through water. But a shrinking pelvis would not be able to support limbs for walking. So the transitional animals wouldnt be suitable for land or sea. This would fly against the theory of natural selection (unless the whale knew that it would eventually swim in future generations. Hmmmmm) Also the hind part of the body must twist on the fore part, so the tails sideways movement can be converted to a vertical movement. Now given a 5 million year timeline, with a generation time of say 10 years, popular genetic calculations say that no more than 1700 mutations could occur. Not enough for a land to sea evolution to have occurred.

Actually again wrong, the whale has an up and down movement to it's tail because it used to have legs, the forward motion of running animals gives whales and dolphins the up and down tail motion not evident in any fish with no land history, watch footage of a 4 legged animal running like a dog or a tiger, whales had no "twisting" movement. As to the pelvis, it would not get crushed, the bouyancy of water is easily enouogh to support the weight of a creature which spends all of it's life in water, the legs only shrank because the land animal having moved back to water (much like a hippo) no longer required legs due to the bouyancy of water, as such they where able to shrink at a similar rate as the tail developed, there waas no "transitional animal" a creature with legs moved into the water and adapted to fit there, it never came out and as it's tail grew the reproductive orifice would move down and away as the legs shrank over generations

check out this link showing images of probable whale lineage and you will see that your explaination here is slightly flawed anatomically

http://www.squidoo.com/whale-evolution
br>
Originally Posted By: WoodlandApple
Hold on, its OK for people to challenge and demand from Christians, but not OK for it to be reversed, it's fine to question but the fact remains that the questions that are asked change every generation as the creations arguments against evolution are tried tested and found wanting or proved incorrect, due to empirical evidence and data. Religion is yet to offer 1 single peice of solid evidence to the contrary for their beliefs they use soley the argument that the proof against is insufficient and fail to offer evidence to the contrary that stands up to any form of testing.

Quote: it's a little depressing when those with faith try and batter down probably the most tried and tested scientific biological principle

Originally Posted By: WoodlandApple
Are you kidding me? Biogenesis is one of the most CONTRAVERSIAL of all sciences. Im starting to think your faith is blinder than mine smile

You have me misquoted there - I wasn't saying this about Biogenesis I was saying this about evolution. yes I agree that biogenesis is still to be proved, however, although the Miller-Urey experiment does not have ALL the answers it DOES prove that biochemical agents can be formed from inert chemical compounds, it is the first step, religion has had 2000 years to bolster it's defences and science has had but a fraction of that time to come up with the answers, however they are coming albeit slowly

I don't mean to be contrary but religious arguments today seem to be more arguments against discoveries of science than offering up their own proofs, it is this factor which saddens me most because it seems Religion is arguing for ignorance rather than answers, the faithful believe they have the answers and no longer need to look for them science is by definition trying to prove everything wrong trying to find answers.
I agree I dislike the Church more than religious people in general it smacks of hipocrasy. I'm very surprised to hear you were brought up atheist, that is unfortunate as I don't believe any child has the right to be brought up to believe either way, they should be allowed to examine the evidence for themselves when they are ready. I didn't want to link the church with paedophilia I was suggesting that the church developed a tactic which has been taken by those reprehensibles and hasn't been used for anything good.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
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Posted:Why is it always evolution vs christianity... I understand its because in the bible it said god created all the plants animals of the earth "as they are today"... but why does that discount Evolution?

If all the plants and animals of the world were in a state of constant evolutionary shift, then why is it held to be that God did not do this?

If he were my God, I'd claim it and say it was a pretty clever idea of His.


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Mynci
Mynci

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Posted:Didn't the bible say in the beginning he made all things perfect? also it says god made man in HIS image when there appears to be proof that man has descended from Apes therefore is the christian god an ape?

I admit I'm not 100% on the above so it's more a question. It's also the way that when things in the bible are proved false the church defends it as being allogorical, whereas before it was believed fact, like the adam and eve story has been distanced by the church as not actual because it is laughably unlikely.

The reason it is always Christians versus evolution is because they started it wink as soon as the theory was published it was the christians who jumped to try and prove it wrong, who push the creationist argument. Very few taoists, budhists, muslims or Jews tend to pick at this argument, possibly because they can see the errors with the backlash against christianity from scientific atheists. Those that do don't seem to join in here, most of those on here arguing for religion tend towards the christian view and it's not a discussion if I lay into Muslim beliefs on evolution here without a muslim to discuss with as Muslim beliefs are not represented I don't attempt to flatten them, it's one sided and no fun at all playing alone wink it's nothing personal, just you christians can put up a fight the others hide or roll over (see I CAN complement christians on something hug at least you stand up for yourselves)


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Teamo
Teamo

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Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonHow can you attempt to make any judgement on somethings possibility when we don't understand the parameters by which it operates?

This in some ways relates to what you addressed next regarding the "supernatural".

My aim in suggesting the supernatural was natural was simply to highlight that that which is supernatural to us isn't necessarily supernatural in another realm (A realm which could potentially house millions of 'gods', each complete with their own hobby universes to entertain themselves as they go about their normal lives)
Yah, we can't make any judgements about it really. I'll give you that, there's no disagreement. But the burden of evidence still stands. Until there is reason to think otherwise, it should for all means and purposes be considered non-existant. And that isn't me trying to make any logical judgement about the nature of the thing itself, that is me reasoning how claims of this kind should be dealt with in order to have the most correct possible view of reality.
And that ofcourse only applies if one cares whether or not one's beliefs match reality or not.

Quote:
Knowing that someone doesn't know for certain is more liberating and meaningful than knowing in the first place. Implying its nihilistic assumes that only knowledge is meaningful and the search for knowledge means nothing.
I agree that the acceptance of the irrelevance of absolute knowledge is profitable. But in addition, I am in fact implying that yes, the search for absolute knowledge is also irrelevant, because it's something we can never achieve. But that doesn't discount the relevance of knowledge based on evidence, or the search for it. In other words: Knowledge based on evidence is the best we have and is the best we ever will have, so the best option is to follow it, instead of sticking around waiting for absolute knowledge to come by before making decisions or judgements about reality.
Quote:
How about if I put it a different way? You seem to be using "Logical processes" as a process by which things can be ascertained. My original usage of it was somewhat different and probably incorrect.

What if I said that you need to put faith into your usage of logical processes?

Just as mathematical processes can be trusted, but not always can you trust someones usage of a mathematical process, so it would take faith in ones own knowledge of the mathematical process to trust that the numbers are all in the right places and as such the conclusion is the right one.

I'm still of the opinion that faith is a completely wrong word to use for this, so instead I'll use "admittance of uncertainty". And in that regard I completely agree with you. There is no denying the uncertainty in our usage of logical processes. There are ways of improving them, aka studying. But one can never be absolutely certain, I agree. I would still argue though that since logical processes are the best we will ever have as far as understanding the world around us (as far as the track record shows anyway), questioning them is nothing short of unproductive and trivial.

Quote:My aversion is based on speaking to people that don't understand the definitions you've put forward there. I've come across them before and still choose not to use them, despite having the same 4 sets, yet naming them differently in order to make it simpler for those not used to using the complete terminology.
Alright, I find your position understandable, though not one that I would ever hold myself. I think standing up for what I actually believe to be true and justified instead of "stooping down" due to the ignorance of others is the more moral thing to do. Furthermore, I think that if one doesn't use the specific definition of the word "atheist" or "theist" etc. which applies to all (or atleast as many as possible) of those who use that term of themselves, it is unfair towards those people. I think the definitions I use sufficiently cover that standard, but I might be wrong.

Quote:I believe IF there is a god, then it does indeed love me. (IF there isnt, then I am probably the luckiest guy on the face of the earth, or I'm the subject of a truman showesque situation)
Why would you assume that though (this is a genuinely curious question)? How do you respond to a sort of deist who thinks that god is probably true but that it doesn't interact with the physical world, even less that it has feelings towards human life?

Quote:But using scientific approaches to something that most likely exists outside our own frame of existance is illogical, science covers what we can discover, not what it is impossible for us to discover.
Yes, it's impossible for science to give a definitive statement on anything like that. That isn't an excuse to postulate the existance of anything and everything that isn't within our reach of study, though..

Quote:
Edit: I'd also like to add that as far as the practical usage of the word "knowledge" goes there are varying degrees to what we know... I know with a large amount of certainty that I am wearing clothes... I know with a much smaller amount of certainty what actually goes into a Dim Sim.

Science admits this in that there are "theorys" and "laws"
I would agree that there are different degrees of the certainty of knowledge. I wouldn't say they are different degrees of knowledge, though. If there is evidence, there can be knowledge. Certainty is really the only variable after that.
As for "theories vs laws", the term "theory" can be used in various different definitions. For example in String Theory or M Theory or the Metaverse Theory, the word implies (as I think you were suggesting) that they are mostly speculation and not at odds with facts in certainty. However, "theory" as is Theory of Gravity or Theory of Evolution simply means a compilation of certain facts and laws. And those kinds of theories are at odds in certainty with the facts and laws that they include. But I digress.

PS:
Quote:Why is it always evolution vs christianity... I understand its because in the bible it said god created all the plants animals of the earth "as they are today"... but why does that discount Evolution?
If all the plants and animals of the world were in a state of constant evolutionary shift, then why is it held to be that God did not do this?
Maybe it's because it doesn't exactly go well with literal interpretation of the bible (according to which the Earth is only 6000 years old), which I think a lot of fundies want to latch on to wink.. However, I don't really know myself either..

EDITED_BY: ReVo (1268918760)
EDIT_REASON: Added a paragraph I forgot to put in the first time



Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:Originally Posted By: ReVoUntil there is reason to think otherwise, it should for all means and purposes be considered non-existant.

Why? It hurts my brain how any assumption can be made about something of which we have no knowledge.

What about schrodingers cat?

Whats the reason for not throwing the burden of proof back onto the atheist assumption? Because lets face it... its an assumption based on nothing, its not based on any real evidence to suggest there isn't a god, only that there isn't significant evidence to suggest there is one.

If I was to lock a warehouse and fill it with something... you can't tell me whats in there, you can't tell me whats not in there. Whatever IS in there isn't giving away what it is... does it mean you don't believe theres anything inside?

I don't see any reason you've given me that 'faith' is the wrong term to use unless of course its supposed to be self evident... in which case it sounds a tad like a theistic mindset... but thats not really important(or is it?), I'll tell you why I brought faith into the discussion in the first place.

The basic idea is that to even lean in either direction from the dead centre involves precisely the same processes. You still need to have faith in whatever has lead you toward what you believe.


On certainty of knowledge you essentially reiterate what I say but avoid actually connecting it with its initial introduction into this conversation... you didn't even include it in your quote. I made it standalone so you couldn't miss it.

"...questioning them is nothing short of unproductive and trivial."

"...then you're back in a claim that is unfalsifiable and can't be intelligently discussed"

"...which as I explained earlier, is a sensically usable definition unlike the one you seem to have"

Subtly attempting to sabotage my point of view isn't really going to get you anywhere except buried in a soft peat of self-gratifying ignorance.

Isn't this the very piety that gives religious zealots their own closed minded bad name?


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Teamo
Teamo

Almost again
Location: Finland
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2009
Total posts: 124
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Son
Why? It hurts my brain how any assumption can be made about something of which we have no knowledge.

What about schrodingers cat?

Whats the reason for not throwing the burden of proof back onto the atheist assumption? Because lets face it... its an assumption based on nothing, its not based on any real evidence to suggest there isn't a god, only that there isn't significant evidence to suggest there is one.

If I was to lock a warehouse and fill it with something... you can't tell me whats in there, you can't tell me whats not in there. Whatever IS in there isn't giving away what it is... does it mean you don't believe theres anything inside?
In the same way we do not have any knowledge about unicorns, the default position is to not have any beliefs on whether or not they exist, (which would be the agnostic atheist position [according to the definitions I explained to be using]), but it is a much less of a leap to say that unicorns don't exist, than it is to say that they do. Burden of proof is not symmetrical between positive and negative claims. For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof
br>
As for Shcrdinger's cat, despite independantly researching the subject, I'm not knowleadgable enough on quantum physics to really discuss the subject while saying that I know what I'm talking about. Are you? Even scientists admit Quantum physics to be confusing for a reason. It takes a lot of study to understand them.
All I know is that a popular opinion among physicists about Schrdinger's cat is that it's a meaningless thought experiment until the box is opened. And the whole scenario was originally satirical proposition made towards the paradoxical results of the unfalsibiability of the Copenhagen Consensus about consciousness affecting reality. Which I don't really see how it relates to our subject. So in any case, I'm not making a specific statement about it due to my ignorance.
IF HOWEVER I'm going off on a huge tangent and you were just pointing it out to illustrate that because we can't know something we aren't justified in taking any position about it's actual state, I refer to my first paragraph.

In response to your analogy, I would have to suspend belief either way before seeing any evidence that there is anything in the warehouse. But due to burden of proof being asymmetrical between claims of existance vs. claims of nonexistance (plus the effect of Occam's Razor, which I'll refer to again more profoundly in this post), I can with much better certainty make the assumption that there is nothing in the warehouse, than that there is something in there.

Quote:I don't see any reason you've given me that 'faith' is the wrong term to use unless of course its supposed to be self evident... in which case it sounds a tad like a theistic mindset... but thats not really important(or is it?), I'll tell you why I brought faith into the discussion in the first place.
I explained to you before already why I think faith is the wrong word to use:
Originally Posted By: Myself
You're saying that the only thing to deny faith is proof. I assume you mean absolute proof,(because that's what the word basically means). But absolute proof is another concept that can't be intelligently discussed, because there is no such thing aside from the world of mathematics, from which the term originates. By setting "proof" as the only bar that a thing has to succeed in order to be knowable, your render both the words "knowledge" and "faith" totally meaningless. Because "things that are known" only mean something in comparison to "unknown things", much in the same way as "things you have faith in" only mean something in comparison to "things you don't have faith in". You are thrown into the pit of nihilism where no one can ever know anything. If you only went by proof, you would have to admit that you can't know if your sensory abilities are accurate, which is the exact thing you admit not to be productive at all.

This is why I say the use of the word "proof" is in the same way not productive at all, and I use evidence instead. The only productive way of defining "faith" is "belief without evidence", because "belief without proof" as a definition gets us nowhere.

...we have evidence for what works and what doesn't work. Logical processes work. If you have a problem with my definition of faith, you're more than welcome to object.
So far you haven't addressed my definition of the word faith, so I assumed you didn't have a problem with it.
But no, it's not of great importance, if you allow me to interpret your use of faith as admittance of uncertainty (which is, again, not how I would define the word but how I think you are using it). Is that not what you mean by the word?
Quote:The basic idea is that to even lean in either direction from the dead centre involves precisely the same processes. You still need to have faith in whatever has lead you toward what you believe.
Agnostic atheism is exactly the dead center to which you refer to, which is the position I hold. But as the asymmetricality of the burden of evidence shows, it does not take precisely the same faith to lean in either direction. The wikipedia article has a very explicit example of this with fairies.

Quote:On certainty of knowledge you essentially reiterate what I say but avoid actually connecting it with its initial introduction into this conversation... you didn't even include it in your quote. I made it standalone so you couldn't miss it.
Anything I don't quote or respond to is for one reason or another. Either I don't have any objections to it, or I don't think pressing on that particular point is going to take the conversation further. In this case it was the latter. I'm sorry if that bothered you. If you insist that I respond to a point, I'm happy to.
I assume you're meaning this part here?:
Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Son
Originally Posted By: ReVo
If a being isn't causing anything to happen or occur in the realm that we perceive, then it is doing the exact same thing that a non-existant thing would be doing. So it's not proof of it's non-existance, but it is evidence for it


To me, this doesn't provide any evidence save that it is evidence for the concept that if there IS indeed something, then it operates under a different set of rules to ourselves... or that it no longer cares, not that it does not exist.
To that point I would raise the viewpoint of Occam's Razor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor
). Occam's Razor is not a philosphical law, but it is a well working rule of thumb. Basically, your explanation to the absence of the evidence of god requires much more complex assertions than the explanation of non-existance, thus it is not on equal ground in credibility.

Quote:
Subtly attempting to sabotage my point of view isn't really going to get you anywhere except buried in a soft peat of self-gratifying ignorance.

Isn't this the very piety that gives religious zealots their own closed minded bad name?

If you see those quotes as poisoning the well, I'm honestly sorry for my ignorance. In my view I was making a valid point of argument rather than trying to sabotage yours. If you'd like, you can consider them as saying "..unfalsifiable things can't be critically discussed". Which is exactly what unfalsifiable things are, by extension of the definition. Also, I gave concrete reasons why your definition of "faith" isn't a good one, I didn't just blatantly declare it bad. And I really fail to see how "unproductive and trivial" are illigitimate term to use. Perhaps it was too subtle for me to notice. In any case, I'm sorry. But I still agree with what I said.



Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:Unicorns are something said to exist within this realm of existance, which goes against all knowledge we have of this realm, making that claim somewhat ludicrous.

How can the burden of proof be asymmetrical if we already established that theres no way of placing any probability on a being who operates in a way that is not observable?

Originally Posted By: ReVoAgnostic atheism is exactly the dead center to which you refer to, which is the position I hold.

By telling me of any burden of proof, then you do not lie dead centre, you're telling me its more likely there is NOT a god, meaning you're not in the dead centre. Fairies are something said to exist within this realm and as such are subject to very different rules than god. They are also said to manifest themselves frequently, whereas in the infinite nature of god, (not the christian god, the infinite god of possibility) means that theres no reason we will ever see any telltale signs of the creator. If something has the power to create everything, its possible they'd have the power to influence without our realisation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance#Argument_from_ignorance

This covers even likelihoods, which you say that in order to create the 'most accurate' picture of reality you tell me that god is less likely to be true.

I indeed was not referring to quantum physics, because it doesnt relate to our subject, I was quite simply referring to the fact that if we have no idea what lies inside the box, we can't make any judgement on whats inside the box.

I've addressed your use of the word faith several times and I'm not going to end up in one of these discussions where I end up endlessly repeating myself.



I apologise, using the word "initial" was absolutely an oversight, I meant its initial reason for introduction, which came after the fact.

Originally Posted By: Myself
But using scientific approaches to something that most likely exists outside our own frame of existance is illogical, science covers what we can discover, not what it is impossible for us to discover.


In regards to Occams razor, if you have a look at the religion section of that article, you may note that its covered in red flags. "May contain original research" "the neutrility has been disputed"

Essentially... this is because it says "disbelief is preferred"

My knowledge of occams razor might be a little hazy, but I thought it was about making the LEAST assumptions and creates the least entities.

Neither believing or disbelieving creates 0 assumptions and creates 0 entities, whereas even leaning to one side will create assumptions.


You poison nothing but the well of your own mind. You seem to be confusing "can't be critically discussed" and "can't be empirically ratified" You can't discuss them as a concrete idea, only as an abstract concept.

You did give reasons as to why my definition of faith didn't fit in with your own... but you didn't actually state why they are unproductive and trivial.

If you say anything can't be discussed for any reason for any reason you're limiting yourself in the amount of inbound information. A theist will do this by simply ignoring anything that doesn't fit in with their scripture. A gnostic atheist(even one who has removed the burden of absolute proof, like yourself) will do this by ignoring everything that doesn't fit in with their view of the material world... but we aren't talking about the material world... we're talking about spiritual matters of which we can make no judgement because theres no way we'll ever have the ability to test our assertions.

My entire point is that it IS unfalsifiable. This entire subject is unfalsifiable, in which case I would like to refer back to the topic of the thread in the first place... "God and what it means to you"


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Midkiff
shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois
Member Since: 29th Nov 2009
Total posts: 462
Posted:well god to me is lies and trickery to control the lesser people who will hold onto anything that makes the possibilty better

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus


Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:Theres an interesting line of conversation, Midkiff.

God as a control mechanism.

God as a means of inspiration, of oppression, of violent acts, acts of kindness, expressive thought.

By expressive thought, often enough I'll "converse" with god as a means of talking to myself while not... talking to myself. Its essentially a means of conferring with my own intuition and if another being decides to take a hand in that... so be it.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:The "INTELLIGENT DESIGN VS. EVOLUTION" thread at your service wink ...



the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


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