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God Does Not Exist Because... (3)

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In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 04:13:38 BDT
Tom M says:
Hi Kevin

Thanks for the recommendations. From the thomistic understanding of final cause, I can't see any significant problem with what we call evil. What folks call evil doesn't seem to have any positive reality but only exists as an absence. In this light only good exists.

Of course in a meaningless quarkfest the atheist has no basis for calling anything evil, any more than good which is one of the primary attractions of incoherence. Irresponsibility.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 04:47:50 BDT
Tom M says:
Hi Gary

Evolution does in fact culminate in man. As Teilhard de Chardin shows the movement or direction of life is in fact towards complexity and consciousness.

There is nothing in science to support the view that it is a mindless process. The anthropic coincidences are staggering at the big bang and it is an incredibly low entropy event. Not random and chaotic but indicating order.

The teleology we see in nature, the continuing ordered behavior of unconscious things is something we see only in mind in this universe.

If you are going to argue a purposeless, mindless quarkfest, with no end or meaning then it is wrong to ascribe order or 'evolution' to anything. Mindless purposeless physical things banging around unintelligibly is all there is. Your ascribing an ordering of things 'towards life' or towards evolved states is therefor totally arbitrary.

The same view that would have you deny a purpose or meaning to evolution is a view that eliminates evolution. Evolving life conceptually requires theism.

But this is not what we see. We do see that the universe is such as to develop intelligent life. Also , there are no natures, no essences, only blind forces. No accidents either for the whole universe is not ordered toward anything.

Atheists cannot speak coherently of evolved higher species and more socialized mamals, as if such categories exist. What is 'higher' in mindless physical events.

If you remove the principle of order , you remove order. Order is intelligibility.

Also , you are assuming that an infinite series of conditioned causes, causes or things which are dependent upon prior causes existing, is possible. It should be pretty obvious that it is not . An unconditioned cause would have all perfections including will and intelligence. This unconditioned will and intelligence is the final cause, end or purpose of all that is. It is its intelligibility.

Contrary to Hume, things don't pop into existence uncaused.

So.. are you saying your value system is irrational? How about if you could run over the leg of an old man or seriously wound a dog? And please don't tell me that you do pain calculations on everything.

How about killing a hundred dogs in a fire or one baby quickly.

All I am pointing out to you .. and I'm not concerned with your 'feelings' or group loyalty.. which are meaningless to an atheist anyway, is that you naturally respect the obvious hierarchy of life culminating in man.

We are agents, not objects. Specism is not a ground for moral action.

A human being is a higher order of being and can only be seen as a higher order of being in a hierarchically arranged universe.

This is the framework or architecture in which you and your behavior make sense.

And lastly, if there is no God, there is no arrogance, or usurpation of what you are not entitled to for one is entitled to nothing.

THere is no rational order or rational ground for criticism of any kind about anything in your view.

So.. you are being arrogant in the true sense of the word, but this can only be intelligently claimed by theists. And of course you can't have the freedom from determining laws of physics to make free judgments about anything anyway.:-)

You are objecting, without grounds to the declaration of meaning and purpose in evolution, but you need this element to make your objection, and you are denying its basis in reality. Can you see this?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 04:53:11 BDT
Tom M says:
So Occam says it is not wrong in fact to murder. Your whole argument assumes that genetic continuance is a rationally discernible good.

Did the genes tell you this? I understand the difficulty of wanting to appear like a rational man while undercutting the basis of rationality, but your base reduces the rationality to a pose of rationality, reflecting the inner conviction that we are called to be rational.

The call to rartionality cannot come from an arational source.

Cheers

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 05:17:08 BDT
Tom M says:
Wow

No wonder nothingsperfect is an atheist. Fortunately his atheism is utterly unrelated to theism. So he's rejecting nothingsperfectism, which does indeed seem clearly delusional. It seems almost all atheists aren't rejecting God and his creation, but their own concoctions that they like to attribute to others. Now why would a person fabricate absurd notions to ridicule, and try to attribute them to others?

Theists don't believe in nothingsperfect-ism either.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 05:56:47 BDT
Shakepen says:
Occam: you are a general semanticist's nightmare! You are somehow confusing the marks on a piece of paper with the intrinsic meaning! Nothing could be farther from the truth! The marks per se are irrelevant. What is important is the symbolic meaning of the marks. You seem to think that if one writes the word (this is an analogy I've used before) "beef steak" on a piece of paper, then there must be something of a beef steak in the writing. This idea is totally false. Words are symbols. There is no relationship between the mark and the symbol. The mark can be cut in stone, written, typed, in a computer, etc. But these marks have nothing to do with the symbol.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 06:03:17 BDT
Shakepen says:
PD: "Killing unborn children in the womb." To have an abortion in the first trimester is not killing anything but a bunch of cells that could become a child if left alone. While do people state that life begins at conception? This idea is completely false. If not, then take the egg from the woman, and put it in a petri dish. If it survives, it is a child. If it dies, it is a bunch of cells. This procedure seems simple enough.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 06:05:47 BDT
Shakepen says:
PD: I do not want to say anything to challenge your faith. However, where in the Bible does it say that abortion is killing a "person"? Actually, as you look in your Concordance, where do you see the word "Abortion>"?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 06:10:18 BDT
Shakepen says:
GH: I'm not sure I really understand this post. But I would like to point out that social animals do not necessarily have any social consciousness. Consider the ant. Ants are very social. Does anyone really think they have any sense of conscience or even consciousness?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 06:14:39 BDT
Shakepen says:
Occam: What is all this stuff about vampire bats that know animals that donate blood? You are going to have to give your sources on this statement--and Hollywood is not a valid citation!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 06:17:36 BDT
Shakepen says:
GH: I think you are saying that evolution is blind. If that is a correct interpretation, I agree with you. Evolution is a hit or miss process. If there is a hit, the species survives. Otherwise, it dies out.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 07:29:45 BDT
The example of vampire bats sharing blood and remembering such altruism is real. I've read about it before. I'd also have to look up sources, but it is true.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 09:24:26 BDT
AJ Murray says:
F Cadell,

-"St Pauls conversion would be a good starting point (hee hee perhaps or perhaps not Paul Davidson too) not as an analysis but as an understanding that arriving at faith can oppose (nearly) every human movement."

St Paul was evangelical zealot who thought the world was ocming to and end and that Jesus was the culmination of cycle taht bagn with Adam. He was wrong about so many things. Faith opposes human movement? What exactly do you mean by that?

-"My own path to what I specifically call adult faith, as opposed to child faith (when I was a child I used to think like a child...), I consider to be a deep one, and respect it because I believe (not unquestioningly as it happens) that it comes from God."

So you think your own thoughts to be deep, yet do not explain why i should regard them as such. Thanks for your (narcissistic) opinion.

-"It includes the idea that my earlier rejection of God was not really based on factual analysis as I had surmised but was really much more a theme of my spiritual development (there were deeper causes). It mainly involved experiencing that God belonged at the centre of my being and made me whole in a way that nothing else, including being intellectual about life, could begin to touch."

So believing in your conception of a deity makes you feel better. So far, so comforting.

-"But that was just the start of my faith journey, which has involved dark nights of faith, and growing in self knowledge that would be impossible without a relationship with a real (not imaginary friend!) God."

Ah, this is were the wheels fall off. I think that even if it were proved that your deity were false and imaginary, the benefit that you derived from your self-examination would still be real.

-"The reality and nature of sin and not being in a kind of elemental or original state of denial about self, behind the ego, cannot be pierced without a deeper realisation of God's love."

Sin applies only to those who believe in your deity. Sin, simply defined, is anything that pisses your deity off. For myself, i take morality too seriously to abrogate my responsibility to some non-evident entity.

-"You can poo poo what i am sharing, or ignore it or whatever, if there are any consequences to that I am used to letting go and letting God."

-"Let me only say that although you may "poo-poo" my experience of faith, it can only be to your detriment, not mine."

You seem obseessed with poo. Let's just say that i have read such stream of consciousness writings many times and it appears that in order to experience this 'God' you have to dismiss your intellect and in doing so render all words meaningless. At no point in your rambling incoherent reply were you anywhere near a rational thought. You haven't addressed any of my points and that is not surprising in the least, because i doubt you understand my position with any great depth but simply assume that i must be wrong because you consider yourself to have possesion of truth.

It is all too common unfortunately. I am pleased you found comfort in your beliefs. I don't need them.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 10:22:30 BDT
"So Occam says it is not wrong in fact to murder."
I don't but only because I label murder as immoral killing of another. Examples of times when it is moral to kill another would be necessary self defense or necessary prevention of atrocity.

"Your whole argument assumes that genetic continuance is a rationally discernible good. "
That's not an assumption of the argument. The argument is based on the fact that this is from what our morals emerged. Behaviours likely to promote themselves within the inheritance of the species.

"I understand the difficulty of wanting to appear like a rational man while undercutting the basis of rationality"
I am not attempting to undercut rationality, the basis of rationality is sound and not touched by this argument.

"The call to rartionality cannot come from an arational source."
Rationality, like all things, comes either from a source without it, or is eternal. Until I see evidence of rationality prior to the evolution of minds, it seems less of a leap to posit that it arose than there was an eternal rational agent which gave rationality its base.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 10:24:17 BDT
"You are somehow confusing the marks on a piece of paper with the intrinsic meaning!"
I am doing no such thing. I am not even positing an intrinsic meaning, I either miswrote or you misunderstood.

"The marks per se are irrelevant."
I agree, arbitrary tokens acting as signals to conscious agents.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 10:35:53 BDT
I've read many papers on it so I'm not sure from which paper each part of what I said came. Some general literature on this social reputation and punishment, as well as indirect recognition is below.

http://adb.sagepub.com/content/14/3/223.short
http://adb.sagepub.com/content/15/3/307.abstract
http://www.springerlink.com/content/q545561273w15372/
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0162309588900155

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 10:51:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Apr 2012 13:57:40 BDT
Hi Occam

Thank you for an interesting post, but, like G Heron, you have failed to give any reasons for the authority of man's moral conscience.

Secondly you say:

>>> Right are those behaviours and strategies which best propagate themselves and wrong are those which do not.

So how does this correlate with killing children in the womb?

>>> This loosely translates to right are those actions which have maximal net benefit to the group and wrong are those which reduce the net benefit to the group,

So how does this correlate with killing children in the womb?

>>> although because a moral strategy must be stable some actions are curtailed as they would be vulnerable to immoral invaders.

So how does this correlate with killing children in the womb?

>>> "Nor does it explain why one set of differences is better than another."
As Heron said, the reason A is a better set of morals than B is that people with moral code A out reproduce people with moral code B. Our reason has added conditions to it, but that is the basis.

So how does this correlate with killing children in the womb?

>>> "Nor does it explain how a Court of Law makes any sense if morals are only subjective."
Heron gets this perfectly right but you mention subjective versus objective morals. So I would like to ask you the following. Objective morality would mean that each action had a definite moral value, whether we could determine it or not. If this moral value which I will call the goodness rating says that action A is more moral than action B, but all reason and evidence suggests that action B will make more people happier, fewer people suffer, add subjective value to the lives of all involved whereas action A is likely to cause less of all the above. Why should we choose to maximise goodness rating over subjective morals? The question is, if objective moral values exist, why should we care? Surely the subjective values of making other people's lives better is more important?

You should never do evil, even for a good end. Best to do what is right, I would suggest.

And again: So how does all of this correlate with killing children in the womb?

Best wishes

Paul

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 10:56:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Apr 2012 10:57:35 BDT
Paul Davidson does not seem to want to respond to my post dated 24th April 18:54, so I will simplify it and address it to all Christians on this forum. The God of the Old Testament often slaughtered innocent children without mercy, for example in 1 Samuel 15:3 he told his army commander, "now go, smite Amalek and destroy all that they have and spare them not but slay both man and women, infant and suckling." Christians tell us that Jesus is God. Why should I worship this child killer? PS to avoid confusion with the other Tom you may call me TOM C

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 10:58:27 BDT
Hi Occam

How about, for example, understanding that it is wrong to kill your own offspring?

Best wishes

Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 10:59:42 BDT
G. Heron says:
Tom

"Christians tell us that Jesus is God. Why should I worship this child killer? "

One of the more popular answers to this question (at least amounst evangelicals) is because if you don't he will torture you for eternity; isn't he a character?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 11:06:28 BDT
Hi Occam

Is this meant to be coherent?

Best wishes

Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 11:26:27 BDT
"So how does this correlate with killing children in the womb?"
Short answer. Abstractly.
Long answer. In each individual case there are costs and benefits to keeping the pregnancy and ending it. By allowing those pregnancy's most likely to cause suffering to the wider society to be terminated society ends up better off. A simple proof of this is to look at crime and suicide statistics 16-25 years after Roe v. Wade. This is the point where children who would have been born when abortion was illegal would have been reaching their highest risk of crime and suicide. The numbers plummeted around that time and when accounting for every other factor, women were clearly making good decisions about when they were ready to raise happy, healthy, socially active children (on the main).

"So how does this correlate with killing children in the womb?"
Well, this is where the law has to be quite specific about things and I feel we're currently too lax. Some people are using abortions because they prefer not to use contraceptive. They are getting a benefit at a cost to society and their potential children. That said, any system with have people who get more benefit and people who get less, the aim is to find a stable system which gives most benefit to society and appropriately discourages this sort of cheating.

"You should never do evil, even for a good end. Best to do what is right, I would suggest."
That's dodging the question. If there were objective morals, why should we prefer to act in accordance with them over our subjective morals? Why is it better to adhere to an arbitrary standard than to improve the lives of real people?

And the way all this relates to the "killing of children in the womb", which I would dispute linguistically, is that by allowing abortions we improve the happines, health and experience of society as a whole. We trade some potential children for others and in doing so both the children and the rest of society end up better off. This is a moral act.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 11:27:57 BDT
"How about, for example, understanding that it is wrong to kill your own offspring?"
Most animals who have small litters hold to this. How would you show they understood it as opposed to doing it?

Also, I dispute that in all cases, not killing your own offspring is the moral act.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 11:28:17 BDT
"Is this meant to be coherent?"
Meant to be, and was.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 11:28:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Apr 2012 11:34:32 BDT
Hi nothingsperfect

To my:

Firstly, I believe that the artist, and only the artist has the right to destroy a work of art, provided it is his or her own work of art. And I would suggest that this holds true whether the artist is human or Divine. Secondly, regarding the work of art that is man, orthodox Christians believe that God not only keeps each human being in being, that is his or her spiritual soul, after death, but also that at some future stage, each person will be given by God a new body too. So we will all be able to enjoy God's company as well as that of our fellow humans, families and friends, body and soul, for all eternity.

You replied:

>>> Then, god's no right to ''destroy'' people who sin since he's not the ''artist'' of sin. Is he?

As a famous ex tennis player might have said: "You cannot be serious!"

And you ask *me* to think!

For the orthodox Christian (and everyone else, in fact) God is the artist who creates man and holds him in being at each moment of his existence. It is man that chooses to sin or not, through his gift of freedom or free will from God. It is not God that sins.

So, to go back to my point, God owes us nothing. He alone has the right to take away our life, as it is His gift to us. But, in fact, He has made us to live with Him, our families and friends, for all eternity.

>>> Do parents have a right to ''destroy'' their children?

Do you want me to quote famous tennis players again? Of course not!

>>> So, god can do whatever he likes with his creation regardless.

Of course He can. He is the Artist. It is His Creation alone. But He chooses not to.

>>> If god can behave like this, then how do you know if he's good?

I see His goodness in Jesus Christ and His teachings, and those of the Church that He gives to all of us.

>>> If god's good is not our sense of good then how do we know if he is a moral being?

Ask Jesus Christ and the Church that He founded.

>>> Your ''thoughts'' here are only making things worse.

I'm sorry if you really feel that way about them.

>>> Think!

Do you work for IBM?

Best wishes

Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 12:31:15 BDT
G. Heron says:
Tom M

"Evolution does in fact culminate in man."
What do you mean by this, do you believe that human evolution has stopped, that no more intelligent species can now arise on Earth?

"The same view that would have you deny a purpose or meaning to evolution is a view that eliminates evolution. Evolving life conceptually requires theism. "

Evolution does not rerquire theism in any shape or fiorm.

"Atheists cannot speak coherently of evolved higher species and more socialized mamals, as if such categories exist. What is 'higher' in mindless physical events. "

I was not aware of atheists talking about higher species, if they are then they should stop. An atheist can objectiovly determine if one species is more complex than another species, if one species is more social than another, or if one species is capable of a greater number of behaviours than another.

"All I am pointing out to you .. and I'm not concerned with your 'feelings' or group loyalty.. which are meaningless to an atheist anyway, is that you naturally respect the obvious hierarchy of life culminating in man."

Evolution has equipped me with a moral sense to allow memebers of my speciers to cooperate and thus survive. As I have a degree (lets not argue about the size) of intelligence I am also able to empathise with other humans and this re-inforces my morals against causing suffering to other humans, my ability to empathise also alows me to extend my moral views to other creatures.

If there was a fire in a hospital and in a room there was two incubators, one with one baby in it and one with two babies, if you had only time to grab one incubator which one would you grab. Obviously people would say the one with two babies, Evolution supplied morality causing us to protect our species. Now take the same case expect this time the baby that is alone in its incubator is your son. Which incubator do you grab, obviously people would say the one with their son in it. Evolutionary supplied morality causing us to protect those members of our species which are geneticaly closest to us.
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