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Religion cannot be proven by worldly sciences


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#1291 Bitter Melon

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:01 AM

It isn't hard to follow - why aren't you getting what I am saying?
It's no different than what Vancanwincup said about "the belief system".

Self Contradicting? Maybe....maybe not:

http://www.geocities...radictions.html

Remember, all the sites that say it is are biased - that is, usually on the God does not exist side. So don't give me flack providing a source that is biased on the God does exist side.


It is self-contradicting, regardless of your stance on it.

For example:

In Genesis, it says that god made the beasts before man (Genesis: 1:25-1:26). It then says God made man, and didn't want him to be alone, so he created the beasts (Genesis 2:18-2:19)

In Matthew, Luke and John, Jesus is quoted as having 3 entirely different sets of last words.(Matthew 27:46,50, Luke 23:46, John 19:30)

In Samuel, it is said that God provoked David to number Israel, and then in Chronicles it is said that it was Satan who provoked David to number Israel (Samuel 24:, Chronicles 21)

In Matthew it is said that Jesus was given vinegar to drink during his trial (Matthew 27:34,) In Mark it is said that it was wine Jesus was given(Mark 15:23).

In Matthew, it is said that Joseph and Mary had to escape to Egypt until Herod's death to avoid his wrath. (Matthew 2:13-16)
In Luke it says they returned to Galilee, and Jesus grew up there. (Luke 2:39)

Among others, these are all contradictions. Whether you believe the Bible is accurate or not.
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#1292 Kryten

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:40 AM

Alright then show how I'm a hypocrite.  BTW where are those logical fallacies?

I am a pastor.  I speak from the heart.  If something offends you then please reveal which post I have offended you.  Ultimately, I'm on the purpose of defending the notion of God and the deity of Christ.  Atheists might feel threatened by my presence.  Some find it encouraging.  Either way, I am as true as I try to be.


I have shown you examples of both hypocrisy and logical fallacy yet you either refuse to read the posts or lack the ability to understand; your not defending your religion, your doing it a disservice. Please understand that there isn't an atheist in the world who would feel threatened by your logic. The few arguing with you here feel more frustration at your lack of reason more than any other emotion, hence the circle diagrams etc, Sharpy's suicide attempt with hot pokers etc.

"Either way, I am as true as I try to be" is one of the few statements you've made that actually shows humility. Your opponents also feel this way about themselves as well so why don't you actually read what they have to say instead of "being on the purpose of defending the notion of God and the deity of Christ"? We read and understand what you write, but the sentiment is surely not reciprocated (especially when you mock others, a fact you haven't dared to acknowledge, pastor); that is what I find offensive about your posts.

Edited by Kryten, 22 September 2012 - 02:51 AM.

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#1293 Mr.DirtyDangles

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:06 AM

Seems many missed this post i will post it again

A really great read for anyone questioning the creation of the universe. What I think many here are forgetting is simply "I think therefore I am"

http://tillerfoundat...ctsCreation.pdf

Consider that we are all living in a postulated third dimensional reality and that WE are the gods just playing knuckle headed games with one another. Do creationist really believe that A single God or supreme omnipotent being created MEST(Matter ,energy , space and time ?) I highly doubt it but cannot myself prove it. We cant even agree on how many dimensions there are let alone who we should invade next month for profit!

Classical physics claims 3 dimensions. String theory says 10. M theory 11. Hilbert claims there are infinite dimensions( I tend to agree here)
What is the real answer? Will we ever know ? I doubt it. Unless someone enters the nearest blackhole and sends us a postcard from the other of the other side all this arguing over if there is a GOD is pretty much pointless.

Unless we can shed our physical bodies and travel inter/extra dimensionally we will never know. Our current grasp of dimensional physics is purely theoretical and until concrete evidence can establish any of these theories we are left to toil in our ignorant misery of misunderstanding one another.

At least science is making an effort to prove something based on results of tested theories. Religion basically says believe this story or burn in hell ? Pretty cut and dry if you ask me. I do not classify myself as atheist or religious by an means but I sure as hell do not believe ONE BEING is responsible for this beautiful evolutionary concoction of gasses and elements we call the known universe.

Edited by vanfan73, 22 September 2012 - 03:08 AM.

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#1294 dajusta

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:08 AM

I have shown you examples of both hypocrisy and logical fallacy yet you either refuse to read the posts or lack the ability to understand; your not defending your religion, your doing it a disservice. Please understand that there isn't an atheist in the world who would feel threatened by your logic. The few arguing with you here feel more frustration at your lack of reason more than any other emotion, hence the circle diagrams etc, Sharpy's suicide attempt with hot pokers etc.

"Either way, I am as true as I try to be" is one of the few statements you've made that actually shows humility. Your opponents also feel this way about themselves as well so why don't you actually read what they have to say instead of "being on the purpose of defending the notion of God and the deity of Christ"? We read and understand what you write, but the sentiment is surely not reciprocated (especially when you mock others, a fact you haven't dared to acknowledge, pastor); that is what I find offensive about your posts.


No, what you did was bolded a bunch of posts that I have written but did not comment on them. That isn't work.. thats HIGHLIGHT, CTRL + B and POST.
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#1295 dajusta

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:15 AM

Of course..there MUST be problems with the video :rolleyes:



How is a poor explanation? He's simply explaining the differences b.etween a watch, or your example, a computer monitor, and something that's undergone natural forces, like corral have. That's the whole effing point! There are differences in natural objects and man made objects, which is why the analogy of a watchmaker or a monitor-maker by theists is so effing ridiculous.

And the other point which you even brought up is the other part of the whole friggin point. Coral is made through a natural process, WHICH!!!! then makes God unnecessary, because there's a natural explanation available for coal, that doesn't f@#%ing exist for f@#$ing watches and f@#$ing computer monitors.

How you can't see the logic to this rebuttal makes me want to commit suicide by poking red hot pokers through my eyes into my brain in a swirling scrambled eggs fashion.



So, according to you, it's true that complexity and design are independent of each other, but somehow it's sleight of hand???

Where are my pokers!?!

Seriously, just read the red highlighted part a few times, and tell me honestly that you don't see the problem with that, or the need to gouge my eyes out, because then you go on to say that the complexities are a product of a natural process, which is the same refutation and logic used to refute the first point in the teleological argument, up there in the 1st point, which is that there is no design by a designer but instead a natural process that produced us and everything.

Ahhhh!!!!! I feel like i'm going crazy even having to point this out. :frantic:



SO your answer is God works in mysterious ways..... :lol:

The old classics never get old.

You missed the point entirely. The point was that if someone was as smart, wise and as powerful as God is claimed to be, then he as a master designer, like even the lesser master designers here on earth, would not have included inefficient and oft time useless and unnecessary parts to the finished product that they are claimed to have designed.

It's actually a very strong point...which only leaves you the wiggle room of "God works in mysterious ways" which is the biggest cop out ever, since it's a sure sign that the person saying it doesn't have a goddamned clue and sticks this place-holder response until they they can either move some goal-posts or wait for some scientific knowledge to leech onto as if it was the answer to that particular question all along!.

Gag me.



Absolutely spot on, IF you actually understood the argument's logic. By the way, just for a larff.....exactly which logical fallacy or fallacies did the guy commit? ;)

Show me a simple being that can make complex things using thought and design.....not instinct now, but actual thoughtful design.

I bet you can only think of humans thus far. WELL, according to you, you concede that intelligent beings such as ourselves can design complex things such as computer monitors and space shuttles and large particle colliders. I mean you'd agree that they're complex things right? However, you and your kind, also claim that we and the universe were ALSO created in the way that we create what we create, because we are complex and the universe is complex and that things THAT complex MUST have been designed, because it works so well, and is so 'fine-tuned'.....remember?? :P

So, the argument in rebut AND its logical regressive path can be charted from that asserted claim as supported by its own inference(that the universe is complex fine tuned, ergo must have come from a creator) that a complex thing would need a complex designer, especially one that was able to create a whole universe. It just means that this creator is also a complex being because a simple being couldn't have thought up, designed and built such a complex thing.

But, as the argument goes, if a watch is complex and needs a complex creator, and the universe is complex and needed a creator, then a complex being like God, would logically raise the question, (and that's the magic word here big guy...LOGICALLLY) who designed the designer and who or what created the creator, because that creator would have to be even more complex, and on and on into an infinite regression.......that's called logic and that's how formal logic is applied to bullsh!# claims in order to show just how full of bullsh!# they really are.




I don't even want to bother with the last point.....it's pointless, and I know that my purpose in life isn't to beat my head against the wall, which is what would happen if I tackled anymore of this.

And no, the author did not fail to provide logical responses to the teleological argument, he in fact present very logical argument. The problem lies in the fact that you don't know what 'logic' is, what its fallacies are, and have got a grasp on even a shred of a piece of a sliver of formal logic in that bible-soaked brain of yours,

God luv ya, dajusta. It would take a being of infinite patience and time to explain and teach you how logic and science operates. Of that i am a full believer.


So coral is not complex? The natural processes of creating coral is not complex?

The entire argument puts complexity at a degree that requires a designer.

Natural Formation =\= No designer

Understand?

In order for a naturally occurring coral to refute the existence of a supreme creator, you had to make the jump that corral is NOT a complex organism that does NOT require complex natural processes.

And for your bolded point - it is a logical assertion that God is eternal and needs no designer himself. It is God and transcends what we finite beings understand as time and complex. God is a self sustaining and transcendent being of time and space. Anything less would undermine the character of God.

Is this too hard for you to understand? Or do you need evidence for it? The biggest circular argument from the atheist IMO. Empirical evidence of the explainable God.

Edited by dajusta, 22 September 2012 - 03:21 AM.

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#1296 Nevlach

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:05 AM

It would seem to me that something has to be eternal or we for sure end up in an infinite regress of causes for causes and so on. So either God is eternal, or matter is, or some kind of physical energy is or something.
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#1297 Nevlach

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:20 AM

It is self-contradicting, regardless of your stance on it.

For example:

In Genesis, it says that god made the beasts before man (Genesis: 1:25-1:26). It then says God made man, and didn't want him to be alone, so he created the beasts (Genesis 2:18-2:19)

In Matthew, Luke and John, Jesus is quoted as having 3 entirely different sets of last words.(Matthew 27:46,50, Luke 23:46, John 19:30)

In Samuel, it is said that God provoked David to number Israel, and then in Chronicles it is said that it was Satan who provoked David to number Israel (Samuel 24:, Chronicles 21)

In Matthew it is said that Jesus was given vinegar to drink during his trial (Matthew 27:34,) In Mark it is said that it was wine Jesus was given(Mark 15:23).

In Matthew, it is said that Joseph and Mary had to escape to Egypt until Herod's death to avoid his wrath. (Matthew 2:13-16)
In Luke it says they returned to Galilee, and Jesus grew up there. (Luke 2:39)

Among others, these are all contradictions. Whether you believe the Bible is accurate or not.

Before I say anything about the Bible I just want to point out that I do NOT believe it is perfect and infallible and I DO believe there are contradictions within.

Now with that said I will just caution CAPLOCKS that many of those "contradictions" can be explained in just a couple minutes of google searching online apologetics websites. So while some things seem contradictory superficially a lot actually have decent explanations. So while, like I said, the Bible does contain contradictions, I think the actual number is surprisingly fewer than most people, especially atheists, realize.

Just for example regarding the contradictory accounts of Genesis 1 and 2 some apologetics sites say:


Genesis 1 gives the order of creation chronologically. The wording in Genesis 2 may seem odd, but this is what is suggested by the original Hebrew:
In 2:18, God says He will 'make' a help meet for Adam. The word used for 'make' is the Hebrew 'asah', which means 'to appoint'. If He was speaking of creating a help meet for Adam, the word would have been 'banah' (the word used when it says God 'made' Eve).
2:19 says, "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.". According to the original Hebrew, this could very well mean that God had previously created the beasts and fowl, and was now bringing them to Adam. A lot of critics point out the word 'and' at the beginning of this passage, which suggests a specific order of events. But no word for 'and' appears in the original Hebrew passage. I will concede that the English translation does seem to suggest a contradiction of Genesis 1, but what the author of Genesis 1 wrote did not contradict Genesis 2.


There is no contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2. Genesis 1 is a detailed explanation of the six days of creation, day by day. Genesis two is a recap and a more detailed explanation of the sixth day, the day that Adam and Eve were made. The recap is stated in Gen. 2:4, "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven." Then, Moses goes on to detail the creation of Adam and Eve as is seen in verses 7 thru 24 of Gen. 2. Proof that it is not a creative account is found in the fact that animals aren't even mentioned until after the creation of Adam. Why? Probably because their purpose was designated by Adam. They didn't need to be mentioned until after Adam was created.



18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.


And so on. The point being a lot of contradictions can be explained to a sufficient degree for most Christians. But I'll leave the rest of the "defending" of the infallibility of the Bible to someone who believes it to be infallible.
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#1298 Gumballthechewy

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:11 AM

Which is very sad.  If God is truly real, then there are implications that are far greater than your own.  Only a fool will reject counsel, and the wise fear God.


I don't reject counsel but just becuse I take counsel doesn't mean I'll follow it. I won't fear god and he can smite me down if he so wishes. He can use me as an example so he can cow more people into worshiping him out if fear. I don't fear a lot of things in this world and god is isn't one of those things. I guess that make me pretty stupid.

You know what you sound like right now? Someone who works at a restaurant and cares not about the restaurant owner who stepped out for a short coffee break. "Who cares about the owner, he can go screw himself". If the owner comes back, how will he treat you?


Only difference is my boss doesn't want me to "worship" and "fear" him, only to respect him as an equal, not that if god was real he should be considered an equal but shouldn't he "treat others as he want's to be treated"? You know, like he supposedly teaches. Plus my boss is a cool guy and he doesn't just flip out and fill the restaurant with water for forty days because the guests are getting a bit rowdy. But if my boss was a total knob then no I wouldn't care. (for the record I don't work in a restaurant, I murder trees, and my boss is a really nice guy)

I just don't trust people who seek to enthral others.

You have a job, don't you?  Surely you care about your performance. Don't lie. If God truly exists and if he really indeed made you for a purpose, you seriously wouldn't care?  Is there a lack of consistency between the boss of your job, and the boss of the universe?


I care about my job performance sure but god is basically the CEO and I don't know or care about the CEO. I don't see him ever, he never stops in the hall and chats, he's never invited me over for barbecue and beer, I'm just another rat running the race to him, another expendable asset.

Edited by Gumballthechewy, 22 September 2012 - 08:13 AM.

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#1299 Heretic

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:48 AM

Simple question: Why do you need "God" to exist ?



John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

So, just as every physical child needs a father, so does every spiritual child.

Simple question: Why do you care?
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McCoy: We were speculating. Is God really out there?
Kirk: Maybe he's not out there, Bones. Maybe he's right here. [points to his heart]

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#1300 Heretic

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:52 AM

It is self-contradicting, regardless of your stance on it.

For example:

In Genesis, it says that god made the beasts before man (Genesis: 1:25-1:26). It then says God made man, and didn't want him to be alone, so he created the beasts (Genesis 2:18-2:19)

In Matthew, Luke and John, Jesus is quoted as having 3 entirely different sets of last words.(Matthew 27:46,50, Luke 23:46, John 19:30)

In Samuel, it is said that God provoked David to number Israel, and then in Chronicles it is said that it was Satan who provoked David to number Israel (Samuel 24:, Chronicles 21)

In Matthew it is said that Jesus was given vinegar to drink during his trial (Matthew 27:34,) In Mark it is said that it was wine Jesus was given(Mark 15:23).

In Matthew, it is said that Joseph and Mary had to escape to Egypt until Herod's death to avoid his wrath. (Matthew 2:13-16)
In Luke it says they returned to Galilee, and Jesus grew up there. (Luke 2:39)

Among others, these are all contradictions. Whether you believe the Bible is accurate or not.


Oh Oh Oh! Teacher!

Yes Horseshack?

The statements at the end of Genesis 1 seem to be more theological than chronological. They are telling who man is -made in God's image and that the male alone is not a complete representation of this image etc. the Genesis 2 statements have more of a chronological meaning to them and they indicate that man was made, then the land animals and then the first woman.

See? Depends how you look at it.

And so on and so on

Simple question: Why do you you only look from the skeptic's side?
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McCoy: We were speculating. Is God really out there?
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#1301 Sharpshooter

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:11 AM

So coral is not complex? The natural processes of creating coral is not complex?

The entire argument puts complexity at a degree that requires a designer.

Natural Formation =\= No designer

Understand?

In order for a naturally occurring coral to refute the existence of a supreme creator, you had to make the jump that corral is NOT a complex organism that does NOT require complex natural processes.

And for your bolded point - it is a logical assertion that God is eternal and needs no designer himself. It is God and transcends what we finite beings understand as time and complex. God is a self sustaining and transcendent being of time and space. Anything less would undermine the character of God.

Is this too hard for you to understand? Or do you need evidence for it? The biggest circular argument from the atheist IMO. Empirical evidence of the explainable God.


Ugh, i'll try this again. The teleological argument has been debunked using science(physics, chemistry and biology) and Formal Logic.

Try to pay attention.

The teleological argument for God existence is otherwise known as: the argument from design, or the argument from purpose. The argument (and criticisms) follows.

P1: The physical constants of the universe are ‘finely tuned’ to a highly improbable, yet highly significant setting


The defence of this argument is that the physical constants (or “universal constants”) are conducive to the expansion from a singularity: the birth of this universe, and to the formation of intelligent life; us. It is then assumed that we are the purpose of the universe.

However, if the physical constants were different then the expansion from the singularity would have collapsed back in on itself and then expanded again. This oscillatory process would have repeated until the constants were viable for a universe. The physical constants are necessarily right for the universe to exist, hence the universe.

Besides, there is no understanding from cosmology that says the physical constants could have been anything else: no other way is necessarily possible. Stephen Hawking, in his book ‘The Grand Design’, says that the physical constants are self-regulating.

There is also not an understanding in biology that says that intelligent life could not arise in a different set of constants. If it could, in a different set of constants different intelligent life would be using the same argument. The premise gives too much significance to a particular intelligent life form: humans.

P2: The ‘fine tuner’ of the universe must have been very powerful and very intelligent


Humans have a tendency to infer intelligence from patterns, and see patterns where there is none. Stephen Hawking’s idea of the physical constants being self-regulating removes both the idea of power and intelligence from the process.

Think of the patterns that humans used to ascribe to a Higher Intelligence, but are now forced to admit they are solely natural processes caused by natural laws(God Of The Gaps Fallacy): the orbits around our sun, the relative rising and setting of the sun, the tides, the seasons, crops etc.(Coral! :lol: )

P3: God is the only thing that is that powerful and that intelligent


This should read “the concept of God…”. But that is never how this premise is presented. P3 necessitates God’s existence when that is the very thing that needs to be proved: it begs the question. That is a logical fallacy. It is also a fallacy of equivocation(that's called Formal Logic) in that it says “God” in P3 and means the concept, but in the conclusion will mean a God that exists in reality.

Conclusion: God fine-tuned the universe


The fine-tuned appearance of the universe is just that: appearance. Take poker for example, the chances of getting any specific five-card hand is 1 in 311,875,200 (= 52*51*50*49*48). But each hand arises against those odds, because a hand had to arise. In poker no one notices until it’s a high scoring hand: something significant against the rules of poker.

This argument then acts to circularly define what is significant. The significant thing was what ever came up, in this case us. This may appeal to the human self-aggrandising behaviour, but it’s not particularly accurate.


You can't say that this is illogical, because it's using actual Formal Logic.

The hard part for you now, it to fit your stubborn hubris into form with this particular effective refutation. You have 3 choices. You can either dismiss this refutation and the logical reasonings supporting it, like almost every religious person does when they eventually lose at the logic game and continue to willfully and ignorantly continue on with your argument using your limited understanding of science and Formal Logic, or you can accept the logic of the refutation, as most people trained to understand Formal Logic would and move on to some other defence, or do nothing and play the avoidance card wholely, in order to bring this argument back up in the future as if for the first time and without rememberance to the fact that it was already refuted, using Formal Logic.

If you're still wavering, thinking that you're right, and there's no way in hell anyone will ever drag you away from the trench that you've dug for yourself and swear to defend to the death, in the face of any and every attempt at overrunning your argument's position.....what's this called again?? Entrenchingly stubborn?? Something like that i'm sure.....in any case, if that's you right now, as you look in the mirror, or monitor, then I hope, your God willing, that additional reading will get you to lay your arms down and realize that the battle is over on this particular argument, and that you're arguing from an island unto yourself.

ARGUMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD - INTELLIGENT DESIGN AND THE FINE-TUNED UNIVERSE

The Argument | The Refutation

The Argument

The “Intelligent Design” movement, spearheaded by people like Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer and William Dembski and other creationists under the umbrella of the politically conservative think-tank known as the Discovery Institute, developed in the 1980s as a modern form of the traditional Teleological Argument or Argument from Design. It has become one of the most popular arguments for theism.

Essentially, it argues that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. It picks up some of the concepts of Creationism and the Argument from Design while abandoning others, and also adds some additional ideas such as “irreducible complexity” (that certain biological systems are just too complex to have evolved from simpler predecessors, and that all their parts would have needed to be in place before any of them could be advantageous to the organism) and “specified complexity” (that when something is both complex and specified simultaneously, one can infer that it was produced by an intelligent cause), attempting to cast its version of the Teleological Argument as scientific and rational rather than speculative or religious.

A central premise in Intelligent Design is the idea of a “fine-tuned universe”, that the conditions that allow life in the universe can only occur when certain universal physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that, if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity or life as it is presently understood. This is cited as evidence for the existence of God or some form of intelligence capable of manipulating or designing the basic physics that governs the universe.

Sometimes a different scientific spin is put on the argument by suggesting that the Second Law of Thermodynamics (that entropy or chaos always increases and never decreases) is defied by the observations on Earth where we see things becoming more organized, with the inevitable conclusion that God must be responsible.

The Refutation

The contemporary Intelligent Design (ID) movement abandons the literal reading of the Bible (which had dogged the older, largely discredited “Scientific Creationism” movement) and downplays some of the more mystical and fanciful elements of Christianity like miracles, hell and the Holy Spirit in an attempt to appear more scientific and rational.

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.

- Isaac Asimov (1983)


However, in accepting some scientific concepts like the Big Bang and the Cambrian Explosion, they have settled on a kind of progressive divine creation which just happens to precisely mimic evolution by natural selection, and are apparently willing to accept that the creation of the universe was elaborately rigged by God to look like a Big Bang. To see natural selection as just “God’s way of achieving creation” is to postulate a lazy, under-achieving and superfluous deity, who might just as well not bother to exist at all.

Although ID arguments are usually formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid identifying the intelligent agent as God, the leading proponents have made statements to their supporters that they believe the designer to be the Christian God, to the exclusion of all other religions. Michael Behe’s own Biology faculty at Lehigh University has emphatically distanced itself from his views, stressing that “intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific”. Courts have also categorically ruled that ID should not be taught in public school science classes.

To make matters worse, some of the “science” that high profile ID proponents like Hugh Ross and Lee Strobel use in their arguments is at best suspect and at worst deliberately misleading and incorrect. Just a few examples out of many include the claims that all the billions of stars in the universe are somehow necessary to sustain our one life-supporting planet (in fact, our own sun is the only star truly essential to our life on Earth), that if the Earth were just half a percent closer to or further away from the sun there would be no liquid water and life would be impossible (in fact, the position of Earth routinely varies by much more than that throughout the year and from one year to the next), and that the position and mass of the other planets in the Solar System is critical to the existence of life on Earth and that Venus and Jupiter shield us from life-threatening space debris (in fact, the other planets have next to no effect on the Earth and are only able to intercept a tiny percentage of space debris).

Scientists do not claim that the human eye or the wings of an eagle (both commonly quoted examples of irreducible complexity and design) suddenly appeared fully-formed in their current form - that would indeed be improbable - but rather that they developed over many millennia through a process of natural selection. Contrary to common ID claims, there are many examples of less perfectly developed eye systems, for example, from the rudimentary eye of flatworms (which can only detect light or shade), through the “pin-hole camera” eye of the nautilus (which yields a blurred and dim image compared to ours), to our own, which are in turn only an eighth as effective as the eyes of a hawk.

ID pioneer Michael Behe's favourite argument for ID involves the flagella that some bacteria use to "row" themselves along, and which Behe claimed were machine-like parts whose elements were not functional outside of the whole mechanism (i.e. irreducibly complex) and so could not have developed gradually through evolution. However, evolutionary biologists have long known that biological parts often evolve by natural selection by virtue of one function and then gradually adapt to other functions as the larger system evolves, making the ID claim of irreducible complexity redundant as a scientific argument. Thus, something which is at first merely advantageous can later become necessary as other components change.

Furthermore, evolution often proceeds by altering pre-existing parts or by removing them from a system, rather than by adding them, in the same way as scaffolding is used to support an “irreducibly complex” building until it is complete and able to stand on its own. An example might be a free-standing arch which would collapse if any one stone is removed, but which can be constructed by simple, naturalistic techniques, without the need for any divine intervention.

In the high profile 2005 court case, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, parents of school children in the Dover area of Pennsylvania sought to challenge the local school board's rule that intelligent design must be taught as a scientific alternative to the theory of evolution. The case was proven, and it was ruled that ID (including Behe's theory about bacterial flagella) was not rigorous science, and indeed not scientific at all but religious in nature, and should therefore not be taught in school.

There is no 'God of the gaps' to take over at those strategic places where science fails; and the reason is that gaps of this sort have the unpreventable habit of shrinking.

- Charles Coulson (1955)


The ID argument is another example of the “god of the gaps” argument (which is explored further in the section on the Argument from Ignorance), as proponents attempt to latch onto something which is not yet fully explained by science and then just assume, without justification, that their alternative theory of intelligent design applies instead. In the same way, any gap in the fossil record of an evolutionary transition series is automatically filled by God in the minds of creationists and, if a new fossil discovery later bisects such a gap, then they now see just twice as many gaps!

What ID really amounts to, then, is an individual creationist being unable to think of an explanation for a particular biological or physical phenomenon and then, rather than seeing it as a legitimate target for increased scientific research, merely labelling it as “irreducibly complex” and attributing its cause to ID - hardly a scientific approach. If ID had been the prevailing credo throughout history, there would have been no scientific progress at all and we would still be living in the squalor of the Dark Ages.

Some ID proponents claim the existence of apparent self-organization and recurring patterns in nature (such as the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, double spirals, fractals, etc) as “proof” of design. However, such patterns can be shown to result from simple physics (the minimization of potential energy, spontaneous symmetry breaking, cellular automata, etc). The algorithm generating a fractal pattern is actually quite simple and so it is no big surprise that we see complex fractal patterns appear in nature. Indeed, it is what we would expect to appear in a system governed by a bottom up, evolutionary design process, and evolution itself is a similar kind of recursive method of complexity enhancement. If anything, the discovery that much of nature is based on math should be seen as evidence against a supernatural metaphysical entity, and it is a strange leap in logic to link the two.

Even if some of ID’s claims were true, though, they still do not address the question of who or what this intelligent designer is, and who designed the designer. Neither do they prove that a Creator designed and arranged the Solar System and the universe thus for the benefit of humanity. To use an analogy, a stone can be used to break a window, but it was clearly not designed for that purpose. Intelligent Design uses backward logic to argue that, rather than life on earth developing to fit the environment in which it found itself, the entire cosmos was personally tailored in advance by an intelligent designer God to precisely match human specifications and requirements.

This makes the presumptuous and audacious assumption that the whole universe effectively exists in order to allow mankind to flourish (an idea known as the Anthropic Principle), and conveniently ignores in the process all the millions of species (an estimated 98% of all species that have ever appeared on Earth) which have lapsed into extinction over the eons due to “mismatches” with their environment. But the universe was not “fine-tuned” to support human life, as ID proponents assume, but rather human life (and life in general) was fine-tuned to the universe through natural selection.

In the same way, there is no pre-ordained and pre-determined reason why the universe had to be as it is, and mankind’s appearance in it was not inevitable. Thus, atheists can also use the Anthropic Principle in their favour, to provide a rational, design-free explanation for the fact that we find ourselves in a situation propitious to our existence. However, it does not in itself “prove” how that came about, but merely describes how our planet happens to be one of those relatively rare planets in the universe on which the spark of life ignited, and where eukaryotic cells, DNA and eventually conscious beings developed. The proof is that we are here to discuss it! What ID really amounts to, then, is the tautologous claim that life is able to exist because the universe is able to support life.

The Argument from Imperfection suggests that, if the universe were designed to be fine-tuned for life, it should be the best one possible, but the evidence suggests that it is not. In fact, the vast majority of the universe is highly hostile to any life and, even on Earth, almost three-quarters of the planet is water and much of the rest of it desert, tundra, swamp and mountains, none of which provide ideal living conditions for humans and other life. In the same way, the very existence of apparent flaws in biological organs betrays their evolutionary history and argues eloquently against design.

The idea that a supreme intelligence is needed to fine-tune the very fundamental constants of the universe itself has become increasingly popular in recent decades. The astrophysicist Martin Rees, for example, has identified six such fundamental constants which are believed to hold all around the universe, and has argued that they too are in a small Goldilocks band leaving very little room for error. However, as before, any god capable of “twiddling the knobs” and tuning the important constants and variables of the universe as a whole would have to be at least as improbable as the finely-tuned combination of numbers itself. Equally improbable is the proposition that an all-powerful creator-god would choose to regulate the workings of the universe in such an abstruse and complex manner.

You can change alpha or the gravitational constant by a factor of 100 and stars still form.

- Fred Adams (2008)


Furthermore, as science progresses, it is becoming increasingly apparent that many of the fine-tuned variables and constants may be interconnected and perhaps interdependent, and recent research suggests that even quite large variations in key parameters such as the masses of electrons and neutrons and the strengths of the electromagnetic and strong interactions still do not rule out the development of stars, planets and the possibility of life as we know it. It should also be recognized that life as we know it might not exist if things were different, but a different sort of life might well exist in its place (sometimes called the Argument by Lack of Imagination).

Also, if we accept the idea proposed by some scientists and philosopher that our universe is but one material universe in a "multiverse" in which all possible material universes are ultimately realized, then there is nothing particularly suspicious or unlikely about the fact that at least one of them is a fine-tuned universe. Another possibility is that our universe is just one in a potentially endless series of serial (rather than parallel) universes, each beginning with a Big Bang and ending in a Big Crunch, only to begin all over again. Yet another variation is Lee Smolin’s idea of the birth of daughter universes (again potentially infinite in number) within black holes in existing universes, each with slightly mutated fundamental constants developing in a kind of cosmic natural selection process. The truth is, we just do not know, at least not yet.

The theologian Richard Swinburne takes ID to the extreme by claiming that God personally oversees and sustains every single fundamental particle and force in the universe in every single microsecond in order to maintain the order we see around us, as well as simultaneously concerning himself with the actions and prayers of every human (and presumably each little sparrow that falls).

Swinburne claims that this is a simple and logical hypothesis, but it actually has the appearance of being the most complex and unlikely of all explanations.

Regarding the specific ID argument that entropy is seen to be decreasing on Earth and order increasing, the Second Law of Thermodynamics specifically applies to a “closed system”, and the Earth is not a closed system, nor are most of our everyday experiences. Living things, for example, are not closed systems because they have external energy sources (e.g. food, oxygen, sunlight) whose production requires an offsetting net increase in entropy. The entire universe, however, is a closed system (so far as we know), and as a whole it is in fact expanding and increasingly entropic.

As for how an increasingly entropic universe can be consistent with the growth and development of galaxies, clusters, etc, it should be borne in mind that, as the universe continues to expand, so does its maximum possible entropy. The actual entropy in the universe is also increasing with time, but not to the same extent as its maximal entropy, leaving a “gap” or room for the formation of some increasing order (in the form of coalescing star systems, galaxies, etc). These pockets of order, however, are insignificant in the overall scheme of things, scattered randomly throughout the reaches of deep space, which on the whole exhibits very little structure and no sign of design. Even more tellingly, the visible universe represents only about 4% of the total mass of the universe, the balance being composed of “dark matter” and “dark energy”, about which we still know next to nothing.


Which way will Dajusta turn??
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#1302 Pouria

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:16 AM

The non-belief argument - "The premise of the argument is that if God existed (and wanted humanity to know it), he would have brought about a situation in which every reasonable person believed in him; however, there are reasonable unbelievers, and therefore, this weighs against God's existence."




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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHHAA!!!!!!!!!


Everyone has their opinion but don't think for a second that your opinion is more valid than theirs. Some people believe in god and think not everything can be seen like spirits and whatnot. And some people need scientific proof for everything and need to actually physically see something in order for them to believe.
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#1303 Sharpshooter

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:21 AM

It would seem to me that something has to be eternal or we for sure end up in an infinite regress of causes for causes and so on. So either God is eternal, or matter is, or some kind of physical energy is or something.


Exactly....and we have working theories(Big T and Small T) that the energy is more likely of the two.

See: Gravitational Fluctuations and Quantum Fluctuations.

And 2 things which we know to be factual....Law of Conservation of Energy, and The First Law of Thermodynamics. Two things which make our universe, and even the understanding of life and death easier to understand, than all the gobbledy-gook that goes with religous books of fairy tales...particularly the the Mid-Eastern desert ones. Oy Vey :picard:
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#1304 Sharpshooter

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:32 AM

Oh Oh Oh! Teacher!

Yes Horseshack?

The statements at the end of Genesis 1 seem to be more theological than chronological. They are telling who man is -made in God's image and that the male alone is not a complete representation of this image etc. the Genesis 2 statements have more of a chronological meaning to them and they indicate that man was made, then the land animals and then the first woman.

See? Depends how you look at it.

And so on and so on

Simple question: Why do you you only look from the skeptic's side?


Surely 'God' could have kept 'his story' in theological AND chronological order??

I mean seriously, light before stars?? What, did he have divine night-light??

It's so much nonsense, that I just want to curl up into a ball and cry over the stupidity of our species. :sadno:

But then I remember how entertaining it is watching people trying to fit round pegs into square holes. :lol:

'Football Hits Man's Groin' on America's Funniest Home Videos, indeed!
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#1305 Gumballthechewy

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:35 AM

But then I remember how entertaining it is watching people trying to fit round pegs into square holes. :lol:


I could make it work, I'm a wizard.

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#1306 dajusta

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:20 AM

Ugh, i'll try this again. The teleological argument has been debunked using science(physics, chemistry and biology) and Formal Logic.

Try to pay attention.


It isn't debunked! LOL at most, the counter argument is as flawed as much as the whole fleeting understanding of how the universe came to be. It's a theory.

To debunk the argument for complexity and design you'd have to answer with empirical evidences several reasons why and how random molecules and physics formulas are so complex and fine tuned for permitting life. Skeptics only have theories and hypotheses at BEST. Using hypothesis to debunk another hypothesis? That isn't debunked.

Besides, there is no understanding from cosmology that says the physical constants could have been anything else: no other way is necessarily possible. Stephen Hawking, in his book ‘The Grand Design’, says that the physical constants are self-regulating.

There is also not an understanding in biology that says that intelligent life could not arise in a different set of constants. If it could, in a different set of constants different intelligent life would be using the same argument. The premise gives too much significance to a particular intelligent life form: humans.


See what I mean? This argument stems from the point that our universe isn't extraordinary, which you and I believe it to be. Not a very solid theory is it?

P2: The ‘fine tuner’ of the universe must have been very powerful and very intelligent

Humans have a tendency to infer intelligence from patterns, and see patterns where there is none. Stephen Hawking’s idea of the physical constants being self-regulating removes both the idea of power and intelligence from the process.

Think of the patterns that humans used to ascribe to a Higher Intelligence, but are now forced to admit they are solely natural processes caused by natural laws(God Of The Gaps Fallacy): the orbits around our sun, the relative rising and setting of the sun, the tides, the seasons, crops etc.(Coral! :lol: )


I keep telling you that natural processes don't refute an intelligent designer. An average programmer can make software that automatically or "ooo naturally" reoccurs on the internet, but we all know just because it automatically occurs doesn't mean it self existed. Natural processes can be the constructs of intelligent design!

Stating "evolution" or "natural" processes does not rule out the fact that a designer used those methods as constructs of design. Stating the fact that a watch is MAN-MADE and comparing it to coral which exists NATURALLY does not speak on the scale of the origins of the universe, nor does it speak to the natural processes of how coral came to be, BOTH of which you and I can accept to be complex things.

:picard:

Last point:

P3: God is the only thing that is that powerful and that intelligent


This should read “the concept of God…”. But that is never how this premise is presented. P3 necessitates God’s existence when that is the very thing that needs to be proved: it begs the question. That is a logical fallacy. It is also a fallacy of equivocation(that's called Formal Logic) in that it says “God” in P3 and means the concept, but in the conclusion will mean a God that exists in reality.


This is your only strongest argument really, but it still leans in my favour. I'l show you how.

Yes it's true, that not necessarily a God is the fine tuner. Maybe it's aliens out there, maybe its a magical unicorn... from the argument thus far a bit of a leap to go from fine tuner to GOD right? But here is where the infinite regression pops in. This other "fine tuner" .. if it isn't God... it's probably something that IS NOT eternal. At which point is complex on its own. So who made this designer? Infinite regression points back to a GOD in the end.

I'l ask you one more time. If you took random molecules in the universe, mixed it up, say 10^100 trillion years, would you get coral? Coral - something much more complex than a computer monitor.

Edited by dajusta, 22 September 2012 - 11:44 AM.

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#1307 Heretic

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:44 PM

Everyone has their opinion but don't think for a second that your opinion is more valid than theirs. Some people believe in god and think not everything can be seen like spirits and whatnot. And some people need scientific proof for everything and need to actually physically see something in order for them to believe.


Yes, everyone has an opinion - and everyone is entitled to one - but to come out and say that "someone is not of sound mind" is not called for.

Yes, I agree, my opinion is not more valid than anyone else.
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#1308 Kryten

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:28 PM

No, what you did was bolded a bunch of posts that I have written but did not comment on them. That isn't work.. thats HIGHLIGHT, CTRL + B and POST.


I agree. I didn't work, nor did I claim to. You did all the work, mostly against yourself. I just pointed it out as per your request .

Then point out my logical fallacies and we can discuss them. I asked Sharpshooter what he believes in, an obvious attempt to see what he believes about God, the universe, and the reality of life, and he dodged twice. He's on the ropes, not me.


You are like a politician: if I were to ask a question about the environment I would end up with a bunch of BS arguments about foreign affairs. You slither away from the issue like a sewer eel. I have respect for Christians and other theists who honestly argue their position without malice. I have zero respect for you.
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#1309 dajusta

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:29 PM

I agree. I didn't work, nor did I claim to. You did all the work, mostly against yourself. I just pointed it out as per your request .



You are like a politician: if I were to ask a question about the environment I would end up with a bunch of BS arguments about foreign affairs. You slither away from the issue like a sewer eel. I have respect for Christians and other theists who honestly argue their position without malice. I have zero respect for you.


Then I'm sorry for your take on the matter.

So far I have yet to see any wrong doing on my point. What was offensive? That I explained credible evidences for God? Pointing out the fallacies is more than bolding points. You have to assert your critical thought.
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#1310 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:31 PM

Hey, I can use Webster's too:

Atheism: 2b: the doctrine that there is no deity

Doctrine: 2b: a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief : dogma

Dogma: 2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

Church: 2: the clergy or officialdom of a religious body. 3 often capitalized : a body or organization of religious believers: as a : the whole body of Christians b : denomination <the Presbyterian church> c : congregation

Denomination: 4 : a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices


The reason why there is a First Church of Atheism is because atheism qualifies as religion. According to the infinite wisdom of Webster's dictionary, atheism is a belief system, and therfore can be preached about in a church.

Remember, it's not me who arrived at this conclusion. It's a group of atheist activists who have decided that attempting to gain official religion status for atheism is a good idea.

Other atheists may or may not accept it, but that changes nothing. The belief system, and the religion, is still there. Just like how the belief in God is still there regardless of your acceptance of it.

Welcome to the new age of religion (and hypocrisy.)

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#1311 Bitter Melon

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:52 PM

Hey, I can use Webster's too:

Atheism: 2b: the doctrine that there is no deity

Doctrine: 2b: a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief : dogma

Dogma: 2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

Church: 2: the clergy or officialdom of a religious body. 3 often capitalized : a body or organization of religious believers: as a : the whole body of Christians b : denomination <the Presbyterian church> c : congregation

Denomination: 4 : a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices


The reason why there is a First Church of Atheism is because atheism qualifies as religion. According to the infinite wisdom of Webster's dictionary, atheism is a belief system, and therfore can be preached about in a church.

Remember, it's not me who arrived at this conclusion. It's a group of atheist activists who have decided that attempting to gain official religion status for atheism is a good idea.

Other atheists may or may not accept it, but that changes nothing. The belief system, and the religion, is still there. Just like how the belief in God is still there regardless of your acceptance of it.

Welcome to the new age of religion (and hypocrisy.)


Mmm, no. A religion is a set of beliefs. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. That's it. You can be an Atheist and religious, but Atheism is in-itself not a religion. For example, you can be an Atheist and a Buddhist. You can be an Atheist and not believe in evolution. There is no set belief or Atheist doctrine. It's merely the lack of belief (or belief in, however you want to swing it) of a single concept. Unless of course you think a solitary idea constitutes a religion. In that case I belong to the church of "Don't punch people in the face."

Edited by CAPSLOCK, 22 September 2012 - 04:00 PM.

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#1312 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:04 PM

Mmm, no. A religion is a set of beliefs. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. That's it. You can be an Atheist and religious, but Atheism is in-itself not a religion. For example, you can be an Atheist and a Buddhist. You can be an Atheist and not believe in evolution. There is no set belief or Atheist doctrine. It's merely the lack of belief (or belief in, however you want to swing it) of a single concept. Unless of course you think a solitary idea constitutes a religion. In that case I belong to the church of "Don't punch people in the face."

Very well said.
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#1313 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:07 PM

There is no relation between punching people in the face, baseball, hockey, etc. and God. That's why those arguments don't work. Whereas the belief in there being no God directly ties into religion.

The belief in there not being a God qualifies as religious belief. Hence, there being a need for a First Church of Atheism. They feel persecuted by those who believe in God. It's no different that the relationship between other denominations. They all believe in a doctrine. Atheism's just happens to reject God.

'Methodism is a rejection of Calvinism.'
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#1314 Nevlach

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:10 PM

Mmm, no. A religion is a set of beliefs. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. That's it. You can be an Atheist and religious, but Atheism is in-itself not a religion. For example, you can be an Atheist and a Buddhist. You can be an Atheist and not believe in evolution. There is no set belief or Atheist doctrine. It's merely the lack of belief (or belief in, however you want to swing it) of a single concept. Unless of course you think a solitary idea constitutes a religion. In that case I belong to the church of "Don't punch people in the face."

Like I've said many times it's more than just a lack of belief depending on your position. If you simply lack a belief in god based on a lack of evidence then yes you are still and atheist. If you lack a belief in god and have reasons and evidence to suggest he doesn't exist then you not only lack a belief but BECAUSE of your reasons to suggest he doesn't exist you go one step further.

So it depends. Not to play semantics but atheism can mean either (1) The lack of a belief in god or gods or (2) The denial of the existence of god or gods.

Though I agree it's not a religion.

Edited by Nevlach, 22 September 2012 - 04:11 PM.

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#1315 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:12 PM

I would agree that atheism probably shouldn't be a religion, but with atheist activism on the rise, the amount of aggression and jealousy towards theist denominations has led to some of them adopting a 'can't beat em? Join em' attitude. This will tick off non-practicing atheists of course, but that doesn't change much.

You can't preach on and on about there being no God and not expect that movement to eventually become a religion. Yeah, it's hypocrisy, but 2,000 years ago Jesus being a Jew was hypocrisy.
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#1316 Nevlach

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:13 PM

I would agree that atheism probably shouldn't be a religion, but with atheist activism on the rise, the amount of aggression and jealousy towards theist denominations has led to some of them adopting a 'can't beat em? Join em' attitude. This will tick off non-practicing atheists of course, but that doesn't change much.

You can't preach on and on about there being no God and not expect that movement to eventually become a religion. Yeah, it's hypocrisy, but 2,000 years ago Jesus being a Jew was hypocrisy.

I guess it depends on the definition of atheism we use haha.

Oh the words games we can play! :D
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#1317 VICanucksfan5551

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:14 PM

There is no relation between punching people in the face, baseball, hockey, etc. and God. That's why those arguments don't work. Whereas the belief in there being no God directly ties into religion.

The belief in there not being a God qualifies as religious belief. Hence, there being a need for a First Church of Atheism. They feel persecuted by those who believe in God. It's no different that the relationship between other denominations. They all believe in a doctrine. Atheism's just happens to reject God.

'Methodism is a rejection of Calvinism.'

Would theism be a religion, then? How about deism? Pantheism?
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#1318 Bitter Melon

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:17 PM

There is no relation between punching people in the face, baseball, hockey, etc. and God. That's why those arguments don't work. Whereas the belief in there being no God directly ties into religion.

The belief in there not being a God qualifies as religious belief. Hence, there being a need for a First Church of Atheism. They feel persecuted by those who believe in God. It's no different that the relationship between other denominations. They all believe in a doctrine. Atheism's just happens to reject God.

'Methodism is a rejection of Calvinism.'


No. If you'd actually looked into that site, instead of reading the title and making assumptions, you'd see that they merely provide the opportunity for secular people to perform marriage or funeral ceremonies. That's it. It's not an actual church, it's just a name. The only 'need' being fulfilled is people not wanting to have god slathered over their marriage ceremony or the funeral of a loved one.

And there is no direct correlation to Buddhism and God either. So go try telling a Buddhist that their religion isn't real.

And again, a single common belief does not constitute a doctrine or religion. If that were true, then I propose that (hopefully) all of us belong to the 'Thor is not real' religion.

Edited by CAPSLOCK, 22 September 2012 - 04:21 PM.

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#1319 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:18 PM

If somebody wants to use Websters as a definition bible, then he might've wanted to look at the definition of atheism first.

The doctrine of there not being a deity can easily be tranformed into religion if a church so chooses. Forget First Church of Atheism, What about Buddhism?
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#1320 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:25 PM

I've already addressed that church. It is a website now, but they're raising money with intent on making a place for their congregation to get together to share their beliefs. Ie. A real church, complete with a religious symbol, religious ceremony and eventually official religion status. They're also signed up 3,500 atheist ministers to 'spread the word' around the globe.

There clearly are atheists who practice atheism as a religion, even if they don't want to call it one.

No. If you'd actually looked into that site, instead of reading the title and making assumptions, you'd see that they merely provide the opportunity for secular people to perform marriage or funeral ceremonies. That's it. It's not an actual church, it's just a name. The only 'need' being fulfilled is people not wanting to have god slathered over their marriage ceremony or the funeral of a loved one.

And there is no direct correlation to Buddhism and God either. So go try telling a Buddhist that their religion isn't real.

And again, a single common belief does not constitute a doctrine or religion. If that were true, then I propose that (hopefully) all of us belong to the 'Santa Claus is not real' religion.


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