God: a failed hypothesis or something more?


(Marvin Adams) #261

No wonder that you do not get anywhere in a debate if you do not accept basic definitions of the subjects that you debate. The suggestion is that things that begin to exist need a cause, eternal things by definition do not. To ignore definitions makes you argue from ignorance which is intellectually lacking.

If you would have made an effort to look up the links, which apparently you haven’t you would not assert your unsubstantiated claim. The link about causality should have given you an idea about how cause and effect are interconnected, an understanding you seem to lack. Also the concept of defining the properties of a cause from deductive reasoning seems to be beyond your horizon. Unlike you, most people make up definitions for a reason, e.g. based on the available evidence for example the evidence that the physical universe from all the evidence available appears to have a beginning, thus is in need of a cause. If you claim that this postulated infinite existing cause requires a cause you clearly lack the understanding of the concept of infinite existence. The video link from WLC would have helped, but then you gave that a pass as well.

Thus, ignoring all the evidence presented to you and calling the definition of an eternal creator unsubstantiated and, particularly in the face of the argument that our physical universe can’t be past eternal from the evidence presented, to them make the unreasoned assertion to define the physical reality time transcendent, when it clearly is not, is the pinnacle of childishness. So your demand for me “not to be childish” is quite amusing.

Whilst infinity is a difficult concept for a child, it should be comprehensible to a grown up that tries to partake in intellectual conversation, otherwise one should give that a pass to avoid embarrassment.

If you do not understand that the position of theology is exactly that the metaphysical realm of God is not having the same space time boundaries as the physical universe, e.g. that there is more to our reality than the physical one, you really have a problem here, so in what web of assumptions you are operating is beyond my imagination, but it does not seem to be grounded in reason, let alone fact, thus goodluck with your opinion


(GJDS) #262

It is useful to discuss the three (classical) states of matter (solid, liquid and gaseous) - we generally discuss these as molecules that posses various kinetic (and potential) energies. The forces involved are related to the motions of these molecules. Laws as governing these states of matter are in fact derived from molecular theory - I am stating this to point out the deficiencies of the discussion. Yes the ideal gas law assumes particles in motion and pv=nRT relates the measured properties.


(John Dalton) #263

If you just define things without evidence and expect every one to follow along, congratulations, you will be able to say that in every discussion. Sorry, you’re too uncivil and ridiculous for me to talk to any further.


(Marvin Adams) #264

I think I am happy to be spared any talking by you if you ignore the evidence presented to you anyhow. Such arguing from ignorance is not fulfilling so I am not surprised that you find it frustrating trying to avoid to present evidence for your position, as if you have not got any, whilst ignoring the evidence presented to you. I guess your definition of evidence is probably as coherent as your demand for a cause for an eternal existence, going well with your opinion of me being uncivilised and ridiculous for trying to encourage you to apply logic and coherence to your thinking.

I wish you a pieceful Christmas, hopefully some peace as well.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #265

@John_Dalton

The beauty of the Big Bang is that it is clear evidence of the Beginning of the universe so we can test to see if God, the Source of Reality, exists or not.


(John Dalton) #266

Thanks, merry Christmas to you too!

You seem to assume that the universe and reality are one and the same. To me, it seems that our knowledge of the universe is insufficient to make such an assertion. For all I know, the beginning of our universe may have been an insignificant event in the larger context of reality.

Hope you had a good Christmas too Roger! The universe and different possible perceptions of reality don’t matter so much in that context I think :slight_smile:


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #267

Thank you for the Christmas greetings, however it seems in the context that you do not understand the meaning of Christmas.The universe and different possible perceptions of reality do matter much in the context of Christmas.

As I hope you know the Gospel of John begins,John 1:1-3 (NIV2011)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.
John 1:14 (NIV2011)
14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

This passage says that YHWH God formed the universe in the Beginning through the Logos, YHWH’s rational Word, Who is Jesus Christ. It brings together Science and the Universe with Philosophy and the Logos or Meaning of Reality with YHWH God Who is the Purpose and Source of all that is.

Now you might ask, why is this important and how is this connected with Christmas. Well above you wrote

That is a good question and if we do not know anything about the beginning of the universe then it is almost surely as you say. But if our universe is insignificant, then how much more insignificant are you and me?

Christmas says the contrary. It says that we do something about the beginning of the universe and the universe is not insignificant and neither are we. So I suggest that you stop rejecting what we have learned from science, philosophy, and theology and enjoy the significance of our universe and Life though God.


(John Dalton) #268

You’re reading a lot more into that than I intended Roger! I just hope you and those close to you had a good day and are having a good season, in whatever way is meaningful to you.

That’s all relative. To us, our significance is rather amplified :slight_smile:

That’s a suggestion that I could not honestly claim to accept at this time. It’s not like I dreamed up my convictions over a glass of anisette last night, so that’s probably always going to be how that goes. Then again, one never knows. I sincerely hope that doesn’t trouble you unduly. I will note though that I never said that the universe, or we, lack any significance. I am also fully enjoying the significance that I do perceive in it. All that being said, to hopefully shed some light on things, please let me explain my previous comment further. Hypothetically, what if universes arise and die constantly in reality? That would make the beginning of our universe objectively less significant than if it were a one-off event.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #269

Why are we dealing in speculation here, when the Big Bang Theory allows us to deal in facts? God is God of the facts. I will let Atheos be the god of the speculative gaps.


#270

As we have probably discussed in previous threads, atheists are looking for one type of evidence. If that evidence isn’t there, then it isn’t there. However, this atheist fully appreciates the adage “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. Where I sense that we differ is on the matter of faith.[quote=“GJDS, post:249, topic:37310”]
I claim that it is reasonable to conclude that God exists, and because of this, my beliefs are based on God’s revelation through Christ. Since it is reasonable, and since all lines of inquiry within myself are consistent with reason (to me), I have come to my outlook.
[/quote]

Surely you realize that asserting your conclusions to be reasonable does not make them reasonable. If conclusions became reasonable simply by proclaiming them to be so it would lead to a lot of pretty unreasonable conclusions.[quote=“GJDS, post:249, topic:37310”]
I again ask for a reasonable argument from atheists - it seems to me that they either: (a) hope Christians cease to have faith, or (b) they cannot come to a settled, reasoned position regarding God and faith, and seek debate.
[/quote]

I do not hope that you will stop having faith. All I and other atheists are doing is stating our position, that we have not seen compelling evidence that is verifiable by some independent means. The motto of the Royal Society, one of the first scientific societies, is “Nullius in verba” which roughly translates to “Take no one’s word for it”, and that is probably a good description of the approach many atheists take. Our argument is that evidence needs to be verifiable and independent, and it is this type of evidence that we look for.

The reason that I, as an atheist, speak on these issues is not to simply argue against having faith or having religious belief. Rather, I hope that theists will have a better understanding of where I, as an atheist, am coming from. All too often we atheists here silly things like “they are just atheists because they don’t want to be held accountable” or “deep down they really believe in God”. I think it is worthwhile to have our voices heard so that people are not mistaken about where we are coming from or how we approach these questions.


#271

If particles did not move randomly then gases would not produce constant pressure within a container and the second law of thermodynamics would not work. If all of the higher energy gas molecules moved non-randomly towards the center of a container then entropy would not work. Only through random motion do you spread heat and create pressure.[quote=“Relates, post:248, topic:37310”]
The question is: Most people say that the Big Bang Theory is evidence that the universe has a Beginning. I can understand that you do not agree that the Big Bang is proof for the existence of God, but I find it very puzzling for you to claim that the Big Bang theory doe not provide any evidence for the view that the universe has a beginning.
[/quote]

I never claimed that the universe did not have a beginning. There are lots of things that have a beginning, such as a cloud, lightning, me, planets, solar systems, rock formations, and so on. I just don’t see why having a beginning evidences a supernatural deity.


#272

What law is that?[quote=“marvin, post:253, topic:37310”]
If it would, do you postulate that gas molecules have the consciousness to create a law?
[/quote]

Why would it take a consciousness to create a law?[quote=“marvin, post:253, topic:37310”]
the evidence for a creator is clearly his creation, e.g. our existence . Now if you are not convinced by the existence of creation you must expect something better than what you’ve got - the most likely issue for some atheists disgruntled existence - or have a belief that our existence is not based on creation.
[/quote]

I think you will need to explain why the creation evidences God. Simply asserting it won’t work.[quote=“marvin, post:253, topic:37310”]
Tell me what evidence you would expect to find of a creator.
[/quote]

The type of evidence I would accept phenomena that run counter to what we would expect to see from natural processes. I fully accept that God could work through nature or create a universe that appears to be fully natural, but what I would need to see is something that differentiates a universe created without God from a universe that was created by God. If you can’t distinguish between those two things, then parsimony favors the universe that was not created by God.[quote=“marvin, post:253, topic:37310”]
And if you do not think that the universe was created bot always existed you should explain how you think matter has created laws, logic and meaning as that must be your belief if you claim that meaning, e.g. the logos did not predate the existence of matter.
[/quote]

That would be a shift in the burden of proof. I don’t know how the universe got started. You claim you do know. Therefore, the burden of proof lies with you. As Christopher Hitchens said, “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”.[quote=“marvin, post:253, topic:37310”]
And no, I never heard of benny hinn, so thanks for the enlightenment. If you do not realise that he sells Santa and not God/Jesus I would question your intellectual faculties. Prosperity preaching is making him rich for sure but it is only a reason to reject people like him, not God. If however someone demands miracle healing in order to convince them of the existence of God they are far less of an intellectual then Benny Hinn’s followers. Whilst they can be excused by being naive and easily mislead, for someone claiming to be an intellectual to demand a healing miracle as a proof of God’s existence is a declaration of intellectual bankruptcy. So please enlighten us what evidence you would expect to see that convinces you for God to exist
[/quote]

You claimed that atheists were inventing healing by prayer and other such stuff. I was merely pointing out that it is Christians making claims about being healed through prayer.


#273

The rules of Newton are based on the random motion of gas particles.


(Marvin Adams) #274

My experience tells me that nothing creates itself but anything that begins to exist has a causal agent. Thus anything created is to me evidence of a creating force.

Whilst to me this is deductive reasoning, if you think that this is assertion you must have a different experience, so please enlighten me.

[quote=“T_aquaticus, post:272, topic:37310”]
The type of evidence I would accept phenomena that run counter to what we would expect to see from natural processes. I fully accept that God could work through nature or create a universe that appears to be fully natural, but what I would need to see is something that differentiates a universe created without God from a universe that was created by God.
[/quote]Now if we define God as supernatural, e.g. the reason for the natural and rational world, if you expect God to do irrational things to prove himself to you, you have a perverse understanding of God. Now if you would expect to differentiate a universe created without being created from a created universe you would have to explain how you could have an uncreated universe, e.g. a past eternal universe. To assert that the universe is past eternal won’t do as the evidence speaks against that, so parsimony has nothing to do with that

Sorry, but the evidence as we have it so far stands with the universe having a beginning of time space. you assert that the universe is past eternal, so as the assertion is yours you have the burden of proof. So,
"As Christopher Hitchens said, “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”

I never claimed that atheists “invented healing by prayer” as healing is achieved by prayer indeed and some people are even so naive to believe that prayer gives them healing in the form of God fulfilling their wishes for reality and for a perfect body but it is a difference between beings so naive to believe that God’s healing is material in nature, but to claim to be an intellectual and demand that to be the case is a different matter. That demand is a declaration of intellectual bankruptcy as it is logically incoherent - unless you believe God ought to be Santa’s big brother - which is logically incoherent in it’s own right :slight_smile:


#275

Where is the evidence that this creative force is a supernatural deity?[quote=“marvin, post:274, topic:37310”]
Whilst to me this is deductive reasoning, if you think that this is assertion you must have a different experience, so please enlighten me.
[/quote]

Then include the deductive reasoning and we will see how it pans out.[quote=“marvin, post:274, topic:37310”]
Now if we define God as supernatural, e.g. the reason for the natural and rational world, if you expect God to do irrational things to prove himself to you, you have a perverse understanding of God. Now if you would expect to differentiate a universe created without being created from a created universe you would have to explain how you could have an uncreated universe, e.g. a past eternal universe. To assert that the universe is past eternal won’t do as the evidence speaks against that, so parsimony has nothing to do with that
[/quote]

What would distinguish a universe operating completely through natural process without any deity from a universe created by God and operated by God? If everything we know about is consistent with natural processes, then that is the conclusion I go with. Adding unevidenced and superfluous deities to the operation of everything in nature violates parsimony.[quote=“marvin, post:274, topic:37310”]
Sorry, but the evidence as we have it so far stands with the universe having a beginning of time space. you assert that the universe is past eternal, so as the assertion is yours you have the burden of proof. So,
"As Christopher Hitchens said, “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”
[/quote]

I never asserted an eternal universe, so I don’t know what you are going on about.

You claimed that God created the universe, and trying to shift the burden of proof to others isn’t going to change that. If all you can do is point to the proposal that the universe had a beginning, then I will also point out that clouds have a beginning, as do lightning bolts, rocks, and rivers. Do those require a deity to create them since natural processes can not produce something that has a beginning?[quote=“marvin, post:274, topic:37310”]
I never claimed that atheists “invented healing by prayer” as healing is achieved by prayer indeed and some people are even so naive to believe that prayer gives them healing in the form of God fulfilling their wishes for reality and for a perfect body but it is a difference between beings so naive to believe that God’s healing is material in nature, but to claim to be an intellectual and demand that to be the case is a different matter. That demand is a declaration of intellectual bankruptcy as it is logically incoherent - unless you believe God ought to be Santa’s big brother - which is logically incoherent in it’s own right :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Again, it is Christians who are claiming that God is Santa’s big brother. We atheists are simply taking those Christians’ claims at face value.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #276

The evidence that the universe was created out of nothing through the Big Bang at the beginning of the matter, energy, times, and space is verifiable and independent.

The problem seems to be not the quality of evidence, but because it disagrees with your world view. Would you agree that if the statement above is true, than that fact would provide significant evidence for the existence of YHWH/God?


#277

What is that evidence?[quote=“Relates, post:276, topic:37310”]
The problem seems to be not the quality of evidence, but because it disagrees with your world view. Would you agree that if the statement above is true, than that fact would provide significant evidence for the existence of YHWH/God?
[/quote]

The problem is that you claim to have evidence, but then never present it when asked.


(GJDS) #278

I think you make too little of what I (and other Christians) consider reasonable. If I, to the best of my abilities, examine science, philosophy, theology, and my experiences, and from these reason that the correct conclusion is that God created all I may observe and consider, including human personhood (soul), than I cannot accept your inference that I have come to an unsound or questionable position.

Thus the constant (and at time somewhat odd) assertion from atheists for your version of evidence has a hollow ring to me.

I can understand where an atheist comes from, generally speaking. If we were to discuss the Christian faith, and that of repentance, we can generally see all of us starting as atheists, Christians have discussed this notion of absence of faith, separated from God by sin, for centuries. So I can readily see why you would argue from the point of sense based phenomena and a materialistic outlook - we believe that until God acts, by His Grace, we are all materialists - however, we use different terms, and it is here that we end up having discussions that get us nowhere.

While as a scientist I understand the reasoning for this motto, if we think about it, we can cast doubt on just about everything in life - I can amuse myself by saying, “I do not take the Society’s word” also, since their motto amounts to their word.

My only disappointment regarding these type of discussions is the lack of discussion, query, criticism, by atheists of Christian theology. If we seek a better understanding of a subject, and to provide reasoning on it, we should have delved in it. I have yet to find anything of substance on this site (or pronouncements from prominent atheists) on serious theological reasons/maters/discusions. I guess you may understand why I would find this disappointing.

I cannot see how accountability comes into this discussion - we are accountable to God, and He knows our hearts. As I mentioned, we are asked to repent (change, leave our previous beliefs and outlooks, become more like Christ, etc), so a theist comes from a position where he acknowledges his errors and sins, and look to Christ for a renewed existence.

This is our evidence. It also includes reasoning, such as causality, our knowledge that includes that of beginning (after all we all begin at birth and end in death, so it is hardly a trivial assertion) :smile:.
.


(Marvin Adams) #279

considering that the physical reality is space time constrained the creative force for the physical reality ought to be metaphysical for it having to be free of that constraint. Also it would have to be able to apply a will to the physical reality as to put it under a law, not assuming that physical matter submits to acting according to a law out of its own accord. If you assume a creator that is not time space independent but in need of a creator you end up with infinite regress which would be unsatisfactory to the definition of an ultimate reason, e.g. a creator God that one would deduce under the given evidence of our existence and that the universe had a beginning.

where is the evidence that the material universe is created form the same stuff that it is but at the same time the material universe is not past eternal. Please enlighten us with your priceless logic, particularly how in your materialistic worldview the laws of nature came into existence and how you propose consciousness to come into existence.

Whilst you will find that any effect has an immediate cause, as is the nature of existence, you will have to go further than that cause to explain reality. Normally materialism and evolution are interdependent as to the belief of how you came into existence, so explain to me the ultimate cause of your existence by your logic.

Just because there are Christians that like Atheists confuse God with Santa’s big brother due to the lack of coherent thinking does not justify to critique their thinking if ones own thinking is equally inept. In fact to lay claim ones own capacity of being able to think critically, like Marshall Brain does in his video 10 questions that every intelligent christian must answer only shows up his lack of critical thinking and is therefore prime sunday school material for those who can demonstrate his failure in every question in a logically coherent way. Unfortunately many fail as they try to defend their own materialistic worldview they hide behind calling it Christianity, but then they lack coherence to begin with. To believe in a materialistic magician God is excusable by naivety, to demand proof of one is either a declaration of intellectual bankruptcy or a sign of intellectual dishonesty, so you can choose which category you want to fall into


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #280

@Mervin_Bitikofer,

Thank you for your support in the discussion with T. and John Dalton.

Sadly it appears that the atheist arguments against God have degraded into excuses for not believing. I think that reflects on the power of God, especially where one should expect God to be most visible, which is in the Beginning where theology, philosophy, and science need to come together to explain the Arche of the universe.

Ironically part of the problem today is the Six Day theology of creation which makes it awkward to say that one theology of the Creation is dead wrong, while another one is right on target. Of course we will still have bad theology which can always be an excuse, while knowing good theology does not solve the problem.