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That can't be true...
How dare you doubt the provenance of the Word of God!!
The problem with the question that I see (sorry I didn't see this earlier) is that, the first one I would like to ask (and it as hard to ask one god as any other) why they had to HIDE all the time, what reason did they have for hiding?As my dad would say, "put that in your pipe and smoke it" :-P
“Why would an all-powerful creator decide to plant his carefully crafted species on islands and continents in exactly the appropriate pattern to suggest, irresistibly, that they had evolved and dispersed from the site of their evolution?”
― Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
Why not? Perhaps we would have found any other placement and scenario equally as preposterous.
Furthermore, perhaps there are things we can and will learn about God and ourselves precisely because of this placement and pattern. That's been the case with previous scientific discoveries. It took time, of course. We are much too hasty to think incredulity is the same as impossibility.
"We are much too hasty to think incredulity is the same as impossibility."
Agreed, as that way lies unquestioning religion.
Do not read the next part if you find criticism of faith somehow offensive.
If the Universe was created in such a manner as to appear natural and un-created, then surely that creator is dishonest, a fraudster if you will? Further, they are deliberately entrapping questioning humans - anybody who takes the evidence at its face value will deduce that the Universe and Life came to exist without the intervention of a creator, so, logically, there is no creator. However, according to Believers, all those who look at the evidence and say it was not created are damned to [insert eternal punishment of choice]. That is not the act of a kind, loving creator, but a cruel, thoughtless child, the cosmic version of pulling the legs of spiders.
TLDR: The Universe looks un-created, therefore either it is un-created, or it was created as a deliberate deception.
Not offensive at all.
If the Universe was created in such a manner as to appear natural and un-created
My assessment of the evidence is exactly the opposite. Every drop of the universe as I understand it suggests creation. As much as this site suggests there are people making things, the existence of elephants, atoms and galaxies suggests that these things were caused. I see how a presupposition that there is no creator would lead you to make the opposite assessment, but both positions depend on believing on the possibility or impossibility of a creator. So that kinda creates a circular logic.
then surely that creator is dishonest, a fraudster if you will?
You are assuming that a creator would be bound to some moral standard that was set in place by...whom? I don't believe creation is deceptive at all on this point...mysterious and beyond our grasp constantly, but not deceptive. I've read many an Instructable I didn't understand, but I didn't think the author was trying to trick me. A few of those challenged me to come to a new understanding. Some are still beyond my grasp. While we (humans) are always making progress at discovering causes in the world around us we are still bound within a system of cause and effect. The consistency of the universe is the foundation of science. But what causes this consistency? I am a questioning human, and I do not find it logical that there would be no creator.
However, according to Believers, all those who look at the evidence and say it was not created are damned to [insert eternal punishment of choice]. That is not the act of a kind, loving creator, but a cruel, thoughtless child, the cosmic version of pulling the legs of spiders.
This might be a good argument against the correctness and consistency of the believers, but not necessarily against a creator. If God does exist and he has in any way revealed himself to us, it does not follow that we (humans) will immediately understand. Nor does it follow that we will perfectly respond. Sure, "believers" have used hell to scare and manipulate. Unbelievers have been willing to do the same thing. You shouldn't think, however, that just because someone misuses a truth or misconstrues a truth that the truth isn't there.
If one believes that God doesn't exist because he is too slow to reveal himself, too slow to act against evil, too lax in allowing pain, then one is making a value judgment based on a gut feeling. In making things we are quick to "eyeball" our situation and think we have it figured out. When we finally get the tools to make a accurate measurement we often find we were utterly wrong.
Too long. I know. Sorry if it comes off as preachy, but I just think a reasoned discussion deserves to continue beyond propaganda statements and bumper sticker rhetoric. I've seen and benefited from a lot of your work, creativity, and intelligence on this site. (Thanks, by the way.) Keep up the good work!
Creation, especially as described by the Abrahamic religions, would not leave traces of evolution, either cosmic or biological.
Especially biological - going by biblical creation, all humans should be genetically identical, even make and female.
"You are assuming that a creator would be bound to some moral standard that was set in place by...whom?"
How about that set in place by the alleged creator, which humans are expected to live (and die) by. Something about not bearing false witness...?
To a truly inquisitive mind, there is nothing to suggest the existence of a deity (although there are sound, evolutionary reasons for the existence of religion amongst pre-literate cultures). The Universe is a wonderful, awe-inspiring place, full of incredible natural phenomena, but, all the evidence that exists points to an ancient, naturally-occuring Universe, with all that it contains being consequenctial to the original expansion event.
Until you can show otherwise, point to an event, process or phenomenon that cannot be explained through natural processes, I'm afraid this is where I stand; firmly in this amazing reality.
I love thinking about these things. Please read all of the following as nice, positive, and (hopefully) constructive. That is genuinely how I mean it. I know these type discussions can come across as otherwise.
Abrahamic religions teach that creation is a miraculous event. Miracles generally do not leave scientific evidence, only witnesses with their possibly flawed points of view. For example if I turn water into wine and do a good job of it, any scientific test you do on the wine won't show it to have been water just moments ago. Is that deception? Only if I claim that I did no miracle and the water had actually always been wine. So what you might call deception, I would call doing a competent job at making a miracle.
Holding a mythical creator to a mythical standard may serve as evidence against the creator, but it also serves as evidence against the standard. If deception is bad (according to God), God is a deceiver, and therefore does not exist, then you need a new reason to believe that deception is bad. If deception is sometimes good, then God is not necessarily inconsistent. If deception is always bad...why is it always bad? I digress.
"To a truly inquisitive mind..." I can only imagine saying that with a British accent with one eyebrow raised, pipe in hand. Haha! But I feel pretty inquisitive, and my curiosity makes me entirely open to the possibility of a deity. The fact that I continue to discover new truths makes me more and more confident that there is a Truth. If that is correct then I feel the proper conclusion is that there is a cause (and meaning) for existence. Perhaps I should be looking to the original expansion event for meaning, but I feel I should look at least one step further.
I recognize that science has its limits when it comes to that. So if scientific observation is to be the only tool, I feel we are hopelessly limited in our knowledge. If belief is limited that way then belief itself is a contradiction. You don't really believe anything, you just have the data. But truthfully, we have to form all kinds of ideas and make all kinds of decisions without evidence or proof that it is correct. If being awestruck, or angry, or in love, is just the product of our evolutionary development, then what does it matter what anybody believes about anything?
Sorry, that is biased interpretation.
There is nothing in the available reliable evidence that indicates or could indicate any form of supernatural involvement in the origins, arrangement or operation of the Universe or anything in it.
If you know otherwise, though, please feel free to enlighten me.
I think all interpretations are biased. Bias is at least one of the things that makes us human. I think it has more to do with every person's belief than reason or science (though almost everyone considers themselves reasonable).
Reliable evidence is a subjective idea. I acknowledge there is not sufficient scientific evidence to prove anything supernatural. Anything that there is reliable scientific evidence for is by definition "natural." I would say that there is plenty that "could indicate" supernatural involvement, but I feel like you are more interested in things that definitely indicate the supernatural. For that I'm ill equipped.
For me, the human search for Truth and Beauty is a suggestion that there is more than an accidental form of existence. Seems just as plausible to me and answers (or begins to answer) all the questions I find important. Ultimately, it is my personal faith journey that has led me to believe what I believe. I'm not expecting you to accept that as enlightenment or anything. Just describing where I'm coming from.
Now bow your head and close your eyes. Pray to the Skygod with me...
"Reliable evidence is a subjective idea."
No, it isn't. That's kind of the point.
"Anything that there is reliable scientific evidence for is by definition "natural." "
No, it just means that it is real. If that evidence can be explained by existing theories, then it is natural. If it cannot, then we can consider the super-natural.
"For me, the human search for Truth and Beauty is a suggestion that there is more than an accidental form of existence."
Absolutely not, it is the affirmation that humans have evolved to the point where we can not only see patterns in the Universe around us, but seek to explain them and the deeper history behind them.
Well, to play devil's advocate, epistemology IS a perfectly valid field of philosophical inquiry and debate (which is, I think, where the "reliable evidence is a subjective idea" statement is coming from).
I'm certainly not disputing that knowledge of the outside world via science - that is, via observation - is the most reliable method in the history of humankind.
But there's a catch. The scientific method relies upon sense data. And sense data is inherently subjective, which leads us right down the rabbit hole. (Yes, I know, peer review - but then you have Descartes' problem with which to wrangle...)
My ultimate point: we - and I do mean we - must remember to acknowledge that scientism is indeed a philosophical position* - that it is predicated upon a certain philosophical framework. That's what made it so revolutionary! Denial of the same is aught but the dogmatism of fundamentalist theology.
(*And therefore subject to philosophical definition and debate, which is what has happened with the statement "reliable evidence is a subjective idea.")
Epistomology may be a valud field of inquiry, but its existence is not in itself evidence of the supernatual, which is what Justbennet states.
From an article on epistemological Reliabilism; "In order to have a valid claim of knowledge for any proposition, one must be justified in believing "p" and "p" must be true."
To me, both the justification of the belief, and the demonstration of "truth" are provided by the same thing, [scientifically] reliable evidence.
As my old maths teacher used to say; "if you can't show your working, any right answer is just a lucky guess".
>Epistomology may be a valud field of inquiry, but its existence is not in itself evidence of the supernatual
I'm not making that assertion, so we agree there. :)
I understand that Justbennet is making a somewhat different argument from what I'm addressing - specifically, he goes much farther. I certainly respect, and in practice myself adhere to, the pragmatist (with a small p, not a large one) position that "it works (or seems to, given everything I know about the world) so I'll use it." I'm just responding to what I read as philosophical undertones in their posts (the search for truth and beauty, the assertion that the objective is, in some sense, subjective, etc) - an aspect of this debate which it would be a real shame to gloss over. :)
I got that.
Sometimes the argument is its own end.
ah, good times. We haven't had that spirit here since 2009...
+1 caitlinsdad :D
I miss the old BBC science forums - we'd happily slice and dice at each other over creationism, free energy, homeopathy etc, then shake metaphoric hands and ask after each other's family.
With Kingdom Hall only three minutes walk from my door, I get my share of door-knocking, and they generally leave with more than their share of sarcasm and unanswerable argument ringing in their ears.
They finally defeated me last week - instead of the usual suited-and-booted, forceful young men I get, they sent a pair of terribly nice little old ladies. I just couldn't bring myself to perform my usual theological surgery, we had a nice little chat, agreed that we each had a point of view, and then they went on their way.
I came *this* close to inviting them in for a cup of tea, it was frightening!
Posted:Dec 4, 2011
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