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#91 of 157 Old 05-17-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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When that question is asked, the standard response is that God is outside of time and space, and is an eternal being with no beginning and no end. To me, this sounds like a cop-out.
Thats exactly what I was going to say, but you've heard it before and to me it makes perfect sense and creates in me a personal sense of awe for Him who did create everything. To you it sounds ridiculous, to me it makes perfect sense. Whats more is that I do see him at word every moment of my life. I see His hand at work.
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#92 of 157 Old 05-17-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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Now, if you prefer to consider what the Good it for society and individuals without reference to an underlying eternal Truth, how do you decide what is good? Pleasure, personal development, whatever the individual says? The greatest happiness for the most? Why is happiness good, and how many can we sacrifice for the good of the rest?
it is not completely obvious what is good once you take god out of it, of course. things are still debatable. but what i am proposing is that we base decisions on how practices affect REAL people NOW. empirically. actually. not spiritually or amorphously.

that's the only thing we have any chance of getting consensus about!

so for example: circumcision hurts boys. it's physically damaging and robs them of a part of their sexual functioning. there is science to support this.

but going by religion, any number of people can say "it's part of my religion to circumcise my son."

there is no way to argue with a supposed commandment by god. but if you go on the basis of how the practice affects real people (i.e. if you take god out of it), it is obvious what is morally correct.

same with gay marriage. most all the arguments against it (excepting arguments by people who oppose marriage generally, for everyone) are religiously based: "god/the bible/the torah/the koran tells me same-sex marriage is wrong."

well, if you take religion out of it, it is apparent that conferring access to an institution to some people and not others for an arbitrary reason (think the "separate but equal" approach to segregated education) is harmful to the denied group. that is all the morality i need.

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#93 of 157 Old 05-17-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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Not a whole lot of time to go into it in depth right now, but I personally 'believe' that nature screams the fact that there IS a Creator. To ME it is very simple. Something about it all being SO randomly perfect, just says to me that there was a designer behind it all, Outside of it all... above it all, more clever then us all. I, personally, dont see why thats so hard to see, but I didnt always see it myself... So...
it doesn't scream creator to me. see, this is what i mean. you can say it's obvious to you all day long, but that's not proof of anything. it's subjective.

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#94 of 157 Old 05-17-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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If a million people believe a wrong thing, it's still a wrong thing.

There have also been philosophers throughout history (and of present day) who are non-believers. Maybe you haven't heard much about them because they generally aren't as sought out by believers.
this. confirmation bias...

also, there is mounting evidence that belief in a deity is biologically based--i.e. we are programmed to believe in god. don't have time to look for links right now, but the reason for this is evolutionary. there was an evolutionary advantage to people attributing things that happened (like a plague of locusts ) TO something, rather than seeing things as random. so we evolved a biological tendency to see an agent/deity behind the actions of the world.

so that could explain why most people believe in god/gods.



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I see no reason to take the natural world and attribute something supernatural to it. The way I see it is that the supernatural is just natural stuff that we haven't found an explanation for.
i agree with this as well. random mutation and evolution pretty well explain all of nature, if you ask me. it's completely incredible, of course. but i don't find it supernatural in the least.

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#95 of 157 Old 05-17-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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Now, if you prefer to consider what the Good it for society and individuals without reference to an underlying eternal Truth, how do you decide what is good? Pleasure, personal development, whatever the individual says? The greatest happiness for the most? Why is happiness good, and how many can we sacrifice for the good of the rest?
Interestingly, there is some evidence that morality and collective thinking are human universals, and have their basis in evolution, regardless of religious or ethical belief system given to justify it.

The theory is that this fact is because a society that does not have a standard ethical system that supports the hypersocial human structures that we need to successfully raise children fail - and therefore those societies are no longer here. The ones that do promote strong social bonds are able to live and thrive.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#96 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 04:05 AM
 
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Interestingly, there is some evidence that morality and collective thinking are human universals, and have their basis in evolution, regardless of religious or ethical belief system given to justify it.
Evolution does not disprove the existance of God.

And... I would say that the burden lays equally on the nonbeliever to disprove there is a God as it does on the believer to prove there is a God.
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#97 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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programmed to believe in god.
'programmed' by whom and in what way?
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#98 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 10:17 AM
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Evolution does not disprove the existance of God.
You're absolutely right. Furthermore, though many religious groups want to make the argument of creation vs. evolution, that is also nonsensical. Evolution does not pretend to explain the beginnings of the universe. That would be the study of abiogenesis. Evolution explains how things got to be the way they are since the beginning.

People who haven't educated themselves on evolutionary theory are the same people that say, "People didn't come from monkeys." Evolutionary theory doesn't say anything about people coming from monkeys. It suggests that humans and monkeys share a common ancestor, which is completely different.

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And... I would say that the burden lays equally on the nonbeliever to disprove there is a God as it does on the believer to prove there is a God.
If I told you that I have an invisible pink unicorn in my basement, and then further asserted that it's up to you to disprove it, what would you think about that?

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"The Invisible Pink Unicorn is a being of great spiritual power. We know this because she is capable of being invisible and pink at the same time.

Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is based
upon both logic and faith. We have faith that she is pink; we logically
know that she is invisible because we can't see her."
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#99 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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If a million people believe a wrong thing, it's still a wrong thing.

There have also been philosophers throughout history (and of present day) who are non-believers. Maybe you haven't heard much about them because they generally aren't as sought out by believers.

Atheist Philosophers
I think you've missed my point. I was responding to a post that said that there was no evidence/argument (I presume she meant a rational one) for the existence of god. Clearly, if you read the history of philosophy, there are lots of rational arguments for the existence of god, or something like god, and philosophers still debate about this today.

Here is the quote:
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um...what is the evidence of god, besides that lots of people believe in him?
I wasn't saying God must exist because a lot of people said so... I was saying that it is ignorant to say that there has never been any rational discussion of the issue. To say all discussions about whether or not there is a god are at the level of "it's true because some people believe it" is laughable.





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If everything here is so perfect that it requires a Creator, then the Creator itself must be perfect and also in need of a Creator.

Nothing can come from nothing. So where did the Creator come from, and what created it?
These questions apply equally to the existence of the universe even if there is no god, so unfortunately, you can't escape them by putting god out of the equation - the problem remains identical. In fact, these are the kinds of questions, when applied to the material universe, that have led to the positing of an underlying self-existent reality, either as part of that universe or separate from it.

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When that question is asked, the standard response is that God is outside of time and space, and is an eternal being with no beginning and no end. To me, this sounds like a cop-out.
Why is that?

OT, but I just have to say, - since when are Einstein, Freud, and Lenin philosophers???

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#100 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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it is not completely obvious what is good once you take god out of it, of course. things are still debatable. but what i am proposing is that we base decisions on how practices affect REAL people NOW. empirically. actually. not spiritually or amorphously.

that's the only thing we have any chance of getting consensus about!

so for example: circumcision hurts boys. it's physically damaging and robs them of a part of their sexual functioning. there is science to support this.

but going by religion, any number of people can say "it's part of my religion to circumcise my son."

there is no way to argue with a supposed commandment by god. but if you go on the basis of how the practice affects real people (i.e. if you take god out of it), it is obvious what is morally correct.

same with gay marriage. most all the arguments against it (excepting arguments by people who oppose marriage generally, for everyone) are religiously based: "god/the bible/the torah/the koran tells me same-sex marriage is wrong."

well, if you take religion out of it, it is apparent that conferring access to an institution to some people and not others for an arbitrary reason (think the "separate but equal" approach to segregated education) is harmful to the denied group. that is all the morality i need.
So, you are saying that in these cases, the good is treating all people equally, and not causing physical harm to them?

That sounds fine, but from the point of view of ethics, it is still just a dogmatic statement. Why, for example, do we need o treat everyone equally? Because we respect each person equally, or treat them the way we want to be treated? But why not let the strong dominate the weak or less numerous? What makes that immoral?

I'm not being difficult, there have been developed systems of ethics that have suggested that might makes right or the strong should dominate are the best ethical maxims - Nietzsche comes to mind as an example of a morality that many would find distasteful, or more popularly, Ayn Rand.

I'm NOT saying that morality requires god - simply that leaving god out of it does not really help. Ethics is always based on metaphysics, and metaphysics says something about god, or in some cases, not-god.

I agree that different religious perspectives can make thinks more complicated - circumcision is a good example. But the ethical statement in Judaism that Jews should circumcise because God said so, is not a statement that exists in a vacuum. It also reaches back to the reasons that they think God did indeed say such a thing, and why it should be obeyed.

But do we really leave such questions behind by leaving out god - I don't really see any evidence of that in philosophy, or in the actual societies that have tried to get rid of religion. They still seem to struggle with ethics.

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#101 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 10:56 AM
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I think you've missed my point. I was responding to a post that said that there was no evidence/argument (I presume she meant a rational one) for the existence of god. Clearly, if you read the history of philosophy, there are lots of rational arguments for the existence of god, or something like god, and philosophers still debate about this today.
I think there is plenty of argument for the existence of god(s), but I don't see any evidence.

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These questions apply equally to the existence of the universe even if there is no god, so unfortunately, you can't escape them by putting god out of the equation - the problem remains identical.
People frequently say that the universe must have been created because it's so complex and wonderful and huge. It can't possibly just "be." Throwing god(s) into the equation does not make things clearer. How can god just "be" if the universe cannot?

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OT, but I just have to say, - since when are Einstein, Freud, and Lenin philosophers???
Since the definition of a philosopher is "a person who offers views or theories on profound questions in ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields." (dictionary.com)

I'm not sure how you are defining "philosophy," but there are dozens of branches of it.
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#102 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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also, there is mounting evidence that belief in a deity is biologically based--i.e. we are programmed to believe in god. don't have time to look for links right now, but the reason for this is evolutionary. there was an evolutionary advantage to people attributing things that happened (like a plague of locusts ) TO something, rather than seeing things as random. so we evolved a biological tendency to see an agent/deity behind the actions of the world.

so that could explain why most people believe in god/gods.
This kind of work on the brain is really interesting, but it doesn't really touch the question of whether there is a god, or an underlying kind of order to the universe. Some people might take it that any evidence of those things is simply fabricated in the brain, but that would cause a few serious problems with the theory itself, and for most people, how they think the rest of reality works.

Essentially, what you have said is that the brain is somehow structured to perceive order, to make connections between events, to look for causes.

Now, some people take that to mean, the brain creates that order, that it doesn't actually exist in nature, or outside the brain, at all. There are obviously some serious problems with this. It would mean that nature itself was chaotic, and we couldn't really say anything about it. It would destroy all scientific endeavor, including the actually theory about the structure of the brain. It also doesn't agree with our experience, which is that the world is largely predictable. Finally, it would not be much of an evolutionary advantage to "see" order in nature that isn't actually there.

Which is why most people would not actually interpret that theory that way. Rather, they would say that the brain is designed to perceive order in nature that is actually there. That is, the order is actually inherent in nature in some way. That would be an evolutionary advantage, to be able to make links between events and predict how things would actually unfold. A good comparison would be sight. Our brains and bodies are designed to allow sight. But there would be no advantage to this if there was not in fact something to see. And although we know that the brain plays a complex role in constructing and interpreting what we see, no one says that it means that the things we perceive through vision exist only in the mind. We can even come to understand the existence of light, which we don't see directly, through that sense, and we don't say it is a figment created by the structure of our brain.

We do know, even before this work on the brain was done, that people often see cause and effect and order in situations where is does not exist, or at least not the way they imagine. I think we have probably all experienced this personally. It does seem to be a case that our biological tendencies are asserting themselves inappropriately in such instances. Rather like an optical illusion can fool us into misinterpreting reality.

Which is exactly what the study of logic and reasoning tries to prevent/guard against. We say things like "correlation does not mean causation." It deals with the proper use of those abilities.

Now, again, if we say that it is impossible to know if we are using them properly, the whole possibility of scientific and philosophical knowledge is impacted. If we say those things are possible, then metaphysics and the question of an underlying divine reality, is still a possibility for human reasoning to explore too.

The big question that has always been the subject of scientists and philosophers is - what are the nature of those connections/causation/patterns in nature? What kind of existence do they have? Are they inhered in the material world, or do they have some kind of abstract existence? They seem to have some kind of mathematical nature, and what does that mean? Are they therefore eternal and unchanging? What about before the universe existed (if the universe is not itself eternal.) Could they be summed up in one big mathematical equation? Is there more to it that our brains and bodies cannot perceive, that will foil our attempts to understand?

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#103 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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Evolution does not disprove the existance of God.
nope. It just means that the existence of God is not required to explain things.

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And... I would say that the burden lays equally on the nonbeliever to disprove there is a God as it does on the believer to prove there is a God.
Can't prove a negative.

You are asserting a fact. It is incumbent upon you to prove it. I am not stating a fact that God does not exist. I am stating that morality and ethics do not require a God in order to exist because there is an alternative explanation, validated by solid, verifiable, repeatable, testable evidence.

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#104 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 11:43 AM
 
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People frequently say that the universe must have been created because it's so complex and wonderful and huge. It can't possibly just "be."
I went to a lecture recently by the woman who discovered dark matter. What was refreshing was how she stated that science does not care about the "why" questions but rather the "how" questions. The universe is complex and wonderful because it is complex and wonderful - we have no concept of alternatives.

In fact, there may have been an infinite number of significantly less wonderful and complex universes, but we don't know about them because we live NOW in THIS universe. our existence even as living organisms is the barest flicker of time, and our existence as cognizant, thinking creatures a tiny fraction of that - of course we don't have any clue about the other options because we are so confined to the here and now.


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Since the definition of a philosopher is "a person who offers views or theories on profound questions in ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields." (dictionary.com)

I'm not sure how you are defining "philosophy," but there are dozens of branches of it.
Agreed. Many of the world's greatest philosophers do not call themselves philosophers, but they have had profound impacts on how humanity thinks about itself and its existence. .

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#105 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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I think there is plenty of argument for the existence of god(s), but I don't see any evidence.
What sort of evidence would you look for? Obviously not physical evidence, unless you wanted to take the existence of anything. Although reasoning from the physical universe to the necessity of an eternal underlying reality is a fairly tried and true method to come to conclusions about that reality. How about the existence of reason, or the possibility of knowledge? What evidence do we have for those?

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People frequently say that the universe must have been created because it's so complex and wonderful and huge. It can't possibly just "be." Throwing god(s) into the equation does not make things clearer. How can god just "be" if the universe cannot?
I wouldn't put it that way, because I think it is confusing. And I would include the idea that the universe could not just "be". Most philosophers would say that the order we perceive in the universe, and the fact that being exists at all, points to a non-material aspect of being. Some say that that aspect is wholly contained in the material aspect, so that is a kind of pantheism. That point of view depends on the universe existing eternally (though that would not mean that it couldn't work in a big-bang universe.) Spinoza is a good example, or some physicists seem to like this explanation. Others see the non-material aspect as being separate from the material, although the material aspect also contains the immaterial principle. This point of view allows for both an eternal universe, or a universe that begins and ends.

Either way, there is a self-existent kind of isness or being - the question is whether the universe we perceive constitutes it or is dependent on it. That's a somewhat different argument, but either way, you have already described an underlying eternal and unchanging reality, with an immaterial aspect.

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Since the definition of a philosopher is "a person who offers views or theories on profound questions in ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields." (dictionary.com)

I'm not sure how you are defining "philosophy," but there are dozens of branches of it.
Usually for moderns, though, we consider science to be separate from philosophy. I think you can make a good argument that it is a sub-section of philosophy if properly understood, but few people actually treat it that way - they tend to think that it deals only with physical reality. Unfortunately, the philosophy of science not actually taught in most science programs, and so there are many who are technically great scientists, but couldn't put together a philosophical argument about the nature of science, much less for anything else.

I suppose you could call Lenin a political philosopher, though I think of him as more of a political activist.

Freud was a medical doctor and theorist - one step further removed than a scientist. He usually did very badly when he tried to make philosophical arguments from his work.

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nope. It just means that the existence of God is not required to explain things.
Ok, this has me stumped. How does evolution explain things???!!!

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#107 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 11:52 AM
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Freud was a medical doctor and theorist - one step further removed than a scientist. He usually did very badly when he tried to make philosophical arguments from his work.
Gotta run to work, so I've been reading but really don't have time to respond to much of anything....

Just wanted to say that one doesn't have to be a good philosopher to be a philosopher. Just like a lousy doctor is still a doctor....a bad lawyer is still a lawyer....an inept philosopher can still be a philosopher.
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#108 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 11:54 AM
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Ok, this has me stumped. How does evolution explain things???!!!
Read up on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Or Darwin's finches. That'll help you figure it out.
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#109 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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Read up on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Or Darwin's finches. That'll help you figure it out.
Wow, that is a bit of a condecending statement. I did go to school. I actually know about antibiotic resistant bacteria, and finches, and moths that change coulour, and Australopithecus...

In fact, I have no problem with evolutionary theory.

But it deals with biology.

It doesn't even tell us about the development of the universe, much less the nature of being, or why there is something rather than nothing.

Why would you imagine the theory of evolution even addresses those things?


As far as philosophy - science and medicine are not considered branches of philosophy in a modern usage. They just aren't. Generally, philosophy deals with the immaterial principles - metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, ethics, logic, aesthetics... even political philosophy is not the same as politics per se; just because a person, for example, tries to instantiate and even explain, say, Liberalism, does not make that person a philosopher. Freud is not famous for his contribution to philosophy, although some of his ideas have impascted philosophy. But we don't say that Dante was a philosopher because his poetry influenced philosophy.

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#110 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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Here is my view:

There is no hell. It is a concept created by humans to control people through fear, and to satisfy a human need for a particular idea of justice that is really just rationalized vengeance.
Yep. I right there with you. When I was told as a small child not to lie or take cookies from the the cookie jar without asking because those acts would cause me to burn in hell...let's just say I was a non-believer by the age of 6. Being raised by fundies was very damaging to me.
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#111 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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'programmed' by whom and in what way?
programmed biologically, which is to say by chemical processes in the brain.

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#112 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
the existence of God is not required to explain things....

I am stating that morality and ethics do not require a God in order to exist because there is an alternative explanation, validated by solid, verifiable, repeatable, testable evidence.
yes, exactly.

i am not saying god doesn't exist. i'm saying the existence of god is irrelevant to human endeavor, ethics, morality.

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#113 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
I am not stating a fact that God does not exist. I am stating that morality and ethics do not require a God in order to exist because there is an alternative explanation, validated by solid, verifiable, repeatable, testable evidence.
How is that validated / verified / tested? I'm not saying I disagree with your broader point -- that morality/ethics don't require a god. Or that they require a belief in a god. I'm just curious how one proposes to test their ability to exist without the existence of a god.
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#114 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by genifer View Post
'programmed' by whom and in what way?
Genetically.
Google God Gene and enjoy some interesting reading.

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#115 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
How is that validated / verified / tested? I'm not saying I disagree with your broader point -- that morality/ethics don't require a god. Or that they require a belief in a god. I'm just curious how one proposes to test their ability to exist without the existence of a god.
There are numerous studies that show that young babies exhibit empathetic, altrusitic tendencies which would exist outside the philosophies of religion that infants are obviously too young to comprehend. I believe it's human nature to be "good" and those who are not are usually severely chemically or mentally imbalanced, or have been irreparably harmed in some way.

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#116 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post

It doesn't even tell us about the development of the universe, much less the nature of being, or why there is something rather than nothing.

Why would you imagine the theory of evolution even addresses those things?
Much of science addresses human nature and the development of science. I dont' know what you mean when you sya why there is something rather than nothing, but beyond that I'm not sure why this is confusing. Religious people may choose to dismiss the science in favour of their religious stories -but that doesn't mean science doesn't explain many of the "big questions".

Karen

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#117 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
There are numerous studies that show that young babies exhibit empathetic, altrusitic tendencies which would exist outside the philosophies of religion that infants are obviously too young to comprehend. I believe it's human nature to be "good" and those who are not are usually severely chemically or mentally imbalanced, or have been irreparably harmed in some way.
Yeah ... that, again, is about belief in god or knowledge of religion, not about the existence of god. You believe it is human nature to be good. My religion believes it is human nature to be good because god made it so -- fitrah, an innate inborn human disposition towards the will of god. Neither is something that can really be studied or "validated by solid, verifiable, repeatable, testable evidence" because in order to do so one would first necessarily have to prove or disprove the influence of a god. You can test whether or not exposure to a religious education or a culture influenced by religion is necessary for what would more broadly be deemed ethical behavior -- and clearly it's not -- but that's about as far as it goes.
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#118 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Much of science addresses human nature and the development of science. I dont' know what you mean when you sya why there is something rather than nothing, but beyond that I'm not sure why this is confusing. Religious people may choose to dismiss the science in favour of their religious stories -but that doesn't mean science doesn't explain many of the "big questions".

Karen
If you read back, you will see that the comment was specifically about evolution explaining things. Evolution is pretty specific in what it addresses, and cosmology, for example, isn't part of it. Unfortunately because the quotes only go back one level on this board, it can be hard to see in a single post - I probably should have done the multiple quote thingy.

Something rather than nothing - the question of why there is a universe at all is clearly outside the realm of science, as any scientist will tell you. Science can explore what is or has been in the universe, but not what existed before or outside of it. If we tend to believe in the Big Bang theory, it also can't tell us anything about what happened before the event - the singularity and any other universe that existed before that are out of reach of science.

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#119 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
Wow, that is a bit of a condecending statement. I did go to school. I actually know about antibiotic resistant bacteria, and finches, and moths that change coulour, and Australopithecus...
Sorry if I seemed condescending. I was really just pressed for time, as I mentioned in a previous post. I didn't suggest that you hadn't been to school, although I'm not sure what school has to do with the discussion.

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Originally Posted by Bluegoat
In fact, I have no problem with evolutionary theory.

But it deals with biology.

It doesn't even tell us about the development of the universe, much less the nature of being, or why there is something rather than nothing.

Why would you imagine the theory of evolution even addresses those things?
As you said recently, the posts have been difficult to follow. You are not the only person experiencing that. I am not at all confused regarding the difference between evolution and abiogenesis, as I also pointed out in a previous post.

I really just honestly believe in science and energy, and don't believe in any supernatural force behind that which makes up the universe. Because of that, I think notions of heaven, hell, souls, angels and demons are nothing but superstition. I believe that when I die, my energy will just be dispersed back into the energy which makes up the universe. I may change my opinion on the matter if I ever encounter any real evidence on the subject. The fact that we don't know exactly how the universe began is not enough for me to give up and say "God did it."

As for the topic of philosophy, I'm really not interested in going back and forth on that. I'm actually finding this thread to be a bit tedious with all the confusion about who means what, small snippets of sentences being taken out of context, etc. Not to mention that it's gone completely OT.
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#120 of 157 Old 05-18-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
If you read back, you will see that the comment was specifically about evolution explaining things. Evolution is pretty specific in what it addresses, and cosmology, for example, isn't part of it. Unfortunately because the quotes only go back one level on this board, it can be hard to see in a single post - I probably should have done the multiple quote thingy.

Something rather than nothing - the question of why there is a universe at all is clearly outside the realm of science, as any scientist will tell you. Science can explore what is or has been in the universe, but not what existed before or outside of it. If we tend to believe in the Big Bang theory, it also can't tell us anything about what happened before the event - the singularity and any other universe that existed before that are out of reach of science.
Evolution was the answer to the comment that God is needed to explain things. Science can explain things - many things - that religion cannot.

Religion no more answers the question of why there is a universe than science does. It is at this stage an unknowable thing for humans.

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