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Mr Smartypants

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Jan 30, 2013
As a Freethinker, one argument for the existence of a Higher Power that I see a lot goes like this: "How can you not look at a baby's smile or a beautiful sunset and not think that there's something sublimely divine causing this to happen?"

Actually, I think this is one of the strongest arguments there is for belief in a Higher Power. It's a lot better than the First Cause Argument or the Ontological Argument which I think are intellectual hogwash. To me, going from a sunset to, say, pantheism is actually a very small step.

What's a non-sequitur is this: looking at a sunset, and concluding that not only is there a God, but that he speaks Hebrew, made a pact with Jews, cares about Arks of the Covenant being made out of gopher wood, impregnates virgins, limits himself to the 1/3 of humanity that's Christian, and behaves exactly according to the Summa Theologica, Nicene Creed, or whatever doctrines of your particular flavor of Christianity. Going from a sunset to that seems to me like a very huge and illogical step.

What do you think?
Thinking

Saffron Walden, UK

#2 Jan 30, 2013
People get cause and effect mixed up all the time. Believers more so.
Mr Smartypants wrote:
As a Freethinker, one argument for the existence of a Higher Power that I see a lot goes like this: "How can you not look at a baby's smile or a beautiful sunset and not think that there's something sublimely divine causing this to happen?"
Actually, I think this is one of the strongest arguments there is for belief in a Higher Power. It's a lot better than the First Cause Argument or the Ontological Argument which I think are intellectual hogwash. To me, going from a sunset to, say, pantheism is actually a very small step.
What's a non-sequitur is this: looking at a sunset, and concluding that not only is there a God, but that he speaks Hebrew, made a pact with Jews, cares about Arks of the Covenant being made out of gopher wood, impregnates virgins, limits himself to the 1/3 of humanity that's Christian, and behaves exactly according to the Summa Theologica, Nicene Creed, or whatever doctrines of your particular flavor of Christianity. Going from a sunset to that seems to me like a very huge and illogical step.
What do you think?
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#3 Jan 30, 2013
I think you should answer these before babbling on...

#1 - If no supernatural Creator exists, how did the universe originate?
What was the nature of the enviroment that the 'big bang' emanated from?

#2 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, why is the earth suitable for the existence of life? Why isnt there life on other planets?

#3 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, how did life originate? Did life come from inanimate objects?

#4 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, what caused the repeated disappearance of more primitive forms of life and the appearance of new more advanced forms of life?
[For example, at the beginning of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.]

#5 - If no God exists who can work miracles and communicate with men, how did the ancient Israelites come to believe that their ancestors experienced the Exodus and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai?

#6 - If God did not give the Torah at Mt. Sinai, why is Jewish literature divided into five levels and scholars in later levels universally considered themselves to be inferior to scholars in earlier levels?[The levels are: prophets, rabbis of the Mishnah, rabbis of the Talmud, earlier Talmudic commentaries and later Talmud commentaries.]

#7 - If we have no soul, why do we feel conscious of ourselves?

#8 - If we have no free will, why do we feel that we are making free choices?

#9 - If no God exists, why are we obligated to be nice other people? Why do we feel the need to? Is it that we are mere animals who just seek material gain from others?

#10 – If we live in a purely material world then how do we account for the many supernatural experiences that people have, such as encounters with God, ghosts, spirits, etc (obviously, exactly what all of these encounters actually are are all interpreted by different people in different ways but the fact remains that people encounter things that do not fit a purely naturalistic world view). Are we really to conclude that all of these people are delusional, deceptive, or mad? Or could it be that people are having real encounters with real supernatural beings not explainable through purely scientific mediums?
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#4 Jan 30, 2013
#11 - Where does all of the incredibly complex information come from that is stored within DNA? Information doesn’t just appear by itself. Someone has to put it there.

#12 - Atheists are mostly found to be employed in the academic/government fields. What is it about the atheist personality that attracts them to these fields? And why have these fields been overrun by political correctness?

#13 - Where does all the matter in the universe come from?

#14 - What is the source of math and logic? The existence of this remarkably fine-tuned universe aside, how is it that we have these "languages of reality" to so elegantly describe and interact with it?

#15 - What type of government does atheistic philosophy translate into?
How does it understand the relationship between man and government?
What type of government structures flow from an atheistic world view?
Does it merely rely on someone else's system of thought, like the assumptions of naturalistic science?

#16 - Believers are often accused of being simple-minded,superstitious, or irrational.
Why is it so irrational for us to believe that the universe had a beginning because it actually was created; the laws of physics are so fine-tuned because it had a designer; people are preoccupied with good and evil because they are real things; we long for purpose and meaning because they exist to be had; life from non-life really is miraculous; consciousness and freewill seem real because they are; people are incurably religious because there is actually something real in religion.
If there really is no meaning or purpose to life, no objective good or evil, and the existence of "truth" itself is open to debate, by what standard will you condemn the beliefs of believers?

#17 - How does an atheist assign meaning to human activity? Is all meaning subjective, or do some activities have self-evident and objective worth and meaning. If so, what are these activities, and how to you arrive at their value?

#18 - Are humans of more intrinsic value than animals? Why or why not?

#19 - How does an atheist determine what is moral or immoral, right or wrong. Is there any objective standard or principles?

#20 - If you claim that Jesus was a myth then what alternative explanation do you offer to the New Testament documentation and the tradition of the church, and what support do you have for your theory? Is it because of the miracles that you doubt the Scriptures?
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#5 Jan 30, 2013
#21 - Why is it that despite all the lauded scientific 'achievements' that there is an interest in the occult and magic which is increasing?

#22 - Many people believe that the moon and other planets have an effect on the psyche. Although this may be called astrology the fact is that the moon has effects on the likes of ocean tides. Do you call this a superstition under the name of astrology or a scientific fact?

#23 - The problem of abiogenesis (the origin of the first lifeform) is one of the thorniest and most intractable issues in chemistry. Our increasing knowledge of microbiology and earth history has only added to the complexity of what needs to be explained. The simplest life is equivalent to modern bacteria, which is loaded with complex activity, information, and molecular "machines." The fossil record does not give evidence that there was a "prebiotic soup," or that there were any biological precursors to the first organisms, or that the atmosphere was the ideal mix to yield the necessary molecules, or that there was the expected long period of time between when the Earth could support life and when it actually appeared. Evolutionists regularly segregate the abiogenesis problem from the issue of evolution because (1) it is a challenge they'd rather not be saddled with, or (2) it is the most logical point for possible divine intervention.
However, for the atheist there is no escaping this issue; they are obliged to seek out some purely natural explanation.

a). What hope for an explanation do you have? Are you satisfied to have problems like this that are unanswered, or even unanswerable?

b). In telling the tale of life on earth science writers often unconsciously use the word "miracle" for the appearance of the first organisms. Is this doubt on their behalf as to what they would like to prove as to the creation of existance?

c). What kind of evidence is needed before we are to actually accept that something like this really is a miracle?

#24 - The past several decades have added profoundly to our knowledge of chemistry, physics, and cosmology. It has become increasingly clear that we live in a universe finely tuned for the support of complex life. This fact is so universally acknowledged that even secular scientists have coined the term "Anthropic Principle" to describe it.
How is it that we live in such an exquisitely fine-tuned universe?
Even assuming that the universe could have popped out of nothingness, why should it have been such an orderly and hospitable one? Is there a scientific, testable answer for this question that does not simply appeal to imagination?
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#6 Jan 30, 2013
#25 - Atheism, by definition, holds that there is no God and nothing beyond this world of matter, space, time, and energy. Consistent with this viewpoint come a large number of necessary truths and the problems relating to them. Atheism is not made rational merely by the rejection of the evidences for God; it has its own wares to sell and difficulties to overcome.

a.) What Is the Evidence Against the Existence of God?

b.) If everyone on earth became an atheist how would the world be better off?

c.) Does not atheism have to rely on a system of coercion to enforce non belief?

d.) Most nations that have a system of government under a monarchy do so because of strong religious connection. The USA is referred to as 'One nation under God'. Is it a atheist aim to abolish royal families and the sovereignty of nations like the Maoists have just about achieved in Nepal and replace all sovereign nations with a world government?

e.) Why are atheists always at the forefront of marxist tainted 'causes' such as global warming, unrestricted immigration, gay marriage and other latte type neo-liberal causes?

f.) Why have atheists, pagans and satanists been infiltrating 'white supremacist' organisations and attempting to turn racial issues into solely religious issues? Examples being the anti-3rd world immigration issue is now an anti-muslim issue. The same could be said for leftist 'anti-zionist' causes that attack Jews solely on the basis of their religious beliefs and nothing else.

#26 - Why is it that atheists only target their approach to the young (20 and under) instead of those of their own age? Is it because people who are 40+ are not worth 'educating'? Or is it that gullible teenagers have bodies worth 'indoctrinating'?

#27 - If evolution is true, why is everything so determined that we can study it?

#28 - Is it possible to study something that is always changing, like evolution?

#29 - If you believe that there is no god, how do you explain the concept of synchronicity. Do you dispute it because of the law of large numbers says otherwise? Maybe you just have faith in this axiom and it is really not an accurate description of reality.
Thinking

Saffron Walden, UK

#7 Jan 30, 2013
Some cu*t posting as "leon_the_14" spammed your cr*p a year ago.
Siro wrote:
I think you should answer these before babbling on...
#1 - If no supernatural Creator exists, how did the universe originate?
What was the nature of the enviroment that the 'big bang' emanated from?
#2 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, why is the earth suitable for the existence of life? Why isnt there life on other planets?
#3 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, how did life originate? Did life come from inanimate objects?
#4 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, what caused the repeated disappearance of more primitive forms of life and the appearance of new more advanced forms of life?
[For example, at the beginning of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.]
#5 - If no God exists who can work miracles and communicate with men, how did the ancient Israelites come to believe that their ancestors experienced the Exodus and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai?
#6 - If God did not give the Torah at Mt. Sinai, why is Jewish literature divided into five levels and scholars in later levels universally considered themselves to be inferior to scholars in earlier levels?[The levels are: prophets, rabbis of the Mishnah, rabbis of the Talmud, earlier Talmudic commentaries and later Talmud commentaries.]
#7 - If we have no soul, why do we feel conscious of ourselves?
#8 - If we have no free will, why do we feel that we are making free choices?
#9 - If no God exists, why are we obligated to be nice other people? Why do we feel the need to? Is it that we are mere animals who just seek material gain from others?
#10 – If we live in a purely material world then how do we account for the many supernatural experiences that people have, such as encounters with God, ghosts, spirits, etc (obviously, exactly what all of these encounters actually are are all interpreted by different people in different ways but the fact remains that people encounter things that do not fit a purely naturalistic world view). Are we really to conclude that all of these people are delusional, deceptive, or mad? Or could it be that people are having real encounters with real supernatural beings not explainable through purely scientific mediums?
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#8 Jan 30, 2013
Thinking wrote:
Some cu*t posting as "leon_the_14" spammed your cr*p a year ago.
<quoted text>
Yep and you still cant answer them and as per usual reply with a one liner.
WOOHOO!!!
Way to go atheism!
Yay dude!
Thinking

Saffron Walden, UK

#9 Jan 30, 2013
Why do you need to change identity?
Bulking up falling numbers?
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
Yep and you still cant answer them and as per usual reply with a one liner.
WOOHOO!!!
Way to go atheism!
Yay dude!
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#10 Jan 30, 2013
Thinking wrote:
Why do you need to change identity?
Bulking up falling numbers?
<quoted text>
You claim I have multiple socks?
Well then name them.

You low rent suckpig
Thinking

Saffron Walden, UK

#11 Jan 30, 2013
You already admitted to the grey box version of "kitten koder", identity thief.
Want to come clean about the others?
It could be your first step to credibility.
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
You claim I have multiple socks?
Well then name them.
You low rent suckpig
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#12 Jan 30, 2013
Thinking wrote:
You already admitted to the grey box version of "kitten koder", identity thief.
Want to come clean about the others?
It could be your first step to credibility.
<quoted text>
Yes I was the 'fake' KittenKoder until I found out what that creature was.
I made a couple of posts under Tad which I latter changed to Tad aka Siro.

Thats it.
Ive answered yours now answer mine
Thinking

Saffron Walden, UK

#13 Jan 30, 2013
I don't believe you're telling the whole truth.

More answers than you deserve are posted here: www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/TQ9FGHKS...
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes I was the 'fake' KittenKoder until I found out what that creature was.
I made a couple of posts under Tad which I latter changed to Tad aka Siro.
Thats it.
Ive answered yours now answer mine
Siro

Brisbane, Australia

#14 Jan 30, 2013
Thinking wrote:
I don't believe you're telling the whole truth.
More answers than you deserve are posted here: www.topix.com/forum/religion/atheism/TQ9FGHKS...
<quoted text>
Answers?!?!
There was f*ck all in regards to answers.
Just the usual nagging from the same tired old horses paraded here
Thinking

Saffron Walden, UK

#15 Jan 30, 2013
Spamtard.
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
Answers?!?!
There was f*ck all in regards to answers.
Just the usual nagging from the same tired old horses paraded here

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#16 Jan 30, 2013
Siro wrote:
I think you should answer these before babbling on...
#1 - If no supernatural Creator exists, how did the universe originate?
What was the nature of the enviroment that the 'big bang' emanated from?
In large part, we do not know. We simply don't have good evidence from that time period. Until we do, anything said will be pure speculation. That said, you make some assumptions that may not be valid: that there *was* an environment from which the Big Bang emanated. If time itself started at the big Bang (which is a distinct possibility), then to even talk about a cause of the Big Bang would be problematic. On the other hand, some other possibilities are that there was a previous, contracting universe before ours or a multiverse from which ours split off. Both are consistent with the data we know so far.

So, once again, we do not know because we have limited data to work with.
#2 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, why is the earth suitable for the existence of life? Why isnt there life on other planets?
The earth is in the 'Goldilocks zone' for the sun. The other planets are not (although Venus and Mars come close). There is a possibility of life on Europa and on Titan, but we have not explored either enough to know for sure. And we have no information at all whether there is life on planets outside of our solar system. So you are being *very* premature when you claim there is no life on other planets. We simply have not explored the vast majority of planets we know about (let alone those we have yet to discover).
#3 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, how did life originate? Did life come from inanimate objects?
Simply stated, yes. The atoms and molecules that make up life, even today, are not alive. But they produce life. The main question for abiogenesis is how the molecules got organized, not whether life comes from non-life.
#4 - If no supernatural universal Designer exists, what caused the repeated disappearance of more primitive forms of life and the appearance of new more advanced forms of life?
[For example, at the beginning of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.]
Different extinction events have different causes. The Mesozoic/Cenozoic boundary was caused by a massive meteor hit. We even know where the crater is.
#5 - If no God exists who can work miracles and communicate with men, how did the ancient Israelites come to believe that their ancestors experienced the Exodus and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai?
Good stories to hold a group of people together. No actual Exodus ever happened.
#6 - If God did not give the Torah at Mt. Sinai, why is Jewish literature divided into five levels and scholars in later levels universally considered themselves to be inferior to scholars in earlier levels?[The levels are: prophets, rabbis of the Mishnah, rabbis of the Talmud, earlier Talmudic commentaries and later Talmud commentaries.]
Belief in a golden age in the past?
#7 - If we have no soul, why do we feel conscious of ourselves?
Because our brain models ourselves in its analysis of the world.
#8 - If we have no free will, why do we feel that we are making free choices?
I am not sure what 'free will' actually means, but it is probably an illusion from having so many different projected futures.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#17 Jan 30, 2013
Siro wrote:
#9 - If no God exists, why are we obligated to be nice other people? Why do we feel the need to? Is it that we are mere animals who just seek material gain from others?
We are a social species, so compassion is an emotion most of us share.
#10 – Are we really to conclude that all of these people are delusional, deceptive, or mad? Or could it be that people are having real encounters with real supernatural beings not explainable through purely scientific mediums?
I'd vote for delusional.
#11 - Where does all of the incredibly complex information come from that is stored within DNA? Information doesn’t just appear by itself. Someone has to put it there.
Why do you claim this? The information of DNA is in its material structure which was evolved through time. Those organisms that had DNA coding for useful proteins survived. Those that did not, died off. Over time, the complexity increased.
#12 - Atheists are mostly found to be employed in the academic/government fields. What is it about the atheist personality that attracts them to these fields? And why have these fields been overrun by political correctness?
Well, atheism in academia can easily be explained by intelligent people rejecting the superstitions of religion. There is also an interest in discovering truth, which leads one into academia. I doubt your claim about government jobs, though.
#13 - Where does all the matter in the universe come from?
A conversion of the energy of the vacuum into matter.
#14 - What is the source of math and logic? The existence of this remarkably fine-tuned universe aside, how is it that we have these "languages of reality" to so elegantly describe and interact with it?
Because we invented them for that purpose.
#15 - What type of government does atheistic philosophy translate into?
Atheism, per se, implies no type of government. However,*humanism* supports democratically elected governments.
How does it understand the relationship between man and government?
What type of government structures flow from an atheistic world view?
Does it merely rely on someone else's system of thought, like the assumptions of naturalistic science?
Humanism says that governments are around to help and support people in becoming more fulfilled in their lives. That tend to lead to democratic governments.
#16 - Believers are often accused of being simple-minded,superstitious, or irrational.
Why is it so irrational for us to believe that the universe had a beginning because it actually was created; the laws of physics are so fine-tuned because it had a designer; people are preoccupied with good and evil because they are real things; we long for purpose and meaning because they exist to be had; life from non-life really is miraculous; consciousness and freewill seem real because they are; people are incurably religious because there is actually something real in religion.
Because the evidence says otherwise.
If there really is no meaning or purpose to life, no objective good or evil, and the existence of "truth" itself is open to debate, by what standard will you condemn the beliefs of believers?
Meaning and purpose are things *we* assign, not universal properties. Also, good and evil are aspects of how humans interact with other humans, not some dictate of an invisible sky-daddy. And the existence of truth is not disputed, merely what the truths actually are. I condemn believers only to the extent that they attempt to push their superstitions onto others, make laws based on them, attempt to have them taught in public schools, etc. if they keep their beliefs to themselves, I have no problem no matter what delusion they believe in.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#18 Jan 30, 2013
Siro wrote:
#17 - How does an atheist assign meaning to human activity? Is all meaning subjective, or do some activities have self-evident and objective worth and meaning. If so, what are these activities, and how to you arrive at their value?
Activities have value depending on how they promote the well-being and self-fulfillment of people.
#18 - Are humans of more intrinsic value than animals? Why or why not?
Humans are the ones making the value judgments, so yes.
#19 - How does an atheist determine what is moral or immoral, right or wrong. Is there any objective standard or principles?
The well-being and fulfillment of humans. The basic rules are: think and care.
#20 - If you claim that Jesus was a myth then what alternative explanation do you offer to the New Testament documentation and the tradition of the church, and what support do you have for your theory? Is it because of the miracles that you doubt the Scriptures?
Partly. It is also partly because I have studied that time period and know it was an incredibly superstitious time where people believed in many different 'mystery religions', often with baptisms, gods as people, and personal redemption. Christianity was only one of many such religions at that time.
Siro

Sydney, Australia

#19 Feb 10, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
In large part, we do not know. We simply don't have good evidence from that time period.

Until we do, anything said will be pure speculation. That said, you make some assumptions that may not be valid: that there *was* an environment from which the Big Bang emanated. If time itself started at the big Bang (which is a distinct possibility), then to even talk about a cause of the Big Bang would be problematic. On the other hand, some other possibilities are that there was a previous, contracting universe before ours or a multiverse from which ours split off. Both are consistent with the data we know so far.

So, once again, we do not know because we have limited data to work with.
If you say that I cannot prove what I believe then the same case is for you.
You might speculate that time itself began at the big bang and even then the big bang is just a theory. But time was never used as a concept for planning future actions or remembering past events in detail until man was created. Animals act according to time because of biorhythms as well as the seasons.
Anything that happened before the creation of man will never be physically proven by man, there is no physical records or knowledge.
Carbon dating is only accurate up to 3000 years and anything beyond that is a guess.
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
The earth is in the 'Goldilocks zone' for the sun. The other planets are not (although Venus and Mars come close). There is a possibility of life on Europa and on Titan, but we have not explored either enough to know for sure. And we have no information at all whether there is life on planets outside of our solar system. So you are being *very* premature when you claim there is no life on other planets. We simply have not explored the vast majority of planets we know about (let alone those we have yet to discover).
There is a possibility of life on Europa and on Titan.
There is also the possibility that both are made from cheese...
Unless you have physically been to both then both are opinions
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Simply stated, yes. The atoms and molecules that make up life, even today, are not alive. But they produce life. The main question for abiogenesis is how the molecules got organized, not whether life comes from non-life.
You are not aware of the cells that your body consists of and yet they are alive.
A patch of dirt is a patch of dirt but can become a garden when one makes a conscious effort to plan to bring life into a lifeless area, envision how the area will be transformed, make blueprints for what is to be done and physically work to bring it about.
If you believe that there is no designer then there could not be any possibility of a repeating pattern because random events cannot make a pattern and certainly not a repeating one.
Thinking

Yeovil, UK

#20 Feb 10, 2013
Bollocks.
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
If you say that I cannot prove what I believe then the same case is for you.
You might speculate that time itself began at the big bang and even then the big bang is just a theory. But time was never used as a concept for planning future actions or remembering past events in detail until man was created. Animals act according to time because of biorhythms as well as the seasons.
Anything that happened before the creation of man will never be physically proven by man, there is no physical records or knowledge.
Carbon dating is only accurate up to 3000 years and anything beyond that is a guess.
<quoted text>
There is a possibility of life on Europa and on Titan.
There is also the possibility that both are made from cheese...
Unless you have physically been to both then both are opinions
<quoted text>
You are not aware of the cells that your body consists of and yet they are alive.
A patch of dirt is a patch of dirt but can become a garden when one makes a conscious effort to plan to bring life into a lifeless area, envision how the area will be transformed, make blueprints for what is to be done and physically work to bring it about.
If you believe that there is no designer then there could not be any possibility of a repeating pattern because random events cannot make a pattern and certainly not a repeating one.

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