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mikeman

What do you think about the Revelation?

472 posts in this topic

[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1312232473' post='4843275']
Birds descended from reptiles, so that blows that argument away. Although it seems he conveniently disagrees with that, too.[/quote]
[url="http://www.world-science.net/othernews/090610_dinosaur.htm"]O rly?[/url]
[quote]
[quote]There is nothing irrational with making claims that are un-falsifiable.[/quote]I'm referring believing in such an unfalsifiable thing as a matter of faith - such as someone who believes in invisible undetectable elephants. If you don't consider either to be irrational, then fair enough, we're just disagreeing over the definition of irrational.[/quote]
why is it irrational? I'm using the definition in the dictionary.

[quote]What do you mean there is no evidence? 3 follows from 1 and 2, and from the definition of the meaning of the words. Yes we make up the axioms so they give us a convenient consistent system, but I don't see how that's analogous to claiming the physical existence of something in the real world.[/quote]
it's analogous to using the word irrational correctly. There is no evidence for A, B, C or ~A, ~B, ~C, so believing A or ~A is totally rational as long as your beliefs follow accordingly with the knowns.


[quote]But we're not talking about logic, we're talking about the existence of a physical entity. I think it's reasonable to apply rationality to a person's thinking on the physical world, and not just pure logic.[/quote]
arguments are logic. If you want to ignore logic there's no point discussing any further.

[quote]No one has disproved the existence of invisible elephants. And you appeal to "But Officer, other people are irrational too!"[/quote]
Why are they irrational? If nobody has disproved them it would indicate rationality by definition.

[quote]The judgement of rationality doesn't depend on whether someone turns out to be right by pure luck, it's about whether their thought process makes sense.

Is it rational to jump off a cliff for no reason? But what if I jump off a cliff and break my legs, but then it turned out by doing so I avoided a meteorite landing on me - if that was pure luck and I had no idea it was going to happen, that doesn't retroactively make the decision to do so rational!


But here, we haven't even discovered that the god you believe in exists, or any of the religious claims are true (and note that with so many religions, they can't all be right). You're the person arguing it's not irrational to jump off a cliff, simply because I can't prove that you won't avoid a meteorite hit by doing so.
[/quote]
Rationality is purely logical. Just jumping off a cliff has nothing to do with rationality. There are plenty of rational and irrational reasons to jump off a cliff. With the only information you have being that you jumped off a cliff knowing nothing before or after, jumping off a cliff is totally rational. It may not be smart, but it's totally rational for the same reason "1. A" is a rational formal logical proof. This is symbolic logic 101 stuff.
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LOL

You guys are confusing the word "rational" for the word "valid". way2lazy2care, you seem to be talking about Validity.

"Rational" means generally "using reason" or "sensible".

You can argue whether believing in a god is rational or not, but you don't get a free pass by pretending that a valid argument necessarily yields a rational belief, regardless of the premises.
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way2lazy2care, I assume you'll need a little more help with that distinction, so [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason#Reason_compared_to_logic"]please read this[/url]. Rationality refers to the use of reason. Reason is not the same as logic, though it involves it.

Now that you understand the difference between reason and "pure logic", perhaps you'll understand that: "There are pink elephants floating in the sky" alone is a perfectly fine statement from a logical point of view, but it certainly is not rational. If you think it is, well then you'll have to argue that with a mental health professional.
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1312249098' post='4843389']
way2lazy2care, I assume you'll need a little more help with that distinction, so [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason#Reason_compared_to_logic"]please read this[/url]. Rationality refers to the use of reason. Reason is not the same as logic, though it involves it.

Now that you understand the difference between reason and "pure logic", perhaps you'll understand that: "There are pink elephants floating in the sky" alone is a perfectly fine statement from a logical point of view, but it certainly is not rational. If you think it is, well then you'll have to argue that with a mental health professional.
[/quote]

That's a fair point and duly noted, but then pretty much what we're saying is that rationality is subjective, in which case we have no reason to judge people for that anyway.

edit: nor should it be brought up in debate for the same reason.
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1312254572' post='4843408']
What makes me rational and you irrational is that [b]you have arbitrarily chosen one of them to believe in[/b]. This is inconsistent, because you have no more evidence for one than you do the other. I am consistent. I believe in none. That is rationality.[/quote]
It wasn't arbitrary. I have plenty of evidence to convince myself; as I am not trying to convert anyone here, why do I need more? Being consistent doesn't make you rational either. My beliefs are totally consistent. If you are arguing that consistency makes you rational then we are both rational.

[quote]And that is why Martin Luther insisted that:
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"][color="#333333"][font="Arial"][size="2"][i]Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has. - Martin Luther[/i][/size][/font][/color] [/size][/color]
[/quote]
It's a good thing I'm not Lutheran then?

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As I understand it the basis behind Christianity is that those who follow it believe that Jesus came to earth to die for our sins so that if we believe in him we get to goto heaven. Sin entered into the world in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge (or Tree of Conscience as I just discovered...) despite El G Man saying not to do it. This event is the fundimental basis for all the sin in the world and consigned us all to damnation, unless we believe in Jesus.

The problem with this model is that it ignores the facts behind human evolution and the fact that at one point there were two competing groups for which there is mounting evidence of interbreeding ([url=http://www.world-science.net/othernews/110718_neanderthal.htm]clicky[/url]).

While there might still be things we don't know about the specifics of how we got here it is becoming clear that we didn't arrive in this world as fully formed humans and that varients of humanity existed at the same time. All of which raises the question of when did this "sin" really happen? Clearly there was no human adam and eve kicking around in a garden, and based on the development it would have been quite some time after human like creatures had the capacity to under stand "don't do this".

More likely, in my view, the creation story is nothing more than an invention, something someone came up with after some amount of thought to explain away why we are here. The concept of 'days' as the periods for development of the world maps perfectly into our understanding of the world and the 'garden of eden' and 'sin' explains away why life is so hard, that at some point in the past things were good but 'we' got it wrong and so were kicked out, but if you lead a good life you can get back to that promised land once more. The Adam and Eve thing is equally easy to explain; everyone has a mother and a father, so it would have stood to reason that all people would have had an initial parent.

I dare say all other creation stories/myths could be deconstructed in much the same way; all explaining the world in such a way as it could be understood based on current understanding at the time, and with the idea that life wouldn't be this hard if not for some mistake done in the past which we must atone for in some manner.

In my view there is just as much evidence for aliens dicking about in our history as there is for an all powerful god doing so; probably more so, as the saying goes 'any significantly advanced technology can look like magic' after all.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1312288299' post='4843539']
[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1312254572' post='4843408']
What makes me rational and you irrational is that [b]you have arbitrarily chosen one of them to believe in[/b]. This is inconsistent, because you have no more evidence for one than you do the other. I am consistent. I believe in none. That is rationality.[/quote]
It wasn't arbitrary.[b] I have plenty of evidence to convince myself[/b]; as I am not trying to convert anyone here, why do I need more? Being consistent doesn't make you rational either. My beliefs are totally consistent. If you are arguing that consistency makes you rational then we are both rational.
[/quote]

What evidence? You claim you have some, so let's have it.
And no "I heard the voice of god" bullshit. [b]Real, actual evidence that led you specifically to believe in Christianity. [/b]And why it doesn't apply to Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Islam, Rastafarianism, Scientology or Pastafarianism.

You're not trying to convert anyone, but you feel sufficiently confident of your position to engage in this argument, so let's see your evidence.
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1312288694' post='4843547']
As I understand it the basis behind Christianity is that those who follow it believe that Jesus came to earth to die for our sins so that if we believe in him we get to goto heaven. Sin entered into the world in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge (or Tree of Conscience as I just discovered...) despite El G Man saying not to do it. This event is the fundimental basis for all the sin in the world and consigned us all to damnation, unless we believe in Jesus.

The problem with this model is that it ignores the facts behind human evolution and the fact that at one point there were two competing groups for which there is mounting evidence of interbreeding ([url="http://www.world-science.net/othernews/110718_neanderthal.htm"]clicky[/url]).

While there might still be things we don't know about the specifics of how we got here it is becoming clear that we didn't arrive in this world as fully formed humans and that varients of humanity existed at the same time. All of which raises the question of when did this "sin" really happen? Clearly there was no human adam and eve kicking around in a garden, and based on the development it would have been quite some time after human like creatures had the capacity to under stand "don't do this".[/quote]
If you view the Adam and Eve story as a metaphor for man taking what is believed to be good or evil into his own hands rather than a literal documentation of what happened between two people thousands of years before it was actually written down it makes more sense. I'm not even entirely convinced that Adam and Eve were homo sapiens in my set of beliefs, so neanderthal/homo sapien interbreeding isn't really relevant to my particular beliefs.

[quote]In my view there is just as much evidence for aliens dicking about in our history as there is for an all powerful god doing so; probably more so, as the saying goes 'any significantly advanced technology can look like magic' after all.
[/quote]
And I'd say that's a perfectly valid belief despite it being different than mine.

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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1312290026' post='4843559']
If you view the Adam and Eve story as a metaphor for man taking what is believed to be good or evil into his own hands rather than a literal documentation of what happened between two people thousands of years before it was actually written down it makes more sense. I'm not even entirely convinced that Adam and Eve were homo sapiens in my set of beliefs, so neanderthal/homo sapien interbreeding isn't really relevant to my particular beliefs.
[/quote]

But if you take it as a metaphor then how does that explain the emergance of sin? It's like we develop to the point of being able to understand 'good' and 'bad' and then god comes down and says 'right, now you understand it you are all doomed unless you do as I say' and then some time after that he sends his son down to say 'hey, you know when you suddenly all became doomed, well believe in me and you'll be ok from now on!'... I mean, what the hell? That just makes god out to be a massive jerk..

It also brings up the question of the 'soul', which is another key part of it all; at what point did we get a soul which COULD be damned? Did one magically turn up at the moment? Or do all creatures have them but we are held to some 'higher' standard simply because we can apprently reason about 'good and bad' in the eyes of god?

However I think people put too much stock in the "it's a metaphor" arguement; looking back on it with modern thinking, evidence and all the advances we've had over the X thousands years since someone first came up with this idea. Back then this probably seemed like a logical and reasonable explaination even taken at face value because they had no evidence to contradict it (much like thunder and lighting being the work of the gods). The story then gets retold over the years in oral tradition before being written down.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1312247569' post='4843384']
[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1312232473' post='4843275']
Birds descended from reptiles, so that blows that argument away. Although it seems he conveniently disagrees with that, too.[/quote]
O rly?[/quote]The link says dinosaurs, not reptiles - what was the common ancestor?

I'm unclear as to your point - that they didn't descend from dinosaurs because they are disimilar to them, but other evidence shows a similarity with reptiles, therefore evolution is wrong? I don't follow the logic here. Which is it - are they similar to reptiles, or aren't they?

[quote][quote][quote]There is nothing irrational with making claims that are un-falsifiable.[/quote]I'm referring believing in such an unfalsifiable thing as a matter of faith - such as someone who believes in invisible undetectable elephants. If you don't consider either to be irrational, then fair enough, we're just disagreeing over the definition of irrational.[/quote]
why is it irrational? I'm using the definition in the dictionary.[/quote]Fair enough, as long as we agree they're the same kind of thing. But as pointed out, there are different uses of the term rational. E.g., saying my bike is missing because magic pixies ate it, is that "a rational explanation"? That's not what anyone means by the term.

[quote]it's analogous to using the word irrational correctly. There is no evidence for A, B, C or ~A, ~B, ~C, so believing A or ~A is totally rational as long as your beliefs follow accordingly with the knowns.[/quote]I neither assert that A nor ~A is true.

[quote][quote]But we're not talking about logic, we're talking about the existence of a physical entity. I think it's reasonable to apply rationality to a person's thinking on the physical world, and not just pure logic.[/quote]

arguments are logic. If you want to ignore logic there's no point discussing any further.[/quote]Not at all what I said.

What if I say:

1. if A then B
2. if B then C
3. therefore if A then ~C

Is this okay too? Or if not, how do you know your version is right, and my version is wrong?

[quote]It wasn't arbitrary. I have plenty of evidence to convince myself[/quote]Well that's a different argument. First you were arguing that it's perfectly rational to believe in things with no evidence, so long as they can't be disproven.

Now you say you believe because there's evidence. Okay, fair enough - believing because there's evidence isn't irrational. But the debate now turns to - what is this evidence?
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1312295033' post='4843613']
[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1312290026' post='4843559']
If you view the Adam and Eve story as a metaphor for man taking what is believed to be good or evil into his own hands rather than a literal documentation of what happened between two people thousands of years before it was actually written down it makes more sense. I'm not even entirely convinced that Adam and Eve were homo sapiens in my set of beliefs, so neanderthal/homo sapien interbreeding isn't really relevant to my particular beliefs.
[/quote]

But if you take it as a metaphor then how does that explain the emergance of sin? It's like we develop to the point of being able to understand 'good' and 'bad' and then god comes down and says 'right, now you understand it you are all doomed unless you do as I say' and then some time after that he sends his son down to say 'hey, you know when you suddenly all became doomed, well believe in me and you'll be ok from now on!'... I mean, what the hell? That just makes god out to be a massive jerk..[/quote]
Once you decide for yourself what is good and bad you accept the responsibility that goes along with it. As human's, once we decided we could judge right and wrong we opened ourselves to the possibility that we could be judged. God gave us his law to prevent us from being damned and sent his son to fulfill that law and give us the ultimate path to salvation.

We separated ourselves from God, and because he loves us he gave us direction back to him. He did not separate himself from us; we separated ourselves from him, and the onus is on us to go back to him not on him to collect us all. If he were to do that it would be a violation of our free will, which is our defining gift from God.

[quote] I mean, what the hell? That just makes god out to be a massive jerk.[/quote]
When you start with the assumption that God is a jerk and you write the story reflecting God as a jerk obviously he will sound like a jerk. That's true of any entity regardless of how much a jerk they may or may not be. You could make Nelson Mandela sound like a huge asshole doing the same thing.

[quote]It also brings up the question of the 'soul', which is another key part of it all; at what point did we get a soul which COULD be damned? Did one magically turn up at the moment? Or do all creatures have them but we are held to some 'higher' standard simply because we can apprently reason about 'good and bad' in the eyes of god? [/quote]
This is an issue with you thinking that Christianity is a guide to everything. It is not. It is an isolated guide on how to live a fulfilled life leading to salvation. It doesn't need to answer anything more than that, so why read into more than is there?

[quote]However I think people put too much stock in the "it's a metaphor" arguement; looking back on it with modern thinking, evidence and all the advances we've had over the X thousands years since someone first came up with this idea. Back then this probably seemed like a logical and reasonable explaination even taken at face value because they had no evidence to contradict it (much like thunder and lighting being the work of the gods). The story then gets retold over the years in oral tradition before being written down.
[/quote]
That's fine if it doesn't work for you. If you can't justify that it's a metaphor, ok; it works for you and more power to you. Religious people still shouldn't be looked down on just because they are religious.
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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1312297240' post='4843625']
The link says dinosaurs, not reptiles - what was the common ancestor?

I'm unclear as to your point - that they didn't descend from dinosaurs because they are disimilar to them, but other evidence shows a similarity with reptiles, therefore evolution is wrong? I don't follow the logic here. Which is it - are they similar to reptiles, or aren't they?[/quote]
There's similarity between some insects and reptiles. There's similarities between us and reptiles. There are similarities between jellyfish and some predatory plants despite one being a plant and one being an animal.

[quote]
What if I say:

1. if A then B
2. if B then C
3. therefore if A then ~C

Is this okay too? Or if not, how do you know your version is right, and my version is wrong?[/quote]
Because 3 does not follow from 1 or two? Can't tell if serious...

[quote]
[quote]It wasn't arbitrary. I have plenty of evidence to convince myself[/quote]Well that's a different argument. First you were arguing that it's perfectly rational to believe in things with no evidence, so long as they can't be disproven.

Now you say you believe because there's evidence. Okay, fair enough - believing because there's evidence isn't irrational. But the debate now turns to - what is this evidence?
[/quote]
I'm not trying to convert anyone. Similar to what I said before, would you feel comfortable justifying your love for your wife scientifically? Is it even right to do so? Is it fair to her? Would you appreciate someone calling you irrational for loving your wife? Would you appreciate it if someone compared your actions and reasons for loving your wife to the actions of a drunk teenager who vandalizes his ex's new boyfriend's car because he's in "love"? Would you appreciate someone telling you that your opinion on science is invalid because you believe that you love your wife?
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1312298907' post='4843631']
[quote]
[quote]It wasn't arbitrary. I have plenty of evidence to convince myself[/quote]Well that's a different argument. First you were arguing that it's perfectly rational to believe in things with no evidence, so long as they can't be disproven.

Now you say you believe because there's evidence. Okay, fair enough - believing because there's evidence isn't irrational. But the debate now turns to - what is this evidence?
[/quote]
I'm not trying to convert anyone. Similar to what I said before, would you feel comfortable justifying your love for your wife scientifically? Is it even right to do so? Is it fair to her? Would you appreciate someone calling you irrational for loving your wife? Would you appreciate it if someone compared your actions and reasons for loving your wife to the actions of a drunk teenager who vandalizes his ex's new boyfriend's car because he's in "love"? Would you appreciate someone telling you that your opinion on science is invalid because you believe that you love your wife?
[/quote]
You haven't answered the question. Second, you are making appeals to emotion. Third, you are making the same [s]argument [/s] appeal gain.
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[quote name='rozz666' timestamp='1312301059' post='4843647']
You haven't answered the question.[/quote]
I'm not trying to convert anyone, so the question is erroneous. Why should you need my personal evidence for the reasons I feel the way I do about a relationship I have with another entity? All you're going to do is say it's personal experience/anecdote and shouldn't be brought up anyway, which makes it pointless to begin with.

[quote]Second, you are making appeals to emotion. Third, you are making the same [s]argument [/s] appeal gain.
[/quote]

The whole debate is about emotion and the emotional connection people have with another entity. How can you not involve emotions when you are talking about a person's relationship with another entity? My questions are perfectly valid because as far as I'm concerned they are the exact points that all of you are making.

I don't understand why all of you have such a big problem with asking that you be tolerant of people's beliefs.
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Epic fail&nbsp;<div><br>Hey here's why it's irrational to believe in a god without evidence<br>I agree! &nbsp;But it's okay because I have evidence<br>What's your evidence?<br>I'm not trying to convert anyone!<br>Fine.. but what's your evidence?<br>I'm not trying to convert anyone!!<br><br>When does the cognitive dissonance kick in, or is it completely inhibited?<br><br>When do you quietly reflect, and say, "Jesus, they're right."?

</div>
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1312306820' post='4843673']
[font="arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"][size="2"]Epic logic fail =P[/size][/font][font="arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"][size="2"]

* Hey here's why it's irrational to believe in a god without evidence
* I agree! But it's okay because I have evidence
* What's your evidence?
* I'm not trying to convert anyone!
* Fine.. but what's your evidence?
* I'm not trying to convert anyone!![/size][/font]
[/quote]

You never said why it's irrational. You just said it was irrational and then made a bunch of straw men arguments about it. I also never agreed with you. The only thing I agreed with you was that rationality is subjective, which makes the original statement erroneous.

You're trying to fabricate an argument that I am not making. I am not arguing for religion. I have said this repeatedly. Stop pinning that argument on me. It is not the argument I'm making. It was never the argument I was making since I entered the thread. You are asking for evidence supporting an argument that I'm not making in the first place. Why should you expect that I do that?
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1312306618' post='4843672']
Epic fail&nbsp;<div><br>Hey here's why it's irrational to believe in a god without evidence<br>I agree! &nbsp;But it's okay because I have evidence<br>What's your evidence?<br>I'm not trying to convert anyone!<br>Fine.. but what's your evidence?<br>I'm not trying to convert anyone!!<br><br>When does the cognitive dissonance kick in, or is it completely inhibited?<br><br>When do you quietly reflect, and say, "Jesus, they're right."?

</div>
[/quote]

If you accept, based on everyday observation of, well, [i]everything around us[/i] and common sense, that everything that happens has a cause that comes before it, and that cause defines how and when it will happen, otherwise that event/thing has no reason to emerge and no initial conditions to define how it will progress, you should accept that the universe, as a physical entity, has such a cause. [b]How is that irrational[/b]. Please explain. Furthermore, you see that the universe has order and is not chaotic, as it could be. If I walk on a deserted island and find a scribble on the sand, I [i]assume[/i] that that scribble was made by someone, even if I have not seen that person with my own eyes, instead of assuming that the scribble was made by random movements of the sand for thousands of years, even though the latter is also possible and does not need the introduction of a new undetected entity, but relies only on elements already detected(sand,water,wind,rocks).

So, since I observe that this universe has specific laws and is understandable by mathematics, and since mathematics can be argued that have only meaning in relation to a mind that understands them(nobody on Earth was doing math before man; not consciously) I very logically [i]assume[/i] that someone with a mathematical mind set those laws. You on, the other hand, assume that it's just the way it is and always was. Evidence, in that regard, points to both directions. Tell me, why am I not irrational when I see the scribble on the sand and assume someone made it, but I am irrational when I assume that the specific laws of nature of the specific universe was a result of some entity with intelligence? Explain the difference.
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[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
If you accept, based on everyday observation and common sense, that everything that happens has a cause that comes before it, and that cause defines how and when it will happen, you should accept that the universe, as a physical entity, has a cause. [b]How is that irrational[/b]. Please explain.
[/quote]
Because it's an argument from ignorance. Moreover, as I've already pointed out earlier, not everything has a cause. Look up virtual particles again.[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
Furthermore, you see that the universe has order and is not chaotic, as it could be.

[/quote]
How would an unordered universe look like?[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
If I walk on a deserted island and find a scribble on the sand, I [i]assume[/i] that that scribble was made by someone, even if I have not seen that person with my own eyes, instead of assuming that the scribble was made by random movements of the sand for thousands of years, even though the latter is also possible and does not need the introduction of a new undetected entity, but relies only on elements already detected(sand,water,wind,rocks).

[/quote]
But you have seen people making scribbles. This is equivalent to the watchmaker argument: [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmaker_argument"]http://en.wikipedia....hmaker_argument[/url] which is a fallacy.[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
So, since I observe that this universe has specific laws and is understandable by mathematics, I logically [i]assume[/i] that someone with a mathematical mind set those laws.

[/quote]
How you ever seen anyone/thing setting laws?[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
You on, the other hand, assume that it's just the way it is and always was. Evidence, in that regard, points to both directions.


[/quote]
I do not assume that.
No evidence points to ID, just your assumptions.
[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
Tell me, why am I not irrational when I see the scribble on the sand and assume someone made it, but I am irrational when I assume that the specific laws of nature of the specific universe was a result of some entity with intelligence? Explain the difference.
[/quote]
Because we have seen people make scribbles, but no one setting laws for the universe.
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[quote name='rozz666' timestamp='1312309068' post='4843689']
Because it's an argument from ignorance. Moreover, as I've already pointed out earlier, not everything has a cause. Look up virtual particles again.
Furthermore, you see that the universe has order and is not chaotic, as it could be.
[/quote]

Excuse me, ignorance? Can you provide a *single* example of an event/entity that does not have a cause that comes before it? I don't understand where you are going with the virtual particles, they appear on equations as carriers of forces but cannot be detected in any experimental way, so I'll just assume you're just throwing buzzwords around. You better tell your friends to make a modification of the dice example: I have 3 jars, one with a photon, one without a photon, and one with a virtual photon. How do I tell which one has the virtual photon? :P


[quote]
But you have seen people making scribbles. This is equivalent to the watchmaker argument: [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmaker_argument"]http://en.wikipedia....hmaker_argument[/url] which is a fallacy.
[/quote]

It's not the watchmaker argument. The watch is a mechanical thing, and we know that the form of mechanical, man-made things do not appear in nature this way. The scribblings can appear by completely natural and "random" ways. We have seen the wind do that, yet we do not assume that the wind made the scribbling.


[quote]
How you ever seen anyone/thing setting laws?
[/quote]

Yeah. Me, when I program.
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[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
If you accept, based on everyday observation of, well, [i]everything around us[/i] and common sense, that everything that happens has a cause that comes before it, and that cause defines how and when it will happen, otherwise that event/thing has no reason to emerge and no initial conditions to define how it will progress, you should accept that the universe, as a physical entity, has such a cause.
[/quote]
Three remarks:

[list][*]Everyday observation would exclude quantum mechanics and relativity. Don't pretend you understand the universe. The birth of the universe is a mystery, and will remain so.[*]The cliché rebuttal: assuming the universe has been created, who created the creator? If he has any magic property ("physicality"?) that frees him from having to be created, why can't the universe have that property?[*]Assuming there is indeed a creator, you know still absolutely nothing about him. Maybe Russell's teapot did it. Maybe the creator is dead. Maybe I am the creator.[/list]


[quote]So, since I observe that this universe has specific laws and is understandable by mathematics, and since mathematics can be argued that have only meaning in relation to a mind that understands them(nobody on Earth was doing math before man; not consciously) I very logically [i]assume[/i] that someone with a mathematical mind set those laws. You on, the other hand, assume that it's just the way it is and always was. Evidence, in that regard, points to both directions. Tell me, why am I not irrational when I see the scribble on the sand and assume someone made it, but I am irrational when I assume that the specific laws of nature of the specific universe was a result of some entity with intelligence? Explain the difference. [/quote]

Wouldn't any universe that obeyed a set of rules be describable by mathematics?

The only "surprising" thing about our universe is that it provides building blocks that allow something to develop which is intelligent enough to describe its environment. Different laws generally do not allow something as complex as us to exist. But even that can be explained. You just don't like the explanation. That's your right, there's nothing rational about choosing the one over the other. But it is definitely irrational to extrapolate from "we exist" to the whole lot of christianity stories.

Using logic, I would say this whole thing is undecidable. There definitely either is a god, or no god, but which one of those propositions is true cannot be determined. It is IMO irrational to actually pick one as being the truth, as it is picked for personal (psychological) reasons. This is true for both believers and atheists.
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[quote name='SamLowry' timestamp='1312311341' post='4843711']
Using logic, I would say this whole thing is undecidable. There definitely either is a god, or no god, but which one of those propositions is true cannot be determined. It is IMO irrational to actually pick one as being the truth, as it is picked for personal (psychological) reasons. This is true for both believers and atheists.
[/quote]

This is a good mindset. At the very least it encourages tolerance without advocating for or against belief structures.
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[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312309676' post='4843695']
[quote]
How you ever seen anyone/thing setting laws?
[/quote]

Yeah. Me, when I program.
[/quote]
It is certainly possible that the universe is just a program running on some divine machine. But this is one of just an infinite amount of possible explanations.


But even if this is so, maybe our universe was created as follows:
[code]
allPrograms = [] : [ n : ns | ns <- allPrograms, n <- [0, 1] ]
map execute allPrograms[/code]Assuming our universe can indeed be simulated on a machine, then this program, which runs all possible universes in parallel (among other things, there's also a "Hello world" in there) actually runs our own universe. Many of the universes will have us type these messages, but only a fraction of them will actually contain the events as described by the bible. How do you know you're in one of them? Yet, still, all those universes are just running on a machine, with a creator that doesn't care (i.e. me). I hope you notice the absurdity of asking questions on this level. Anything goes.
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[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1312307655' post='4843681']
So, since I observe that this universe has specific laws and is understandable by mathematics, and since mathematics can be argued that have only meaning in relation to a mind that understands them(nobody on Earth was doing math before man; not consciously) I very logically [i]assume[/i] that someone with a mathematical mind set those laws. You on, the other hand, assume that it's just the way it is and always was. Evidence, in that regard, points to both directions. Tell me, why am I not irrational when I see the scribble on the sand and assume someone made it, but I am irrational when I assume that the specific laws of nature of the specific universe was a result of some entity with intelligence? Explain the difference.
[/quote]

This is ludicrous. Mathematics does not exist in the universe. We invented mathematics. [b]Mathematics is a description.[/b] Mathematics is our description for what we observe to be reality and what we can rationally derive.

You are trying to equate the laws of the universe to a scribble in the sand? This is a very weak argument.

Can we prove that a scribble in the sand was made by man? No.
Is it possible that a scribble in the sand was created by coincidence/accident? Yes.
So why do we assume that the scribble in the sand was created by a man? It's called inductive logic. Every (or almost every) scribble we've ever experienced was made by man. We've never witnessed a scribble that didn't seem to have a possible human source. In fact, [b]we can scribble in the sand[/b]. It's very reasonable to assume that someone like us scribbled in the sand. It is more likely that someone like us scribbled in the sand.

Now, the laws of the universe.

Can we prove that the laws of the universe were made by someone? No.
Is it possible that the laws of the universe were created by coincidence/accident? Yes.
Here's the difference. It is not rational to assume that the laws of the universe were created by someone, because inductive logic does not lead us there. [b]We have never witnessed anyone create a natural law[/b]. As hard as I try, I cannot change the speed of light, or make gravity work backwards, or invent some law up that I can't even imagine. We have never witnessed a god create a natural law. We don't know if it can happen, we have no evidence or reason to lead us to believe it can. I can't invent mathematical rules, or change them.

The fact that the "law" in "natural law" is the same three letters as "law" in "son in law" doesn't mean that it's the same or at all similar to one of the laws that we have written down in rule books.

Can you really not see that laws of the universe are different from a scribble in the sand? I don't care what your ultimate belief is, but I urge you to prove you're at least intellectually honest by admitting that argument doesn't hold water.
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