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The Question of God

anomaly

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We've debated this before (well, I missed most of the last debate, so most of you have debated this before), but I think it deserves another thread.

The classis arguments for the existence of God are:
1. The order of the universe...the random creation of comething so ordered as our planet seems to contradict the old scientific claim that entropy always increases. Well, entropy certainly has decreased considerably on our planet. Can this be waved off as just another exception to the law? It is undisputable that in many natural systems, entropy has decreased. This is why evolution does not contradict the second law of thermodynamics. Or ocurse, evolution takes place on earth, a planet on which natural systems are abundant. But is the universe really a 'natural system'? What's so natural about cold, dark space with bits of metal and rock flying around? If the universe itself is a 'natural system', does this not refute the second law of thermodynamics itself? If the entire universe is a natural system, entropy 'sometimes' decreases...how can this be a law at all then?

2. The existence of a universally felt moral code. Murder, stealing, adultery, all of these have been considered wrong by almost every civilization throughout the ages. How can this have randomly occured? If we say that God does not exist, we destroy any moral point of reference. This, of course, leads to moral relativism, where any morality is 'as right' as any other. But for this to be true, one would expect that many different variances of morality would happen over time, instead of the normal moral code we humans adhere to (and if we stray, we feel a strange feeling known as guilt). But this has not been the case: mores and customs have shown to be dynamic; they change over time. Moral codes have proven to be quite static in that they remain over time. Our morality was extremely similar to that of the ancient Chinese, and their's was similar to that of the ancient Romans and Greeks. How does the atheist account for this? And, according to atheists, what are the origins of this morality?

I invite theists to give other supposed 'proofs', and, of course, I invite atheists to attempt to shread these proofs to pieces.
 

Arch Enemy

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I don't believe Morals to have come from "God" instead I believe the "good" morals of the Christian religion to be the brain child of Jesus of Nazareth. I think most of modern day Bibles to be nothing more than what the Catholic church wants them to say, theres a reason why they paint a picture of a pious Jesus and not the giggling, partyboy, which he truely is. There's also a reason why certain books weren't allowed to be part of the Bible! There's a reaon why the Catholic Church claims that within the walls of the vatican, there is evidence that will truely show that "God" exists and everything else they preach... yet they don't want to share this information with the rest of the world. I believe the Catholic Church to be corrupt!
Do I believe in a "God"? NO! "God" is described as a being which is total bogus, that's putting this divine power on the same morality level of humans. Don't forget, another definition of "God" is "a Handsome Man"
Do I believe in a "Divine Power" one which cannot be wielded by anything in this Universe? Yes, I call this power "God" because I'd get yelled out if I gave it any other name. I believe that this Divine Power to be many things, not singular, but multiple.

How can I prove the exsistence of this crazy stuff I just talked about? Look at "Mother-Nature" that is a power we cannot fully comprehend, look at gravity we may be able to manipulate it to a certain extent but we can't out-rule it. Think of it this way... we live in a 3D world, as part of this 3D world we can see and fully describe a 2D and a 1D Figure. On the other side, we know of 4D and even 5D objects, yet we cannot see them nor can we describe them enough to be able to picture anything.

If I put myself on the "Religous Line" (Christian on the left side, Agnostic in the middle, and Atheist at the right side) then I'd be somewhere in between Christian and Agnostic. I don't believe in Creationism, But I do believe in "God" or divine power. I'm not close to Atheist at all, I believe just like Aliens, its impossible to fully denounce an exsistence, for we've barely scratched the surface of our own planet!
 

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anomaly said:
We've debated this before (well, I missed most of the last debate, so most of you have debated this before), but I think it deserves another thread.
This is one of The Biggies when it comes to debates. It'll prob'ly always have a home in a debate forum.

anomaly said:
The classis arguments for the existence of God are:
1. The order of the universe...the random creation of comething so ordered as our planet seems to contradict the old scientific claim that entropy always increases. Well, entropy certainly has decreased considerably on our planet. Can this be waved off as just another exception to the law?
The Earth is not a closed system unto itself. It constantly receives energy from the Sun. This constant addition of energy enables the "increases in order."

anomaly said:
What's so natural about cold, dark space with bits of metal and rock flying around? If the universe itself is a 'natural system', does this not refute the second law of thermodynamics itself? If the entire universe is a natural system, entropy 'sometimes' decreases...how can this be a law at all then?
While entropy decreases in some places, the overall "level of entropy" inceases.

anomaly said:
2. The existence of a universally felt moral code. Murder, stealing, adultery, all of these have been considered wrong by almost every civilization throughout the ages. How can this have randomly occured?
Just because these thinsg are not the result of random occurrence does not mean that they must have an origin in diety. It's sufficient to postulate that similar situations produce similar results.

anomaly said:
If we say that God does not exist, we destroy any moral point of reference.
It's quite possible to take principles or aesthetics w/o reference to diety as "moral points of reference."

anomaly said:
This, of course, leads to moral relativism, where any morality is 'as right' as any other. But for this to be true, one would expect that many different variances of morality would happen over time, instead of the normal moral code we humans adhere to (and if we stray, we feel a strange feeling known as guilt). But this has not been the case: mores and customs have shown to be dynamic; they change over time. Moral codes have proven to be quite static in that they remain over time. Our morality was extremely similar to that of the ancient Chinese, and their's was similar to that of the ancient Romans and Greeks.
This is only true in gross terms. Closer examination reveals that in some of the cited circumstances it was quite acceptable to kill members of ones own family, to beat one's wife or children, to keep slaves, and a number of things that are otherwise considered morally repugnant here today.

anomaly said:
How does the atheist account for this? And, according to atheists, what are the origins of this morality?
I suspect that they find it sufficient to postulate that similar situations produce similar results. Groups of people who faced similar problems found similar solutions.
 

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anomaly said:
2. The existence of a universally felt moral code. Murder, stealing, adultery, all of these have been considered wrong by almost every civilization throughout the ages. How can this have randomly occured? If we say that God does not exist, we destroy any moral point of reference.
Common moral codes are quite simple to understand. I would not like to have
my life terminated by someone else, so I consider murder to be a bad thing.
Similarly I don't want my things stolen, so theft is bad. I have no reason to
believe that people in general differ from me in this. Treat others as you
would have them treat you seems a reasonable basis for morality and that
needs no god.

Following on from that, I used to think it was insulting to be told that my lack
of belief in a god meant I had no moral values, but now I see it as a
compliment from people who can only live a moral life under the threat of
supernatural vengance.
 

anomaly

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I've not heard God ever described as a 'Handsome Mn' before, ArchEnemy, but if this is the case, I suppose I reject the notion of 'God'. I probably should have said 'higher power' or 'Intelligence beyond this universe'.

Hmmm, the 'level of entropy' always increases? Let us consider the entire universe. Because of the Law of conservation of matter and energy, the universe must be a so-called 'closed' system, so the 'level of entropy' should always increase. And yet after the Big Bang, this matter and energy seems to have ridden itself of some entropy. In fact, this matter and energy 'randomly' formed billions of galaxies. So we have this energy ordering itself, creating billions of star-filled clusters, and yet the 'overall' entropy is increasing?

On morals, one moral I always love using is adultery. Adultery is pro-creative, and so if we simply go on our instincts, we should all be committing adultery in order to carry on the species. And yet we feel guilty when we commit adultery, even though we are trying to carry on the species.
 

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Boy I hope there is not an everlasting life, I'm tired man, I just want to go to sleep when I die. I just can't imagine living forever, no matter what is promised, it will all get old. I have told a few people about this, and all have been shocked, I can't help it, that's the way I feel, I can't stand the thought of living forever.:doh
 

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anomaly said:
Hmmm, the 'level of entropy' always increases? Let us
consider the entire universe. Because of the Law of conservation of matter
and energy, the universe must be a so-called 'closed' system, so the 'level of
entropy' should always increase. And yet after the Big Bang, this matter and
energy seems to have ridden itself of some entropy. In fact, this matter and
energy 'randomly' formed billions of galaxies. So we have this energy ordering
itself, creating billions of star-filled clusters, and yet the 'overall' entropy is
increasing?
There is a discussion of this fallacy here:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sbleas/creative/entropy/

On morals, one moral I always love using is adultery. Adultery is
pro-creative, and so if we simply go on our instincts, we should all be
committing adultery in order to carry on the species. And yet we feel guilty
when we commit adultery, even though we are trying to carry on the
species.
Evolutionary pressures are rarely as simple as you suggest. A built-in pressure
towards monogamy could be useful to maintain a pair bond in a species where
the young need support for many years. More sex generates more offspring,
yet if they die the evolutionary advantage is lost. Monogamy might produce
fewer offspring but may keep the parents together long enough to give the
progeny better chances for survival.
 

Simon W. Moon

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anomaly said:
Hmmm, the 'level of entropy' always increases? Let us consider the entire universe. Because of the Law of conservation of matter and energy, the universe must be a so-called 'closed' system, so the 'level of entropy' should always increase. And yet after the Big Bang, this matter and energy seems to have ridden itself of some entropy. In fact, this matter and energy 'randomly' formed billions of galaxies. So we have this energy ordering itself, creating billions of star-filled clusters, and yet the 'overall' entropy is increasing?
Well, given that it started out as one thing and branched in to trillions upon trillion, I really don't see the contradiction.
Trillions upon trillions of things is less ordered than a single thing.
 
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anomaly said:
We've debated this before (well, I missed most of the last debate, so most of you have debated this before), but I think it deserves another thread.

The classis arguments for the existence of God are:
1. The order of the universe...the random creation of comething so ordered as our planet seems to contradict the old scientific claim that entropy always increases. Well, entropy certainly has decreased considerably on our planet. Can this be waved off as just another exception to the law? It is undisputable that in many natural systems, entropy has decreased. This is why evolution does not contradict the second law of thermodynamics. Or ocurse, evolution takes place on earth, a planet on which natural systems are abundant. But is the universe really a 'natural system'? What's so natural about cold, dark space with bits of metal and rock flying around? If the universe itself is a 'natural system', does this not refute the second law of thermodynamics itself? If the entire universe is a natural system, entropy 'sometimes' decreases...how can this be a law at all then?

2. The existence of a universally felt moral code. Murder, stealing, adultery, all of these have been considered wrong by almost every civilization throughout the ages. How can this have randomly occured? If we say that God does not exist, we destroy any moral point of reference. This, of course, leads to moral relativism, where any morality is 'as right' as any other. But for this to be true, one would expect that many different variances of morality would happen over time, instead of the normal moral code we humans adhere to (and if we stray, we feel a strange feeling known as guilt). But this has not been the case: mores and customs have shown to be dynamic; they change over time. Moral codes have proven to be quite static in that they remain over time. Our morality was extremely similar to that of the ancient Chinese, and their's was similar to that of the ancient Romans and Greeks. How does the atheist account for this? And, according to atheists, what are the origins of this morality?

I invite theists to give other supposed 'proofs', and, of course, I invite atheists to attempt to shread these proofs to pieces.
Thomas Aquinas gave the only undeniable proof of the existence of at least one divine being in his First Cause Argument. He basically states that because everything which is in this plane of existence derives from a cause therefore everything is dependant on a cause to exist. Because everything in the universe is dependant on a cause there must have been something which acted as a frist cause which is independant of cause ie does not require a cause for it's existence. His reason for this is that there cannot be an infinate chain of causation and because for something dependant on cause to create itself it would require it to exist prior to itself which is imposible. Therefore, again, the only solution is a being independant of cause which created the universe. This being is what we call God. For a more detailed description of this argument go to:

http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/first-cause.htm

(he does a pretty good job of explaining it.)
 

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Thomas Aquinas gave the only undeniable proof of the existence of at least one divine being in his First Cause Argument. He basically states that because everything which is in this plane of existence derives from a cause therefore everything is dependant on a cause to exist. Because everything in the universe is dependant on a cause there must have been something which acted as a frist cause which is independant of cause ie does not require a cause for it's existence. His reason for this is that there cannot be an infinate chain of causation and because for something dependant on cause to create itself it would require it to exist prior to itself which is imposible. Therefore, again, the only solution is a being independant of cause which created the universe. This being is what we call God. For a more detailed description of this argument go to:
Aquinas' FIrst cause argument is flawed because he didn't take the possiblity that there could be an infinite string of causes and effects, just like in mathematics where there is an infinite set of numbers. And this talk about cause and effect leads you into a whole discussion on what time is, a concept that the most brilliant scientists and philosophers are trying to figure out.
 
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nkgupta80 said:
Aquinas' FIrst cause argument is flawed because he didn't take the possiblity that there could be an infinite string of causes and effects, just like in mathematics where there is an infinite set of numbers. And this talk about cause and effect leads you into a whole discussion on what time is, a concept that the most brilliant scientists and philosophers are trying to figure out.
Actually he did and it is impossible to have an infinite chain of cause and effect when it comes to existence. Why? Because something dependant on cause cannot cause itself..something independant of cause must have jumpstarted the chain. I already explained this..
 

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Napoleon's Nightingale said:
Actually he did and it is impossible to have an infinite chain of cause and effect when it comes to existence. Why? Because something dependant on cause cannot cause itself..something independant of cause must have jumpstarted the chain. I already explained this..
You haven't explained.
You have merely asserted that it is so.
 
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Simon W. Moon said:
You haven't explained.
You have merely asserted that it is so.
Go to the link I provided earlier and read the examples given. I'll give one. Imagine that you want a book but you don't have it so you ask a friend but he doesn't have it so he asks a friend who asks a friend who asks a friend etc etc ad infinitum. The only way you'll ever get that book is if someone who has it gives it to you. Just as the only way there could be a chain of cause and effect to begin with is if something independant of cause starts the chain.
 

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you didn't look deeply into your example. The friend gets that book, but the book has to have been made somewhere. Some guy made the book. Some other person came up with the idea. All of them were born from someone else. GO back billions of years like this. You get to who made the universe. So... you get into an infinite string of events that would never end.

But after a while you begin to think if everything in our world does run by cause and effect. You get into the idea of what really is time, and this brings you to a wealth of complexities and unanswered questions, questions that are being attempted at by scientists and philosophers all over the world. The idea of cause and effect doesn't hold out until we can understand what time is.
 

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But the big bang theory is sometimes used to explain the origin of time, space, and matter (meaning time has a beginning). That is, unless there was another universe before this one, and that universe's 'big crunch' set this universe in motion. This is referred to as the oscillating universe. However, thinker's link (which I found to be very good) gives some problems the notion of an infinite universe gives us.
 

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could u please post thinker's link?
 
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anomaly said:
But the big bang theory is sometimes used to explain the origin of time, space, and matter (meaning time has a beginning). That is, unless there was another universe before this one, and that universe's 'big crunch' set this universe in motion. This is referred to as the oscillating universe. However, thinker's link (which I found to be very good) gives some problems the notion of an infinite universe gives us.
The big bang theory doesn't work in this argument because the same elements involved in the big bang are present in this plane of existence. Therefore it would have had to exist prior to itself which is indeed impossible. Besides..the big bang is simply another example of something with a cause.

P.S. whoever asked for the link; I posted it on page 1
 

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why can't something go on forever...
 

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When you assume cause and effect, i am guessing that you assume time is linear. A line however doesn't mean there is a beginning and an end. Remember in math, a line goes infinitely in both directions.

But the big bang theory is sometimes used to explain the origin of time, space, and matter (meaning time has a beginning). That is, unless there was another universe before this one, and that universe's 'big crunch' set this universe in motion. This is referred to as the oscillating universe. However, thinker's link (which I found to be very good) gives some problems the notion of an infinite universe gives us.
the only problems to the infinite universe is that we don't have the current knowledge of the fundemental laws to explain it. Thus it can't be ruled out.
 

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nkgupta, doesn't this show that you have faith these 'fundamental laws' will be indeed shown to be laws? And yet you then criticize faith in God? Why is your faith somehow more reasonable? I never understand this atheist logic!

Also, did you read thinker's link? It gives some more problems with the idea of infinite time.
 

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oh i don't have faith that laws would be proven. I am just saying that it can't be ruled out, since scientists believe that by better understanding these laws they could make a better judgement. I also think that divinity can't be ruled out, but defining it becomes more and more of a problem as each previous religion's claims get disproven.
 
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nkgupta80 said:
When you assume cause and effect, i am guessing that you assume time is linear. A line however doesn't mean there is a beginning and an end. Remember in math, a line goes infinitely in both directions.



the only problems to the infinite universe is that we don't have the current knowledge of the fundemental laws to explain it. Thus it can't be ruled out.
It's interesting..there is nothing that anyone has experianced which fits the true definition of a line. I wonder how we can assume that lines even exist outside of mathematical principles. I dare someone to refute me and if you do provide a solid example, not guess work no theories, a solid example of a true line. :lol:
 

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nkgupta80 said:
oh i don't have faith that laws would be proven. I am just saying that it can't be ruled out, since scientists believe that by better understanding these laws they could make a better judgement. I also think that divinity can't be ruled out, but defining it becomes more and more of a problem as each previous religion's claims get disproven.
What religious claims have been disproven? Creation myths? Yes, I suppose. But the ultimate religious belief is of God, of course. That has not come close to being disproven. I came to a conclusion a while ago that we all have faith in one of two worldviews: the belief in God or the belief that science has the ability to explain everything. Well, I should say almost everyone fits into those two faiths. We also have agnostics and nihilists.

Also I can't help but point out that to be an atheist, one must have faith that God does not exist.
 

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no there are many other conciliatory beliefs. One is that God is a representation of everything unknown. Science is our attempt to reach God..

another is that there is a loving god, as claimed by many people, and science is a way of understanding His works.

In the end, religion strips down to a moral code of how to live and the idea of a God(s). All the creation myths like you said have been disproven. But people tend to also define the God from the explanations they're religions give of the physical world around them...and those has been continually discredited. Thus defining God becomes more and more of a problem.

I never said that God is wrong. I however believe there are other plausible alternatives to God (whatever million ways God is defined as), as God has not been solidly proven.
 
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nkgupta80 said:
no there are many other conciliatory beliefs. One is that God is a representation of everything unknown. Science is our attempt to reach God..

another is that there is a loving god, as claimed by many people, and science is a way of understanding His works.

In the end, religion strips down to a moral code of how to live and the idea of a God(s). All the creation myths like you said have been disproven. But people tend to also define the God from the explanations they're religions give of the physical world around them...and those has been continually discredited. Thus defining God becomes more and more of a problem.

I never said that God is wrong. I however believe there are other plausible alternatives to God (whatever million ways God is defined as), as God has not been solidly proven.
Creationism has certainly not been disproven unless of course scientists have mastered the art of time travel and witnessed evolution without me knowing. Without a clear explaination of HOW life originated on Earth evolution is no more valid than any other theory.
 
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