Athiests please help!!!

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by armyboyjay, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. armyboyjay Registered Member

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    I found this simple story on another post. Although some of the other comments the person wrote were commented on, I found no one who commented on this simple story.

    The point seems very simple...i'd like to hear any rebutles regarding the evidence of a creator.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thank you again

    armyboyjay

    [Here is something from a real scientist, Isaac Newton, that gets my attention.

    He once asked a skilled mechanic to make him a miniature replica of our solar system, with balls representing the planets geared together by cogs and belts so as to move in harmony when cranked.

    Later, Newton was visited by a scientist friend who, like you, did not believe in God. There conversation is related in the Minnesota Technologue (October 1957)

    One day, as Newton sat reading in his study with his mechanism on a large table near him, his infidel friend stepped in. Scientist that he was, he recognized at a glance what was before him. Stepping up to it, he slowly turned the crank, and with undisguised admiration watched the heavenly bodies all move in their relative speed in their orbits. Standing off a few feet he exclaimed, What and exquisite thing this is! Who made it?’
    Without looking up from his book, Newton answered, ‘Nobody!’
    Quickly turning to Newton, the infidel said, ‘Evidently you did not understand my question. I asked who made this?’
    Looking up now, Newton solemnly assured him that nobody made it, but the the aggregation of matter had just happened to assume the form it was in, and this is how the imitation solar system came to be.
    But the astonished infidel replied with some heat, ‘You think that I am a fool! Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius, and I’d like to know who he is.’
    Laying his book aside, Newton arose and laid his hand on his friends shoulder. ‘This thing is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose complex laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?’ ]
     
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  3. Teg Unknown Citizen Registered Senior Member

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    Complex laws? I can see the failure in logic here. Assumption: we are great, and we make things. The solar system is great and was therefore made by something greater than us.

    Failure 1: we are great. Nothing new, just human arrogance, we are somehow different.

    Failure 2: we make things. This one is subtle. We compose, but have never created. We do have rules that state that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. In that sense everything we "make" is made of things that have already been in some shape or another.

    Failure 3: the solar system is great. This is another leap of ego. Newton would not have known what we now know: solar systems collect all the time. We have specific instances of of this process via footage taken by astronomers. Knowing this his assumption is rendered mute.

    Failure 4: and was therefore made by something greater than us. This is really just an extension of the third failure. The system can be formed through natural forces and therefore a creator is not only unneccessary but proven to be disconnected in any visible way from the system.

    No instances of a divine presence. Many instances of chaotic development. That is what observation begets.
     
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  5. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    In addition to Teg's arguments -

    The opening post is very similar to the standard argument from design.

    The Argument From Design is often stated by analogy, in the so-called Watchmaker Argument. One is asked to imagine that one has found a watch on the beach. Does one assume that it was created by a watchmaker, or that it evolved naturally? Of course one assumes a watchmaker. Yet like the watch, the universe is intricate and complex; so, the argument goes, the universe too must have a creator.

    The Watchmaker analogy suffers from three particular flaws, over and above those common to all Arguments By Design. Firstly, a watchmaker creates watches from pre-existing materials, whereas God is claimed to have created the universe from nothing. These two sorts of creation are clearly fundamentally different, and the analogy is therefore rather weak.

    Secondly, a watchmaker makes watches, but there are many other things in the world. If we walked further along the beach and found a nuclear reactor, we wouldn't assume it was created by the watchmaker. The argument would therefore suggest a multitude of creators, each responsible for a different part of creation (or a different universe, if you allow the possibility that there might be more than one).

    Finally, in the first part of the watchmaker argument we conclude that the watch is not part of nature because it is ordered, and therefore stands out from the randomness of nature. Yet in the second part of the argument, we start from the position that the universe is obviously not random, but shows elements of order. The Watchmaker argument is thus internally inconsistent.

    Apart from logical inconsistencies in the watchmaker argument, it's worth pointing out that biological systems and mechanical systems behave very differently. What's unlikely for a pile of gears is not necessarily unlikely for a mixture of biological molecules.

    Cris
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Grumpy

    Newton seems a little bitter in the story. Perhaps he's still upset about the apple?

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  8. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    tiassa,

    LOL, a headache perhaps?
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,311
    Possibilities

    Perhaps it was a crabapple?

    Oh, f--k. I'll just stop now.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  10. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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  11. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

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    No, there is no logic in the idea that the solar system was created by something. Unless you mean "something" is simply nature.
     
  12. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Jan,

    Logic stands in its own right. Just because a famous scientist makes a statement that doesn’t mean that the statement is correct. You need to look at the logic and see the reasoning for yourself. If the area of discussion is within the expertise of the claimant then yes that gives the argument credibility, but not necessarily truth.

    Newton was a great physicist, which does not qualify him as a great theologian or philosopher.

    In these modern times when movie stars are acclaimed out of all proportion to reason, we are often led to believe that just because someone is famous then whatever they say must contain wisdom. The evidence is our commercials where movie stars recommend specific products, but they have no expertise in these things, they are simply famous for something else.

    Here is a quote by Newton.

    Here he is himself aware that his expertise is limited to just one narrow area.

    Cris
     
  13. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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  14. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Jan,

    The Argument from Design assumes that everything was made by something. The obvious question then becomes who made God, which then begs the question of who made the creator of God. This descends into an increasing spiral of improbability. The only answer the theist can offer is that God just “is”.

    But we don’t know that a god exists but we do know that the universe exists. Just by using Ocams Razor I can retort with - the universe just “is”.

    So the Argument from Design must always fail since it always comes down to something that just “is”, and that means we don’t have to create the concept of a god to answer the question of ‘who made this?’.

    But even if your were to say that God was made, then I could argue that his components would need to come from some simpler components and that again would indicate that a universe existed before God.

    So my logical argument to your entire position is that the universe just “is” and that a God is an unnecessary speculation.

    Take care
    Cris
     
  15. Teg Unknown Citizen Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    672
    Jan Ardena

    In relation to anything we are not. On the level of matter all are equal. On the level of survival systems we are poor. We are too self-destructive and are completely incapable of forming a balance with the creatures around us.
    Did we read the same story? Isaac Newton assumed that only a human force could yield that model. He assumed that somehow the model was completely different from any other piece of matter despite the overwhelming similarities. You can mash it together all you want, but it will always just be stuff.
    We manipulate natural forces. We restructure in the same manner a beaver would form a dam, a bee builds a hive, and a bird makes a nest. We do not create in the scientific sense though. We may build more frequently than any other animal on this planet, but we are only different in our intensity.
    Humans have tendency to believe the more complicated version of events. I can see that he was no different. It made him feel important.
    Actually Newton was a mathematician first. He just lacked the evidence we have now.

    Solar systems collect matter. We have detected this. We have records of several intermediary steps in the accumulation of a star based system.
    The fundamental scientific principle that guides all discovery. That which is the most simple of answers is probably the correct answer.
    Humans, as a resultant of natural influences are in themselves a natural force. What differentiates our machinations as artificial when all that we render is subject to natural laws?
     
  16. armyboyjay Registered Member

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    16
    A post for Cris...

    Cris, I've enjoyed reading your replies. Besides being very logical, they are very clear and easy to understand (I'm an avid fan of the KISS method [Keep-It-Simple-S@#@]). Some of the replies I've seen on this web-site are just so far out, inconsistent, and very, very difficult to understand.

    I'd like to post some replies to your original rebutles.

    Before I begin, I was not attempted to prove any existence of any god or God (at least that was not my intention). The story struck me simply because it pointed to a design or designer.

    "The Watchmaker analogy suffers from three particular flaws, over and above those common to all Arguments By Design. Firstly, a watchmaker creates watches from pre-existing materials, whereas God is claimed to have created the universe from nothing. These two sorts of creation are clearly fundamentally different, and the analogy is therefore rather weak."

    I did not mean to infer I was talking creation ex nihilo. If I was talking creation ex nihilo this point is quite valid. But that does not necessarily have to be the case.

    "Secondly, a watchmaker makes watches, but there are many other things in the world. If we walked further along the beach and found a nuclear reactor, we wouldn't assume it was created by the watchmaker. The argument would therefore suggest a multitude of creators, each responsible for a different part of creation (or a different universe, if you allow the possibility that there might be more than one)."

    I accept the possibility that there might be more than one. Excellent point, however, for a monothiestic arguement.

    "Finally, in the first part of the watchmaker argument we conclude that the watch is not part of nature because it is ordered, and therefore stands out from the randomness of nature. Yet in the second part of the argument, we start from the position that the universe is obviously not random, but shows elements of order. The Watchmaker argument is thus internally inconsistent."

    This is where I feel your arguement falls a little short. Because I do see some order in nature as well as the randomness...(ie, snowflakes, crystals, eliptical orbits of spherical planets, etc). An orderly chaos, so to speak.

    Thank you for your thoughts. Again, I enjoyed the simplicity of the orginal story and how it pointed to the idea of a designer.

    armyboyjay
     
  17. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    10,993
     
  18. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,993
    In relation to anything we are not. On the level of matter all are equal.

    But the whole point is, we are not only matter. A machine is made up of (material) parts, some gross and some more subtle, but the design of the machine is superior to those parts, for without the design they could never be assembled, and without the designer it could never be designed, so the designer is the most integral part. The designer has to be a person. This is the heirachy.

    On the level of survival systems we are poor. We are too self-destructive and are completely incapable of forming a balance with the creatures around us.

    Yes, you may well be right, although not in all cases, but why are some humans so self destructive?

    Did we read the same story? Isaac Newton assumed that only a human force could yield that model.

    That is because Newton is a scientist and therefore can only come to a conclusion based on his perception, remember he was not a religionist.
    So from that viewpoint, he could not envision any other species on this planet that could create a complex model of that sort, save the creator of the original.

    He assumed that somehow the model was completely different from any other piece of matter despite the overwhelming similarities. You can mash it together all you want, but it will always just be stuff.

    I don’t see how you come to that conclusion.

    We do not create in the scientific sense though.

    What exactly is creating in a scientific sense?

    Humans have tendency to believe the more complicated version of events.

    I didn’t think you was a psycologist, but even if you are, that is a gross misreprisentation of the human being.
    That analysis would only apply if humans were engineered in that way or brainwashed.
    Then, in that case you may be engineered or brainwashed, so what use is your analysis.

    I can see that he was no different. It made him feel important.

    Yeah right!

    Actually Newton was a mathematician first. He just lacked the evidence we have now.

    The conclusion he came to, was not about scientific evidence by use of mathematical equations, but by deduction, therefore, only the power of clear intelligence was needed to arrive at such a conclusion.

    You could, I suppose, say that you arrived at the conclusion that Newton felt important, through deductive intelligence and not through scientific evidence.

    Solar systems collect matter. We have detected this. We have records of several intermediary steps in the accumulation of a star based system.

    Human bodies collect matter, but what does this have to do with the precise organisation of the solar system and whether or not it was designed?

    The fundamental scientific principle that guides all discovery. That which is the most simple of answers is probably the correct answer.

    I tend to agree with that, to some extent.

    Humans, as a resultant of natural influences are in themselves a natural force.

    Yes, spiritual and material.

    Love.

    Jan Ardena.
     
  19. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

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    No, I don't see that very much at all in this universe (by volume) has been created by people. The majority of what my eyes see was created by natural processes, just nature going about its business. No sentient direction involved at all. The only things which so far indicate any creation by beings are our human structures and toys, and bird nests and ant hills, et cetera.

    I don't say chance. I say natural processes. We are beginning to understand these processes and have evidence to support our observations and theories. However, there is NO evidence to support the idea that some big freaky deity popped the universe into existence. So, you ask why should we assume one thing and not the other? Our sense, our minds. We are capable of thought. We see nature going on around us; we begin to understand it; we speculate on the patterns and processes involved.
     
  20. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    9,189
    Jan,

    Exactly. Your position is, as I have already stated, that God just “is”. And that defies your argument that everything must have a creator.

    You cannot show by any objective mechanism that gods exist; all your suggestions require unsubstantial subjective opinions. Your entire belief system is based on faith. If there were any worthwhile evidence you would have no need of faith.

    Using your same argument where you readily accept that something can be just “is”; then I see no contradiction in equally maintaining that the universe just “is”. And my position is overwhelmingly more credible, because we know the universe exists, and there is nothing that shows a supernatural realm can or does exist.

    In short your argument has no basis other than your opinions.

    Without any real evidence all your conclusions and alleged analytical studies are worthless, they are no more than speculations.

    Where do scientists say they know that life does or does not exist on other planets. They might state probabilities, but no reputable scientist would say that they know. That is imply not the way science operates. You have no valid point here.

    Newton used your same flawed conclusions, he didn’t have the evidence that we have now.

    No he didn’t. Whatever you heard about that is incorrect.

    No I know, but you are saying that wherever you perceive order then that thing must have been created, that is the entire point of your argument. But you are conveniently omitting the creator. Does he then represent chaos? If he is ordered then he must have been created according to your argument.

    If you want to claim that not everything that exists has to be created, then my argument that the universe did not need to be created is equally valid.

    There is no more validity from your claim that your god is special compared to my claim that the universe is special. But the big difference is that you have no evidence, whereas I have the wealth of knowledge known as evolution, and the direct observation that the universe exists.

    If your god exists then show him to me an in equally unambiguous manner.

    It is equal to your baseless argument that God just “is”. If my logic is flawed then so is yours.

    Take care.
    Cris
     
  21. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    10,993
    “All religion, arts and sciences, are branches of the same tree. All these aspiration are directed towards enobling mans life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.”

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”

    “When the solution is simple God is answering.”

    “Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body, seems to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.”

    “True religion is real living, living with all ones SOUL, with all ones goodness and righteousness.”

    “A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."


    “The most beautiful we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

    “What I see in nature is a magnificant structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility this is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”

    “I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

    “The purpose of science is to develop, without prejudice, a knowledge of the laws and facts of nature. The even more important task of religion, on the other hand, is to develop the conscience, the ideals and the aspirations of mankind.”

    These are just a few quotes of Einstein, regarding his understanding of life. It is clear that he does not believe in a personal God that created man in his own image. But it is alarmingly clear that he believes in something greater than himself, and that something is not only a mystery but is somehow connected to the manifestation of this universe. He is aware that man cannot know everything through science alone.
    If I was to put a name to his beliefs, I would say he is of the Mayavadi sect, which was brought into existence by God, through His devotee, Shankara-charya, who preached that not only do we have a soul, but God is impersonal.

    Love

    Jan Ardena.
     
  22. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Jan,

    You are putting your own interpretations on what you think Einstein meant by religion and God.

    He was an atheist.

    Here is a more complete artcile that explains the rather unique views of this great man.

    http://www.korrnet.org/reality/rc/1998_summer/einstein.htm

    I'll pull out some of the key phrases in a subsequent post.

    The article is a good read, and I think there is room for some of your beliefs in there, but not much. But then I still have difficulty understanding your perspective. That isn't meant as a criticism, but just an acceptance that there are those who do have very differrent views to myself, and from whoom I may be able to learn.

    Cris
     
  23. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,993
    You are putting your own interpretations on what you think Einstein meant by religion and God.

    I fail to see how. I am just using his own words.

    He was an atheist.

    In the same way followers of the impersonalist mayavadi movement are atheist, in that he does not believe in a personal god.

    Here is a more complete artcile that explains the rather unique views of this great man.

    Thanks for the article, but I don’t see the need for any interpretation, as his own words were satisfactorily explanatory.
    But I did however read the document and can see your point to some degree.

    That isn't meant as a criticism, but just an acceptance that there are those who do have very different views to myself, and from whom I may be able to learn.

    We are learning all the time.
    By discussing on this board I have learnt a great deal, including the workings of the brain and the current aim of mankind, especially in relation to computers and artificial intelligence.
    There is a reason for this learning, and that reason is to understand who and what we are, in relation to this universe, and eventually beyond, I believe is our ultimate purpose. In a few years, you or I will cease to exist in our current form, that is a fact, so we must use our time wisely.
    This is why I have great respect for Einstein and the likes, he utalised his life very appropriately, in searching for the truth in a completely unbiased and honest way, I believe this is what made this humble and brilliant man, so special.

    BTW, i have not forgotton our discourse regarding evidence of a soul, i am currently reading the article you sent, and will get back to you as soon pos.

    Love.

    Jan Ardena
     

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