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Cletus Nze

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Christians, what is your evidence?
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2011, 12:44:44 pm »
jbiemans wrote:
I think a child can see that miracles point to the truth of Christianity.  I think a child can see the evidence for design in nature.

and a child can see that a coin under their pillow in the morning points to the truth of the tooth fairy, and easter eggs on easter morning points to the truth of the easter bunny.


It depends how you define "Tooth Fairy" and "Easter Bunny", doesn't it? After all it's not as if they have a standard definition, do they? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah! So what if the child eventually finds out the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are just mum and dad, or that mum and dad work for them - how does that invalidate the miracle, to the child's mind, of the tooth under their pillow being replaced by a coin? Perhaps your parents just weren't very good as Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny assistants - and kept getting caught - and so didn't impress you. But why spoil it for others? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! After all when your girlfriend/wife says you're a knight in shining armour you don't take that LITERALLY either, do you? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

But you're right! The Truth of Christianity is NOT dependent on miracles! It is dependent ONLY on It's rationality and capacity to explain events in the Universe! It is CERTAINLY FAR SUPERIOR to the "truth" of Atheism, namely: SH*T JUST HAPPENS - FOR NO REASON - if you wait long enough! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Pursue Truth - with rigour and vigour!

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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Christians, what is your evidence?
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2011, 01:17:50 pm »
SH*T JUST HAPPENS - FOR NO REASON - if you wait long enough!

This appears to be your catch phrase.  Here is a challenge, sit perfectly still and wait and see if NOTHING happens at all.  Stuff happens all the time.  Also by "for no reason", I suppose that you mean no externally defined purpose, if this is true then, yes!  Many things happen due to a cause, but with no reason.

Earthquakes have a cause, but no reason or purpose.  They are just the natural result of nature following the rules that it does.  Are you going to say things like rainbows and earthquakes don't just happen - for no reason ?

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Cletus Nze

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« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2011, 02:01:13 pm »
jbiemans wrote:
SH*T JUST HAPPENS - FOR NO REASON - if you wait long enough!

This appears to be your catch phrase.  Here is a challenge, sit perfectly still and wait and see if NOTHING happens at all.  Stuff happens all the time.  Also by "for no reason", I suppose that you mean no externally defined purpose, if this is true then, yes!  Many things happen due to a cause, but with no reason.

Earthquakes have a cause, but no reason or purpose.  They are just the natural result of nature following the rules that it does.  Are you going to say things like rainbows and earthquakes don't just happen - for no reason ?


Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Here's how Webster's defines "Reason", dolt:

Definition of REASON
1a   : a statement offered in explanation or justification b   : a rational ground or motive c   : a sufficient ground of explanation or of logical defense; especially   : something (as a principle or law) that supports a conclusion or explains a fact   d   : the thing that makes some fact intelligible : cause

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Perhaps with some of you atheistic boneheads, it's just a case of a poor command of the language! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Reason means CAUSE, dolt! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Pursue Truth - with rigour and vigour!

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2011, 02:43:22 pm »
1a : a statement offered in explanation or justification b : a rational ground or motive

Did you even read the whole definition ???? There are 4 different versions of reason.

A rational ground or motive is NOT a cause.

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Joseph Evensen

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« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2011, 02:53:04 pm »
jbiemans wrote:

Did you even read the whole definition ???? There are 4 different versions of reason.

A rational ground or motive is NOT a cause.
Do not feed troll.

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Johan Biemans (jbiemans)

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« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2011, 03:11:47 pm »
I know I shouldn't but it is actually kinda fun to watch what he will do next.

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Bill Clute

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Christians, what is your evidence?
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2011, 03:29:44 pm »
You know what he will do next.  The next is the same as the past.  He (or she) will rudely throw out that catch phrase and then that overused laugh.

If I may, I'd like to remind some of the call to apologetics from 1 Peter 3:15 with some very important words in bold:

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect."
Truth is sacred and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it.  - G.K. Chesterton
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. - attributed to Joseph Goebbels
To give truth to him who loves it not is only to give him more plentiful mat

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wonderer

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« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2011, 03:57:59 pm »
brian_g wrote:
Quote from: wonderer

Quote from: brian_g
1. Every contingent fact has an explanation.

What does this even mean?  Are you conflating "cause" with "explanation"?  I'm curious as to whether you have any non-circular support claim.
 

This is the way the argument is typically formulated.  I'm not entirely sure of all the motives for using "explanation" instead of "cause."  One reason, I think, is that some philosopher like to think of the necessary being as having an explanation for it's existence in it's own nature.  The necessary being isn't caused to exist, but it does have an explanation.  Other philosophers prefer to think of the necessary being as not needing an explanation.  I'm using a version of the argument that sets this issue aside and doesn't try to answer it.  Personally, I think this is more semantics then a real difference.


To me it seems to beg the question for theism to use the word "explanation".  Certainly it is a matter of semantics, but I think the semantics are rather important.  One question I'd ask...  Is it a requirment for the existence of an explanation, that there be a conscious mind which comprehends that explanation?  I don't see how in such a case, without begging the question for God, one could consider P1 to be justified.

In fact, it seems to me that quantum mechanics gives us good reason for skepticism towards P1 if we don't beg the question for God.  Consider an atom of carbon-14 undergoing radioactive decay to nitrogen-14 at t=0.  Was that event contingent?  It would seem to be.  However I don't know of any good reason to think that an explanation exists for that particular event occurring.

As for an argument, Alexander Pruss has done a lot of work defending this principle.  It's called the principle of sufficient reason or PSR.  Personally, what I find most persuasive about PSR is that if it's false, this would undermined much if not all of science.  Suppose that scientists make some observation of an effect in nature and they try to determine the best explaination for the effect.  But suppose it's the case that there doesn't need to be any explanation at all.


This looks to me like proposing a false dichotomy.  I don't see a problem with there being some things which can't be explained, while other things can be explained.  In fact, WRT the explanatory capacities of human minds, I expect that there will always be things that are unexplainable.  However, some things may be unexplainable in principle doesn't provide a good reason for throwing the baby out with the bath water.

...There's no way to compare the no explanation hypothesis with any of the other hypotheses.


I disagree.  If the predictivity of an explanation can be experimentally tested, and if testing supports the validity of the explanation rather than falsifies it, then we have good reason to consider that explanation to more accurately model relevant occurrences, than that there is no explanation.  I don't see any good reason to think that there can't be the possibility of explanations which accurately model some things, while simultaneously there are limits to what can be explained.

"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

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Don Quixote

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Christians, what is your evidence?
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2011, 05:44:05 pm »
jbiemans wrote:
I suppose that it is also theoretically possible that the universe is not contingent but necessary in itself.

this is what hawkin exclaims that universe sucked itself into existence via quantum gravity. But where did that come from...
Regress argument applies.

Earlier he says what puts the fire into the equations. As if equations cause reality.

E=MC 2 dosent make the nuke it only describes the nuke. Something external makes the forces work.

Is that really so hard to understand?
If at first you don't succeed...don't try skydiving!

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Composer

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« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2011, 06:13:55 pm »
Steve007 wrote:

I think the life of Jesus (and especially the miracles) is very compelling evidence that Christianity is true.  


''Whether Jesus ever actually existed has long been debated. The argument (very well documented) is that there is absolutely no corroborating evidence of his existence in documents other than highly suspect Christian sources.'
– Riane Eisler (The Chalice & the Blade, p122)


'The Jesus of the Gospels is an artificial creation, a collective work of art who evolved through the combined consciousness of two generations of Christian worship.'

– A. N. Wilson (Paul, p144)



Composer (Successful religion buster)

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Timothy Campen

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« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2011, 06:14:59 pm »
vmancha wrote:
Quote from: jbiemans

I suppose that it is also theoretically possible that the universe is not contingent but necessary in itself.

this is what hawkin exclaims that universe sucked itself into existence via quantum gravity. But where did that come from...
Regress argument applies.

This reminds me of my 4 year old daughter asking the same regress question about "where does God come from?"   I agree that defining the universe such that asking what came before it is like asking what is South of the South Pole (Hawkins) is less that satisfying.  But I really so no greater satisfying an answer in doing the same with defining a God as just "always having existed".

I fully understand there is a significant pile of philosophical and theological arguments aimed as supporting a God that never did not exist, but at the end of the day - when you really boil it down - I don't see any substantial difference in the two claims.   Except one might have some math behind it.  
I raise a pint to WLC and all of you, even if I often disagree.  For I am convinced thoughtful people can disagree without being disagreeable.

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Don Quixote

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« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2011, 08:42:04 pm »
tcampen wrote:
Quote from: vmancha
Quote from: jbiemans

I suppose that it is also theoretically possible that the universe is not contingent but necessary in itself.

this is what hawkin exclaims that universe sucked itself into existence via quantum gravity. But where did that come from...
Regress argument applies.

This reminds me of my 4 year old daughter asking the same regress question about "where does God come from?"   I agree that defining the universe such that asking what came before it is like asking what is South of the South Pole (Hawkins) is less that satisfying.  But I really so no greater satisfying an answer in doing the same with defining a God as just "always having existed".

I fully understand there is a significant pile of philosophical and theological arguments aimed as supporting a God that never did not exist, but at the end of the day - when you really boil it down - I don't see any substantial difference in the two claims.   Except one might have some math behind it.  

Ironic...Your statement. Whats Hawkin's most significant work? To take Einsteins relativity equation ( along with penrose) and prove that time has a beginning at the singularity. There is your math. By your go to guy.
What can we conclude therefore?
Whatever preceded the singularity is not under the "human concept of regresses" as defined only in time. One even after another. Out of time everything can be seen as occurring at once or as a long period.
For it was Moses that first stated the relativity of time not Einstein Ps 90:4
For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhJitbhsKvI

You can not regress the infinite timeless state. God has no regression philosophically, and as you left the door open for, mathematically.
If at first you don't succeed...don't try skydiving!

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Brian_G

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« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2011, 12:51:50 am »
wonderer wrote:

To me it seems to beg the question for theism to use the word "explanation".  Certainly it is a matter of semantics, but I think the semantics are rather important.  One question I'd ask...  Is it a requirment for the existence of an explanation, that there be a conscious mind which comprehends that explanation?  I don't see how in such a case, without begging the question for God, one could consider P1 to be justified.

I think your reading too much into the word "explanation."  The word "explanation" here doesn't mean that there is a conscious mind understanding the explanation.  
I'm trying to formulate the argument as I've read it in the literature.  I hadn't given too much thought as to why explanation is used as opposed to "cause."  However, another reason came to me.  This argument is focused on explaining "facts."  We don't typically think of facts as having a "cause."  The fact that it's cold outside is true because of the outside temperature.  But we don't typical say that the temperature caused the fact.  The temperature has a cause but the fact about the temperature has an explanation.
This might be the motive behind the word, but perhaps I need to think about it more.

In fact, it seems to me that quantum mechanics gives us good reason for skepticism towards P1 if we don't beg the question for God.  Consider an atom of carbon-14 undergoing radioactive decay to nitrogen-14 at t=0.  Was that event contingent?  It would seem to be.  However I don't know of any good reason to think that an explanation exists for that particular event occurring.


I think it's contingent.  I'd say that the explanation is that the decay happens because of the number of protons and neutrons in carbon-14.  This number make the isotope unstable and causes it to have a particular probability of decaying.  That this explains the fact can be demonstrated by considering what would happen if we changed the number of protons and neutrons.  If you take away two neutrons from carbon 14, you can prevent it from decaying into nitrogen.  Carbon 14 minus two neutrons is just carbon-12, a stable element.  So we have an explanation that is sufficient for us to understand what it would take to prevent the decay.

I think what bothers people is that we don't have the sort of explanation where the cause entails it's effect.  The cause only gives the effect a certain probability.  I'd suggest we don't want to put this sort of demand on explanations.  The originator of this argument, Leibniz, did place this sort of demand on explanations.  The problem with this is that everything in the universe had to be exactly the way it is and God had to have a reason that entailed that he created the universe this way and no other.  What was God's reason?  This is the best of all possible worlds!  That claim, in my opinion, will make it pretty tough to fend off the problem of evil.  All the atheist needs to do is to show that there is one way for the world to be a little better.  So I'm quite happy to have a principle of sufficient reason that isn't so demanding.   Modern versions of the argument try make use of this weaker principle of sufficient reason.


As for an argument, Alexander Pruss has done a lot of work defending this principle.  It's called the principle of sufficient reason or PSR.  Personally, what I find most persuasive about PSR is that if it's false, this would undermined much if not all of science.  Suppose that scientists make some observation of an effect in nature and they try to determine the best explaination for the effect.  But suppose it's the case that there doesn't need to be any explanation at all.


This looks to me like proposing a false dichotomy.  I don't see a problem with there being some things which can't be explained, while other things can be explained.  In fact, WRT the explanatory capacities of human minds, I expect that there will always be things that are unexplainable.  However, some things may be unexplainable in principle doesn't provide a good reason for throwing the baby out with the bath water.

...There's no way to compare the no explanation hypothesis with any of the other hypotheses.


I disagree.  If the predictivity of an explanation can be experimentally tested, and if testing supports the validity of the explanation rather than falsifies it, then we have good reason to consider that explanation to more accurately model relevant occurrences, than that there is no explanation.  I don't see any good reason to think that there can't be the possibility of explanations which accurately model some things, while simultaneously there are limits to what can be explained.

[/QUOTE]

The problem I see is that this make me want to ask the following:  what explains why some things have an explanation and other things don't?  Is there an explanation?  Either answer seems problematic.  Suppose, for the sake of argument, you said that the universe has no explanation, but horses do have an explanation.  Suppose you say there is an explanation why this is the case.  Whatever that explanation is, it seems to have at least partially made sense of why the universe is here.  That would negate the original claim that the universe has no explanation.  But suppose, on the other hand, you said that there is no explanation for why horses have explanations and universes don't.  This seem to leave open the possibility that some horse might exist without an explanation.  Horses and universes were picked arbitrarily.    If there's nothing about the universe that tells me why it doesn't need an explanation, then the universe could simply be something else entirely, a horse, perhaps.  

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Brian_G

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« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2011, 01:28:20 am »
tcampen wrote:
Quote from: vmancha
Quote from: jbiemans

I suppose that it is also theoretically possible that the universe is not contingent but necessary in itself.

this is what hawkin exclaims that universe sucked itself into existence via quantum gravity. But where did that come from...
Regress argument applies.

This reminds me of my 4 year old daughter asking the same regress question about "where does God come from?"   I agree that defining the universe such that asking what came before it is like asking what is South of the South Pole (Hawkins) is less that satisfying.  But I really so no greater satisfying an answer in doing the same with defining a God as just "always having existed".

I fully understand there is a significant pile of philosophical and theological arguments aimed as supporting a God that never did not exist, but at the end of the day - when you really boil it down - I don't see any substantial difference in the two claims.   Except one might have some math behind it.  



I think this is approaching the question backward.  If we look at these arguments as getting to God and then saying "here's the exception", we have a problem.  Basically, I see these various forms of the cosmological argument, whether they end with the uncaused cause or the first principle, or unmoved mover, or necessary being, as doing basically the same thing.  We get to a point where we say the buck stops here, so to speak.  If we agree that there must be some sort of first cause, I think we should then ask if we can learn anything about what this first cause is like.  This identification stage of the argument, I think is the more interesting part.  I've given a couple of the arguments that show that this being has attributes that have been traditionally associated with the Christian God.  What surprises me is that atheists tend to launch there attack on the first part rather then the latter.  Why don't more atheists say "sure I believe in the uncaused cause, I just don't think it's God."  I understand that some do challenge this second part, but I don't see many willing to grant the first part.    


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Joseph Evensen

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« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2011, 09:28:36 am »
brian_g wrote: I think this is approaching the question backward.  If we look at these arguments as getting to God and then saying "here's the exception", we have a problem.  Basically, I see these various forms of the cosmological argument, whether they end with the uncaused cause or the first principle, or unmoved mover, or necessary being, as doing basically the same thing.  We get to a point where we say the buck stops here, so to speak.  If we agree that there must be some sort of first cause, I think we should then ask if we can learn anything about what this first cause is like.  This identification stage of the argument, I think is the more interesting part.  I've given a couple of the arguments that show that this being has attributes that have been traditionally associated with the Christian God.  What surprises me is that atheists tend to launch there attack on the first part rather then the latter.  Why don't more atheists say "sure I believe in the uncaused cause, I just don't think it's God."  I understand that some do challenge this second part, but I don't see many willing to grant the first part.    

I could grant the first part as being "logically possible" but not necessarily something that I believe.  It seems that we don't know enough about the matter to come to a conclusion, so we should just wait for more data before committing ourself to an answer.