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The God Illusion

Old 02-28-2007, 09:38 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hi mjs

I am a believer. I believe in results. That is why I carry a .45 acp.

I believe AA is the way for me to stay sober. I find people who have what I want and ask them to help me get it. I leave the rest of the stuff alone.

In almost every meeting I hear things I do not believe. I hear that I got to love everybody. I hear God is gonna make somebodys car payment. I hear God is going to make somebody sick get well. I hear God has a plan(quite detailed in some cases) for each life. I hear God is "out there" somewhere, like heaven.

I believe what the 12 steps say. I cannot say anything else is not possible, I just choose not to sweat it right now, since this 24 hours and my character defects are kinda all I can manage.

I found my HP, who I choose to call God, inside me. He let me know I was accepted, like I was, and together we could change me.

I have been walking the walk of searching for the truth since 1962. I probably understand less about "Him" than I did then.

I have read William James book, Varities of religious experience a number of times. It is difficult, but worth the effort for me. It is available online if you Google for it.

I do not look at the concept of God like anyone I know. I am a cold old man in most cases. I do not know or care if God "loves" me. I sure do not know enough about Him to love Him. My HP is a source of power. If I seek knowledge of what I should do, ask for power to do it and do it, my life is much more effective and enjoyable.

Am I a Christian? Who cares. I sure don't. I am sober and recently quit a 3 pack a day addiction to Nicotine. I am a good husband of over 44 yrars. I am a good citizen, so much so that the State of Texas issued me a concealed carry permit. I am confident enough of my controll of emotions that I exercise that right.

I hope what I have shared lets you know you do NOT have to conform to ANYTHING to work the steps. All I have to do is be brutally honest with myself first, then others. The brutal was natural, the honest was and still sometimes is, a challenge.


Ray
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:10 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Life on lifes terms says to-----me,
that when i make any kind of statement,that i need not be surprised if 90% of folks disagree...lol.Im no longer enflunced on authers,or others who say there is no God.its become a non-issue in my life today.
All i know for sure,is that in my darkest,gut-wrenching,time in my life,i asked God to help me,and i was lead to the recovery rooms.Out of what seemed like the blue,i wanted,to change.I wanted a better way to live,without booze.
You say that you prayed and prayed to stay sober,and yet you went back out.This is your own responsibility here,using your free will..Look into the root and causes of why you decided to go back to drinking.Have you embraced step one?
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:40 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Hi Mjs...

I do not believe there is only "one" way to get and stay sober. I've seen too much proof of other ways.

But 12-step DOES work for me, and I have a fondness for the program.

Something you first posted stands out to me,

I want to incorporate 12 step work into my recovery but when i went to meetings in the past I kept seeing the same people telling the same stories. Its like in the movie groundhog day...I skip a couple years and when I go to a meeting its like yesterday.No one ever moves on or improves.

What I have discovered, is that some meetings never get beyond the "war-story" stage. Drunkalogues and glorifying. Those meetings have a reason for being, but they are not the best part of 12-step that I have experienced.

I find much more insight from study meetings. Book study, step study, and most especially, tradition study meetings. I urge you to seek out study meetings, and specifically look for those that are working the program.

I find them far different and far more fulfilling than some of the meetings filled with court-ordered newcomers down at the Alano club.


Just a thought. (((hugs)))

Last edited by BigSis; 03-01-2007 at 06:41 AM. Reason: clarify my disjointed thoughts
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:55 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PurpleReign View Post
Sam Harris anyone? He wrote (and I own)...Letter to a Christian Nation and The End of Faith.

Faith is much like sobriety. Boiled down, it's a simply a choice to believe in something, whatever one you think offers the best chance for your survival you put your money on.

As someone who spent years in the scientific field I can tell you this for certain...NOTHING is certain. I was a Christian, then converted to atheism, and then back to Chrisitanity (thank God for that too).

Philosophy can really help you make a decision on religion and I think it was Francis Bacon that said and I paraphrase..."A little philosophy inclineth a man to atheism, depth in philosophy inclineth a man to religion."

I blended a little science and phiosophy to come up with my own thoughts on "proof."
How do you know you are sitting in that chair?
Well, in layman's terms, your butt's nerves send signals to your brain and your brain interprets these electrical impulses/action potentials.

Kant, a philosopher heavy on metaphysics and the blank slate idea, suggested, "what if our senses deceive us?" So, how do we know our sense are interpreting things correctly? How do you prove what you see, smell, hear, taste, and touch are real?

You certainly can't come up with a device to measure it, because as a human being - subject to error, such a device would already carry your own sensory delusions with it.

So we are left with patterns, that if I do x, y will happen. But that's really just statistics, which have confidence intervals and powers to take into account for error. So Hsubone and Hsubzero are useless to us in this case.

Now we have come full circle, to say we don't believe in God is to say that we do believe in our senses being correct, and neither can be proven to be true to 1.00 (100%) CI.

So we are left with nothing more than a choice, cleverly called by God as "free will."

Best of luck in your sobriety my friend.

PR
I'm agnostic in the sense that I believe ultimate reality is an unknown. But, I'm atheist in the sense that I see theism as more of a myth or fairly tale than a theory on the nature of ultimate reality.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:01 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by mjs View Post
I have searched for any sensible rebuttals to his book and have not found any. .
I've recently seen an episode of a series called "Finding God Through Faith and Reason". Its a lecture series on EWTN television. I dont know if there is a companion book available for the series, though. The program is available on dvd.

The series outline examines the 5 proofs of St Thomas, and other philosophical, scientific and logical arguements.

Here's a link to purchase it, if youre interested.

http://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.co...ProductDetails

And here is a synopsis from the above link:

"FINDING GOD THROUGH FAITH & REASON
Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., lends insight into new evidence gathered from the fields of contemporary philosophy and physics, which supports proof for the existence of God. The universe itself connotes the existence of a Creator, and the principle of intelligent design leads to a logical conclusion about the nature of God. 4 discs. 6½ hrs. "
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:02 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Wino40 View Post
I hope what I have shared lets you know you do NOT have to conform to ANYTHING to work the steps. All I have to do is be brutally honest with myself first, then others. The brutal was natural, the honest was and still sometimes is, a challenge.
I don't think I could be brutally honest AND work the Steps. I'd most certainly need one of the secular interpretations.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:48 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I'm agnostic in the sense that I believe ultimate reality is an unknown. But, I'm atheist in the sense that I see theism as more of a myth or fairly tale than a theory on the nature of ultimate reality.
I can respect that DK, being a slave to science by choice I certainly had (an sometimes still do) have my questions about the stories in the Old Testament. Like you, I had to make a choice one way or another.

Sorry to hear about your canine loss - they really do become family, but I'm of the opinion "all dogs go to heaven." (feel free to replace heaven with - a happy place in the cosmos).

PR
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:14 AM
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dk

My approach IS secular. It is not the religious secularism of believing what somebody else believes about organized religion. It is believing what I personally believe aboiut organized religion.

I think organized religion is wonderful. It has brought comfort to a lot of people. I tried it. I sincerely tried to get help there, from numerous different denominations. I failed to improve.

My approach of brutal honesty would mandate that I reject the concept of a doorknob as a higher power, I have personally never been at the point I would turn my will and life over to a doorknob. I have never personally met anyone that did(I include an ashtray worshiper and a light buld follower here) that had anything I wanted for my life. Brutal honesty dictates I must believe in something that in the last instant of an agonizing death I would want to be in contact with.

I came to the point that I KNEW I had a problem and I could not fix it. That was a devastating place. I could not break it, or think through it or otherwise impact it in a favorable way. I found some people who had been where I was and found they had recovered. I followed what they did and I too recovered.

My HP is specific to me. I not only do not have to drink, I do not have to tear stuff up and hurt people. I do not live with the fury I contained as early as I could remember. I am faithful to my wife. I do not steal anymore. I can live life on Gods terms and enjoy it completely.

I have found I can actually interact with other people and my person and views are respected and liked.

I have tools that enable me to live life while being in contact with my God.

I do not know or care what happened in the life of any supposed religious figgure in the past. Virgin birth, sacerdotalism, resurrection, tribulation, millenialism, repentance, salvation and heaven are things I frankly could care less about.

I am VITALLY interested in a couple of young kids, one a little girl that self abuses and uses druga and has been straight for five montha and a young man who has been in the drug culture for his whole life and has around 20 days and they got together and now feel guilty and may not make it. I care DEEPLYabout an old man with long term sobriety thar is in the last stages of emphysema and heart failure. A lady that just did 60 days in a locked mental ward and is fighting to stay sane(after 20+ years of sobriety).

None of this would matter if I isolate myself and worry about how they work the program. All that matters to me is how I work the program, me, personally.

I gotta go to my noon meeting. I will look around the room and realize without the support of those people I would be un-recovered.

Ray
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:09 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Thanks Ray. That was powerfully put, and I identified with a great deal of what you've said.
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:30 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Secular;
Not religious.
www.jeansasson.com/glossary_of_terms.htm

term used to describe early music with no connection to religion, that is not sacred music
www.mso.com.au/edu/glossary/glossaryfull.asp

things not regarded as religious or spiritual.
oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth370/gloss.html

not having any connection with religion.
www.ffotogallery.org/th-edu/glossary.htm

The word has a meaning beyond nonreligious: occurring over a long period.
http://www.careerjournaleurope.com/c.../glossary.html

Concerned with the affairs of this world, worldly, not sacred, not monastic, not ecclesiastical - temporal, profane.
dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/theo305/glossary.htm

A long-term trend as opposed to a cyclical or short-term trend.
www.freebuck.com/reference/glossary/s.htm

worldly rather than spiritual
137.122.151.29/BIO1120/Includes/Glossary.htm

in our study of Bach - that which related to the world outside of the church.
www.wsd1.org/laurasecord/Music/vocabulary.htm

Source: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&d...ition&ct=title
Guess I'm confused. Secular is without religion, and deals with worldly things.

Shalom!
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:58 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Hello mjs

I see you are looking for a absolute solution for a chronic condition. Others say they have it and you want it too. Well so do I, except I don’t believe one exists. However, there ways to reduce the harm, like you have done, and other ways to arrest the addiction progression. Many other ways.

If you are struggling with the higher power or god concepts, do what I did and relegate them to the category of the unknown. I incorporate unknown variables into my addiction treatment and am recovering quite nicely. Why expend undue energies on something that is keeping you from your goal of abstinence. Divorce yourself from the troublesome concept of “hp” and the like. I did and feel and do much better for it.

Addiction recovery happens with or without god. Pick a path and make the best of it. As for myself, I work a secular program that has helped me out of the grip of harmful substance abuse. In my program there is no need of higher powers or god(s). I don’t concern myself with, in my opinion, the unknown. I do enlist helping people in my recovery and have found that experience quite rewarding. My program deals with the immediate issues as they arise; examining beliefs, working through denial, increasing and sustaining motivation, behavioral changes, developing coping strategies for stressors and the like. I have and continue to, alter my attitude in a healthy direction, develop new behaviors and have learned effective ways to manage stress. I do what I can with what I have learned, and so far it is working exceptionally well.

I accept the fact that there are many things that are unexplainable, so I try not to expend undue energies convincing others that my understanding of the unknowable is best and have little time for those who try to convince me their understanding is the only way to see things. I try to work with unknown variables the best I can and have had encouraging success‘s. Enough success to halt a progressive condition that will eventually maim or kill me prematurely without treatment. And that’s good enough for me. I do all this without the belief or acknowledgement of a “hp” or god. So can you.

I would like to encourage you to pick one of the many healthy paths to follow, or do as I did and develop a personal addiction recovery program, one that is meaningful to you and follow it to your best ability.

Zencat.

Last edited by Zencat; 03-01-2007 at 08:01 PM. Reason: to touch-up
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:57 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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at times... its all just like a blurr in my head...

the unknown fog... why do i have to believe in something with a tangable name...

i have belief, faith and trust that life comes and goes as it should...

and my actions are a big part of all that...


as long as i'm not god.. then doing that next right think as mentioned... will keep me on the straight...

when i try to figure it out... ut-oh...
i can at times use the word god, higher power, the powers that be, the powers of the universe...

i see no problem with that.. i do not have to be unique anymore...

that, was one of my problems...

the defiant one, the rebllous one...

stil a habbit hard to break at times...

i'm a piece of work in progress...

good stuff here.. thanks to the many who have posted...

xxoo, rz
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty Zipper View Post
as long as i'm not god.. then doing that next right think as mentioned... will keep me on the straight...
Nice story RZ,
You reminded me of something I heard at a meeting and it was to help those find a HP that had issues with God.

This dude stands up and says, "When it comes to wondering about God, just know this, you ain't Him."

Thought that was a pretty neat way to look at it.

PR
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Old 03-06-2007, 02:11 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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"When it comes to wondering about God, just know this, you ain't Him."
Lol, you try explaining that to people who haven't experienced it!
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:22 AM
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Dawkins is a very good scientist. As a philosopher, he's out of his depth.
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:01 PM
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Religion+Science

Here's a little something I copied years ago from a discussion. It's a long read but seems fitting.

Religion+Science

Ok first things first. The entire study of science is based on the idea of 'probability'. You can’t prove to me that if you drop a pencil now it will fall to the floor. How do you know that there won’t be an exception to the Law of Gravity? However, you can just use inductive logic to postulate that it probably will. Fancis Bacon, the father of modern science, stated "true knowledge is knowledge by causes", this is precisely what inductive logic is, knowledge by causes. We knew that pencils (or rather, quills) fell to the ground before we knew that gravity was the reason why. My point in this first section is that definite proof is a rare commodity in any area, one must use reason to bridge the gap and make a connection between probability and definitive fact. When one searches for evidence one should always search for evidence that can absolve all reasonable doubt - we have to look for something that is true beyond reasonable doubt.

Ok, so where is the evidence that can take us beyond reasonable doubt? Theologians and philosophers have placed the evidence in two main categories and a couple of sub-categories. I will cover a few of these.

1) Philosophical evidence

a. Moral

b. Ontological

2) Scientific

a) Cosmological

b) Teleological

I know you might say that this post was specifically about ‘scientific evidence’ for God. However, I believe that separating philosophy from science destroys its’ basis. Furthermore, many of the most easily grasped and comprehensive evidences for God are philosophical.

It is commonsense that science is not the only means by which we can discover truth. What evidence do I have to back up this statement? It’s simple; the idea that science is the only source of truth is an unscientific truth claim itself. No scientific method tested this assumption and therefore it must be false - according to itself! My point here is this, truth can be arrived at via philosophy (an example is the use of logic) as well as science (which itself requires philosophical assumptions in order to discover truth). Science can only discover truth if:
1. We assume that truth is knowable (incidentally, assuming the opposite is self-contradictory).
2. We assume various philosophical precepts such as (the Law of Causality, Logic etc)
Philosophical Evidence for God

Moral

Every single human society has operated on the notions of good and bad, right and wrong. While these various societies have not always believed exactly the same thing, what is important is that each did believe in some idea of moral duty. Where is the natural, atheistic explanation for this? Why ought I to behave in one way as opposed to another? Why is a beneficial thing preferable to a detrimental one? Why should I do the right thing and not the wrong thing? Why is there any distinction drawn between good and bad things? Where does the concept of value or worth come from if there isn’t really any objective meaning for anything?

I have read a number of books detailing the copy book atheistic answer to these questions so I am fully aware of the common response to my questions. What do you think are the reasons for, and perimeters constructing, the ideas of good and bad? Allow me to hazard a couple of guesses at what may be ticking through your head right now (if I am wrong correct me).
1. Good is that which advances natural selection and evolutionary process.
2. Good is that which our instinct tells us to do.
3. Good is what I want it to be.
Does this work though? I’ll go through each point individually.
1. If ‘good is that which advances natural selection and evolutionary process’ why is that? Why ought I to submit to the evolutionary process? The word ‘ought’ implies some moral imperative so what makes evolution good? Why is it better that creatures evolve than that they don’t? Darwinism declares that life is a cosmic accident, that it is meaningless and unintended. How then can evolution be anything other than a plain and simple mechanism, neither good nor bad?
2. If ‘Good is that which our instinct tells us to do’ how does our instinct know what is good? Why ought I to follow my instinct? What makes the demands of my instinct superior to the opposites of its claims?
3. If ‘Good is what I want it to be’ then why is the Holocaust an evil (or a good, if you think that way)? Hitler wanted the Jews to die why was this bad (or good)? There is no objective value to the existence of humanity so what does it matter if 6 million Jews die? Why ought I to do anything I don’t want to do? And finally, why ought I to do what I want?
There is no rational basis for morality in atheism. If we weren't the product of a personal, moral God why would we have any concept of good or bad. The logical end of atheism is Nihilism – a belief in the total absence of meaning, value, and worth in everything. However, I wonder if you have ever tried to think nihilistically? It doesn’t work. To ‘convert’ to nihilism one must have decided that nihilism is correct and therefore ‘better’ or ‘preferential’ to non-nihilism. That itself is a value based judgement. Furthermore, the only place to go from nihilism is insanity.
Ontological

This ontological argument for the existence of God goes like this.
1. Various things exist independently or in spite of what we see in the universe.
2. Therefore there must be another place where they are fulfilled and/or exist.
An example of this would be the concept of justice. I’m sure you would agree that the world has a lot of injustice, right? The problem for the atheist arises when one considers that there is no natural explanation for the human idea of (and obsession with) justice. If we have never seen true justice how do we know what it is? How do we know that the universe is unjust if we have no example of justice to judge it by? There must be some source for our objective standard of justice. The theist will say that God, who himself is eternally just, puts this conception into people – it is therefore a priori. Atheists have a very hard time counteracting this argument. Another form of the argument is called the Argument from Perfection. This argument states that in order for us to call things imperfect (a common example would be the universe – wasn’t that the main thrust of your ‘Trinity of Religious Contradiction’ thread?) we must have an idea of what perfect is. How can we call something less than perfect if we don’t know what perfect is? And if we do know what perfection is how exactly did we find out about it? We have never seen it but we daily make judgments that necessitate an understanding of it.

As C. S. Lewis stated, "Just how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too – for the argument depended on saying that the world really was unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. (Mere Christianity, 45,46).

What do you think the reason is for your conception of such abstract concepts as justice, perfection, beauty, infinity and eternity (more on this below)?


Scientific Evidence for God

Cosmological

The Cosmological argument argues that the universe must be the creation of a supernatural creator. I will briefly introduce a few laws and concepts that require the beginning of the universe before I venture into the science.
1. The Principle of Causality. The POC states that every effect must have a cause.
2. The Second Law of Thermodynamics. The SLT states that ‘In a closed, isolated system, the amount of useable energy is decreasing’.
3. The impossibility of an infinite series of events.
If nothing created the universe then the universe must have always existed (in one form or another anyway). If the universe is not the effect of something then it will have no cause, right? If the universe has no cause then it must be eternal, right? But, if the universe started at some point something must have started it, right? As they say, ‘out of nothing, nothing comes’. So, effectively, to disbelieve in God one must believe that there is a natural explanation for nature. One must believe that - at least in some form or another - the universe is eternal.

So, through the POC we know that all effects have a cause. And so, if the universe is eternal it must be causeless. The question is, is the universe causeless? In other words, is the universe eternal? This is where points B and C from above come into play. Points B and C prove that the idea of an eternal universe is rampant with flaws.

The SLT is also known as the Law of entropy. Entropy is the measure of disorder or unusable energy in a closed system. An example of entropy would be found in the burning of a log. Before the log is burnt it is a highly ordered collection of atoms (mostly carbon) which contain a measurable amount of energy (calculable through the famous E=mc2 equation). When the log is burnt it is transformed into heat, light, ash and smoke. The heat and light will dissipate never to be used again while the ashes and smoke will be in a disordered state that makes it hard for reuse (try burning ashes!). Likewise the universe, like a dying flashlight, is running out of useable energy. Therefore the universe must have started with a finite quantity of useable energy just as a flashlight’s batteries start of fully charged but not infinitely charged.

British Cosmologist Sir Arthur Eddington said of the SLT, "The Law that entropy increases – the Second Law of Thermodynamics – holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experiments do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. (Quoted in Paul Davies The Cosmic Blueprint).

The last point from above is point C – the impossibility of an infinite series. This point shows that the idea that this universe is infinite and eternal is fundamentally flawed. Why? Because it appears to be impossible to have anything eternal exist within a temporal dimension. In other words, the existence of time makes any notion of eternity within the bounds of this universe null and void. You might ask how I have arrived at this conclusion. Again, it’s simple; if the universe had existed for an infinite period of time then we would never have reached the present. This is a conclusion demonstrated by the following logical syllogism.
1. An infinite number of days will have no end.
2. However, today is the end of history (history being a collection of all days).
3. Therefore, there were not an infinite number of days before today (ie. time had a beginning).
So, what we know about the universe through the three points made above is this:
1. Anything that is not eternal must have a cause.
2. The universe is running out of useable energy (meaning it had a finite quantity in the past).
3. It is a fallacy to suppose that the universe could have existed forever due to the absurdity of an infinite series of events.
The universe cannot be eternal and must therefore have had a beginning and a cause.
Has science shown this to be true? Yes it has. The Big Bang is now the dominant cosmological theory about the origin of the universe. Many people know of the Big Bang but few know about it. What exactly is the Big Bang? The Physicists Victor Strenger summed it up adequately by say that the Big Bang is where "the universe exploded out of nothingness". In the Big Bang space, time and matter found its beginning. Before the Big Bang there wasn’t even an empty space for things to be in, there was truly nothing (Aristotles would say that before the Big Bang all there existed was what rocks dream about - nothing) . If you don’t believe me check it out. The Big Bang is now a well-established scientific fact. What is also a well-attested fact is the impossibility of any type of cyclic universe model. The idea of a Big Bang/Big Crunch is rampant with flaws (see Alan Gluth’s 1983 Nature article "The Impossibility of a bouncing universe"). In recent years the entire idea of a contracting-then-expanding universe has become even less feasible given the discovery of the Energy Density Effect. It appears that the universe has had one shot at vitality before it dies a heat death (a heat death is the state of something with very high entropy). What is the chance that the universe exploded out of ‘nothingness’ through a natural process? I can tell you it is very slim. As everything natural found its beginning in the Big Bang how can there be anything other than a supernatural explanation for the Big Bang? Perhaps you think that this is a big conclusion to jump to? Perhaps you cannot see the reason for a supernatural explanation?

Robert Jastrow, Astronomer and former head of the NASA Goddard Space Flight institute, said "Astronomers have now painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover….. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact."

Eddington stated, "The beginning seems to present in superable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural."


Teleological

All right, so an objective analysis of the facts indicates that the universe is not eternal and is caused by something supernatural. What is this supernatural thing though? What or who started the universe? Was it some supernatural law, some principle, something or someone? This is a major question. A rational person understands that there is no use claiming that a God exists because the universe was started by something supernatural. That type of belief requires further evidence before it becomes valid. This evidence can come from the teleological argument.

The Teleological argument is the argument from a design to a designer. It seeks to show that some things are too complicated to be produced by chance and as such must be the intended products of a creator.

The logic of the teleological argument runs like this:
1. Every Design has a designer.
2. The universe has a highly complicated design.
3. Therefore, the universe had a designer.
It makes sense to start at the beginning so let’s start with an overview of what scientists call the Anthropic Principle.

The Anthropic Principle is what scientists have named the apparent trend in nature to support the onset of life. It has recently been discovered that there are over 120 ‘constants’ that each contributes to the existence of human beings. Each constant is highly specific as well as highly unlikely. What does this mean? It means that while every combination of numbers is equally as unlikely, all the constants display numbers and ratios that are all highly specified to support life. If just one constant had not supported life none would have arisen.

As Stephen Hawking said "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and electron…. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

Below are ten out of over 120 such anthropic constants. There are no natural laws that require the universe to be this way; the atheist will have to believe that it is a freak accident. The chances involved for just one of these constants to occur is astronomical. Take, for example, the smoothness of the universe. If the universe were more smooth then stars and galaxies (and subsequently life) would not have formed, if less smooth then only super massive black holes would have formed (no life there either). Roger Penrose, the famous mathematician who developed the Singularity Theorem with Stephen Hawking, calculated the chances of the smoothness of the universe being that needed to sustain life as 1 in 10 to the 123rd power. Just to give you a little insight into this number; it is a bigger number than the number of particles in the universe!

1. The gravitational coupling constant. If slightly unbalanced, each star formed would be at least 1.4 times the size of the Sun. Such large stars are required to form heavier elements such as iron and beryllium (used in solar system formation) but, a large star burns too quickly and unevenly to sustain life. A star the size of our own is needed to make those conditions right.If the force were just a little weaker then stars would be too small and would never form the heavier elements essential for life and planetary systems.
2. If the strong nuclear force coupling constant that binds particles in the nucleus together were slightly weaker then more than one proton would not hold together in the nucleus and hydrogen would be the only element in the universe. If stronger then Hydrogen would be too rare in the universe and also a number of very heavy elements would not be present in large enough quantities to support life.
3. The weak nuclear force coupling constant and leptons. Leptons form the elementary particles like neutrinos, electrons and photons that have no place in strong nuclear reactions. A weak nuclear force interaction effect is beta decay radiation. ( neutron à proton + electron + neutrino)The amount of Helium produced in the first few minutes of the Big Bang is determined by the availability of Neutrons. If the weak nuclear force coupling constant were slightly larger then there would be fewer neutrons, as they would decay more rapidly. Without adequate amounts of helium none of the heavy elements necessary for life would form in the nuclear reactions of stars. If the force were smaller there would be so great an abundance of heavy elements that life would not form either.

Additionally, if the force were larger or smaller then neutrinos could not "blow" the heavy elements located at the core of a supernova out into the solar system. Once again, this would inhibit the development of life.
4. The electromagnetic coupling constant binds electrons to protons in atoms, if smaller electrons would not be held in orbit around the nuclei of atoms, if larger electrons could not be shared between other atoms. Either way, any type of molecule would be impossible. Try to imagine life without molecules.
5. The ratio between the masses of an electron and proton is 1:1836. If slightly different molecules, again, would not form.
6. If the expansion rate of the universe were slightly less by one part in a million million then the whole universe would have collapsed back onto itself just after the Big Bang. If larger by one part in a million stars would not have formed.
7. If the centrifugal force did not perfectly balance the force of gravity then solar systems and galaxies would not form.
8. If the resonance level of the Carbon 12 nucleus were slightly lower carbon would not form. Slightly higher level would instantly destroy it. Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and the other heavy elements required for life need this.
9. If the entropy level of the universe were slightly larger or smaller then stars would not form.
10. The mass of the universe (mass + energy, since E = mc2) determines the nuclear burning after the big bang. If slightly more massive, too much deuterium (hydrogen atoms containing both a proton and a neutron in the nucleus) would form after the big bang. Deuterium is the catalyst for the ignition of stars. Extra deuterium would cause stars to burn too rapidly to sustain life on any planet. If the mass of the universe were slightly smaller, helium would not be generated at all during the aftermath of the big bang. Without helium, stars cannot produce the heavy elements necessary for life. Here is the reason for why the universe is as big as it is. If it were any smaller (or larger), no life would be possible.



Here are some quotes that many give you an understanding of the profundity of the scientific results achieved recently.

Sir Fred Hoyle, the British astrophysicist, was forced to concede that "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this question almost beyond question."

Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the microwave background radiation echo (MBRE) and 1978 Nobel prize recipient said, "The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole."

When asked whether the evidence was indicative of a creator Robert Wilson, the other discoverer of the MBRE and co-winner of the 1978 Nobel prize, said, "Certainly there was something which set it [the universe] all off. If you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis."

Stephen Hawking said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."

Robert Jastrow said, "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

There are many more anthropic constants (just ask me if you want them). There is also the whole Intelligent Design argument about the origins of life. I’d be happy to elaborate on anything you think I have not covered adequately. It seems to me that atheism is quite unscientific.

Conclusion (For the time being anyway!)

Ok so,
1. The universe had a beginning caused by some supernatural thing.
2. This supernatural thing "fine tuned and adjusted" the universe to support life.
3. Human beings have a priori concepts and ideas that have no basis if there is no God (IE. morality and perfection).
This fits perfectly with Christianity. None of this fits with atheism. If we imagined that there was no need for a cause of the Big Bang then the chance that life would arise in the universe would be literally 1 in 10 ^100,000 at least. That is 10 followed by 100,000 zeros. How much chance are you going to give chance? I said at the beginning of this post that probability was the key to science. What is the probability that life arose by itself? Virtually none. What does the philosophical and scientific evidence point to? It points to a God who created the universe to hold human life. This human life was created with the potential to understand the universe and abstract ideas such as justice and perfection.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:37 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Pseudo-philosophical nonsense, perfectly summed up in the following -

1. The universe had a beginning caused by some supernatural thing.
2. This supernatural thing "fine tuned and adjusted" the universe to support life.
3. Human beings have a priori concepts and ideas that have no basis if there is no God (IE. morality and perfection).
This fits perfectly with Christianity. None of this fits with atheism.
I'd love you to explain deductively, inductively, syllogistically or by any other logical method how 1,2 and 3 lead to a "perfect fit with Christianity", rather than any other religious system.

I'll tell you what the only logical conclusion is in the quest to uncover our origins. We don't know. Now you can spell "we don't know" as G-O-D if you care to. So can Hoyle and all the other scientist you cite. The fact that people can say, in effect - "I don't quite know what the answers are, and I can't quite live with that, so I'm going to postulate a superintelligence" is an emotional, not a logical response. And since you've chosen to post this creationist nonsense here, I'll retort with this. No expression of creationism, no matter how convincing you might think it can be, can possibly add one jot or iota of evidence to support the claim that Jesus is the son of G*d. So what is the point of arguing creationism since it might as well mean that the aboriginal myths of Australia, or the urge and the demiurge of Zoraster or whatever is just as likely to express the "starting point" as anything else? Or, G*d forbid, that the people being killed in their tens of thousands in the middle east have precisely the same claim to divine knowledge as you do?
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:10 AM
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If you look at the first sentence, it'll answer one of your questions. I'll try to sum up your other questions with this…..Please, read the first sentence. I respect the positive in all beliefs/faiths/religions. Live and let live.

Not unlike another, my religious beliefs and practices are my own. They're here, there, enfolding unfolding. Part of everything that makes me "me." Here and there.

Do you like lemon juice? Although bitter I love it on certain vegetables.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:51 AM
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You win.

I like lemon.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:01 AM
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LOL!

Hey homie, ½Sane didn't author that post, but your reply was outstanding!! I agree with you 100% (I'm marking that on the calendar!).

BTW, I'm pushing two weeks w/out a drink.

½Sane,

I like lemon juice in Corona and heifeweisen... wait.. no I don't!!

DK
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