Intelligent Design

Barry Concedes a Point to TSZ, Well, Sorta

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My thanks go to KF for pointing out the dustup over at TSZ over my last post.  I found this little gem at TSZ particularly amusing. 

Allan Miller quotes me and responds:

Barry:  “Materialists are obliged to believe …”

Miller:   … absolutely nothing. There is no obligation.  

Well Allan, I suppose it depends on what one means by “obliged.”   

My dictionary defines it in two ways: 

“to require or constrain as by law or command” 

or 

“to require or constrain as by conscience” 

Perhaps our difference lies in the different ways we have used the word.  You are certainly correct that no one is going to require or constrain materialists by law or command to accept the conclusions that are logically compelled by their premises.  There is no law against being irrational.   You’ve got me there.  I concede your point.

I was, however, using the word in the second sense.  I assume (perhaps incorrectly, but I am always willing to give the benefit of the doubt) that materialists are honest.  Honestly mistaken, but honest nevertheless.  My conscience compels me to accept the conclusions that are logically compelled by my premises.  For example, I believe the truth claims made in the ancient Christian creeds.  From this premise I am “obliged” to further believe that there is one and only one God, and this means I am not free to believe there are 50 gods.   

I assume that, just as with myself, materialists’ consciences compel them to accept the conclusions that are compelled by their premises.  That is how I was using the word “obliged.”  Now back to my original point to which you took umbrage.  I wrote: 

“Materialists are obliged to believe that every aspect of human behavior is determined – that it was selected for by evolutionary processes.  Materialists are, therefore, obliged to believe that humor conferred on humans some reproductive advantage that was selected for by natural selection.” 

Now, it seems to me that given their premises materialists are in fact “obliged” to believe these things.  If you disagree you must show me where I am wrong.  If I have stated correctly materialist premises and the argument I have constructed from those premises is valid, then the conclusions I have reached follow as a matter of logic.  If you believe I am wrong you must show me where I have misstated materialist premises or where my argument is invalid or both.  Your “neener neener neener I’m not obligated to believe anything” response is, to say the least, not particularly compelling. 

81 Replies to “Barry Concedes a Point to TSZ, Well, Sorta

  1. 1
    Neil Rickert says:

    I assume that, just as with myself, materialists’ consciences compel them to accept the conclusions that are compelled by their premises.

    Do you have a reference to these premises that supposedly compel materialists?

    One of the reasons I am not a materialist, is that it is far from clear to me what is entailed by being a materialist, particularly when we are still discovering new things about matter.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil Rickert, do you believe that functional information, life, and consciousness, ’emerges’ from a energy-matter basis? If so you might be a materialist!

    Jeff Foxworthy – You might be a redneck
    https://vimeo.com/31079535

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Mebbe, it was sexual selection? (As if it matters.) KF

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    NR:

    We know what matter is, in the relevant form, atomic.

    Quantum theory is about 100 years old.

    It is probably the best empirically supported theory in all of science, never mind its weirdness.

    We know the organic chemistry that goes into cells, organs, tissues, systems and bodies. In particular we know that of the brain and CNS.

    We know enough to model neural networks and study their properties. We know that information and learning in the sense of enhanced, preserved functional effectiveness can be created by different wiring patterns and degrees of connectedness in such a network.

    We know that cybernetic control loops exist and that they have properties that emerge from interconnexion of components. Where the complexity involved implies a large space of possible outcomes — raising again the issue of FSCO/I and that of fine tuning, as controllers have to be tuned. We know in that context that both negative and positive feedback are important, and that feedback opens reflexivity and tracking of performance relative to target track, but also can lead to instability.

    We know that nonetheless, when properly tuned — itself no mean feat — such can track set paths and effect controlled trajectories, and the like.

    We know that proprioception allows sensing of internal state in orientation to the external world, where the head is in key part a mobile sensor turret.

    We have mapped the homunculus across the Brain, to the point where illustrative sketches are commonplace.

    We also can see that something like the architecture of the Smith Model of a two-tier controller, with a supervisory level indirectly linked to the loop allows for imposition of a set path and that storage of ideal path allows control on difference between ideal and actual, which is where things like muscle memory come in.

    But none of this even trends to explain consciousness, nor the fact that without genuine freedom of action and choice, we cannot reason, know, be reasonable or responsible. Those are categorically distinct.

    Ion flow potential gradients, in mili-Volts are distinct from degree of truth or logical implication or rightness. They are simply incommensurate.

    None of this grounds moral responsibility, or obligation.

    It might ground might and manipulation make “right” — meaning survival or promotion of survival, but that is just a gateway to the worst sort of nihilism if that is all.

    In short, we are here barking up the decidedly wrong tree.

    We are like the drunk looking for his contacts under the street light when he should realise his contacts were lost over in the dark.

    Leibniz nailed it in Monadology ever so long ago:

    17. It must be confessed, however, that perception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception. It is accordingly in the simple substance, and not in the compound nor in a machine that the perception is to be sought. Furthermore, there is nothing besides perceptions and their changes to be found in the simple substance. And it is in these alone that all the internal activities of the simple substance can consist . . .

    And BA is right, when one accepts certain premises, they entail certain conclusions, as night follows day.

    You may refuse to follow the logic all you want, it makes no difference. We have an obligation to do so in our own defence as we know that systems built on such premises will work from the implications, not from what would be better.

    And so far, the evidence is, on logic and history, some within living memory, that Plato was right in The Laws, Bk X, when he pointed out the radical relativisation of knowledge, values and law, as well as resulting ruthless faction games leading to nihilistic chaos. Indeed, just the past few weeks here at UD we saw where such an inference by Schaeffer and Koop — which was pooh poohed at the time and dismissed as scaremongering, is coming to pass scarce a generation later.

    Let me spell it out for you in one horrific, chilling phrase: “post-birth abortion.”

    Quite literally of anyone that is not desired or deemed to have life unworthy of being lived.

    I dare you to translate that into German and tell me that the ghosts of the 1930’s and 40’s are not moaning out a warning, loud and long.

    You may not like the verdict of logic and the grim example of history, but it is there.

    And, thank you, we will heed it.

    And it will stiffen our determination to resist what is being pushed down our throats, for we know the price of standing idly by and doing nothing.

    You may have forgotten, but we have not.

    We dare not.

    KF

  5. 5
    Neil Rickert says:

    Neil Rickert, do you believe that functional information, life, and consciousness, ‘emerges’ from a energy-matter basis? If so you might be a materialist!

    Even if I believe that, it does not compel other conclusions. For even if I believe that, it is not an a priori assumption. It is, at most, a tentative conclusion subject to change on the basis of future evidence.

  6. 6
    Neil Rickert says:

    KF:

    We know what matter is, in the relevant form, atomic.

    You might know that. I don’t.

    If that view of matter is correct, then I am certainly not a materialist. For I see electromagnetic energy and kinetic energy as important, and not composed of atoms.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil Rickert, now this is amazing for you state in regards to functional information, life, and/or consciousness ’emerging’ from a energy-matter basis::

    “For even if I believe that, it is not an a priori assumption. It is, at most, a tentative conclusion,,,”

    Please oh please Mr. Rickert, list the specific evidence for this ‘tentative conclusion’, not an a priori assumption mind you, for either functional information, life, and/or consciousness ’emerging’ from a energy-matter basis. Contrary to your claim for your belief being a ‘tentative conclusion’, I know of not one shred of evidence as for you to prove that your belief is not in fact an a priori assumption! (references upon request)

    Moreover, Mr Rickert, with all due respect, I strongly suggest watching Dr. Craig’s short presentation, that I have linked, to get a full feel for just how insane the metaphysical naturalist’s position actually is.

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

  8. 8
    Neil Rickert says:

    Please oh please Mr. Rickert, list the specific evidence for this ‘tentative conclusion’, not an a priori assumption mind you, for either functional information, life, and/or consciousness ‘emerging’ from a energy-matter basis.

    It is tentative because the evidence is not conclusive.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    You have NO empirical evidence period!

  10. 10

    Neil:

    I think you ask an interesting question.

    Personally, when I talk of a materialist I have in mind someone who thinks (whether or not they recognize it is a tentative conclusion) that matter and energy are all there is; that all of reality is just a result of matter and energy interacting through natural physical forces.

    In contrast, someone who believes or acknowledges or suspects that there might be something else besides matter and energy (God, intelligence, a life force, whatever) would not be a materialist in my understanding of the word.

  11. 11
    goodusername says:

    “Materialists are obliged to believe that every aspect of human behavior is determined – that it was selected for by evolutionary processes. Materialists are, therefore, obliged to believe that humor conferred on humans some reproductive advantage that was selected for by natural selection.”
    Now, it seems to me that given their premises materialists are in fact “obliged” to believe these things.

    There’s nothing in materialism, AFAIK, that says that “every aspect of human behavior” must be utterly separate and independently subject to selection. That idea is, I think, frankly very odd, and I think the vast majority of scientists would find the idea silly.

    For instance, while little understood, there seems to be a fascinating interplay between language, mathematics, and music. (IIRC, Galileo got his training in mathematics from his father, who in turn got his mathematical training as part of his study of music.)

    I think it very possible that much of our mathematical abilities were brought about as a result of our developing language abilities, and that our skills and love of music are a result of an interplay between mathematics and language.
    My point being that we are certainly not “obliged to believe” that our abilities in language, mathematics, and music were each separately selected for by evolutionary processes.

    While it’s possible that humor and music were the result of selection (there are arguments that they were the result of “sexual selection”) I think that, instead, they are the result of other things that may or may not have been selected for (in this sense, I suppose one could call them “spandrels,” to use Gould’s term. Even consciousness itself may fit into this category.)

  12. 12
    Barb says:

    goodusername@11:

    My point being that we are certainly not “obliged to believe” that our abilities in language, mathematics, and music were each separately selected for by evolutionary processes.

    These abilities might be interrelated. But the point remains is that natural selection had to select them for them to be present in self-conscious beings today. For a materialist, there is no other option. The religious might acknowledge that they were designed in the image of God, but for the materialist, these processes are simply the result of blind chance working on raw materials.

  13. 13
    JLAfan2001 says:

    If there is no God and there’s just naturalism, materialism:

    • No objective, absolute, inherent meaning in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent purpose in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent value in life or the universe
    • We are the cobbled together Frankensteins of billions of years of trial and error
    • No objective, absolute, inherent morality in life or the universe. No good, no evil, no right, no wrong
    • No objective, absolute, inherent truth in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent knowledge in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent logic in life or the universe
    • We have no free-will, mind, consciousness, rationality or reason. They are illusions and our very personhood, identity and humanity are not real.
    • The emotions we express are just chemicals in our brain. The very things we seek in life like happiness, peace, contentment, joy are just chemicals reducing us to nothing more than chemical addicts.
    • We are no more important than other animals. A dog is a rat is a pig is a boy.
    • There is no after life. Once we die, we fade from existence and all our memories, experiences, knowledge etc goes with it. In time, we are forgotten.
    • All the things we do in life are just for survival. Learning, loving, seeking, being positive, eating, relating, having fun are created for the sake of ignoring the real reason we are here and that’s to live as long as we can.
    • There is no help coming to save humanity as a species or as individuals. We are all alone and on our own. If you can’t survive, you die.

    This is reality if there is no God. I don’t give a rat’s ass what Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens or what other atheist wrote a book says. Nihilism is the truth and atheism is a noble lie just the same as theism would be. Survival and reproduction. THAT”S IT. All other things are made up bullshit for survival and reproduction. The atheists of old knew this. The new atheists are trying to say that you can have your cake and eat it too but there really is no cake.

  14. 14
    Barb says:

    JLAfan2001@13: This is why I’m a Christian.

  15. 15
    goodusername says:

    Barb,

    These abilities might be interrelated. But the point remains is that natural selection had to select them for them to be present in self-conscious beings today.

    Our skill and love an music need not have been selected for to exist today if it is the result of other behavioral/mental abilities. In other words, music (and humor) may be side consequences of other mental characteristics that were selected for.

    What if someone said, “Materialists are obliged to believe that every aspect of human anatomy is determined – that it was selected for by evolutionary processes.”

    Would you agree with that statement? I, personally, don’t think that a large forehead and chin were “selected for” among our ancestors. Instead, the chin and large forehead are the result of other characteristics that were selected for (larger brain and other characteristics associated with speech, etc). Music and humor may be mental equivalents.

  16. 16
    Barb says:

    goodusername @ 15: I’d agree with your statement about materialists being obliged to believe that anatomy was determined by natural selection.

    The problem of explaining exactly how humor, music, art, language, etc., came about as side consequences of mental characteristics would still remain. I’ve wondered if humanity’s love of music was somehow related to mathematics and language.

  17. 17
    CharlieD says:

    Thats why youre Christian? Really? Those points from JLA speak to a specific religion? Why not bhuddism, judaism, muslim, etc?
    Oh thats right, its because you blindly accept what has been put before you by your church. Gotcha.

  18. 18
    Neil Rickert says:

    Eric:

    Personally, when I talk of a materialist I have in mind someone who thinks (whether or not they recognize it is a tentative conclusion) that matter and energy are all there is; that all of reality is just a result of matter and energy interacting through natural physical forces.

    By that definition, I am not a materialist. And that’s why I usually say that I am not a materialist. But, if you want to get more specific, the main point is that I am not a reductive materialist. I don’t believe that mathematics or consciousness can be explained as matter and energy interacting. On the other hand, I don’t believe that they provide evidence of anything beyond matter and energy. It’s just that the reductionist program is hopeless.

    To take mathematics as an example, I have seen people attempt to say that numbers are pencil marks on paper. But that sort of explanation doesn’t work.

    For myself, I don’t take mathematical objects (such as numbers) to be metaphysical. I’m a fictionalist, so I take numbers to be useful fictions. However, the reductionist would still need a reductionist account of why people can maintain such fictions. And I see that, too, as hopeless.

    I’ll admit to being a kind of behaviorist, though not a Skinner style behaviorist. I see mathematics as arising out of behavior (our information using behavior). For that matter, our knowledge of matter and energy arises out of our behavior.

  19. 19
    Neil Rickert says:

    Oops. I forgot to close a blockquote.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Perhaps, above, someone overlooked the significance of the modifier, matter in the relevant form. That is, to discuss cybernetic systems, the general class of system that is relevant to discussing the materialist view of human beings with brains, CNS’s and bodies. Bodies including brains and CNS’s are made up of atoms organised into molecules, and of course as modified into ions in certain contexts. The interaction energies are those relevant to molecular orbitals, of order of eV [typical of chemical reactions and of energy levels of light photons, e.g. a red photon may have ~ 2 eV], not MeV to 100’s of MeV which is the sort of level where mass-energy equivalence will be relevant. Such cybernetic systems as are relevant need fairly stable component entities built up from atom-based structures, and organised in functionally specific ways. It is in that context that I have gone on to discuss the issues in 4 above, and to note the difference between mV level potentials and signals and matters such as truth, meaning, morality, right wrong, etc. hence the force of Liebniz’s remark in Monadology 17. I hope it will be plain that on that set of considerations, which should have been clear, the objection raised is tangential, distractive and strawmannish. KF

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    JLA:

    I note your summary of corollaries of evolutionary materialism, and will comment on such on points:

    _____________

    >> No objective, absolute, inherent meaning in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent purpose in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent value in life or the universe>>

    1 –> Thus, no basis for good/evil etc, and so one may not use evil as an objection to anything. Might and manipulation make ‘right.” This is what Plato pointed out in The Laws Bk X.

    2 –> Kindly highlight these to TSZ for me as they will not believe it from the likes of me.

    >>• We are the cobbled together Frankensteins of billions of years of trial and error>>

    3 –> First point of direct trouble empirically, as we are anything but cobbled together, from the cellular molecular nanotech level up, what we see is elegant and sophisticated evident contrivance.

    4 –> This is part of why the first stage of my challenge to such materialists is kindly explain on empirical evidence, OOL.

    >>• No objective, absolute, inherent morality in life or the universe. No good, no evil, no right, no wrong>>

    5 –> Thus, amorality and nihilism as Plato warned. But this flies in the teeth of the undeniable fact of moral governance, and is unlivable. (Cf here.)

    >>• No objective, absolute, inherent truth in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent knowledge in life or the universe
    • No objective, absolute, inherent logic in life or the universe>>

    6 –> Absolute — untainted, undiluted trugh and knowledge are a little different from objective [warranted, credibly so].

    7 –> The first test is Royce’s assertion, Error exists, E. It is easy to show that by forming C = { E AND NOT-E}, that C must be false. On meaning,t hen NOT-E is false, and so E is undeniably true. This is an objective truth warranted to undeniable certainty, so that it is absolutely true.

    8 –> Warranted, true belief is actually strong form knowledge, and so knowledge also exists.

    9 –> As for logic and first principles of right reason, simply reflect on the self evident status of the identity cluster and the principle of sufficient reason, and one sees that likewise such collapses. [Cf. here.]

    10 –> A world view that asserts confidently things in the teeth of such foundational self-evident truths is irretrievably irrational and false.

    >>• We have no free-will, mind, consciousness, rationality or reason. They are illusions and our very personhood, identity and humanity are not real.>>

    11 –> No ability to reason and to think straight. That is reductio ad absurdum.

    >> • The emotions we express are just chemicals in our brain. The very things we seek in life like happiness, peace, contentment, joy are just chemicals reducing us to nothing more than chemical addicts.>>

    12 –> if emotions are just chemicals, so is thinking, and the rest collapses again. Chemical interactions are not even in the same category as consciousness linked experiences such as love, or perceiving the truthfulness of Pons Asinorum in Geometry.

    >>• We are no more important than other animals. A dog is a rat is a pig is a boy. >>

    13 –> So, we can kill off people like rats if they get out of control? Do you really want to go there?

    ___________

    JLA, of course , may be writing satirically here.

    But in even that case, it lays out a context in which we see why the sorts of concerns that have been raised have been raised. And, as has been shown, his remarks strongly echo those of others who are in senior positions to speak as those int eh evo mat system of thought.

    I trust the TSZ denizens are noticing.

    KF

    PS: JLA, you may want to see [1] how a worldview level analysis leads to the credibility of generic theism, and how onwards, [2] one may find good warrant to hold to Judaeo-Christian theism.

  22. 22
    CharlieD says:

    And we all lived happily ever after…
    Religion just makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside doesnt it?
    Its certainly great for you guys who cant face the harsh reality that is life, but whatever, keep living in your fairytale world. Enjoy!

  23. 23

    CharlieD @22:

    Frankly, I don’t delve much into religion as it relates to ID, but your assertion that religious folks are just there because they can’t face the harsh reality of life is way off base. In contrast, I suppose, to people like you who think they bravely look reality in the face and acknowledge that their life, and indeed all existence, is completely pointless — ironically making such bravery itself pointless. Right.

    Then, of course, there is the other reality of life: learning, growing, love, friendships, amazing examples of sacrifice, beauty, and caring. Such aspects are just as much a reality of life as other aspects.

    That is unless one is committed — not on the basis of facts but on the basis of some a priori philosophical commitment — to the meaninglessness of life, a la Dawkins, Provine and Company. The ironic fact that is evident for anyone to see is that even such individuals don’t live their lives in accordance with their hopeless doctrine. They live their lives as though there is meaning, as though what they do does make a difference, as though their relationships do matter.

  24. 24
    Axel says:

    ‘Oh thats right, its because you blindly accept what has been put before you by your church. Gotcha.’

    Don’t be dumb all your life Charlie, there’s a good chap. Some of us rejected our childhood Christian belief/knowledge as adolescents, and came back to it via Eastern religions: the perennial philosophy, as set forth in Aldous Huxley’s essay of that name.

    Others were given by their parents better support and mentoring in their faith/knowledge, as children, and it developed at least as surely.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Rickert, you make an interesting comment here:

    For myself, I don’t take mathematical objects (such as numbers) to be metaphysical. I’m a fictionalist, so I take numbers to be useful fictions.

    But alas, how ‘miraculous’, to borrow Eugene Wigner’s infamous remark, have those ‘useful fictions’ turned out to be.

    ‘It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here,’ – Wigner
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Einstein finds it a ‘miracle’ here:

    You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way . . . . [T]he kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the “miracle” which is being constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    — Albert Einstein

    Galileo was even more forthright here:

    “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.”
    Galileo Galilei

    Dr. Craig argues that the applicability of mathematics to physics is a very strong argument in favor of God here:

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/9826382

    And indeed, John 1:1 states,,,

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    John 1:1

    of note; ‘the Word’ is translated from the Greek word ‘Logos’. Logos happens to be the word from which we derive our modern word ‘Logic’.

    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, who gave Hawking ‘the worst birthday present ever’ at Hawking’s 70th birthday by delivering a paper at Hawking’s Birthday party proving that the universe must have had an absolute beginning in the past, stated this:

    “It appears that the Creator shares the mathematicians’ sense of beauty.”
    – Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin
    http://rfforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3754268

    But what can deliver us from being merely armchair philosophers Mr. Rickert?? so as to validate that these ‘useful mathematical fictions’, as you term them are more than merely a ‘happy coincidence’ as Dr. Craig alluded to your position?? Well, there are a couple of avenues we can take Mr. Rickert to deliver us from being merely armchair philosophers and to find out if there is a ‘real correspondence between our mind and the applicability of these useful fictions to the universe. One avenue is found in Euler’s formula, which Alexander Vilenkin commented on ‘the beauty’ of, in which a very strong correspondence to the geometry of the universe and the mechanics of how the universe operates is found:

    0 = 1 + e ^(i*pi) — Euler

    Believe it or not, the five most important numbers in mathematics are tied together, through the complex domain in Euler’s number, And that points, ever so subtly but strongly, to a world of reality beyond the immediately physical. Many people resist the implications, but there the compass needle points to a transcendent reality that governs our 3D ‘physical’ reality.

    God by the Numbers – Connecting the constants
    Excerpt: The final number comes from theoretical mathematics. It is Euler’s (pronounced “Oiler’s”) number: e^pi*i. This number is equal to -1, so when the formula is written e^pi*i+1 = 0, it connects the five most important constants in mathematics (e, pi, i, 0, and 1) along with three of the most important mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation). These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 1 and 0; algebra, by i; geometry, by pi; and analysis, by e, the base of the natural log. e^pi*i+1 = 0 has been called “the most famous of all formulas,” because, as one textbook says, “It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientist, the philosopher, and the mathematician.”,,,
    The discovery of this number gave mathematicians the same sense of delight and wonder that would come from the discovery that three broken pieces of pottery, each made in different countries, could be fitted together to make a perfect sphere. It seemed to argue that there was a plan where no plan should be.,,,
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=3

    first off, Euler’s formula (the most famous of all formulas), when plotted in 3D, ‘coincidentally’ results in the fundamental geometry of DNA: a helix!

    Graph of Euler’s Equation
    http://www.songho.ca/math/euler/euler.html

    Moreover Euler’s Identity, rather than just being the most enigmatic equation in math, finds striking correlation to how our 3D reality is actually structured,,,

    The following picture, Bible verse, article, and videos are very interesting since, with the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), the universe is found to actually be a circular sphere which ‘coincidentally’ corresponds to the circle of pi within Euler’s identity:

    Planck satellite unveils the Universe — now and then (w/ Video showing the mapping of the ‘sphere’ of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation with the satellite) – 2010
    http://phys.org/news197534140.html#nRlv

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    The flatness of the ‘entire’ universe, which ‘coincidentally’ corresponds to the diameter of pi in Euler’s identity, is found on this following site; (of note this flatness of the universe is an extremely finely tuned condition for the universe that could have, in reality, been a multitude of different values than ‘flat’):

    Did the Universe Hyperinflate? – Hugh Ross – April 2010
    Excerpt: Perfect geometric flatness is where the space-time surface of the universe exhibits zero curvature (see figure 3). Two meaningful measurements of the universe’s curvature parameter, ½k, exist. Analysis of the 5-year database from WMAP establishes that -0.0170 < ½k < 0.0068.4 Weak gravitational lensing of distant quasars by intervening galaxies places -0.031 < ½k < 0.009.5 Both measurements confirm the universe indeed manifests zero or very close to zero geometric curvature,,,
    http://www.reasons.org/did-universe-hyperinflate

    This following video shows that the universe also has a primary characteristic of expanding/growing equally in all places, which ‘coincidentally’ strongly corresponds to the ‘e’ in Euler’s identity. ‘e’ is the constant that is used in equations of math for finding what the true rates of growth and decay are for any given mathematical problem trying to find as such in this universe:

    Centrality of Earth Within The 4-Dimensional Space-Time of General Relativity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8421879

    This following video shows just how finely tuned the ‘4-Dimensional’ expansion of the universe is (1 in 10^120);

    Fine Tuning Of Dark Energy and Mass of the Universe – Hugh Ross – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4007682

    Here are the verses in the Bible, which were written over 2000 years before the discovery of the finely tuned expansion of the universe by ‘Dark Energy’, that speak of God ‘Stretching out the Heavens’; Job 9:8; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 40:24; Isaiah 48:13; Zechariah 12:1; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 51:13; Jeremiah 51:15; Jeremiah 10:12. The following verse is one of my favorites out of the group of verses:

    Job 9:8
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Towards the end of the following video, Michael Denton speaks of the square root of negative 1 being necessary to understand the foundational quantum behavior of this universe. The square root of -1 is also ‘coincidentally’ found in Euler’s formula:

    Michael Denton – Mathematical Truths Are Transcendent And Beautiful – Square root of -1 is built into the fabric of reality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003918

    further notes:

    in the equation e^pi*i + 1 = 0

    ,,,we find that pi is required in;

    General Relativity (Einstein’s Equation)
    https://docs.google.com/File?id=dc8z67wz_52c9nxpz2h_b

    ,,,and we also find that the square root of negative 1 is required in;

    Quantum Mechanics (Schrödinger’s Equations)
    https://docs.google.com/File?id=dc8z67wz_51ck47zff3_b

    ,,and we also find that e is required for;

    e is required here in wave equations, in finding the distribution of prime numbers, in electrical theory, and is also found to be foundational to trigonometry.,,,this number, e, also appears in banking, because it is the maximum limit for growth of compound interest.

    I find it extremely strange that the enigmatic Euler’s formula, which was deduced centuries ago, would find such striking correlation to how reality is actually found to be structured by modern science. In pi we have correlation to the ‘sphere of the universe’ as revealed by the Cosmic Background radiation, as well pi correlates to the finely-tuned ‘geometric flatness’ within the ‘sphere of the universe’ that has now been found. In ‘e’ we have the fundamental constant that is used for ascertaining exponential growth in math that strongly correlates to the fact that space-time is ‘expanding/growing equally’ in all places of the universe. In the square root of -1 we have what is termed a ‘imaginary number’, which was first proposed to help solve equations like x2+ 1 = 0 back in the 17th century, yet now it is found that the square root of -1 is required to explain the behavior of quantum mechanics in this universe. The correlation of Euler’s identity, to the foundational characteristics of how this universe is constructed and operates, points overwhelmingly to a transcendent Intelligence, with a capital I, which created this universe! It should also be noted that these mathematical constants, pi,e, and square root -1, were at first thought by many to be completely transcendent of any material basis, to find that these transcendent constants of Euler’s identity in fact ‘govern’ material reality, in such a foundational way, should be enough to send shivers down any mathematicians spine.

    But perhaps, Mr. Rickert, you may say that that correspondence of math to reality is not good enough for you Mr. Rickert to believe that math is not just a useful fiction we invented in our imagination, well we have another avenue to take that more directly connects our minds to how reality is found to be structured and operates:

    a philosopher asked Einstein:

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical to the philosopher, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video:
    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The preceding statement was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the mind and its now’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality.,, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now of mind’ to be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Perhaps the best demonstration of this ‘now of the mind’ is Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    Alain Aspect speaks on John Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – video
    http://vimeo.com/38508798

    Moreover it is found that,,

    Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – 2010
    Excerpt: The Delayed Choice experiment changes the boundary conditions of the Schrodinger equation after the particle enters the first beamsplitter.
    http://www.physics.drexel.edu/.....elayed.pdf

    But why should a abstract mathematical equation, which ‘just is’ according to Deistic or Atheistic thinking, even care when I decide to implement boundary conditions for it to look at a particle? Abstract mathematical equations do not and can not care about anything! Only God can care if and when I decide to look at any particular particle! To drive this point home as to just how ‘weird’ all this is, in that I can freely choose when a ‘boundary condition’ for a mathematical equation is implemented, here is a recent variation of the Wheeler delayed choice experiment. An experiment which highlights the ability of a conscious observer to directly effect ‘spooky action into the past’,,,

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    The preceding experiment completely blows Deistic and/or Atheistic ‘determinism’ out of the water for if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) then how in blue blazes are my present ‘free will’ choices in the experiment instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past??? But it gets much, much, much, worse for Deists and Atheists who think ‘maths just is a useful fiction’. Fairly recently it was found,,,

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the magnitude to which Leggett’s inequality was violated was staggering to learn about:

    A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: This test was more stringent. In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

    Now, I really don’t completely understand what it truly means for materialistic “naïve realism” to violated by 80 orders of magnitude as to rigorously establishing the validity of Theism, but seeing that there are ‘only’ 10^80 orders of magnitude subatomic particles in the universe, that strongly suggests, at least to me, that they completely blew the ‘maths just is’ Deistic/Atheistic view of reality clean out of the water. (Perhaps someone else can help enlighten us what it means to have “naïve realism” to be violated by 80 orders of magnitude). Just how troubling this ‘should’ be for the committed Atheist/Deist is highlighted here:

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    As should be needless to say, such a reality speaks far more forcefully for a infinitely powerful ‘personal God’ than for any impersonal ‘maths just is’ Deistic God:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    God Can Be Personally Known and Experienced – Dr. Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWL5QhBQB30

    Knowing God Personally and Intimately
    Excerpt: Can a person embark on a journey that leads to knowing God? The overwhelming claim of the Bible is yes! Not only can anyone of us know the Lord and the Creator of everything that exists, we are invited—even urged—each one of us, to know him intimately, personally and deeply.
    http://ldolphin.org/Eightfld.html

    Verse and music:

    John 8:47
    Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.,,,

    Casting Crowns – Voice of Truth
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKnBcCdnXyg

  28. 28

    I should add something regarding this:

    Religion just makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside doesnt it?

    Occasionally.

    But as often as not, it makes one feel lowly, unworthy, full of guilt, in need of redemption. It serves to give people a (much needed) kick in the pants and reminds them that they can, and should, do much better. Many people adhere to religion, not because it makes them feel good, but because it helps them be good.

    I certainly understand, and have felt, the allure of reductionist materialism. I would enjoy living my life however I want, doing whatever I want, without a second thought for the consequences. However, such an approach is intellectually vacuous and is inconsistent with the facts that we see around us: facts that lead us to conclude that there is meaning and substance and importance and purpose to life.

  29. 29
    CharlieD says:

    Religion is a vehicle of ignorance. It hands out meaning and purpose instead of allowing people to find these things for themselves. Most cant handle the burden of free will though, and that is where religion steps in. Unfortunately, over the years religion has overstepped its boundaries and become a power-hungry institution that promotes stupidity and rewards blind faith. I realize religion is a necessary evil, but its negative aspects have begun to outweigh the positives.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    CD: Pardon, but from appearances you seem to want to make yourself into a poster child for churlishness. not advisable. Let’s do a little test. kindly, cf. here on, and here on (NB: here), as well as here above — which seems to have helped pushed your button. Then, come back with ten points that substantiate your accusations and dismissals above. KF

  31. 31
    CharlieD says:

    Everything I say comes directly from my own experiences. I have seen both ends of the spectrum and am glad to have distanced myself from the blindness that is religion.

  32. 32
    Mung says:

    I have seen both ends of the spectrum and am glad to have distanced myself from the blindness that is religion.

    As if the only place blindness is found is in religion.

    grow up

  33. 33
    Mung says:

    Neil R:

    Oops. I forgot to close a blockquote.

    You forgot to enclose an argument.

  34. 34
    CharlieD says:

    Never said it was the only source, but it is a huge source just as in its promotion of ignorance whether willful or not.

  35. 35
    Joe says:

    CharlieD,

    Materialism and evolutionism rely on our ignorance. And it is only because of our ignorance do they survive.

  36. 36
    CharlieD says:

    Evolution relies on and is therefore built on a collection of facts and observations from every field of biology.
    What relies on ignorance is this website. Ignorance of scientific literacy and knowledge in biology altogether.

  37. 37
    JLAfan2001 says:

    “Religion is a vehicle of ignorance. It hands out meaning and purpose instead of allowing people to find these things for themselves. Most cant handle the burden of free will though, and that is where religion steps in. Unfortunately, over the years religion has overstepped its boundaries and become a power-hungry institution that promotes stupidity and rewards blind faith. I realize religion is a necessary evil, but its negative aspects have begun to outweigh the positives.”

    You’re not listening. There is no purpose, meaning or free will in the universe. Ask your militant buds. They’ll tell you. If you have found meaning and purpose, I would LOVE to see the scientific and empirical evidence for it. After all, you created something that doesn’t exist out of thin air and we all know that extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary evidence. You demand the same thing for God so it’s on;y fair that you produce some too. Why did you create meaning? Because it made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside so you can cope with the harness of reality? That’s subjective just like religious experiences are. Chemicals in the brain. But, hey what ever keeps you in your fairytale world, right? Did you even choose your meaning or free will? Of course not. The atoms and neurons did, not you ,because you don’t exist. You’re an illusion, an animal, an accident and nothing more. The brain lies to you so you can’t see it. I’m not saying God is real but quite going against theists for living in a delusion when you clearly live in one yourself. HYPOCRITE!!! I DARE YOU!!!! I DARE YOU!!!! to live your life without meaning, purpose, value, emotions, morals, truth and knowledge without making any of it up. If it doesn’t exist then live as if it doesn’t. Let’s see how far you get, tough guy.

  38. 38
    Barb says:

    CharlieD:

    Thats why youre Christian? Really? Those points from JLA speak to a specific religion? Why not bhuddism, judaism, muslim, etc?
    Oh thats right, its because you blindly accept what has been put before you by your church. Gotcha.

    Making assumptions without knowing all the facts leads you to wrong conclusions. I am a Christian because after having studied the Bible—as well as the tenets of various faiths including Shintoism, Buddhism, and Judaism among others—I became convinced that Christianity is right.

    The points made by JLAfan2001 don’t speak to a specific faith but show what happens when (and where) there is no faith. Honestly, do you really want to live in a world without any moral guidelines? Where anyone can cheat, lie, or steal from you without consequence because, hey, who needs morals anyway?
    And I thought you were leaving because you didn’t like the unscientific tone here. Guess you’re nothing but a pathetic atheist troll.

    And we all lived happily ever after…
    Religion just makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside doesnt it?
    Its certainly great for you guys who cant face the harsh reality that is life, but whatever, keep living in your fairytale world. Enjoy!

    Strawman. You know, if you’re going to try and prove any point here, you’re going to have to stop falling victim to logical fallacies. They make you look stupid.

    Religion is a vehicle of ignorance. It hands out meaning and purpose instead of allowing people to find these things for themselves.

    Tell that to Newton and Galileo.

    Most cant handle the burden of free will though, and that is where religion steps in. Unfortunately, over the years religion has overstepped its boundaries and become a power-hungry institution that promotes stupidity and rewards blind faith. I realize religion is a necessary evil, but its negative aspects have begun to outweigh the positives.

    The only thing you realize is whatever drivel you’ve picked up from atheist websites. Most Christians can handle the “burden” of free will quite nicely, thanks.
    And exactly where is your logic going, anyway? First you claim all religion is a fairy tale (strawman), then you claim there are positive aspects to it? Is it real and factual, or not? Make up your mind or stop copy/pasting from Richard Dawkins’ website. You are making no sense, and you look stupid.

    Everything I say comes directly from my own experiences. I have seen both ends of the spectrum and am glad to have distanced myself from the blindness that is religion.

    Everything you say appears to come directly from your posterior. Your experiences are meaningless. You obviously have no clue what the tenets of most faiths are, so please stop embarrassing yourself by claiming knowledge that you don’t have.

    Evolution relies on and is therefore built on a collection of facts and observations from every field of biology.
    What relies on ignorance is this website. Ignorance of scientific literacy and knowledge in biology altogether.

    Evolution relies on faith as much as religion does. It relies on evidence that can be interpreted different ways, depending on one’s worldview.
    The only thing ignorant on this site is you. You are a sad, pathetic little troll. And you fail miserably.
    You said you were leaving. Why are you still here?

  39. 39
    CharlieD says:

    No, youre the one not listening. I told you, it is up to each individual to find meaning and purpose in their lives. Humans have the luxury of higher order thinking that other animals do not, it is up to us to think for ourselves and find what makes us happy. I didnt create something out of thin air, I grew up exploring the world around me, trying to find out what I enjoyed and I continue to do these things. You completely ignored what I said and are trying to make me look like someone who advocates that life has no purpose. I say find your own purpose and meaning.

  40. 40
    CharlieD says:

    Wow barb thats quite a stick youve got up your ass. Did I put it there? Im sorry about that. Anyways, like I said I dont get anything from atheist websites. Everything I talk about comes from my own experiences. I know both sides of the argument. A world without morals would be terrible yes, and this is one of the upsides of religion; it promotes morals in those unable to acquire them for themselves. Some people dont need to be told how to live their lives and are perfectly capable of being a good person on their own, without the fear of hell.
    Please explain why youre faith is better than the others you have studied and maybe give some reasons why there are milions of people on the planet that did the exact same thing you have and came to the exact same conclusion only it was about judaism, muslim, hinduism, etc.

  41. 41
    Barb says:

    CharlieD:

    Wow barb thats quite a stick youve got up your ass. Did I put it there? Im sorry about that.

    Trolls annoy me.
    Funny how you provide absolutely no response, save insults, to anything anyone posts in response to you.

    Anyways, like I said I dont get anything from atheist websites. Everything I talk about comes from my own experiences. I know both sides of the argument.

    And your experiences, limited as they are, are meaningless. You put all religions into one large group (the logical fallacy of hasty generalization) and claim they are all fairy tales.

    Your stupidity is astonishing.

    A world without morals would be terrible yes, and this is one of the upsides of religion; it promotes morals in those unable to acquire them for themselves. Some people dont need to be told how to live their lives and are perfectly capable of being a good person on their own, without the fear of hell.

    If your pathetic excuse for an argument is that religious people cannot or will not develop morals on their own, then I pity you for your ignorance and stupidity. I truly do.

    First of all, not all religions teach the doctrine of hellfire; mine doesn’t. So my morals aren’t dependent on my being afraid of burning forever in hell.

    Look at JLAfan’s post again. Where do atheists get an absolute standard for morality?

    Please explain why youre faith is better than the others you have studied and maybe give some reasons why there are milions of people on the planet that did the exact same thing you have and came to the exact same conclusion only it was about judaism, muslim, hinduism, etc.

    I started with the Bible, the oldest religious book available. I did read other holy texts including the Tanakh and Koran. I talked with people of various faiths and asked them why they believed. I didn’t simply want my faith to be a matter of family tradition or a matter of geography.

    I felt that the principle of cause and effect would be beneficial in studying religion. The teachings or tenets of a person’s faith should influence the personality and daily conduct of the believer. I asked, “What effect does my religion have on me?” I also asked, “Does [insert religion here] produce a kinder person? A more generous, honest, humble, or tolerant person? “ The standard that Jesus set out at Matthew 7:17-20 was helpful; all religions, like trees, can be identified by their fruitage.

  42. 42
    Optimus says:

    Charlie @ 40
    These discussions do get passionate, but that’s way over the line. Clean it up, chief…

  43. 43
    CharlieD says:

    Hmm I put all religions into one large group? Like say “Religion”…weird huh. Please tell me how all the other religions of the world are more of a fairytale than yours. Go for it.
    I never said the religious can or will not develop morals on their own, I said they have them handed to them.
    By your standards the bible is just the original version of “chicken soup for the soul.” While a great read that offers readers a chance step back and look at life from a different perspective, it is no better than any other holy book, just as no one religion is any different from the others.
    A person only needs one rule to live by in my opinion: Treat others as you would like them to treat you.

  44. 44
    Optimus says:

    43
    Btw – didn’t Jesus say that?

  45. 45
    Barb says:

    CharlieD: “A person only needs one rule to live by in my opinion: Treat others as you would like them to treat you.”

    Jesus said that. So did Confucius. Know what they had in common? RELIGION.

    “Please tell me how all the other religions of the world are more of a fairytale than yours. Go for it.”

    That’s going to take a while. Try actually studying about religion instead of simply mocking it. Or would that be too much of an intellectual challenge for you?

    By your standards the bible is just the original version of “chicken soup for the soul.” While a great read that offers readers a chance step back and look at life from a different perspective, it is no better than any other holy book, just as no one religion is any different from the others.

    Actually, the Bible is far more than that. If you had actually ever read it, you would know that.

    You’re claiming that all religions are the same. They’re not. They have different scriptures, tenets, etc. You do know this, right? Because you’ve had experiences, and all.

    Seriously, Charlie, you are a sad little troll. Back under your bridge now, it’s past your bedtime.

  46. 46
    JLAfan2001 says:

    “No, youre the one not listening. I told you, it is up to each individual to find meaning and purpose in their lives. Humans have the luxury of higher order thinking that other animals do not, it is up to us to think for ourselves and find what makes us happy. I didnt create something out of thin air, I grew up exploring the world around me, trying to find out what I enjoyed and I continue to do these things. You completely ignored what I said and are trying to make me look like someone who advocates that life has no purpose. I say find your own purpose and meaning.”

    And the idiot keeps repeating the same old refuted shit. How can you find meaning and purpose IF IT DOESN’T EXIST!!! Please find me the easter bunny or santa claus. At least I can see pics of them. I can’t see your meaning. Dawkins has even said that the universe exhibits no purpose so what is there to find?? If the universe has no purpose then by extension neither do you. You either found something thst doesn’t exist, which is not possible, or you made it up which I want evidence for. Same thing goes for purpose. Humans don’t think. They can’t think because mind, conciousness are not real. They are just synapses igniting in your brain. YOU ARE NOT DOING THE THINKING!!! Ask Sam Harris. Find what makes me happy? Again happiness is just chemicals in my brain that produces a sensation that through the English language we’ve called happiness. You are just going here for more chems to there for more chems. Do this for more chems and do that for more chems. You’re nothing but a chemical addict. Finding thaings that make you fuzzy and warm inside so you can cope with life. WEAKLING!!! I’m saying that you’re someone who thinks life has no purpose. I’m saying life itself has no purpose. IT DOESN’T EXIST NO MORE THAN THE GOD YOU HATE DOES!!!

    Again you can’t be good because it doesn’t exist either in the universe. It’s just man made which I would like to ask where is your scientific prof that killing some one is wrong? I know that the standard answer is we need morals to survive but survival is arbitrary. Why should your morals and ideals survive and not Islam’s? What makes yours better than theirs? If killing you makes a Muslim live, wouldn;t that sense of morality be for survival. You may say it’s for the survival of the human species but where is it written that humans MUST survive? You think nature gives a shit about us? There are 1.5 billion muslims in the world. If they were to kill of the rest of humanity for their ideals to flourish they wouldn’t they be right to do so? Maybe that’s where they find their purpose and meaning. Who are you to say otherwise, useless animal?

  47. 47
    CharlieD says:

    Oh yeah jesus said that, cause it says it in this here book. Ive studied enough of religion to understand that the basic principles of each religion are all the same. They might go about things slightly differently but they are all the same in the end.
    Im sorry to break it to you, but your religion is no better than the many other that are here now and even those that have come and gone.

  48. 48
    CharlieD says:

    Wow JLA did get a stick up your rear too? Jeez, chill out, youre not even making sense anymore. Youre not reading anything I say. Just keep banging away at those keyboards, youll get it eventually.

  49. 49
    Barb says:

    CharlieD:Ive studied enough of religion to understand that the basic principles of each religion are all the same.
    Then how do you account for the Protestant Reformation? The fact that Christians believe Jesus to be the Messiah but Jews do not? The fact that not all religions teach the concept of hellfire?

    It sounds to me like you’ve studied very little. I’m sorry to break it to you, but your condescending attitude is disrespectful. There are people on this forum who have at least 50 IQ points on you, including myself.

    You are a sad little troll. Time for bed!

  50. 50
    PeterJ says:

    I’m sorry, this may not be very Christian of me, but why give any more time to arguing with CharlieD.

    He has managed to provide nothing of any substance to any discussion so far and every response made to him has been a complete waste of everyone’s time.

    For goodness sake stop what you are doing, and hopefully he will disapear.

  51. 51
    JLAfan2001 says:

    CharlieD

    I will try to make this clear. If you are a materialist or naturalist then you can’t find, do, say, feel or think any of the things you claim that you can. It’s not me that says it but science does. The only way to do it is to go against your worldview and believe in things that are not real which you can’t because you can’t find, do, say, feel or think like science says so. Do you see the problem?

  52. 52
    tjguy says:

    Charlie,

    I hate to break it to you, but JLA has a great point here. If Christianity, if Islam, and if all religions are simply attempts to create meaning out of life so we can live happy cozy lives in our make-believe world, then the same can be said for whatever meaning you try and create in your own life.

    Excellent point!

    Why is your make believe meaning any better than anyone else’s make-believe meaning?

    What standard do you use to make that judgment?

    Where did that standard come from?

    Is it true?

    How could we ever know?

    Same can be said for whatever moral standards you make up.

    If they are all arbitrary, then they are really meaningless. Why are your moral standards better than anyone else’s?

    Why should I follow your standards?

    What happens if you don’t follow your own standards?

    Nothing, right, at least if you don’t get caught. So why follow them when it is costly to you?

    This is quite an interesting passage from Romans 2:

    12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

    Basically, it states that atheists are sinners even when evaluated by their own standards! No one is able to follow his own standards perfectly.

    For an atheist, this is no big problem, because their standards have no meaning. They are responsible to no one for their actions.

    The arbitrarily made up moral standards are as meaningful as unenforced traffic laws?

    If laws are unenforced, what good are they?

    Can humans be trusted to live by their own made up standards?

    No.

    If we can get away with something, often times we will choose to do it.

    For atheists, there is no further consequence to worry about if they “sin” or break their own made up standards.

    Maybe just a guilty conscience, but even that is meaningless because there are really no objective morals in an atheist’s world so they can just feel free to ignore their conscience. After a while, it will grow weaker and weaker and the guilt will subside, at least partially.

    But the fact that guilt never fully goes away is powerful testimony to the fact that deep down, we all know there are objective standards of right and wrong as the Bible teaches.

  53. 53
    CharlieD says:

    Are none of you capable of listening to what others say?
    Look, humans want their life to have meaning. So they can get it from two places lets say: church or they can explore life and find it for themselves.
    I say they should find it for themselves.

  54. 54
    Barb says:

    The problem is, Charlie, you’re falling victim to either/or thinking (another logical fallacy). Who’s to say that people can’t both explore life and search for meaning while also being religious, or finding religion?

  55. 55
    tjguy says:

    Charlie,

    I realize religion is a necessary evil, but its negative aspects have begun to outweigh the positives.

    Charlie, I am afraid you have a bit of a bias when evaluating religion. I too, want to differentiate Christianity from all “religion”. But that’s a topic for another day.

    However, here are some of the benefits that derive from Christianity:

    The importance of love – Love God w/all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. This teaching has resulted in lots of good works done in Jesus’ name around the world.

    Hospitals, schools, universities, orphanages, care for & training of the poor, medical ministry to the rural poor, freedom, civil liberties, & human rights(as declaration of independence declares), origin of ethics and a foundation for government & laws, a positive impact on science, free enterprise and the work ethic, huge impact in the arts – (art, sculptures, music, etc), etc.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, you have greatly benefited from the teachings and influence of Jesus on this world.

    Have people misused his teachings to justify or commit wrong? Sure. But at least they knew they were breaking God’s laws when they did so. They knew they were living inconsistent with Jesus’ teachings when they did so.

    This is different from atheists who create havoc in the world. Why? Because atheists know that morality is just a figment of our imagination so when they act immorally, it really isn’t immoral at all. Just immoral according to some people’s made up standards.

    In reality, since there are no objective standards, when the do “wrong” they know that they are breaking no standards of any kind. Their actions are totally consistent with their worldview. (made up arbitrary standards don’t count as standards because they are meaningless.)

  56. 56
    CharlieD says:

    Then by all means go for it, but from what ive seen, the majority of the religious following are handed their religion. If it were up to me Id have them teaching a religion class in school where they taught kids the basics of every religion out there, its history, etc. In the end I think there may be a god, but I dont think god is the one in any religious book we currently know of.

  57. 57
    JLAfan2001 says:

    “Then by all means go for it, but from what ive seen, the majority of the religious following are handed their religion. If it were up to me Id have them teaching a religion class in school where they taught kids the basics of every religion out there, its history, etc. In the end I think there may be a god, but I dont think god is the one in any religious book we currently know of.”

    They do. It’s called World Religions and it was mandatory in my CATHOLIC high school.

    Where do you think this desire for meaning came from? EVOLUTION because it shaped our brains. It made us aware of our own death so it evolved the idea of religion in our brain and it was selected for because it helped survival. I’m not making this up. This is what your fellow free thinkers say.

  58. 58
    tjguy says:

    Are none of you capable of listening to what others say?
    Look, humans want their life to have meaning. So they can get it from two places lets say: church or they can explore life and find it for themselves.
    I say they should find it for themselves.

    Now we’re making progress! That is NOT what you had been saying.

    So you think that people should make up their own meaning for life as opposed to accepting the meaning that comes from believing in God.

    Fine.

    Big deal. It’s a free world.

    You are free to think whatever you want to think.

    Why should we do what you think?

    What does it matter if we find our meaning in a different way than you do?

    In other words, what moral right do you have to tell us how we should or should not find meaning in life?

    Oh, it’s only your OPINION?

    Fine. You are welcome to your opinion and we to ours, right?


    Besides, you can’t help what you think anyway given the chemical reactions in your brain.

    If you think your brain is nothing more than an evolved monkey brain, why should I give any thought to what you are saying? In fact, why should you give any thought to what you are saying?

    Darwin himself struggled with that thought and really never came up with a satisfactory answer. He said this:

    But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? (Letter to William Graham, 3 July 1881, posted at the Darwin Correspondence Project.)

    crev.info/2013/05/how-students-should-deal-with-evolution-evangelists/

    The Darwinian story undermines all possibility of real knowledge and of finding truth.

  59. 59
    CharlieD says:

    And Im sure your CATHOLIC high school wasnt biased or anything…
    Ok, so in the end religion is a necessary evil that fills a void left by our self-awareness.
    All Im getting here is that religion is an invention of the human mind, am i missing something?
    So I guess you can either fill your head with ideas of an afterlife to make yourself feel good inside, or you can live life to the fullest knowing that you will die one day.
    I pick living life to the fullest how i want to, not how a book tells me to.

  60. 60
    CharlieD says:

    “Your evolved monkey brain is nothing more than a bunch of chemical reactions” blah blah blah wake the fuck up, yours is too.

  61. 61
    JLAfan2001 says:

    If my catholic school was biased, why would they teach world religion at all? If religion is evil and an invention of the human mind, it wouldn’t have been selected for and it shows that the mind can’t be trusted. Also, you can’t pick anything because science says you have no free will. I as that same deceiving brain that picked it for you. And it could be lying again.

  62. 62
    CharlieD says:

    How naive can you get?
    We already established that religion helps our minds get through life, if for the wrong reasons.
    Just stop, youre not making any sense.

  63. 63
    tjguy says:

    Charlie @ 56

    In the end I think there may be a god, but I dont think god is the one in any religious book we currently know of.

    Now we are really making progress! Now you think there might be a god.

    Does that also mean that you think that objective moral standards and absolute truth might exist?

    ++++++++++

    This is still quite a safe view though because it allows you to live your life free of interference from this god of yours.

    In other words, it seems that you do not believe it is possible to know this god.

    If not, then we are talking about agnosticism which could also be called “practical atheism”. It is a way of conceding God’s existence while retaining one’s own independence.

    In this view, we still have to make up our own moral standards which again makes them meaningless.

    Do you think we will we have to give an account to this god of yours in the future, Charlie?

    That’s a pretty big and important question!

    If not, this god of yours might as well not exist.

    Did this god of yours create us and thus give us meaning?

    Or are we still meaningless products of some pointless evolutionary process that is taking place in this universe?

    If we are responsible for our actions, if we humans – as opposed to animals – all are concerned about meaning, morality, spirituality, God/god, etc., then wouldn’t it make sense for the Creator to reveal Himself to us?

    It would hardly be right for Him to make us like that and then not reveal any answers to these great questions that haunt mankind!

    That is one reason that we accept the Bible as God’s revelation to man.

  64. 64
    CharlieD says:

    Ive always thought there may be a god, either you guys never bothered to ask my opinion or just assumed I was hardcore atheist.

  65. 65
    tjguy says:

    Charlie @60

    “Your evolved monkey brain is nothing more than a bunch of chemical reactions” blah blah blah wake up. yours is too.

    Excellent. We continue to make good progress!

    Or, –

    is this really progress if we have just undermined all chance of every really finding truth????

  66. 66
    tjguy says:

    Ive always thought there may be a god, either you guys never bothered to ask my opinion or just assumed I was hardcore atheist.

    Sorry. My bad.

    I guess I just assumed you took that position because of things you were saying.

    cheers!

  67. 67
    JLAfan2001 says:

    Why would we ask for your opinion when you came out and starting blasting everyone here for believing in God? Living in our fairytale worlds, remember. Now you are not a hardcore atheist but people are stupid for believing in God. Just stop, youre not making any sense.

  68. 68
    CharlieD says:

    Youre stupid for believing in your own personal god who loves you no matter what as long as you go to confession before you die. No religion out there is any better than any of the others no matter how deep you stick your nose into that bible. In the end as long as you live a good life, you shouldnt have anything to worry about. Thats how i live.

  69. 69
    JLAfan2001 says:

    But you’re not a hardcore atheist.

  70. 70
    CharlieD says:

    No shit? I believe there may be a god. I believe he sits on some cloud and just watches shit or something. Hes not jesus, hes not allah, or bhudda, or any of those. Hes just god. If he really does exist and does judge us, then he will judge us by how we lived our life, not if we went to church every sunday.

  71. 71
    wateron1 says:

    “then he will judge us by how we lived our life, not if we went to church every sunday”

    So what is the acceptable line on how we ‘lived our life’ to be accepted by this mysterious God? Can I boast I lived my life ‘better’ than you. And going to church has nothing do with it..

    Justified by Faith Romans 3:23
    21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

  72. 72
    tjguy says:

    Or, even more likely, He might judge us according to the standards He revealed in His Word!

    See you have a problem, Charlie. You think a god MIGHT exist but you have no way of knowing.

    And you have no way of knowing if this god of yours requires anything from you.

    **** And, if he does judge you, you have no way of knowing what standard he will judge you by! ****

    This is a problem! If he did make you and has a purpose for your life, why wouldn’t he tell you? Seems pretty unlikely that he would make you but tell you nothing about why he did and still expect you to fulfill his purposes!

    And if he will judge you, it seems pretty unlikely that he would give you no instructions about life or reveal the standards by which he will judge you!

    But if that’s what you really honestly think, I guess that is up to you.

    Rather, sounds to me like you just made up your own little god in such a way as to escape any interaction with him. You chose a very convenient god – one whom you can’t know and to whom you have no responsibility. Why bother believing in a god at all if it doesn’t effect your life at all? Oh, perhaps that was your intention from the start.

    With such a bias, do you really think that your own personal ideas about god are trustworthy?

    Do you honestly think such a convenient yet wimpy god exists?

    I don’t.

  73. 73
    tjguy says:

    “… then he will judge us by how we lived our lives, not by whether we went to Sunday School.”

    Where did you come up with this idea?

    From the Bible?

    Picking and choosing what to believe?

    Interesting.

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Sadly, it looks like JLA really means it (and is blissfully unaware of the reductio he committed). Sad. KF

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    JLA: Pardon embarrassment, but I think it necessary to headline your remarks above and my observations on them, here. KF

  76. 76
    scordova says:

    The atheists of old knew this.

    Yes indeed! And one of them was Bertrand Russell who’s writings, ironically kept me in the Christian faith.

    Russell writes

    Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins — all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.

    Bertrand Russell
    http://www.philosophicalsociet.....orship.htm

    And toward the end of his life Russell wrote at the beginning of his autobiography:

    Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
    I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness–that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what–at last–I have found.

    With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

    Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

    This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

  77. 77
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    On morality and the Law of Nature, C.S. Lewis had this to say in Mere Christianity:

    I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature or decent behaviour known to all men is unsound, because different civilisations and different ages have had quite different moralities.

    But this is not true. There have been differences between their moralities, but these have never amounted to anything like a total difference. If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own. Some of the evidence for this I have put together in the appendix of another book called The Abolition of Man; but for our present purpose I need only ask the reader to think what a totally different morality would mean. Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him.

    You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five. Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to—whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or everyone. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked.

    But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining “It’s not fair” before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties do not matter, but then, next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong— in other words, if there is no Law of Nature—what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature just like anyone else?

    It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong. People may be sometimes mistaken about them, just as people sometimes get their sums wrong; but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table. Now if we are agreed about that, I go on to my next point, which is this. None of us are really keeping the Law of Nature. If there are any exceptions among you, I apologise to them. They had much better read some other work, for nothing I am going to say concerns them. And now, turning to the ordinary human beings who are left:

    I hope you will not misunderstand what I am going to say. I am not preaching, and Heaven knows I do not pretend to be better than anyone else. I am only trying to call attention to a fact; the fact that this year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people. There may be all sorts of excuses for us. That time you were so unfair to the children was when you were very tired. That slightly shady business about the money—the one you have almost forgotten—came when you were very hard up. And what you promised to do for old So-and-so and have never done—well, you never would have promised if you had known how frightfully busy you were going to be. And as for your behaviour to your wife (or husband) or sister (or brother) if I knew how irritating they could be, I would not wonder at it—and who the dickens am I, anyway? I am just the same.

    That is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are one more proof of how deeply, whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much—we feel the Rule or Law pressing on us so— that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behaviour that we find all these explanations.

    It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves. These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.

  78. 78
    Barb says:

    CharlieD:

    Youre stupid for believing in your own personal god who loves you no matter what as long as you go to confession before you die.

    Yet still another ad hominem.

    You should realize that the tradition of confession of one’s sins is primarily a Catholic tradition. I am a Christian but I don’t go to confession.

    You also bring up an interesting point about God “who loves you no matter what.” Could someone eventually lose God’s favor? The Bible indicates that God is merciful and “ready to forgive” but this is dependent on the person’s showing genuine repentance for their acts, and not repeating them.

    No religion out there is any better than any of the others no matter how deep you stick your nose into that bible. In the end as long as you live a good life, you shouldnt have anything to worry about. Thats how i live.

    The question to consider, then, is what is “good”? What is the objective standard of “a good life”? Remember that God’s standards are higher than that of humans. Your idea of good may not be God’s idea of good.

    I believe there may be a god. I believe he sits on some cloud and just watches shit or something. Hes not jesus, hes not allah, or bhudda, or any of those. Hes just god.

    Your God is impotent.

    If he really does exist and does judge us, then he will judge us by how we lived our life, not if we went to church every sunday.

    Which brings us back to the question above: what is the objective standard of “good” that we should aspire to?

  79. 79
    CharlieD says:

    If you need someone to tell you how to live a good life then maybe this world is worse off than I originally thought. Use your f—–g brains.

    CharlieD was warned not to use vulgarities (far less obscenities) while posting as a guest in our house. He ignored those warnings. He is no longer with us.

  80. 80
    tjguy says:

    @Charlie

    You’re stupid for believing in your own personal god who loves you no matter what as long as you go to confession before you die.

    Funny. He tells us we are stupid for believing in the God who revealed Himself in the Bible, yet he wants to believe in a god who sits on a cloud somewhere who may or may not judge us. He has absolutely no evidence for this god and yet he tells us we are stupid.

    We have eyewitness testimony. We have personal testimony of lives changed by the power and love of Jesus all around the world. And we could go on.

    I guess we all have trouble seeing the holes in our own worldview.

    One more point. If nihilism is the truth, what is wrong with making up your own reality and including a make believe God in it to make you feel better? There can be no right or wrong in Nihilism – just likes and dislikes or opinions about what is good and bad.

    I think Charlie said that we all have to make meaning for our lives. In his worldview, yes that would be true and yet he chides us for doing just that. ????

    I guess he didn’t like the meaning we created. Sorry Charlie. You can’t demand that our meaning that we create meets your approval. My meaning is every bit as good as your meaning. If I’m happy, why are you so concerned about it? Why do you want to break my bubble of happiness? Just curious.

  81. 81
    Mung says:

    Neil Rickert @19 May 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm
    Oops. I forgot to close a blockquote.

    Mung: You forgot to enclose an argument.

    No response from Neil

    Am I the only one not surprised?

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