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AngryAsian
03-09-2010, 04:59 PM
Post away my brothers.... interesting topic BTW.

Shawn
03-09-2010, 06:37 PM
Aight Dee tell me how I condone child molestation again...lol. :D

Discipline of Steel
03-09-2010, 07:05 PM
God is nature. Nature is random. God is random.

Shawn
03-09-2010, 07:09 PM
God is nature. Nature is random. God is random.

God made nature...anything created by intelligence has function therefore can't be random. Crap I think we are getting into Eni's realm. I quit. :D

ghettoscott
03-10-2010, 12:29 PM
God is love, love is blind...Stevie Wonder is God?

cruzer8
03-10-2010, 12:51 PM
http://www.progboard.com/graphx/covers/6091.jpg

RuthlessBurgher
03-11-2010, 02:49 PM
"God is Dead" - Nietzsche, 1882

"Nietzsche is Dead" - God, 1900

Discipline of Steel
03-11-2010, 07:00 PM
http://www.progboard.com/graphx/covers/6091.jpg

Alanis Morrisette is God in Dogma

RuthlessBurgher
03-11-2010, 07:28 PM
Alanis Morrisette is God in Dogma

http://img.listal.com/image/578943/500full-alanis-morissette.jpghttp://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb86/insignificant_puppet/risosrisos/Motivationals/mp-buddy-christ.jpg

eniparadoxgma
03-12-2010, 01:21 PM
"God is Dead" - Nietzsche, 1882

"Nietzsche is Dead" - God, 1900

Heard this before, and not a fan. Taken out of context it seems to imply that Nietzsche meant that God actually existed as a "being" of some sort and physically died when that's not the case at all. It's a misinterpretation of Nietzsche's meaning.

Here's the 2nd time Nietzsche mentions this phrase and the passage I find particularly important: (Gay Science, also translated as Joyful Wisdom 1882)



THE MADMAN----Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"---As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?---Thus they yelled and laughed

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him---you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"

Shawn
03-12-2010, 09:45 PM
One of the things I can appreciate about Nietzsche is the fact that he recognized that even science and metaphysics are founded in faith. Everything that we believe to be real, fact, resolute, observable, proveable are still faith based. We are all creatures of faith.

eniparadoxgma
03-14-2010, 08:08 PM
One of the things I can appreciate about Nietzsche is the fact that he recognized that even science and metaphysics are founded in faith. Everything that we believe to be real, fact, resolute, observable, proveable are still faith based. We are all creatures of faith.

I'm not sure I'm with you on this. While Nietzsche questioned "truth", "objectivity", etc, I don't think he ever really got on board with faith.

He thought that all values needed to be revalued and that we should try to find a new criteria for judgment/value. I believe, eventually, he came to the conclusion that we should find things that uphold life and the will to power to be of worth and that those things that are detrimental to life/the will to power should be rejected. Point being, I think he came up with a new criteria for value that isn't the same as the scientific paradigm, however it isn't faith-based either.

Shawn
03-14-2010, 11:10 PM
One of the things I can appreciate about Nietzsche is the fact that he recognized that even science and metaphysics are founded in faith. Everything that we believe to be real, fact, resolute, observable, proveable are still faith based. We are all creatures of faith.

I'm not sure I'm with you on this. While Nietzsche questioned "truth", "objectivity", etc, I don't think he ever really got on board with faith.

He thought that all values needed to be revalued and that we should try to find a new criteria for judgment/value. I believe, eventually, he came to the conclusion that we should find things that uphold life and the will to power to be of worth and that those things that are detrimental to life/the will to power should be rejected. Point being, I think he came up with a new criteria for value that isn't the same as the scientific paradigm, however it isn't faith-based either.


Even though Nietzsche found that faith had no base in science, he went on to say in Joyful Wisdom, that any fixated beliefs are a form of faithful piety. The problem with the human condition is we take what we sense as reality (which is a fixated belief). Those senses combined with reason and scientific method form science. If one is faith based it is all faith based. When I pick up an apple I see that it is something I perceive to be an apple. I taste it's sweetness. I feel it's texture. All these tell me that I am indeed eating an apple. But, we know that the senses are objective and they will differ from person to person. We also know that there are those among us who suffer from auditory and visual hallucinations. These people believe their senses even though according to us "normal" people these individuals are seperated from reality. The problem here is who knows if any of our senses are conducive to measuring and evaluating truth. So, while Nietzsche never acknowledged the inseperable nature of faith and science he did so indirectly and unpurposefully. So, I suppose a better way of wording my previous statement was to say what I derived from his writings.

Even though Nietzsche was anti-religion/anti-Christianity he did have some good insights. I don't remember the exact quote but he commented on adherance to and believing a rigorous set of beliefs even though that belief system brings a certain amount of sickness. He placed value on those things that sustain joyful living and questioned the value of belief systems that do not equate to a healthy mentality. I certainly see some value in that thinking. It was this mentality that led me to question everything I had been taught. I am a man of science...but I am also a man of faith. I do believe in the unproveable. I see value in doing so. But, when some of those beliefs created a great deal of cognitive dissonance I had to look for myself. I'm still on that journey. My belief system is always evolving and I'm willing to question and look at everything. That journey has led to a rejection of certain traditional teachings...and that has led to more peace in my spiritual life.

eniparadoxgma
03-15-2010, 08:52 PM
I will assume you've read The Gay Science then. I don't recall him coming to this conclusion. Of course he says that there is no such thing as an objective standard of value, and in that way nothing is absolute or rigid. However, to say that he recognized science and metaphysics as being founded in faith is not something I can agree with.

He practiced a form of heuristics that attempted to discover the basis for such things as morality, and in doing so he had already came to the conclusion that there is no universal "GOOD" or "EVIL" given to man. He sought the origin of morality in The Genealogy of Morals and came to the conclusion that in history the powerful decided what was good because they felt and decided it was good and that which was seen as "bad" was that which was seen as weak or degenerative to life or the spark of life (will to power IMO). However, "faith" isn't what I would call such a thing. The strong decided that which they liked and affirmed, that which led to the affirmation of life and the feeling of power, that was "good". I don't see where faith comes into it unless you're equating the perspective of the strong with faith, which I don't think you can do.

I think my point here is that just because something isn't based on "truth", "science", or "reason", doesn't mean the only alternative is faith. Hedonism is one example.



Even though Nietzsche found that faith had no base in science, he went on to say in Joyful Wisdom, that any fixated beliefs are a form of faithful piety.

I really don't remember this. Can you point me to what passage you're referring to? Or is it more of an interpretation you get from the book overall?


The problem with the human condition is we take what we sense as reality (which is a fixated belief). Those senses combined with reason and scientific method form science. If one is faith based it is all faith based. When I pick up an apple I see that it is something I perceive to be an apple. I taste it's sweetness. I feel it's texture. All these tell me that I am indeed eating an apple. But, we know that the senses are objective and they will differ from person to person. We also know that there are those among us who suffer from auditory and visual hallucinations. These people believe their senses even though according to us "normal" people these individuals are seperated from reality. The problem here is who knows if any of our senses are conducive to measuring and evaluating truth. So, while Nietzsche never acknowledged the inseperable nature of faith and science he did so indirectly and unpurposefully. So, I suppose a better way of wording my previous statement was to say what I derived from his writings.

Sounds like you're talking about perspectivism, which I find to be an important theory. Nietzsche (I believe) definitely disagrees with the type of positivism or objectivism that advocates that there is one objective reality that we all partake in.


Even though Nietzsche was anti-religion/anti-Christianity he did have some good insights.

I would say anti-organized-religion and anti-Christianity. In one of his letters he is quotes as saying that he is more religious than any adherent of a religion. IMO the "spark" of religious thought/feelings is something he cared deeply for, but the actual realization of that spark in the form of most religions and most supposedly "religious" people was very far removed from this spark.


I don't remember the exact quote but he commented on adherance to and believing a rigorous set of beliefs even though that belief system brings a certain amount of sickness.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Are you saying he advocated believing in something that brought sickness or was he just speaking about something of the sort, which I would typically assume to be referring to Christianity?


He placed value on those things that sustain joyful living and questioned the value of belief systems that do not equate to a healthy mentality.

Definitely agree there.


I certainly see some value in that thinking. It was this mentality that led me to question everything I had been taught. I am a man of science...but I am also a man of faith. I do believe in the unproveable. I see value in doing so. But, when some of those beliefs created a great deal of cognitive dissonance I had to look for myself. I'm still on that journey. My belief system is always evolving and I'm willing to question and look at everything. That journey has led to a rejection of certain traditional teachings...and that has led to more peace in my spiritual life.

I understand what you're saying about cognitive dissonance. IMO attempting to get the current paradigm of Christian thought to coexist with reason/science is a pretty difficult job that would cause a lot of cognitive dissonance. IMO the majority of humans on this planet are walking around and seeing things from the perspective of a complete illusion. Almost every is delusional. "Welcome to the Monkeyhouse" and all that.

I don't mean to denounce anyone or anything that believes in anything specifically, but in general that's my opinion.

Shawn
03-15-2010, 09:46 PM
I think you got what I was trying to say towards the end. Your beginning three paragraphs I agree with. I am in no way saying that he was trying to advocate for faith. I was saying that he stated any rigid belief system is a form of faithful piety. From that I applied that to science. I do not have page numbers. What I remember was from about 11 years ago so I admit I am rusty. But, certain quotes and talking points really effected me from my college philosophy debates...therefore I remember them. I actually agree with nearly everything you said.

I wasn't aware of him being "religious" unless you are referring to his own belief system. I do not know if he believed in a God. And yes I remember him writing about people who hold onto belief systems that make them sick. They are unwilling to change their beliefs even though those beliefs are to their detriment. I would assume he included Christianity but wasn't just talking about Christianity.

On a slightly different note...I have stopped trying to convince people of the unproveable. People believe what they need/want to believe no matter how objective they feel they might be. I believe that. I believe in certain things for many reasons. Obviously my background...grew up in the church. Some science comes into play. The more I learn about the complexities of this world, the human body, nature...it would take a huge leap of faith for me to believe that came through random happenings. It's also hard for me to believe that this process would break the 2nd law of thermodynamics. In no way does that prove the existance of the Christian God but for me it leads me to believe in intelligent design. The rest came through my spiritual journey and personal experience. It is nearly impossible to quantify that for another individual. So, getting back to the original topic...my spiritual walk has benefited me as a human being. It has made me a better husband, father, and citizen. I don't think that is something Nietzsche would have been against. My belief system benefits me therefore it benefits society.

SteelAbility
04-29-2010, 10:18 AM
Is dogma NECESSARILY a bad thing? ... :stirpot

What I mean is this. If dogma is defined as that which is considered true and unshakeable, can you establish a case against dogma, without establishing at least one piece of dogma, or that which you consider to be true and unshakeable?

Where dogma gets its bad name comes from the fact that down the pages of history, certain "truths" (or dogma) have been twisted for power/manipulation/control. The particular "truth" in some given situation, may actually be a good thing. The problem has been in the twisted handling of the truth or doctrine, not the truth or doctrine itself. As Napolean said in Animal Farm, "Comrades, some animals are MORE equal than others."

As an example, if you think of a knife as a truth (it is what it is, no matter what anyone thinks of it), then is a knife a bad thing because someone uses it to stab another person. Did the wrong come from the knife or did the wrong come from the one carrying the knife? In the same way, various good teachings have been subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) twisted and used as a platform for personal gain.

flippy
05-03-2010, 02:24 PM
Every time I read the Bible, my perspective changes. I've read the whole thing cover to cover about 6 different times so far and I always get different thoughts from it as my experiences change.

Sometimes I think my dog is the closest being to God in this world. Always happy, always energetic, always forgiving, simple, and loving. I sometimes think God watches me through my dog. And I don't think it's just a coincidence that God is dog spelled backward.

Sometimes I think when we make these things too complex, we miss the boat on faith. Faith is so simple. I envy people that have it plentifully and I pity those that don't. I waver between both sides of that equation.

Sometimes I think it's scary to believe in God because if God designed me, he built me for his purpose and that's a lot of responsibility.

I figure if we're joyful and help others in this world, God will take care of all of us.

And I think people aknowledge thier faith through their actions rather than through their minds.

Chadman
05-08-2010, 08:43 AM
Sometimes I think my dog is the closest being to God in this world. Always happy, always energetic, always forgiving, simple, and loving

You could be talking about Buddha there...well, except the energetic part..

Is Buddha God? Or God, Buddha?

Shawn
05-09-2010, 08:42 PM
Every time I read the Bible, my perspective changes. I've read the whole thing cover to cover about 6 different times so far and I always get different thoughts from it as my experiences change.

I agree the Bible reads as if it's a living, breathing organism. It reads very differently to many people. It reads differently to me depending where I am at spiritually.

Sometimes I think my dog is the closest being to God in this world. Always happy, always energetic, always forgiving, simple, and loving. I sometimes think God watches me through my dog. And I don't think it's just a coincidence that God is dog spelled backward.

Sometimes I think when we make these things too complex, we miss the boat on faith. Faith is so simple. I envy people that have it plentifully and I pity those that don't. I waver between both sides of that equation.

Possibly. I think faith is childlike...very simple...we do make it too complex. With that said, discernment of truth is very tough for me. I don't accept things that do not make sense. And many of man's interpretations of scripture do not make sense to me. They do not align with the loving God that I know.

Sometimes I think it's scary to believe in God because if God designed me, he built me for his purpose and that's a lot of responsibility.

What's a scarier thought for most Christians is Paul's teachings of predestination...that he built vessels for righteousness and destruction. God by his own hands built all we see before us. If we are predestined do we really have free will? If God built objects for destruction would he burn/punish these creations in eternal fire? Does that align with the nature of a loving God? How do Christians reconcile this? I think the universal reconciliationists are more on track with their interpretations of scripture.
I figure if we're joyful and help others in this world, God will take care of all of us.

And I think people aknowledge thier faith through their actions rather than through their minds.

I think it's both. Every action whether good or bad starts with thought. Control your thought life and you control your actions.All in all though flippy no matter how it works out I think you got it right...basically love your neighbor and do the best you can do.

flippy
05-11-2010, 11:01 AM
I've studied different Christian religions the Methodist teach that you should read the Bible as if it was written to a specific audience in a specific time period.

Even though the Bible is living and always current, the people that wrote the individual books wrote them in response to the current happenings in the time period in which they lived. So if we try to read and interpret through the mindset of the people of that period, we may have some better insights into interpreting some of the more complex portions of the Bible.

This can make some portions of the bible seem more reasonable to me.

For example, consider Revelations which can be really complicated to make sense out of. Back in the day that it was written 12 x 12 x 1000 would have represented all of the people in the world and the number of 144,000 people being save could have been interpreted that God will save everyone.

And you could also consider that Revelations represented an end of an Age where God will win over evil and people will thrive under God here on Earth after a time of religious persecution. This is different than Revelations being read as the end of all time which most people tend to think.

Either could be possible.

Predestination is another complexity.

But from the very beginning, God gave choice to Adam and Eve. But I've also wondered if we're created in the image of God, how could we make the wrong ultimate choice if we have the mark of God in us?

Sometimes it just isn't easy to know if there is any right answer. And sometimes the only thing we can trust is the God in us and in others around us.

I'm motivated again to re-read the Bible again to get some better understanding.

Shawn
05-11-2010, 06:25 PM
I've studied different Christian religions the Methodist teach that you should read the Bible as if it was written to a specific audience in a specific time period.

Even though the Bible is living and always current, the people that wrote the individual books wrote them in response to the current happenings in the time period in which they lived. So if we try to read and interpret through the mindset of the people of that period, we may have some better insights into interpreting some of the more complex portions of the Bible.

This can make some portions of the bible seem more reasonable to me.

For example, consider Revelations which can be really complicated to make sense out of. Back in the day that it was written 12 x 12 x 1000 would have represented all of the people in the world and the number of 144,000 people being save could have been interpreted that God will save everyone.

And you could also consider that Revelations represented an end of an Age where God will win over evil and people will thrive under God here on Earth after a time of religious persecution. This is different than Revelations being read as the end of all time which most people tend to think.

Either could be possible.

Predestination is another complexity.

But from the very beginning, God gave choice to Adam and Eve. But I've also wondered if we're created in the image of God, how could we make the wrong ultimate choice if we have the mark of God in us?

Sometimes it just isn't easy to know if there is any right answer. And sometimes the only thing we can trust is the God in us and in others around us.

I'm motivated again to re-read the Bible again to get some better understanding.


What I really like about that post is that you think about these things Flippy. So many times I have seen Christians believe everything preached from the pulpit. They don't question and believe it to be wrong to do so. If these things are mysteries...God wanted them to be mysteries. I truly believe God wants us to think for ourselves...to seek out the things he keeps secret.

While I agree about our need to trust in God...I have a hard time doing so in fellow man. I believe men are born self seeking. I believe many interpretations we hear are preached with motive. I have a hard time believing men as a whole can present the things of God in a way that doesn't involve self interest. I do believe it's possible to love your fellow man but not trust your fellow man.

The disciples were in the religious minority. The religious majority obeyed the law and their leaders were referred to as a den of vipers. They cared more about their flowing robes and places in the synagogue. Do you believe men have changed all that much? I don't. I am very comfortable being in the great religious minority with my views. I am comfortable with my views being more in line with Martin Zender than Benny Hinn.

With all of that said, I'm not sure how much of it really matters in the end. I believe we were born with a role. I believe God created us all with purpose...and I believe God will reconcil all of creation under Christ. We do the best we can do with what we are given. We try to grow and learn about loving outside of ourselves. And, all any of us can do in the end is trust in the loving God of creation.

eniparadoxgma
05-11-2010, 07:48 PM
When conversations of this sort turn this way, it becomes difficult for me to discuss much without offending anyone, regardless of intent.

However, I will attempt to.

My questions are to both of you, Shawn and Flippy.

Why Christianity? Why Christ? Why the Christian God?

Why not Judaism? Why not Moses? Why not Jehovah?

Why not Islam? Why not Mohamed? Why not Allah?

And if you look at all three of these, the religions of the Abrahamic tradition, as parts of or attempts at the same thing, then why choose a particular part?

Also, why not Zoroastrianism? It was around before Christianity.

Why not Hinduism? It was around before Christianity.

Why not Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Satanism, Paganism, etc etc.

There are religions out there that existed before Christianity that have their own adherents. They have their own dogmas. They have their own rituals. They even have their own prophets complete with stories of virgin births, miracles, creation, etc.

Why believe one and discount the others? And why pick one?

I think I know where this conversation will now go, but I feel the need to say that I find it difficult to see how people believe that their one religion (not just speaking of you guys or Christianity now, I'm speaking generally) is the "right" religion and that their religion is the only one whose prophet was really divine, the miracle stories, creation stories, tenets, and beliefs are "true" while all the other are wrong, etc. I especially find it difficult to believe about Christianity specifically because of the fact that there are older religions and traditions, etc, as well as the fact that I find the majority of Christianity to be anti-life.

(Aside from personal revelatory experiences that made you guys "believe" that is, because adherents of every religion have their own personally revelatory experiences and it would do nothing to dispel the concept of religious pluralism or equality)

TIA.

eniparadoxgma
05-11-2010, 08:02 PM
Is dogma NECESSARILY a bad thing? ... :stirpot

What I mean is this. If dogma is defined as that which is considered true and unshakeable, can you establish a case against dogma, without establishing at least one piece of dogma, or that which you consider to be true and unshakeable?

Where dogma gets its bad name comes from the fact that down the pages of history, certain "truths" (or dogma) have been twisted for power/manipulation/control. The particular "truth" in some given situation, may actually be a good thing. The problem has been in the twisted handling of the truth or doctrine, not the truth or doctrine itself. As Napolean said in Animal Farm, "Comrades, some animals are MORE equal than others."

As an example, if you think of a knife as a truth (it is what it is, no matter what anyone thinks of it), then is a knife a bad thing because someone uses it to stab another person. Did the wrong come from the knife or did the wrong come from the one carrying the knife? In the same way, various good teachings have been subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) twisted and used as a platform for personal gain.


The definition of dogma is (wiki) "the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted or from which diverged."

The problem with dogma regardless of its substance or message is the "it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or from which diverged" part. Everything needs to be questioned anew lest we either follow some hideous doctrine unquestioningly, we start to stagnate, or perhaps just need to refresh our memories as to why we're following some tenet in the first place.

So, my point is that it isn't because of particularly bad doctrines that have been accepted as dogma that dogma gets a bad rap. It catches flack because it attempts to establish itself as unable to be questioned.

Of course, if you're trying to catch me in the "then your "dogma" is to question all dogma" net I'm just going to plead the fifth because I'm not in the mood. :)

eniparadoxgma
05-11-2010, 08:07 PM
Sometimes I think my dog is the closest being to God in this world. Always happy, always energetic, always forgiving, simple, and loving

You could be talking about Buddha there...well, except the energetic part..

Is Buddha God? Or God, Buddha?


SUPPLEMENTARY READING
This is an essay by a writer. It is clearly an appeal to
the emotions. As you read it ask yourself how it ap-
plies to the subject under discussion. What is the
writer trying to say? Does he succeed in making his
point? Does this essay cast light on the point of the
subject under discussion? After you have read this essay, using the reverse side of your test paper, write your own essay (500 words or less) on the loss of a loved one. If you have never lost a loved one, fake it.
AHBHU
Yesterday my dog died. For eleven years Ahbhu was my closest friend. He was responsible for my writing a story about a boy and his dog that many people have read. He was not a pet, he was a person. It was impossible to anthropomorphize him, he wouldn't stand for it. But he was so much his own kind of creature, he had such a strongly formed personality, he was so determined to share his life with only those he chose, that it was also impossible to think of him as simply a dog. Apart from those canine characteristics into which he was locked by his species, he comported himself like one of a kind.
We met when I came to him at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter. I'd wanted a dog because I was lonely and I'd remembered when I was a little boy how my dog had been a friend when I had no other friends. One summer I went away to camp and when I returned I found a rotten old neighbor lady from up the street had had my dog picked up and gassed while my father was at work. I crept into the woman's back yard that night and found a rug hanging on the clothesline. The rug beater was hanging from a post. I stole it and buried it.
At the Animal Shelter there was a man in line ahead of me. He had brought in a puppy only a week or so old. A Puli, a Hungarian sheep dog; it was a sad looking little thing. He had too many in the litter and had brought in this one to either be taken by someone else, or to be put to sleep. They took the dog inside and the man behind the counter called my turn. I
told him I wanted a dog and he took me back inside to walk down the line of cages.
In one of the cages the little Puli that had just been brought in was being assaulted by three larger dogs who had been earlier tenants. He was a little thing, and he was on the bottom, getting the stuffing knocked out of him. But he was struggling mightily. The runt of the litter.
"Get him out of there!" I yelled. "I'll take him, I'll take him, get him out of there!"
He cost two dollars. It was the best two bucks I
ever spent. _
Driving home with him, he was lying on the other side of the front seat, staring at me. I had had a vague idea what I'd name a pet, but as I stared at him, and he stared back at me, I suddenly was put in mind of the scene in Alexander Korda's 1939 film The Thief of Bagdad, where the evil vizier, played by Conrad Veidt, had changed Ahbhu, the little thief, played by Sabu, into a dog. The film had superimposed the human over the canine face for a moment so there was an extraordinary look of intelligence in the face of the dog. The little Puli was looking at me
with that same expression. "Ahbhu," I said.
He didn't react to the name, but then he couldn't have cared less. But that was his name, from that time on.
No one who ever came into my house was unaffected by him. When he sensed someone with good vibrations, he was right there, lying at their feet. He loved to be scratched, and despite years of admonitions he refused to stop begging for scraps at table, because he found most of the people who had come to dinner at my house were patsies unable to escape his woebegone Jackie-Coogan-as-the-Kid look.
But he was a certain barometer of bums, as well. On any number of occasions when I found someone I liked, and Ahbhu would have nothing to do with him
or her, it always turned out the person was a wrongo. I took to noting his attitude toward newcomers, and I must admit it influenced my own reactions. I was always wary of someone Ahbhu shunned.
Women with whom I had had unsatisfactory affairs would nonetheless return to the house from time to time-to visit the dog. He had an intimate circle of friends, many of whom had nothing to do with me, and numbering among their company some of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood. One exquisite lady used to send her driver to pick him up for Sunday afternoon romps at the beach.
I never asked him what happened on those occasions. He didn't talk.
Last year he started going downhill, though I didn't realize it because he maintained the manner of a puppy almost to the end. But he began sleeping too much, and he couldn't hold down his food-not even the Hungarian meals prepared for him by the Magyars who lived up the street. And it became apparent to me something was wrong with him when he got scared during the big Los Angeles earthquake last year. Ahbhu wasn't afraid of anything. He attacked the Pacific Ocean and walked tall around vicious cats. But the quake terrified him and he jumped up in my bed and threw his forelegs around my neck. I was very nearly the only victim of the earthquake to die from animal strangulation.
He was in and out of the veterinarian's shop all through the early part of this year, and the idiot always said it was his diet.
Then one Sunday when he was out in the backyard, I found him lying at the foot of the porch stairs, covered with mud, vomiting so heavily all he could bring up was bile. He was matted with his own refuse and he was trying desperately to dig his nose into the earth for coolness. He was barely breathing. I took him to a different vet,
At first they thought it was just old age . . . that they
could pull him through. But finally they took X-rays and saw the cancer had taken hold in his stomach and liver.
I put off the day as much as I could. Somehow I just couldn't conceive of a world that didn't have him in it. But yesterday I went to the vet's office and signed the euthanasia papers.
"I'd like to spend a little time with him, before," I said.
They brought him in and put him on the stainless steel examination table. He had grown so thin. He'd always had a pot-belly and it was gone. The muscles in his hind legs were weak, flaccid. He came to me and put his head into the hollow of my armpit. He was trembling violently. I lifted his head and he p looked at me with that comic face I'd always thought made him look like Lawrence Talbot, the Wolf Man. He knew. Sharp as hell right up to the end, hey old friend? He knew, and he was scared. He trembled all the way down to his spiderweb legs. This bouncing ball of hair that, when lying on a dark carpet, could be taken for a sheepskin rug with no way to tell at which end head and which end tail. So thin. Shaking, knowing what was going to happen to him. But still a puppy.
I cried and my eyes closed as my nose swelled with the crying, and he buried his head in my arms because we hadn't done much crying at one another. I was ashamed of myself not to be taking it as well as he was.
"I got to, pup, because you're in pain and you can't eat. I got to." But he didn't want to know that.
The vet came in, then. He was a nice guy and he asked me if I wanted to go away and just let it be done.
Then Ahbhu came up out of there and looked at me.
There is a scene in Kazan's Viva Zapata where a s close friend of Zapata's, Brando's, has been condemned for conspiring with the Federales. A friend that had been with Zapata since the mountains, since the revolution had begun. And they come to the but to take him to the firing squad, and Brando starts out, and his friend stops him with a hand on his arm, and he says to him with great friendship, "Emiliano, do it yourself."
Ahbhu looked at me and I know he was just a dog, but if he could have spoken with human tongue he could not have said more eloquently than he did with a look, don't leave me with strangers.
So I held him as they laid him down and the vet slipped the lanyard up around his right foreleg and drew it tight to bulge the vein, and I held his head and he turned it away from me as the needle went in. It was impossible to tell the moment he passed over from life to death. He simply laid his head on my hand, his eyes fluttered shut and he was gone.
I wrapped him in a sheet with the help of the vet, and I drove home with Ahbhu on the seat beside me, just the way we had come home eleven years before. I took him out in the backyard and began digging his grave. I dug for hours, crying and mumbling to myself, talking to him in the sheet. It was a very neat, rectangular grave with smooth sides and all the loose dirt scooped out by hand.
I laid him down in the hole and he was so tiny in there for a dog who had seemed to be so big in life, so furry, so funny. And I covered him over and when the hole was packed full of dirt I replaced the neat divot of grass I'd scalped off at the start. And that was all.
But I couldn't send him to strangers.
THE END
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Is there any significance to the reversal of the word
god being dog? If so, what?
2. Does the writer try to impart human qualities to a
non-human creature? Why? Discuss anthropomorphism in the light of the phrase, "Thou art God." 3. Discuss the love the writer shows in this essay.
Compare and contrast it with other forms of love: the love of a man for a woman, a mother for a child, a son for a mother, a botanist for plants, an ecologist for the Earth.

Taken from "The Deathbird" by Harlan Ellison

Shawn
05-11-2010, 11:43 PM
When conversations of this sort turn this way, it becomes difficult for me to discuss much without offending anyone, regardless of intent.

However, I will attempt to.

My questions are to both of you, Shawn and Flippy.

Why Christianity? Why Christ? Why the Christian God?

Why not Judaism? Why not Moses? Why not Jehovah?

Why not Islam? Why not Mohamed? Why not Allah?

And if you look at all three of these, the religions of the Abrahamic tradition, as parts of or attempts at the same thing, then why choose a particular part?

Also, why not Zoroastrianism? It was around before Christianity.

Why not Hinduism? It was around before Christianity.

Why not Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Satanism, Paganism, etc etc.

There are religions out there that existed before Christianity that have their own adherents. They have their own dogmas. They have their own rituals. They even have their own prophets complete with stories of virgin births, miracles, creation, etc.

Why believe one and discount the others? And why pick one?

I think I know where this conversation will now go, but I feel the need to say that I find it difficult to see how people believe that their one religion (not just speaking of you guys or Christianity now, I'm speaking generally) is the "right" religion and that their religion is the only one whose prophet was really divine, the miracle stories, creation stories, tenets, and beliefs are "true" while all the other are wrong, etc. I especially find it difficult to believe about Christianity specifically because of the fact that there are older religions and traditions, etc, as well as the fact that I find the majority of Christianity to be anti-life.

(Aside from personal revelatory experiences that made you guys "believe" that is, because adherents of every religion have their own personally revelatory experiences and it would do nothing to dispel the concept of religious pluralism or equality)

TIA.

Ahh see you got me mixed up with someone else. I see validity in all those things. I love any attempt by man to experience God. I don't discount any of them. Why Christianity for me? Well, according to you I am not a Christian because I don't adhere to classic teachings. I have no idea what I am. I choose to follow the teachings of Jesus because I believe God gave me a good Christian mother for a reason. What I mean by that is I believe God speaks to different people and cultures with different voices. God spoke to me through Christianity. I believe in universal reconciliation. That all man will be saved. Many pastors of the Christian faith would call me a heretic. I am comfortable with that. So, I have no idea what you would classify me as. I am just a guy who enjoys the spiritual aspect of life. I want to learn and grow...and I don't have any issue with how others want to do the same.

Overall, Christianity has shaped me and improved me as a person. Even though I eventually branched out on my own path. According to the Bible, his word is written on believers hearts. I believe that. I follow where I believe I'm supposed to go. I believe I was put on this earth with a purpose. I hear it argued that I am spiritual because I need to believe in something higher than myself, that I am immortal etc. I suppose anything is possible. I think it's also just as possible that when I was created that desire was placed in me.

While you have never come out and shared your beliefs I think it would be nice if you did so. It's alot easier to throw rocks at other peoples beliefs when no one knows yours (and when I say throw rocks I mean that in a light hearted way).

I can pretty much understand any belief system besides the whole "we were created from random atoms colliding"...which is scientifically absurd. I mean tell me we were created by an alien race of monkey like beings. Tell me that we are all stuck in a sort of virtual reality and when we die we just wake up in the "real world". Shoot, tell me we are merely atoms buzzing about in the body of a fish lizard. But, the one I can't accept is some random atoms just flew around and poof life. I am a man of faith but even I don't have enough faith to believe that one.

flippy
05-12-2010, 07:34 AM
When conversations of this sort turn this way, it becomes difficult for me to discuss much without offending anyone, regardless of intent.

However, I will attempt to.

My questions are to both of you, Shawn and Flippy.

Why Christianity? Why Christ? Why the Christian God?

Why not Judaism? Why not Moses? Why not Jehovah?

Why not Islam? Why not Mohamed? Why not Allah?

And if you look at all three of these, the religions of the Abrahamic tradition, as parts of or attempts at the same thing, then why choose a particular part?

Also, why not Zoroastrianism? It was around before Christianity.

Why not Hinduism? It was around before Christianity.

Why not Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Satanism, Paganism, etc etc.

There are religions out there that existed before Christianity that have their own adherents. They have their own dogmas. They have their own rituals. They even have their own prophets complete with stories of virgin births, miracles, creation, etc.

Why believe one and discount the others? And why pick one?

I think I know where this conversation will now go, but I feel the need to say that I find it difficult to see how people believe that their one religion (not just speaking of you guys or Christianity now, I'm speaking generally) is the "right" religion and that their religion is the only one whose prophet was really divine, the miracle stories, creation stories, tenets, and beliefs are "true" while all the other are wrong, etc. I especially find it difficult to believe about Christianity specifically because of the fact that there are older religions and traditions, etc, as well as the fact that I find the majority of Christianity to be anti-life.

(Aside from personal revelatory experiences that made you guys "believe" that is, because adherents of every religion have their own personally revelatory experiences and it would do nothing to dispel the concept of religious pluralism or equality)

TIA.

No one knows any of this stuff for certain.

All great questions. Perhaps there's multiple Gods or one God. I'm sure there's infinite paths for us to reach God or these Gods. And generally everyone seems to be curious about the mysteries of faith.

Sometimes the best path to faith is the difficult path. And in general I think it's the bad choices we make in life that draw us closer to God and faith. The worse the choices we make the more we need faith.

Whatever path you choose is fine. God is in every one of us. We're made in his image. So something in all of us will help us know which path is correct.

Christianity has its roots in the beginning of time. Nothing in Christianity conflicts with Judaism. Christianity is the fulfillment of the Jewish teachings.

The oldest book in the Bible is The Book of Job (some believe it was written by Moses or Jacob). And I think questioning is at the core of our very being and the core of any religion. It's my favorite book in the Bible.

Questioning is at our core. The more you question the better. It's the oldest part of Christianity. And questioning will lead to revelation.

And when you question, you will know in your heart which religious teachings make sense. The mark of God in you will help you on the right path.

And each person has to figure this out for themselves.

Faith can't be taught.

It's a mystery.

eniparadoxgma
05-12-2010, 03:56 PM
Ahh see you got me mixed up with someone else. I see validity in all those things. I love any attempt by man to experience God. I don't discount any of them. Why Christianity for me? Well, according to you I am not a Christian because I don't adhere to classic teachings. I have no idea what I am. I choose to follow the teachings of Jesus because I believe God gave me a good Christian mother for a reason. What I mean by that is I believe God speaks to different people and cultures with different voices. God spoke to me through Christianity. I believe in universal reconciliation. That all man will be saved. Many pastors of the Christian faith would call me a heretic. I am comfortable with that. So, I have no idea what you would classify me as. I am just a guy who enjoys the spiritual aspect of life. I want to learn and grow...and I don't have any issue with how others want to do the same.

Overall, Christianity has shaped me and improved me as a person. Even though I eventually branched out on my own path. According to the Bible, his word is written on believers hearts. I believe that. I follow where I believe I'm supposed to go. I believe I was put on this earth with a purpose. I hear it argued that I am spiritual because I need to believe in something higher than myself, that I am immortal etc. I suppose anything is possible. I think it's also just as possible that when I was created that desire was placed in me.

While you have never come out and shared your beliefs I think it would be nice if you did so. It's alot easier to throw rocks at other peoples beliefs when no one knows yours (and when I say throw rocks I mean that in a light hearted way).

I can pretty much understand any belief system besides the whole "we were created from random atoms colliding"...which is scientifically absurd. I mean tell me we were created by an alien race of monkey like beings. Tell me that we are all stuck in a sort of virtual reality and when we die we just wake up in the "real world". Shoot, tell me we are merely atoms buzzing about in the body of a fish lizard. But, the one I can't accept is some random atoms just flew around and poof life. I am a man of faith but even I don't have enough faith to believe that one.

First, let me apologize for getting you confused with someone else. It's difficult for me to reconcile people that believe themselves Christians with the notion of religious pluralism. This is because of probably everything I was taught growing up as a Southern Baptist. I think it's also a very widespread belief among Christians in general. You either believe Christ was the ONE "Son of God" etc etc or you're going to burn in hell (literally or figuratively) for all eternity.

I have met some people that consider themselves enlightened Christians that believe that all religions are attempts at the same thing. I just wasn't aware you both were of that type.

Second, I'm not attempting to throw rocks at anyone's beliefs here. I'm being curious and asking questions. I hope that we can continue the conversation without anyone believing anyone else is attempting to bash their beliefs or what not. It is not my intention to ridicule anyone else's faith. However, I believe in being open and honest to the point of being blunt. I hope this doesn't bother anyone.

I really don't see the point of classifying/categorizing people when it comes to this kind of thing unless they're really a fundamentalist of a particular religion and don't believe in religious pluralism.

Let me think about what I might want to say about my own views as well as the atoms in the void thing.

Shawn
05-12-2010, 04:44 PM
Ahh see you got me mixed up with someone else. I see validity in all those things. I love any attempt by man to experience God. I don't discount any of them. Why Christianity for me? Well, according to you I am not a Christian because I don't adhere to classic teachings. I have no idea what I am. I choose to follow the teachings of Jesus because I believe God gave me a good Christian mother for a reason. What I mean by that is I believe God speaks to different people and cultures with different voices. God spoke to me through Christianity. I believe in universal reconciliation. That all man will be saved. Many pastors of the Christian faith would call me a heretic. I am comfortable with that. So, I have no idea what you would classify me as. I am just a guy who enjoys the spiritual aspect of life. I want to learn and grow...and I don't have any issue with how others want to do the same.

Overall, Christianity has shaped me and improved me as a person. Even though I eventually branched out on my own path. According to the Bible, his word is written on believers hearts. I believe that. I follow where I believe I'm supposed to go. I believe I was put on this earth with a purpose. I hear it argued that I am spiritual because I need to believe in something higher than myself, that I am immortal etc. I suppose anything is possible. I think it's also just as possible that when I was created that desire was placed in me.

While you have never come out and shared your beliefs I think it would be nice if you did so. It's alot easier to throw rocks at other peoples beliefs when no one knows yours (and when I say throw rocks I mean that in a light hearted way).

I can pretty much understand any belief system besides the whole "we were created from random atoms colliding"...which is scientifically absurd. I mean tell me we were created by an alien race of monkey like beings. Tell me that we are all stuck in a sort of virtual reality and when we die we just wake up in the "real world". Shoot, tell me we are merely atoms buzzing about in the body of a fish lizard. But, the one I can't accept is some random atoms just flew around and poof life. I am a man of faith but even I don't have enough faith to believe that one.

First, let me apologize for getting you confused with someone else. It's difficult for me to reconcile people that believe themselves Christians with the notion of religious pluralism. This is because of probably everything I was taught growing up as a Southern Baptist. I think it's also a very widespread belief among Christians in general. You either believe Christ was the ONE "Son of God" etc etc or you're going to burn in hell (literally or figuratively) for all eternity.

I have met some people that consider themselves enlightened Christians that believe that all religions are attempts at the same thing. I just wasn't aware you both were of that type.

Second, I'm not attempting to throw rocks at anyone's beliefs here. I'm being curious and asking questions. I hope that we can continue the conversation without anyone believing anyone else is attempting to bash their beliefs or what not. It is not my intention to ridicule anyone else's faith. However, I believe in being open and honest to the point of being blunt. I hope this doesn't bother anyone.

I really don't see the point of classifying/categorizing people when it comes to this kind of thing unless they're really a fundamentalist of a particular religion and don't believe in religious pluralism.

Let me think about what I might want to say about my own views as well as the atoms in the void thing.

I look foward to it. And what I mean by the comment is if we are discussing my beliefs its good to know where you fall on these issues. I am truly curious. I have no idea where you stand on this stuff. I have met those who are anti-religion but spiritual. I have met those who are atheists but see value in religion from a social stand point. I have met those comfortable saying "I just don't know and I'm ok with that". I have also met militant atheists who are as fundamentalist in their beliefs or lack there of than the belief systems they belittle.

You probably didn't know about my particular belief system because we haven't really debated religion in years. The last one was at the Trib. I had very different views then. I had views given to me. I hung onto belief systems that made little sense to me. My beliefs are evolving and I'm sure they will continue to do so. And like I said before I don't know what to call myself. I do follow the teachings of Christ. But, I don't follow the interpretations of these scriptures by the Christian majority. I think those that believe in universal reconciliation have very strong scriptural support for their beliefs. I guess that's where I am now...but I don't claim to have the answers. I'm just a man who looks for truth and a little peace.

eniparadoxgma
05-20-2010, 08:58 PM
(Fwiw, a lot of this is speaking specifically of the three religions of the Abrahamic tradition: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism)

I think we are human and can only see things from our own human perspective. Because of this, mankind has traditionally created a conception of the divine that is man-like. During the evolution of human consciousness we were confronted with the knowledge of our own individual deaths. We, as a species, have the unique ability to have intimate knowledge of our own deaths. Also, I think that reason and rationality are only within the realm of man, and because of this we have the ability to ask questions that we can't answer. Reason, rationality, and the knowledge of our own impending demises set us apart from the other animals and gave us worry where there was none before. Because of these things, (fear and confusion in the face of an uncaring world/universe), we invented a man-like big brother in the sky we called "God" to give us something to believe in...a reason for our creation, someone that would always hear us/see us, protect us, would punish those we were incapable of punishing, etc. Then because of death we invented concepts such as the afterlife and reincarnation because without these we have to come to grips with our own personal non-existence. How can a (life)form understand it's own non-being (death)? Hence heaven etc. Why go on at all if there is no outside purpose and reason for our existence? Hence religion, etc. Different religions confront these issues in different ways but are all attempts to deal with the same thing. I do, however, find some more viable than others.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as an objective standard of value. However, its in the interests of life to protect and prolong life. That which is wants to be what it is and continue being what it is. Hence, the (real) reason (IMO) for most commandments, taboos, the concept of "the sanctity of life" etc is self interest. Biologically determined self interest.

However, in the absence of any real divine creator being with particular standards, values, and laws to pass down mankind is lost in what Nietzsche described eloquently in that parable "The Madman" as the deep abyss, wandering in the void, etc. We are as planets unchained from our sun. It would seem that meaninglessness and purposelessness would rule the day. However, as Nietzsche (along with most of the existentialists and others) seem to believe (or have believed) this is actually not a cause for despair. It's a cause for joy. We, as a species, can be free for the first time in a unique way. We can reevaluate our morals, laws, and values, understand that we are the creators of our own destiny, and forge ahead with humanistic values that don't rely on superstitions, dogmas, or supreme beings. As with the existentialist credo (at least to Sartre): "Existence precedes essence". We are not predetermined at birth to be any specific thing other than biologically human. We create ourselves during our lives and have no one to answer to or blame for any and everything other than ourselves.

Where is "divinity" in all of this? Where is that which people use the word "God" to describe at in my view? In my personal opinion, the universe is divine and if anything should be called "God" that's it. Infinity, the universe, and those things which I believe are the true "revelations": the law of averages, the shape of the bell curve, nature, are divine. So I'm an atheist in regards to creator beings, but I'm a pantheist when it comes to divinity. However, I don't think everything divine. I think the general course of things is divine: the endless cycles of birth, growth, maturity, death that you find in everything from an idea to a man to a star, etc etc.

I myself have touched what I consider "divinity" or "God" many times, and now have the ability to do it pretty much at will. It just takes the right mind state and some time for thought IMO. I see it as the heartbeat of the entire universe. I can find or see the "face of God" in mundane everyday things, and that's where Zen Buddhism kind of kicks in for me. It's the ability to transcend all and any particular situations and participate in the divine anywhere at anytime.

This is one of the reasons I find the whole anthropomorphic creator God in the heavens watching everyone and throwing out commandments so limiting. In my opinion, the universe/divinity is much too large a concept to be encapsulated by something like an all powerful dude telling everyone what to do. Why the hell would God be man-like? I don't see humans as some super-awesome species that is on some elevated plane in comparison to other lifeforms. In a lot of ways I see humans as beneath most other lifeforms. To see the lion as it hunts and compare it to racism, bigotry, sexism, war, religious persecution, cold-blooded murder, etc etc etc would help to get my point across. Point being, there's no reason for some kind of divine being to be man-like other than we're the ones writing the books. Self-interest and a touch of self-importance...

I do think humans have the capacity to participate in the divine and be on par with any other lifeform. I see it exemplified in Jesus' acts of kindness, Camus' bluntness, Bosch's paintings, Beethoven's music, etc etc. I just think we hold ourselves back with superstitions and myths that have long since lost their usefulness.

And for the sake of writing a thesis here, I'll stop. If you have any questions I'll be happy to field 'em. Also, I'm half asleep so this is probably all over the place. Oh well. :)

Shawn
05-21-2010, 03:31 AM
Interesting read and certainly a viable alternative. I am curious though. Do you have any beliefs on the origin of intelligent life?

flippy
05-21-2010, 10:03 AM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.

eniparadoxgma
05-21-2010, 05:39 PM
Interesting read and certainly a viable alternative. I am curious though. Do you have any beliefs on the origin of intelligent life?

Do me a favor and clarify what you mean exactly by "intelligent life". Just want to make sure what we're talking about here.

eniparadoxgma
05-21-2010, 05:50 PM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.

I don't think going with what you think is the most viable answer is really "faith", personally.

I'm not saying "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" but I don't think we can let things devolve into the kind of perspectivism that says "If that's what you think, you're right and what I think is right for me" etc. If that's the case then you have to put someone that believes that the Frisch's Big Boy is actually both God and the Devil rolled into one and is controlling him or her through telepathic radio waves in the same boat as an agnostic...which I don't think you can do.

Meaning, just because I don't think there is an objective standard of value that exists outside of man's doing doesn't mean I think nihilism reigns and it's some kind of free for all where everything and everyone are equal. I think there should be a standard of value and that it should be centered on that which is life-affirming.

Maybe none of us "get this" is something I'm willing to agree with. I think we, as finite creatures participating in an infinite universe, can touch upon the infinite but are never one with it until we are...one with it through death. The finite cannot "know" the infinite. Hence, it will always be somewhat of a mystery. However I do think some can feel the pulse/see behind the veils more than others.

flippy
05-22-2010, 08:34 AM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.

I don't think going with what you think is the most viable answer is really "faith", personally.

I'm not saying "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" but I don't think we can let things devolve into the kind of perspectivism that says "If that's what you think, you're right and what I think is right for me" etc. If that's the case then you have to put someone that believes that the Frisch's Big Boy is actually both God and the Devil rolled into one and is controlling him or her through telepathic radio waves in the same boat as an agnostic...which I don't think you can do.

Meaning, just because I don't think there is an objective standard of value that exists outside of man's doing doesn't mean I think nihilism reigns and it's some kind of free for all where everything and everyone are equal. I think there should be a standard of value and that it should be centered on that which is life-affirming.

Maybe none of us "get this" is something I'm willing to agree with. I think we, as finite creatures participating in an infinite universe, can touch upon the infinite but are never one with it until we are...one with it through death. The finite cannot "know" the infinite. Hence, it will always be somewhat of a mystery. However I do think some can feel the pulse/see behind the veils more than others.

How does one who can see behind the veil more than others know he's not dellusional?

I'm not trying to be nihilistic, I do think there is some common sense that makes some things ridiculous. But I also accept that there are things we just cannot know.

The only logic in all of this is that it's very unlikely that such intelligent design is completely random.

Beyond that how can we know anything else for certain beyond our own thoughts.

And all of our own thoughts could be 100% wrong, 100% of the time.

But we may be satisfied with them nonetheless as we're likely to perceive self value, otherwise, what reason would we have for living?

Shawn
05-22-2010, 12:03 PM
Interesting read and certainly a viable alternative. I am curious though. Do you have any beliefs on the origin of intelligent life?

Do me a favor and clarify what you mean exactly by "intelligent life". Just want to make sure what we're talking about here.

What I am asking is do you believe disorganization became organization producing life that is self aware (humans). Random atoms came together and produced life?

There are alot of reasonable theories and philosophies believed by individuals and I can understand their belief system. I can understand why they came to those conclusions. I respect those conclusions. Where I get stuck is the ancient question "Where did we come from".

I try to keep faith out of these conversations because everyone has faith in something...even those that believe they don't. It's subjective and I prefer to deal with the science. Looking at this from a scientific point of view I think the notion of random atoms coming together and producing intelligent life absurd. Any scientist that believes in this sort of phenomenon has to twist/break scientific laws. I could give a windy essay but I won't for the sake of my own sanity.

When I look at a car...I know a smart man designed it for a function. When I look at a bacteria I see the same thing. I can't wrap my mind around that happening randomly.

So, if it didn't happen randomly what did happen? Are we the creation of an intelligent being/beings? Looking at the body of evidence I believe there is much more support for that then random happenings. So, if we were made...why? Some sort of social/spiritual/scientific experiment? If we were designed were we designed to be eternal? Or did the designer purposely build us to break down and die? Is the designer a caring loving being, or designed us and left?

While I get the whole notion of us needing to believe in certain things, eternal life, loving Father, punishment for the wicked, social rules etc. I have a hard time believing that we were designed and just left. Who designs/builds something with their hands and then has no stake in that creation?

I have met quite a few people that grew up in the church. They were shamed for their questions. They were shamed for their behavior. They seen no love merely condemnation. They were scared to believe anything other than what they were told. I see no God in that. I see no love in pointing fingers and throwing stones. And, when these people questioned the inconsistancies they were shamed. Many took an FU stance and threw the baby out with the bath water. They could no longer have relationship with the creator because the only creator they knew was the one taught to them. They turned their minds off to the possibility that the truth is somewhere in the middle and few if any of us really get it. In that process I believe they lost a part of themself that makes them human. I believed we were designed to be spiritual creatures. When you neglect the physical, emotional or the spirtual you get sick.

I personally see humanity on the rim of a spoked wheel. We are at different places on that rim. There are many spokes that lead back to the center (God). And while it might be hard for you to understand how someone who is a follower of Christ could come to such a conclusion. I would suggest that your belief comes from the english translations and man's interpretations of said scriptures. I am only scratching the surface of the hebrew and greek translations. But, I have seen enough poor translation to know I have to question it all.

And for the Christians...

If God saves only those who believe in Him, then why does 1 Timothy 4:10 say that God is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers?

Why does scripture say that ALL of creation will be reconciled unto Christ?

Shawn
05-22-2010, 12:20 PM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.

I don't think going with what you think is the most viable answer is really "faith", personally.

I'm not saying "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" but I don't think we can let things devolve into the kind of perspectivism that says "If that's what you think, you're right and what I think is right for me" etc. If that's the case then you have to put someone that believes that the Frisch's Big Boy is actually both God and the Devil rolled into one and is controlling him or her through telepathic radio waves in the same boat as an agnostic...which I don't think you can do.

Meaning, just because I don't think there is an objective standard of value that exists outside of man's doing doesn't mean I think nihilism reigns and it's some kind of free for all where everything and everyone are equal. I think there should be a standard of value and that it should be centered on that which is life-affirming.

Maybe none of us "get this" is something I'm willing to agree with. I think we, as finite creatures participating in an infinite universe, can touch upon the infinite but are never one with it until we are...one with it through death. The finite cannot "know" the infinite. Hence, it will always be somewhat of a mystery. However I do think some can feel the pulse/see behind the veils more than others.

I really like what you said here at the end. I couldn't agree more.

As for the whole what is right for me, and what you think is right for you argument...I think it has some merit but that doesn't mean it's truth. Let me explain. We come from different backgrounds and cultures. Most of us try to touch the infinite in various ways. I do believe we have our own journeys. I do believe we all have our own purpose and experience. I believe it's that journey that has spiritual value. In that sense, what is right for me is right for me...and what is right for you is right for you. It doesn't mean either of us get it.

Where I have issue is those that condemn others for not believing as they believe. I have issue with those not giving value to other belief systems and taking it to the point where they burn these values and souls in eternal fire under this notion of a loving God. If anyone doesn't get it...I believe it's those individuals. I don't believe that to be life affirming. I don't see value in that seperatist mentality.

It's much easier for me to believe we were designed. In that design God created diversity for a reason. And he displays his nature and love through various forms of belief systems and cultures. Many spokes leading back to God...the source.

I guess the best way you can describe my belief system is as a heterodox Christian. I adhere to the values and moral structure of the faith. I believe in Jesus Christ as savior of ALL mankind. I do not adhere to some orthodox teachings of my church and I believe I have strong scriptural support to do so. I have seen inconsistant translations of the same word within most English translations of the Bible. I believe these "small mistranslations" resulted in large misunderstandings of the nature of God.

eniparadoxgma
05-24-2010, 10:59 PM
Well, flippy and Shawn, I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to respond to both of you simultaneously because it seems as if you’re both saying the same thing at this point. I believe you’re both trying to advocate the teleological argument for the existence of God known as “argument from intelligent design” or as it’s also called: “The Watchmaker Analogy”.

In the form of the Watchmaker Analogy it dates back to Cicero, “"When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time by design and not by chance. How then can you imagine that the universe as a whole is devoid of purpose and intelligence, when it embraces everything, including these artifacts themselves and their artificers?" (Cicero, De Natura Deorum, ii. 34)

More modern interpretations of the argument are the argument from irreducible complexity and intelligent design. These three arguments all share common traits:

1. I perceive there to be order and complexity in the universe
2. This order and complexity is not unlike that of a watch
3. The watch had to have a watchmaker
4. The universe must have a maker

Simply put, I believe the argument to be “Biological processes, the human brain, self-aware organisms, etc are too complex to have occurred from anything other than an intelligent creator or designer”. Notice I don’t say “occurred from chance” because there are numerous other possibilities other than just chance or an intelligent creator or designer.

Assuming this is what you’re both saying, I’ll start from there.

First, it has been proven that complexity can occur from simple things. One example comes from Richard Dawkins, who proved through computer simulation that "highly complex" systems can be produced by a series of very small randomly-generated yet naturally selected steps, rather than an intelligent designer. The point here is that evolution is not equitable to “chance”, and that through natural processes simple can become “complex”. Another variation on this theme can be seen in the “Mandelbrot Analogy”. “The Mandelbrot set has become popular outside mathematics both for its aesthetic appeal and for being a complicated structure arising from a simple definition, and is one of the most well-known examples of mathematical visualization.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandelbrot_set) I'm sure chaos theory has something to say about this too, but I neglected to go that deep this time around.

Another problem with the intelligent design argument is that we don’t have anything to compare the universe to. With the watch, for example, we can compare it to things which apparently do not have a designer, such as a specific puff of smoke. With the watch we see it has a purpose and has been made for that end. You can’t compare the universe to something within the universe. It would make no sense. Therefore, we have no frame of reference from which to ascertain whether or not the universe was “designed” or not.

My personal favorite rebuttal to the argument from intelligent design comes in this form: If the universe has to have a designer because it is so complex, then it would make sense for the designer him or herself to be just as complex if not more so. Therefore, who designed the designer? This argument goes on ad infinitum. For what reason does one have to assert a designer to account for things as opposed to the universe itself? At least the universe is physically there and proven to exist.

One could do the reversal of the intelligent design argument called “argument from poor design”. It goes something like this:

1. An omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator would only create the most perfect things
2. I can perceive things in organisms that are not perfect
3. Therefore, the universe did not have a designer or said designer is not omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent

Shawn, in contrast to your words: “Looking at this from a scientific point of view I think the notion of random atoms coming together and producing intelligent life absurd. Any scientist that believes in this sort of phenomenon has to twist/break scientific laws. I could give a windy essay but I won't for the sake of my own sanity.” I have to disagree. First, there are next to no actual scientists that believe “random atoms came together to produce intelligent life”. They believe evolution through natural selection created intelligent life. For example, almost all scientists refute the argument from intelligent design. I think you’re misinterpreting evolution as chance, which is not the case. There is nowadays a modern evolutionary synthesis that accounts for the origin of life through natural processes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_evo ... _synthesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_evolutionary_synthesis))

Something else to keep in mind is Hoyle’s fallacy.

In my opinion, in regards to “human intelligence” in comparison to animal intelligence I don’t see a big enough difference to warrant some kind of dues ex machina. I think almost all life is more alike than different. Birth, immaturity, maturity and procreation, death lol. We are how much alike chimpanzees genetically? Dunno. I just don’t see self-aware lifeforms as something so wondrous as to require a new origin I guess.

Shawn
05-25-2010, 12:33 AM
Fair enough. I have had the intelligent design debates more times than I can count. While I might find the energy to write an essay on the intelligent design theory...I would do so for the benefit of others who are interested. I won't go into all of that tonight. I think we have both devoured alot of information on both sides...and it's unlikely our opinions will change on the subject. I will say though that I'm not sure there are as many scientists as you state willing to jump on the bandwagon above. There are so many holes in evolutionary theory that I doubt Darwin himself would agree with it now with our current scientific knowledge. In my opinion the fossil record doesn't support gradual change of one species to another over lengthy periods of time. The fossil record actually showed an explosion of new species at approximately the same period. In my opinion, the tree of evolution is a theory unsupported by geological and fossil records.

flippy
05-25-2010, 07:48 AM
Well, flippy and Shawn, I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to respond to both of you simultaneously because it seems as if you’re both saying the same thing at this point. I believe you’re both trying to advocate the teleological argument for the existence of God known as “argument from intelligent design” or as it’s also called: “The Watchmaker Analogy”.

In the form of the Watchmaker Analogy it dates back to Cicero, “"When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time by design and not by chance. How then can you imagine that the universe as a whole is devoid of purpose and intelligence, when it embraces everything, including these artifacts themselves and their artificers?" (Cicero, De Natura Deorum, ii. 34)

More modern interpretations of the argument are the argument from irreducible complexity and intelligent design. These three arguments all share common traits:

1. I perceive there to be order and complexity in the universe
2. This order and complexity is not unlike that of a watch
3. The watch had to have a watchmaker
4. The universe must have a maker

Simply put, I believe the argument to be “Biological processes, the human brain, self-aware organisms, etc are too complex to have occurred from anything other than an intelligent creator or designer”. Notice I don’t say “occurred from chance” because there are numerous other possibilities other than just chance or an intelligent creator or designer.

Assuming this is what you’re both saying, I’ll start from there.

First, it has been proven that complexity can occur from simple things. One example comes from Richard Dawkins, who proved through computer simulation that "highly complex" systems can be produced by a series of very small randomly-generated yet naturally selected steps, rather than an intelligent designer. The point here is that evolution is not equitable to “chance”, and that through natural processes simple can become “complex”. Another variation on this theme can be seen in the “Mandelbrot Analogy”. “The Mandelbrot set has become popular outside mathematics both for its aesthetic appeal and for being a complicated structure arising from a simple definition, and is one of the most well-known examples of mathematical visualization.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandelbrot_set) I'm sure chaos theory has something to say about this too, but I neglected to go that deep this time around.

Another problem with the intelligent design argument is that we don’t have anything to compare the universe to. With the watch, for example, we can compare it to things which apparently do not have a designer, such as a specific puff of smoke. With the watch we see it has a purpose and has been made for that end. You can’t compare the universe to something within the universe. It would make no sense. Therefore, we have no frame of reference from which to ascertain whether or not the universe was “designed” or not.

My personal favorite rebuttal to the argument from intelligent design comes in this form: If the universe has to have a designer because it is so complex, then it would make sense for the designer him or herself to be just as complex if not more so. Therefore, who designed the designer? This argument goes on ad infinitum. For what reason does one have to assert a designer to account for things as opposed to the universe itself? At least the universe is physically there and proven to exist.

One could do the reversal of the intelligent design argument called “argument from poor design”. It goes something like this:

1. An omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator would only create the most perfect things
2. I can perceive things in organisms that are not perfect
3. Therefore, the universe did not have a designer or said designer is not omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent

Shawn, in contrast to your words: “Looking at this from a scientific point of view I think the notion of random atoms coming together and producing intelligent life absurd. Any scientist that believes in this sort of phenomenon has to twist/break scientific laws. I could give a windy essay but I won't for the sake of my own sanity.” I have to disagree. First, there are next to no actual scientists that believe “random atoms came together to produce intelligent life”. They believe evolution through natural selection created intelligent life. For example, almost all scientists refute the argument from intelligent design. I think you’re misinterpreting evolution as chance, which is not the case. There is nowadays a modern evolutionary synthesis that accounts for the origin of life through natural processes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_evo ... _synthesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_evolutionary_synthesis))

Something else to keep in mind is Hoyle’s fallacy.

In my opinion, in regards to “human intelligence” in comparison to animal intelligence I don’t see a big enough difference to warrant some kind of dues ex machina. I think almost all life is more alike than different. Birth, immaturity, maturity and procreation, death lol. We are how much alike chimpanzees genetically? Dunno. I just don’t see self-aware lifeforms as something so wondrous as to require a new origin I guess.

How can one that is finite every possible comprehend that which is infinite.

We can go in circles forever because neither of us can know any of this for certain.

In an infinite universe, there are infinite questions that can't be answered.

Faith is finding comfort and peace in the middle of all of this uncertainty.

I say look at a man and ask if he truly experiences joy, hope, and optimism amidst a complicated world around him. True happiness in the face of struggle.

If a man is truly at peace, he is typically a man of faith.

Logic doesn't really play a role in this discussion imho.

Experiences and emotions are more important.

Knowledge of self and relationships with others matter more.

Shawn
05-25-2010, 10:50 AM
How can one that is finite every possible comprehend that which is infinite.

Agreed. We can only apply those laws by which our world is bound. This supports both arguments but there has to be laws/forces which we are unaware or have changed over time.

We can go in circles forever because neither of us can know any of this for certain.

Agreed.

In an infinite universe, there are infinite questions that can't be answered.

Faith is finding comfort and peace in the middle of all of this uncertainty.

I like this statement the most. I have two parts of me that fight this battle. I am a man of science and a man of faith. I really like understanding. I have problems with things I can't work out logically. I tend to stay away from the faith subject in these discussions because they rarely benefit the argument or sway opinion. With that said, I have been taught things since I was a young boy. Even though I don't agree with all of it I am convinced that I was created with purpose and my creator has an active role in my life. I have had events that put me in a true spiritual crisis. At these times, I have had events happen (things from a statistical point of view would be like hitting the cosmic lottery). These events convinced me that there is a God who is concerned about what I believe, my spiritual growth and the man I am becoming and will become. Through this I have learned relationship. Through that relationship, I have found some joy, hope and optimism despite some of my own doubts. I am very much a work in progress and have alot to learn. Even though faith may never be a strong argument for a maker. I rely on faith the most in my daily life.

I say look at a man and ask if he truly experiences joy, hope, and optimism amidst a complicated world around him. True happiness in the face of struggle.

I would say this is a rare man. I want to get there and even have moments where I rise above the situation. This man you are talking about has true wealth.

If a man is truly at peace, he is typically a man of faith.

Logic doesn't really play a role in this discussion imho.

Experiences and emotions are more important.

Knowledge of self and relationships with others matter more.

flippy
05-25-2010, 12:56 PM
We're all a major work in progress. Hopefully we're all progressing as fast as we can.

I'm not convinced the man you call rare is rare. I think much of that is in all of us. Even more so in childhood. And it's unfortunate we let in the negative more and more as we lose innocence.

But I don't think you can completely rid a man of this purity. And the purity, innocence, peace, etc. may be rare occurences, but they happen in everyone.

And in my spirtual path, I've found that when I worry more about bringing joy to others, God takes care of my own needs.

I'm convinced that when you worry about someone other than you, that's when someone else starts worrying about you and you become free from troubles in the world.

I'm also convinced that not being at peace is a sign that I need to do more for others.

To take the discussion a little religious, I see power in the concept of the trinity and believe that is the ultimate/model relationship that God wants for us.

ie. we should have trinities between you + others + God/Holy Spirit.

And the best biblical model of this is the church.

But I also think there is a model of the church that exists outside of the context of religion that brings people together naturally.

I sometimes even see the non religious context of this as just as important if not moreso important because it brings even more of us together in a closer bond without any reason for division.

I also believe the Holy Spirit intercedes in these situations without us even having to mention it just like it intercedes in our prayers to God.

Looking back, I'm probably a spiritual being because of secular circumstances moreso than interactions with men and women of faith who have encouraged me to attend church or pray to God.

I feel strongly that the concept of church happens constantly in secular interactions and the concept of going to church every Sunday is overrated.

I've found that I've learned so much more about God outside of Sunday service.

Preacher
05-28-2010, 12:29 AM
Well,

This is an interesting subject to stumble upon.... Haven't read through everything thoroughly, but I will in time. Until then however, I won't enter into the debate.


I do however, want to commend the spirit and level of debate here. A very good discussion!

ricardisimo
05-28-2010, 02:34 AM
Well,

This is an interesting subject to stumble upon.... Haven't read through everything thoroughly, but I will in time. Until then however, I won't enter into the debate.


I do however, want to commend the spirit and level of debate here. A very good discussion!
Don't worry, Preach... I'll ruin it soon enough. :wink:

Preacher
05-28-2010, 02:37 AM
Well,

This is an interesting subject to stumble upon.... Haven't read through everything thoroughly, but I will in time. Until then however, I won't enter into the debate.


I do however, want to commend the spirit and level of debate here. A very good discussion!
Don't worry, Preach... I'll ruin it soon enough. :wink:

LOL... you gotta come ruin there discussion too! you're incorrigible!

Let's try to at least stick on subject here!

Shawn
05-28-2010, 01:46 PM
Well,

This is an interesting subject to stumble upon.... Haven't read through everything thoroughly, but I will in time. Until then however, I won't enter into the debate.


I do however, want to commend the spirit and level of debate here. A very good discussion!

Are you a pastor? If so may I ask which denomination? I very much look foward to a discussion like this with someone educated on Biblical scripture.

I think our conversations on faith here stay civil and respectful. I have seen way too many debates like these turn into a flame war. While I have my questions about God, faith, Christianity and how that relates to other faiths. I can respect those individuals and their opinions. I have to believe God enjoys healthy debate about his nature. If not, why make so many different types of people? Why is it to the glory of Kings to search out his mysteries?

Anyways, I look foward to your contribution. And any scriptural support for your opinions is certainly welcome by me.

Preacher
05-28-2010, 03:47 PM
Well,

This is an interesting subject to stumble upon.... Haven't read through everything thoroughly, but I will in time. Until then however, I won't enter into the debate.


I do however, want to commend the spirit and level of debate here. A very good discussion!

Are you a pastor? If so may I ask which denomination? I very much look foward to a discussion like this with someone educated on Biblical scripture.

I think our conversations on faith here stay civil and respectful. I have seen way too many debates like these turn into a flame war. While I have my questions about God, faith, Christianity and how that relates to other faiths. I can respect those individuals and their opinions. I have to believe God enjoys healthy debate about his nature. If not, why make so many different types of people? Why is it to the glory of Kings to search out his mysteries?

Anyways, I look foward to your contribution. And any scriptural support for your opinions is certainly welcome by me.

Thank you.

Yes, I am a pastor. I am also a Doctoral student in Old Testament, specializing in 2nd Temple period studies (The time between last books of the OT and up through the NT).

I am busy right now taking French and generally being a pain in the rear end to the new owners over at SF! But I'll engage this discussion in a little while :Cheers <__pepsi

EDIT: Oh, and its a Baptist church.

ricardisimo
05-29-2010, 12:40 AM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.
The aspect that rarely if ever gets discussed is the emotional need for something like religion. We can argue until we are blue in the face, and what I take to be reason will never penetrate what others call faith. That faith is plugging some sort of hole, and it's not really for me to question that, especially if it's a deep wound.

That doesn't change the fact that believers need to be honest with themselves and ask: "Why do I believe this as opposed to that? What need is being filled? Is it being filled?" I think the last question is key... but what do I know? I'm just a lousy heathen.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 01:12 AM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.
The aspect that rarely if ever gets discussed is the emotional need for something like religion. We can argue until we are blue in the face, and what I take to be reason will never penetrate what others call faith. That faith is plugging some sort of hole, and it's not really for me to question that, especially if it's a deep wound.

That doesn't change the fact that believers need to be honest with themselves and ask: "Why do I believe this as opposed to that? What need is being filled? Is it being filled?" I think the last question is key... but what do I know? I'm just a lousy heathen.

And yet, that is the crux of the problem. Logic and reason belong as much to the domain of faith as they do to science. Neither reason nor logic have to be tied to foundationalism and positivism in a rationalist setting. Most faiths, especially Christianity are logical and rational.

The problem, is the foundational narrative which the logic is placed. For those who are not Christians, they do not accept the foundational metanarrative of a God who created the earth, allowed sin to enter in, and then came and became the very sacrifice to restore the relationship with the creator by paying the penalty of sin. Be that as it may, just because the foundational narrative is not accepted doesn't mean the narrative itself is not internally consistent and thus not logical or rational.

I also challenge the notion that faith is an emotional response. Faith is the core foundation which an entire worldview is built upon, as is western rationalism and thus, they are opposed. That is why you see as many athiests getting emotionally wrapped up in the arguments as Christians. Because both are putting their core metanarrative on display.

ricardisimo
05-29-2010, 02:52 AM
That's a line I've never bought into. Faith is distinctively religious, not more generally psychological. There's a distinction. It's the difference between "believing in..." and "believing that..."

I firmly believe that my car is still where I parked it a few hours ago. When I find out it's not where I left it, I'm obviously furious, but does my worldview fall apart? Is it an ontological crisis? If the car was an '83 Jaguar XJ-S, then yes. Otherwise, no.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 03:34 AM
That's a line I've never bought into. Faith is distinctively religious, not more generally psychological. There's a distinction. It's the difference between "believing in..." and "believing that..."

I firmly believe that my car is still where I parked it a few hours ago. When I find out it's not where I left it, I'm obviously furious, but does my worldview fall apart? Is it an ontological crisis? If the car was an '83 Jaguar XJ-S, then yes. Otherwise, no.

However, faith is not distinctly religion. Faith is nothing more, and nothing less, than the DECISION to accept a bounded set of principles by which your metanarrative begins.

All other "faith" is an offshoot of that. You have FAITH that your story is superior to all other stories. When you lose faith in that story, you choose another story. All the arguments of theology, "science" (hard or soft) etc. are simply supporting structures for the bounded set principles you accepted on faith.

ricardisimo
05-29-2010, 03:46 AM
The problem is that you appear to be ignoring the role and value of doubt. Doubt - not certainty - is the font from which all good things spring in our world. The sciences recognize that to greater or lesser extents, but religion does not, and probably cannot.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 04:07 AM
The problem is that you appear to be ignoring the role and value of doubt. Doubt - not certainty - is the font from which all good things spring in our world. The sciences recognize that to greater or lesser extents, but religion does not, and probably cannot.

That is where we disagree.

I encourage doubt in my church. I encourage exploration. Why? Because the foundation that cannot be examined is a foundation which is not strong.

The sciences do not recognize doubt of their own foundation. That is why every scholarly journal on biology for example, demands adherence to evolution. There cannot be any evidence, no experiments, no arguments even PRESENTED on the issue, because allegiance is demanded up front.

However, the scholarly journals in my field are filled with atheists, deists, theists, Christians, Jews, communists (literally :lol:-lived in the soviet union ) even a few muslims. Then, you have SBL (society of biblical literature). That is filled with people from everywhere as well. There is a third MAJOR society, called ETS. THAT is the evangelical theological society. Even there, there is major discussions about the foundational beliefs and thoughts of scripture and doctrine.

No, when it comes to doubt and examination of our own foundations, from my experience, the average Christian theological scholar is just as if not more open to "doubt" than the average "hard Science" scholar.

Shawn
05-29-2010, 09:10 AM
The problem is that you appear to be ignoring the role and value of doubt. Doubt - not certainty - is the font from which all good things spring in our world. The sciences recognize that to greater or lesser extents, but religion does not, and probably cannot.

That is where we disagree.

I encourage doubt in my church. I encourage exploration. Why? Because the foundation that cannot be examined is a foundation which is not strong.

The sciences do not recognize doubt of their own foundation. That is why every scholarly journal on biology for example, demands adherence to evolution. There cannot be any evidence, no experiments, no arguments even PRESENTED on the issue, because allegiance is demanded up front.

However, the scholarly journals in my field are filled with atheists, deists, theists, Christians, Jews, communists (literally :lol:-lived in the soviet union ) even a few muslims. Then, you have SBL (society of biblical literature). That is filled with people from everywhere as well. There is a third MAJOR society, called ETS. THAT is the evangelical theological society. Even there, there is major discussions about the foundational beliefs and thoughts of scripture and doctrine.

No, when it comes to doubt and examination of our own foundations, from my experience, the average Christian theological scholar is just as if not more open to "doubt" than the average "hard Science" scholar.

Terrific post. I always wanted a peek behind the curtain if you will. I wondered to myself does my pastor actually believe the stuff he is preaching? It's encouraging to know that there is some healthy debate and discussion by all faiths about our foundational beliefs.

I always wondered how extremely intelligent men could rationalize some of their Biblical beliefs. The whole concept of predestination forming vessels for destruction then burning them in eternal fire...all by our God who loves agape? Temporal sin...eternal punishment? No matter how hard I tried...I could never reconcil that. Even if I am saved from that fate how could my spirit be ok with that? The thought of serving a God who torments those who choose not to believe in him or love him became too much to bear. I guess that's why I stopped accepting what was being preached from the pulpit and started looking for myself. I knew of God's presence in my life. But, he didn't resemble the God I had learned about in church.

ricardisimo
05-29-2010, 01:40 PM
The problem is that you appear to be ignoring the role and value of doubt. Doubt - not certainty - is the font from which all good things spring in our world. The sciences recognize that to greater or lesser extents, but religion does not, and probably cannot.

That is where we disagree.

I encourage doubt in my church. I encourage exploration. Why? Because the foundation that cannot be examined is a foundation which is not strong.

The sciences do not recognize doubt of their own foundation. That is why every scholarly journal on biology for example, demands adherence to evolution. There cannot be any evidence, no experiments, no arguments even PRESENTED on the issue, because allegiance is demanded up front.

However, the scholarly journals in my field are filled with atheists, deists, theists, Christians, Jews, communists (literally :lol:-lived in the soviet union ) even a few muslims. Then, you have SBL (society of biblical literature). That is filled with people from everywhere as well. There is a third MAJOR society, called ETS. THAT is the evangelical theological society. Even there, there is major discussions about the foundational beliefs and thoughts of scripture and doctrine.

No, when it comes to doubt and examination of our own foundations, from my experience, the average Christian theological scholar is just as if not more open to "doubt" than the average "hard Science" scholar.

Terrific post. I always wanted a peek behind the curtain if you will. I wondered to myself does my pastor actually believe the stuff he is preaching? It's encouraging to know that there is some healthy debate and discussion by all faiths about our foundational beliefs.

I always wondered how extremely intelligent men could rationalize some of their Biblical beliefs. The whole concept of predestination forming vessels for destruction then burning them in eternal fire...all by our God who loves agape? Temporal sin...eternal punishment? No matter how hard I tried...I could never reconcil that. Even if I am saved from that fate how could my spirit be ok with that? The thought of serving a God who torments those who choose not to believe in him or love him became too much to bear. I guess that's why I stopped accepting what was being preached from the pulpit and started looking for myself. I knew of God's presence in my life. But, he didn't resemble the God I had learned about in church.
And yet you only know about God through your church, which presents a problem, I would think.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 03:43 PM
The problem is that you appear to be ignoring the role and value of doubt. Doubt - not certainty - is the font from which all good things spring in our world. The sciences recognize that to greater or lesser extents, but religion does not, and probably cannot.

That is where we disagree.

I encourage doubt in my church. I encourage exploration. Why? Because the foundation that cannot be examined is a foundation which is not strong.

The sciences do not recognize doubt of their own foundation. That is why every scholarly journal on biology for example, demands adherence to evolution. There cannot be any evidence, no experiments, no arguments even PRESENTED on the issue, because allegiance is demanded up front.

However, the scholarly journals in my field are filled with atheists, deists, theists, Christians, Jews, communists (literally :lol:-lived in the soviet union ) even a few muslims. Then, you have SBL (society of biblical literature). That is filled with people from everywhere as well. There is a third MAJOR society, called ETS. THAT is the evangelical theological society. Even there, there is major discussions about the foundational beliefs and thoughts of scripture and doctrine.

No, when it comes to doubt and examination of our own foundations, from my experience, the average Christian theological scholar is just as if not more open to "doubt" than the average "hard Science" scholar.

Terrific post. I always wanted a peek behind the curtain if you will. I wondered to myself does my pastor actually believe the stuff he is preaching? It's encouraging to know that there is some healthy debate and discussion by all faiths about our foundational beliefs.

I always wondered how extremely intelligent men could rationalize some of their Biblical beliefs. The whole concept of predestination forming vessels for destruction then burning them in eternal fire...all by our God who loves agape? Temporal sin...eternal punishment? No matter how hard I tried...I could never reconcil that. Even if I am saved from that fate how could my spirit be ok with that? The thought of serving a God who torments those who choose not to believe in him or love him became too much to bear. I guess that's why I stopped accepting what was being preached from the pulpit and started looking for myself. I knew of God's presence in my life. But, he didn't resemble the God I had learned about in church.
And yet you only know about God through your church, which presents a problem, I would think.

But that too is an argument which I take umbrage with (of course, on this subject, i'd probably take umbrage with all your arguments :lol: )

You only know about the narrative of evolution by scientists. That is because that is the vessel which carries the narrative. Why should the vessel which carries the narrative of God be any different? Furthermore, it is not "one" church which a person comes to know the Christian Narrative, but the collective church. The Fathers, the creeds, the dogma, the confessions, the statements of faith, the books, the arguments, and finally and fully, the bible. Many of those things are in contradiction to other.. such as, a person holding to a confession rejects creeds. Those who are biblicists (such as me) completely reject dogma.

No, knowing and relating to God is a highly personal, intellectual, spiritual, emotional excercise. It incorporates the entire being, as does believing in evolution. Once again, its the base metanarrative that you put faith into, accept its presuppositions, and then us as the foundation for your reasoning and logic.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 04:15 PM
Terrific post. I always wanted a peek behind the curtain if you will. I wondered to myself does my pastor actually believe the stuff he is preaching? It's encouraging to know that there is some healthy debate and discussion by all faiths about our foundational beliefs.

I always wondered how extremely intelligent men could rationalize some of their Biblical beliefs. The whole concept of predestination forming vessels for destruction then burning them in eternal fire...all by our God who loves agape? Temporal sin...eternal punishment? No matter how hard I tried...I could never reconcil that. Even if I am saved from that fate how could my spirit be ok with that? The thought of serving a God who torments those who choose not to believe in him or love him became too much to bear. I guess that's why I stopped accepting what was being preached from the pulpit and started looking for myself. I knew of God's presence in my life. But, he didn't resemble the God I had learned about in church.
At the base level, as I said in the previous posts, it is simply a matter of accepting the foundations on faith. The difference is, (again, as previously mentioned) that acceptance of ANY AND EVERY foundation is an acceptance by faith, even of the Cartesian philosophy which underlies science.

Second, understand the doctrines of predestination as currently understood by western Christianity was formed under the monarchial rule of Europe. In short, they said a king can act this way... thus, God, who is infinitely greater and stronger, acts that same way on an infinitely greater and stronger scale. That is why I reject the doctrine of predestination and instead hold the to biblical teaching of predestination. You simply cannot find TULIP in the scriptures without entering in western linear logical arguments to prove the point. Scripture however, teaches a predestination of man, yet man's personal responsibility within that predestination. As such, man does have a choice. Think about an author telling a story. The author has complete and total control over the character. He or she gets to create the character exactly how he or she wants to (in the biblical narrative, we are created in God's image). Then, as the character is created, it starts taking shape. The character that is a sidekick in a story, now has things that it will and will not do. Thus, the author has now freely limited his absolute authority. He cannot write the sidekick as the main hero.

The more the character is developed, the more the character itself starts determining the story. Stephanie Meyers from the Twilight series said it best, when talking about Edward, the lead male vampire. Here the part of the story she was referencing: His wife was dying from a pregnancy, She was human and the child was a half-breed. He took her best friend (Jacob, who was a male, and human, though a shape shifter) out and talked to him, convincing him to convince Edwards's wife (Bella) to abort the child. Edward then said Bella and Jacob could have children together, if that would ease Bella's desire for children and she would abort the child growing within her. --

Now, everyone went NUTS about Stephanie Meyers writing about Edward basically whoring his wife for the weekends. When asked about it, she said, "Yeah, I was VERY surprised that Edward did that too!" WHAT! She is the author! She had full control. Sovereign control of the story right? Yep, and in soveriegn creation of the character, the character took on its on personality and drove her writing. She still had complete control of the story, but her characters had a life of their own, which she respected.

See, I don't accept western linear rationalism as the foundational logical structure for Christianity, or life for that matter. That has been imported to the faith in the 4th and 5th centuries when Greek philosophy was used to created Christian Heresy. The church fathers, especially the Desert three (The Capadocian fathers) then re-engaged Greek philosphical argumentation to refute the heresies concerning Jesus. That method of argumentation was picked up by Aquinas and became core to the west.

Thus, I think about 99% of the problems we have with supposed conflicts and contradictions come not because the story itself violates internal logic, but because western logic is a failed system in reality. It is wonderful in an academic, classroom, scientific laboratory. Then again, every system has its failures. That is why absolute truth cannot be known.

That's right. There is NO absolute truth on earth. Why? Because humans have broken the relationship with absolute truth and thus, shattered all truths. That is whey TRUTH (John 14:6) had to become flesh and walk among us. (John 1:14). Yet, in our understanding of his story, we are still tainted by sin. Thus, it is only when we are clear of all sin (Standing in Heaven) will we be able to know absolute truth again.

So down here, we are in search of the greatest story that best defines us. A story that offers a foundation for its logic and rational thought. You accept that story based on faith.

I have found that the most authentic story is Christianity. I have found that based on comparisons. I have found that because I too, seriously doubted the existence of God and started looking. I have found that, because in comparing the religions, Christianity stood completely apart. It wasn't because that was the faith I came from, it was because Christianity has so many unparalleled structures. Yet, at the core, there is an authenticity to it which strikes as complete and true.

Sorry for writing the book... and getting a little off topic. But at least that will give us a foundation for further discussion. If you have ANY questions, doubts, etc, PM me if you want. I would LOVE to discuss them. I teach OT in the fall and another class in the spring as an adjunct. In both classes, I encourage and demand questions and doubt. HEck, I freak 'em out by pointing out major problems that we skip over. THEN, I often don't even give them ANY answer until the last day of the semester. HEY STUDENTS :moon :moon :moon

http://www.sherv.net/cm/emo/laughing/crying.gif
students


Funny thing is, at the end of the semester, I usually get emails from about half the class thanking me for stretching them, pushing them, and making them think through things they used to take for granted. Questioning the foundations, will only make the foundations stronger. If a few questions can rock your foundational narrative, then you don't truly believe your foundational narrative.

Prok
05-29-2010, 04:20 PM
Deep subject.

I've always felt upbringing played the most crucial role in anyone's faith and religional beliefs.

I was made to go to bible school and church every sunday as a child even though my parents never went. My local presbyterian preacher picked me and my siblings up and took us.

As an adult i hardly ever go to church but i do pray at night and try to live by religious guidlines.

I suppose my most positive influence was my father. He used to own an old poem he had put in a picture frame on our wall titled "house by the side of the road."

The only line i remember from that poem was "let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man." So long and short is that my father instilled the religious beliefs i have in me. I try to do right by all in hopes i'll get to the pearly gates and be accepted.

eniparadoxgma
05-29-2010, 04:25 PM
And yet, that is the crux of the problem. Logic and reason belong as much to the domain of faith as they do to science. Neither reason nor logic have to be tied to foundationalism and positivism in a rationalist setting.

Throw out the basic tools called "reason" and "logic" and contrast faith with postpositivism then, since I see it as more of a basis for science than the former concepts. How are the two based on the same thing?


Most faiths, especially Christianity are logical and rational.

I typically don't throw out .jpgs in these types of discussions but:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/761/1255236042556.jpg (http://img89.imageshack.us/i/1255236042556.jpg/)

Rational? Hardly. Unless you're trying to say that it's just internally consistent, in which case I don't believe you're saying much as just about anything can be internally consistent. I can create a metaphysics built on Clive Barker's Imajica that is internally consistent. That doesn't make it equitable to scientific facts.



The problem, is the foundational narrative which the logic is placed. For those who are not Christians, they do not accept the foundational metanarrative of a God who created the earth, allowed sin to enter in, and then came and became the very sacrifice to restore the relationship with the creator by paying the penalty of sin. Be that as it may, just because the foundational narrative is not accepted doesn't mean the narrative itself is not internally consistent and thus not logical or rational.

I don't think the point is whether or not it's internally consistent. The point is (or should be) whether or not it's consistent with reality or not. Or are you attempting to put forth a relativism that doesn't allow for there being an objective reality outside of individual perspectives?


I also challenge the notion that faith is an emotional response. Faith is the core foundation which an entire worldview is built upon, as is western rationalism and thus, they are opposed. That is why you see as many athiests getting emotionally wrapped up in the arguments as Christians. Because both are putting their core metanarrative on display.

The scientific method is almost the antitheses of faith. Empiricism and faith are almost a dichotomy. There are a lot of reasons for atheists to get emotional about these arguments and I don't think it really has much to do with their "faith" being questioned.

eniparadoxgma
05-29-2010, 04:31 PM
That's a line I've never bought into. Faith is distinctively religious, not more generally psychological. There's a distinction. It's the difference between "believing in..." and "believing that..."

I firmly believe that my car is still where I parked it a few hours ago. When I find out it's not where I left it, I'm obviously furious, but does my worldview fall apart? Is it an ontological crisis? If the car was an '83 Jaguar XJ-S, then yes. Otherwise, no.

However, faith is not distinctly religion. Faith is nothing more, and nothing less, than the DECISION to accept a bounded set of principles by which your metanarrative begins.

All other "faith" is an offshoot of that. You have FAITH that your story is superior to all other stories. When you lose faith in that story, you choose another story. All the arguments of theology, "science" (hard or soft) etc. are simply supporting structures for the bounded set principles you accepted on faith.

There is a difference between faith based on empirical data and faith based on dogmas. For example, if you take ricardisimo's valid statement about believing your car is where you left it, that does take a kind of faith. You can't empirically prove that the car is there if you are not able to ascertain it through your senses in any way. However, most people don't believe that their car disappears when it is out of their sight.

They have a paradigm of thought based on scientific principles and physics that leads them to believe that a physical object stays where it is left unless it is acted upon.

I'm fairly certain this is a distinctly different usage of the word "faith".

eniparadoxgma
05-29-2010, 04:40 PM
That is where we disagree.

I encourage doubt in my church. I encourage exploration. Why? Because the foundation that cannot be examined is a foundation which is not strong.


And what kind of doubt do you encourage? No offense, but if people were to truly and sincerely doubt the basis for their religions they would most likely find them lacking. It is upbringing, circumstance, and fear of the unknown that lead most people to continue to participate in religion in this day and age in my opinion, and most people that truly start to doubt it eventually leave it.


The sciences do not recognize doubt of their own foundation. That is why every scholarly journal on biology for example, demands adherence to evolution. There cannot be any evidence, no experiments, no arguments even PRESENTED on the issue, because allegiance is demanded up front.

I honestly don't know where you get your information. There is no "evolution agenda" in the sciences. Everything is open to doubt. Science is open to revision at all times. That is how progress is made. From first using fire to building the space shuttle I can find a distinct thing I would call progress. In religion? Not so much. The song remains the same.

I would appreciate it if you would provide some evidence for your presentation of evolution as gospel. I find the idea that scientists would allow some type of (any type of) theory to dominate the intellectual landscape to the point of demanding adherence without evidence patently absurd.


However, the scholarly journals in my field are filled with atheists, deists, theists, Christians, Jews, communists (literally :lol:-lived in the soviet union ) even a few muslims. Then, you have SBL (society of biblical literature). That is filled with people from everywhere as well. There is a third MAJOR society, called ETS. THAT is the evangelical theological society. Even there, there is major discussions about the foundational beliefs and thoughts of scripture and doctrine.

No offense, but the rest of the world populate the scientific community. I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Science doesn't allow for unverifiable hypotheses because they do not exist within the realm of explainable phenomenon. This should be a deterrent from the merits of science? It recognizes its limitations. Other than that, what cannot be discussed within the realm of science?


No, when it comes to doubt and examination of our own foundations, from my experience, the average Christian theological scholar is just as if not more open to "doubt" than the average "hard Science" scholar.

Perhaps we don't mean the same thing when we say "doubt"? :)

eniparadoxgma
05-29-2010, 04:47 PM
But that too is an argument which I take umbrage with (of course, on this subject, i'd probably take umbrage with all your arguments :lol: )

You only know about the narrative of evolution by scientists.

The narrative of evolution is written on the life forms that exist today. The reason evolution is currently accepted as a theory is it explains life on earth better than any other empirically. A scientist doesn't need another scientist to prove this for him, so I'm not sure I understand your point.


That is because that is the vessel which carries the narrative. Why should the vessel which carries the narrative of God be any different? Furthermore, it is not "one" church which a person comes to know the Christian Narrative, but the collective church. The Fathers, the creeds, the dogma, the confessions, the statements of faith, the books, the arguments, and finally and fully, the bible. Many of those things are in contradiction to other.. such as, a person holding to a confession rejects creeds.

Again, science/empiricism/postpositivism use observable phenomena as ascertained through the senses as a basis for knowledge. That is the vessel that carries the narrative of science.


Those who are biblicists (such as me) completely reject dogma.

I would appreciate clarification on this matter.


No, knowing and relating to God is a highly personal, intellectual, spiritual, emotional excercise. It incorporates the entire being, as does believing in evolution. Once again, its the base metanarrative that you put faith into, accept its presuppositions, and then us as the foundation for your reasoning and logic.

I really don't understand how or why you keep equating evolution and faith. Again, unless you are attempting to throw out a type of relativism that doesn't rely on observable phenomena as ascertained through the senses as a type of criteria, then it doesn't make sense to equate them. There is a reason that ninety-whatever percent of the scientific community believes in evolution as a working theory as opposed to creationism for example, as it has to do with empirical evidence.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 05:04 PM
------- Didn't have time to review this for tone. If anything comes across harsh or condensending, forgive me. That is not how I meant it. I was just spewing thoughts into the E world. Usually, I go back and correct it, but I gotta go get some other stuff done. IF something is overly pointed or harsh, point it out to me, so I can reword it and apologize! Thanks!
Preacher.




And yet, that is the crux of the problem. Logic and reason belong as much to the domain of faith as they do to science. Neither reason nor logic have to be tied to foundationalism and positivism in a rationalist setting.

Throw out the basic tools called "reason" and "logic" and contrast faith with postpositivism then, since I see it as more of a basis for science than the former concepts. How are the two based on the same thing?

Postpositivism marries the two even more, as it says that human knowledge is not built on absolutism, but rather on conjecture. Conjecture is what? It is saying that based on these things here, I BELIEVE this is the truth. Sure, we may use other words for it. But in essence, it is saying that you are staking a claim to a certain reality.



Most faiths, especially Christianity are logical and rational.

I typically don't throw out .jpgs in these types of discussions but:


Rational? Hardly. Unless you're trying to say that it's just internally consistent, in which case I don't believe you're saying much as just about anything can be internally consistent. I can create a metaphysics built on Clive Barker's Imajica that is internally consistent. That doesn't make it equitable to scientific facts. [/quote:ku3ubcf9]

Yet, the game can be played just the opposite. Somehow somewhere, something just popped into existence and then became functional and then living and then somehow reproduced and then changed into something else.

Really? That's rational? Everyone can denigrate the other argument by making it sound stupid and irrational.

THe problem I have with your argument, is that you are assuming your foundational narrative as the correct foundational narrative without any thought as to why it should be. You have accepted the Cartesian founationalism, albeit changed into post-positivism. What makes that the correct one? What proof outside of the scientific narrative to you offer? Because within the scientific narrative, all that gets provided is circular arguments. Such as, evolution is true (thus, as said before, no one can even submit a peer review paper to a journal saying anything else, regardless of how much experiementation, proof, or how well the arguements are). Therefore, when we find a discover, it must fit the scientific model of evolution. Then, a place is found for the discovery, and the discovery is then produced as proof of evolution. Well, was any other theories other than evolution even investigated during said discover and examination? No? Then of course they think it fits evolution. It has to, since it is only metanarrative allowed.

It is the same as those who believe in faith healing. It becomes their only metanarrative. Then, when someone is "healed" and then gets sick again, they search the life of that person and low and behold, they find a place where that person had sinned or had lived outside of absolute faith. Thus, they "lost" their healing. That discovery thus reconfirms the metanarrative of FAITH healing.

There is thus no difference between how faith healing and evolution use circular logic argumentation to buttress their metanarrative.

The problem with your statement therefore, is that while you say (well, discuss, to be fair) postpositivism, the final argument is a postivist foundationalist argument. Rational and logic are defined by some kind of foundational eternal truth- not by your own narrative. Yet, if postpositivism is true, then you can only conjecture what rational and logic would be. Yet, I don't even accept that. Why? Because nothing can be defined by itself. ONly context carries definition. Thus, only the context of your personal metanarrative carries the definition of rational and logic for you. The context of my metanarrative carries it for me.

The ONLY method of judging logic and rationality is internal consistency.


[quote:ku3ubcf9]The problem, is the foundational narrative which the logic is placed. For those who are not Christians, they do not accept the foundational metanarrative of a God who created the earth, allowed sin to enter in, and then came and became the very sacrifice to restore the relationship with the creator by paying the penalty of sin. Be that as it may, just because the foundational narrative is not accepted doesn't mean the narrative itself is not internally consistent and thus not logical or rational.

I don't think the point is whether or not it's internally consistent. The point is (or should be) whether or not it's consistent with reality or not. Or are you attempting to put forth a relativism that doesn't allow for there being an objective reality outside of individual perspectives?[/quote:ku3ubcf9]

But by who's reality? Your reality is determined by nothing more than your own metanarrative. Why does your metanarrative get to be the grand metanarrative? Your answer, from what I read in your post, is that it is based on a priori argumentation. I however, believe ther is ONLY a posteriori argumentation. Because the experience is the very metanarrative by which we judge rational thought and logic.


[quote:ku3ubcf9]I also challenge the notion that faith is an emotional response. Faith is the core foundation which an entire worldview is built upon, as is western rationalism and thus, they are opposed. That is why you see as many athiests getting emotionally wrapped up in the arguments as Christians. Because both are putting their core metanarrative on display.

The scientific method is almost the antitheses of faith. Empiricism and faith are almost a dichotomy. There are a lot of reasons for atheists to get emotional about these arguments and I don't think it really has much to do with their "faith" being questioned.[/quote:ku3ubcf9]

Empiricism begins with the a priori argument, that there is nothing out there which the senses cannot comprehend. That is a faith statement, not an empirical statement. It then works from that faith statement to comprehend the world through the senses. Why do I believe they get emotional about their faith in empiricism? Because empiricism says that man is the center of a knowable world. All knowledge is knowable by me. When that gets questioned, their centrality is removed. In short, many scientists are now guilty of doing the exact same thing to others that the Catholic church did to Copernicus. They are rejecting out of hand anything that may remove their centrality and conflict with their worldview.

Once again, that is why they NEVER allow dissenting opinion on issues such as evolution, empiricism, etc. in any kind of peer review journals. It is their dogma, and they stick to it very well. It is their faith.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 05:12 PM
[quote=Preacher]But that too is an argument which I take umbrage with (of course, on this subject, i'd probably take umbrage with all your arguments :lol: )

You only know about the narrative of evolution by scientists.

The narrative of evolution is written on the life forms that exist today. The reason evolution is currently accepted as a theory is it explains life on earth better than any other empirically. A scientist doesn't need another scientist to prove this for him, so I'm not sure I understand your point.


That is because that is the vessel which carries the narrative. Why should the vessel which carries the narrative of God be any different? Furthermore, it is not "one" church which a person comes to know the Christian Narrative, but the collective church. The Fathers, the creeds, the dogma, the confessions, the statements of faith, the books, the arguments, and finally and fully, the bible. Many of those things are in contradiction to other.. such as, a person holding to a confession rejects creeds.

Again, science/empiricism/postpositivism use observable phenomena as ascertained through the senses as a basis for knowledge. That is the vessel that carries the narrative of science.


Those who are biblicists (such as me) completely reject dogma.

I would appreciate clarification on this matter.


No, knowing and relating to God is a highly personal, intellectual, spiritual, emotional excercise. It incorporates the entire being, as does believing in evolution. Once again, its the base metanarrative that you put faith into, accept its presuppositions, and then us as the foundation for your reasoning and logic.

I really don't understand how or why you keep equating evolution and faith. Again, unless you are attempting to throw out a type of relativism that doesn't rely on observable phenomena as ascertained through the senses as a type of criteria, then it doesn't make sense to equate them. There is a reason that ninety-whatever percent of the scientific community believes in evolution as a working theory as opposed to creationism for example, as it has to do with empirical evidence.[/quote:3mvcyu8o]



Good questions. I'll get to them later, as I have some things to do.

But to the basic point... My argument is that there is no absolute knowledge. No definition without context. Thus, when choosing a context (metanarrative) that choice is by faith that it is the right one.

Also, no human being, no endeavor is without presupposition. Science is not without it either, because it is a human endeavor. Thus, it is just as fallible as every other endeavor.

eniparadoxgma
05-29-2010, 05:23 PM
Fwiw, my tone isn't meant to be anything other than conversational. I haven't seen anything from you to indicate otherwise as well. Therefore, I look forward to more discussion. I also have things to do but will be back when time permits.

:Cheers

Shawn
05-29-2010, 05:35 PM
[quote=Preacher]But that too is an argument which I take umbrage with (of course, on this subject, i'd probably take umbrage with all your arguments :lol: )

You only know about the narrative of evolution by scientists.

The narrative of evolution is written on the life forms that exist today. The reason evolution is currently accepted as a theory is it explains life on earth better than any other empirically. A scientist doesn't need another scientist to prove this for him, so I'm not sure I understand your point.


That is because that is the vessel which carries the narrative. Why should the vessel which carries the narrative of God be any different? Furthermore, it is not "one" church which a person comes to know the Christian Narrative, but the collective church. The Fathers, the creeds, the dogma, the confessions, the statements of faith, the books, the arguments, and finally and fully, the bible. Many of those things are in contradiction to other.. such as, a person holding to a confession rejects creeds.

Again, science/empiricism/postpositivism use observable phenomena as ascertained through the senses as a basis for knowledge. That is the vessel that carries the narrative of science.


Those who are biblicists (such as me) completely reject dogma.

I would appreciate clarification on this matter.


No, knowing and relating to God is a highly personal, intellectual, spiritual, emotional excercise. It incorporates the entire being, as does believing in evolution. Once again, its the base metanarrative that you put faith into, accept its presuppositions, and then us as the foundation for your reasoning and logic.

I really don't understand how or why you keep equating evolution and faith. Again, unless you are attempting to throw out a type of relativism that doesn't rely on observable phenomena as ascertained through the senses as a type of criteria, then it doesn't make sense to equate them. There is a reason that ninety-whatever percent of the scientific community believes in evolution as a working theory as opposed to creationism for example, as it has to do with empirical evidence.[/quote:2jmsx3gj]

I'm not sure how many scientists buy evolution. Many of us agree with some of the principles...ie survival of the fittest. But, I would think that very few buy evolution as a sound theory for the origin of life. But, I will agree that it's the best explanation that science has for us. That's very telling considering there are massive holes in the evolutionary theory.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 06:00 PM
Fwiw, my tone isn't meant to be anything other than conversational. I haven't seen anything from you to indicate otherwise as well. Therefore, I look forward to more discussion. I also have things to do but will be back when time permits.

:Cheers

Cool! I love these conversations as long as they are respectful.

http://emoticons.msn-beta.com/big/34.gif

Shawn
05-29-2010, 06:48 PM
Preacher...I want to say I believe being a pastor is one of the highest if not the highest calling. I truly respect the position even if I don't agree with their interpretation of scripture. I say this so you know what I am about to say isn't coming from a place of contempt for pastors or the church. But, I am a simple man. Alot of that was lost on me. You said alot without really answering any questions directly. Well other than predestination which I appreciate. So, I will start there. I am not a Biblical scholar but I do know my Bible. Within the last year I have been looking at the Hebrew and the Greek translations and have found my depth of knowledge has grown from the effort.

So, let me start with predestination. I am going to keep this real simple. If God is all knowing he knew before creation what it would become. God knows everything correct? God knows the future. At least that's what I have been taught. If you have scripture that says otherwise I would love to read it. Therefore, when he created us he knew what he was creating. Even if you believe in absolute free will...which I don't...God would know the twists and turns...the decisions we would make. He would know the evil he would create. If I were to find a cure to diabetes...but somehow I knew that knowledge would be used as a biological weapon and wipe out 30% of the world's population....wouldn't I be responsible for said evil? Absolutely. Why would we hold God to a lower standard of responsibility? I do not believe any of our actions surprise God. I believe he created us knowing what we would become and what we would do to each other. I believe God knew about the Holocaust before he created Adam. Thinking otherwise limits God's omniscience. I am not willing to make God smaller in order to understand those things which are difficult to understand. So, either God made a huge mistake (ie creating individuals that would cause such evil and then having to torment them in an eternal fire) or God created good and evil with purpose. In my limited understanding those are the only two reasonable scenerios. If God created a vessel for an evil purpose (which I believe he does) then why would he burn that creation for eternity in fire? Wow. That doesn't scream agape to me. Even in your scenerio burning people (who did evil and didn't believe in Jesus) for eternity in fire doesn't seem like justice. Temporal sin for temporal punishment seems more fitting. But, as other pastors have told me...you can't understand God. Rely not on your own understanding. That is very difficult for me to do. If I didn't rely on my own understanding...then I could easily have blind faith in a sacred cow.

I would still like to know your views on eternal punishment in a lake of fire and how you reconcil that with a God who loves agape.

It's much easier to buy the universal reconciliationists with their interpretation of scripture. Evil was created as a contrast to good...so that we might know the difference. Life being a spiritual training for the afterlife. Each person having their role in God's creation. The eventual reconciliation of all things unto Christ. That would make our temporal suffering make alot more sense. Who would be complaining in the afterlife?

Even though I tend to make things more complex than they have to be sometimes...I believe a couple things. I have faith in the ultimate goodness of God. The same God who has shown himself to me throughout my life. I have faith that it will all work out because of God's goodness. Many pastors think my understaning is warm and fuzzy and not based on scripture. But for me it's hard for me to believe because of human free will not even God can guarantee a good outcome.

Shawn
05-29-2010, 07:05 PM
That's a line I've never bought into. Faith is distinctively religious, not more generally psychological. There's a distinction. It's the difference between "believing in..." and "believing that..."

I firmly believe that my car is still where I parked it a few hours ago. When I find out it's not where I left it, I'm obviously furious, but does my worldview fall apart? Is it an ontological crisis? If the car was an '83 Jaguar XJ-S, then yes. Otherwise, no.

However, faith is not distinctly religion. Faith is nothing more, and nothing less, than the DECISION to accept a bounded set of principles by which your metanarrative begins.

All other "faith" is an offshoot of that. You have FAITH that your story is superior to all other stories. When you lose faith in that story, you choose another story. All the arguments of theology, "science" (hard or soft) etc. are simply supporting structures for the bounded set principles you accepted on faith.

There is a difference between faith based on empirical data and faith based on dogmas. For example, if you take ricardisimo's valid statement about believing your car is where you left it, that does take a kind of faith. You can't empirically prove that the car is there if you are not able to ascertain it through your senses in any way. However, most people don't believe that their car disappears when it is out of their sight.

They have a paradigm of thought based on scientific principles and physics that leads them to believe that a physical object stays where it is left unless it is acted upon.

I'm fairly certain this is a distinctly different usage of the word "faith".

I absolutely agree with your logic here. The problem is you are basing your thoughts (we all are here) on very limited knowledge. Many years ago scientists based their theories on scientific "knowledge" as well...ie the world being flat. So, what I got from Preachers post was...we all have faith in something. Your faith is in our scientific knowledge. Even though you might believe it to be held to a higher standard than "dogma"...it is still faith. Just in the last 10 years I have had to read and re-read on subjects in the medical sciences that have changed. Our knowledge is constantly growing and theories are constantly changing. So, science is not static nor is it absolute. While you believe it is best to base your world view on faith in science and paradigms of philosophical reasoning...not everyone would agree. I think that's what Preacher was trying to say. I could be wrong.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 07:15 PM
That's a line I've never bought into. Faith is distinctively religious, not more generally psychological. There's a distinction. It's the difference between "believing in..." and "believing that..."

I firmly believe that my car is still where I parked it a few hours ago. When I find out it's not where I left it, I'm obviously furious, but does my worldview fall apart? Is it an ontological crisis? If the car was an '83 Jaguar XJ-S, then yes. Otherwise, no.

However, faith is not distinctly religion. Faith is nothing more, and nothing less, than the DECISION to accept a bounded set of principles by which your metanarrative begins.

All other "faith" is an offshoot of that. You have FAITH that your story is superior to all other stories. When you lose faith in that story, you choose another story. All the arguments of theology, "science" (hard or soft) etc. are simply supporting structures for the bounded set principles you accepted on faith.

There is a difference between faith based on empirical data and faith based on dogmas. For example, if you take ricardisimo's valid statement about believing your car is where you left it, that does take a kind of faith. You can't empirically prove that the car is there if you are not able to ascertain it through your senses in any way. However, most people don't believe that their car disappears when it is out of their sight.

They have a paradigm of thought based on scientific principles and physics that leads them to believe that a physical object stays where it is left unless it is acted upon.

I'm fairly certain this is a distinctly different usage of the word "faith".

I absolutely agree with your logic here. The problem is you are basing your thoughts (we all are here) on very limited knowledge. Many years ago scientists based their theories on scientific "knowledge" as well...ie the world being flat. So, what I got from Preachers post was...we all have faith in something. Your faith is in our scientific knowledge. Even though you might believe it to be held to a higher standard than "dogma"...it is still faith. Just in the last 10 years I have had to read and re-read on subjects in the medical sciences that have changed. Our knowledge is constantly growing and theories are constantly changing. So, science is not static nor is it absolute. While you believe it is best to base your world view on faith in science and paradigms of philosophical reasoning...not everyone would agree. I think that's what Preacher was trying to say. I could be wrong.

The sign of a true intellectual is that he or she can take the idiocy I wrote and actually make it sound normal!

Seriously, that is about 70-80% on target, maybe a bit more. I am taking aim at the philosphical underpinnings of science. Observation is always interpreted. IT is a philsophical body of assumptions that creates and molds those interpretations. Thus, it is IMPOSSIBLE to truly be "empirical" about research. It is always fraught with interpretation and assumptive baggage.

The exact same thing is true with biblical interpretation.

---------------and I'll get to your other question probably tomorrow evening. Excellent questions. I don't promise to have THE answer. But I know how I work through it. We'll probably have to start at the foundations, because I don't accept the western logical reasoning used to discuss predestination.

SO, have you heard of narrative philosophy? Here is one guy talking about it. It'l help with the foundation that I come to this discussion with as far as logical systems are concerned.

BTW, I do disagree with the link a bit. I think narrative is foundational, and cannot be substituted. Essay and theory are only found within the narrative. http://matthewgallion.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/narrative-philosophy-or-a-philosophy-of-narrative/

Shawn
05-29-2010, 07:22 PM
Preacher said...THe problem I have with your argument, is that you are assuming your foundational narrative as the correct foundational narrative without any thought as to why it should be. You have accepted the Cartesian founationalism, albeit changed into post-positivism. What makes that the correct one? What proof outside of the scientific narrative to you offer? Because within the scientific narrative, all that gets provided is circular arguments. Such as, evolution is true (thus, as said before, no one can even submit a peer review paper to a journal saying anything else, regardless of how much experiementation, proof, or how well the arguements are). Therefore, when we find a discover, it must fit the scientific model of evolution. Then, a place is found for the discovery, and the discovery is then produced as proof of evolution. Well, was any other theories other than evolution even investigated during said discover and examination? No? Then of course they think it fits evolution. It has to, since it is only metanarrative allowed.

Being in a scientific field...I know this to be true. We have all heard about scientists/physicians through out history being shunned by the scientific/medical communities for their theories even when based on scientific study. But, to be intellectually fair those in clerical positions do the same thing to each other. Instead of quacks or idiots they are labeled heretics. If a pastor questions eternal torment by fire they are shunned. Therefore, many pastors try to rationalize this horrific outcome for man, a God who loves agape. It is written...therefore it is...don't question it. For me this is the greatest problem I have with current interpretation of scriptures. And while many pastors won't admit having a problem with it. I have to believe they do. How could they not?

Shawn
05-29-2010, 07:43 PM
The sign of a true intellectual is that he or she can take the idiocy I wrote and actually make it sound normal!

lol...certainly not idiocy. I spent half my time reading about the terms you and eni have been using. :lol: But, I think I was able to get the gist of it.

Seriously, that is about 70-80% on target, maybe a bit more. I am taking aim at the philosphical underpinnings of science. Observation is always interpreted. IT is a philsophical body of assumptions that creates and molds those interpretations. Thus, it is IMPOSSIBLE to truly be "empirical" about research. It is always fraught with interpretation and assumptive baggage.

As a man of faith and scientific reasoning, I would agree wholeheartedly with you.

The exact same thing is true with biblical interpretation.

---------------and I'll get to your other question probably tomorrow evening. Excellent questions. I don't promise to have THE answer. But I know how I work through it. We'll probably have to start at the foundations, because I don't accept the western logical reasoning used to discuss predestination.

I would greatly appreciate that. I am always looking for a deeper understanding of scripture and the interpretations by individual pastors.

SO, have you heard of narrative philosophy? Here is one guy talking about it. It'l help with the foundation that I come to this discussion with as far as logical systems are concerned.

Actually I haven't. I guess my one philosophy class in undergrad has left my knowledge wanting. :lol: I need to write Mount Vernon Naz and ask for a refund. :wink: But, I will certainly read that link.BTW, I do disagree with the link a bit. I think narrative is foundational, and cannot be substituted. Essay and theory are only found within the narrative. http://matthewgallion.wordpress.com/200 ... narrative/ (http://matthewgallion.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/narrative-philosophy-or-a-philosophy-of-narrative/)

Terrific discussion guys. I absolutely love this stuff. Who woulda thunk it? Steelers message board with this kind of indepth discussion?

Shawn
05-29-2010, 10:18 PM
Well written article. I really liked this portion...

Telling the story isn’t always enough. There are times that one must use theory to change ideology. If we can’t engage the theory, then our stories will be open-ended ammunition for whoever wants to use it (which, I agree, is the beautiful thing about using narrative). But occasionally, ideologies must be challenged, and to do that, theory must be engaged in discourse.

I wholeheartly agree with that statement. And it seems you get to engage in these conversations all the time with people of various faiths. I can say that was taboo in the Nazarene church. You believed what the pastor preached. Anything less was lacking of faith. When I brought up questions as a child...I was shamed for doing so. I was 33 yo before I got the courage up to ask the really tough questions and look for the answers. Shoot, I was afraid of going to hell for asking these questions...how dare I doubt in the biblical interpretations of my church?

My 7 yo daughter already has asked tough questions. Just the other day she asked me if God loved the devil. I said, "honey I don't know...some people think so and others don't". She then said, God wants us to love everyone right? Even our enemies? I said yes...and she said then I think God loves the devil. From the mouths of children. Their understanding is so simple and pure.

Ultimately, I think we make this too complex (myself included) because we want to understand. But, for us to enter the kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. Children trust their parents (generally that is) and believe they will do good for them, protect them and that it will all work out. That's where I am. I don't understand. I want to...but I don't. But, God has shown himself to me, protected me from my own worst enemy (me) and displayed his love for me. So, I believe it will all work out and some day I will understand. Until then I will keep searching out...but will continue to trust Him.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 11:02 PM
Preacher said...THe problem I have with your argument, is that you are assuming your foundational narrative as the correct foundational narrative without any thought as to why it should be. You have accepted the Cartesian founationalism, albeit changed into post-positivism. What makes that the correct one? What proof outside of the scientific narrative to you offer? Because within the scientific narrative, all that gets provided is circular arguments. Such as, evolution is true (thus, as said before, no one can even submit a peer review paper to a journal saying anything else, regardless of how much experiementation, proof, or how well the arguements are). Therefore, when we find a discover, it must fit the scientific model of evolution. Then, a place is found for the discovery, and the discovery is then produced as proof of evolution. Well, was any other theories other than evolution even investigated during said discover and examination? No? Then of course they think it fits evolution. It has to, since it is only metanarrative allowed.

Being in a scientific field...I know this to be true. We have all heard about scientists/physicians through out history being shunned by the scientific/medical communities for their theories even when based on scientific study. But, to be intellectually fair those in clerical positions do the same thing to each other. Instead of quacks or idiots they are labeled heretics. If a pastor questions eternal torment by fire they are shunned. Therefore, many pastors try to rationalize this horrific outcome for man, a God who loves agape. It is written...therefore it is...don't question it. For me this is the greatest problem I have with current interpretation of scriptures. And while many pastors won't admit having a problem with it. I have to believe they do. How could they not?

At the local level, you are absolutely right, pastors do get shunned. However, at the level of the academy, some shun, others accept, and still others even encourage it. There is not the tight reign on "truth" that there is in science. Those who hold to a very conservative theology will reflect on, search through, quote, and interact with very liberal books, peer reviewed journals, etc. Now, it may be that it is done to refute it. However the very fact that it is being treated seriously shows that it is being given a place. That fact, I find completely absent in science. Those who hold to something other than evolution are not interacted with (at the scholarly level) with respect, but rather are simply sneered at as not enlightened.

Preacher
05-29-2010, 11:04 PM
Well written article. I really liked this portion...

Telling the story isn’t always enough. There are times that one must use theory to change ideology. If we can’t engage the theory, then our stories will be open-ended ammunition for whoever wants to use it (which, I agree, is the beautiful thing about using narrative). But occasionally, ideologies must be challenged, and to do that, theory must be engaged in discourse.

I wholeheartly agree with that statement. And it seems you get to engage in these conversations all the time with people of various faiths. I can say that was taboo in the Nazarene church. You believed what the pastor preached. Anything less was lacking of faith. When I brought up questions as a child...I was shamed for doing so. I was 33 yo before I got the courage up to ask the really tough questions and look for the answers. Shoot, I was afraid of going to hell for asking these questions...how dare I doubt in the biblical interpretations of my church?

My 7 yo daughter already has asked tough questions. Just the other day she asked me if God loved the devil. I said, "honey I don't know...some people think so and others don't". She then said, God wants us to love everyone right? Even our enemies? I said yes...and she said then I think God loves the devil. From the mouths of children. Their understanding is so simple and pure.

Ultimately, I think we make this too complex (myself included) because we want to understand. But, for us to enter the kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. Children trust their parents (generally that is) and believe they will do good for them, protect them and that it will all work out. That's where I am. I don't understand. I want to...but I don't. But, God has shown himself to me, protected me from my own worst enemy (me) and displayed his love for me. So, I believe it will all work out and some day I will understand. Until then I will keep searching out...but will continue to trust Him.

Is there ANY chance you live in the Bay Area of California? If so, I would LOVE to get together with you for coffee.

Shawn
05-30-2010, 01:03 AM
Preacher said...THe problem I have with your argument, is that you are assuming your foundational narrative as the correct foundational narrative without any thought as to why it should be. You have accepted the Cartesian founationalism, albeit changed into post-positivism. What makes that the correct one? What proof outside of the scientific narrative to you offer? Because within the scientific narrative, all that gets provided is circular arguments. Such as, evolution is true (thus, as said before, no one can even submit a peer review paper to a journal saying anything else, regardless of how much experiementation, proof, or how well the arguements are). Therefore, when we find a discover, it must fit the scientific model of evolution. Then, a place is found for the discovery, and the discovery is then produced as proof of evolution. Well, was any other theories other than evolution even investigated during said discover and examination? No? Then of course they think it fits evolution. It has to, since it is only metanarrative allowed.

Being in a scientific field...I know this to be true. We have all heard about scientists/physicians through out history being shunned by the scientific/medical communities for their theories even when based on scientific study. But, to be intellectually fair those in clerical positions do the same thing to each other. Instead of quacks or idiots they are labeled heretics. If a pastor questions eternal torment by fire they are shunned. Therefore, many pastors try to rationalize this horrific outcome for man, a God who loves agape. It is written...therefore it is...don't question it. For me this is the greatest problem I have with current interpretation of scriptures. And while many pastors won't admit having a problem with it. I have to believe they do. How could they not?

At the local level, you are absolutely right, pastors do get shunned. However, at the level of the academy, some shun, others accept, and still others even encourage it. There is not the tight reign on "truth" that there is in science. Those who hold to a very conservative theology will reflect on, search through, quote, and interact with very liberal books, peer reviewed journals, etc. Now, it may be that it is done to refute it. However the very fact that it is being treated seriously shows that it is being given a place. That fact, I find completely absent in science. Those who hold to something other than evolution are not interacted with (at the scholarly level) with respect, but rather are simply sneered at as not enlightened.

I think there is alot of truth to that. It's actually the opposite with science. I mean that at the local level scientists are given more free reign to openly express ideas in discussion without being shunned. At the level of academia the mere mention of intelliegnt design carries risks of losing ability to tenure. For me, intelligent design bridges the large gap between young earth creationism and evolution. Both of these theories have huge holes and take great leaps of faith to believe. ID says what can't be explained statistically through evolution is support for a designer. Science is unable to do this because it has to assume there is no God. Science is limited by it's own "dogma". It can't take into account what we can't observe, or measure.

Shawn
05-30-2010, 01:05 AM
Well written article. I really liked this portion...

Telling the story isn’t always enough. There are times that one must use theory to change ideology. If we can’t engage the theory, then our stories will be open-ended ammunition for whoever wants to use it (which, I agree, is the beautiful thing about using narrative). But occasionally, ideologies must be challenged, and to do that, theory must be engaged in discourse.

I wholeheartly agree with that statement. And it seems you get to engage in these conversations all the time with people of various faiths. I can say that was taboo in the Nazarene church. You believed what the pastor preached. Anything less was lacking of faith. When I brought up questions as a child...I was shamed for doing so. I was 33 yo before I got the courage up to ask the really tough questions and look for the answers. Shoot, I was afraid of going to hell for asking these questions...how dare I doubt in the biblical interpretations of my church?

My 7 yo daughter already has asked tough questions. Just the other day she asked me if God loved the devil. I said, "honey I don't know...some people think so and others don't". She then said, God wants us to love everyone right? Even our enemies? I said yes...and she said then I think God loves the devil. From the mouths of children. Their understanding is so simple and pure.

Ultimately, I think we make this too complex (myself included) because we want to understand. But, for us to enter the kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. Children trust their parents (generally that is) and believe they will do good for them, protect them and that it will all work out. That's where I am. I don't understand. I want to...but I don't. But, God has shown himself to me, protected me from my own worst enemy (me) and displayed his love for me. So, I believe it will all work out and some day I will understand. Until then I will keep searching out...but will continue to trust Him.

Is there ANY chance you live in the Bay Area of California? If so, I would LOVE to get together with you for coffee.

I would enjoy that. Unfortunately, I live in Kentucky.

Preacher
05-30-2010, 02:24 AM
Well written article. I really liked this portion...

Telling the story isn’t always enough. There are times that one must use theory to change ideology. If we can’t engage the theory, then our stories will be open-ended ammunition for whoever wants to use it (which, I agree, is the beautiful thing about using narrative). But occasionally, ideologies must be challenged, and to do that, theory must be engaged in discourse.

I wholeheartly agree with that statement. And it seems you get to engage in these conversations all the time with people of various faiths. I can say that was taboo in the Nazarene church. You believed what the pastor preached. Anything less was lacking of faith. When I brought up questions as a child...I was shamed for doing so. I was 33 yo before I got the courage up to ask the really tough questions and look for the answers. Shoot, I was afraid of going to hell for asking these questions...how dare I doubt in the biblical interpretations of my church?

My 7 yo daughter already has asked tough questions. Just the other day she asked me if God loved the devil. I said, "honey I don't know...some people think so and others don't". She then said, God wants us to love everyone right? Even our enemies? I said yes...and she said then I think God loves the devil. From the mouths of children. Their understanding is so simple and pure.

Ultimately, I think we make this too complex (myself included) because we want to understand. But, for us to enter the kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. Children trust their parents (generally that is) and believe they will do good for them, protect them and that it will all work out. That's where I am. I don't understand. I want to...but I don't. But, God has shown himself to me, protected me from my own worst enemy (me) and displayed his love for me. So, I believe it will all work out and some day I will understand. Until then I will keep searching out...but will continue to trust Him.

Is there ANY chance you live in the Bay Area of California? If so, I would LOVE to get together with you for coffee.

I would enjoy that. Unfortunately, I live in Kentucky.

Oh man, I lived in Kentucky for four years. Louisville and then LaGrange.

ricardisimo
05-30-2010, 02:31 AM
I just want to say: Eni... I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


The problem is you are basing your thoughts (we all are here) on very limited knowledge.
That's not a problem, it's the human condition. It only becomes a problem juxtaposed with an All-Knowing, which of course doesn't exist.

Many years ago scientists based their theories on scientific "knowledge" as well...ie the world being flat.
They did? That's an odd interpretation of scientific history. I thought it was understood we were discussing Cartesian- and Copernican-model science here. While the spirit of scientific inquiry certainly spans human history, I'm sure that I am not alone in questioning the legitimacy of propping up nominal scientists from history who were ultimately beholden to their Church or some other dogma.

So, what I got from Preachers post was...we all have faith in something. Your faith is in our scientific knowledge. Even though you might believe it to be held to a higher standard than "dogma"...it is still faith. Just in the last 10 years I have had to read and re-read on subjects in the medical sciences that have changed. Our knowledge is constantly growing and theories are constantly changing. So, science is not static nor is it absolute. While you believe it is best to base your world view on faith in science and paradigms of philosophical reasoning...not everyone would agree. I think that's what Preacher was trying to say. I could be wrong.
I don't know if this is your view, or your interpretation of Preacher, but I would disagree that we all have faith. Perhaps the irony here is that I might have more respect for the word "faith" than Preacher and others do. I think Nietzsche was fairly near the mark in his definition of faith: "There is something at which it is absolutely forbidden henceforth to laugh." I take not laughing at it to mean, ultimately, not doubting and not asking too many (or any) questions about "it".

Do we believe things on insufficient evidence, or even on no evidence at all? Yeah, just look at my parked car example again. But that's not faith, and my entire world doesn't shift twenty-seven degrees to the right when I realize my car is not where I left it. If you and Preacher are claiming that this is indeed faith, then my work here is done... there is no longer any need for me to bother critiquing religion.

Science, indeed, is not static, which is it's beauty. That a particular scientific theory changes over the decades or centuries strengthens - not weakens - the scientific method.

The same cannot be said about religion. That religious principles - eternal truths purportedly derived from an all-knowing God - also mutate over time weakens, rather than strengthens religion qua religion.

Mind you, I'm speaking in terms of a rational analysis of religion versus science. Emotionally, it is a completely different story, one that is written every day by multimillionaire televangelists and small-town ministers alike, as well as by their faithful flock. Being dead wrong does not deter faith, and I dare say has quite the opposite effect most often. That's just one reason why I say the world has been turned upside-down, and it's been that way for so long that no one even notices any longer.

Preacher
05-30-2010, 02:52 AM
Mind you, I'm speaking in terms of a rational analysis of religion versus science. Emotionally, it is a completely different story, one that is written every day by multimillionaire televangelists and small-town ministers alike, as well as by their faithful flock. Being dead wrong does not deter faith, and I dare say has quite the opposite effect most often. That's just one reason why I say the world has been turned upside-down, and it's been that way for so long that no one even notices any longer.

Yet, the core problem I have with your entire stand, is rational by what definition? Again, words ONLY have definition in context. Thus, the only way to understand rational, is to understand the context or metanarrative it is understood in.

You simply cannot have a "Rational Fact"

It is definitionally impossible.

ricardisimo
05-30-2010, 04:17 AM
Can you show me where I claimed a "rational fact"? Sophistry's not going to work here.

I doubt very much that the core of your problem with my stance is my definition of "rational". My stance, such as it is, holds that there is no rational argument that can be provided for religious faith, and that no rational arguments against it carry any weight whatsoever. They either confirm the reasonable doubts many of us have, or they are discarded immediately by believers.

The "reason" for this is simple: religion is ultimately an emotional response, not an intellectual one.

Shawn
05-30-2010, 09:51 AM
I just want to say: Eni... I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

[quote]The problem is you are basing your thoughts (we all are here) on very limited knowledge.
That's not a problem, it's the human condition. It only becomes a problem juxtaposed with an All-Knowing, which of course doesn't exist.

Many years ago scientists based their theories on scientific "knowledge" as well...ie the world being flat.
They did? That's an odd interpretation of scientific history. I thought it was understood we were discussing Cartesian- and Copernican-model science here. While the spirit of scientific inquiry certainly spans human history, I'm sure that I am not alone in questioning the legitimacy of propping up nominal scientists from history who were ultimately beholden to their Church or some other dogma.

So, what I got from Preachers post was...we all have faith in something. Your faith is in our scientific knowledge. Even though you might believe it to be held to a higher standard than "dogma"...it is still faith. Just in the last 10 years I have had to read and re-read on subjects in the medical sciences that have changed. Our knowledge is constantly growing and theories are constantly changing. So, science is not static nor is it absolute. While you believe it is best to base your world view on faith in science and paradigms of philosophical reasoning...not everyone would agree. I think that's what Preacher was trying to say. I could be wrong.
I don't know if this is your view, or your interpretation of Preacher, but I would disagree that we all have faith. Perhaps the irony here is that I might have more respect for the word "faith" than Preacher and others do. I think Nietzsche was fairly near the mark in his definition of faith: "There is something at which it is absolutely forbidden henceforth to laugh." I take not laughing at it to mean, ultimately, not doubting and not asking too many (or any) questions about "it".

Do we believe things on insufficient evidence, or even on no evidence at all? Yeah, just look at my parked car example again. But that's not faith, and my entire world doesn't shift twenty-seven degrees to the right when I realize my car is not where I left it. If you and Preacher are claiming that this is indeed faith, then my work here is done... there is no longer any need for me to bother critiquing religion.

Science, indeed, is not static, which is it's beauty. That a particular scientific theory changes over the decades or centuries strengthens - not weakens - the scientific method.

The same cannot be said about religion. That religious principles - eternal truths purportedly derived from an all-knowing God - also mutate over time weakens, rather than strengthens religion qua religion.

Mind you, I'm speaking in terms of a rational analysis of religion versus science. Emotionally, it is a completely different story, one that is written every day by multimillionaire televangelists and small-town ministers alike, as well as by their faithful flock. Being dead wrong does not deter faith, and I dare say has quite the opposite effect most often. That's just one reason why I say the world has been turned upside-down, and it's been that way for so long that no one even notices any longer.[/quote:2tt9rbot]

I think my point was lost on you. When speaking about science...I was speaking about it's obvious limitations. Why would it matter which model of science we are talking about? We are talking about the observable...the measureable nature of science. When speaking about evolution we know from a mathmatical view point that certain elements of evolution are mathmatical improbable and some are mathmatically impossible. Our ability to measure and observe has left us wth our best theory falling well short of explanation or truth. I really don't want this to turn into an evolution vs ID discussion I'm sure you have done your own research. So, you are aware of the limitations science has on explaning the origin of the universe.

Shawn
05-30-2010, 09:54 AM
Mind you, I'm speaking in terms of a rational analysis of religion versus science. Emotionally, it is a completely different story, one that is written every day by multimillionaire televangelists and small-town ministers alike, as well as by their faithful flock. Being dead wrong does not deter faith, and I dare say has quite the opposite effect most often. That's just one reason why I say the world has been turned upside-down, and it's been that way for so long that no one even notices any longer.

Yet, the core problem I have with your entire stand, is rational by what definition? Again, words ONLY have definition in context. Thus, the only way to understand rational, is to understand the context or metanarrative it is understood in.

You simply cannot have a "Rational Fact"

It is definitionally impossible.

If rational means believing in things that have been shown to be statistically impossible then yes that is rational. It's fairly easy to point out holes on each side. IMO each side is taking a leap of faith. Either you believe in a designer you can't see or you believe in a theory that is mathmatically impossible.

Shawn
05-30-2010, 03:36 PM
Well written article. I really liked this portion...

Telling the story isn’t always enough. There are times that one must use theory to change ideology. If we can’t engage the theory, then our stories will be open-ended ammunition for whoever wants to use it (which, I agree, is the beautiful thing about using narrative). But occasionally, ideologies must be challenged, and to do that, theory must be engaged in discourse.

I wholeheartly agree with that statement. And it seems you get to engage in these conversations all the time with people of various faiths. I can say that was taboo in the Nazarene church. You believed what the pastor preached. Anything less was lacking of faith. When I brought up questions as a child...I was shamed for doing so. I was 33 yo before I got the courage up to ask the really tough questions and look for the answers. Shoot, I was afraid of going to hell for asking these questions...how dare I doubt in the biblical interpretations of my church?

My 7 yo daughter already has asked tough questions. Just the other day she asked me if God loved the devil. I said, "honey I don't know...some people think so and others don't". She then said, God wants us to love everyone right? Even our enemies? I said yes...and she said then I think God loves the devil. From the mouths of children. Their understanding is so simple and pure.

Ultimately, I think we make this too complex (myself included) because we want to understand. But, for us to enter the kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. Children trust their parents (generally that is) and believe they will do good for them, protect them and that it will all work out. That's where I am. I don't understand. I want to...but I don't. But, God has shown himself to me, protected me from my own worst enemy (me) and displayed his love for me. So, I believe it will all work out and some day I will understand. Until then I will keep searching out...but will continue to trust Him.

Is there ANY chance you live in the Bay Area of California? If so, I would LOVE to get together with you for coffee.

I would enjoy that. Unfortunately, I live in Kentucky.

Oh man, I lived in Kentucky for four years. Louisville and then LaGrange.

Beautiful part of the country. I almost took a job in Carrolton which is close to LaGrange. I love central Ky.

Shawn
05-30-2010, 03:57 PM
Can you show me where I claimed a "rational fact"? Sophistry's not going to work here.

I doubt very much that the core of your problem with my stance is my definition of "rational". My stance, such as it is, holds that there is no rational argument that can be provided for religious faith, and that no rational arguments against it carry any weight whatsoever. They either confirm the reasonable doubts many of us have, or they are discarded immediately by believers.

The "reason" for this is simple: religion is ultimately an emotional response, not an intellectual one.

Non Christian scientists who believe in ID would disagree with you. The whole reason certain scientists have begun believing in the possibility of ID was the unexplanable nature from a statistical stand point of evolution. The best that science can offer us on the beginning of the universe is evolution? Forgive me, but I believe evolution to be an emotional response built upon shakey science and unexplainable phenomenon.

Preacher
05-30-2010, 08:49 PM
Can you show me where I claimed a "rational fact"? Sophistry's not going to work here.

I doubt very much that the core of your problem with my stance is my definition of "rational". My stance, such as it is, holds that there is no rational argument that can be provided for religious faith, and that no rational arguments against it carry any weight whatsoever. They either confirm the reasonable doubts many of us have, or they are discarded immediately by believers.

The "reason" for this is simple: religion is ultimately an emotional response, not an intellectual one.

You misunderstood me. My point is, there is no way to define rational, without context. Thus, what is rational in the science world, is rational in the science world. What is rational in the religious world, is rational in the religions world.

There is no definition without context. I am trying to understand how you are defining the word "rational". Because from everytime I see you use it, you are using it in the scientific metanarrative about Christianity. That is just as illogical as defining "magic" in Harry Potter by C.S. Lewis' definition of "magic" in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Again, There is no definition of a word... without context.

MeetJoeGreene
05-30-2010, 08:56 PM
This is one of my all time favorite books reconcilling the bible and science

http://www.amazon.com/Science-God-Conve ... 316&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Science-God-Convergence-Scientific-Biblical/dp/B003E7ESY0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275267316&sr=8-1)

Shawn
05-30-2010, 09:21 PM
This is one of my all time favorite books reconcilling the bible and science

http://www.amazon.com/Science-God-Conve ... 316&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Science-God-Convergence-Scientific-Biblical/dp/B003E7ESY0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275267316&sr=8-1)

I will have to read that one. Another terrific book was written by a statistician. Truly wonderful book with a similar theme.

http://www.amazon.com/Signature-God-Han ... 819&sr=1-3 (http://www.amazon.com/Signature-God-Handwriting/dp/B000F6Z53G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275268819&sr=1-3)

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 03:37 AM
I think my point was lost on you. When speaking about science...I was speaking about it's obvious limitations. Why would it matter which model of science we are talking about? We are talking about the observable...the measureable nature of science. When speaking about evolution we know from a mathmatical view point that certain elements of evolution are mathmatical improbable and some are mathmatically impossible. Our ability to measure and observe has left us wth our best theory falling well short of explanation or truth. I really don't want this to turn into an evolution vs ID discussion I'm sure you have done your own research. So, you are aware of the limitations science has on explaning the origin of the universe.
What are the obvious limitations of science?

I've never understood why evolution is anathema to religious feelings, nor what evolution has to do with the origins of the universe. Would you care to explain?

Why would the universe care how we understand it, or even whether we understand it at all?

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 03:47 AM
You misunderstood me. My point is, there is no way to define rational, without context. Thus, what is rational in the science world, is rational in the science world. What is rational in the religious world, is rational in the religions world.

There is no definition without context. I am trying to understand how you are defining the word "rational". Because from everytime I see you use it, you are using it in the scientific metanarrative about Christianity. That is just as illogical as defining "magic" in Harry Potter by C.S. Lewis' definition of "magic" in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Again, There is no definition of a word... without context.
Well, yes and no... "rational" is a somewhat more slippery word than "cat", and all words are defined in the context of language itself. That much I'll grant you.

As far as what I mean by rational, it's the standard idea derived from logic. Terms need to be agreed upon, and statements are made with those terms which one can call either true or false; and the arguments formed from true statements should be valid enough to make them sound... otherwise you go back and review everything again.

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 03:51 AM
Postpositivism marries the two even more, as it says that human knowledge is not built on absolutism, but rather on conjecture. Conjecture is what? It is saying that based on these things here, I BELIEVE this is the truth. Sure, we may use other words for it. But in essence, it is saying that you are staking a claim to a certain reality.

My point concerning science is that it recognizes objective reality. With this tool called science (and all of its branches) we have built a large monolith of knowledge that is not only verifiable by experiment in this shared physical reality that each life form participates in, but feeds and builds off of itself. To attempt to equate "faith" with something that has definite discernible verifiable results in objective reality is just not something I believe you can do.

Or, as I believe I asked previously, do you not believe there is such a thing (as objective reality)?


Yet, the game can be played just the opposite. Somehow somewhere, something just popped into existence and then became functional and then living and then somehow reproduced and then changed into something else.

Really? That's rational? Everyone can denigrate the other argument by making it sound stupid and irrational.

My apologies for the .jpeg then. I guess that any philosophy or religion could be made into a caricature. I just think that one is pretty funny.


THe problem I have with your argument, is that you are assuming your foundational narrative as the correct foundational narrative without any thought as to why it should be.

Actually I don't believe I have. I am attempting to assert that objective reality exists and that science can verify and replicate experiments in this objective reality. That's the "why it should be".


You have accepted the Cartesian founationalism, albeit changed into post-positivism. What makes that the correct one? What proof outside of the scientific narrative to you offer?

I'm actually not a fan of the Cartesian system. I'm more of an individualistic existentialist. I allow postpositivism to co-exist because it obtains results.


Because within the scientific narrative, all that gets provided is circular arguments. Such as, evolution is true (thus, as said before, no one can even submit a peer review paper to a journal saying anything else, regardless of how much experiementation, proof, or how well the arguements are). Therefore, when we find a discover, it must fit the scientific model of evolution. Then, a place is found for the discovery, and the discovery is then produced as proof of evolution. Well, was any other theories other than evolution even investigated during said discover and examination? No? Then of course they think it fits evolution. It has to, since it is only metanarrative allowed.

I would appreciate clarification on the matter of these "circular arguments". Maybe I just need more examples. What it seems like to me is that you perceive the scientific community as some kind of Nazi-like regime that doesn't allow for anything outside of their particular paradigm. I'm willing to accept that to an extent. Science is what science is. If it isn't verifiable in objective, physical reality than it doesn't belong in the realm of science.

I don't recall saying that I see postpositivism as my religious views. I see postpositivism as a way to describe the belief in the existence of the natural world as described and verified by experiments in a scientific way. Postpositivism isn't my entire worldview or paradigm. It just gets things done, and is, in my opinion a completely different animal than faith. It is based on something completely and utterly different.


It is the same as those who believe in faith healing. It becomes their only metanarrative. Then, when someone is "healed" and then gets sick again, they search the life of that person and low and behold, they find a place where that person had sinned or had lived outside of absolute faith. Thus, they "lost" their healing. That discovery thus reconfirms the metanarrative of FAITH healing.

There is thus no difference between how faith healing and evolution use circular logic argumentation to buttress their metanarrative.

Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy or tautology. This is used in religion quite a bit. I'm not sure why you're equating it with science. I see science more like 1. "Hey dude, did you notice this crap happen right in front of your face?" 2. "Sure did, man." I think I might be sounding like a broken record at this point. However, my point is that science and faith are very different in regards to their criteria for validity, and thus not that alike.


The problem with your statement therefore, is that while you say (well, discuss, to be fair) postpositivism, the final argument is a postivist foundationalist argument. Rational and logic are defined by some kind of foundational eternal truth- not by your own narrative. Yet, if postpositivism is true, then you can only conjecture what rational and logic would be. Yet, I don't even accept that. Why? Because nothing can be defined by itself. ONly context carries definition. Thus, only the context of your personal metanarrative carries the definition of rational and logic for you. The context of my metanarrative carries it for me.

I'm not sure what you're referring to with "foundationalist", unless the foundation = "There is a shared physical objective reality that all humans exist within". If you want to know what foundations I might adhere to you have to look more to the existentialist side of things:

"I exist"

"I exist in a spatial and temporal way"

"I exist in a spatial and temporal way with and within a shared physical reality with other lifeforms"

"This shared physical reality has particular attributes and tendencies"

"If we measure and take heed of these tendencies we will know more about the way things are in this shared physical reality and thus understand more about it...and perhaps even use it to our advantage for the betterment of our race"




The ONLY method of judging logic and rationality is internal consistency.

The problem, is the foundational narrative which the logic is placed. For those who are not Christians, they do not accept the foundational metanarrative of a God who created the earth, allowed sin to enter in, and then came and became the very sacrifice to restore the relationship with the creator by paying the penalty of sin. Be that as it may, just because the foundational narrative is not accepted doesn't mean the narrative itself is not internally consistent and thus not logical or rational.

But by who's reality? Your reality is determined by nothing more than your own metanarrative. Why does your metanarrative get to be the grand metanarrative? Your answer, from what I read in your post, is that it is based on a priori argumentation. I however, believe ther is ONLY a posteriori argumentation. Because the experience is the very metanarrative by which we judge rational thought and logic.

Empiricism begins with the a priori argument, that there is nothing out there which the senses cannot comprehend. That is a faith statement, not an empirical statement. It then works from that faith statement to comprehend the world through the senses. Why do I believe they get emotional about their faith in empiricism? Because empiricism says that man is the center of a knowable world. All knowledge is knowable by me. When that gets questioned, their centrality is removed. In short, many scientists are now guilty of doing the exact same thing to others that the Catholic church did to Copernicus. They are rejecting out of hand anything that may remove their centrality and conflict with their worldview.

Once again, that is why they NEVER allow dissenting opinion on issues such as evolution, empiricism, etc. in any kind of peer review journals. It is their dogma, and they stick to it very well. It is their faith.

I think I need to know about your stance on whether or not there is such a thing as objective reality (a shared physical, spatial and temporal realm that all lifeforms share).

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 03:56 AM
Good questions. I'll get to them later, as I have some things to do.

But to the basic point... My argument is that there is no absolute knowledge. No definition without context. Thus, when choosing a context (metanarrative) that choice is by faith that it is the right one.

Also, no human being, no endeavor is without presupposition. Science is not without it either, because it is a human endeavor. Thus, it is just as fallible as every other endeavor.


I never said there was such a thing as absolute knowledge. The scientific paradigm is unapologetically makeshift and always open to revision. As I previously stated, the context is objective reality. People don't just arbitrarily pick "the scientific paradigm" as opposed to "a religious paradigm".

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 04:03 AM
Non Christian scientists who believe in ID would disagree with you. The whole reason certain scientists have begun believing in the possibility of ID was the unexplanable nature from a statistical stand point of evolution. The best that science can offer us on the beginning of the universe is evolution? Forgive me, but I believe evolution to be an emotional response built upon shakey science and unexplainable phenomenon.
No, they believe in ID because they have an emotional need for it. And considering how recent the "improbability argument" is on the scene - relative to any and all opposition to non-biblical explanations of natural phenomena - it's safe to say that this supposed improbability had no effect on their beliefs.

What does evolution have to do with the origins of the universe? Nothing at all, and no biologist anywhere has ever claimed different.

Make no mistake: "Intelligent Design" is a legal construct, concocted by Christian lawyers in a last-ditch attempt to work Bible studies into public school curriculum. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any strengths nor weaknesses in Darwinian evolution.

Is the Periodic Table of elements likewise an "emotional response"?

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 04:04 AM
I'm not sure how many scientists buy evolution. Many of us agree with some of the principles...ie survival of the fittest. But, I would think that very few buy evolution as a sound theory for the origin of life. But, I will agree that it's the best explanation that science has for us. That's very telling considering there are massive holes in the evolutionary theory.

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution



Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, has issued official statements disputing this claim[2] and a petition supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.


The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others.[16][17][18][19][20] One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science".[21] An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution".[22] A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.[23][24]

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 04:08 AM
I absolutely agree with your logic here. The problem is you are basing your thoughts (we all are here) on very limited knowledge. Many years ago scientists based their theories on scientific "knowledge" as well...ie the world being flat. So, what I got from Preachers post was...we all have faith in something. Your faith is in our scientific knowledge. Even though you might believe it to be held to a higher standard than "dogma"...it is still faith. Just in the last 10 years I have had to read and re-read on subjects in the medical sciences that have changed. Our knowledge is constantly growing and theories are constantly changing. So, science is not static nor is it absolute. While you believe it is best to base your world view on faith in science and paradigms of philosophical reasoning...not everyone would agree. I think that's what Preacher was trying to say. I could be wrong.

I'm all good with saying we have limited knowledge. The fact that we are still learning things about objective reality attests to it.

Not sure where the "faith" comes in here. I'm saying that science produces results verifiable in objective reality.

As above, I never said science is static or absolute. It's a permeable, make-shift thing.

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 04:11 AM
I just want to say: Eni... I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

:Cheers :tt2 :tt2 :tt2


Science, indeed, is not static, which is it's beauty. That a particular scientific theory changes over the decades or centuries strengthens - not weakens - the scientific method.

The same cannot be said about religion. That religious principles - eternal truths purportedly derived from an all-knowing God - also mutate over time weakens, rather than strengthens religion qua religion.


Nicely put. :Beer

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 04:15 AM
If rational means believing in things that have been shown to be statistically impossible then yes that is rational. It's fairly easy to point out holes on each side. IMO each side is taking a leap of faith. Either you believe in a designer you can't see or you believe in a theory that is mathmatically impossible.

It's most definitely neither statistically nor mathematically impossible.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 04:20 AM
My apologies for the .jpeg then. I guess that any philosophy or religion could be made into a caricature. I just think that one is pretty funny.
How do you like this one:
http://www.uberg33k.com/albums/Funny/tmbar_Will_the_madness_never_end.gif

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 04:22 AM
I literally lol'd when I got to the Kansas part. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Shawn
05-31-2010, 10:19 AM
Non Christian scientists who believe in ID would disagree with you. The whole reason certain scientists have begun believing in the possibility of ID was the unexplanable nature from a statistical stand point of evolution. The best that science can offer us on the beginning of the universe is evolution? Forgive me, but I believe evolution to be an emotional response built upon shakey science and unexplainable phenomenon.
No, they believe in ID because they have an emotional need for it. And considering how recent the "improbability argument" is on the scene - relative to any and all opposition to non-biblical explanations of natural phenomena - it's safe to say that this supposed improbability had no effect on their beliefs.

What does evolution have to do with the origins of the universe? Nothing at all, and no biologist anywhere has ever claimed different.

Make no mistake: "Intelligent Design" is a legal construct, concocted by Christian lawyers in a last-ditch attempt to work Bible studies into public school curriculum. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any strengths nor weaknesses in Darwinian evolution.

Is the Periodic Table of elements likewise an "emotional response"?


I have no idea where you get your information. Many of those who believe in ID have no religious affiliation whatsoever. Why would a scientist without a faith want to consider the possibility of a creator...and open the door to eternal accountability for moral action?

Evolution is sciences best explanation for the origin of life. To nit pick my statements is not constructive. Evolution could not have happened from statistical probability. Hence the reason more and more scientists are willing to look at ID as a possible explanation. Holding onto theories which are statistically impossible is indeed an emotional response. There is nothing scientific about hanging onto old theories with massive holes and statistical impossibilities.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 10:38 AM
[quote=Shawn]

I'm not sure how many scientists buy evolution. Many of us agree with some of the principles...ie survival of the fittest. But, I would think that very few buy evolution as a sound theory for the origin of life. But, I will agree that it's the best explanation that science has for us. That's very telling considering there are massive holes in the evolutionary theory.

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution



Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, has issued official statements disputing this claim[2] and a petition supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.


The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others.[16][17][18][19][20] One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science".[21] An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution".[22] A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.[23][24][/quote:16max4au]

Despite glaring inconsistencies, massive holes, and statistical impossibilities. And those that believe in evolution can still be believers in ID. Young earth creationists are an extremely small minority...mainly because it makes no sense.

I don't claim to be Einstein but I am indeed well schooled in the sciences with multiple degrees in these fields. I can look at a body of evidence, do research and draw my own conclusions. I read arguments from both sides. If evolution occured, it could have only occured with either a designer or forces we have never observed. As written it doesn't make sense.

And those talking about an emotional need for religion need to consider something. For most of my life I was taught if I didn't walk, act, believe a certain way I would burn in eternal fire. I always fell short. If living scared to mess up is an emotional need then I must be a masochist. For those 33 years I believed like this it would have been MUCH easier to believe that after this life there is nothing. For those claiming an emotional and intellectual superiority to those of us weak minded psychosocially unstable individuals I want to say this. Do you think your stance is an emotional response? Do you think it was built and defended so
passionately for an emotional reason? Why did you look in the first place? Why seek out degrees of study in these fields if you didn't have your own questions? Is it possible, that your stance is just as emotional? That it is based on a desire for their not to be a God?

Shawn
05-31-2010, 10:53 AM
I think my point was lost on you. When speaking about science...I was speaking about it's obvious limitations. Why would it matter which model of science we are talking about? We are talking about the observable...the measureable nature of science. When speaking about evolution we know from a mathmatical view point that certain elements of evolution are mathmatical improbable and some are mathmatically impossible. Our ability to measure and observe has left us wth our best theory falling well short of explanation or truth. I really don't want this to turn into an evolution vs ID discussion I'm sure you have done your own research. So, you are aware of the limitations science has on explaning the origin of the universe.
What are the obvious limitations of science?

I've never understood why evolution is anathema to religious feelings, nor what evolution has to do with the origins of the universe. Would you care to explain?

Why would the universe care how we understand it, or even whether we understand it at all?

I'm not sure if you are trying to be purposely obtuse or if you really don't get what I'm trying to say. First, evolution doesn't explain the origin of the universe...it's supposed to explain the origin of life. We both know that. And who has ever said that evolution is detested by me or religion in general? If evolution occured, I believe it occured by the hand of the Creator. You believe it happened on it's own. I don't believe evolution and the Bible can't co-exist. I just take issue with those that believe evolution fully explains the origin of life despite it's obvious impossibilities based on our current scientific laws. I just want the scientific community to be honest as a whole and say...hey evolution is an imperfect theory. There are glaring holes...but its the best we got. Maybe there were scientific laws at work that no longer exist or we can't measure. But, we don't believe it to be the hand of God. That's fair. I take no issue with that intellectually honest stand. But, to preach evolution like it's gospel and undisputeable truth is far from scientific and I believe to be based on emotions.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 10:59 AM
If rational means believing in things that have been shown to be statistically impossible then yes that is rational. It's fairly easy to point out holes on each side. IMO each side is taking a leap of faith. Either you believe in a designer you can't see or you believe in a theory that is mathmatically impossible.

It's most definitely neither statistically nor mathematically impossible.

I didn't really want to have an ID vs evolution debate but it looks like this is where this post is going. If you want to start a post on ID vs Evolution I would love to participate. I will spell out the glaring holes and statistical impossibilities.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 11:09 AM
I absolutely agree with your logic here. The problem is you are basing your thoughts (we all are here) on very limited knowledge. Many years ago scientists based their theories on scientific "knowledge" as well...ie the world being flat. So, what I got from Preachers post was...we all have faith in something. Your faith is in our scientific knowledge. Even though you might believe it to be held to a higher standard than "dogma"...it is still faith. Just in the last 10 years I have had to read and re-read on subjects in the medical sciences that have changed. Our knowledge is constantly growing and theories are constantly changing. So, science is not static nor is it absolute. While you believe it is best to base your world view on faith in science and paradigms of philosophical reasoning...not everyone would agree. I think that's what Preacher was trying to say. I could be wrong.

I'm all good with saying we have limited knowledge. The fact that we are still learning things about objective reality attests to it.

Not sure where the "faith" comes in here. I'm saying that science produces results verifiable in objective reality.

As above, I never said science is static or absolute. It's a permeable, make-shift thing.

That is a fair statement. I have no issue with that stance. I have to respect those that only trust their eyes, ears, mind for truth. While I disagree I can fully appreciate the stance. My point is that these limitations of science open the door to other possibilities. While many of these are based on tradition, history, and culture...I believe it's well within my right to answer some of the questions science is incapable of answering with these things. I also trust my own human experience and (gasp) my emotions. While I could spell out the things that caused me to believe in a personal God. I don't care to have them openly slammed on a message board. These are very personal and I only share them with individuals in my inner circle of friends and family. I don't declare them to be proof or truth just personal experiences that I trust. I guess this is where I seperate from science and become a man of faith. I believe in what I can't see. I believe a personal God has revealed himself to me. And while that is nonsense to some of you...it's real to me. It has shaped my life...overall for the better. And while I doubt I ever stop looking for more truth. I will do so with a mind open to science and faith because I see value in both.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 12:23 PM
I just want to say: Eni... I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

:Cheers :tt2 :tt2 :tt2


Science, indeed, is not static, which is it's beauty. That a particular scientific theory changes over the decades or centuries strengthens - not weakens - the scientific method.

The same cannot be said about religion. That religious principles - eternal truths purportedly derived from an all-knowing God - also mutate over time weakens, rather than strengthens religion qua religion.


Nicely put. :Beer

I can't completely agree with that statement but many elements are true. Science certainly strengthens over time through scientific method. We know this in medicine from observable results...people improve faster, live longer and have better outcomes in general as we advance. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

As for religion...I would also agree. For me...the word religion is tainted. In my opinion religion doesn't mean relationship to your maker. It means man made rules, regulations and traditions relating to God. I have no desire to be involved with that sort of thing. Religion is static, unbending in the face of new information...hence it's weakness. My relationship with my maker is not static, is open to new information and I'm willing to change my entire world view of God based on better information than I have had in the past. My relationship to God has strengthened because of this process. So, while you might be right about religion...not every spiritual person is religious.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 02:36 PM
I have no idea where you get your information. Many of those who believe in ID have no religious affiliation whatsoever. Why would a scientist without a faith want to consider the possibility of a creator...and open the door to eternal accountability for moral action?

Evolution is sciences best explanation for the origin of life. To nit pick my statements is not constructive. Evolution could not have happened from statistical probability. Hence the reason more and more scientists are willing to look at ID as a possible explanation. Holding onto theories which are statistically impossible is indeed an emotional response. There is nothing scientific about hanging onto old theories with massive holes and statistical impossibilities.
At least twice you said that evolution was "science's best explanation for the origin of the universe." I ignored it the first time, but later assumed you were trying to make some point. I certainly did not look to offend.

I do think you should revisit your current statement. Do you really think that proponents of Intelligent Design have "no religious affiliation whatsoever"? Really? I'm asking seriously, because there is no reason to engage in this discussion if it is not in good faith (pun intended).

From Wikipedia, the very first paragraph in the ID article:

Intelligent design is the assertion that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, but one which avoids specifying the nature or identity of the designer. The idea was developed by a group of American creationists who reformulated their argument in the creation–evolution controversy to circumvent court rulings that prohibit the teaching of creationism as science. Intelligent design's leading proponents – all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank – believe the designer to be the God of Christianity.
Wikipedia is hardly the source of all knowledge, goodness and light in the universe, but when you make a statement like "I have no idea where you get your information," it seems intended to give the impression that I'm pulling stuff out of a hat, rather than expressing what is the common understand of the very recent - and very worldly - origins of ID.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 02:46 PM
I can't completely agree with that statement but many elements are true. Science certainly strengthens over time through scientific method. We know this in medicine from observable results...people improve faster, live longer and have better outcomes in general as we advance. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

As for religion...I would also agree. For me...the word religion is tainted. In my opinion religion doesn't mean relationship to your maker. It means man made rules, regulations and traditions relating to God. I have no desire to be involved with that sort of thing. Religion is static, unbending in the face of new information...hence it's weakness. My relationship with my maker is not static, is open to new information and I'm willing to change my entire world view of God based on better information than I have had in the past. My relationship to God has strengthened because of this process. So, while you might be right about religion...not every spiritual person is religious.
This would seem quite contradictory for most people, since one's relationship to anyone could be viewed as the "rules, regulations and traditions" relating to that person. One thing has been left out of this equation, however: emotional attachment, which is precisely my point. This is the only sustainable argument for faith; I believe God exists because emotionally I need for God to exist.

All I'm saying is that...
A) people of faith need to look within themselves to see why the require that faith;
B) they should see how the world looks once they realize that one's need for God creates Him... it inverts the universe completely.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 03:51 PM
I can't completely agree with that statement but many elements are true. Science certainly strengthens over time through scientific method. We know this in medicine from observable results...people improve faster, live longer and have better outcomes in general as we advance. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

As for religion...I would also agree. For me...the word religion is tainted. In my opinion religion doesn't mean relationship to your maker. It means man made rules, regulations and traditions relating to God. I have no desire to be involved with that sort of thing. Religion is static, unbending in the face of new information...hence it's weakness. My relationship with my maker is not static, is open to new information and I'm willing to change my entire world view of God based on better information than I have had in the past. My relationship to God has strengthened because of this process. So, while you might be right about religion...not every spiritual person is religious.
This would seem quite contradictory for most people, since one's relationship to anyone could be viewed as the "rules, regulations and traditions" relating to that person. One thing has been left out of this equation, however: emotional attachment, which is precisely my point. This is the only sustainable argument for faith; I believe God exists because emotionally I need for God to exist.

All I'm saying is that...
A) people of faith need to look within themselves to see why the require that faith;
B) they should see how the world looks once they realize that one's need for God creates Him... it inverts the universe completely.


You see in my previous post that I fully admit to using emotions in my decision making processes. Emotion certainly plays a role in my belief in God. Emotion is not all encompassing but it certainly plays a large role. You believe I need faith because I need to feel eternal, connected, taken care of etc. I would agree. I'm not sure where we disagree. But, the arugment is circular as I'm sure you know. The chicken before the egg argument. Did God place this need in me for relationship or did it come about because of my knowledge of my mortal fate? Was this a survival mechanism brought about by natural selection or was this a God given desire? The Bible says one thing and science says another.

If you find your methodology for finding truth superior...more power to you. But, I will suggest again the best science has to offer us falls well short of explanation. I am currently preparing my ID vs Evolution argument. I'm in the middle of a 24 hour shift and it's been busy so I might not finish for a day or two. But, removing faith from the equation I have a hard time believing evolution, darwinism or neo-darwinism happened without the hand of a creator or at least metaphysical forces we have never observed.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 03:57 PM
I have no idea where you get your information. Many of those who believe in ID have no religious affiliation whatsoever. Why would a scientist without a faith want to consider the possibility of a creator...and open the door to eternal accountability for moral action?

Evolution is sciences best explanation for the origin of life. To nit pick my statements is not constructive. Evolution could not have happened from statistical probability. Hence the reason more and more scientists are willing to look at ID as a possible explanation. Holding onto theories which are statistically impossible is indeed an emotional response. There is nothing scientific about hanging onto old theories with massive holes and statistical impossibilities.
At least twice you said that evolution was "science's best explanation for the origin of the universe." I ignored it the first time, but later assumed you were trying to make some point. I certainly did not look to offend.

I do think you should revisit your current statement. Do you really think that proponents of Intelligent Design have "no religious affiliation whatsoever"? Really? I'm asking seriously, because there is no reason to engage in this discussion if it is not in good faith (pun intended).

From Wikipedia, the very first paragraph in the ID article:

Intelligent design is the assertion that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, but one which avoids specifying the nature or identity of the designer. The idea was developed by a group of American creationists who reformulated their argument in the creation–evolution controversy to circumvent court rulings that prohibit the teaching of creationism as science. Intelligent design's leading proponents – all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank – believe the designer to be the God of Christianity.
Wikipedia is hardly the source of all knowledge, goodness and light in the universe, but when you make a statement like "I have no idea where you get your information," it seems intended to give the impression that I'm pulling stuff out of a hat, rather than expressing what is the common understand of the very recent - and very worldly - origins of ID.

I believe that many intelligent scientists can look at the body of evidence for evolution and come to the conclusion that it's either improbable or impossible. Open minded scientist have to at least be open to the idea of a creator. Why would they be so opposed to this notion? So, yes I am being intellectually honest when I make that statement. While I can't prove their inward motivation I have read from scientists who claim no religious affiliation and being open to ID. What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God? Unless science can come up with a legit explanation for the creation of life...us "wack jobs" will always be a thorn in the side of science.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 04:32 PM
I can't completely agree with that statement but many elements are true. Science certainly strengthens over time through scientific method. We know this in medicine from observable results...people improve faster, live longer and have better outcomes in general as we advance. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

As for religion...I would also agree. For me...the word religion is tainted. In my opinion religion doesn't mean relationship to your maker. It means man made rules, regulations and traditions relating to God. I have no desire to be involved with that sort of thing. Religion is static, unbending in the face of new information...hence it's weakness. My relationship with my maker is not static, is open to new information and I'm willing to change my entire world view of God based on better information than I have had in the past. My relationship to God has strengthened because of this process. So, while you might be right about religion...not every spiritual person is religious.
This would seem quite contradictory for most people, since one's relationship to anyone could be viewed as the "rules, regulations and traditions" relating to that person. One thing has been left out of this equation, however: emotional attachment, which is precisely my point. This is the only sustainable argument for faith; I believe God exists because emotionally I need for God to exist.

All I'm saying is that...
A) people of faith need to look within themselves to see why the require that faith;
B) they should see how the world looks once they realize that one's need for God creates Him... it inverts the universe completely.

You really don't get what I'm trying to say? It's hard to tell with you since I have never debated you before. Religion has a rigid belief system that can not change in the face of new evidence. As an individual, the rules I live by, my ideas about God and my relationship with him has changed significantly in just the last couple years. Neither my relationship or any rules that bind the relationship are static. As my understanding of the nature of God grows my relationship changes. Take a marriage for instance. This is a bad example but for the sake of time it's the only one I can think of right now. But, lets say one partner is unfaithful in the marriage. If the relationship stays intact the rules of that relationship are likely to change in the face of new information. Religion is like a wife who learns hear husband having an affair but refuses to believe it. She does nothing to change the relationship and holds on for dear life to the idea that her husband is faithful. I hope that better clarifies.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 04:36 PM
I believe that many intelligent scientists can look at the body of evidence for evolution and come to the conclusion that it's either improbable or impossible. Open minded scientist have to at least be open to the idea of a creator. Why would they be so opposed to this notion? So, yes I am being intellectually honest when I make that statement. While I can't prove their inward motivation I have read from scientists who claim no religious affiliation and being open to ID. What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God? Unless science can come up with a legit explanation for the creation of life...us "wack jobs" will always be a thorn in the side of science.
You appear regularly to imply consensus where there is none. Or rather, you completely overlook where overwhelming consensus truly lies: namely, in support of some version of evolutionary biology. If you believe in God, go ahead. Why would it matter to you if everyone agreed with you or no one?

Intellectually honest scientists would not discount out of hand the possibility of a god, nor would they discount the possibility of infinite gods, or only twenty-seven of them, or of unicorns, or that we are all just a computer science experiment on some high school kid's laptop in an über-universe, or that we came into existence a mere moment ago, provided with false memories of a fictional past. All of these are possible, but what reasons do we have to posit them as true? No reason at all, scientifically-speaking.

Pi is an irrational and transcendental number, which makes it just as difficult and painful to think about as a universe without a prime mover, and it's existence is clearly in contradiction to God's word in the Bible (http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Kings-7-23/). Why are you not going on about Pi?

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 04:55 PM
Evolution is sciences best explanation for the origin of life. To nit pick my statements is not constructive. Evolution could not have happened from statistical probability. Hence the reason more and more scientists are willing to look at ID as a possible explanation. Holding onto theories which are statistically impossible is indeed an emotional response. There is nothing scientific about hanging onto old theories with massive holes and statistical impossibilities.


Would you mind finding some sources to back your claim that evolution could not have happened from statistical probability? I'm also curious as to your claim concerning more and more scientists are willing to look at ID as a possible explanation.

What you and Preacher both seem to think is that the scientific community is holding onto evolution despite a large body of evidence to the contrary. I would appreciate some sort of evidence of this, as I'm not familiar with it.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 05:02 PM
You really don't get what I'm trying to say? It's hard to tell with you since I have never debated you before. Religion has a rigid belief system that can not change in the face of new evidence. As an individual, the rules I live by, my ideas about God and my relationship with him has changed significantly in just the last couple years. Neither my relationship or any rules that bind the relationship are static. As my understanding of the nature of God grows my relationship changes. Take a marriage for instance. This is a bad example but for the sake of time it's the only one I can think of right now. But, lets say one partner is unfaithful in the marriage. If the relationship stays intact the rules of that relationship are likely to change in the face of new information. Religion is like a wife who learns hear husband having an affair but refuses to believe it. She does nothing to change the relationship and holds on for dear life to the idea that her husband is faithful. I hope that better clarifies.
This is probably a much better analogy than you intended. There is all sorts of denial, self-delusion and truly unhealthy behavior that goes on in dysfunctional relationships. This is one of them.

The relationship of people of faith to a God that has clearly abandoned them is comparable to infidelity, or maybe even to battered spouses who cannot conceive of ever leaving the batterer. Few people have suffered in the Christian Church more than women, and yet you will find the most devout believers are always women.

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 05:06 PM
[quote=Shawn]

I'm not sure how many scientists buy evolution. Many of us agree with some of the principles...ie survival of the fittest. But, I would think that very few buy evolution as a sound theory for the origin of life. But, I will agree that it's the best explanation that science has for us. That's very telling considering there are massive holes in the evolutionary theory.

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution



Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, has issued official statements disputing this claim[2] and a petition supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.


The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others.[16][17][18][19][20] One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science".[21] An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution".[22] A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.[23][24]

Despite glaring inconsistencies, massive holes, and statistical impossibilities. And those that believe in evolution can still be believers in ID. Young earth creationists are an extremely small minority...mainly because it makes no sense.

I don't claim to be Einstein but I am indeed well schooled in the sciences with multiple degrees in these fields. I can look at a body of evidence, do research and draw my own conclusions. I read arguments from both sides. If evolution occured, it could have only occured with either a designer or forces we have never observed. As written it doesn't make sense.[/quote:18o4pfc5]

I'm not sure what exactly is going on here. Are you saying both that 1. Evolution is the best answer science can give us at the moment and 2. It's full of glaring inconsistencies, massive holes, and statistical impossibilities?

I'm having a hard time understanding that. For what reason would the scientific community continue to promote evolution if it contradicts its own best evidence in the form of inconsistencies and impossibilities? Again, it seems as if you and Preacher are both stating that there is some kind of agenda being put forth by the scientific community and I'm curious as to what it is and what it could be for.

Also, I wish I could find the article, but I remember reading about an experiment where on a much much smaller scale scientists attempted to reproduce the conditions of the earth around the time of the beginning of "life" and were able to replicate the beginning of simple-celled organisms. Since I have no idea where I read this we can just throw it out if you'd like. I will try to look around for it though.


And those talking about an emotional need for religion need to consider something. For most of my life I was taught if I didn't walk, act, believe a certain way I would burn in eternal fire. I always fell short. If living scared to mess up is an emotional need then I must be a masochist. For those 33 years I believed like this it would have been MUCH easier to believe that after this life there is nothing. For those claiming an emotional and intellectual superiority to those of us weak minded psychosocially unstable individuals I want to say this. Do you think your stance is an emotional response? Do you think it was built and defended so
passionately for an emotional reason? Why did you look in the first place? Why seek out degrees of study in these fields if you didn't have your own questions? Is it possible, that your stance is just as emotional? That it is based on a desire for their not to be a God?

I'm not sure who you're referring to here. I do believe that fear of death, fear of the unknown, the need to have a Big Brother sort of being out there to watch over you and make things right when life doesn't seem to, etc do have a lot to do with the origin of religion and the reasons people have for believing in religion.

I won't say that there is no emotion in my philosophical meanderings or anything. However, I was merely framing things to suit what I'd like things to be it would be a lot different than how I actually believe things to be.

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 05:09 PM
I think my point was lost on you. When speaking about science...I was speaking about it's obvious limitations. Why would it matter which model of science we are talking about? We are talking about the observable...the measureable nature of science. When speaking about evolution we know from a mathmatical view point that certain elements of evolution are mathmatical improbable and some are mathmatically impossible. Our ability to measure and observe has left us wth our best theory falling well short of explanation or truth. I really don't want this to turn into an evolution vs ID discussion I'm sure you have done your own research. So, you are aware of the limitations science has on explaning the origin of the universe.
What are the obvious limitations of science?

I've never understood why evolution is anathema to religious feelings, nor what evolution has to do with the origins of the universe. Would you care to explain?

Why would the universe care how we understand it, or even whether we understand it at all?

I'm not sure if you are trying to be purposely obtuse or if you really don't get what I'm trying to say. First, evolution doesn't explain the origin of the universe...it's supposed to explain the origin of life. We both know that. And who has ever said that evolution is detested by me or religion in general? If evolution occured, I believe it occured by the hand of the Creator. You believe it happened on it's own. I don't believe evolution and the Bible can't co-exist. I just take issue with those that believe evolution fully explains the origin of life despite it's obvious impossibilities based on our current scientific laws. I just want the scientific community to be honest as a whole and say...hey evolution is an imperfect theory. There are glaring holes...but its the best we got. Maybe there were scientific laws at work that no longer exist or we can't measure. But, we don't believe it to be the hand of God. That's fair. I take no issue with that intellectually honest stand. But, to preach evolution like it's gospel and undisputeable truth is far from scientific and I believe to be based on emotions.

I'm not sure who it is you're referring to. I, for one, don't think evolution is the FINAL answer to any and all things concerning anything. I think evolution is the best working theory we have atm. I also think all scientific "laws" are the same way. There's always a chance that new evidence will change things.

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 05:09 PM
If rational means believing in things that have been shown to be statistically impossible then yes that is rational. It's fairly easy to point out holes on each side. IMO each side is taking a leap of faith. Either you believe in a designer you can't see or you believe in a theory that is mathmatically impossible.

It's most definitely neither statistically nor mathematically impossible.

I didn't really want to have an ID vs evolution debate but it looks like this is where this post is going. If you want to start a post on ID vs Evolution I would love to participate. I will spell out the glaring holes and statistical impossibilities.


Hell, we might as well do it here. Let's make this thread 100 pages. :tt2

Shawn
05-31-2010, 05:10 PM
You appear regularly to imply consensus where there is none. Or rather, you completely overlook where overwhelming consensus truly lies: namely, in support of some version of evolutionary biology. If you believe in God, go ahead. Why would it matter to you if everyone agreed with you or no one?

Consensus? Where did I imply that? I'm saying that there are reasonable scientists who believe in ID who claim no religious affiliations. Why is that a problem for you? For the record, I believe in a version of evolutionary biology. Gasp! I know...crazy eh? But, I'm more in line with Darwinism than Neo-Darwinism. I believe in natural selection. I just don't believe mutations guided by the seive of natural selection can produce complex life. I will go into my reasoning and welcome a great debate on that subject as well.

And I don't need everyone to agree with me. I'm not sure why you imply that. I know I'm in the minority of scientific men who believe in ID. I'm very comfortable with that. My only point is that I'm not the only one. It's not just 'religious crack pots" that believe in ID.

Intellectually honest scientists would not discount out of hand the possibility of a god, nor would they discount the possibility of infinite gods, or only twenty-seven of them, or of unicorns, or that we are all just a computer science experiment on some high school kid's laptop in an über-universe, or that we came into existence a mere moment ago, provided with false memories of a fictional past. All of these are possible, but what reasons do we have to posit them as true? No reason at all, scientifically-speaking.

Like I have said previously, the intricate machinery of life appears to have design. Is it easier to believe that is because of a designer or because of random mutations guided by natural selection? Looking at the body of evidence I came to my own conclusions. And unless unicorns happen to have the power to create life...I think I can effectively rule them out. :lol:

Pi is an irrational and transcendental number, which makes it just as difficult and painful to think about as a universe without a prime mover, and it's existence is clearly in contradiction to God's word in the Bible. Why are you not going on about Pi?

You will have to go into detail about your Pi statement.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 05:10 PM
If rational means believing in things that have been shown to be statistically impossible then yes that is rational. It's fairly easy to point out holes on each side. IMO each side is taking a leap of faith. Either you believe in a designer you can't see or you believe in a theory that is mathmatically impossible.

It's most definitely neither statistically nor mathematically impossible.

I didn't really want to have an ID vs evolution debate but it looks like this is where this post is going. If you want to start a post on ID vs Evolution I would love to participate. I will spell out the glaring holes and statistical impossibilities.


Hell, we might as well do it here. Let's make this thread 100 pages. :tt2

I must admit this thread is da bomb. :D

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 05:23 PM
Also, I wish I could find the article, but I remember reading about an experiment where on a much much smaller scale scientists attempted to reproduce the conditions of the earth around the time of the beginning of "life" and were able to replicate the beginning of simple-celled organisms. Since I have no idea where I read this we can just throw it out if you'd like. I will try to look around for it though.
I think I know to what experiments you are referring, and they certainly did not create life, single-celled or other wise, but they did generate in mere moments in some type of lightning chamber all sorts of amino acids, proteins and other organic compounds. There was also another experiment with freezing temperatures, where ammonia and cyanide were put together in a freezer and all kinds of miraculous reactions occurred. Google "Abiogenesis".

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 05:23 PM
I believe that many intelligent scientists can look at the body of evidence for evolution and come to the conclusion that it's either improbable or impossible. Open minded scientist have to at least be open to the idea of a creator. Why would they be so opposed to this notion? So, yes I am being intellectually honest when I make that statement. While I can't prove their inward motivation I have read from scientists who claim no religious affiliation and being open to ID. What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God? Unless science can come up with a legit explanation for the creation of life...us "wack jobs" will always be a thorn in the side of science.

No offense, but I don't understand why you keep stating that so many scientists find evolution improbable or impossible in the face of the numbers I earlier cited.

Open minded scientists can be open to any and all possibilities. That doesn't mean they lead them any credence until there are facts to support them. The vast majority of scientists find the same amount of evidence for intelligent design as they do for the existence of goblins. I'm honestly not trying to be rude, but that's a fact.

Scientists are opposed to any notion that doesn't have any verifiable evidence in objective reality.

Your question, "What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God?" really serves no purpose. The burden of proof is not on people that don't believe in God. It is impossible to prove a negative existential claim. I think "Russell's Teapot" deals with this problem the best:


If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

And no offense, but evolution vs ID is already over in the scientific community and educational institutions. I don't think much of anyone is feeling any thorns.

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 05:26 PM
Also, I wish I could find the article, but I remember reading about an experiment where on a much much smaller scale scientists attempted to reproduce the conditions of the earth around the time of the beginning of "life" and were able to replicate the beginning of simple-celled organisms. Since I have no idea where I read this we can just throw it out if you'd like. I will try to look around for it though.
I think I know to what experiments you are referring, and they certainly did not create life, single-celled or other wise, but they did generate in mere moments in some type of lightning chamber all sorts of amino acids, proteins and other organic compounds. There was also another experiment with freezing temperatures, where ammonia and cyanide were put together in a freezer and all kinds of miraculous reactions occurred. Google "Abiogenesis".

:o NOW I remember lol. It's been awhile. That's what I was referring to. They were able to reproduce the "building blocks of life" from inanimate matter. That itself says a lot to me.

'Preciate the assist. Would have been cool if they were making little Troy-like tasmanian devils in a petri dish though. :tt2

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 05:30 PM
Like I have said previously, the intricate machinery of life appears to have design. Is it easier to believe that is because of a designer or because of random mutations guided by natural selection? Looking at the body of evidence I came to my own conclusions. And unless unicorns happen to have the power to create life...I think I can effectively rule them out. :lol:
So, having been presented with no evidence that unicorns can create life, you can safely discount them from the equation?

So... why are we having this discussion?

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 05:31 PM
'Preciate the assist. Would have been cool if they were making little Troy-like tasmanian devils in a petri dish though. :tt2
You mean they're not? What's the point of all of this science if they can't replicate Troy?

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 05:36 PM
You will have to go into detail about your Pi statement.
In Kings1, 7:23 they describe King Solomon's jacuzzi, which is ten cubits in diameter and thirty cubits in circumference. That's one sweet, big-azz, babe-magnet jacuzzi, but it's also obviously impossible, mathematically speaking.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 05:45 PM
You will have to go into detail about your Pi statement.
In Kings1, 7:23 they describe King Solomon's jacuzzi, which is ten cubits in diameter and thirty cubits in circumference. That's one sweet, big-azz, babe-magnet jacuzzi, but it's also obviously impossible, mathematically speaking.

Since, I don't know what a cubit is...nor do I understand why it's a mathmatical impossibility you will have to spell this out for the intellectually challenged.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 05:46 PM
Like I have said previously, the intricate machinery of life appears to have design. Is it easier to believe that is because of a designer or because of random mutations guided by natural selection? Looking at the body of evidence I came to my own conclusions. And unless unicorns happen to have the power to create life...I think I can effectively rule them out. :lol:
So, having been presented with no evidence that unicorns can create life, you can safely discount them from the equation?

So... why are we having this discussion?

:lol:

Well in the book Wrinkle in Time...the unicorns were incapable of creating life. That is all the evidence I need. :D

Shawn
05-31-2010, 05:50 PM
I believe that many intelligent scientists can look at the body of evidence for evolution and come to the conclusion that it's either improbable or impossible. Open minded scientist have to at least be open to the idea of a creator. Why would they be so opposed to this notion? So, yes I am being intellectually honest when I make that statement. While I can't prove their inward motivation I have read from scientists who claim no religious affiliation and being open to ID. What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God? Unless science can come up with a legit explanation for the creation of life...us "wack jobs" will always be a thorn in the side of science.

No offense, but I don't understand why you keep stating that so many scientists find evolution improbable or impossible in the face of the numbers I earlier cited.

Open minded scientists can be open to any and all possibilities. That doesn't mean they lead them any credence until there are facts to support them. The vast majority of scientists find the same amount of evidence for intelligent design as they do for the existence of goblins. I'm honestly not trying to be rude, but that's a fact.

Scientists are opposed to any notion that doesn't have any verifiable evidence in objective reality.

Your question, "What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God?" really serves no purpose. The burden of proof is not on people that don't believe in God. It is impossible to prove a negative existential claim. I think "Russell's Teapot" deals with this problem the best:


If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

And no offense, but evolution vs ID is already over in the scientific community and educational institutions. I don't think much of anyone is feeling any thorns.


I said many...not so many or a great percentage of. Many is a relative term for starters. Second, did they include the ID guys? When was this stat taken? By what methodology? Where did they do their survey? Was the survey anon?

Lots of factors come into play when you start quoting stats.

And if the evolution vs ID debate is over why are we having it? Just state the evidence that proves evolution and disproves ID and we can stop having the conversation.

As for your teapot/goblin statement. I need to make sure I ridicule evolution in my ID vs Evolution debate. Because, for me...looking at the evidence it's laughable as well. I have no need to prove there is a designer even though I look at the body of his work everyday. I see complexity that can't be explained by our natural laws nor our scientific theories. That complexity combined with personal experience leads me to believe in a Creator...and for me and more importantly a personal God. I don't believe it's on the back of the believers to prove anything to nonbelievers. You either believe or you don't. I'm certainly not sending you to hell over it...nor am I knocking on your door to convert you.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 06:04 PM
And if the evolution vs ID debate is over why are we having it? Just state the evidence that proves evolution and disproves ID and we can stop having the conversation.
There is at least one reason to have the debate: IDers still want to insert religious studies into public school curriculum, or they want public funds for private religious schools. The hundreds of millions of dollars involved make it an important topic. Otherwise, we might as well be playing D&D.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 06:16 PM
Also, I wish I could find the article, but I remember reading about an experiment where on a much much smaller scale scientists attempted to reproduce the conditions of the earth around the time of the beginning of "life" and were able to replicate the beginning of simple-celled organisms. Since I have no idea where I read this we can just throw it out if you'd like. I will try to look around for it though.
I think I know to what experiments you are referring, and they certainly did not create life, single-celled or other wise, but they did generate in mere moments in some type of lightning chamber all sorts of amino acids, proteins and other organic compounds. There was also another experiment with freezing temperatures, where ammonia and cyanide were put together in a freezer and all kinds of miraculous reactions occurred. Google "Abiogenesis".

It's odd that people still quote the Miller-Urey experiment which was thoroughly disproven over and over again by the scientific community. The wikipedia reference of the 2008 re-evaluation was based on a faulty experiment based on a primitive knowledge of early earth atmosphere. They did their experiment in an oxygen deprived environment. We know now that early earth contained O2 and Co2. With the new knowledge of the early earths atmosphere not one scientist has been able to reproduce the Miller-Urey experiment.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 06:17 PM
And if the evolution vs ID debate is over why are we having it? Just state the evidence that proves evolution and disproves ID and we can stop having the conversation.
There is at least one reason to have the debate: IDers still want to insert religious studies into public school curriculum, or they want public funds for private religious schools. The hundreds of millions of dollars involved make it an important topic. Otherwise, we might as well be playing D&D.

Ahh you bring up a very important point. Funding. Do you ever think that effects scientific studies or interpretations of those studies? Please say no.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 06:52 PM
It's odd that people still quote the Miller-Urey experiment which was thoroughly disproven over and over again by the scientific community. The wikipedia reference of the 2008 re-evaluation was based on a faulty experiment based on a primitive knowledge of early earth atmosphere. They did their experiment in an oxygen deprived environment. We know now that early earth contained O2 and Co2. With the new knowledge of the early earths atmosphere not one scientist has been able to reproduce the Miller-Urey experiment.
Thoroughly disproved? Really?

Critics[who?] of the Miller–Urey hypothesis point out recent research that shows the presence of uranium in sediments dated to 3.7 Ga and indicates it was transported in solution by oxygenated water (otherwise it would have precipitated out).[23] These critics argue that this presence of oxygen precludes the formation of prebiotic molecules via a Miller–Urey-like scenario, attempting to invalidate the hypothesis of abiogenesis. However, the authors of the paper are arguing that this presence of oxygen merely evidences the existence of photosynthetic organisms 3.7 Ga ago (a date about 200 Ma earlier than previous estimates[24]) a conclusion which while pushing back the time frame in which Miller–Urey reactions and abiogenesis could potentially have occurred, would not preclude them. Though there is somewhat controversial evidence for very small (less than 0.1%) amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere almost as old as Earth's oldest rocks, the authors are not in any way arguing for the existence of an oxygen-rich atmosphere any earlier than previously thought, and they state: ". . . In fact most evidence suggests that oxygenic photosynthesis was present during time periods from which there is evidence for a non-oxygenic atmosphere".
I'm detecting the pattern in your thought, which is that if a scientific theory is amended in any way with new evidence and experimentation, it is subsequently useless. You do realize that's not how science works, right?

May I ask how old you are?

Shawn
05-31-2010, 06:55 PM
I can't believe what you guys have started. I think I'm writing a doctoral thesis here on ID and Evolution. I think I'm going to publish when I'm done with it. :lol:

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 06:58 PM
Since, I don't know what a cubit is...nor do I understand why it's a mathmatical impossibility you will have to spell this out for the intellectually challenged.
This is part of the reason I asked how old you are. You speak with authority regarding how Miller-Urey experiments have been thoroughly disproved, then you don't get that pi is 3.1415926soonandsoforth, and not 3.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 07:02 PM
Ahh you bring up a very important point. Funding. Do you ever think that effects scientific studies or interpretations of those studies? Please say no.
Umm... no. Is that what you want to hear?

Obviously, people go into fields that will sustain them, which is why O-Chem dominates (because of petro-dollars) chemistry, just like corporate law beats out public defense. What of it?

Shawn
05-31-2010, 07:05 PM
It's odd that people still quote the Miller-Urey experiment which was thoroughly disproven over and over again by the scientific community. The wikipedia reference of the 2008 re-evaluation was based on a faulty experiment based on a primitive knowledge of early earth atmosphere. They did their experiment in an oxygen deprived environment. We know now that early earth contained O2 and Co2. With the new knowledge of the early earths atmosphere not one scientist has been able to reproduce the Miller-Urey experiment.
Thoroughly disproved? Really?

Critics[who?] of the Miller–Urey hypothesis point out recent research that shows the presence of uranium in sediments dated to 3.7 Ga and indicates it was transported in solution by oxygenated water (otherwise it would have precipitated out).[23] These critics argue that this presence of oxygen precludes the formation of prebiotic molecules via a Miller–Urey-like scenario, attempting to invalidate the hypothesis of abiogenesis. However, the authors of the paper are arguing that this presence of oxygen merely evidences the existence of photosynthetic organisms 3.7 Ga ago (a date about 200 Ma earlier than previous estimates[24]) a conclusion which while pushing back the time frame in which Miller–Urey reactions and abiogenesis could potentially have occurred, would not preclude them. Though there is somewhat controversial evidence for very small (less than 0.1%) amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere almost as old as Earth's oldest rocks, the authors are not in any way arguing for the existence of an oxygen-rich atmosphere any earlier than previously thought, and they state: ". . . In fact most evidence suggests that oxygenic photosynthesis was present during time periods from which there is evidence for a non-oxygenic atmosphere".
I'm detecting the pattern in your thought, which is that if a scientific theory is amended in any way with new evidence and experimentation, it is subsequently useless. You do realize that's not how science works, right?

May I ask how old you are?

Why would you want to know how old I am? Why be condescending? Would it help you to know I am a 36 yo emergency room physician? Would that give me any credibility in your mind? I'm not a wet behind the ears young punk who has read a few creationist sites and formed an opinion. :roll:

Science useless? I have a BS in biology and a doctorate in medicine. What are you talking about? Science puts food on the table. I don't want to keep explaining myself so this is the last time. Science's ability to change is it's stregnth not it's weakness. But, it also introduces the fact that we don't know everything...and because it's changing our understanding in 100 years of the universe could be completely different than it is today. You base your opinions on what we know now. Which in a 100 years could be laughable. Thinking about how we practiced medicine just 100 years ago makes most physicians chuckle.

And in that little tid bit did they discuss ALL the other problems with the Miller-Urey experiment? Here...let me help you out.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v18/ ... enesis.asp (http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v18/i2/abiogenesis.asp)

Read through the science and get back with me.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 07:08 PM
Ahh you bring up a very important point. Funding. Do you ever think that effects scientific studies or interpretations of those studies? Please say no.
Umm... no. Is that what you want to hear?

Obviously, people go into fields that will sustain them, which is why O-Chem dominates (because of petro-dollars) chemistry, just like corporate law beats out public defense. What of it?

Do you agree or disagree that scientists have swayed interpretation of studies based on funding, self preservation, and bias? Are scientists saintly and unable to be swayed by these factors? That is my question. I hope that is more direct.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 07:14 PM
Since, I don't know what a cubit is...nor do I understand why it's a mathmatical impossibility you will have to spell this out for the intellectually challenged.
This is part of the reason I asked how old you are. You speak with authority regarding how Miller-Urey experiments have been thoroughly disproved, then you don't get that pi is 3.1415926soonandsoforth, and not 3.

I still have no idea what you are talking about. I speak with authority on the Miller-Urey experiment because I have come across this in my studies. I have studied both sides of that argument. The link I provided even though it's through a Christian site...it's very strong in it's science and agrees with most of what I have read.

As for the cubit...I know it's a unit of measurement. I didn't feel like looking up the conversion because I didn't know your point. And I do know that pi is 3.14...what of it?

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 07:18 PM
Do you agree or disagree that scientists have swayed interpretation of studies based on funding, self preservation, and bias? Are scientists saintly and unable to be swayed by these factors? That is my question. I hope that is more direct.
Scientists are as fallible as anyone else, which is why it is important to look at the scientific community as a whole, and particularly at work which is being presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This weeds out all of the garbage and most of the error.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 07:24 PM
Do you agree or disagree that scientists have swayed interpretation of studies based on funding, self preservation, and bias? Are scientists saintly and unable to be swayed by these factors? That is my question. I hope that is more direct.
Scientists are as fallible as anyone else, which is why it is important to look at the scientific community as a whole, and particularly at work which is being presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This weeds out all of the garbage and most of the error.

So what you are saying is that this "peer review" is immune to bias, funding conflicts etc. You sound like you work in a scientific field. If that is the case we both know you are not being intellectually honest here. If you don't you speak from ignorance.

I can give you MANY examples just from the medical field of significant bias, promotion of incorrect interpretation of data to support funding etc. I guess it's just us greedy physicians who are prone to this sort of nonsense.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 07:30 PM
I still have no idea what you are talking about. I speak with authority on the Miller-Urey experiment because I have come across this in my studies. I have studied both sides of that argument. The link I provided even though it's through a Christian site...it's very strong in it's science and agrees with most of what I have read.

As for the cubit...I know it's a unit of measurement. I didn't feel like looking up the conversion because I didn't know your point. And I do know that pi is 3.14...what of it?
Look, there is no reason to believe that God had any hand in the origins of life on Earth, rather than evolutionary biology - for which there is a strong evidentiary and theoretical foundation - or rather than pixie magic and unicorns, for which there is just as much evidence as Intelligent Design. I take it back... there is ONE reason to believe this: it says so in the Bible. But for the Bible, you would have zero reason to question the scientific consensus on evolution. You're lying if you claim otherwise.

Well, my point is that it also says in the Bible that Pi is 3. So why are you not questioning the closed-mindedness of contemporary geometers? What else but stubborn dogma could lead them to discount the possibility that Pi is 3? What is their obsession with insisting that Pi is 3.1415926soonandsoforth? Is it simple economics? Are they purposely propping up the 3.14... model because they are being paid to do so?

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 07:46 PM
So what you are saying is that this "peer review" is immune to bias, funding conflicts etc. You sound like you work in a scientific field. If that is the case we both know you are not being intellectually honest here. If you don't you speak from ignorance.

I can give you MANY examples just from the medical field of significant bias, promotion of incorrect interpretation of data to support funding etc. I guess it's just us greedy physicians who are prone to this sort of nonsense.
Let's look at one of the more obvious examples... That Big Tobacco was able to find any medical researchers at all willing to sell their scientific souls for a few bucks so as to prop up fictitious and lethal claims is both stunning and sobering, and speaks volumes about human nature.

However, the consensus of the broader medical community, as was found in peer-reviewed medical literature (JAMA, NEJM, etc.) was consistent and clear: tobacco kills. The science won out, despite everything.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 07:53 PM
I still have no idea what you are talking about. I speak with authority on the Miller-Urey experiment because I have come across this in my studies. I have studied both sides of that argument. The link I provided even though it's through a Christian site...it's very strong in it's science and agrees with most of what I have read.

As for the cubit...I know it's a unit of measurement. I didn't feel like looking up the conversion because I didn't know your point. And I do know that pi is 3.14...what of it?
Look, there is no reason to believe that God had any hand in the origins of life on Earth, rather than evolutionary biology - for which there is a strong evidentiary and theoretical foundation - or rather than pixie magic and unicorns, for which there is just as much evidence as Intelligent Design. I take it back... there is ONE reason to believe this: it says so in the Bible. But for the Bible, you would have zero reason to question the scientific consensus on evolution. You're lying if you claim otherwise.

Well, my point is that it also says in the Bible that Pi is 3. So why are you not questioning the closed-mindedness of contemporary geometers? What else but stubborn dogma could lead them to discount the possibility that Pi is 3? What is their obsession with insisting that Pi is 3.1415926soonandsoforth? Is it simple economics? Are they purposely propping up the 3.14... model because they are being paid to do so?


Ok...this has crossed the line from pleasant to unpleasant in my mind. When I start to feel irritated by a posters comparing my belief system to goblins, teapots and pixie dust I have to step out of the discussion. If you want to be civil great if not I'm done.

ricardisimo
05-31-2010, 08:15 PM
Ok...this has crossed the line from pleasant to unpleasant in my mind. When I start to feel irritated by a posters comparing my belief system to goblins, teapots and pixie dust I have to step out of the discussion. If you want to be civil great if not I'm done.
You have my sincerest apologies. At no point was my intent to offend you or be unpleasant. I was asking you these questions in earnest. Obviously I have no more or less affiliation to Christianity than I do to unicorns, so these question are therefore not offensive in my mind.

Take care.

Preacher
05-31-2010, 08:50 PM
Do you agree or disagree that scientists have swayed interpretation of studies based on funding, self preservation, and bias? Are scientists saintly and unable to be swayed by these factors? That is my question. I hope that is more direct.
Scientists are as fallible as anyone else, which is why it is important to look at the scientific community as a whole, and particularly at work which is being presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This weeds out all of the garbage and most of the error.

So what you are saying is that this "peer review" is immune to bias, funding conflicts etc. You sound like you work in a scientific field. If that is the case we both know you are not being intellectually honest here. If you don't you speak from ignorance.

I can give you MANY examples just from the medical field of significant bias, promotion of incorrect interpretation of data to support funding etc. I guess it's just us greedy physicians who are prone to this sort of nonsense.

Ahhh, now it is starting to make a lot of sense (not the greedy part- :lol: ) You're a doctor? Yeah, I REALLY wish we lived closer together. It makes sense to me partly, because I think of all scientists, the ones that have their Practical doctorates instead of pure research doctorates understand the difference between theory and reality, and that one is not the other. That is why many of us pastors like myself have a D.Min as well. It is the exact same thing, a practical doctorate for church ministry (though still considered a terminal degree and a research doctorate... just not the same as a Ph.D.--exactly teh same as your M.D. vs. Ph.D.). THe theory I am studying in a Ph.D. program simply does NOT always equate to life. The Theological room of the Academy is strewn about by theories that once it hit life, were destroyed-even though they looked beautiful in the theological labs.

Again, it is my opinion, that the SAME thing is true in science. What one can do in a lab, sometimes has no correlation to what happens in life. It shows a theoretical possibility.

eniparadoxgma
05-31-2010, 09:37 PM
I believe that many intelligent scientists can look at the body of evidence for evolution and come to the conclusion that it's either improbable or impossible. Open minded scientist have to at least be open to the idea of a creator. Why would they be so opposed to this notion? So, yes I am being intellectually honest when I make that statement. While I can't prove their inward motivation I have read from scientists who claim no religious affiliation and being open to ID. What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God? Unless science can come up with a legit explanation for the creation of life...us "wack jobs" will always be a thorn in the side of science.

No offense, but I don't understand why you keep stating that so many scientists find evolution improbable or impossible in the face of the numbers I earlier cited.

Open minded scientists can be open to any and all possibilities. That doesn't mean they lead them any credence until there are facts to support them. The vast majority of scientists find the same amount of evidence for intelligent design as they do for the existence of goblins. I'm honestly not trying to be rude, but that's a fact.

Scientists are opposed to any notion that doesn't have any verifiable evidence in objective reality.

Your question, "What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God?" really serves no purpose. The burden of proof is not on people that don't believe in God. It is impossible to prove a negative existential claim. I think "Russell's Teapot" deals with this problem the best:


If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

And no offense, but evolution vs ID is already over in the scientific community and educational institutions. I don't think much of anyone is feeling any thorns.


I said many...not so many or a great percentage of. Many is a relative term for starters. Second, did they include the ID guys? When was this stat taken? By what methodology? Where did they do their survey? Was the survey anon?

Lots of factors come into play when you start quoting stats.

And if the evolution vs ID debate is over why are we having it? Just state the evidence that proves evolution and disproves ID and we can stop having the conversation.

As for your teapot/goblin statement. I need to make sure I ridicule evolution in my ID vs Evolution debate. Because, for me...looking at the evidence it's laughable as well. I have no need to prove there is a designer even though I look at the body of his work everyday. I see complexity that can't be explained by our natural laws nor our scientific theories. That complexity combined with personal experience leads me to believe in a Creator...and for me and more importantly a personal God. I don't believe it's on the back of the believers to prove anything to nonbelievers. You either believe or you don't. I'm certainly not sending you to hell over it...nor am I knocking on your door to convert you.


I'm busy tonight but I wanted to say that "Russell's Teapot" is not meant to ridicule. It's meant in a serious, literal way. I'm not sure why you take issue with it. Einstein was quoted as saying of Russell during his trial in NY: "It's nice to see the stubbornness of a nonconformist widely acclaimed" (paraphrasing here but it's pretty close)

Shawn
05-31-2010, 10:32 PM
I believe that many intelligent scientists can look at the body of evidence for evolution and come to the conclusion that it's either improbable or impossible. Open minded scientist have to at least be open to the idea of a creator. Why would they be so opposed to this notion? So, yes I am being intellectually honest when I make that statement. While I can't prove their inward motivation I have read from scientists who claim no religious affiliation and being open to ID. What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God? Unless science can come up with a legit explanation for the creation of life...us "wack jobs" will always be a thorn in the side of science.

No offense, but I don't understand why you keep stating that so many scientists find evolution improbable or impossible in the face of the numbers I earlier cited.

Open minded scientists can be open to any and all possibilities. That doesn't mean they lead them any credence until there are facts to support them. The vast majority of scientists find the same amount of evidence for intelligent design as they do for the existence of goblins. I'm honestly not trying to be rude, but that's a fact.

Scientists are opposed to any notion that doesn't have any verifiable evidence in objective reality.

Your question, "What empirical evidence leads them to believe there absolutely 100% can't be a God?" really serves no purpose. The burden of proof is not on people that don't believe in God. It is impossible to prove a negative existential claim. I think "Russell's Teapot" deals with this problem the best:


If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

And no offense, but evolution vs ID is already over in the scientific community and educational institutions. I don't think much of anyone is feeling any thorns.


I said many...not so many or a great percentage of. Many is a relative term for starters. Second, did they include the ID guys? When was this stat taken? By what methodology? Where did they do their survey? Was the survey anon?

Lots of factors come into play when you start quoting stats.

And if the evolution vs ID debate is over why are we having it? Just state the evidence that proves evolution and disproves ID and we can stop having the conversation.

As for your teapot/goblin statement. I need to make sure I ridicule evolution in my ID vs Evolution debate. Because, for me...looking at the evidence it's laughable as well. I have no need to prove there is a designer even though I look at the body of his work everyday. I see complexity that can't be explained by our natural laws nor our scientific theories. That complexity combined with personal experience leads me to believe in a Creator...and for me and more importantly a personal God. I don't believe it's on the back of the believers to prove anything to nonbelievers. You either believe or you don't. I'm certainly not sending you to hell over it...nor am I knocking on your door to convert you.


I'm busy tonight but I wanted to say that "Russell's Teapot" is not meant to ridicule. It's meant in a serious, literal way. I'm not sure why you take issue with it. Einstein was quoted as saying of Russell during his trial in NY: "It's nice to see the stubbornness of a nonconformist widely acclaimed" (paraphrasing here but it's pretty close)

While I get your point...I don't believe it to be entirely relevant for various reasons. I'm absolutely spent tonight but I'll explain later.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 10:42 PM
Do you agree or disagree that scientists have swayed interpretation of studies based on funding, self preservation, and bias? Are scientists saintly and unable to be swayed by these factors? That is my question. I hope that is more direct.
Scientists are as fallible as anyone else, which is why it is important to look at the scientific community as a whole, and particularly at work which is being presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This weeds out all of the garbage and most of the error.

So what you are saying is that this "peer review" is immune to bias, funding conflicts etc. You sound like you work in a scientific field. If that is the case we both know you are not being intellectually honest here. If you don't you speak from ignorance.

I can give you MANY examples just from the medical field of significant bias, promotion of incorrect interpretation of data to support funding etc. I guess it's just us greedy physicians who are prone to this sort of nonsense.

Ahhh, now it is starting to make a lot of sense (not the greedy part- :lol: ) You're a doctor? Yeah, I REALLY wish we lived closer together. It makes sense to me partly, because I think of all scientists, the ones that have their Practical doctorates instead of pure research doctorates understand the difference between theory and reality, and that one is not the other. That is why many of us pastors like myself have a D.Min as well. It is the exact same thing, a practical doctorate for church ministry (though still considered a terminal degree and a research doctorate... just not the same as a Ph.D.--exactly teh same as your M.D. vs. Ph.D.). THe theory I am studying in a Ph.D. program simply does NOT always equate to life. The Theological room of the Academy is strewn about by theories that once it hit life, were destroyed-even though they looked beautiful in the theological labs.

Again, it is my opinion, that the SAME thing is true in science. What one can do in a lab, sometimes has no correlation to what happens in life. It shows a theoretical possibility.

Yes, I'm an emergency room physician, a man of faith and science. While the blending of the two has not always been easy I have found a nice balance. I have always gotten along better with pastors than research scientists. And I do know a few. :lol: As for your comment on theory and reality...I have to fully agree. About 7 years ago we had an intern in training who was freakish smart. Easily the smartest in our internship program. But, the guy couldn't put it together on the floor. He was eventually fired. Unfortunately, those things done on a chalk board and in a test tube do not always translate well to reality.

This thread is fascinating in that you have some guys who are obviously not slow on total opposite sides of this issue. It's funny how the brain works. They say my belief in God came about through natural selection...that the belief benefited the gene pool of my family. So, I guess that means I'm further along in the evolutionary process than someone who doesn't believe in God. :lol:

But hey, if you ever make it back to Ky...hit me up. I would love to have you over.

Preacher
05-31-2010, 11:12 PM
They say my belief in God came about through natural selection...that the belief benefited the gene pool of my family. So, I guess that means I'm further along in the evolutionary process than someone who doesn't believe in God. :lol:



I'll get to the rest of your quote later....... But THAT is absolutely HILARIOUS.

Shawn
05-31-2010, 11:49 PM
They say my belief in God came about through natural selection...that the belief benefited the gene pool of my family. So, I guess that means I'm further along in the evolutionary process than someone who doesn't believe in God. :lol:



I'll get to the rest of your quote later....... But THAT is absolutely HILARIOUS.

Once in a blue moon I get a joke right. :D

flippy
06-01-2010, 07:52 AM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.
The aspect that rarely if ever gets discussed is the emotional need for something like religion. We can argue until we are blue in the face, and what I take to be reason will never penetrate what others call faith. That faith is plugging some sort of hole, and it's not really for me to question that, especially if it's a deep wound.

That doesn't change the fact that believers need to be honest with themselves and ask: "Why do I believe this as opposed to that? What need is being filled? Is it being filled?" I think the last question is key... but what do I know? I'm just a lousy heathen.

I've been on both sides of this argument and can accept that neither side is logical.

Even as a man of faith, I find myself on your side of the equation more than I'd like to admit.

But I do acknowledge neither side of this argument is reasonable.

That's why I think we're all sorta trapped in the middle and faith is a mystery.

The other thing I know is we'd both like to have it no matter what side we're on in this discussion.

Because faith brings peace and joy.

There's a hole we all have and need filled.

flippy
06-01-2010, 08:02 AM
At the end of the day, the crux of the problem (difference of opinion) is faith isn't logical.

All we have are our experiences and our best guesses (intuition).

I'm sure none of us get this, truly.

And any time we think we start to understand, it only gets more complicated.
The aspect that rarely if ever gets discussed is the emotional need for something like religion. We can argue until we are blue in the face, and what I take to be reason will never penetrate what others call faith. That faith is plugging some sort of hole, and it's not really for me to question that, especially if it's a deep wound.

That doesn't change the fact that believers need to be honest with themselves and ask: "Why do I believe this as opposed to that? What need is being filled? Is it being filled?" I think the last question is key... but what do I know? I'm just a lousy heathen.

And yet, that is the crux of the problem. Logic and reason belong as much to the domain of faith as they do to science. Neither reason nor logic have to be tied to foundationalism and positivism in a rationalist setting. Most faiths, especially Christianity are logical and rational.

The problem, is the foundational narrative which the logic is placed. For those who are not Christians, they do not accept the foundational metanarrative of a God who created the earth, allowed sin to enter in, and then came and became the very sacrifice to restore the relationship with the creator by paying the penalty of sin. Be that as it may, just because the foundational narrative is not accepted doesn't mean the narrative itself is not internally consistent and thus not logical or rational.

I also challenge the notion that faith is an emotional response. Faith is the core foundation which an entire worldview is built upon, as is western rationalism and thus, they are opposed. That is why you see as many athiests getting emotionally wrapped up in the arguments as Christians. Because both are putting their core metanarrative on display.

I pretty much agree with this. You just use much bigger words and more clarity in thought.

Between you, eni, shawn, and ricardo, it's gonna take me all week trying to read/understand this thread. :D

flippy
06-01-2010, 08:51 AM
I'm only on page 6 right now, but here's some general questions/comments:

What do scientist seek? And why do they research? IMHO they are searching for something. They seek understanding. They want to know God. At some point, being a man of faith becomes more logical than being a man of philosophy/science who is on an infinite pursuit of that which is unattainable. The man of science and the man of faith are exactly alike. And the problem most people have with these discussions is they don't disagree with one another so much as they question themselves. At some level, seeking truth is a fun diversion to entertain us while we are here in this world. But we're all going to die in the end and we'll never find what we're looking for. Isn't it better just to accept the things we cannot understand and move on to more important work? Maybe this is why I'm less interested in theories over reality. There's real pain and suffering in this world. We're most likely here to help one another and should get on with that work. I find much more value in the question, what more can I be doing in this world? I truly believe this leads to a level of understanding that cannot be reached by our thinking. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's better to connect than to think. Thinking seems like the devil's idea to me sometimes. It deters us from spending time doing God's work.

flippy
06-01-2010, 09:22 AM
What do you think of scientific studies on prayer?

Duke had done some studies that showed people that were prayed for (without their knowledge) before heart surgery had better outcomes.

They did more studies that showed there was no correlation between prayer and healing.

Should this type of thing be funded?

On the one hand, the scientists think this is a waste of time and money. On the other hand, the religious think God is not to be tested.

Here's a perfect example of the intersection of science and religion.

The religious teaching would be to blindly accept prayer works without testing it.

And once the test shows there's no correlation between prayer and healing, the religious would argue God doesn't answer our prayers the way we want, but rather God cares and gives us what we need according to him and his all knowingness.

In a sense, it's impossible to discuss this issue between a man of faith and a man of science in a way that could possibly satisfy both sides.

Shawn
06-01-2010, 10:43 AM
I'm only on page 6 right now, but here's some general questions/comments:

What do scientist seek? And why do they research? IMHO they are searching for something. They seek understanding. They want to know God. At some point, being a man of faith becomes more logical than being a man of philosophy/science who is on an infinite pursuit of that which is unattainable. The man of science and the man of faith are exactly alike. And the problem most people have with these discussions is they don't disagree with one another so much as they question themselves. At some level, seeking truth is a fun diversion to entertain us while we are here in this world. But we're all going to die in the end and we'll never find what we're looking for. Isn't it better just to accept the things we cannot understand and move on to more important work? Maybe this is why I'm less interested in theories over reality. There's real pain and suffering in this world. We're most likely here to help one another and should get on with that work. I find much more value in the question, what more can I be doing in this world? I truly believe this leads to a level of understanding that cannot be reached by our thinking. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's better to connect than to think. Thinking seems like the devil's idea to me sometimes. It deters us from spending time doing God's work.

Interesting post and I love your additions to this thread. You keep it down to earth and your points are clear. I will agree and disagree. I think there is a saying that kinda goes like...too heavenly minded to be of earthly value. I think that's what you are eluding to in your post. If there is a saying about it...there must be a shred of truth somewhere in that. If we are so theory based that we ignore the reality around us...we are of no use. I don't believe God wants that for us. That's why I believe the Bible talks about blessed is he who believes without seeing...and basically states that if we want to enter the Kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. I believe it's God's way of saying there is eternal value in just trusting in Him just as a child trusts their parents. Children might ask alot of questions but they don't get hung up on the details.

Where I will disagree a bit...I think there is also value in seeking out God's mysteries. I was looking for the quote the other day...maybe the pastor can help me to find it. But, it states something like it is to the glory of Kings to seek out God's mysteries. The Bible also talks about God keeping certain things hidden and there is value in seeking them out. I believe God created this diveristy for a reason. I think He loves debate about his nature. I believe He loves the seeking out of truth.

But, I agree about works. The pain around us is massive at times. If we are so heavenly minded that we can't lend a hand to help someone up then all it's all worthless.

flippy
06-01-2010, 11:51 AM
Not sure if this is what you're looking for:

Proverbs 25:2 - It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

I kind of read this as God knows what is righteous/good always. Man must seek guidance from others to try determine what is righteous/good. I think it also implies we know more collectively than we could know alone and should seek out truth and righteousness with the help of others.

ie. if God was a scientific formula, we'd be the variables and the equation couldn't be solved without knowing all of us. Take away any of us and the formula would be different.

Shawn
06-01-2010, 11:57 AM
Not sure if this is what you're looking for:

Proverbs 25:2 - It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

I kind of read this as God knows what is righteous/good always. Man must seek guidance from others to try determine what is righteous/good. I think it also implies we know more collectively than we could know alone and should seek out truth and righteousness with the help of others.

ie. if God was a scientific formula, we'd be the variables and the equation couldn't be solved without knowing all of us. Take away any of us and the formula would be different.

Yep that's the quote. I was fairly sure it was King Solomon who said that but couldn't find it.

And that is a very interesting way to look at the scripture. I will have to let that sink in a bit.

flippy
06-01-2010, 11:59 AM
I'm only on page 6 right now, but here's some general questions/comments:

What do scientist seek? And why do they research? IMHO they are searching for something. They seek understanding. They want to know God. At some point, being a man of faith becomes more logical than being a man of philosophy/science who is on an infinite pursuit of that which is unattainable. The man of science and the man of faith are exactly alike. And the problem most people have with these discussions is they don't disagree with one another so much as they question themselves. At some level, seeking truth is a fun diversion to entertain us while we are here in this world. But we're all going to die in the end and we'll never find what we're looking for. Isn't it better just to accept the things we cannot understand and move on to more important work? Maybe this is why I'm less interested in theories over reality. There's real pain and suffering in this world. We're most likely here to help one another and should get on with that work. I find much more value in the question, what more can I be doing in this world? I truly believe this leads to a level of understanding that cannot be reached by our thinking. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's better to connect than to think. Thinking seems like the devil's idea to me sometimes. It deters us from spending time doing God's work.

Interesting post and I love your additions to this thread. You keep it down to earth and your points are clear. I will agree and disagree. I think there is a saying that kinda goes like...too heavenly minded to be of earthly value. I think that's what you are eluding to in your post. If there is a saying about it...there must be a shred of truth somewhere in that. If we are so theory based that we ignore the reality around us...we are of no use. I don't believe God wants that for us. That's why I believe the Bible talks about blessed is he who believes without seeing...and basically states that if we want to enter the Kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. I believe it's God's way of saying there is eternal value in just trusting in Him just as a child trusts their parents. Children might ask alot of questions but they don't get hung up on the details.

Where I will disagree a bit...I think there is also value in seeking out God's mysteries. I was looking for the quote the other day...maybe the pastor can help me to find it. But, it states something like it is to the glory of Kings to seek out God's mysteries. The Bible also talks about God keeping certain things hidden and there is value in seeking them out. I believe God created this diveristy for a reason. I think He loves debate about his nature. I believe He loves the seeking out of truth.

But, I agree about works. The pain around us is massive at times. If we are so heavenly minded that we can't lend a hand to help someone up then all it's all worthless.

BTW, you're posts are easier to read than eni and preachers. I had to google tons on philosophers and metanarritives before I understood everything they were trying to say. I felt like I was reading a foreign language at some points :D (or professor speak).

I did learn a bunch, thanks all for participating in this discussion and making me smarter like you guys.

flippy
06-01-2010, 12:22 PM
If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot



This brings to light another issue at the crux of any religious debate - the agnostic/scientist is skeptical of another person's personal experience with God.

If I told you I spoke to God or saw God or had a near death experience where I went into the after life and came back, you'd think I was nuts.

But what reason would I have to lie?

There are loads of people that have experienced crazy stuff like this. Are they all liars?

Why are there so many visions of the virgin mary when healings take place?

Why do people speak in tongues?

There's infinite things that cannot be answered.

And it's ok not to believe other people without proof.

But we may miss out on opportunities to connect with others in deep and meaningful ways that those of simpler faith can.

The scientific mind starts out with "why" while the faithful mind asks "why not".

We both ask why but at the very different risk of truth vs connection.

Which are you more willing to risk?

There is a potential cost to chosing either side.

ricardisimo
06-01-2010, 12:44 PM
BTW, you're posts are easier to read than eni and preachers. I had to google tons on philosophers and metanarritives before I understood everything they were trying to say. I felt like I was reading a foreign language at some points :D (or professor speak).

I did learn a bunch, thanks all for participating in this discussion and making me smarter like you guys.
I'm not convinced any of us are all that smart. Thinking that we have anything at all to add to this debate after millennia of serious discussion by superluminaries is hubris, but certainly entertaining all the same.

There are real-world consequences to some of these issues, and deciding whether or not public funds should be spent on religious instruction in what is ostensibly a secular society is one of those issues.

flippy
06-01-2010, 01:13 PM
BTW, you're posts are easier to read than eni and preachers. I had to google tons on philosophers and metanarritives before I understood everything they were trying to say. I felt like I was reading a foreign language at some points :D (or professor speak).

I did learn a bunch, thanks all for participating in this discussion and making me smarter like you guys.
I'm not convinced any of us are all that smart. Thinking that we have anything at all to add to this debate after millennia of serious discussion by superluminaries is hubris, but certainly entertaining all the same.

There are real-world consequences to some of these issues, and deciding whether or not public funds should be spent on religious instruction in what is ostensibly a secular society is one of those issues.

Sounds like the story of some guy that headed the US Patent office in 1800 saying everything that could be invented has already been invented. I tend to think people get much smarter over time. And there will always be new original thought. If it'll get recorded on this message board is another debate :wink

The history of our country is intertwined with the concept of God, so I'm not so sure we're secular. Aren't 80 or 90%+ of the population believers in God? Seems the majority would be ok with it. But they'd probably fight over the perspective that's taught.

That said, I'm for lowering taxes by as close to 100% as possible, so I don't have major concerns over cirriculum in schools. Although teaching religion might have a positive effect if people fear God?

Who knows. I'm not very current on children's educational matters.

Preacher
06-01-2010, 01:50 PM
BTW, you're posts are easier to read than eni and preachers. I had to google tons on philosophers and metanarritives before I understood everything they were trying to say. I felt like I was reading a foreign language at some points :D (or professor speak).

I did learn a bunch, thanks all for participating in this discussion and making me smarter like you guys.

:lol:

Remember, this is my profession and life work-as well as core faith. I don't know what you do for a living... but whatever it is, if you started talking about it here, I'd probably have to google tons on THAT to try and understand it-and also feel like I was reading a foreign language.

Shawn
06-01-2010, 01:53 PM
I'm only on page 6 right now, but here's some general questions/comments:

What do scientist seek? And why do they research? IMHO they are searching for something. They seek understanding. They want to know God. At some point, being a man of faith becomes more logical than being a man of philosophy/science who is on an infinite pursuit of that which is unattainable. The man of science and the man of faith are exactly alike. And the problem most people have with these discussions is they don't disagree with one another so much as they question themselves. At some level, seeking truth is a fun diversion to entertain us while we are here in this world. But we're all going to die in the end and we'll never find what we're looking for. Isn't it better just to accept the things we cannot understand and move on to more important work? Maybe this is why I'm less interested in theories over reality. There's real pain and suffering in this world. We're most likely here to help one another and should get on with that work. I find much more value in the question, what more can I be doing in this world? I truly believe this leads to a level of understanding that cannot be reached by our thinking. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's better to connect than to think. Thinking seems like the devil's idea to me sometimes. It deters us from spending time doing God's work.

Interesting post and I love your additions to this thread. You keep it down to earth and your points are clear. I will agree and disagree. I think there is a saying that kinda goes like...too heavenly minded to be of earthly value. I think that's what you are eluding to in your post. If there is a saying about it...there must be a shred of truth somewhere in that. If we are so theory based that we ignore the reality around us...we are of no use. I don't believe God wants that for us. That's why I believe the Bible talks about blessed is he who believes without seeing...and basically states that if we want to enter the Kingdom of heaven we need to become like children. I believe it's God's way of saying there is eternal value in just trusting in Him just as a child trusts their parents. Children might ask alot of questions but they don't get hung up on the details.

Where I will disagree a bit...I think there is also value in seeking out God's mysteries. I was looking for the quote the other day...maybe the pastor can help me to find it. But, it states something like it is to the glory of Kings to seek out God's mysteries. The Bible also talks about God keeping certain things hidden and there is value in seeking them out. I believe God created this diveristy for a reason. I think He loves debate about his nature. I believe He loves the seeking out of truth.

But, I agree about works. The pain around us is massive at times. If we are so heavenly minded that we can't lend a hand to help someone up then all it's all worthless.

BTW, you're posts are easier to read than eni and preachers. I had to google tons on philosophers and metanarritives before I understood everything they were trying to say. I felt like I was reading a foreign language at some points :D (or professor speak).

I did learn a bunch, thanks all for participating in this discussion and making me smarter like you guys.


I felt the same way. I was looking up more than I was reading. :lol: With that said, I love being stretched and challenged. I have never lost the love of learning.

flippy
06-01-2010, 04:36 PM
BTW, you're posts are easier to read than eni and preachers. I had to google tons on philosophers and metanarritives before I understood everything they were trying to say. I felt like I was reading a foreign language at some points :D (or professor speak).

I did learn a bunch, thanks all for participating in this discussion and making me smarter like you guys.

:lol:

Remember, this is my profession and life work-as well as core faith. I don't know what you do for a living... but whatever it is, if you started talking about it here, I'd probably have to google tons on THAT to try and understand it-and also feel like I was reading a foreign language.

I flip burghers. Any knuckledragger with half a brain could learn everything I know in about 15 minutes :wink

ricardisimo
06-01-2010, 06:14 PM
I flip burghers. Any knuckledragger with half a brain could learn everything I know in about 15 minutes :wink
Watch it... you're talking to a union man here. If it were so simple the owners would do it.

eniparadoxgma
06-01-2010, 06:55 PM
I said many...not so many or a great percentage of. Many is a relative term for starters. Second, did they include the ID guys? When was this stat taken? By what methodology? Where did they do their survey? Was the survey anon?

Lots of factors come into play when you start quoting stats.

I'm aware of the nature of statistical analysis, but I'm fairly certain that at least 90% is across the board.


And if the evolution vs ID debate is over why are we having it? Just state the evidence that proves evolution and disproves ID and we can stop having the conversation.

I mean it's over in the scientific and academic community for the most part.


As for your teapot/goblin statement. I need to make sure I ridicule evolution in my ID vs Evolution debate. Because, for me...looking at the evidence it's laughable as well. I have no need to prove there is a designer even though I look at the body of his work everyday. I see complexity that can't be explained by our natural laws nor our scientific theories. That complexity combined with personal experience leads me to believe in a Creator...and for me and more importantly a personal God. I don't believe it's on the back of the believers to prove anything to nonbelievers. You either believe or you don't. I'm certainly not sending you to hell over it...nor am I knocking on your door to convert you.

I guess I'm still waiting for the evidence that makes evolution laughable then.

ricardisimo
06-01-2010, 07:10 PM
I guess I'm still waiting for the evidence that makes evolution laughable then.
Does this count?
http://www.evolutionminute.com/humor/evolution/CreationismBothTheories.gif

eniparadoxgma
06-01-2010, 07:14 PM
If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot



This brings to light another issue at the crux of any religious debate - the agnostic/scientist is skeptical of another person's personal experience with God.

If I told you I spoke to God or saw God or had a near death experience where I went into the after life and came back, you'd think I was nuts.

But what reason would I have to lie?



I wouldn't be surprised if that is what you encountered. I would be surprised if that's what I encountered though. I think our world view influences these types of experiences.

I have a schizophrenic friend that believes he has spoken to God, Satan, demons, angels, Nietzsche, Beethoven, Cliff Burton, etc.


There are loads of people that have experienced crazy stuff like this. Are they all liars?

I don't think any of them are liars. However, I don't think all mental phenomena is based in objective reality.


Why are there so many visions of the virgin mary when healings take place?

That makes sense to me to occur in Christian settings. I think it expected.


Why do people speak in tongues?

I've never stated that the "religious" or "divine" has no place in the mind of man. I take no issue with people speaking in tongues. I expect these types of things to happen in their particular religious settings. I would be a lot more surprised to find Tibetan Buddhists seeing the Virgin Mary everywhere or you or Shawn to have a near death experience and come back saying you spoke to Lao Tze.


There's infinite things that cannot be answered.

And it's ok not to believe other people without proof.

But we may miss out on opportunities to connect with others in deep and meaningful ways that those of simpler faith can.

The scientific mind starts out with "why" while the faithful mind asks "why not".

We both ask why but at the very different risk of truth vs connection.

Which are you more willing to risk?

There is a potential cost to chosing either side.

I don't think truth and connection are all that opposed. I actually think there can be a religion based on secular humanism that has as much of if not more of a connection than other organized religions.

eniparadoxgma
06-01-2010, 07:20 PM
Preacher, do you mind answering my questions in regards to objective reality?

ricardisimo
06-01-2010, 07:32 PM
I don't think truth and connection are all that opposed. I actually think there can be a religion based on secular humanism that has as much of if not more of a connection than other organized religions.
There is one... kind of:
http://www.venganza.org/

Preacher
06-01-2010, 07:40 PM
Preacher, do you mind answering my questions in regards to objective reality?

Sorry.. quite busy. Quickly, no. There is no such thing as objective reality.

Any and every observation is interpreted. Thus, there is no such thing as what I would call, "pure objectivity."

Thus, when speaking of objective reality, what we are trying to do is speak of a reality removed from everyone else's metanarrative. Only those who are truly trying to be "objective" will try to observe outside their own metanarrative. However, Even there, the interpretation is not clean or pure, but is directed by the metanarrative-as they may NOT choose an interpretation of an observation because it comes to close to their own metanarrative. You see this most often in people who used to go to church, and now is "seeking what is true" or have "grown out of it". What seems to be really happening, is they are just choosing to interpret all observations AGAINST their former metanarrative, instead of with it.

Shawn
06-01-2010, 07:57 PM
[quote=Shawn]
I said many...not so many or a great percentage of. Many is a relative term for starters. Second, did they include the ID guys? When was this stat taken? By what methodology? Where did they do their survey? Was the survey anon?

Lots of factors come into play when you start quoting stats.

I'm aware of the nature of statistical analysis, but I'm fairly certain that at least 90% is across the board.


And if the evolution vs ID debate is over why are we having it? Just state the evidence that proves evolution and disproves ID and we can stop having the conversation.

I mean it's over in the scientific and academic community for the most part.


As for your teapot/goblin statement. I need to make sure I ridicule evolution in my ID vs Evolution debate. Because, for me...looking at the evidence it's laughable as well. I have no need to prove there is a designer even though I look at the body of his work everyday. I see complexity that can't be explained by our natural laws nor our scientific theories. That complexity combined with personal experience leads me to believe in a Creator...and for me and more importantly a personal God. I don't believe it's on the back of the believers to prove anything to nonbelievers. You either believe or you don't. I'm certainly not sending you to hell over it...nor am I knocking on your door to convert you.

I guess I'm still waiting for the evidence that makes evolution laughable then.[/quote:3nc9e4fs]

I guess we can agree to disagree. But, evolution is accepted as the best science has to offer. But, many do not buy it in it's entirety due to many problems in the current theory including the amount of mutations it would take just to make one complex animal. I don't want to give away the good stuff from my little project but I have leading evolutionists talking about the problems with evolution. It mainly comes from the Neo-Darwinism crew in regards to beneficial mutation. Did you know that Huxley...one of your leading evolutionist estimated the amount of beneficial mutations it would take to make a horse would be 1 to the 3000th power? Do you know how old the universe is in seconds? 4 to the 17th power. You do realize how rare beneficial mutations truly are correct? I think you can follow where I will go with this. I'm certainly not the first guy to bring up a problem with the math. And the only proposal that can get around it by the non ID guys is if the universe is alot older than we think it to be. So, while you might think it to be settled...it's only settled by some who don't want to deal with the problem of the math. But, there are evolutionists who are willing to admit some defieciencies in current theory. I must salute these guys for being intellectually honest.

Shawn
06-01-2010, 08:01 PM
Preacher, do you mind answering my questions in regards to objective reality?

Sorry.. quite busy. Quickly, no. There is no such thing as objective reality.

Any and every observation is interpreted. Thus, there is no such thing as what I would call, "pure objectivity."

Thus, when speaking of objective reality, what we are trying to do is speak of a reality removed from everyone else's metanarrative. Only those who are truly trying to be "objective" will try to observe outside their own metanarrative. However, Even there, the interpretation is not clean or pure, but is directed by the metanarrative-as they may NOT choose an interpretation of an observation because it comes to close to their own metanarrative. You see this most often in people who used to go to church, and now is "seeking what is true" or have "grown out of it". What seems to be really happening, is they are just choosing to interpret all observations AGAINST their former metanarrative, instead of with it.

Now that right there is some really good stuff.

ricardisimo
06-01-2010, 08:26 PM
I guess we can agree to disagree. But, evolution is accepted as the best science has to offer. But, many do not buy it in it's entirety due to many problems in the current theory including the amount of mutations it would take just to make one complex animal. I don't want to give away the good stuff from my little project but I have leading evolutionists talking about the problems with evolution. It mainly comes from the Neo-Darwinism crew in regards to beneficial mutation. Did you know that Huxley...one of your leading evolutionist estimated the amount of beneficial mutations to be 1 to the 3000th power? Do you know how old the universe is in seconds? 4 to the 17th power. You do realize how rare beneficial mutations truly are correct? I think you can follow where I will go with this. I'm certainly not the first guy to bring up a problem with the math. And the only proposal that can get around it by the non ID guys is if the universe is alot older than we think it to be. So, while you might think it to be settled...it's only settled by some who don't want to deal with the problem of the math. But, there are evolutionists who are willing to admit some defieciencies in current theory. I must salute these guys for being intellectually honest.
There are indeed a lot of people who have doubts about evolution: something like 85% of the population of the country. However, eni's figures from before still hold within the scientific community. Maybe 5% of US scientists are ID.

The age of the universe has been "updated" numerous times, as has its rate of expansion, its total mass, etc. It cannot be stressed enough... these changes strengthen the sciences and their methods, they do not weaken them.

The Big Bang might end up being dead wrong, but that they've changed its time-frame doesn't mean that it is. Newton turning planetary orbits into ellipses didn't make Copernicus wrong, it just modified his theory, improving it. If they modify evolutionary theory - as they have numerous times already - it shouldn't call the theory into question for you. That's not really how the system works.

Shawn
06-01-2010, 08:38 PM
I guess we can agree to disagree. But, evolution is accepted as the best science has to offer. But, many do not buy it in it's entirety due to many problems in the current theory including the amount of mutations it would take just to make one complex animal. I don't want to give away the good stuff from my little project but I have leading evolutionists talking about the problems with evolution. It mainly comes from the Neo-Darwinism crew in regards to beneficial mutation. Did you know that Huxley...one of your leading evolutionist estimated the amount of beneficial mutations to be 1 to the 3000th power? Do you know how old the universe is in seconds? 4 to the 17th power. You do realize how rare beneficial mutations truly are correct? I think you can follow where I will go with this. I'm certainly not the first guy to bring up a problem with the math. And the only proposal that can get around it by the non ID guys is if the universe is alot older than we think it to be. So, while you might think it to be settled...it's only settled by some who don't want to deal with the problem of the math. But, there are evolutionists who are willing to admit some defieciencies in current theory. I must salute these guys for being intellectually honest.
There are indeed a lot of people who have doubts about evolution: something like 85% of the population of the country. However, eni's figures from before still hold within the scientific community. Maybe 5% of US scientists are ID.

The age of the universe has been "updated" numerous times, as has its rate of expansion, its total mass, etc. It cannot be stressed enough... these changes strengthen the sciences and their methods, they do not weaken them.

The Big Bang might end up being dead wrong, but that they've changed its time-frame doesn't mean that it is. Newton turning planetary orbits into ellipses didn't make Copernicus wrong, it just modified his theory, improving it. If they modify evolutionary theory - as they have numerous times already - it shouldn't call the theory into question for you. That's not really how the system works.

Which answers none of the problems. Do the math. You do realize how big of a gap there is between 10 to the 3000th power and 4 to the 17th power correct? Lets say the universe is 174 times older than we currently believe it to be. Wild notion but shoot I'm open to anything to help out the evolution folks. That would mean that since the beginning of time (174 times older than we currently believe it to be) that one beneficial mutation would have to occur EVERY second just to make a horse. Considering we rarely see a beneficial mutation and they are very rare this is a mind boggling number. It shakes the very core of evolutionary theory. I haven't seen one...not one explanation of the math from evolutionists that makes sense.

This is a very watered down statement of this mathematical problem. Because, I haven't even begun to get into the exponentially greater amount of negative mutations that would also occur to destroy everything the beneficial has built.

When you have an evolutionist that can come up with a reasonable theory around this huge problem let me know. Then maybe we can call this debate settled.

Preacher
06-01-2010, 09:03 PM
Which answers none of the problems. Do the math. You do realize how big of a gap there is between 1 to the 3000th power and 4 to the 17th power correct? Lets say the universe is 174 times older than we currently believe it to be. Wild notion but shoot I'm open to anything to help out the evolution folks. That would mean that since the beginning of time (174 times older than we currently believe it to be) that one beneficial mutation would have to occur EVERY second just to make a horse. Considering we rarely see a beneficial mutation and they are very rare this is a mind boggling number. It shakes the very core of evolutionary theory. I haven't seen one...not one explanation of the math from evolutionists that makes sense.

This is a very watered down statement of this mathematical problem. Because, I haven't even begun to get into the exponentially greater amount of negative mutations that would also occur to destroy everything the beneficial has built.

When you have an evolutionist that can come up with a reasonable theory around this huge problem let me know. Then maybe we can call this debate settled.

Which speaks EXACTLY to another argument I gave concerning the lack of intellectual honesty in evolutionary theory. Let me see if I can find that argument...

Ok. Here is one of them. I was in a discussion with someone else, and they said that they won't read books written by Christians on a subject such as the dead sea scrolls, or the bible, or evolution etc. Here is my answer... the latter part specifically talks about the academic honesty in theological circles as compared to science circles.


So, you won't read about how God may exist from those who believe God exists because those who believe God exists are biased that God exists right?

Let's see if that same logic works here.

I won't read about how evolution is fact from those who believe evolution is fact because those who believe evolution is fact are biased that it is fact... right?

But that must be different. Cause they don't allow critiques of evolution to publish in their journals or belong to scholarly societies that hold opposing opinions. Oh wait, we are talking about biblical scholarship.. forget it. They DO belong to those kind of societies.

Such as,

Society of Blblical Literature (SBL) http://www.sbl-site.org/aboutus.aspx

International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ioscs/#ioscs

Not to mention ASOR as listed above and others.

Now, please. Show me Peer Review journals and societies in the sciences where a person that doesn't believe ITS basic belief of evolution is allowed to publish and question? It doesn't exist.

So who, EXACTLY is spewing faith-based dogma? Those who belong to societies that interact with mulitple groups, or those that only listen to others who agree 95 percent with them?

And people wonder why I have such a problem with evolution. Do you really think Elseveir would allow a non-evolution-based discussion in any of their journals? ANything challenging it? How about FIBS or JOBC?

Naa. didn't think so. But Christian scholars are the ones who are pushing dogma right? No peer review. No discussion outside our walls. Only apologetics for them "Church Trained" people.

Here is an earlier post in that same discussion... it is arguing how my thinking on evolution and creation came not from indoctrination, but from study (the counter argument was that I was simply given all these arguments and I was parroting them back, instead of coming up with them myself. The goal of his argument was to discredit me as someone who is just trained in the standard "church dogma".


Oh yeah, and HALF my education in my Ph.D. will be taken at UNIVERSITIES... Such as Cal Berkley or UCLA. Maybe even Pit if I can swing it (be there for a semester for football!).

That's right. SECULAR UNIVERSITIES for half my Ph.D. major in Old Testament.

Why? Because my program SPECIFICALLY is designed to overcome bias.

My Professor of record? He's a trustee of ASOR, "American Institution of Oriental Research" which includes THESE schools:
Quote:
University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Benjamin Porter
University of California, Los Angeles (see Cotsen Institute above)
University of California, San Diego, Judaic Studies Program, Prof. Thomas E. Levy
University of Chicago, Prof. David Schloen
University of Cincinnati, Prof. Gayle McGarrahan
University of Kansas, Prof. Robert Hemenway
University of La Verne, Prof. Jonathan Reed
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Prof. Stephen Von Wyrick
University of Michigan, Prof. Elaine Gazda
University of Missouri, Columbia, Prof. Marcus L. Rautman
University of Nebraska, Omaha, Prof. Rami Arav
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Prof. Jodi Magness
University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Prof. James Tabor
University of Notre Dame, Prof. Hugh Page
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Prof. C. Brian Rose
University of the Holy Land, Prof. Stephen Pfann
University of Toronto, Prof. Timothy Harrison
University of Victoria, Prof. John Oleson
Valparaiso University, Prof. Mark Bartusch
as well as

Cobb Institute of Archaeology, Mississippi State University, Prof. Joe D. Seger
Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, Prof. William Schniedewind
Dartmouth College, Prof. Susan Ackerman
Harvard University, Semitic Museum, Dr. Joseph Greene
Johns Hopkins University, Prof. Theodore J. Lewis
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Prof. Prudence O. Harper
Missouri State University, Prof. J. E. Llewellyn

There are many Christian universities and seminaries, and some Jewish ones two.

The Christian univer. and seminaries ranger from ultra liberal (deny the diety and some even the existence of Jesus) to very conservative.

It is in THAT atmosphere that MY professor of record has to write and present findings. Do you REALLY think he biases his stuff to Christianity from that? Seriously? He would be eaten alive. He is TRAINING me for THAT type pf atmosphere. Do you really think I WOULD BE biasing MY stuff then? I WOULD BE eaten alive AND FAILED FROM THE PROGRAM.

Again, this isn't like biological science where everyone ASSUMES evolution is truth and works from there. The very foundations are CONTINUALLY challlenged in this atmosphere. It is some of the most HONEST Peer review out there, as it cuts across secular, religious, and denominational lines.

But YOU think YOU know more than secular, liberal religious, and conservative religious scholars? That they are ALL In line to hide the truth? Please.

I offer to you once again... a bibliography of books concerning the Dead Sea Scroll and Textual Transmission. Take it if you truly want to learn. Leave it if you want to remain hidden from what ever it is in your past you are wrestling with. But I am done playing nice to your silly dispersions that are twisting not just belief, but true academic and peer reviewed work--and doing a HECK of a better job with it than the peer review I have seen come out of a lot of the scientific community lately (Global Warming being front and center).

EDIT: Forgive me if I seem just a bit put out. I just came back from Seminar weekend.. and had to do a presentation (theology seminar) from a paper I wrote. So Peer review and Academy are on my mind right now.

Shawn
06-01-2010, 10:57 PM
Preacher that was impressive. And if someone like myself who grew up in the church had no idea of that kind of learning environment...I doubt many others do as well. It's comforting to know that there are those willing to challange how we currently look at scripture. Great read.

eniparadoxgma
06-01-2010, 11:59 PM
Preacher, do you mind answering my questions in regards to objective reality?

Sorry.. quite busy. Quickly, no. There is no such thing as objective reality.

Any and every observation is interpreted. Thus, there is no such thing as what I would call, "pure objectivity."

Thus, when speaking of objective reality, what we are trying to do is speak of a reality removed from everyone else's metanarrative. Only those who are truly trying to be "objective" will try to observe outside their own metanarrative. However, Even there, the interpretation is not clean or pure, but is directed by the metanarrative-as they may NOT choose an interpretation of an observation because it comes to close to their own metanarrative. You see this most often in people who used to go to church, and now is "seeking what is true" or have "grown out of it". What seems to be really happening, is they are just choosing to interpret all observations AGAINST their former metanarrative, instead of with it.

To start from the end of your post, I agree that many people, when first deciding that their religion is not "true" or "rational", will rebel against it in ways that are more emotional than rational (at least at first). That's just a part of separating yourself from something that dominated your world view.

I have no problem stating that objective reality can't be "proven" without a doubt. I've actually defended that position countless times. One of my favorite ways to go about it is the "brain in the vats" theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_in_a_vat), which is a modern take on Descartes' "evil demon" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_daemon).

However, as with other important scientific theories it isn't that it can be proven "absolutely". It is that it is the best theory out there. It makes the most sense of any other theory that there is no such thing as objective reality (solipsism). The evidence for this is that most people are not solipsists. When I leave my car somewhere I expect it to be there when I return. I expect the sun to come up in the morning although I can't prove it will.

But, we have a large mountain of knowledge about things in objective reality that continues to keep progressing.

I'm not sure how you avoid solipsism and account for the shared reality the majority of us seem to take part in. Without something existing outside of your own mind (objective reality) then what makes you think anyone else even exists? Isn't it possible that the previous brain in the vats or evil daemon theories are true? And if you are willing to discount the brain in the vats theory then why?

I'm willing to believe that this website, PlanetSteelers, exists and that I'm participating in a philosophical discussion on it with other individuals. My reasons for this are that it corresponds with everything else that has ever made sense in my personal paradigm. The "belief" that there is a physical reality external to my own senses and mind is something that pretty much everyone accepts, regardless of religious affiliation or viewpoint. I'm not sure why you'd argue against it when it seems the alternative is solipsism.

I'm not saying that "pure objectivity" is possible. I'm all for Schrodinger's Cat and the current theory of a "participatory universe" (John Wheeler). The perceiver influences that which is perceived.

Hmm...hope we're not talking in circles here. I guess I need a better account of why you're discounting the idea that a reality external to the individual exists.

eniparadoxgma
06-02-2010, 12:02 AM
I guess we can agree to disagree. But, evolution is accepted as the best science has to offer. But, many do not buy it in it's entirety due to many problems in the current theory including the amount of mutations it would take just to make one complex animal. I don't want to give away the good stuff from my little project but I have leading evolutionists talking about the problems with evolution. It mainly comes from the Neo-Darwinism crew in regards to beneficial mutation. Did you know that Huxley...one of your leading evolutionist estimated the amount of beneficial mutations it would take to make a horse would be 1 to the 3000th power? Do you know how old the universe is in seconds? 4 to the 17th power. You do realize how rare beneficial mutations truly are correct? I think you can follow where I will go with this. I'm certainly not the first guy to bring up a problem with the math. And the only proposal that can get around it by the non ID guys is if the universe is alot older than we think it to be. So, while you might think it to be settled...it's only settled by some who don't want to deal with the problem of the math. But, there are evolutionists who are willing to admit some defieciencies in current theory. I must salute these guys for being intellectually honest.

I'd appreciate it if you could link me to some stuff concerning these glaring holes and impossible probabilities. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying I'd like to read about it on my own. Regardless, even if it isn't statistically probable that doesn't make it necessarily improbable. The law of averages is just a law of averages. It still recognizes that outliers exist.

eniparadoxgma
06-02-2010, 12:13 AM
Preacher, I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about.

If there was any verifiable evidence for ID it would be considered. Just because it is an alternate theory doesn't mean it should get as much "airtime" as evolution, which does have empirical evidence to support it. There is no reason to expect ID to be taught in schools as opposed to teaching Tolkien's creation story in the Silmarillion as an alternate theory of creation.

I'm not sure why you would expect the scientific community to have to entertain alternate theories that have no scientific evidence to support them.

On my end, fwiw, I was raised a Southern Baptist, have been baptized, and went to church for probably 15 or so years. I did Bible Study, Bible Camp, and all kinds of extracurricular church functions. Since then I've studied various religions, Western and well as Eastern, am one class away from a degree in philosophy, I've debated priests of various religions, philosophy professors, etc etc. I am studying philosophy and psychology currently and will be pursuing something academically post grad. I am ready and willing to admit that I took great issue with Christianity and Christians when I first broke off from believing in it. However, I am no longer swayed by such a severe emotional bias anymore. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Shawn
06-02-2010, 12:53 AM
I guess we can agree to disagree. But, evolution is accepted as the best science has to offer. But, many do not buy it in it's entirety due to many problems in the current theory including the amount of mutations it would take just to make one complex animal. I don't want to give away the good stuff from my little project but I have leading evolutionists talking about the problems with evolution. It mainly comes from the Neo-Darwinism crew in regards to beneficial mutation. Did you know that Huxley...one of your leading evolutionist estimated the amount of beneficial mutations it would take to make a horse would be 1 to the 3000th power? Do you know how old the universe is in seconds? 4 to the 17th power. You do realize how rare beneficial mutations truly are correct? I think you can follow where I will go with this. I'm certainly not the first guy to bring up a problem with the math. And the only proposal that can get around it by the non ID guys is if the universe is alot older than we think it to be. So, while you might think it to be settled...it's only settled by some who don't want to deal with the problem of the math. But, there are evolutionists who are willing to admit some defieciencies in current theory. I must salute these guys for being intellectually honest.

I'd appreciate it if you could link me to some stuff concerning these glaring holes and impossible probabilities. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying I'd like to read about it on my own. Regardless, even if it isn't statistically probable that doesn't make it necessarily improbable. The law of averages is just a law of averages. It still recognizes that outliers exist.


Julian Huxley, a leading evolutionary spokesman of mid-twentieth century, said it would take 10 to the 3000th changes to produce just one horse by evolution. (*Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action, p. 46).

This whole debate inspired me to put down what I have read, studied, and mathematically challenged over the years. I will try to finish it this week. But, I won't rush it. I want it to be right. All sources will be quoted with book, page number or website. I want there to be no doubt I'm not just making this stuff up. So, looking for all the quotes I need will consume some time. And most of the quotes will be from pro-evolution scientists. But, the source of my quote is above.

As for some pro ID sites out there...I'm sure there are some good ones. But, honestly after reading several of them I didn't find many of them to be sound. I address my problems with some of their arguments as well. I have seen whole ideas of ID done under the "impossibility" of genetic mutations ever being beneficial. This is obviously not correct. It's sloppy science like this that gives some of these guys a bad name.

Shawn
06-02-2010, 01:10 AM
Preacher, I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about.

If there was any verifiable evidence for ID it would be considered. Just because it is an alternate theory doesn't mean it should get as much "airtime" as evolution, which does have empirical evidence to support it. There is no reason to expect ID to be taught in schools as opposed to teaching Tolkien's creation story in the Silmarillion as an alternate theory of creation.

I'm not sure why you would expect the scientific community to have to entertain alternate theories that have no scientific evidence to support them.

On my end, fwiw, I was raised a Southern Baptist, have been baptized, and went to church for probably 15 or so years. I did Bible Study, Bible Camp, and all kinds of extracurricular church functions. Since then I've studied various religions, Western and well as Eastern, am one class away from a degree in philosophy, I've debated priests of various religions, philosophy professors, etc etc. I am studying philosophy and psychology currently and will be pursuing something academically post grad. I am ready and willing to admit that I took great issue with Christianity and Christians when I first broke off from believing in it. However, I am no longer swayed by such a severe emotional bias anymore. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

I kinda agree with you here. You really can't prove or study God. You can try but God can't be measured, mixed in a test tube or otherwise analyzed. We certainly try as believers but I believe much of that is in vain. We can't prove any of it. That's a fact and you are correct. And since science can't measure God, or study Him then he is left out of the equation from a scientific view. Thats obviously where theology picks up.

This is where I have a problem. And it goes on both sides. I have issue with others who can't respect how another human being finds truth and meaning. While you might not agree with it...it might not be your thing...I don't believe it embraces humanity to tear down the thing that builds someone else up. That goes for the dude on the street pointing fingers at passers by and telling them they are going to hell...to the atheist who compares someones belief system to believing in goblins.

Does this mean we can't discuss our differences of opinion? Absolutely not. It just means it should be done from a place of building up rather than tearing down. What I mean by that is I have learned alot from this debate. Alot of good stuff. But, debates like these shouldn't be used as weapons to assault those that threaten our belief system.

Preacher
06-02-2010, 01:39 AM
Preacher, I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about.

If there was any verifiable evidence for ID it would be considered. Just because it is an alternate theory doesn't mean it should get as much "airtime" as evolution, which does have empirical evidence to support it. There is no reason to expect ID to be taught in schools as opposed to teaching Tolkien's creation story in the Silmarillion as an alternate theory of creation.

I'm not sure why you would expect the scientific community to have to entertain alternate theories that have no scientific evidence to support them.

On my end, fwiw, I was raised a Southern Baptist, have been baptized, and went to church for probably 15 or so years. I did Bible Study, Bible Camp, and all kinds of extracurricular church functions. Since then I've studied various religions, Western and well as Eastern, am one class away from a degree in philosophy, I've debated priests of various religions, philosophy professors, etc etc. I am studying philosophy and psychology currently and will be pursuing something academically post grad. I am ready and willing to admit that I took great issue with Christianity and Christians when I first broke off from believing in it. However, I am no longer swayed by such a severe emotional bias anymore. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Of your two or three posts in response to me I picked this one first because... well, its easiest to respond to and my brain hurts tonight :wink: .

The answer is, NO. They would not be entertained. Those journals I gave as examples, has as foundational entrance requirements for all research, an agreement on evolution. You can NOT get published in the journals if you do not argue for evolution. You can argue WITHIN evolution, but NEVER against it. It is rejected by the editorial committees by virtue of the entrance requirements. There ARE those who are ID theorists who have written articles and submitted them. Early on, one of them passed through the editorial board--meaning it matched the scrutiny of some of the best minds in the field (those are the ones usually on the board). However, when it got out that it was going to be published, the scientific community went nuts, and the publisher rescinded the article. Since then, these rules have come.

Why? SPECIFICALLY so that the argument cannot happen. The openness and questioning of the foundational science (and philosophy behind the science, to be absolutely honest) will never be challenged. THAT, is DOGMA. Not Science.

ricardisimo
06-02-2010, 05:06 AM
I'm not sure how you avoid solipsism and account for the shared reality the majority of us seem to take part in. Without something existing outside of your own mind (objective reality) then what makes you think anyone else even exists? Isn't it possible that the previous brain in the vats or evil daemon theories are true? And if you are willing to discount the brain in the vats theory then why?
I'm reminded of Bertrand Russell's joke...

A woman wrote to Russell and told him that she was pleased to hear about his attraction to that perspective. She was a convinced solipsist, she said, and was comforted to know that there might be another one around.
On a slightly more serious note, there is Kant's (and later German Idealists') notion of intersubjectivity to be considered as a replacement for the ever-elusive objectivity. I say "slightly more serious" partly to be funny, given what fuddy-duddies these guys were, but also because I always had problems reading Kant & Co. without wanting to retch. To this day I cannot grasp why subjectivity is more reliable than objectivity... other than that people have a primal need to flatter themselves.

ricardisimo
06-02-2010, 05:10 AM
The answer is, NO. They would not be entertained. Those journals I gave as examples, has as foundational entrance requirements for all research, an agreement on evolution. You can NOT get published in the journals if you do not argue for evolution. You can argue WITHIN evolution, but NEVER against it. It is rejected by the editorial committees by virtue of the entrance requirements. There ARE those who are ID theorists who have written articles and submitted them. Early on, one of them passed through the editorial board--meaning it matched the scrutiny of some of the best minds in the field (those are the ones usually on the board). However, when it got out that it was going to be published, the scientific community went nuts, and the publisher rescinded the article. Since then, these rules have come.

Why? SPECIFICALLY so that the argument cannot happen. The openness and questioning of the foundational science (and philosophy behind the science, to be absolutely honest) will never be challenged. THAT, is DOGMA. Not Science.
This smacks of urban legend to me, quite honestly. I would like very much to hear more about this case. Can you give more details please? Thanks.

Shawn
06-02-2010, 08:48 AM
The answer is, NO. They would not be entertained. Those journals I gave as examples, has as foundational entrance requirements for all research, an agreement on evolution. You can NOT get published in the journals if you do not argue for evolution. You can argue WITHIN evolution, but NEVER against it. It is rejected by the editorial committees by virtue of the entrance requirements. There ARE those who are ID theorists who have written articles and submitted them. Early on, one of them passed through the editorial board--meaning it matched the scrutiny of some of the best minds in the field (those are the ones usually on the board). However, when it got out that it was going to be published, the scientific community went nuts, and the publisher rescinded the article. Since then, these rules have come.

Why? SPECIFICALLY so that the argument cannot happen. The openness and questioning of the foundational science (and philosophy behind the science, to be absolutely honest) will never be challenged. THAT, is DOGMA. Not Science.
This smacks of urban legend to me, quite honestly. I would like very much to hear more about this case. Can you give more details please? Thanks.

We gave alot of details but I agree it would be nice to read about this somewhere for validation. I certainly don't question Preacher's intregrity but with a statement that big I would love for everyone here to read about it. Because, if true the guys like yourself who are tooting the horn of science's unbiased nature will have to take a closer look at their statements.

If you guys are truly scientific, objective, and unbiased then new information should change your view on things. You should be willing to ammend your stance. That is intellectually honest.

flippy
06-02-2010, 10:07 AM
The answer is, NO. They would not be entertained. Those journals I gave as examples, has as foundational entrance requirements for all research, an agreement on evolution. You can NOT get published in the journals if you do not argue for evolution. You can argue WITHIN evolution, but NEVER against it. It is rejected by the editorial committees by virtue of the entrance requirements. There ARE those who are ID theorists who have written articles and submitted them. Early on, one of them passed through the editorial board--meaning it matched the scrutiny of some of the best minds in the field (those are the ones usually on the board). However, when it got out that it was going to be published, the scientific community went nuts, and the publisher rescinded the article. Since then, these rules have come.

Why? SPECIFICALLY so that the argument cannot happen. The openness and questioning of the foundational science (and philosophy behind the science, to be absolutely honest) will never be challenged. THAT, is DOGMA. Not Science.
This smacks of urban legend to me, quite honestly. I would like very much to hear more about this case. Can you give more details please? Thanks.

We gave alot of details but I agree it would be nice to read about this somewhere for validation. I certainly don't question Preacher's intregrity but with a statement that big I would love for everyone here to read about it. Because, if true the guys like yourself who are tooting the horn of science's unbiased nature will have to take a closer look at their statements.

If you guys are truly scientific, objective, and unbiased then new information should change your view on things. You should be willing to ammend your stance. That is intellectually honest.

I do find it difficult to know what to believe in many circumstances because of the money involved on all sides.

I was watching Dateline this weekend and they were talking about the link between vaccines and autism. There was a well respected doctor suggesting a possible link and it's changing parent/patient behavior as a result. Then there's other well respected doctors taking the opposing viewpoint because they're being paid by those with a vested interest in the current vaccines. Both sides are paid. Both sides are persuasive and have compelling arguments.

As a person that knows nothing about medicine really, how am I to know what's true? I can't even go a research the info really. I pretty much have to accept what my personal doctor believes. I mean, I can change doctors if I disagree with them. But how am I to know if I should even disagree with him? Most likely general practitioners minds are owned by the drug companies anyway. We're all owned by somebody's vested interests.

Pretty much every time there's a major breakthrough in technology, the majority is skeptical and vested interests try to prevent change. This happens with every major invention in every industry throughout history. 99.9% of people are resistant to change. And the bigger the vested interests, the more they slow down innovation. Otherwise, we should have cars that get 100s mpg, roofs that last longer than 10 years, and people that live 1000s of years.

But we use what we know to protect us from the unknown and maintain our current status quo. Science is constantly in the way of science. And this is also just as true of religion. We get in our own way and prevent progress from happening for the sake of our own comfort in the current state we live. It's no coincidence the people with the least vested interests seem to be willing to take the biggest risks and fight the status quo - they have nothing to lose.

But do any of us really have anything to lose? The more I think about this, we're constrained and held back by Preacher's metanarratives. Not specifically preachers metanarrative, but all of ours.

The deeper we build up our lives from our metanarratives (this is becoming my new favorite word), the more we constrain our abilities to think openly. The more vested we become, the less useful we are.

I was very afraid of dying as a young child. But looking back now, I realize I just didn't want to lose my curiousity, openness, innocence, hope, and belief that anything is possible. Maybe we die because we just become of no more use to this world. Aging is losing all of the good that we originated with in this world.

Science or faith, maybe the key to it all is what Shawn mentioned 100 pages back, being like children.

All our metanarratives do is ruin us. Or at least slow us down. I do have a feeling the internet and the potential power of collabortation could reverse this. But it will take some time to rid the world of their old farts like us and our metanarratives so that new ideas can flourish and innovation can accelerate.

ricardisimo
06-02-2010, 05:07 PM
I'm always flabbergasted when I speak with American dentists about mercury fillings. Talk to pretty much any dentist pretty much anywhere else in the world, and first they'll tell you Americans are crazy, and also just to think about it: Mercury... in your mouth... for the rest of your life...

So, yeah, economics, dogma, intellectual and practical inertia... all of these things are present, to be sure. These are things to keep in the forefront, and doing so also makes the science better.

But really, folks... To say there is a double-standard in place is a profound understatement. Some climatologist doesn't check his math and half the planet is ready discount all of Global Warming Theory. Scattered species are (of course) missing throughout evolution's chain, and the whole thing gets tossed in the waste basket. Some prepotency is visible on editorial boards at peer-reviewed journals, and now obviously peer-review doesn't work.

Let's talk about Catholic priests, shall we? Or how about the Inquisition? How about slavery in the Old and New Testament, and use of these to support slavery in the New World and beyond? Let's discuss the treatment of homosexuals and women in most churches, Christian and non-Christian. Or perhaps the historical role of the churches to froth up the populace into homicidal and genocidal support of wars for King and Country...

We can go on and on and on discussing thoroughly atrocious, sadistic behavior from religious folk - people who heard God's call, to be sure - that should make any reasonable observer think to themselves: "I think I can safely discount religion as a force for good in this world." This is stuff that goes way beyond swaying Board votes at the American Naturalist. And yet non-believers are a miniscule minority everywhere.

The world has been turned upside-down.

eniparadoxgma
06-02-2010, 07:01 PM
Preacher, I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about.

If there was any verifiable evidence for ID it would be considered. Just because it is an alternate theory doesn't mean it should get as much "airtime" as evolution, which does have empirical evidence to support it. There is no reason to expect ID to be taught in schools as opposed to teaching Tolkien's creation story in the Silmarillion as an alternate theory of creation.

I'm not sure why you would expect the scientific community to have to entertain alternate theories that have no scientific evidence to support them.

On my end, fwiw, I was raised a Southern Baptist, have been baptized, and went to church for probably 15 or so years. I did Bible Study, Bible Camp, and all kinds of extracurricular church functions. Since then I've studied various religions, Western and well as Eastern, am one class away from a degree in philosophy, I've debated priests of various religions, philosophy professors, etc etc. I am studying philosophy and psychology currently and will be pursuing something academically post grad. I am ready and willing to admit that I took great issue with Christianity and Christians when I first broke off from believing in it. However, I am no longer swayed by such a severe emotional bias anymore. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Of your two or three posts in response to me I picked this one first because... well, its easiest to respond to and my brain hurts tonight :wink: .

The answer is, NO. They would not be entertained. Those journals I gave as examples, has as foundational entrance requirements for all research, an agreement on evolution. You can NOT get published in the journals if you do not argue for evolution. You can argue WITHIN evolution, but NEVER against it. It is rejected by the editorial committees by virtue of the entrance requirements. There ARE those who are ID theorists who have written articles and submitted them. Early on, one of them passed through the editorial board--meaning it matched the scrutiny of some of the best minds in the field (those are the ones usually on the board). However, when it got out that it was going to be published, the scientific community went nuts, and the publisher rescinded the article. Since then, these rules have come.

Why? SPECIFICALLY so that the argument cannot happen. The openness and questioning of the foundational science (and philosophy behind the science, to be absolutely honest) will never be challenged. THAT, is DOGMA. Not Science.

Real scientists and people participating in the scientific method would not discount theories because of a political (or other type of) agenda. Therefore, first I'm not convinced that your situation is widespread in the least. Secondly, even if what you say is true it would only be because of people not operating under the true umbrella of "science". I'm not sure what point there is in pointing out the worst case "scientist". As ricardisimo already pointed out, we could go on at length about the worst case side of religion. It's well documented.

However, I don't see it as being fruitful to the discussion. I'm not as interested in what's going on in the scientific community as I am discussing the actual ideas and points we've been discussing.

eniparadoxgma
06-02-2010, 07:06 PM
We gave alot of details but I agree it would be nice to read about this somewhere for validation. I certainly don't question Preacher's intregrity but with a statement that big I would love for everyone here to read about it. Because, if true the guys like yourself who are tooting the horn of science's unbiased nature will have to take a closer look at their statements.

If you guys are truly scientific, objective, and unbiased then new information should change your view on things. You should be willing to ammend your stance. That is intellectually honest.

Honestly, I'm not sure what the point would even be. If it indeed occurred how Preacher said it did, then it's not an example of actual science. It's an example of a twisted version of a community or people that should be scientists. Just as you would surely point out that the Crusades probably have nothing to do with "real religion" from your viewpoint, I would point out the same about this.

I'm really not as worried about debating about the objectivity or sincerity of the scientific community as I am about the actual ideas behind it.

ricardisimo
06-02-2010, 07:21 PM
If it's all the same to you guys, I'd still like some details. Sometimes a good Snopes article is just what is needed to set a conversation back on course.

eniparadoxgma
06-02-2010, 07:28 PM
I do find it difficult to know what to believe in many circumstances because of the money involved on all sides.

I was watching Dateline this weekend and they were talking about the link between vaccines and autism. There was a well respected doctor suggesting a possible link and it's changing parent/patient behavior as a result. Then there's other well respected doctors taking the opposing viewpoint because they're being paid by those with a vested interest in the current vaccines. Both sides are paid. Both sides are persuasive and have compelling arguments.

As a person that knows nothing about medicine really, how am I to know what's true? I can't even go a research the info really. I pretty much have to accept what my personal doctor believes. I mean, I can change doctors if I disagree with them. But how am I to know if I should even disagree with him? Most likely general practitioners minds are owned by the drug companies anyway. We're all owned by somebody's vested interests.

I definitely understand your point. However, I don't think there's much vested interested in non-theism. No one gets paid by me to not be a Christian (for example).


Pretty much every time there's a major breakthrough in technology, the majority is skeptical and vested interests try to prevent change. This happens with every major invention in every industry throughout history. 99.9% of people are resistant to change. And the bigger the vested interests, the more they slow down innovation. Otherwise, we should have cars that get 100s mpg, roofs that last longer than 10 years, and people that live 1000s of years.

Three Stages of Truth
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Schopenhauer


But we use what we know to protect us from the unknown and maintain our current status quo. Science is constantly in the way of science. And this is also just as true of religion. We get in our own way and prevent progress from happening for the sake of our own comfort in the current state we live. It's no coincidence the people with the least vested interests seem to be willing to take the biggest risks and fight the status quo - they have nothing to lose.

But do any of us really have anything to lose? The more I think about this, we're constrained and held back by Preacher's metanarratives. Not specifically preachers metanarrative, but all of ours.

The deeper we build up our lives from our metanarratives (this is becoming my new favorite word), the more we constrain our abilities to think openly. The more vested we become, the less useful we are.

Here, also I understand your point. But how would a metanarrative of "Think openly" constrain your ability to think openly? :)


I was very afraid of dying as a young child. But looking back now, I realize I just didn't want to lose my curiousity, openness, innocence, hope, and belief that anything is possible. Maybe we die because we just become of no more use to this world. Aging is losing all of the good that we originated with in this world.

Very interesting and original thoughts, flipster. IMO, we die because this is how things are...no more and no less.


Science or faith, maybe the key to it all is what Shawn mentioned 100 pages back, being like children.

I have no problem with that. However, I see the scientific paradigm (or metanarrative...the two words and concepts seem almost interchangeable to me) as more "open" than one of just about any organized religion. Organized religion attempts to give answers to questions that science leaves unanswered. Science is always open to revision while most religions do not allow for the evolution of their predominant dogmas.

Also, two other things this "being like children" thing reminds me of:

1. "as divine children lost in the wonder of joy" - me

2. Nietzsche's "On the 3 Metamorphoses" - http://members.core.com/~ascensus/docs/Metamor.html (a good discussion of the concept which is found in "Thus Spoke Zarathustra")

""I name you three metamorphoses of the spirit: how the spirit shall become a camel, and the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child"

...

"But say, my brothers, what can the child do that even the lion could not do? Why must the preying lion still become a child? The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel, a first movement, a sacred "Yes." For the game of creation, my brothers, a sacred "Yes" is needed: the spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been lost to the world now conquers the world."




All our metanarratives do is ruin us. Or at least slow us down. I do have a feeling the internet and the potential power of collabortation could reverse this. But it will take some time to rid the world of their old farts like us and our metanarratives so that new ideas can flourish and innovation can accelerate.

It's interesting that you discuss the potential collaborative power of the internet. It's something I've brought up in discussion in the past year myself. :Cheers

One more thing from Nietzsche :) :

"Behold the good and just! Whom do they hate most? The man who breaks their tablets of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker: -- yet he is the creator.

Behold the believers of all faiths! Whom do they hate most? The man who breaks up their tablets of values, the breaker, the law-breaker -- yet he is the creator.

The creator seeks companions, not corpses -- and not herds or believers either. The creator seeks fellow-creators -- those who engrave new values on new law-tablets. "

eniparadoxgma
06-02-2010, 07:30 PM
If it's all the same to you guys, I'd still like some details. Sometimes a good Snopes article is just what is needed to set a conversation back on course.

I'm still interested as well. I just don't think it has much to do with the actual topic of discussion.

Preacher
06-02-2010, 09:38 PM
The answer is, NO. They would not be entertained. Those journals I gave as examples, has as foundational entrance requirements for all research, an agreement on evolution. You can NOT get published in the journals if you do not argue for evolution. You can argue WITHIN evolution, but NEVER against it. It is rejected by the editorial committees by virtue of the entrance requirements. There ARE those who are ID theorists who have written articles and submitted them. Early on, one of them passed through the editorial board--meaning it matched the scrutiny of some of the best minds in the field (those are the ones usually on the board). However, when it got out that it was going to be published, the scientific community went nuts, and the publisher rescinded the article. Since then, these rules have come.

Why? SPECIFICALLY so that the argument cannot happen. The openness and questioning of the foundational science (and philosophy behind the science, to be absolutely honest) will never be challenged. THAT, is DOGMA. Not Science.
This smacks of urban legend to me, quite honestly. I would like very much to hear more about this case. Can you give more details please? Thanks.

FIrst, here is a story about the an article written I wasn't aware of. First, here is the info on the article:
On August 4th, 2004 an extensive review essay by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, Director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture appeared in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (volume 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239). The Proceedings is a peer-reviewed biology journal published at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Here is what happened to the editor of the article. (Remember, this wasn't even the one I was referring too). http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5007508

Here is a nice little story concerning how someone who questions evolution-not even arguing ID, just questions it is shunted aside. These are the actual communications back and forth.
http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_correspondencewithsciencejournals.htm

Now with those two pieces of evidence, look at the journals themselves that I listed in my arguments, and look at their requirements... SHoot, ran out of time, I 'll get back to htis later tonight...

flippy
06-02-2010, 10:01 PM
Eni,

I gotta get your top 10-20 recommended reading list. i've been fascinated reading a bunch of the links you've provided. i really enjoy learning how smart minds think. i'm starting to think i would have liked being a philosophy major.


Three Stages of Truth
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Schopenhauer

I remember a gahndi quote and think it's kind of applicable: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”


Here, also I understand your point. But how would a metanarrative of "Think openly" constrain your ability to think openly? :)

Your perspective of open becomes tainted as you experience life. We always have some underlying set of assumptions we can't take away. To really be open, you need to eliminate those underlying assumptions. It's really hard to remove assumptions.


Science is always open to revision while most religions do not allow for the evolution of their predominant dogmas.

We all resist change imo. And this is a problem I have with religion. And that's also why we end up with so many religions. I do think many religions today may not exist if they don't adapt for the future. Going back to the internet, you can't stop the exchange of information. Everyone has access to the same info and we're only going to collectively become so much smarter.

I have quite a few beefs with many religions actually. From the way religion treats gayness to sin, to the way that they don't allow women to hold the same positions as men in churches. Some rely too much on traditions and others not enough. Not to mention the idea of God not saving everyone if he does exist. I totally get that there's so much about religion that shouldn't make sense to anyone really.


I don't think there's much vested interested in non-theism.

You can live without fear of not having a fulfilling and good afterlife. Not that that motivates you specifically.

But I was more talking about science versus competing science or religion versus competing religions. There's loads of money in religion. There's also control and power. There are many regions of the world where Christianity is persecuted as are many human rights. And there are vested interests that want to keep Christianity away because it's teachings would lead to potential changes in control and power of current political parties. I was thinking more in terms much broader than just you or I.


The creator seeks fellow-creators -- those who engrave new values on new law-tablets. "

I've always felt that when I create, I'm closest to God. Whatever it may be - art, a computer program, a house, a poem, a baby, etc. One of my favorite places to visit is Volcanos National Park in HI where you can see a constant volcano flow across portions of the island and into the ocean. That's a place where I felt closest to creation in the world besides seeing the birth of a child or animal. But with the volcanos I feel closer to better understanding more of a cosmic level of creation - births of new stars for example and it drives me to want to create. I don't think we've even scratched the surface of beginning to understand the earth and imagine that once robotics advance for another 100 years and we're able to explore the bottoms of the oceans, we'll learn many orders of magnitude more in the next 100 years than we've collectively learned in all of time up until now. I'm hopeful medical research and regenerative science will keep us alive to see what lies ahead. I get really bummed thinking about us not living long enough to be around to learn what scientist will learn after we die. They'll still be filling their tablets.

I have no idea where this discussion is going, but it's been pretty darn interesting stuff. :Cheers

eniparadoxgma
06-02-2010, 11:46 PM
Eni,

I gotta get your top 10-20 recommended reading list. i've been fascinated reading a bunch of the links you've provided. i really enjoy learning how smart minds think. i'm starting to think i would have liked being a philosophy major.

I appreciate the compliment but I'm just another guy that knows enough to know he don't know nothin'...or do I? You'll have to excuse me at the moment as my brain is currently being scrambled by...women.

I'll give you some of what I consider the best things I've ever read though.

-"Thus Spoke Zarathustra" - Nietzsche
-"The Glass Bead Game" - Herman Hesse

Hell, that's all I got right now. Those are both books that I've read several times and get something new out of them every time I read them though. I fully expect to be reading them over and over until I die.

Don't sell yourself short though. I've read a lot of things you've written that were obviously the product of an original intellect. You're still hanging in here, man. :Cheers




I remember a gahndi quote and think it's kind of applicable: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Very nice. Gandhi was a bad ass dude.


Your perspective of open becomes tainted as you experience life. We always have some underlying set of assumptions we can't take away. To really be open, you need to eliminate those underlying assumptions. It's really hard to remove assumptions.

Are you saying it's impossible to ever be open then? I understand your point. As Preacher rightfully said, you have to have some type of context to work from or else you're just taking in sensory input without any type of way to interpret it.


We all resist change imo. And this is a problem I have with religion. And that's also why we end up with so many religions. I do think many religions today may not exist if they don't adapt for the future. Going back to the internet, you can't stop the exchange of information. Everyone has access to the same info and we're only going to collectively become so much smarter.

I have quite a few beefs with many religions actually. From the way religion treats gayness to sin, to the way that they don't allow women to hold the same positions as men in churches. Some rely too much on traditions and others not enough. Not to mention the idea of God not saving everyone if he does exist. I totally get that there's so much about religion that shouldn't make sense to anyone really.

I'm glad to hear you say a lot of that. From what I've read of you before now, I just took it that you were more of a fundamentalist type in regards to Christianity (that happened to have some cool ideas). The fact that we agree about a lot concerning religion says a lot to me.




You can live without fear of not having a fulfilling and good afterlife. Not that that motivates you specifically.

But I was more talking about science versus competing science or religion versus competing religions. There's loads of money in religion. There's also control and power. There are many regions of the world where Christianity is persecuted as are many human rights. And there are vested interests that want to keep Christianity away because it's teachings would lead to potential changes in control and power of current political parties. I was thinking more in terms much broader than just you or I.

Got ya. I understand where organized religion and the scientific community have a lot invested. I guess I was just talking about how non-theists don't really have much control or power...at least in America.


I've always felt that when I create, I'm closest to God. Whatever it may be - art, a computer program, a house, a poem, a baby, etc. One of my favorite places to visit is Volcanos National Park in HI where you can see a constant volcano flow across portions of the island and into the ocean. That's a place where I felt closest to creation in the world besides seeing the birth of a child or animal. But with the volcanos I feel closer to better understanding more of a cosmic level of creation - births of new stars for example and it drives me to want to create. I don't think we've even scratched the surface of beginning to understand the earth and imagine that once robotics advance for another 100 years and we're able to explore the bottoms of the oceans, we'll learn many orders of magnitude more in the next 100 years than we've collectively learned in all of time up until now. I'm hopeful medical research and regenerative science will keep us alive to see what lies ahead. I get really bummed thinking about us not living long enough to be around to learn what scientist will learn after we die. They'll still be filling their tablets.

I have no idea where this discussion is going, but it's been pretty darn interesting stuff. :Cheers

That is some really great stuff, man. I totally understand what you mean by being closest to creation when creating. I also get the same feeling from nature. Just sitting underneath the stars or clouds can help me achieve epiphanies I've never encountered.

Hell, you've provided me with a lot to think about as well man. This thread rocks faces. :tt2 :tt2 :tt2

<edited for a cuss word I thought would get edited out, apparently you can't say Coach Lebeau's name but you can say "mfer" :D >

ricardisimo
06-03-2010, 04:31 AM
Here is what happened to the editor of the article. (Remember, this wasn't even the one I was referring too). http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5007508

This case seems to speak to eni's point... It's a whole lot of awkward stupidity at some small journal. The article did get published, and the publisher had some not nice things said about him as a result. That a not-so-compelling example made national news says something about our national news, more so than about the state of peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Here is a nice little story concerning how someone who questions evolution-not even arguing ID, just questions it is shunted aside. These are the actual communications back and forth.
http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_correspondencewithsciencejournals.htm

Clearly the author is arguing ID, as he does quite openly later that same Summer in his "Reply to Critics" paper. Furthermore - let's face it - we're talking about the main contributor to Of Pandas and People, ten years after its publication. By 1999, no one in the scientific community is fooled by the term "irreducible complexity" anymore than Federal judges are fooled by the term "Intelligent Design". These are Creationist code-words, and the reviewer is perfectly within his/her rights to extrapolate, and so come to the reasonable conclusion that the paper is indeed Creationist.


Now with those two pieces of evidence, look at the journals themselves that I listed in my arguments, and look at their requirements... SHoot, ran out of time, I 'll get back to htis later tonight...

To which journals are you referring? I missed that part.

By the way, the Wikipedia article on irreducible complexity is fascinating, and perfectly intelligible. I don't see any way to reconcile Creationist ideas with the scientific method. These are indeed "God of the gaps" arguments being leveled against Darwinian evolution, which is to say not very good arguments, and roundly and soundly discredited. I nearly peed myself with some of the mousetrap critiques. All of this brings me back to a point I made thirty or forty posts ago...

Why is Darwinian evolution anathema to religion? Why? You would think that the writing would be on the wall by now, and that people of faith would accept it the way they have had to accept Copernicus. The answer is obvious: the Bible. There is nothing anti-religious about evolution theory, unless you are a particular breed of Christian, who reads the Bible in a certain way, as the chart below shows.
http://pewresearch.org/assets/publications/1105-1.png

Curiously, Jews accept Darwinian evolution just fine, despite reading the same book of Genesis that Conservative Christians read. They remain Jews all the same, and Hindus remain Hindus, and Buddhists, etc. So what gives?

Preacher
06-03-2010, 04:45 PM
OK. On to the journals.

Submission requirements for the direct descendant of the oldest biological journal in the world- Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.


The Biological Journal publishes papers concerned with the process of organic evolution in the broadest sense. It particularly welcomes contributions that illustrate the unifying concepts of evolutionary biology with evidence, either observational or theoretical, from any relevant field of the biological sciences. We are especially keen to receive manuscripts on evolutionary genomics. In other words, if you don't start with a foundation of evolution, you won't be published.

The Journal of Biology... Not as blatant, until you actually read through the process-

* articles will not generally be rejected without the advice of a practising scientist in the field (or in other words, every evolutionary scientist who disagrees with anything other than Darwin-and according to the previous articles, that is EXACTLY the unwritten rule that has come about).
* no suitable article will be rejected on the grounds of article length, or lack of space
* every effort will be made to ensure that at least one peer-reviewer for each article is selected from a list provided by the author
* where appropriate, a suitably qualified researcher will be nominated by the Editorial Board to act as Expert Advisor for a particular article, to advise on or resolve issues arising during peer review (see my first comment).

Here is a great sidestep... and perfectly explanatory of the intellectual isolation of evolutionary science

From the time the Editor-in-Chief starts receives a paper, up to the point the Board Member assigns referees, an internal editorial review is completed based on priority to limit referee requests to those manuscripts that are likely to be accepted and/or fit the interests of the journal readership. See the circular argument? If ID, or irreducible complexity, or anything else outside evolution doesn't fit the INTEREST--- its not published. Period.

Do you all want me to go on with more? Or have I made my point. If you don't already hold to evolution, you can't publish. All it took was an article published in an obscure scientific journal and another article, which the following discussion was shut down and he WAS NOT ALLOWED TO RESPOND-- for it to happen.

Science or dogma? Sorry, but I have to conclude dogma. If it was science, then these journals would fully allow all these theories to be displayed, rebutted, answered, and rebutted again, and the arguments won or lost ON MERIT. But what we are seeing, is editorial interference shutting down discussions.

Now, I submit to you SBL, ASOR, ETS, etc. which are the major publications in my field and surrounding fields. ASOR is a study of Near East history-biblical times people. IT is a SECULAR institution which both christians and athiests are a part of. SBL is the society of biblical literature. In those publications, you can find things that cross the spectrum from one far end to the other as far as belief is concerned. ETS is an evangelical publication. However, it has just completed a MAJOR discussion a few years ago about the very CORE of understanding faith and christianity. A discussion about whether doctrines were bounded sets or centered sets. Whether theologians and christians must stay within the doctrines of the bible or wether they were the beginning stages of doctrine for man to build on. These are FOUNDATIONAL discussions... equal to "is the philosophy of Hegelian dialectal theory still the right foundation for biology." However, the latter is a discussion that will never happen, even though Hegelian theory has been dismissed in historical sciences see for example, the religiousgeschictedschule- the German secular school of historical study of religions- in economic sciences (see the fall of marxism in real life for example). Yet, life sciences refuse to do what historical and economic sciences have done... reassess a 150 year old philosophical foundation.

In the end, the biggest problem I have with evolution is that is seems a complete fraud. "hard scientists" accept a foundational philosophy discarded by every other science that has used it- refuse to re-assess it, continually fit every new finding into the already established metanarrative, then claim that every new find "proves" evolution even more.

Sorry, but that is simply HORRIBLE philosophy. And make NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. It isn't SCIENCE-the observations... its PHILOSOPHY-the interpretation and placing of the observations in the Hegelian philosophical argument.

Each of these journals shows that very point. They ALL have within them, some blatant, some not so blatant, the mechanism to keep the foundational philosophy unchallenged. When two articles slipped through in teh beginning.... the scientific community went nuts... and now, no other articles are being published in peer review. Least, I haven't been able to find them. WHy? Because they are not
likely to be accepted and/or fit the interests of the journal readership. and most journals
It particularly welcomes contributions that illustrate the unifying concepts of evolutionary biology

Hence, don't challenge the status quo, or you'll be blackballed and unpublished. Just like the EDITOR of the Smithsonian was... just for ALLOWING A DISCUSSION.

Or you will be silenced while your critics are allowed to rave on, just like Bebe was.

Again, science... or dogma. Seems to me, it is dogma of evolution. And the theological part of the academy, is doing a lot better job at the science of theology.

Preacher
06-03-2010, 04:50 PM
We gave alot of details but I agree it would be nice to read about this somewhere for validation. I certainly don't question Preacher's intregrity but with a statement that big I would love for everyone here to read about it. Because, if true the guys like yourself who are tooting the horn of science's unbiased nature will have to take a closer look at their statements.

If you guys are truly scientific, objective, and unbiased then new information should change your view on things. You should be willing to ammend your stance. That is intellectually honest.

Honestly, I'm not sure what the point would even be. If it indeed occurred how Preacher said it did, then it's not an example of actual science. It's an example of a twisted version of a community or people that should be scientists. Just as you would surely point out that the Crusades probably have nothing to do with "real religion" from your viewpoint, I would point out the same about this.

I'm really not as worried about debating about the objectivity or sincerity of the scientific community as I am about the actual ideas behind it.

But in many ways the two can't be divided. Until the scientific community allows for multiple examinations and questioning of the very foundations of evolutionary theory, including the core Hegelian philosophy behind it, the ideas will always be tainted specifically by hegelian hegemony. That is the circular reasoning that I am speaking against.... and that taints the entire scientific community.

They are GReAT observers. . . . but HORRIBLE philosophers. And Evolution, is a philosophy attached to scientific observations.

eniparadoxgma
06-03-2010, 07:06 PM
But in many ways the two can't be divided. Until the scientific community allows for multiple examinations and questioning of the very foundations of evolutionary theory, including the core Hegelian philosophy behind it, the ideas will always be tainted specifically by hegelian hegemony. That is the circular reasoning that I am speaking against.... and that taints the entire scientific community.

They are GReAT observers. . . . but HORRIBLE philosophers. And Evolution, is a philosophy attached to scientific observations.

Again, I feel the need to bring up the Crusades, religious persecution, Copernicus, etc. Are you saying that "religion" cannot be divided from the perpetrators of the Crusades?

I'm not sure why you find it so hard to divide the two. Science in its true form (the scientific method) continues to be the scientific method whether or not Nazis are using it for their ends or whether or not there is a group of scientists distorting the truth for their own ends etc etc.

I (personally) am not interested in discussing the scientific community at this time as I see it as a completely separate discussion. I'm still interested in your views on objective reality and how you do not find yourself lost in solipsism without it.

ricardisimo
06-03-2010, 07:49 PM
Preach, you're kind of answering your own questions, particularly when you talk about what a "horrible philosophy" it is. Mr. Behe said so himself, and one of his correspondents recommended it: these issues belong in Philosophy of Science - not Biology - journals. Creationism has no basis in science, "irreducible complexity" has been analyzed and disproved to everyone's satisfaction, and other counter-arguments are rightly being viewed as Debbie Downerisms at best; "we can't wrap our brains around it right now, and so we never will, and so evolution is a failure."

If someone were to publish a "highly scholarly, academic and technical" paper purporting geo- or heliocentrism still to be in force, they would rightly be shunted off either to Philosophy of Science publications, or religious studies. I assume you understand that much. It is no different with evolution. The only real difference is that almost no Americans believe that the sun is at the center of the universe (or they no longer care), while a majority question evolution.

Am I understanding you correctly? Are you suggesting that since Social Darwinism is so deplorable, that you feel all applications (or misapplications) of Darwin's theories should be shunned?

ricardisimo
06-03-2010, 08:00 PM
I find it very interesting that there are no groups protesting the teaching or investigation of String Theory, nor the amounts of public funds being poured into said investigations. Why is the Discovery Institute not pushing to stop it? It's pursued dogmatically by its adherents, it's almost certainly wrong, and nowhere in the Bible is it mentioned or even alluded to.

That is not to say that good sciences isn't being produced all the same. This is yet another example of the beauty of the scientific method; not finding the Higgs boson is almost as informative as finding it. Contrariwise, claiming that "X doesn't make sense to me, so we should instead posit God" is intellectual defeatism, and not knowledge at all, since we cannot know God in any way (so says I) and certainly not by scientific experimentation.

Preacher
06-03-2010, 08:53 PM
But in many ways the two can't be divided. Until the scientific community allows for multiple examinations and questioning of the very foundations of evolutionary theory, including the core Hegelian philosophy behind it, the ideas will always be tainted specifically by hegelian hegemony. That is the circular reasoning that I am speaking against.... and that taints the entire scientific community.

They are GReAT observers. . . . but HORRIBLE philosophers. And Evolution, is a philosophy attached to scientific observations.

Again, I feel the need to bring up the Crusades, religious persecution, Copernicus, etc. Are you saying that "religion" cannot be divided from the perpetrators of the Crusades?

I'm not sure why you find it so hard to divide the two. Science in its true form (the scientific method) continues to be the scientific method whether or not Nazis are using it for their ends or whether or not there is a group of scientists distorting the truth for their own ends etc etc.

I (personally) am not interested in discussing the scientific community at this time as I see it as a completely separate discussion. I'm still interested in your views on objective reality and how you do not find yourself lost in solipsism without it.

The crusades are a few steps away in this conversation. A much better issue I think- that is equal to what you are talking about, is the Hellenisation of Christian theology. The foundational philosophical theories which then contained and molded all other Christian doctrine.

To answer your question specifically, crusades were driven by a basic philosphical/theological system called Christendom. Until Christendom was brought under the microscope and reexamined in its foundational elements, the basic underlying truths could not be divided from its extended philosophies and theologies which produced the crusades. Once that was done by the anabaptists, (Luther and Zwingli both failed to do it) the separation can be made.

There is no problem with the pure science- nor do I have a problem with it. A cell can be broken down by chemicals and constructs. Cool. Certain chemicals can make it do certain things over and over, cool. The problem I have, is that the foundational philosophy of the science is held as dogma.

So you just care that scientists can break the atom, observe what cells can do, etc. etc. Then we have no argument. But as soon as you start using that for evidence of evolution- As soon as you put interpretation on observation, it ceases being science and begins to be philosophy-based on Hegelian dialectical theory. Thus, the argument that is really happening... is whether it is ok to attach observations to the teleological argument or to the Hegelian dialectical argument. THAT, is not a scientific question. It is PURELY a philosphical question. Because no matter which argument you begin with, all the evidence in the world can and will be found to hold up your basic philosphical foundation...

Thus, your metanarrative-which is why I started this whole thing by arguing, that there is no true "reality". It is ALL a matter of interpretation. Because reality, is interpretation of observation. So we can only speak of my and your reality.

Preacher
06-03-2010, 09:05 PM
Preach, you're kind of answering your own questions, particularly when you talk about what a "horrible philosophy" it is. Mr. Behe said so himself, and one of his correspondents recommended it: these issues belong in Philosophy of Science - not Biology - journals. Creationism has no basis in science, "irreducible complexity" has been analyzed and disproved to everyone's satisfaction, and other counter-arguments are rightly being viewed as Debbie Downerisms at best; "we can't wrap our brains around it right now, and so we never will, and so evolution is a failure."
To everyone's satisfaction? Or to the satisfaction of those who begin with a foundation of evolution and do not allow challenges to that foundatoin? After all, in one of my previous posts... he was not allowed to even answer his critics. Thus, the decision was not concluded by true peer review, but by editorial fiat.


If someone were to publish a "highly scholarly, academic and technical" paper purporting geo- or heliocentrism still to be in force, they would rightly be shunted off either to Philosophy of Science publications, or religious studies. I assume you understand that much. It is no different with evolution. The only real difference is that almost no Americans believe that the sun is at the center of the universe (or they no longer care), while a majority question evolution.
And that, is the absolute point I am making... that your assumption in that phrase has blinded the scientists who have all made the same assumption... because unlike helio or geocentrism... evolution itself is NOT observed, but rather, is created as a philosphical argument via hegelian theory.

Am I understanding you correctly? Are you suggesting that since Social Darwinism is so deplorable, that you feel all applications (or misapplications) of Darwin's theories should be shunned?
I have no clue why you bring this up... since I have not referred to it. I feel his theories should not be shunned. Please don't put words in my mouth. I think that his use of Hegelian theory to string together his observations is ripe for re-examination in light of Hegelian theory's fall from grace in every other science it was used in.

Once again, Evolution itself is not a science. It is a philosophy used to explain scientific observations.

ricardisimo
06-03-2010, 09:27 PM
I have no clue why you bring this up... since I have not referred to it. I feel his theories should not be shunned. Please don't put words in my mouth. I think that his use of Hegelian theory to string together his observations is ripe for re-examination in light of Hegelian theory's fall from grace in every other science it was used in.

Once again, Evolution itself is not a science. It is a philosophy used to explain scientific observations.
Ah! Hegel... not Darwin. Now I get it. I misread that. Sorry.

I don't know where you are getting this stuff. Evolution is observed, all the time. Evolution satisfies all of the necessary criteria to make it a full-fledged scientific theory. It is a "well-supported body of interconnected statements that explains observations and can be used to make testable predictions." It is a "theory" in exactly the same way that the Theory of Gravitation is a theory. Do you deride Gravitation and Relativity as likewise being merely "philosophies"?

Most of the observations involve rapidly reproducing species like fruit flies and bacteria, but that doesn't make it any less valid or less "observed". Also, the predictive power need not relate to reactions in test tubes; scientists can make predictions about genetically-transmitted traits in humans, and then take a look at data from the Human Genome Project to see if what they are describing actually appears in the population. The scientists may not have done any "experiments", per se, but their predictions are still predictions, and are testable.

Creationism can offer none of these things, hence it is not science.

eniparadoxgma
06-03-2010, 09:55 PM
The crusades are a few steps away in this conversation. A much better issue I think- that is equal to what you are talking about, is the Hellenisation of Christian theology. The foundational philosophical theories which then contained and molded all other Christian doctrine.

To answer your question specifically, crusades were driven by a basic philosphical/theological system called Christendom. Until Christendom was brought under the microscope and reexamined in its foundational elements, the basic underlying truths could not be divided from its extended philosophies and theologies which produced the crusades. Once that was done by the anabaptists, (Luther and Zwingli both failed to do it) the separation can be made.

I feel like I must not be asking the right questions, because the above is so far removed from my point as to be irrelevant.


There is no problem with the pure science- nor do I have a problem with it. A cell can be broken down by chemicals and constructs. Cool. Certain chemicals can make it do certain things over and over, cool. The problem I have, is that the foundational philosophy of the science is held as dogma.

I'm assuming the foundational philosophy of science is the scientific method. You have a problem with the verification of empirical evidence? I'm not sure I'm following your reasoning here.


So you just care that scientists can break the atom, observe what cells can do, etc. etc. Then we have no argument. But as soon as you start using that for evidence of evolution- As soon as you put interpretation on observation, it ceases being science and begins to be philosophy-based on Hegelian dialectical theory. Thus, the argument that is really happening... is whether it is ok to attach observations to the teleological argument or to the Hegelian dialectical argument. THAT, is not a scientific question. It is PURELY a philosphical question. Because no matter which argument you begin with, all the evidence in the world can and will be found to hold up your basic philosphical foundation...

Let's try something here. Take "evolution" out of your paragraph above and replace it with any other scientific theory or law. Do you still have a problem and if so are you really attempting to say that there are no verifiable facts whatsoever? If you do not have a problem then what is it that makes evolution such a different thing than the law of the conversation of mass and energy or the law of gravity or any other scientific theory or law?

Are we interpreting verifiable empirical evidence in a biased way when we build automobiles? You're going to have to clarify your point concerning what makes the theory of evolution so different to you than string theory or chaos theory or the big bang theory etc etc. I'm not sure why you seem to be singling it out except for the fact that it flies in the face of most interpretations of Christian dogma.


Thus, your metanarrative-which is why I started this whole thing by arguing, that there is no true "reality". It is ALL a matter of interpretation. Because reality, is interpretation of observation. So we can only speak of my and your reality.

No offense, but I'm still waiting on your explanation of how you avoid solipsism if you truly believe there is no such thing as objective reality. I've asked a few times but have yet to see your answer.

Preacher
06-03-2010, 10:50 PM
The crusades are a few steps away in this conversation. A much better issue I think- that is equal to what you are talking about, is the Hellenisation of Christian theology. The foundational philosophical theories which then contained and molded all other Christian doctrine.

To answer your question specifically, crusades were driven by a basic philosophical/theological system called Christendom. Until Christendom was brought under the microscope and reexamined in its foundational elements, the basic underlying truths could not be divided from its extended philosophies and theologies which produced the crusades. Once that was done by the anabaptists, (Luther and Zwingli both failed to do it) the separation can be made.

I feel like I must not be asking the right questions, because the above is so far removed from my point as to be irrelevant. No. I think maybe it is I that is not being clear in what I am saying. Maybe I am giving the arguments, but failing to give the connections... Be patient with me and let me try again ok?

From what I am understanding, you are asking why I can't divide the scientific community from the actual body of evidence- concerning evolution, is that correct?

If it is, then my answer is that the body of evidence is produced and interpreted by the community itself and is thus taught to others as the observed fact. That is why it cannot be seperated, because the interpretation of the observation is based purely in the context which it happened. Does that help? Or am I missing your question?



[quote:3r5f1cc5]There is no problem with the pure science- nor do I have a problem with it. A cell can be broken down by chemicals and constructs. Cool. Certain chemicals can make it do certain things over and over, cool. The problem I have, is that the foundational philosophy of the science is held as dogma.

I'm assuming the foundational philosophy of science is the scientific method. You have a problem with the verification of empirical evidence? I'm not sure I'm following your reasoning here.
[/quote:3r5f1cc5]

No, the foundational philosophy if evolution is Hegelian theory. That is why I designated "pure science" and thus, observations and the empirical method as distinct and different from the interpretation which is based on Darwin-and thus based on Hegelian theory.


[quote:3r5f1cc5]So you just care that scientists can break the atom, observe what cells can do, etc. etc. Then we have no argument. But as soon as you start using that for evidence of evolution- As soon as you put interpretation on observation, it ceases being science and begins to be philosophy-based on Hegelian dialectical theory. Thus, the argument that is really happening... is whether it is ok to attach observations to the teleological argument or to the Hegelian dialectical argument. THAT, is not a scientific question. It is PURELY a philosphical question. Because no matter which argument you begin with, all the evidence in the world can and will be found to hold up your basic philosphical foundation...

Let's try something here. Take "evolution" out of your paragraph above and replace it with any other scientific theory or law. Do you still have a problem and if so are you really attempting to say that there are no verifiable facts whatsoever? If you do not have a problem then what is it that makes evolution such a different thing than the law of the conversation of mass and energy or the law of gravity or any other scientific theory or law? Are we interpreting verifiable empirical evidence in a biased way when we build automobiles? You're going to have to clarify your point concerning what makes the theory of evolution so different to you than string theory or chaos theory or the big bang theory etc etc. I'm not sure why you seem to be singling it out except for the fact that it flies in the face of most interpretations of Christian dogma.[/quote:3r5f1cc5]

From other sciences I have been introduced to, I do not see a lot of them basing their observations on philosphical theories. Of course, economic sciences are a different story, as are others. Many of the psychological models (if I remember my counseling classes right... that was quite a few years ago) have problems, because they are based on philosophy as well. However, most of the proponents don't attempt to shut down any other conversation. Geology is fascinating, and is pure observation. You can easily date hundreds of thousands if not millions of years with simple laws like "New cuts old" and the like. Cut half a mountainside and you see folding and twisting, telling a millenia or two of stories. That is all pure observation, with no philosophy used to thus interpret the results.

The same is true when one looks at cells and observes all that can be seen with them. The difference comes, because for some reason when it deals with biology, the science feels the need to engage in Hegel's philosophy to identify stages of development across speciel lines. Yet, there is no-yes Ricardis... no observed data showing a species becoming another species. What there is, is observations, and the application of dialectical theory to tie it all together. THAT is where all my problems lie with evolution, and why I don't have a problem with the other sciences as much. Because they don't resort to a philosophy that has been discarded by the other (soft) sciences. What has happened, in my opinion, is a fallacy of correspondence. Just because one cell in one organism corresponds to another cell in another organism does NOT mean that they must be linked somehow--unless your baseline metanarrative says it must.


[quote:3r5f1cc5]Thus, your metanarrative-which is why I started this whole thing by arguing, that there is no true "reality". It is ALL a matter of interpretation. Because reality, is interpretation of observation. So we can only speak of my and your reality.

No offense, but I'm still waiting on your explanation of how you avoid solipsism if you truly believe there is no such thing as objective reality. I've asked a few times but have yet to see your answer.[/quote:3r5f1cc5]

No offense taken, by the time I get back to answer something, the conversation has moved on.. or there are 20 other excellent points you make to respond to and I don't get to it. If I remember right, you had about 2 or 3 other posts that I need to respond to as well at some point.

I think it is easily avoided. I have no problem whatsoever with observation. EVERYONE who has eyesight can see that blue blob on the street. It exists. But part and parcel to its observed existence, is our interpretation of the blob into our metanarrative. Think Immanuel Kant. To put it crudely, everyone has the meatgrinder on their face that classifies whatever it is they see according to their own metanarrative. Thus, there is no objective reality-since reality is interpeted, not just observed.

Again, think immanuel Kant, not Gorgias. I hold strongly to the link between my mind and my body, and what I perceive through them all. What I don't hold to, is that I can dissolve my metanarrative without taken on another one and thus, be completely and independently free of all bias to observe "fact," "reality," or "truth." They are all colored and shaded by the metanarrative one lives in.

Preacher
06-03-2010, 11:25 PM
Ok....


I look forward to reading ya'lls' responses, then I gotta duck out for a few days AT LEAST!! you all are killing me! I have to get my head back into French... and typing responses WHILE I AM IN CLASS (its an online class) isn't helping :lol: .

So please answer... then be patient. I'll get back to them in a while-and I am thoroughly enjoying both this discussion, and for the most part, the tenor of it as well.

ricardisimo
06-03-2010, 11:47 PM
Now you're talkin' smack about Gorgias... It's ON now! :wink:

The term "species" is obviously a technical term in the sciences, with sharper, harder lines than it has as an observable phenomenon in the actual world. Still, your claim that there have been no observed examples of species "becoming another species", speciation, species branching - whatever - is wrong (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5).

As far as objective reality - or Kantian intersubjectivity, whichever you prefer - it seems to me that if a theory can successfully predict factual outcomes, for anyone doing the observing; or if the results of a given experiment can be reproduced endlessly... then this really should be a non-issue. I assume you would agree that we can all either intersubjectively or objectively make predictions and observations about gravitation upon which we can all agree.

Well, I'm telling you that evolution is no different. Furthermore (and this is my little flag that I'll keep waving :tt2 until I get an answer I can understand) it seems to me that the value of one's faith is profoundly diminished if it is linked to the demise of a particular scientific theory. It's certainly not for an atheist like me to judge, but what does it matter if evolution is 100% true? Why is this an issue for you, but not for the majority of Hindus? Heck, not even for the majority of Catholics, as it turns out. Why is that?

Is it as simple as what I suggested earlier: it diminishes the Bible?

Preacher
06-04-2010, 12:24 AM
Now you're talkin' smack about Gorgias... It's ON now! :wink:

The term "species" is obviously a technical term in the sciences, with sharper, harder lines than it has as an observable phenomenon in the actual world. Still, your claim that there have been no observed examples of species "becoming another species", speciation, species branching - whatever - is wrong (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5).

As far as objective reality - or Kantian intersubjectivity, whichever you prefer - it seems to me that if a theory can successfully predict factual outcomes, for anyone doing the observing; or if the results of a given experiment can be reproduced endlessly... then this really should be a non-issue. I assume you would agree that we can all either intersubjectively or objectively make predictions and observations about gravitation upon which we can all agree.

Well, I'm telling you that evolution is no different. Furthermore (and this is my little flag that I'll keep waving :tt2 until I get an answer I can understand) it seems to me that the value of one's faith is profoundly diminished if it is linked to the demise of a particular scientific theory. It's certainly not for an atheist like me to judge, but what does it matter if evolution is 100% true? Why is this an issue for you, but not for the majority of Hindus? Heck, not even for the majority of Catholics, as it turns out. Why is that?

Is it as simple as what I suggested earlier: it diminishes the Bible?

Actually, for me, it does not diminish the bible in any way. I have thought long and hard about this... and if I was not a Christian, if I rejected every last aspect of my metanarrative, I still couldn't accept evolution because I simply see too many assumptions being made at the baseline level. As I have said before, it is those assumptions therefore that push the narrative of evolution and allow all the "facts" to be nicely fit into an already established model.

Please link for me where I can read about cross-species evolution being observed... not surmised. I would gladly read of it. See, gravity is something that we all experience in our individual narrative. It is observable. Evolution is not-least not cross species evolution.

Furthermore, I can make the exact same claim you have made. Why do you attempt so hard to "prove" evolution? It is because by proving it, you get to reject any notion of God, as you link in your sig tells everyone you want to do.

THose kind of arguments again, are quite illegitimate for negating one position light of uplifting the other position, as they cut both ways to the same depth.


(AND DANG YOU FOR MAKING ME ANSWER!!!! :Hater :moon :wink: )

ricardisimo
06-04-2010, 12:37 AM
The link was embedded in the text: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-spe ... html#part5 (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5)

Preacher
06-04-2010, 01:53 AM
The link was embedded in the text: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-spe ... html#part5 (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5)

:HeadBanger Saw the yellow and this being a new site, I just thought you highlighted it for emphasis! :lol:

I got through about half way and so far, am not really impressed. First, it seems like about 2/3rds of those actually argue for ID, as it took hybridization to produce the results. Second, I have yet to see anything that is not identified as adaptation within commonality. That in no way, shows proof that there is a evolutionary link between a shark and a goldfish, or between a cat and a dog, or a human and a chimp.

It does show however, proof of adaptation within canines- That is, through adaptation, there a distinction that develops between the wolf, the family dog, the coyote, etc. Those distinctions were driven by environment. I fail to see how changes within- point to a single origin of life to cross-species (and I recognize, I have to be more specific in how I use this phrase- should probably think up a better phrasing-thanks Ricardi for pointing that out) evolution.

By that I mean, and Ricardi.. you have seen me argue this multiple times so you know I am not changing my arguments... most Christians have no problem with adaptation. Heck, many use adaptation to explain Noah's ark (an interpretation I disagree with, the table of nations in Genesis is quite specific that it is ONLY around the Mediterranean, though I have yet to be able to explain the flood myth that exists throughout the world).

Hence, we are right back where we started. What is the evidence that a canine was once a see going creature? The only way to "prove" it, is to begin with the assumed metanarrative. For instance, I notice you didn't ONCE even give thought that the plants were able to cross polinate because someone actually crossed them, creating the new species-if that is what it really is. Yet, doesn't that speak as much to intellegent design, that somebody created the new plant-as it does to evolution-that it happened in the wild by accident? Taking all the facts into account, there WAS a creator in that experiment-but his work was negated in the findings simply because the metanarrative begins with the assumption of Hegelian theory and Darwin.

All that is PROVEN, is that plants can cross. Everything else, is an interpretation of the fact.

I haven't yet gotten to the last half.... BUT I REALLY HAVE TO STUDY FRENCH!!! ANd I am blaming YOU for not studying. :mrgreen:

flippy
06-04-2010, 05:14 AM
No offense, but I'm still waiting on your explanation of how you avoid solipsism if you truly believe there is no such thing as objective reality. I've asked a few times but have yet to see your answer.

It's the metanarrative, silly....

God wouldn't go for solipsism because it contradicts the concept of the trinity of the father, son, and holy spirit being one, yet each being unique. Additionally God knows each of us. Definitely no solipsism from his point of view.

In religion, there is no objective reality - nothing can be proven. It's faith in that which cannot be seen. And each individual perceives religion in their own way adhering to solipsism.

And I think Shawn tried to already answer this for you when he mentioned Proverbs 25:2 - "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

ie. only God knows objective reality and our perpetual struggle is that even the best of us are solipsists seeking out that objective reality. but it will be impossible to answer while we're in this world. and it's because of our metanarratives.

i tried to keep this really simple and just say "faith isn't logical".

so i guess we get confused about solipsism and objective reality the closer we get to God. probably holds true in the inverse the further we get from god.

which also goes back to MJG's recommended reading. we pretty much all believe the same stuff even if we don't seem to think we do based on the posts in this thread.

we're just getting stuck in the weeds of our subjective realities or metanarratives.

you guys are making me so smart, i'm starting to not make any sense to myself now :lol

flippy
06-04-2010, 05:45 AM
Scientists and Theologists will be forced to be more open to new ideas than they ever have been in the past because of the economics of the internet. The journals today which are not open and collaborative that Preacher mentions will not exist in the future. The cost to participate in the dialouge is going toward $0. The concept of being published will become less insignificant. The good ideas and theories will win and be most widely accepted. And no longer will a small group of major vested interests control our collective minds and thinking.

Here's an interesting video about the economics that someone sent me recently:
http://www.ted.com/talks/yochai_benkler ... omics.html (http://www.ted.com/talks/yochai_benkler_on_the_new_open_source_economics.ht ml)

I suspect you guys might be interested in many of the videos on this site:
http://www.ted.com/

Shawn
06-04-2010, 07:05 PM
Now you're talkin' smack about Gorgias... It's ON now! :wink:

The term "species" is obviously a technical term in the sciences, with sharper, harder lines than it has as an observable phenomenon in the actual world. Still, your claim that there have been no observed examples of species "becoming another species", speciation, species branching - whatever - is wrong (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5).

As far as objective reality - or Kantian intersubjectivity, whichever you prefer - it seems to me that if a theory can successfully predict factual outcomes, for anyone doing the observing; or if the results of a given experiment can be reproduced endlessly... then this really should be a non-issue. I assume you would agree that we can all either intersubjectively or objectively make predictions and observations about gravitation upon which we can all agree.

Well, I'm telling you that evolution is no different. Furthermore (and this is my little flag that I'll keep waving :tt2 until I get an answer I can understand) it seems to me that the value of one's faith is profoundly diminished if it is linked to the demise of a particular scientific theory. It's certainly not for an atheist like me to judge, but what does it matter if evolution is 100% true? Why is this an issue for you, but not for the majority of Hindus? Heck, not even for the majority of Catholics, as it turns out. Why is that?

Is it as simple as what I suggested earlier: it diminishes the Bible?

Actually, for me, it does not diminish the bible in any way. I have thought long and hard about this... and if I was not a Christian, if I rejected every last aspect of my metanarrative, I still couldn't accept evolution because I simply see too many assumptions being made at the baseline level. As I have said before, it is those assumptions therefore that push the narrative of evolution and allow all the "facts" to be nicely fit into an already established model.

Please link for me where I can read about cross-species evolution being observed... not surmised. I would gladly read of it. See, gravity is something that we all experience in our individual narrative. It is observable. Evolution is not-least not cross species evolution.

Furthermore, I can make the exact same claim you have made. Why do you attempt so hard to "prove" evolution? It is because by proving it, you get to reject any notion of God, as you link in your sig tells everyone you want to do.

THose kind of arguments again, are quite illegitimate for negating one position light of uplifting the other position, as they cut both ways to the same depth.


(AND DANG YOU FOR MAKING ME ANSWER!!!! :Hater :moon :wink: )

Wow, I'm gone for a couple days and I have pages to read. Nice. I have to agree. I really want to read about the fossil record support for a fish becoming a dog or a monkey becoming a human. That should be a very interesting read.

flippy
06-05-2010, 08:29 PM
Just watched Bill Maher's movie Religiulous. Great movie I'd recommend to all yinz guys.

Anyone ever hear of Egyptian Book of The Dead? It was from 1280 BC and had a son of God named Horus. He was the only son God Osiris. He had a virgin birth, he was baptized in a river by Arup who was later beheaded, was tempted while alone in the desert, he healed the sick, he gave sight to the blind, he casted out Demons, he walked on water, he raised a man from the dead named Asar and Asar translates to Lazarus, he was crucified, he arose after three days and was met by two women, and he had twelve disciples.

Holy crap. This is the Bible story many years earlier. The names are changed, but the story is the same.

There were 2 other guys that came before Christ that have similar stories:

Krishna was a God inIndia, 1000 years before Christ who was a carpenter, born of a virgin, and baptized in a river.

And the Persian god, Mithra came 600 years before Christ. He was born December 25, performed miracles, resurrected on the third day, was known as the lamb, the way, the truth, the savior.

WTF?

There was also a Vatican astronomer Phd that said there's no way there's science in the Bible becauase the Bible was written between 2000 BC and 200 AD and the scientific methods were conceived and used only during the last several hundred years. Science wasn't know in the time of the bible.

Really interesting movie!!!!!!

Curious what yinz think?

Shawn
06-05-2010, 09:51 PM
Just watched Bill Maher's movie Religiulous. Great movie I'd recommend to all yinz guys.

Anyone ever hear of Egyptian Book of The Dead? It was from 1280 BC and had a son of God named Horus. He was the only son God Osiris. He had a virgin birth, he was baptized in a river by Arup who was later beheaded, was tempted while alone in the desert, he healed the sick, he gave sight to the blind, he casted out Demons, he walked on water, he raised a man from the dead named Asar and Asar translates to Lazarus, he was crucified, he arose after three days and was met by two women, and he had twelve disciples.

Holy crap. This is the Bible story many years earlier. The names are changed, but the story is the same.

There were 2 other guys that came before Christ that have similar stories:

Krishna was a God inIndia, 1000 years before Christ who was a carpenter, born of a virgin, and baptized in a river.

And the Persian god, Mithra came 600 years before Christ. He was born December 25, performed miracles, resurrected on the third day, was known as the lamb, the way, the truth, the savior.

WTF?

There was also a Vatican astronomer Phd that said there's no way there's science in the Bible becauase the Bible was written between 2000 BC and 200 AD and the scientific methods were conceived and used only during the last several hundred years. Science wasn't know in the time of the bible.

Really interesting movie!!!!!!

Curious what yinz think?

Well let me see if I can predict what will be said.

Eni- Yeah that's because Christianity stole many elements of it's faith.
Richard- Rah Rah eni...what a beautiful friendship we have! I love you.
Preacher- it's all in the metanarrative.
Shawn- I haven't closed doors on alot of options concerning the Christian faith.
Flippy- Can't we all just get along?

Am I close?

:D

Seriously though...if these things are indeed true that is new information which will prompt me to ponder on things that I believe. I have been told by pastors and the Bible itself not to be tossed around like the waves by different teachings. With that said, I don't believe that means being stuck in the thick muck of dogma. The good Lord gave me a brain and I will not just believe what I am told. I have to look for myself and take into account ALL information.

And the last part Flippy...about the science. I need to find the verses but there are a couple verses that talk about the universe being rolled out like a blanket and the earth being a sphere held up by nothingness. Mind you that when this was said (I believe it was OT scripture) that much of that part of the world believed the world was held up on the back of a turtle. There are many elements of the Bible which are beyond the knowledge of "primitive science" of that day. I would have to relook into that but I had a lengthy list at one time. Many of those though have been written about in the book Signature of God.

Shawn
06-05-2010, 10:01 PM
Before I believe any elements of Christian or secular conversation concerning religion I check their facts. I am no expert but a quick look at the story of Horus didn't look anything like the one of Christ.

From Wikipedia...

Horus was born to the goddess Isis after she retrieved all the dismembered body parts of her murdered husband Osiris, except his penis which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by a catfish,[5][6] and used her magic powers to resurrect Osiris and fashion a gold phallus[7] to conceive her son. In another version of the story, Isis was impregnated by divine fire.[8] Once Isis knew she was pregnant with Horus, she fled to the Nile Delta marshlands to hide from her brother Set who jealously killed Osiris and who she knew would want to kill their son.[8] There Isis bore a divine son, Horus.

Yeah that story and the story of Jesus sound identical. All I know is I want a golden phallus. :lol:

ricardisimo
06-05-2010, 10:17 PM
Wow, I'm gone for a couple days and I have pages to read. Nice. I have to agree. I really want to read about the fossil record support for a fish becoming a dog or a monkey becoming a human. That should be a very interesting read.
I'm not quite sure what to tell you and Preach... If you're looking for evidence that a Pekingese made it with Beluga Whale, producing a Beluguenese at some point in Earth's history, well... not only are you not going to see proof of that ever, but you are also not ever going to find evolutionary biologists claiming that such a thing could or has happened, nor would it prove evolution to be true for you. If anything, such an event would be an absolute miracle which would prove God's existence (and his perverse sense of humor.)

Let's face it: God himself would have to tell Preacher and the rest of yinz that Darwinian evolution was a fact for you to accept it. Am I wrong?

Speciation begins as hybridization, and continues as such for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years, until enough changes have set in that a casual observer can confidently say "that's a new species."

ricardisimo
06-05-2010, 10:24 PM
By the way, this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation) details what appears to be six or seven different kinds of speciation, one of which is husbandry by humans. An example is given of each, which is to say these are not theoretical modes, but concrete.

ricardisimo
06-05-2010, 10:25 PM
Who's Roberto?

Shawn
06-05-2010, 10:27 PM
Wow, I'm gone for a couple days and I have pages to read. Nice. I have to agree. I really want to read about the fossil record support for a fish becoming a dog or a monkey becoming a human. That should be a very interesting read.
I'm not quite sure what to tell you and Preach... If you're looking for evidence that a Pekingese made it with Beluga Whale, producing a Beluguenese at some point in Earth's history, well... not only are you not going to see proof of that ever, but you are also not ever going to find evolutionary biologists claiming that such a thing could or has happened, nor would it prove evolution to be true for you. If anything, such an event would be an absolute miracle which would prove God's existence (and his perverse sense of humor.)

Let's face it: God himself would have to tell Preacher and the rest of yinz that Darwinian evolution was a fact for you to accept it. Am I wrong?

Speciation begins as hybridization, and continues as such for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years, until enough changes have set in that a casual observer can confidently say "that's a new species."

The only problem I have with Darwinism is the fact that Neo-Darwinists ignore the math issue. By making presumptions based on events that can not occur by our current known laws of science the whole theory becomes suspect. On a Biblical level I have no issue with evolution unless you want to take God out of the creation process.

ps- the important distinction is that we observe changes that do not increase the genetic information in an organism. While I was trying an attempt at humor that fell flat I do realize evolution doesn't postulate that we came from monkeys. It postulates that we have common ancestory. But, where in all of those speculations do we find any sort of proof that a species can gain genetic info from speciation?

Shawn
06-05-2010, 10:28 PM
Who's Roberto?

That would be you. I couldn't remember your name.

Shawn
06-05-2010, 10:35 PM
By the way, this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation) details what appears to be six or seven different kinds of speciation, one of which is husbandry by humans. An example is given of each, which is to say these are not theoretical modes, but concrete.

And? I don't see alot of ID guys bucking these notions. I'm not sure of your point. What you are still missing is the whole problem of good mutations vs bad mutations...the substantial lean in the direction of the bad and the major problem with the math. I am still wanting to read one good explanation that can get us around the math issue.

Shawn
06-05-2010, 10:45 PM
Flippy briefly looking around the internet there is quite a bit of argument both ways. According to a Christian site what they considered a myth about Horus and similarities between Jesus were discredited by secular scholars in the 20's.

They also said

The Mitra religious belief was, Wholey formed Mithra was born from a rock, naked, with a hat and holding a knife or a torch or a globe.

Who knows. I will do some reading on the matter. I surely won't take that films word for it. I know quite a few books have been written on the subject.

Check out this link. I found it interesting.

http://www.kingdavid8.com/Copycat/JesusHorus.html

Preacher
06-06-2010, 03:18 AM
Well let me see if I can predict what will be said.

Eni- Yeah that's because Christianity stole many elements of it's faith.
Richard- Rah Rah eni...what a beautiful friendship we have! I love you.
Preacher- it's all in the metanarrative.
Shawn- I haven't closed doors on alot of options concerning the Christian faith.
Flippy- Can't we all just get along?

Am I close?


http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e397/repair_buck/bean_laughing_lg_nwm.gif

ricardisimo
06-06-2010, 04:13 AM
On a Biblical level I have no issue with evolution unless you want to take God out of the creation process.
Where does one begin dissecting here?

And? I don't see alot of ID guys bucking these notions. I'm not sure of your point. What you are still missing is the whole problem of good mutations vs bad mutations...the substantial lean in the direction of the bad and the major problem with the math. I am still wanting to read one good explanation that can get us around the math issue.
The link wasn't specifically for your benefit, but rather for Preacher... please enjoy it all the same. I don't know that you ever responded to the earlier request for elucidation on this whole numbers game argument, so I can't even begin to offer you any sort of counter. My suspicion is that it is based on the same bad math as Mr. Behe's irreducible complexity.

This is just off the top of my head, but I think that evolution has taken exactly the amount of time it has taken to progress to where we find it today; not one second more or less. Why this would be improbable is beyond me. What are the odds that the interior electron shells of atoms would only hold two electrons max? Why not one, or seven, or 23,049? Given all of the numbers between zero and infinity, it is improbable in the extreme that it would be 2, and yet there we have it. Do you doubt the validity of modern chemistry because of this?

ricardisimo
06-06-2010, 04:18 AM
Well let me see if I can predict what will be said.

Eni- You still haven't answered my question.
Richard- I'm going to go sniff some glue now, see if that helps.
Preacher- it's all in the metanarrative.
Shawn- I'm going to pretend I have an open mind on this.
Flippy- Can't we all just get along?

Am I close?

Closer.

ricardisimo
06-06-2010, 06:08 AM
The only problem I have with Darwinism is the fact that Neo-Darwinists ignore the math issue. By making presumptions based on events that can not occur by our current known laws of science the whole theory becomes suspect.
They don't ignore it. They dedicate enough time (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/addendaB.html) to it to see if it merits further investigation, and invariably they move on. I finally decided to Google rather than wait for links, and it is humorous reading, to say the least. I particularly liked this line:

To put it in a nutshell, natural selection is not random, but selective, a distinction that is not trivial.
That's nice.

flippy
06-06-2010, 10:32 AM
Flippy briefly looking around the internet there is quite a bit of argument both ways. According to a Christian site what they considered a myth about Horus and similarities between Jesus were discredited by secular scholars in the 20's.

They also said

The Mitra religious belief was, Wholey formed Mithra was born from a rock, naked, with a hat and holding a knife or a torch or a globe.

Who knows. I will do some reading on the matter. I surely won't take that films word for it. I know quite a few books have been written on the subject.

Check out this link. I found it interesting.

http://www.kingdavid8.com/Copycat/JesusHorus.html

I haven't had a chance to check into the info on this movie yet. But I was thinking about this thread the whole time I was watching the movie.

I figured you'd all be interested in this movie.

I have no idea about the validity of the info presented? But I heard a lot of info I'd never heard before and wanted to share to see what you thought.

Shawn
06-06-2010, 10:35 AM
The only problem I have with Darwinism is the fact that Neo-Darwinists ignore the math issue. By making presumptions based on events that can not occur by our current known laws of science the whole theory becomes suspect.
They don't ignore it. They dedicate enough time (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/addendaB.html) to it to see if it merits further investigation, and invariably they move on. I finally decided to Google rather than wait for links, and it is humorous reading, to say the least. I particularly liked this line:

To put it in a nutshell, natural selection is not random, but selective, a distinction that is not trivial.
That's nice.

So, you must be a Darwinist and not a neo-Darwinist. Because while selection isn't random mutation is. And I have done quite a bit of research on this subject over the years. Going back and finding sources has been challenging but let me post what I have written so far. I will delve more into the math problem and the HUGE issues with the lack of support in the fossil record at a later date. But, you seem to be interested so here goes...

Evolution a Mathmatical Impossibility

Shawn

Through my research I have seen some pretty ridiculous claims on both sides of the evolution debate. I have seen it written by creationists that random mutations have never been shown to benefit any organism. That is not intellectually honest and that position undermines their stance. If I read about the "missing link" between monkey and man again I think I will scream. There is much misinformation out there and it's important to choose your sources carefully when evaluating evolution. I can think of a random mutation of the genes controlling red blood cell production that is protective against malaria. The sickle cell trait has been shown to protect against malaria. But, when looking at mutations as a whole the gene causes more harm than good to overall survival of the species. No physician I can think of would argue that this gene is beneficial for survival of man. I can think on a viral/bacterial level of mutations that can benefit the propogation and survival of that virus or bacteria. Small changes can produced resistance to certain medical treatments. But, we are still yet to see one of these mutations change one bacteria or virus to another. So, I do buy that mutations can benefit a simple organism. But, in more complex organisms mutations are almost always devastating. Genetic mutations generally destroy...not build up. Even though we have seen evidence of speciation we have not seen this account for an increase in genetic material. For evolution to work random mutation guided by the seive of selection must be feasible from a scientific stand point and from a mathematical stand point. So, lets start first with mutations. For the record, the quotes I will use will be mainly from pro evolution scientists.

Muller won a Nobel Prize for his work in genetics and mutation...

"It is entirely in line with the accidental nature of mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them detrimental to the organism in its job of surviving and reproducing, just as changes accidentally introduced into any artificial mechanism are predominantly harmful to its useful operation . . Good ones are so rare that we can consider them all bad."—*H.J. Muller, "How Radiation Changes the Genetic Constitution," in Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 11(1955), p. 331.



"Although mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, it is a relatively rare event."—*F.J. Ayala, "Mechanism of Evolution," Scientific American, September 1978, p. 63.



"But mutations are found to be of a random nature, so far as their utility is concerned. Accordingly, the great majority of mutations, certainly well over 99%, are harmful in some way, as is to be expected of the effects of accidental occurrences."—*H.J. Muller, "Radiation Damage to the Genetic Material," in American Scientist, January 1950, p. 35.



"A proportion of favorable mutations of one in a thousand does not sound much, but is probably generous, since so many mutations are lethal, preventing the organism from living at all, and the great majority of the rest throw the machinery slightly out of gear."—*Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action, p. 41.



"One would expect that any interference with such a complicated piece of chemical machinery as the genetic constitution would result in damage. And, intact, this is so: the great majority of mutant genes are harmful in their effects on the organism."—*Julian Huxley



"Mutations are more than just sudden changes in heredity; they also affect viability [ability to keep living], and, to the best of our knowledge invariably affect it adversely [they tend to result in harm or death]. Does not this fact show that mutations are really assaults on the organism’s central being, its basic capacity to be a living thing?"—*C.P. Martin, "A Non-Geneticist Looks at Evolution," in American Scientist, p. 102.



Then you get into genetic load...even if a species survives a mutation and lives to reproduce the odds are the offspring carrying that gene will also mutate in a negative fashion. The build up of mutated genes is referred to as genetic load.



"The large majority of mutations, however, are harmful or even lethal to the individual in whom they are expressed. Such mutations can be regarded as introducing a ‘load,’ or genetic burden, into the [DNA] pool. The term ‘genetic load’ was first used by the late H.J. Muller, who recognized that the rate of mutations is increased by numerous agents man has introduced into his environment, notably ionizing radiation and mutagenic chemicals."—*Christopher Wills, "Genetic Load," in Scientific American, March 1970, p. 98.



"An accident, a random change, in any delicate mechanism can hardly be expected to improve it. Poking a stick into the machinery of one’s watch or one’s radio set will seldom make it work better."—*Theodosius Dobzhansky, Heredity and the Nature of Man (1964), p. 126.



"We could still be sure on theoretical grounds that mutants would usually be detrimental. For a mutation is a random change of a highly organized, reasonably smooth-functioning human body. A random change in the highly integrated system of chemical processes which constitute life is certain to impair—just as a random interchange of connections [wires] in a television set is not likely to improve the picture."—*J.F. Crow, "Genetic Effects of Radiation," in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 14 (1958), pp. 19-20.



Generally, random changes increase disorder...they do not increase order. It's a mathmatical anomoly for a random change to increase order or complexity. At the simplest levels of cellular biology random changes tend to cause a "reverse evolution". With our current knowledge of cellular biology we know that it's unlikely and mathmatically improbable for one cell to produce a random change that would benefit the organism...let alone to use this as an explanation for the system in which complex life evolved. At a one cell 1-4 part cellular level this is one thing to believe. But, each level of increased complexity involves an exponentially improbable chance that a more complex organism would arise and survive because it is dependent on more systems for survival. To believe anything else is a leap of faith unsupported by anything we have observed in our current scientific age. For me, mutation is alot easier to understand on a cellular level with very simple asexual organisms but when dealing with complex organisms even the slightest mutation generally has catastrophic results. In experiments with millions of fruit flies we have never seen an increase in their genetic information. Therefore, the foundation of evolution is already on unstable ground.



"It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws."—*Murray Eden, "Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as Scientific Theory," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution (1967), p. 109.




Alright if you are anything like me you probably thought to yourself...well given enough time and dealing with asexual single celled organisms you would think something could mutate and survive and reproduce asexually. Despite some arguments by creationists I still believe this to be a possible mechanism in which bacteria could have been created even though mathmatically improbable. Where I get into problems is when we start talking about more complex systems. In order for a mutation to stick other elements in that system need to mutate in order to accommodate the new mutation. These mutations must happen nearly simultationously in order for the organism to survive. So, lets start the statistical section.

Julian Huxley, a leading evolutionary spokesman of mid-twentieth century, said it would take 10 to 3000 changes to produce just one horse by evolution. (*Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action, p. 46).

For the mathmatically challenged that is a 1 with 3000 zeros behind it. To understand the scale of that number...the universe's age is considered to be about 13 billion years old. That in seconds is 4 with 17 zeros behind it. So suffice it to say that is a massive number. So this many beneficial mutations which we know are very rare had to occur to produce a horse. We are not even taking into account the fact that with so many good mutations we would have an exponentially greater amount of negative mutations that occur. As stated above these negative mutations would have a catastrophic effect on the species. So, if one mutation occured every second and they were ALL beneficial there still wouldn't be enough seconds to complete the creation of one horse. Evolution is a mathmatical impossibility.

The reason evolution is still widely accepted is because it's the best science has...and admission of it's weakness erodes the power of science. And it opens up speculation by all those "wild eyed religious fanatics to speculate about God". Any admission of not knowing, not accepting etc would effect funding. Scientists are not above greed, prestige, acceptance and power when it comes to interpretation of studies.

http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv119/DocLogic77/trooper_pope_2.jpg

Preacher
06-06-2010, 05:03 PM
Just watched Bill Maher's movie Religiulous. Great movie I'd recommend to all yinz guys.

Anyone ever hear of Egyptian Book of The Dead? It was from 1280 BC and had a son of God named Horus. He was the only son God Osiris. He had a virgin birth, he was baptized in a river by Arup who was later beheaded, was tempted while alone in the desert, he healed the sick, he gave sight to the blind, he casted out Demons, he walked on water, he raised a man from the dead named Asar and Asar translates to Lazarus, he was crucified, he arose after three days and was met by two women, and he had twelve disciples.

Holy crap. This is the Bible story many years earlier. The names are changed, but the story is the same.

There were 2 other guys that came before Christ that have similar stories:

Krishna was a God inIndia, 1000 years before Christ who was a carpenter, born of a virgin, and baptized in a river.

And the Persian god, Mithra came 600 years before Christ. He was born December 25, performed miracles, resurrected on the third day, was known as the lamb, the way, the truth, the savior.

WTF?

There was also a Vatican astronomer Phd that said there's no way there's science in the Bible becauase the Bible was written between 2000 BC and 200 AD and the scientific methods were conceived and used only during the last several hundred years. Science wasn't know in the time of the bible.

Really interesting movie!!!!!!

Curious what yinz think?

Sean has asked me my take on this in a PM. He asked if my response could be posted and my response was:
In some ways no, I don't mind. But in other ways, it isn't researched enough for me to actually put it out there. It is sourced through two sources (a commentary on an ancient Historian and the Book of the Dead, instead of more- I didn't look at the original arguments so I am not sure exactly what I am arguing against, and furthermore, use the source quite a bit, but really didn't reference it that much (in a technical paper, I could maybe get dinged for thought plagiarism-though not word for word-- Naa, not plagiarism, but not references close enough).

Also, I am sure there are glaring holes, as I don't know enough about the myth yet, nor about the way the myth is argued by those who make the connection, though I do know somethings about it as I have discussed it before.


With that said, here is my response. Think of it as a VERY rough draft where thoughts and a couple sources are thrown together. This is how a paper would start at, and then be fleshed out a lot more... So you all can see my hesitancy. But anyway, I was asked to post it-so here it is.


In a nut shell?

I think people (meaning those who make the assertions in books, websites, or shows) should read more than just a surface level before making silly connections. Here is a simple explanation of who Horus is. There are a few similarities, but you have to look for them. (This is an egyptian tourist site that gives a foundation to the egyptian pantheon.

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/horus.htm



Then, read about Plutarch and Diodorus- From both of whom, we get a lot of translations and information about Horus... and they were writing in the late 1st century BC, or AFTER the stories of Jesus were circulated-which means much of what we actually receive (if this is what is being linked to Jesus) very well could have been corrupted by the Christian story, instead of the Christian story corrupting the Egyptian.

Yet there are somethings that can still be seen.

Check out a commentary on Diodorus Siculus... First, the link. http://books.google.com/books?id=sXiMtM ... ed&f=false (http://books.google.com/books?id=sXiMtMnPHikC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=diodorus+on+Horus&source=bl&ots=VyzQ3TA1FB&sig=ZzHnSRoh9VhpK9iU9NkpXwfBCHo&hl=en&ei=GSULTJP8DImsM9S7mZoG&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=horus%20resurrected&f=false)
In truth, the confusion is between Horus and his father Osirus. It was Osirus that was killed by Seth. The Book of the dead screwed it up. Furthermore, the book of the dead even says Horus drowned, he wasn't crucified. He was thrown into a river, and the crocodile-god had to gather all his body parts.

THe problem is, P. Oxyrhunchus records "that Isis made Horus immortal and appointed him teh successor of his father."

The story also has Horus avenging his father Osirus-

As far as the healing is concerned. Seth and Horus are opposites, Thus, Horus is a son God, Seth is in teh night. That got bifurcated to good and bad. Sick? Seth. Good? Horus. So all people feeling better was the work of Horus.

Furthermore, "Osiris was ultimately avnged by his son HOrus (conceived by Isis of her dead husband-(necrophilia? Eww) who attacked Seth and finally overcame him. His victory was ratified by a tribunal o fthe Gods who vindicated Osiris and punsihed Seth. Osiris was thus resurrected adn restored to his kingdom. ...

Now, remember, Osirus was connected with . . . vegetation, that is born, grows, dies, and is born again. (page 19)


Like I said, from a FAAAAAR distance, when you handpick a source and ignore everything else, It looks similar. But when you actually look at the material itself, there are very few similarities.

I have just barely started into the differences. And this is just one source.

THe key, is to look at what actual Egyptologists say, the Archeologists who do the digs and the works. These are the guys that belong to societies like ASOR and other historical societies.

Heck, I just did a search through the online database, and had 105 hits... "Journal of Near Eastern Studies, "Essays: Study of Egyptian religions". Etc. No articles or writings in German, French, or english on this supposed connecting.

That right there should say something. I'm currently doing a larger search- I have a program that crawls over every major college database in teh world. I am looking for academic writings on this issue. I'll let you know what I find. (it might take a while though... :o

Shawn
06-06-2010, 05:13 PM
I have seen quite a few sources that agree with what you are saying here. I guess I just don't want misinformation thrown about like it's truth.

Preacher
06-06-2010, 08:28 PM
Well,

Anyone who believes Bill Maher when it comes to any kind of theological studies kinda has already made up their mind.

It's like going to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore to get the truth about the other party. It just ain't goinga happen!

Shawn
06-06-2010, 08:40 PM
Well,

Anyone who believes Bill Maher when it comes to any kind of theological studies kinda has already made up their mind.

It's like going to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore to get the truth about the other party. It just ain't goinga happen!

Agreed. The problem I have with shows like this is the fact that they are aimed at those who won't do their research. How many people of faith who watched that show actually decided to find out the truth? Maybe I don't give people enough credit but I say it's very few.

Preacher
06-07-2010, 02:31 AM
Well,

Anyone who believes Bill Maher when it comes to any kind of theological studies kinda has already made up their mind.

It's like going to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore to get the truth about the other party. It just ain't goinga happen!

Agreed. The problem I have with shows like this is the fact that they are aimed at those who won't do their research. How many people of faith who watched that show actually decided to find out the truth? Maybe I don't give people enough credit but I say it's very few.

Yep,

and in the exact same way, I have seen a number of hideous "Christian" productions that do the exact same thing... straw man arguments and half truths. It does nobody any good when the whole picture (yes... narrative) isn't presented.

Shawn
06-07-2010, 12:32 PM
Well let me see if I can predict what will be said.

Eni- You still haven't answered my question.
Richard- I'm going to go sniff some glue now, see if that helps.
Preacher- it's all in the metanarrative.
Shawn- I'm going to pretend I have an open mind on this.
Flippy- Can't we all just get along?

Am I close?

Closer.

I do have an open mind to an extent. When it comes to the science I will look at all the science. If it supports evolution that doesn't invalidate God in any way in my mind. So, why would I not be open to it? There are many Christians who fully accept evolution and believe it to be the vehicle in which God created life. I'm just not so sure. While it could be...there are too many holes being filled with poor theory and bad science. If the evidence supports evolution I'm down to believe it. Shoot, I know how the human body works...doesn't mean that it invalidates God. Why would evolution be any different

As for answering Eni's questions. I will leave that to preacher who is better versed in the philosophy aspect of these debates. Me going head to head with Eni in a debate within his field will be futile. He is much better versed on these arguments. When it comes to the science...that's where I feel comfortable.

As for where I might be closed minded...well I am to some things. I am completely closed minded when it comes to believing there isn't a God. For me...I'm as sure of God's existence as one can be about things unseen. So, you may be right there. If you are trying to convert me to atheism...it won't happen. If you are trying to convince me of evolution...well get your science straight and maybe we can talk.

Shawn
06-07-2010, 12:37 PM
Well,

Anyone who believes Bill Maher when it comes to any kind of theological studies kinda has already made up their mind.

It's like going to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore to get the truth about the other party. It just ain't goinga happen!

Agreed. The problem I have with shows like this is the fact that they are aimed at those who won't do their research. How many people of faith who watched that show actually decided to find out the truth? Maybe I don't give people enough credit but I say it's very few.

Yep,

and in the exact same way, I have seen a number of hideous "Christian" productions that do the exact same thing... straw man arguments and half truths. It does nobody any good when the whole picture (yes... narrative) isn't presented.

Agreed. Those kind of productions do more harm than good. Because anyone willing to do their homework can invalidate the arguments in minutes. Then they come to a hasty conclusion that Christianity hasn't been thought through.

Shawn
06-07-2010, 12:47 PM
On a Biblical level I have no issue with evolution unless you want to take God out of the creation process.
Where does one begin dissecting here?

And? I don't see alot of ID guys bucking these notions. I'm not sure of your point. What you are still missing is the whole problem of good mutations vs bad mutations...the substantial lean in the direction of the bad and the major problem with the math. I am still wanting to read one good explanation that can get us around the math issue.
The link wasn't specifically for your benefit, but rather for Preacher... please enjoy it all the same. I don't know that you ever responded to the earlier request for elucidation on this whole numbers game argument, so I can't even begin to offer you any sort of counter. My suspicion is that it is based on the same bad math as Mr. Behe's irreducible complexity.

This is just off the top of my head, but I think that evolution has taken exactly the amount of time it has taken to progress to where we find it today; not one second more or less. Why this would be improbable is beyond me. What are the odds that the interior electron shells of atoms would only hold two electrons max? Why not one, or seven, or 23,049? Given all of the numbers between zero and infinity, it is improbable in the extreme that it would be 2, and yet there we have it. Do you doubt the validity of modern chemistry because of this?

Did you read my lengthy post? Did I write it in vain? It's not just the math that doesn't work out. And if it's faulty math I took it from your own evolutionists. Have a conversation with Huxley about the matter. I'm going off his numbers. So, break down the math and show me my error. I want to learn. I want to know why I'm wrong. I'm not the first to bring up the major problem with the math. It was done first by your own. Evolutionists themselves had issue with it. They have gotten around the math issue with poor circular arguments. You should look them up and parrot some of them back to me. As for the rest of your statement...it makes zero sense. I don't even know where to start with that utter nonsense. You complicate these debates with distractive nonsensical reasoning. I have a minor in chemistry...but to say it works the way it does because it does...therefore evolution is the same way is lazy.

flippy
06-07-2010, 02:15 PM
Well,

Anyone who believes Bill Maher when it comes to any kind of theological studies kinda has already made up their mind.

It's like going to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore to get the truth about the other party. It just ain't goinga happen!

Agreed. The problem I have with shows like this is the fact that they are aimed at those who won't do their research. How many people of faith who watched that show actually decided to find out the truth? Maybe I don't give people enough credit but I say it's very few.

I do think you have to be careful mixing faith and truth. What is truth?

The scientific side could just as easily dismiss your theological truth.

Besides, doens't your metanarrative determine your truth? :wink

In all seriousness, I think Bill Maher identifies most with doubt. And I bet 99% of people fall into the grey area of doubt. They don't have their minds made up. They accept that they just don't know most things.

There were lots of people that had their minds made up and didn't even want to talk to Bill Maher. That's even sadder than Bill Maher not having facts straight. And I think that's a huge problem with religion.

I don't get why people get upset over these discussions. It's silly imo.

I tend to think many Christians get confused around the idea of being "set apart" for God's work and often try to be "set above" other non believers. And then they end up choosing not to interact with one another because they believe differently. And I'd have to err on the side of the scientists having more truth/facts than the theologists. That should be ok for the theologists. Theology is different than science. Faith is different than logic.

Bill Maher says "Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do." I think that's a very fair conclusion from a non religious vantage point. I can put myself in the scientific point of view and get that. Although I can also get that to be a bit extreme as well, but fair from his point of view.

At the end of the day, I think the scientists that ask the hardest theological questions are the ones that have their minds least made up. And the religious folks should embrace those folks and work to come up with better answers rather than dismiss them.

I really didn't know anything about Maher before the movie, but thought it was pretty good. It generated some interesting discussions in my household.

I've been in Bill's shoes before. So I really get the questions. I'm more happy with chosing faith after the first time I read the Bible cover to cover. When I read the Bible, I read it from the perspective that it was written by man for a particular audience that lived 1000s of years ago and lived in a very different time than we live in today. And many of the stories were lessons to serve a particular need. So I don't get hung up in the scientific inaccuracies or the fiction of some of the stories. I try my best to read it as best I can from that perspective and see if there's overall meaning in the combined books that can be applied in some way to my life today.

And personally, having read the Bible has changed me in the positive. Having taught the Bible to others has let me see transformation in others. And this has transformed me even more.

And I hope others have opportunities to transform - not that most even need it as much as I did and still do.

But amidst everything that's happened in my personal experience, I very much get faith is not logic, nor is it science, nor do any of us know anything for sure.

Despite all that is good that I've seen and experienced, I have as much doubt about everything as anyone I've ever encountered.

But I press on....

flippy
06-07-2010, 02:20 PM
anyone else notice every post threadjacks this thread in several different directions. pretty cool topics. there's a ton of meat for me to catch up on in the last few pages.

Shawn
06-07-2010, 04:13 PM
Bill Maher says "Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do." I think that's a very fair conclusion from a non religious vantage point. I can put myself in the scientific point of view and get that. Although I can also get that to be a bit extreme as well, but fair from his point of view.

I don't think it's fair or accurate. First, he is grouping all religion in this group correct? Or is he just picking on Christianity? Is he looking at some extremists or the majority of those practicing? Us thinking we have all the answers (which I don't believe most of us believe that) is no more dangerous than an atheist who believes they have all the answers (which I don't believe they believe that either).

Religion even if it were a total farce supports moral structure and code. That is helpful to society. What irritates people is the fact that many Christians believe others will burn in an eternal hell if they don't believe like they do. They are irritated by vocal, pompous, and arrogant Christians telling them how to live their life. It's the finger pointing that gets people upset more than anything else. If more Christians embraced more love and less judgement I think our beliefs would be less caustic to the nonbelieving public.

As for why people get upset over stuff like this...well I personally don't like anything to be misrepresented or falsified. Especially, if you are misrepresenting someone's belief structure. I do get why that angers people. It would be like me saying that most Muslims strap bombs to their chest and kill children. I have no issue with others who don't believe like I do. I consider myself a universal reconciliationist...and I can assure you we are a very very tiny minority of the Christian community. If I had issue with others that didn't believe like I do...I couldn't attend church which I do. Our pastor preaches on damnation. I have no issue with atheists, muslims, budhists etc. I embrace their God given desire to seek spirituality or lack there of. But, please don't call my belief system a farce based on shotty research and anti-Christian sentiment. That's my line in the sand. That is when I lose my tolerance.

Shawn
06-07-2010, 04:23 PM
At the end of the day, I think the scientists that ask the hardest theological questions are the ones that have their minds least made up. And the religious folks should embrace those folks and work to come up with better answers rather than dismiss them.

I would like for your to expound upon that statement...not sure I know what you mean. If you mean dismiss...expecting scientists to adhere to scientific principles then I guess I dismiss. I don't expect scientists to recognize God. But, I do expect them to recognize the limitations of their knowledge...and sometimes just say "we don't know"..."this is the best we have" instead of teaching children evolution as if it's truth. If you are teaching children about evolution you need to make sure you also discuss the problems with evolutionary theory. I want to be the balance to the equation because all too often those of us who don't believe in Neo-Darwinism are silenced.

And while faith certainly isn't science...those of scientific mind can have faith. That's an important distinction. I don't believe anyone here is calling faith...science or even scientific.

flippy
06-07-2010, 04:41 PM
Bill Maher says "Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do." I think that's a very fair conclusion from a non religious vantage point. I can put myself in the scientific point of view and get that. Although I can also get that to be a bit extreme as well, but fair from his point of view.

I don't think it's fair or accurate. First, he is grouping all religion in this group correct? Or is he just picking on Christianity? Is he looking at some extremists or the majority of those practicing? Us thinking we have all the answers (which I don't believe most of us believe that) is no more dangerous than an atheist who believes they have all the answers (which I don't believe they believe that either).

Religion even if it were a total farce supports moral structure and code. That is helpful to society. What irritates people is the fact that many Christians believe others will burn in an eternal hell if they don't believe like they do. They are irritated by vocal, pompous, and arrogant Christians telling them how to live their life. It's the finger pointing that gets people upset more than anything else. If more Christians embraced move love and less judgement I think our beliefs would be less caustic to the nonbelieving public.

As for why people get upset over stuff like this...well I personally don't like anything to be misrepresented or falsified. Especially, if you are misrepresenting someone's belief structure. I do get why that angers people. I have no issue with others who don't believe like I do. I consider myself a universal reconciliationist...and I can assure you we are a very very tiny minority of the Christian community. If I had issue with others that didn't believe like I do...I couldn't attend church which I do. Our pastor preaches on damnation. I have issue with atheists, muslims, budhists etc. I embrace their God given desire to seek spirituality or lack there of. But, please don't call my belief system a farce based on shotty research and anti-Christian sentiment. That's my line in the sand. That is when I lose my tolerance.

He was talking about all religions.

I do think most religions have good intentions. Not sure about Muslims - all I know is they seem to do some crazy stuff in the name of God.

But even Christian religions have what seem to be some questionable moral structures making women < men, gays not tolerated, abortion and stem cell reseach issues, etc. Should someone like former President Bush be able to slow stem cell research based on his religious views? Religion plays a major role in politics, but should it given that it's not real/tangible? You cannot measure or observe faith. How can we allow that to be a foundation for what we collectively do in this world? If everything we do is built on faith, how can we ever know what we're doing is right?

Bill also said "Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be considering that human history is just a litany of getting **** dead wrong." It's a pessimistic view, but somewhat fair and kinda funny.

I personally didn't think the movie was trying to falsify information. Just asking questions and expressing doubt. But there were definitely people in the movie upset with Bill.

Shawn
06-07-2010, 06:56 PM
Bill Maher says "Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do." I think that's a very fair conclusion from a non religious vantage point. I can put myself in the scientific point of view and get that. Although I can also get that to be a bit extreme as well, but fair from his point of view.

I don't think it's fair or accurate. First, he is grouping all religion in this group correct? Or is he just picking on Christianity? Is he looking at some extremists or the majority of those practicing? Us thinking we have all the answers (which I don't believe most of us believe that) is no more dangerous than an atheist who believes they have all the answers (which I don't believe they believe that either).

Religion even if it were a total farce supports moral structure and code. That is helpful to society. What irritates people is the fact that many Christians believe others will burn in an eternal hell if they don't believe like they do. They are irritated by vocal, pompous, and arrogant Christians telling them how to live their life. It's the finger pointing that gets people upset more than anything else. If more Christians embraced move love and less judgement I think our beliefs would be less caustic to the nonbelieving public.

As for why people get upset over stuff like this...well I personally don't like anything to be misrepresented or falsified. Especially, if you are misrepresenting someone's belief structure. I do get why that angers people. I have no issue with others who don't believe like I do. I consider myself a universal reconciliationist...and I can assure you we are a very very tiny minority of the Christian community. If I had issue with others that didn't believe like I do...I couldn't attend church which I do. Our pastor preaches on damnation. I have issue with atheists, muslims, budhists etc. I embrace their God given desire to seek spirituality or lack there of. But, please don't call my belief system a farce based on shotty research and anti-Christian sentiment. That's my line in the sand. That is when I lose my tolerance.

He was talking about all religions.

I do think most religions have good intentions. Not sure about Muslims - all I know is they seem to do some crazy stuff in the name of God.

But even Christian religions have what seem to be some questionable moral structures making women < men, gays not tolerated, abortion and stem cell reseach issues, etc. Should someone like former President Bush be able to slow stem cell research based on his religious views? Religion plays a major role in politics, but should it given that it's not real/tangible? You cannot measure or observe faith. How can we allow that to be a foundation for what we collectively do in this world? If everything we do is built on faith, how can we ever know what we're doing is right?

Bill also said "Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be considering that human history is just a litany of getting bad word dead wrong." It's a pessimistic view, but somewhat fair and kinda funny.

I personally didn't think the movie was trying to falsify information. Just asking questions and expressing doubt. But there were definitely people in the movie upset with Bill.

Insane people do insane things in the name of many things including religion. Certainly doesn't mean it has anything to do with the religion itself. As for homosexuals...don't think the Bible teaches anyone to hate homosexuals. The Bible teaches homosexuality is wrong which I believe it is. Moral ambiguity is a cancer in my opinion. I would hate to think there is no right and wrong. It certainly doesn't mean that I personally don't support gay marriage...because I do. I don't condone mistreatment of people that live in ways I disagree with. As for stem cell research that's a whole other topic probably not best touched with a broad brushed statement. I am very pro life...in that I fight for the lives and health of both the born and unborn. It is a complex issue with science that would also need to be discussed. I don't think that really fits with this topic. And, I don't think most Christians are against stem cell research...including myself. As for women, where are you getting your views? It's all in the interpretation of scripture wrapped in the context of culture at the time the scripture was written. Men should be the priests of their household. Women should submit to their husbands. Women shouldn't gossip and chatter in church...and you would need to know the audience that Paul was speaking to at the time. I won't go into that but that section is some of the most misunderstood scripture I see discussed. But, God is very clear about how men should view and treat women which is with love and respect putting them above themselves...loving them like they love the church. So, I think it could be a bit offensive to some to be grouped in the gay hating, chauvinist, anti-medical science crowd. I'm certainly not one of them and those who use the Bible to support these views...imo are very much in the wrong.

As for your statement about faith in politics. I'm not sure if we could be on more opposite sides of a debate. If the people elect a man of faith the way he will govern will be through his moral filter. W's faith was one of the biggest reasons he was hated. History will be much kinder to him than we were. But, governing through their own moral filter is done by believers and nonbelievers alike. I don't argee with Obama's moral structure or the way he governs but it's who we elected. He governs by his own moral filter. It's not like W forced people to convert to Christianity or took away peoples right to pursue their own spiritual path.

Admitting doubt does take a certain amount of humility. Is he willing to admit his doubts concerning God and faith? Or is he certain there is no God?

ricardisimo
06-07-2010, 10:39 PM
I think some of these latest posts are answering questions I had regarding just how productive these conversations can be. It's been entertaining, and I thank you for that, but I think I'll be stepping out now.

As for moral certainty and moral ambiguity, you should probably consult the Holy Bible to guide your views on slavery and women as well as - evidently - homosexuality. I'm sure it'll clear up all sorts of things for you. If you're ever ready to enter the eighteenth century (or beyond) let me know, and we can talk again.

Take care.

Shawn
06-07-2010, 11:10 PM
I think some of these latest posts are answering questions I had regarding just how productive these conversations can be. It's been entertaining, and I thank you for that, but I think I'll be stepping out now.

As for moral certainty and moral ambiguity, you should probably consult the Holy Bible to guide your views on slavery and women as well as - evidently - homosexuality. I'm sure it'll clear up all sorts of things for you. If you're ever ready to enter the eighteenth century (or beyond) let me know, and we can talk again.

Take care.

Ridiculous. Anyone who wants to take text out of context can make all sorts of claims. The funniest of which is when people say the Bible supports slavery. :roll:

And yes...the act of homosexuality is wrong just like lying, adultery etc. With that said, I would fight for their right to free will. As long as that free will doesn't infringe upon other peoples rights. Being moral ambiguious doesn't make you cultured, above, or educated. But, it's certainly hip right now eh?

ricardisimo
06-08-2010, 01:42 AM
What the Bible says about slavery

Here are ten passages from the Bible that clearly demonstrate God's position on slavery:

Genesis chapter 17, verse 12:


And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised.

In this passage God understands that people buy other people and, quite obviously, is comfortable with the concept. God wants slaves circumcised in the same way as non-slaves.

Exodus chapter 12 verse 43:


The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.

God again shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery and singles out slaves for special treatment.

Exodus Chapter 21, verse 1:


Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

Here God describes how to become a slave for life, and shows that it is completely acceptable to separate slaves from their families. God also shows that he completely endorses the branding of slaves through mutilation.

Exodus Chapter 21, verse 20:


If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

Not only does God condone slavery, but he is also completely comfortable with the concept of beating your slaves, as long as you don't kill them.

Exodus Chapter 21, verse 32:


If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.

Not only does God condone slavery, but here God places a value on slaves -- 30 shekels of silver. Note that God is not sophisticated enough to understand the concept of inflation. It is now 3,000 years later, and a gored slave is still worth 30 shekels of silver according to God's word.

Leviticus Chapter 22, verse 10:


No one outside a priest's family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it. But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if a slave is born in his household, that slave may eat his food.

Here God shows that the children of slaves are slaves themselves, and that he is completely happy with that concept.

Leviticus Chapter 25, verse 44:


Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Here God states where you may purchase your slaves, and clearly specifies that slaves are property to be bought, sold and handed down.

Luke, Chapter 7, verse 2:


Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death. When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue." And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.

Here Jesus shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery. Jesus heals the slave without any thought of freeing the slave or admonishing the slave's owner.

Colossians, chapter 3, verse 22:


Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, work heartily...

Here God shows that he is in complete acceptance of a slave's position, and encourages slaves to work hard. This sentiment is repeated in Titus, chapter 2 verse 9:


Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to be refractory, nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity.

Once again God shows that he is quite enamored of slavery.

:wft

Preacher
06-08-2010, 06:14 AM
What the Bible says about slavery

Here are ten passages from the Bible that clearly demonstrate God's position on slavery:


Genesis chapter 17, verse 12:

[quote:2kn2a08l]And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised.

In this passage God understands that people buy other people and, quite obviously, is comfortable with the concept. God wants slaves circumcised in the same way as non-slaves.
Um No. It is actually part of a much larger concept in the Israelite world called Kinsman redemption- and allows those who are in debt to work to pay off thier debt for up to 7 years and then be restored to freedom. Guess when you apply what is called ideological criticism, you miss everything else-which is quite important. Please take the narrative in CONTEXT- or not at all.
Exodus chapter 12 verse 43:


[quote:2kn2a08l]The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.

God again shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery and singles out slaves for special treatment.[/quote:2kn2a08l]Yep. SPECIAL TREATMENT as in, make sure you treat your slaves AS YOU WOULD ANY OTHER FELLOW ISREALITE. Yeah, that is really terrible.


Exodus Chapter 21, verse 1:

[quote:2kn2a08l]Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

Here God describes how to become a slave for life, and shows that it is completely acceptable to separate slaves from their families. God also shows that he completely endorses the branding of slaves through mutilation.[/quote:2kn2a08l]

Ricard. You are really reaching here. Well, actually, you don't even know what is actually being said. First, the term is actually bond-slave or bond-servant. The concept is acted out in a display of love. When a servant who was indebted to a master has finished paying off his debt (instead of being homeless and starving to death, or robbing others for food-they would actually work for the ones whom they owed money, and WORK OFF THEIR DEBT. Dang, what a concept!). ANyway, what is stated is not God DEMANDING they do it, buty in understanding THE REALITY THAT IS (within the ANE) here is what you do. 1. The servant CHOOSES. Let me say this again. CHOOSES to return to the house of the master who, in all likelyhood, treated the servant as a son or daughter, thus invoking the love that makes the servant return. In turn, so that the community may see that this person has FREELY SUBMITTED to someone else, he um.. um... um... basically, PIERCES HIS EAR.

Yeah, really branding and mutilation. You're reaching here.


Exodus Chapter 21, verse 20:

[quote:2kn2a08l]If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

Not only does God condone slavery, but he is also completely comfortable with the concept of beating your slaves, as long as you don't kill them.[/quote:2kn2a08l] Or would you have preferred a trial for stealing, or throwing them out to starve to death, etc. etc. I denote a strong sense of Chronological snobbery.

Or are we ok with people not having the same sensibilities as we do when it is in the scientific community, like the racist work of Darwins known as "The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection: on the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

Or, should we completely deny evolution because it was a racist document? No? Just a product of the times and that is ok? We just take the truth that is in it and not worry about that little bit on the side dealing with race? Hmm.

Exodus Chapter 21, verse 32:


[quote:2kn2a08l]If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.

Not only does God condone slavery, but here God places a value on slaves -- 30 shekels of silver. Note that God is not sophisticated enough to understand the concept of inflation. It is now 3,000 years later, and a gored slave is still worth 30 shekels of silver according to God's word.[/quote:2kn2a08l] The first is very true. The 30 shekels of silver equal in today's money about $4500. Or way more than enough to pay off any debts the person would have been working off. Yeah, that's right. There is something called personal responsibility in the bible. ANd when you owed debts, they had to be worked off. BUT... no more than 40 years. Again, quite and advanced system for the time. Maybe the MOST advanced social welfare/economic/system of personal responsibility within community in the ANE.

As to you second comment about inflation. It is utter nonsense. The instruction was to a certain people AT A CERTAIN TIME. Furthermore, it is a PRECIOUS METAL that is owed. A Sheckel is a weight. Not a coin. This isn't a modern banking system. Again, you're engaging in chronological snobbery and bringing up problems that simply didn't exist at the time.


Leviticus Chapter 22, verse 10:

[quote:2kn2a08l]No one outside a priest's family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it. But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if a slave is born in his household, that slave may eat his food.

Here God shows that the children of slaves are slaves themselves, and that he is completely happy with that concept.[/quote:2kn2a08l] Yep, for the rest of the 40 years. Which means the owner MUST feed, clothe, house, and take care of the child. Again, not a bad social system at all, quite advanced for that time. Oh yeah, and that entire family will be bought out of slavery through Kinsman redemption much sooner usually. Though I imagine, this whole time you've been thinking about Roots. Right? Not even close.


Leviticus Chapter 25, verse 44:

[quote:2kn2a08l]Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Here God states where you may purchase your slaves, and clearly specifies that slaves are property to be bought, sold and handed down.[/quote:2kn2a08l] Only those from other nations. And yep, that is absolutely fine. Because the way THEY become slaves, is the spoils of war. Guess what. That is reality up until about 300 years ago. I am sorry if that offends puritanical sensibilities today-but that really was the way of the world. What, you expected the world to operate according to what 21st century liberalism says is right today? ONce again, Chronological snobbery. I really wish you'd read C.S. Lewis concerning the issue of Chonological Snobbery.


Luke, Chapter 7, verse 2:

[quote:2kn2a08l]Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death. When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue." And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.

Here Jesus shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery. Jesus heals the slave without any thought of freeing the slave or admonishing the slave's owner.[/quote:2kn2a08l] I find it quite hilarious that you completely miss the fact that this "slave" was more like a son than a slave. ANd also the fact that if this "slave" was released in this environment, or any other, chances are, he'd have to become a criminal or if it was a woman, would have to become a prostitute to survive. Only if the slave knew a trade, would he or she be able to survive, but even then, there is a so-so chance they would even be taken in and accepted in the trade guild of their profession. SO what exactly DO you want Jesus to do? Tell him to let his slave go free, so that the slave starves to death or has to start selling his body? Once again, you are showing a complete lack of the sociological world in which we are reading these stories. This isn't white slavery in the 21st century.


Colossians, chapter 3, verse 22:

[quote:2kn2a08l]Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, work heartily...

Here God shows that he is in complete acceptance of a slave's position, and encourages slaves to work hard. This sentiment is repeated in Titus, chapter 2 verse 9:


Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to be refractory, nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity.

Once again God shows that he is quite enamored of slavery.[/quote:2kn2a08l][/quote:2kn2a08l] AND this is again, quite a big reach. Enamored? Nope. Instead, its an understanding of the sociological implications of slavery, what happens when slaves are released into the general public especially in the Roman culture, and how they usually cannot survive unless the have had specific training to do so.

You also show no understanding that slaves would often times, if they pleased their masters in the Roman world, would be bequeathed part of their master's fortune. Hence, the slaves are more often servants who are treated like sons, daughters, trusted aids, etc. THAT is why you have the story of the centurion... and why the story makes so much sense historically. Because it is a COMMON way for slaves to be thought of and treated. Once again, this is not Roots, and it is not 21st century WHite slavery.



_________

General comments...
Sigh.


Please tell you that you understand the complete differences between Paul's letters in the NT and OT law. Funny thing, you want us to accept everything science says within the larger framework of science, but then you choose to throw away any kind of context to prove a point that is not there to be proved.

Quite enamored of slavery? I guess I really shouldn't expect anything less. Someone who has their mind already made up really won't care about context-as long as it proves an already set upon point.

If you are interested in actually learning the context. I suggest you study Kinsman Redemption. Year of Jubilee, Slavery in the Ancient Near East, Economic slavery vs. other kinds of slavery, progressive revelation, and a couple others I can give you for a start. Otherwise, if you want to twist things, go ahead and stay with what you are doing. Of course, it is the exact method that nice little website at the bottom of your sig has as well. Complete twisting and non-contextual renderings.

You would also do well to quote the parts about how No Israelite will Lord over another Israelite. How the nearest brother is commanded to buy his brother, sister, family, etc. out of slavery. How he is commanded to buy their land out from someone else if it was sold to pay for debts. May I suggest you read about how "He shall not rule ruthlessly over him" amongst other texts.

flippy
06-08-2010, 10:33 AM
At the end of the day, I think the scientists that ask the hardest theological questions are the ones that have their minds least made up. And the religious folks should embrace those folks and work to come up with better answers rather than dismiss them.

I would like for your to expound upon that statement...not sure I know what you mean. If you mean dismiss...expecting scientists to adhere to scientific principles then I guess I dismiss. I don't expect scientists to recognize God. But, I do expect them to recognize the limitations of their knowledge...and sometimes just say "we don't know"..."this is the best we have" instead of teaching children evolution as if it's truth. If you are teaching children about evolution you need to make sure you also discuss the problems with evolutionary theory. I want to be the balance to the equation because all too often those of us who don't believe in Neo-Darwinism are silenced.

And while faith certainly isn't science...those of scientific mind can have faith. That's an important distinction. I don't believe anyone here is calling faith...science or even scientific.

I see us all seeking truth even though that may be impossible to achieve. And in our search for truth it's hard to take away our basic assumptions and look at things through the eyes of someone who thinks differently.

At the end of the day we're all making our best guesses. And all of our guesses have some level of ridiculousness to someone. And it's easy to dismiss what seems ridiculous.

Look at Saul/Paul. He transformed from one of the biggest antagonists of Christianity into one of it's biggest supporters. And he connected very genuinely with non believers on a common ground that was comfortable to them.

I think Paul was a great example of embracing the other side where they are. But today, I think it's rare for Christians to take this approach. And instead, they separate themselves from non believers rather than deeply engaging.

And I was making this comment in the context of the movie in that religious people in the movie seemed put off by Bill Maher's questioning rather than wanting to engage him. Some did, but for the large part most didn't. There was a trucker for example who commented, I'm not going to talk to you if you question my beliefs. I've seen this type of position many times throughout my life from both sides.

flippy
06-08-2010, 11:14 AM
As for homosexuals...don't think the Bible teaches anyone to hate homosexuals. The Bible teaches homosexuality is wrong which I believe it is. Moral ambiguity is a cancer in my opinion. I would hate to think there is no right and wrong. It certainly doesn't mean that I personally don't support gay marriage...because I do.

How do you support gay marriage when you think homosexuality is wrong? That isn't clear why. Just curious how you resolve this.

I was just reading yesterday about how well adjusted children of lesbian couples are:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/07/le ... index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/07/lesbian.children.adjustment/index.html)

There are tons of special needs kids and foster kids that need loving homes. And the majority of the religious right are against gay couples adopting these kids. IMO, this is a place where religion is overstepping it's bounds in politics/society.


As for stem cell research that's a whole other topic probably not best touched with a broad brushed statement. I am very pro life...in that I fight for the lives and health of both the born and unborn. It is a complex issue with science that would also need to be discussed. I don't think that really fits with this topic. And, I don't think most Christians are against stem cell research...including myself.

A former president was against it and as a result slowed down research that could potentially save lives. He also put constraints on the American researchers that could have a major economic impact on our future. Using religious views to make policy decisions is way risky here. And the decision is based on unknown variables.



As for women, where are you getting your views?

Here's an example of the Baptist church trying to keep women at a lower stature then men:
http://abcnews.go.com/WN/baptists-plann ... d=10252735 (http://abcnews.go.com/WN/baptists-planning-disown-church-female-pastor/story?id=10252735)

Catholics say that priests must be men.

This is an area where I believe women are different than men and might be able to do a better job than men in leading churches. I bet if you look at the reason most people believe in religion, it's because their mother made their family go to church every week when they were growing up.

Women were lesser beings 2000 BC when the books of the Bible were written. And we use Bible examples as models to live by today. This view needs to be erased from our society imo.


So, I think it could be a bit offensive to some to be grouped in the gay hating, chauvinist, anti-medical science crowd. I'm certainly not one of them and those who use the Bible to support these views...imo are very much in the wrong.

Don't read what I said as a commentary on you. It wasn't. I was putting myself in the mindset of someone who doesn't believe and suggesting how they might think in general. I can see where their point of view comes from and that's all I was trying to say.


As for your statement about faith in politics. I'm not sure if we could be on more opposite sides of a debate. If the people elect a man of faith the way he will govern will be through his moral filter. W's faith was one of the biggest reasons he was hated. History will be much kinder to him than we were. But, governing through their own moral filter is done by believers and nonbelievers alike. I don't argee with Obama's moral structure or the way he governs but it's who we elected. He governs by his own moral filter. It's not like W forced people to convert to Christianity or took away peoples right to pursue their own spiritual path.

I get this, no matter who governs, they have a set of principals that they use. But in politics, the religious tend to be associated with the extreme right on social issues and tend to want to prescribe their morality for others. I'm not sure this is fair. And sometimes this could lead us to decisions that are questionable.

Religious men tend no to have moderate views. They have firm convictions. This is fine, but does it have a cost. It surely can. It can lead us to war, it can slow down science, it can lead us to prescribing morality, etc.



Admitting doubt does take a certain amount of humility. Is he willing to admit his doubts concerning God and faith? Or is he certain there is no God?

He's probably 99.9% certain there is no God like the pious are 99.9% certain there is a God. Point is, there's doubt no matter how certain we think we are.

Doubt should be encouraged on both sides of this coin.

Shawn
06-08-2010, 11:29 AM
What the Bible says about slavery

Here are ten passages from the Bible that clearly demonstrate God's position on slavery:

[quote]Genesis chapter 17, verse 12:

[quote:38e2l9et]And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised.

In this passage God understands that people buy other people and, quite obviously, is comfortable with the concept. God wants slaves circumcised in the same way as non-slaves.
Um No. It is actually part of a much larger concept in the Israelite world called Kinsman redemption- and allows those who are in debt to work to pay off thier debt for up to 7 years and then be restored to freedom. Guess when you apply what is called ideological criticism, you miss everything else-which is quite important. Please take the narrative in CONTEXT- or not at all.
Exodus chapter 12 verse 43:


[quote:38e2l9et]The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.

God again shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery and singles out slaves for special treatment.[/quote:38e2l9et]Yep. SPECIAL TREATMENT as in, make sure you treat your slaves AS YOU WOULD ANY OTHER FELLOW ISREALITE. Yeah, that is really terrible.


Exodus Chapter 21, verse 1:

[quote:38e2l9et]Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

Here God describes how to become a slave for life, and shows that it is completely acceptable to separate slaves from their families. God also shows that he completely endorses the branding of slaves through mutilation.[/quote:38e2l9et]

Ricard. You are really reaching here. Well, actually, you don't even know what is actually being said. First, the term is actually bond-slave or bond-servant. The concept is acted out in a display of love. When a servant who was indebted to a master has finished paying off his debt (instead of being homeless and starving to death, or robbing others for food-they would actually work for the ones whom they owed money, and WORK OFF THEIR DEBT. Dang, what a concept!). ANyway, what is stated is not God DEMANDING they do it, buty in understanding THE REALITY THAT IS (within the ANE) here is what you do. 1. The servant CHOOSES. Let me say this again. CHOOSES to return to the house of the master who, in all likelyhood, treated the servant as a son or daughter, thus invoking the love that makes the servant return. In turn, so that the community may see that this person has FREELY SUBMITTED to someone else, he um.. um... um... basically, PIERCES HIS EAR.

Yeah, really branding and mutilation. You're reaching here.


Exodus Chapter 21, verse 20:

[quote:38e2l9et]If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

Not only does God condone slavery, but he is also completely comfortable with the concept of beating your slaves, as long as you don't kill them.[/quote:38e2l9et] Or would you have preferred a trial for stealing, or throwing them out to starve to death, etc. etc. I denote a strong sense of Chronological snobbery.

Or are we ok with people not having the same sensibilities as we do when it is in the scientific community, like the racist work of Darwins known as "The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection: on the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

Or, should we completely deny evolution because it was a racist document? No? Just a product of the times and that is ok? We just take the truth that is in it and not worry about that little bit on the side dealing with race? Hmm.

Exodus Chapter 21, verse 32:


[quote:38e2l9et]If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.

Not only does God condone slavery, but here God places a value on slaves -- 30 shekels of silver. Note that God is not sophisticated enough to understand the concept of inflation. It is now 3,000 years later, and a gored slave is still worth 30 shekels of silver according to God's word.[/quote:38e2l9et] The first is very true. The 30 shekels of silver equal in today's money about $4500. Or way more than enough to pay off any debts the person would have been working off. Yeah, that's right. There is something called personal responsibility in the bible. ANd when you owed debts, they had to be worked off. BUT... no more than 40 years. Again, quite and advanced system for the time. Maybe the MOST advanced social welfare/economic/system of personal responsibility within community in the ANE.

As to you second comment about inflation. It is utter nonsense. The instruction was to a certain people AT A CERTAIN TIME. Furthermore, it is a PRECIOUS METAL that is owed. A Sheckel is a weight. Not a coin. This isn't a modern banking system. Again, you're engaging in chronological snobbery and bringing up problems that simply didn't exist at the time.


Leviticus Chapter 22, verse 10:

[quote:38e2l9et]No one outside a priest's family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it. But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if a slave is born in his household, that slave may eat his food.

Here God shows that the children of slaves are slaves themselves, and that he is completely happy with that concept.[/quote:38e2l9et] Yep, for the rest of the 40 years. Which means the owner MUST feed, clothe, house, and take care of the child. Again, not a bad social system at all, quite advanced for that time. Oh yeah, and that entire family will be bought out of slavery through Kinsman redemption much sooner usually. Though I imagine, this whole time you've been thinking about Roots. Right? Not even close.


Leviticus Chapter 25, verse 44:

[quote:38e2l9et]Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Here God states where you may purchase your slaves, and clearly specifies that slaves are property to be bought, sold and handed down.[/quote:38e2l9et] Only those from other nations. And yep, that is absolutely fine. Because the way THEY become slaves, is the spoils of war. Guess what. That is reality up until about 300 years ago. I am sorry if that offends puritanical sensibilities today-but that really was the way of the world. What, you expected the world to operate according to what 21st century liberalism says is right today? ONce again, Chronological snobbery. I really wish you'd read C.S. Lewis concerning the issue of Chonological Snobbery.


Luke, Chapter 7, verse 2:

[quote:38e2l9et]Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death. When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue." And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.

Here Jesus shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery. Jesus heals the slave without any thought of freeing the slave or admonishing the slave's owner.[/quote:38e2l9et] I find it quite hilarious that you completely miss the fact that this "slave" was more like a son than a slave. ANd also the fact that if this "slave" was released in this environment, or any other, chances are, he'd have to become a criminal or if it was a woman, would have to become a prostitute to survive. Only if the slave knew a trade, would he or she be able to survive, but even then, there is a so-so chance they would even be taken in and accepted in the trade guild of their profession. SO what exactly DO you want Jesus to do? Tell him to let his slave go free, so that the slave starves to death or has to start selling his body? Once again, you are showing a complete lack of the sociological world in which we are reading these stories. This isn't white slavery in the 21st century.


Colossians, chapter 3, verse 22:

[quote:38e2l9et]Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, work heartily...

Here God shows that he is in complete acceptance of a slave's position, and encourages slaves to work hard. This sentiment is repeated in Titus, chapter 2 verse 9:


Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to be refractory, nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity.

Once again God shows that he is quite enamored of slavery.[/quote:38e2l9et][/quote:38e2l9et] AND this is again, quite a big reach. Enamored? Nope. Instead, its an understanding of the sociological implications of slavery, what happens when slaves are released into the general public especially in the Roman culture, and how they usually cannot survive unless the have had specific training to do so.

You also show no understanding that slaves would often times, if they pleased their masters in the Roman world, would be bequeathed part of their master's fortune. Hence, the slaves are more often servants who are treated like sons, daughters, trusted aids, etc. THAT is why you have the story of the centurion... and why the story makes so much sense historically. Because it is a COMMON way for slaves to be thought of and treated. Once again, this is not Roots, and it is not 21st century WHite slavery.



_________

General comments...
Sigh.


Please tell you that you understand the complete differences between Paul's letters in the NT and OT law. Funny thing, you want us to accept everything science says within the larger framework of science, but then you choose to throw away any kind of context to prove a point that is not there to be proved.

Quite enamored of slavery? I guess I really shouldn't expect anything less. Someone who has their mind already made up really won't care about context-as long as it proves an already set upon point.

If you are interested in actually learning the context. I suggest you study Kinsman Redemption. Year of Jubilee, Slavery in the Ancient Near East, Economic slavery vs. other kinds of slavery, progressive revelation, and a couple others I can give you for a start. Otherwise, if you want to twist things, go ahead and stay with what you are doing. Of course, it is the exact method that nice little website at the bottom of your sig has as well. Complete twisting and non-contextual renderings.

You would also do well to quote the parts about how No Israelite will Lord over another Israelite. How the nearest brother is commanded to buy his brother, sister, family, etc. out of slavery. How he is commanded to buy their land out from someone else if it was sold to pay for debts. May I suggest you read about how "He shall not rule ruthlessly over him" amongst other texts.[/quote:38e2l9et]


Anyone who makes statements like Richard haven't done their homework, It doesn't surprise me because he hasn't done his homework on the science as well. It's obvious that he has a deep hatred for anything Bible, God, Jesus, Christian etc. If not he would be content to live and let live and not misrepresent scripture. Yeah I agree Richard this might be a good time for you to step out of this debate.