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18th February 2012, 06:48 (This post was last modified: 18th February 2012 07:14 by brotherlylove.)
RE: Hello atheistforum
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I suppose it's a matter of perspective. I find spirits useless as an explanation because they can be used as an explanation for anything at all without really being anymore of an explanation than 'because of magic'. Accepting spirits as an explanation doesn't lead to anything useful, while regarding spirits as an insufficient explanation for anything is the difference between planetary communication via the internet and the horse-drawn wagon.
Well, the point is that you wouldn't know the difference if someone was having a supernatural contact or experience; you would just assume they were crazy and if a scientist said he could find patterns between people who had these experiences in the brain you would mark the column marked "explained by empirical evidence" on your checksheet.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: It took a few months to get from born-again to agnostic theist from reading the Bible. I didn't reject God, I rejected the Bible as God-inspired. I didn't know what God was, but I couldn't believe the creator of the universe wasn't better then the magnified oriental potentate described in the OT. It was about 15 more years before I realized I no longer believed in the existence of God at all. Have you ever stopped to think that if this is where a respect for healthy criticism and critical thinking has led me, that I might not be the one who is deceived?
You're pretty much proving my point here. You cared so much for God that you didn't even notice that you stopped believing in Him. I do think you were born again, as I said, but this doesn't necessarily mean you ever understood the connotations, or how to have a personal relationship with God.
I know atheists like to put on airs as if they have some sort of licence to logic and "critical thinking" but I don't have a low standard for truth or evidence. I am rigorously logical in my thought process and although it may seem I have come to fantastic conclusions based on little evidence, that is due to your preconceived notions. I have very good reasons for believing everything I do, based on experience, and meditating on these things, daily, hourly, for many years.
Atheism to me is a religion based on a lack of exposure to supernatural experience. Once you have a genuine experience of God, or something supernatural, you will no longer be an atheist. Some are still able to maintain their atheism in a schitzophrenic way even after having such experiences, but generally, the only reason anyone would ever be an atheist is because they have no spiritual experience at all. I used to believe material reality was all there is too, but the truth is that material reality is just a thin veil to a much grander reality.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I do think legalism is a trap that Christian fundamentalism is prone to walk into. It can become 'bibliolatry'.
It is basically a form of self-righteousness. I did this this, and this, therefore I am very pious. It is to justify ones self by what one does in life, whereas scripture says we justified by faith alone, and that in the end, all we could really say is that we are unworthy servants. Islam is basically biblioatry in overdrive.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Of course, I don't think any of it is actually from God, but some of what goes on is certainly less sincere than other things.
The mass marketed Christianity you see on television, where God is the ATM in the sky, is not Christianity. Scripture says to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and everything else will be added to you.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: When you're first converting, it's spiritual attacks. When those are over, you get tested. I recall a story about a roof collapsing on someone in Africa. Immediately, people (lets call them Witch Hunters) set about trying to figure out who the witch that caused it was. A skeptic pointed out the roof was weakened by termites over a period of years, it was bound to collapse sooner or later. The Witch Hunters replied 'sure, it was termites, but the timing was because of a witch'. I just don't live in the same world of invisible spirits that you do, I don't see agency behind everything that happens, and I don't feel a need to find an explanation for a run of bad luck. Stuff happens, and people are wired to look for intention behind it, but that doesn't mean it's there.
You don't see agency behind anything, I am assuming. I'll give you another example. A dictator siezed power in Nigeria awhile back, and he was a very ruthless man. Christianity is very well established in Nigeria, and a pastor of a very large congregation received a vision of the Heavens opening and two giant angels with flaming swords descend, who told them that unless the dictator repented, he would be taken out of the way in three months. Three months go by and the pastor tells his congregation on a certain day that the yoke of the dictatorship would be broken and there would be dancing in the streets. 24 hours later the president has a heart attack and dies. Sure enough, there was dancing in the streets. Do you have a naturalistic explanation for this?
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I would trust you if you were giving me information about your neighbor. You seem a trustworthy sort. I trust my dear old aunt implicitly, and if she told me something was hot, I wouldn't touch it. However, if she told me about the activities of invisible spirits, I would have to wonder how she came by such inhuman knowledge and how anyone could possibly tell if what she was saying is really true or not. There's no way to know if what you're saying is true, even if it is true, without evidence that anyone can observe to support it. Otherwise I can't tell whether your claims are superior to those of the Witch Hunter who says it's witches to blame.
The basic truth is that you're never going to believe it unless God opens a door out of mercy.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I apologize for that. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike, I hear. It does seem like you're covered no matter what happens, though, which is a very convenient position to be in. I can think of events that would freak me out and make me question what I think I know, but there's nothing that could happen to anyone that isn't covered by your belief system. The same is true of the Witch Hunters and their witches.
Apology accepted. The rain does fall as such, yes. It's a not a matter of convenience that I believe what I do. I am speaking from experience. I might not even believe in Satan if it wasn't for the experiences I've had. I can appreciate your skepticism because I used to be skeptical. It takes divine intervention to change that.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Well, I find your position inexplicable under those circumstances, I was amazed at how broad the support for evolution was across many different scientific fields. Every time I've heard a creationist objection, it's been easy to put my finger on exactly where they went wrong (except for the tl;dr walls of text, which aren't worth responding to because they rely on burying their opponent under more claims than can reasonably be responded to). But it isn't really true that great minds think alike, different people process the same information differently.
Well, this is the essential paradigm. There isn't creationist evidence and secular evidence; we're looking at the same evidence. We are interpreting this evidence differently according to the presuppositions of our respective worldview. What I don't think many atheists realize is the philosophical nature of their presuppositions, or that they even have any in the first place.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Maybe you're too skeptical about some things. That's what strikes me about my parents, how little evidence they need to believe their car was running on miracles and how much they need to believe the medical community isn't hiding an inexpensive cure for cancer.
I don't think so. I have nothing against evolution or deep time, if they're true. The Spirit of God has not left me for one moment since I was baptized; I am always experiencing His presence, so this isn't about trying to protect my beliefs from big bad science. I would still experience the presence of God whether they were true or not. My concern is for the truth, and that alone, and they simply don't pass the smell test.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I agree, the splitting has gotten out of hand. I only wish the best for Christians, and i think it is in any case better for them to support each other in their search for meaning than to bicker over minor doctrinal differences.
We all have Christ in common. As more persecution comes, I believe the lines will start to fade.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Well, before the 3rd century there were still the Arians (believed Jesus was the son of God figuratively, not literally), the Ebionites considered him to be an ordinary man who was 'adopted' by God. Docetism held Jesus as not human at all, and you don't want to get into Gnosticism. But they did agree on the resurrection, if not necessarily on the physicality of the resurrected Jesus, who was sometimes described as having a 'spirtual body'. Again, I have never maintained they didn't believe in the resurrection.
This was all going on when Paul was writing the epistles too, because Paul spoke out against some of those things. The teachings of scripture are clear, but Christians definitely have had different ideas about what it says, although I wouldn't call gnostics Christian by any stretch of the imagination. The simple fact is, whereever the truth is, there will be a million lies flanking it, trying to destroy it. The attacks always come in a flood.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Actually, it was personally investigating claims of healings and paranormal events that led me toward skepticism. I found people believing in extraordinary things that always melted on close examination. I learned that many people are highly motivated to fool themselves and unable to evaluate their experiences critcally. An object levitating turned out to be an optical illusion. A kneecap growing back turned out never to have been more than a sprain according to the doctor. A person struck down with lameness was able to walk freely, only to be struck down again in a few weeks: just gout, which comes and goes. The worst cases were people who were clearly still ill but wanted to believe so badly in their cure that they were in denial. I wasn't able to find a natural explanation for all cases...only every single case where there was evidence available to examine. Even I wanted something that would prove there were miracles, but miracles have way more to do with how you process your experiences than what is actually happening outside your head.
A miracle is an act of God. Some things are plainly impossible and would not happen if not for divine intervention. Because of the charismatic movement, these widespread faith healings have poisoned the well in regards to what God is really doing on planet Earth. You have every reason to be suspicious of these events; mostly because they are conducted in the wrong spirit, with the wrong spirit.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: True believers don't need evidence. Even today most people regard hearsay as strong evidence. It isn't, and that's what those writings are: hearsay, twice removed, and ancient. Have you seen what cops have to work with in trying to build a picture of what happened thirty minutes ago when multiple witnesses are involved and the events are mundane? Our minds continually fill in the gaps of what we don't see in the world around us, we make unjustified assumptions all the time, and unconsciously edit our memories to match what we think must be so. So-called 'recovered memories' have put innocent people in jail for preposterously unlikely crimes. I don't think the Apostles were morons, I think they were human, and products of their time and culture. Our ancestors used to be dinner for predators, they survived by not assuming that the rustling in the brush was just the wind. We come by our disproportionate sense of agency honestly, but it's not always a tiger behind the tree. Humans get by by being able to get the gist of what's going on and what has happened in the past, if we had to be 95% accurate in our perceptions and our memories of them to survive we'd be on the way to extinction. Not morons, just people. People are fallible.
They were true believers because they had evidence. When Jesus died, they were huddled up in Jerusalem in fear of the authorities. They had no expectation of seeing Jesus ever again. They were in shock. Yet, after the resurrection they were in the streets proclaiming the gospel with boldness and winning thousands of converts. Yes, people are fallible; however, again, they're not so fallible as to imagine having lunch with Jesus, putting their hands on His wounds, etc. You have to be able to explain that amazing transformation from being miserable and fearful and thinking it was over to boldly proclaiming the gospel of the resurrected Christ without any fear, and willingly going to their deaths for that truth. Again, most historians believe the disciples honestly believed they saw the resurrected Christ. You're trying to make it sound like it's a bunch of he-said, she-said and no one knows what really happened.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Then you should be able to give the names of 24 witnesses from the Bible. We've got the 11 remaining Apostles plus Matthias, Mary Magdelene, Salome', Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and who else? That's 17, so you only have to find 7 more. Presumably, we're not counting Paul since the men with him did not see Jesus.
Emmaus, Cleopus and his companion, James, Stephan, Paul, Matthias
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I try not to claim too much. A vision was one possibility I suggested. Another was that Jesus was not actually dead but only in a coma and revived. Another was that much of the story was missing in Mark, the earliest Gospel, and that the rest was added later as the tale grew in the retelling.
Visions do not appear to crowds, they appear to one person in a highly emotional state. Neither was anyone expecting Him to come back. When He first appeared, it said they were terrified and thought they had seen a ghost. This is from Dr Pinchas Lapide, an orthodox jew who doesn't believe Jesus was the Messiah:
"When this frightened band of apostles suddenly could be changed overnight into a confident mission society… Then no vision or hallucination is sufficient to explain such a revolutionary transformation.”
Crucifixion is an extremely agonizing experience, not to mention the fact that Jesus was lashed and tortured. He was greviously wounded to the point of death even before He was crucified. His death was verified at the scene, especially the account of blood and water pouring out of his side. That He could have limped out of His tomb in that condition is ridiculous enough, but He certainly wouldn't have convinced His apostles that He was the risen Lord. They saw a resurrected Jesus in perfect health, not a beaten down man who was barely living.
As far as the accounts being tall tales, many of the people who witnessed the ministry of Jesus were hostile witnesses. These beliefs were public and falsehoods would have been called out for what they were. There is simply no parallel in literature of a such a story developing in such a short amount of time in the presence of eye witnesses. These things take generations to develop, and by many accounts the epistles and the gospels were written within 20 years or so of the resurrection. Some account put an early apostles creed within 7 years.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: What would convince you deep time is real? I can think of a number of things that could convince me it wasn't. I admit it's hard to imagine just how much scientific knowledge would have to be overturned to accommodate shallow time, it's easier to imagine evidence for Last Thursdayism (the universe was created as is last Thursday) than that science has gotten it so completely wrong. You're really in no position to chide me when you assume I thought the Apostles were morons when you think much worse of scientists, given the incentives to get their discoveries right and that you think they've been systematically wrong for generations. Maybe this will help you understand how I can think the ancients could be mistaken without being morons
What would convince me is hard evidence, and I haven't seen any. I showed you over 50 dating methods which prove a young earth, but you're not interested in looking at them. I'm not sure what would convince you if you're not interested in actual evidence. Scientists have more incentive for DT to be correct, than not. As you said, much of modern science is now rooted in this concept, which allows for virtually anything to happen in the past given enough time. They have thrown in their cards with this conventiional wisdom and change is going to be resisted to the upmost. Do you have any idea how much derison there is in the scientific community for the idea of a young earth? To argue for the possibility would assure you of being completely ostracized from the community at large.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: So you do think atomic decay rates are affected by water pressure. That's an easy experiment to do. Please refer to it. How much pressure does it turn out to take to reset the atomic clock? Can that pressure level be found under several miles of water?
I said pressure. I assume water pressure might do it, but heat and pressure from geologic events certainly does change the rocks, which is why geologists, when they get discordant dates, assume that the rock cooled faster or slower. The predictions are not falsifiable; any story could be evented to explain anomalous ages. Look at this description of why potassium halos dont prove a young earth:
"This refers to tiny halos of crystal damage surrounding spots where radioactive elements are concentrated in certain rocks. Halos thought to be from polonium, a short-lived element produced from the decay of uranium, have been found in some rocks. A plausible explanation for a halo from such a short-lived element is that these were not produced by an initial concentration of the radioactive element. Rather, as water seeped through cracks in the minerals, a chemical change caused newly-formed polonium to drop out of solution at a certain place and almost immediately decay there."
So, it certainly seems plausible to scientists when they are trying to explain away a result; strange, that they would also argue against this at the same time.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: People with much more impressive credentials than Mr. Jueneman regard him as a crank. Not just because of his odd notions, but because he chooses to stay away from challenging working scientists by actually providing evidence of his claims and chooses to focus on persuading people outside the field of radiometric dating who aren't qualifed to assess his arguments (not science, just arguments).
These arguments did not come from Mr Jueneman, they are simply the well known flaws in radiometric dating technqiues. I'll repeat them again:
Assumption 1: A closed system. That nothing has contaminated the parent or daughter product over millions or billions of years. Problem being, there are no closed systems in nature and contamination is inevitable.
Assumption 2: That each system contained no daughter product, because if it did the reading would be false. Yet, how shall we confirm this? Answer, we can't, there is no way to know the initial conditions. Therefore, when you have your range of dates, just throw away the ones that don't match your assumptions.
Assumption 3: Clock started at the beginning, no daughter products were present anywhere. Only elements at the top of the chain existed. That, for example, all of the U238 in the world had no lead 206 in it, nor did any lead 206 exist anywhere. Yet, after a flood or the moment of Creation, all of these daughter elements would be present and the clocks would start from there.
You cannot get accurate dates using these assumptions, and when we test things we know the ages of, they give us inaccurate readings. Radiometric dating cannot be trusted.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Sigh. It's crazy to use all those dating methods on the same rock. Not every radiometric dating method applies to every sample. Different rocks have different concentrations of those elements depending on how the rock was formed. Some things do 'reset' the clock, otherwise all rocks would be billions of years old. Radiometric dating depends on 'clock resetting', but you have to know exactly what kind of rock you're dealing with.
They weren't on the same rock, they were on samples from the same geologic formation. If I actually said on the same rock, I didn't mean an actual rock, but a formation of rocks. So, why do you think that 4 supposedly reliable dating methods give a range of dates extending over billions of years? Which date is the most accurate, do you think?
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: There are volumes written on the subject and classes available. I bet a geology professor would love having you in his class. These posts are already getting too long without me trying to provide you with an education in the science you're lecturing us about.
Since you're implying that you understand the subject better than I do, you should be able to easily correct me. My questions are very basic to the process.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: The only alternative is that biological life has existed for eternity. I thought you were in the camp that a non-biological entity made the first life from non-life. That's abiogenesis, even if it was done by a miracle.
God is alive, so life came from life. Life has never been demonstrated to come from non-life. Abiogenesis says life came from rocks, yet curiously this never seems to happen. A great deal of the safety measures we have taken for our food supply assumes that life doesn't spontaneously generate itself.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: No it doesn't. The impossible can never happen, no matter how much time is involved.
You and I have a much different perspective on what is impossible.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Not necessarily just time. The wildly improbable can happen in a short time given enough simultaneously opportunities. Have a billion dealers deal at once and the chance that someone will get a straight flush is pretty good.
We're not just talking simultaneous opportunities, we are talking about consecutive miracles here. If you had a billion powerball lotteries running, you might win one. By no means does that mean you will five in a row..
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: 'Vestigial' does not a synonym for 'useless'. I did not say useless. I said 'not fully functional'. For instance, adenoids and appendixes are not so useful that we can't live full and productive lives without them, and they're not worth keeping if they become too diseased.
You can live a full and productive life without one of your arms, it doesn't mean that they are the product of a bad design. The appendix and adenoids do have very important functions related to our immune system. Many people have complications after having them removed.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Doctors didn't remove appendixes and tonsils because of evolutionary biology. They removed them because their experience told them their patients did pretty well without them.
No, they removed them because they were considered vestigial organs according to evolutionary theory. They were thought not to have much function, but we now know today that they are important parts of our immune system. Doctors today are much more reluctant to remove them.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: So now you're saying the ancestors of whales did have legs?
No, I am saying that if the snake lost it legs, it is an example of evolution in reverse. The claim that whale ancestors lost their legs because they became water dwelling mammals is completely different. If you want to see how ridiculous that story is getting lately, check this out:
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Almost as much dexterity as a real thumb. If only the designer had known about those.
It's the perfect thumb to spend 12 hours a day scraping bamboo. Design also means tradeoffs for different functionality.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Pandas have to put an enormous amount of time into eating because their digestive systems are more like an omnivore than an herbivore. More like a bear. Of course, as special creations, they're not actually related to other bears, the resemblance must be due to...the...uh...aesthetic advantages of having a bamboo-eating bear.
I already said that speciation is a proven fact. This is how the world was repopulated with animals after the flood. I do not deny change, I deny life from a common ancestor.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: And as the article I linked above shows, vertebral fractures are common in human skeletons throughout history and prehistory, no matter the active lifestyle, in comparison to apes. Our vertebra are larger and more porous to better absorb the shock of walking on two feet. In evolution, tradeoffs are inevitable, that same feature makes us more vulnerable to vertebral fractures, especially if we suffer some bone loss, as often happens in old age. I'm not saying it's not marvelous. I couldn't make one. But it's far from perfect.
It's perfect for our needs, and remember that this is a fallen world. Disease, death, and things like back pain were not part of the original design.
I was going to read those, but I hate to reward someone who is trying to manipulate me.
I assumed you weren't going to read them. I wasn't trying to manipulate you, it was simply said in frustration that even if I have evidence to show you, because of the source you are automatically going to dismiss it. Personally, I think you would find the information interesting, even if you don't agree with the conclusion:
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: You don't have to convince me. You have to convince scientists. Earn your Nobel prize by taking it to the lab. I'm not qualified to judge your evidence. I just note that the people who are qualified to judge it think you're cranks. To spend a bunch of time trying to educate myself on the intricacies of dating methods just so I can evaluate the claims of a guy on the internet doesn't seem wise. There are plenty of scientists in the relevant fields who are Christians but accept the current use of dating methods is legitimate. Presumably they would be open to evidence that supports their relgious beliefs but wouldn't be fooled by bad evidence because they're qualified to evaluate it. Convince them.
Scientists with PHDs aren't convincing them, so I am not going to convince them. You're telling me that you are sure the Earth is old, but what you're really saying is that scientists, who know better than us, are sure, and that is good enough for you. Well, maybe that's good enough for you, but if you want to say if I am wrong about something, I think you should take the time to understand how it works and not just appeal to an authority. I've come to the conclusion that most atheists don't understand these things, because if they did they would understand how flimsy the actual evidence is and agree with me.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: This is called quotemining, a technique for misrepresenting people. I haven't read The Blind Watchmaker yet, and I don't need to in order to know that Dawkins doesn't stop with 'It is as though they were just planted there without any evolutionary history.'
They're hostile witnesses to my position, and when they speak in favor of it, it lends my position weight. It doesn't matter that they disagree with me overall. The cambrian explosion is not a minor puzzle; it upends every significant prediction of darwinian theory. I do obviously think that creatures appeared suddenly, but I don't believe the geologic column is representing that reality.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: That is true. Creationists are constantly looking for a slip of the tongue, so poetic language about design must be curbed because there are so many people out there that equate 'designed by the unconscious process of evolution' with 'designed by a supernatural being' that you can't leave the 'by the unconscious process of evolution' part off if you don't want some yahoo taking your words and trying to imply you think there's a problem with evolution as an explanation for speciation.
It's not poetic language to say things are designed; they *are* designed. The question is who, or what designed them. You think it's plausible that a self-creating Universe appeared on the scene and designed them as the result of chance, natural processes. I think that is ridiculous.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Ask yourself why you are so quick to jump on anything that suggests that just maybe, there might be something to your odd claims. The jury is still out on the blood cells, but the muscle tissue was fossilized, just in an odd way...still made of minerals, my friend. Carbon 14 has a half-life of less than 6,000 years, and isn't useful for dating organisms dead more than 50,000 to 80,000 years old (conditions may allow reasonably accurate dating of some samples on the older end of the range). Carbon 14 dating is the most confirmed radiometric dating technique because it's range falls within historical times and the results can be calibrated on things we know the age of with certainty. Beats me about why Carbon 14 is detectable in stuff more than 30 million years old. I don't assume a global flood isthe only possible explanation. Do you?
What do you mean, why am I so quick to jump on the bandwagon? It's positive evidence in favor of a young world. You're quick to jump on the bandwagon of whatever seems to indicate an old world, so what is the difference? And the muscle tissue had its original flexibility and transparency..it wasn't fossilized in any sense of the word. There is no reason we should find soft tissue in fossils, and t-rex isn't nearly the only one. They have found hadrosaur bone cells, 10 million year old soft frog tissue, santanaraptor muscle tissue, etc. There is no way soft tissue is surviving millions of years.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: History buff, eh? Those were wild and wooly days, for sure.
Those days are now. They drag out one of these every year or so..
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: This is not, and I stand corrected. I will even resist carping on Behe.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Give me one example of irreducible complexity that hasn't been refuted and I will concede the point.
"The cell is the most detailed and concentrated organizational structure known to humanity. It is a lively microcosmic city, with factories for making building supplies, packaging centers for transporting the supplies, trucks that move the materials along highways, communication devices, hospitals for repairing injuries, a massive library of information, power stations providing usable energy, garbage removal, walls for protection and city gates for allowing certain materials to come and go from the cell"
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Um, evolution kinda depends on that. Darwin didn't even know about the stuff, but knew there had to be some kind of high-fidelity mechanism for inheritance that gets mixed-together in sexual reproduction. We even know where the information in DNA comes from: the selection environment.
I think this provides a good explanation for why that isn't true
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Um, not THAT quickly. It takes thousands of generations, even if punctuated equilibrium is correct. New species could have evolved in the time frame of the flood if they had very short generations, but it's hard to explain critters like koalas that way.
There is nothing limiting the timeframe except for the contention that chance, natural processes cause it to happen.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Now you're just being snippy. Muslims shouldn't be allowed to do anything Christians aren't allowed to, and Christians should be able to do anything anyone else can so long as it doesn't involve getting government endorsement for their religion or prosyletizing a captive audience of other people's children.
As far as what people are allowed to do, we should examine the intentions of the founders. This has always been a Christian nation, and it has only been in recent years that secular culture has started to reign and is now demanding that all traces of Christianity be removed from public life in the name of "tolerance". This would be like if you lived on a great estate, which your family built and had lived in for hundreds of years, and you rented out a room to me..and then I started demanding that you redecorate the house the way I liked it because your decorations offended me, and that you put on my name on the lease and stay in your room where I can't see you.
"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
Secularists have been ripping out the foundations of this country since the early sixities, but don't seem to realize that when you destroy the foundation the whole thing will crumble. This is evidenced in the shocking moral decline we have seen since that time.
(15th February 2012 11:51)brotherlylove Wrote: You can explain mechanisms all day long, which does not speak to agency. Since you don't know where the Universe came from, or how it got here, or why it is the way it is, you are left with an incomplete explanation. You simply cannot say the Universe does not require God to operate when you don't know why it operates. If you think you can then explain the uniformity in nature.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: The argument from ignorance bascially takes the form of 'if you don't know the answer to 'X', my answer is correct'. I explain the uniformity in nature by the absence of an omnipotent deity capable of changing the rules at will.
It is not an argument from ignorance. It is to say that you have no argument against Agency until you explain origins. Until then, it is incorrect to say you have ruled it out by explaining mechanisms. Uniformity in nature is the fundamental assumption that science must do to even make science possible. Why should there be any unformity in nature? Why is there a lawlike order in the Universe?
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Hm. By that measure, it seems many Christians love God and trust in Him less than many nonChristians.
In my experience, I have found that people, especially younger people, who don't believe in God or moral accountability are far more likely to be engaged in illicit activity and have a permissive attitude towards immorality. It is true though that the church looks a whole lot like the rest of the world these days.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I think the truly pious are always a minority in any religion. Most people are who they are at their core no matter the veneer of their beliefs.
I was not naturally the way I am now. In fact, many aspects of my personality were diametrically opposed to it. People are who they are, until they give it up to God and allow themselves to be transformed into the image of Christ.
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: Sounds unfalsifiable in principle; which means there's no way to tell if it's really true or not through evidence and reason.
Only God could reveal the truth to you, either way. Barring that, you are going to be satisifed with whatever you come up with on your own. The question is, will it give you peace?
(16th February 2012 00:17)Mister Agenda Wrote: I seem to be in a Catch 22. I won't believe in disembodied spirits and the supernatural without evidence for them; but I don't get the evidence unless I believe first. I won't convince myself for you, because I believe I'm fully capable of convincing myself that something false is true if I put down my rubbish filters first. If it makes you feel any better, my rubbish filters have also kept me from trying out Hare Krishna, Scientology, homeopathy, Wicca, and Mormonism from the inside.
God gave me the evidence before I believed, and I think the reason is that I wasn't biased about who He is, or whether He exists or not. I never slammed the door in His face over what I may prefer to believe. I don't think I was ever truly against being personally accountable to God, and it wasn't hard for me to admit that I had done things which were deserving of punishment.
It doesn't seem like atheists want to admit that they are sinners, but a guilty conscience cannot be denied. People put on a good show but obviously no one is ever going to reveal the truly wicked things they have done in life. They are never going to admit that in a conversation. They may not even admit it to themselves. The truth is we've all done wrong things, and some are able to admit it, and some aren't.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to all of this. I've tried to trim it down a bit from the last reply.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
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RE: Hello atheistforum - brotherlylove - 18th February 2012 06:48
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