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Does God exist? (1 Viewer)

do you believe in god?


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dan964

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This is a meaningless statement. How does the existence of humans bring glory to god? By creating tiny, flawed, insignificant little creatures, this "brings glory" to an all powerful being? Really? And for whose benefit is the glory being brought? Does an all powerful god need to create insignificant little creatures to feel good about himself? To earn the esteem of angels in heaven? Why on earth would he do that?
Meaningless to you because you don't believe in him... you don't agree with my rationale, you don't consider the evidence that I consider.

But lets answer your questions regardless
"How does the existence of humans bring glory to god?" -
"By creating tiny, flawed, insignificant little creatures, this "brings glory" to an all powerful being?" - Short answer yes.
"And for whose benefit is the glory being brought?" - Both for himself and for his creation.
"Does an all powerful god need to create insignificant little creatures to feel good about himself?" - No.

No, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that humans can literally will beliefs into existence. There is no evidence of this, and it contradicts the experience of virtually everyone on earth.
Well, you say things like 'this is the experience of everyone' and these universal statements especially moral statements, for every statement you make, you actually have to demonstrate that. I couldn't care less if you proved anything or not.

My view is that for any claim, if you have burden of proof especially you are making a universal truth statements. (Both the theist and atheist have burden of proof). But my aim is not to prove anything, just more show the logical outworking of your view as I see it. And to be honest, I'm not that fixated on the notion of proof personally, (as most of us here are not scholars).

Everything we think or feel consciously comes from our unconscious brain as the product of some neurophysiological events that can be functionally described as performing some sort of information processing. Which is to say, our conscious experiences are an effect that arises from unconscious causes. To consciously choose what we believe would mean that an effect, conscious thought, is driving unconscious information processing, a cause; that is, an effect is controlling the thing causing it. This is nonsensical and necessarily cannot be the case.
1. Firstly, not 'necessarily'. Effects can be causes as well. All you've basically said is you don't understand it therefore it cannot be true; which again isn't necessarily the case.

2. Secondly, I think you views suffer from over simplification. There are a number of factors, some yes, unconscious that influence a person's belief system. But these unconscious factors are also influenced by conscious factors etc; its not merely a linear chain. Basically it is more complex that saying 'I'm born this way and I cannot change it.'

3. Thirdly, if a statement about reality is true, it is true regardless of whether your brain accepts it or not or whether you understand or not.
Logical absolutes and the idea of what is true, would exist even if your mind did not - these things are transcendent.

4. Fourthly my point was that if we take on face value what you saying is true, then I take that humans that cannot be held accountable for any action, since it is just the brain 'finds it compelling' to do that; which leads to a world with no real justice.

5. Fifthly, we actually differ on the notion of what we think belief/faith (the two terms are interchangeable) is. The best word to describe what you are commonly appealing to, is the notion of 'sense' (and you use the idea of 'compelling') that we may sense certain things to be true or not. This is not equivalent to belief. And again I think you conflate the two a little.

1. I'm not saying god is a moron, I'm saying that a god which holds us morally accountable for things we cannot control is nonsensical.
2. My criticism is more fundamental than belief without evidence. If you show somebody evidence and they still don't believe, this is still not a decision. Their brain either finds it compelling or it doesn't. To say we can consciously decide these things is nonsensical.
6. Sixthly, well it was the logical conclusion I took from your argument/worldview. You might as well be saying that, because you cannot go as far to say that someone does not exist or the notion of their existence is absurd (I use absurd, you use nonsensical) just because they do something which you see as contradictory/irrational; because a lot of behaviour is irrational.
As you've presented it, that is how it reads.

7. Seventhly, I agree with this statement "If you show somebody evidence and they still don't believe, this is still not a decision."
But you use the idea of the brain finding it compelling, as if the brain is somehow de-attached from the person or their conscious.

8. Eighthly, I would agree that we do have difficulty believing in something that does not make sense to us. But there can be a number of factors as to why a person accepts a premise or not. Belief is something that is affected by other factors. The fact that we can be compelled to believe something, or even change what we believe suggests that are other factors that change. There are more barriers to understanding or accepting then merely insufficient good evidence, previous experiences/decisions, pre-existing beliefs all play in that.
For e.g. the reason why I would not believe in Allah and accept Islam at gunpoint, because I believe Muslims to be wrong about Jesus etc. So yes, their is a rationale that cannot necessarily be overcome by force.

1. What you're saying isn't actually proof against what I'm arguing. Whether or not we can hold terrorists responsible for their actions is irrelevant to whether it is true or not. It's either true or or isn't, the societal impacts of it being true do not affect its truth value. 2. I'm not saying they're morally responsible. I'm saying they're doing harm, so its rational to get away from them or stop them from doing harm. Punishment makes no sense as a strictly punitive measure. It makes sense to remove people from society to stop them doing harm, to dissuade others from doing harm, or to rehabilitate people (if possible) so they do not do harmful behaviours again.
9. Ninthly, thanks for the clarification, but that it is certainly appears to be from how (both in content and in repetitiveness) you engage with Muslims on this very forum, that you do want them to be held responsible from their actions.

10. Tenthly, it is not completely irrelevant, because most people's actions are based on they believe is true and rational (except if at gunpoint say). If you say that these things, that we cannot be held morally accountable for these things, whether by some God or other agent; then it is self refuting to then say, we need to hold these people to account; since they are merely following their pre-programming. It is not pragmatically a liveable way of operating,.

You can want to believe it exists, you can say you believe it exists. But whether you actually believe it exists deep down is something entirely out of your control. The burden of proof is on you because its not even clear what consciously deciding to change your mind even means.
11. Eleventhly, I don't agree with you that it is out of your control; but I do agree that pointing a gun (which is the specific you use) to something can force them to abandon their beliefs to accept another. As I said back in (8), there could be a number of reasons why that is so.

12. To provide a bit of clarity, changing ones mind (which is both conscious and subconscious) involves a shift in thinking, a change of rationale, a change in definition or what is acceptable, it is a bit broad term, but can really encompass any change to ones rationale basically.

Morality is fundamentally how we FEEL about a subject. We cannot choose how we feel about something. I do not have a "moral" aversion to murder because I decided there are reasons why murder is wrong. There are logical reasons I think it is wrong, but fundamentally I have an aversion to it for non-conscious reasons.
13. Logic/rationale is a funny thing. Logic and rationale informs beliefs, and beliefs often inform and shape rationale.
Not all decisions are rational nor purely conscious things, and it depends what you classify as choice. But there are 'inherent' or 'implicit' things that we subconsciously form e.g. habits and preferences.

We may need to define what we mean by certain words, because I think part of why we disagree is we are operating with different understandings of what different words mean. For instance I tend towards considering preferences as in the same category as decisions/choices.
...
 

dan964

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This really doesn't prove what you seem to think it does. All it says is that oxygen is necessary but insufficient for the evolution of advanced life. This doesn't contradict any of what I'm arguing...
Nope the article was to address the specifics of what you said, to show the presence of lots of oxygen in the atmosphere does not necessitate the existence of humans.
In fact this is the quote I was addressing:
The reason we have a requirement for oxygen is because the atmosphere contains oxygen and so life evolved to make use of this oxygen.
But as the presence of oxygen does not even necessitate that humans exist. Humans could have evolved to require nitrogen instead of oxygen, since our atmosphere is predominantly nitrogen; based on the evolutionary principle.

Here is the argument I presented:
1. The world is such a way that humans require oxygen and water etc.
2. If God exists he could have created it such that humans don't require water and oxygen - Sylvia's claim.
3. Because there is no scientific/apparent reason for why God created it such that (1) or (2) holds
it is bad explanation for why is the way it world.
4. Therefore random mostly unguided process (evolution) is more consistent/better.

You ask the question: 'there's no reason it had to be this way if God created humans'. The problem with this question is it is too hypothetical. We don't know what other factors would either have to change by necessity, or even just by extending the possibilities.
What if you asked the same question of 'evolution'. If evolution* is what directs how, why does a particular mutation lead to this? You end up having to assume evolution as a premise and then deduce how it fits the specifics.
But again, the presence of oxygen in environment doesn't necessitate evolution of lifeforms dependent on oxygen; so what led that particular moment more inducive for life to evolve to have those characteristics?

As for the randomness of mutations, there's no reason to think that random mutations wouldn't lead very gradually to more advanced forms of life. The mutations are random, or at least random in a highly constrained manner, but only those mutations that happen to have a positive impact continue to exist and get passed on.
Well technically it is the mutations that are more likely get passed on. I would dispute the 'only' qualification you make. A good counter example is to provide an example of where evolution has led to redundancy, features in a creature that serve little or no utilitarian purpose.

There's no reason food molecules need to be reacted with oxygen for energy to be released except if you assume the existence of certain physical laws that require it.
But if we're building up reality from scratch, there is absolutely NO reason for these particular physical laws to exist.
There's no reason it had to be this way if god created humans, and its hard to imagine why it was...
I do assume those laws...
You ask the question: 'there's no reason it had to be this way if God created humans'. The problem with this question is it is too hypothetical; and also its a false dilemma.
if we wanted to know why someone does something you have to see if we can work it out from what they say. Knowing a person's intent as explanation behind something requires that person to reveal it. The reason why you say 'there's no reason it had to be this way if God created humans' is because God has not explained himself in that specific matter in what he has revealed about himself and this world; and personally I don't find it helpful to speculate as to why.

We do know that he intentionally created the world with order (which you could take it as establishing ordered laws and principles which govern and introduce the necessity of certain features)
The fact that God created with the world with order means that he designed certain physical laws. That is not hard to imagine why for myself, but maybe for you it is.

The world exists in a way that is inconsistent with god, therefore that is an argument against god's existence. If we were all-powerful and were building reality from the ground up, so to speak, including all of the laws of physics and the nature of reality itself.
We could create humans to not need external sources of energy, let alone ones that require a constant supply of oxygen.Even if we decided to make people eat food, we could have made humans be able to metabolise their food without oxygen or any other gas.
If god created us, it is necessarily the case that he deliberately reality and humans exist in such a way that oxygen was necessary, which is to say he deliberately and needlessly made us extremely flawed and vulnerable
No you argument presumes a particular way of understanding the world's existence. You presuppose a world in which God doesn't exist.
1. Naturalistic evolution NOT God explains certain features of the world e.g. humans needing oxygen - Sylvia's premise
2. The world exists in such a way that (1) holds in generality.
3. Therefore God cannot exist (logical inconsistent with 1 & 2).

Again, it introduces a false dilemma between naturalistic explanations and God, that you cannot possibly hold them both, or some combined understanding (whether or not one accepts evolution).

Except your first point is literally a god of the gaps argument. You're saying that we (supposedly) cannot explain the Cambrian explosion in naturalistic terms, therefore it must have been god. That's it. That's what god of the gaps is.
Nope read carefully, what I was actually saying we cannot explain the Cambrian explosions with naturalistic evolution, therefore we need a different explanation. And my second point, is we cannot jump from that and say 'God did it'.
So I don't actually make that conclusion, it had to be 'God did it', I was more showing the limitations of the explanatory power of evolutionary theory that it cannot account for how organised information is created. We need to seek an alternative explanation.
But I was also pointing out that you make a categorical error because the explanation that 'God did it' is of a different class (agency) to say explaining the process.
The former can provide the rationale

You're assuming that humans had to be the final product of evolution on earth. They didn't unless god existed. If the world had been different, other species would have existed. It by chance that humans are things that happened to exist, but there isn't any significance to this unless you assume the point of evolution is to create humans, which it wasn't.
Nope, but I am assuming that considering the context of our discussion, that is more relevant to focus on human evolution.
It is not an assumption if I believe that God exists, since God provides a rationale that his focus is on humans.

Yeah, this whole "we can't understand the mind of god" is a TOTAL cop out...
Nope because remember we are dealing with a person's intent here; which cannot be empirically derived. We can only know and understand an intent if it is revealed to us (or spoken to use).
I'm not saying there is no use for science and trying to think out why certain things are using empirical logic; it does not rule out the existence of God, nor negate it.

You're saying life came to exist because he created the things which were necessary for life to exist, but it was he who decided what was necessary in the first place. Life could have existed without these elements if he wanted. He could have created life spontaneously.
Yeah and so what? Why are you so fixed on the 'could have been'?

Yeah, that's nonsense. We can explain evolution in strictly naturalistic terms. There are some gaps that have not been explained, but you said you're opposed to god of the gaps arguments so you cannot be arguing that these gaps prove god exists. What absolutely does not exist are events in evolutionary history that contradict our scientific understanding of the world. The gaps in evolution are a lack of data, they are absolutely not the existence of data that contradict the previously established laws of science that we can't explain i.e. examples where god intervened.
Again this is evidence, that you don't actually read it, and you are just like 'its nonsense'. I was merely pointing that there are Christians who accept evolutionary principles; meaning that you don't have this false dilemma of accepting God's existence and evolution.
I on the otherhand am not compelled that the evolutionary principle has as much explainatory power as you like to give to it, but I honestly need to do a bit of reading on the subject matter to be better informed.
What I was saying has nothing to do with your response.

And yet again, the idea that an all powerful god would use evolution to create humans, and in such a way where he had to periodically direct it through millions of species over some 3.8 billion years is insane.
He has the power to create us spontaneously and yet he used this outrageously convoluted method absolutely reeks of Christians moulding their views around the world even if these views don't make a lot of sense as a result.
(Ironically you say that there are Christians who believe that God made it in 7 days, but usually those Christians reject a lot of mainstream science). I don't see why the idea is insane. Simply because it is doesn't make sense to you, doesn't mean it is false.
 

dan964

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Say you decide to put your hand on your head. Why did you do this? Because you decided to. How did you decide to? You consciously thought about it. Where did that conscious thought come from? You thought about it....but where did that thought come from? It's an infinite regress. Our conscious mind does not control our actions. It bears witness to the decisions that our unconscious mind makes in a way that makes it feel like "we"(our conscious self) "made" them even though that logically cannot be what has happened

To consciously control our actions, it would mean our conscious thoughts are having a causal impact on our unconscious mind (that executes the actions). But its necessarily true that our conscious thought is generated by our unconscious mind in the first place, it doesn't just spontaneously appear. So the cause is the unconscious mind, and the effect is conscious thought. Conscious thought cannot play a causal role on the thing causing it, because that would mean the unconscious mind is causing a change in itself. The unconscious mind obviously can and does affect itself, its just that there's no room for the conscious mind is the causal chain.
Putting aside that the last sentence doesn't make much sense (probably grammar).
Conscious thoughts and decisions are influenced by both the current and previous experiences; including other conscious thoughts (otherwise logic / reason would not be coherent or exist). It is not necessarily true that a simple association can be drawn between a subconscious conviction and a particular thought, action or conviction (or the will)

What does it even mean to say "I would not". My unconscious mind either finds what you're saying compelling or it does not. It's out of my control. I cannot choose to believe it is true. If you understand arithmetic, you cannot "choose" to believe 1 + 1 = 3 even if you wanted it to be true. Seriously, are you going to sit there and tell me you could choose to sincerely believe that 1 + 1 =3? Seriously?

But even if it were a matter of desire: How could I possibly be responsible for my desires? Desires absolutely cannot be a product of choice. I mean, even if we have free will, its always described as a matter of us choosing to act on our desires or not. It's not the thing that we choose. Our desires exist and we (supposedly) make choices regarding those pre-existing desires.
1. Our convictions* are what you are referring to in our subconscious mind, and the idea of compelling is the idea of whether something inspires conviction. And this is affected by a number of factors, such as understanding, evidence, experiences, and even other convictions via logic/reasoning; things which we different degrees of control over or at least can be (the technical name for this is " indirect doxastic voluntarism").

To build on your bad example, a child for instance who has no knowledge or understanding that 1+1 = 3, could sincerely accept that.
(But what you did in your example is qualify it with 'if you understand arithmetic'; which assumes that some knowledge (external) was received, processed and remembered in the subconscious, which has shaped their disposition).
(However I would not personally classify 1+1 = 3, as a belief per say, because it is axiomatic that 1+1 = 2 because the definition of what '2' is depends on the axiom that 1+1 = 2. If we say in some theoretical system could define such that we relabelled 2 as 3, then 1+1=3 would be rational)
Beliefs and convictions may not necessarily be true or rational but are sincerely held.

*using this word deliberately instead of belief, since i suspect we have different working definitions.
(Even there needs to be a distinction 'believing in' (a person say) and 'believing that' (a proposition).

And what the **** does it mean that "we are all perfectly capable of reading"? So f***ing what? Two people with the exact same level of literacy can read the same passage of text and believe two totally different things about it. Ability to read is totally irrelevant. Do you believe everything you read? OF COURSE NOT.
I was addressing your insistence that it is out of your control, which does not mean you are physically unable to examine evidence(aka read) or material that could (but may not necessarily) inspire convictions. Of course the degree at which we can turn our attention to new/different evidence is something distinct to consider.

It's not even clear how we could possibly control our actions, let alone our beliefs.
I've explained in three other posts already: To consciously control our actions, we would need to think about our actions before we've thought about them.
Oh dear. This opens a bit of a rabbit hole. Again I raise the point I made earlier. If you deny that we cannot possibly control our actions, then it is not pragmatic (liveable). You cannot outcry or hold accountable a terrorist for their actions, because it is not within their control. But yet you do, at least that's how it presents itself. That is inconsistent.
(Simply applying your moral standard consistently).

You cannot say that: we have no control over our actions or beliefs, because as you've cleared said it is logically inconsistent to judge someone for something they cannot control; and yet you do it all the time on this very forum; or even if you didn't, you make universal appeals/statements with moral values attached that we all somehow have (yet even you've argued that our brains all differ a couple of pages ago). Logically inconsistent!
 

dan964

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people can't say the bible is 100% correct then have all these contradictions in there

like how many typos are in the bible/quran/torah/etc lol
Ok skimming the list briefly, most of those are only contradictions/problems if you take a shallow surface reading of the text or stuff out of context. So a little bit dishonest there.

Consider this one as an typical example of this kind:

GE 1:31 God was pleased with his creation.
GE 6:5-6 God was not pleased with his creation.

What they failed to understand is that a shift happened (in Genesis 3 to be exact) that caused God from being pleased with his creation to not being pleased. So it presents 2 things that seem inconsistent without actually engaging with the text and why they changed.

It is very basic problem that one does not know how to read a text in its genre (regardless of whether you think its true or not) lol.

Reading the text in such a way to force a contradiction when there isn't one there is dishonest.
 

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But lets answer your questions regardless
"How does the existence of humans bring glory to god?" -
Why would an infinitely powerful being need significant flawed creatures to feel good about himself? Why would something insignificant make him feel good?

My view is that for any claim, if you have burden of proof especially you are making a universal truth statements. (Both the theist and atheist have burden of proof). But my aim is not to prove anything, just more show the logical outworking of your view as I see it. And to be honest, I'm not that fixated on the notion of proof personally, (as most of us here are not scholars).
The burden of proof is on theists. If they claim that belief/disbelief in god in a moral choice, then belief needs to be under conscious control, otherwise people are being punished for something outside of their control.

1. Firstly, not 'necessarily'. Effects can be causes as well. All you've basically said is you don't understand it therefore it cannot be true; which again isn't necessarily the case.
It's not that effects cannot be causes. The implication of what you're saying is that effects are being the causes of themselves, which is logically incoherent. Conscious thought either appears in consciousness spontaneously from nowhere (which is both absurd and inconsistent with being in control of one's thoughts) or it comes from the unconscious mind, in which case we do not control it.

2. Secondly, I think you views suffer from over simplification. There are a number of factors, some yes, unconscious that influence a person's belief system. But these unconscious factors are also influenced by conscious factors etc; its not merely a linear chain. Basically it is more complex that saying 'I'm born this way and I cannot change it.'
No, its ALL unconscious factors. It has to be. Consciousness cannot play a causal role. Consciousness is generated by the unconscious mind, so you're arguing that the unconscious mind generates consciousness, consciousness occurs, and this affects the unconscious mind. Which even if this were true, it's still the unconscious mind controlling the unconscious mind.

3. Thirdly, if a statement about reality is true, it is true regardless of whether your brain accepts it or not or whether you understand or not.
Logical absolutes and the idea of what is true, would exist even if your mind did not - these things are transcendent.
Yes, so what? That's irrelevant. I'm not saying its not true because my brain doesn't accept it. The point is that if my brain doesn't accept it, my brain doesn't accept it. I have no conscious say in the matter and therefore it is absurd to suggest I be punished for this fact.

4. Fourthly my point was that if we take on face value what you saying is true, then I take that humans that cannot be held accountable for any action, since it is just the brain 'finds it compelling' to do that; which leads to a world with no real justice.
This is absolutely IRRELEVANT to whether what I am saying is true or not. This is just argumentum ad consequentiam. It's either true or its not, the fact you don't like the (supposed) implications is not relevant to whether it is true or not.

Of course, without free will, we are not compelled to accept any and all behaviour. If somebody harms others, we can punish them in an attempt to rehabilitate them so they don't harm other again, we can punish them as a deterrent to others, and we can simply remove them from society so they are unable to harm others again. None of this requires free will to exist.

In any case, a "world without justice" is infinitely better than the christian world. Punishing people for their actions after they die is completely barbaric, even if we accept the existence of conscious free will. What does it accomplish? If a murderer is tortured after death, what does this accomplish? What does it mean to say this is "justice"? This kind of punitive vengeance is bronze age thinking. Why is it good to punish them? Because it gives you and god and anyone else a good feeling to see someone you don't like suffer?

The only possible defence of such a system is to act as deterrent, which firstly is moronic because nobody really even knows if this punishment actually happens at all, and secondly, a deterrent is different to justice. And of course, this is all nonsense because everyone is just a product of their genes and their environment (and maybe random quantum effects). Someone who is genuinely psychopath is simply a victim of their genes and environment. It makes no sense to punish them for only the sake of making them suffer.

5. Fifthly, we actually differ on the notion of what we think belief/faith (the two terms are interchangeable) is. The best word to describe what you are commonly appealing to, is the notion of 'sense' (and you use the idea of 'compelling') that we may sense certain things to be true or not. This is not equivalent to belief. And again I think you conflate the two a little.
No, this is wrong. I don't "sense" that god doesn't exist. I am utterly, hopelessly convinced of it. I couldn't spontaneously choose to believe in god.

6. Sixthly, well it was the logical conclusion I took from your argument/worldview. You might as well be saying that, because you cannot go as far to say that someone does not exist or the notion of their existence is absurd (I use absurd, you use nonsensical) just because they do something which you see as contradictory/irrational; because a lot of behaviour is irrational.
Don't you think that an infinite, all knowing all powerful god behaving irrationally like a flawed pathetic human is a little weird? Almost as if the Abrahamic conception of god was, you know, actually a product of the irrational flawed human mind?

7. Seventhly, I agree with this statement "If you show somebody evidence and they still don't believe, this is still not a decision."
But you use the idea of the brain finding it compelling, as if the brain is somehow de-attached from the person or their conscious.
Yes, because the brain operates independently of their consciousness. Just because our brains are a part of us as persons, doesn't mean "we" control the brain. Your brain is currently making your heart beat, does that mean you are choosing to make your heart beat, because your brain is part of you? Of course not. If you disagree, go ahead and choose to make your heart stop beating for a few seconds. I'll wait.

8. Eighthly, I would agree that we do have difficulty believing in something that does not make sense to us. But there can be a number of factors as to why a person accepts a premise or not. Belief is something that is affected by other factors. The fact that we can be compelled to believe something, or even change what we believe suggests that are other factors that change.
The only factor is our unconscious mind. Now, our unconscious mind can be influenced by any number of things, including genes, the environment one was raised in, what you were taught at school, various life experiences including hallucinatory experiences, and so on. But all of these things affect our unconscious mind. Our conscious mind does not affect our unconscious mind, because this would be equivalent to our unconscious mind affecting itself.

9. Ninthly, thanks for the clarification, but that it is certainly appears to be from how (both in content and in repetitiveness) you engage with Muslims on this very forum, that you do want them to be held responsible from their actions.
No, I want muslims to change their actions, and their actions can be influenced by external forces like being told their actions are bad. That doesn't contradict anything I've said. And if we can't change their actions, I want them to not be near me so their actions cannot affect me, which again is perfectly consistent with what I'm saying.

10. Tenthly, it is not completely irrelevant, because most people's actions are based on they believe is true and rational (except if at gunpoint say). If you say that these things, that we cannot be held morally accountable for these things, whether by some God or other agent; then it is self refuting to then say, we need to hold these people to account; since they are merely following their pre-programming. It is not pragmatically a liveable way of operating,.
Their "programming" can be changed by punishing them or having them witness the punishment of others. That's the only rational view of punishment. God's punishment of people after death is completely backward and serves no purpose.
 

SylviaB

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11. Eleventhly, I don't agree with you that it is out of your control; but I do agree that pointing a gun (which is the specific you use) to something can force them to abandon their beliefs to accept another. As I said back in (8), there could be a number of reasons why that is so.
Again, all of those reasons are consistent with what I'm saying, but none of them are evidence of conscious control of belief.

12. To provide a bit of clarity, changing ones mind (which is both conscious and subconscious) involves a shift in thinking, a change of rationale, a change in definition or what is acceptable, it is a bit broad term, but can really encompass any change to ones rationale basically.
First of all, everything related to cognition is fundamentally UNCONSCIOUS, not merely subconscious. We can consciously witness the products of unconscious cognition, but this cognition necessarily occurs in the unconscious mind.

Secondly, I never said people can't change their minds. I'm saying if somebody changes their mind it will be as involuntary as them believing 1 + 1 =3

We may need to define what we mean by certain words, because I think part of why we disagree is we are operating with different understandings of what different words mean. For instance I tend towards considering preferences as in the same category as decisions/choices.
That's silly. Does somebody "choose" to find the taste of chocolate ice cream better than vanilla ice cream? Of course not. The flavours taste a certain way and the person cannot help prefer one to the other.

Nope the article was to address the specifics of what you said, to show the presence of lots of oxygen in the atmosphere does not necessitate the existence of humans.
I didn't SAY it necessitates the existence of humans. This articles says just because oxygen exists, that is not the only conditions that needs to be met for advanced life to evolve.

It's literally analogous to the following: Bread is a flour based food. But just because there's a bunch of flour lying around in a certain place, it doesn't mean that bread will necessarily come into existence. There are other conditions that need to be met (like water, yeast, heat) in order for bread to form.

-But as the presence of oxygen does not even necessitate that humans exist.
-Humans could have evolved to require nitrogen instead of oxygen, since our atmosphere is predominantly nitrogen; based on the evolutionary principle.
First of all, these two sentences are different statements. They aren't talking about the same thing.

The first one is saying: Just because oxygen exists, doesn't mean humans had to exist (which I never said otherwise)
The second one is saying: If humans exist, it doesn't mean they had to use oxygen.

SECONDLY, the second statement this is false. We could not have used nitrogen. Nitrogen is an inert gas and is incombustible under most conditions, which means it cannot be used in the combustion of glucose in our cells. Anaerobic life is the main alternative to oxygen (aerobic) life, not nitrogen breathing life.
Just because evolution occurs, doesn't mean it can overcome the laws of nature. If life forms existed which somehow used nitrogen to react with glucose to release energy, these life forms would necessarily be totally, incomprehensibly different to humans, and probably extremely primitive.

Third, none of this is an argument for why god made us breathe oxygen.

2. If God exists he could have created it such that humans don't require water and oxygen - Sylvia's claim.
There's literally no way for this not to be true if god is omnipotent.

You ask the question: 'there's no reason it had to be this way if God created humans'. The problem with this question is it is too hypothetical. We don't know what other factors would either have to change by necessity, or even just by extending the possibilities.
YES, we do. If god is all powerful, if he literally created the universe, he created the laws of physics and could make things however he wanted. He could have made us exist in a cold vacuum. He could have filled the atmosphere with hydrogen cyanide of hydrogen sulphide and made us perfectly happy and healthy in this environment. There's no reason god has to obey the laws of physics as they happen to exist.

What if you asked the same question of 'evolution'. If evolution* is what directs how, why does a particular mutation lead to this? You end up having to assume evolution as a premise and then deduce how it fits the specifics.
Using oxygen to combust glucose is the best possible way to generate large amounts of energy for living beings that could be created through natural selection. To the extent that humans came to exist as they do, it "had" to be like this because that's how the world happens to be. That's how the laws of physics happen to be, that's how elements happen to behave. We developed in the context of a particular environment. If the laws of physics were different, humans would be physiologically different. Or, more likely, humans wouldn't exist, some other species would, and maybe not on earth. This is all just natural selection acting on things in a particular environment that happens to exist.

With god however, there is no "particular environment" that happens to exist. He doesn't have to fit humans to match a given environment, he CREATES the environment, and even more than that, he could make humans exist in any environment whatsoever.

But again, the presence of oxygen in environment doesn't necessitate evolution of lifeforms dependent on oxygen; so what led that particular moment more inducive for life to evolve to have those characteristics?
This is not what the article says.

It says NOTHING about life using other gases for respiration instead of oxygen. NOTHING.

It is literally just saying that oxygen is not the ONLY condition necessary for the evolution of advanced life.

Well technically it is the mutations that are more likely get passed on. I would dispute the 'only' qualification you make. A good counter example is to provide an example of where evolution has led to redundancy, features in a creature that serve little or no utilitarian purpose.
Okay, so what? This isn't an argument against natural selection. Some genes get passed on due to sexual selection, some genes get selected for because they tend to exist with other genes that code for a benefit, sometimes there are random events that favor one population over another. None of this means natural selection is invalid.

I do assume those laws...
There is literally no reason to these laws to necessarily be so.

If they exist, its because god created them that way. How can an omnipotent god be constrained by the universe? He's the one who created it. He could have made the gas consisting of atoms that had the same number of neutrons, protons and electrons as Argon happen to be the most reactive element in the universe. There's no reason things HAD to be this way where Argon is inert.

You ask the question: 'there's no reason it had to be this way if God created humans'. The problem with this question is it is too hypothetical; and also its a false dilemma.
if we wanted to know why someone does something you have to see if we can work it out from what they say. Knowing a person's intent as explanation behind something requires that person to reveal it. The reason why you say 'there's no reason it had to be this way if God created humans' is because God has not explained himself in that specific matter in what he has revealed about himself and this world; and personally I don't find it helpful to speculate as to why.
There's nothing hypothetical about it.

We can be 100%, absolutely, unequivocally CERTAIN that if an omnipotent god created us, he had to have deliberately decided to make us be flawed in the sense that we require oxygen. It literally cannot be any other way than this. It had to be his choice, because he create the universe, he created matter, he created the laws of nature. He had the power to make humans not require oxygen, therefore, he must have chosen to make us require oxygen.

The fact that God created with the world with order means that he designed certain physical laws. That is not hard to imagine why for myself, but maybe for you it is.
He didn't create certain physical laws, he created them all. But again, he didn't need to create them like this. He could have made us get energy from the sun directly, he could have made us get energy just from breathing, he could have made us have unlimited energy that does not require replenishment. You believe in this bizarre conception of god where he is all-powerful, able to create entire universes, but cannot decide how matter interacts.
 

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Again, it introduces a false dilemma between naturalistic explanations and God, that you cannot possibly hold them both, or some combined understanding (whether or not one accepts evolution).
1. Naturalistic evolution does not require god, so it would be a coincidence if god were "directing" evolution
2. Humans are gravely flawed creatures. This makes sense under naturalistic evolution because natural selection works with whatever the environment gives it. If god created us, he deliberately and needlessly made us extremely flawed, which is a kind if bizarre thing to do.

Nope read carefully, what I was actually saying we cannot explain the Cambrian explosions with naturalistic evolution, therefore we need a different explanation.
No, we don't need a different explanation. The cambrian explosion does not contradict natural selection, we just do not have sufficient data to yet explain it with our current understanding of evolution.

So I don't actually make that conclusion, it had to be 'God did it', I was more showing the limitations of the explanatory power of evolutionary theory that it cannot account for how organised information is created.
Except, it can. Nothing in evolution requires the intervention of god.

It is not an assumption if I believe that God exists, since God provides a rationale that his focus is on humans.
No, but you're criticising naturalistic evolution from an anthropocentric perspective. But that perspective only makes sense if you assume god exists. If god doesn't exist, then there's nothing wrong with naturalistic evolution in this context.

Nope because remember we are dealing with a person's intent here; which cannot be empirically derived. We can only know and understand an intent if it is revealed to us (or spoken to use).
I'm not saying there is no use for science and trying to think out why certain things are using empirical logic; it does not rule out the existence of God, nor negate it.
If we can't understand god's intent, WE CAN'T FOLLOW RELIGION. That's the cop-out. In one breath god's will in unknowable, the next we are to follow god's will or be punished after we die.

Yeah and so what? Why are you so fixed on the 'could have been'?
There's no possible explanation for why god made us so flawed, whereas it makes perfect sense with naturalistic evolution. By showing what 'could have been', it demonstrates what a shitty job of designing us god did.

Again this is evidence, that you don't actually read it, and you are just like 'its nonsense'. I was merely pointing that there are Christians who accept evolutionary principles; meaning that you don't have this false dilemma of accepting God's existence and evolution.
I am saying that the way humans exist is more consistent with naturalistic evolution that god, because we should expect evolution to produce flawed, limited lifeforms, whereas god had to decide to make us like this and there's no conceivable reason why.

I on the otherhand am not compelled that the evolutionary principle has as much explainatory power as you like to give to it, but I honestly need to do a bit of reading on the subject matter to be better informed.
So, evolutionary biologists are either wrong, or lying. Which is it?

(Ironically you say that there are Christians who believe that God made it in 7 days, but usually those Christians reject a lot of mainstream science). I don't see why the idea is insane. Simply because it is doesn't make sense to you, doesn't mean it is false.
Why did it take billions of years for humans to come into existence after the creation of the earth:

Naturalistic evolution: evolution is an extremely slow process dependent on chance factors and small, incremental changes over countless generations

God: There's no reason it had to take billions of years, god just happened to feel like fucking around for billions of years for no reason

Which of these is a better explanation for reality?

Putting aside that the last sentence doesn't make much sense (probably grammar).
Anyone with half a brain could see I typed is instead of in.

Conscious thoughts and decisions are influenced by both the current and previous experiences; including other conscious thoughts (otherwise logic / reason would not be coherent or exist).
No, that's not true. The reasoning takes place in our unconscious mind, we simply experience in our consciousness. If a thought is generated in consciousness from the conscious mind, it will still be there in the unconscious mind from one moment to the next. EVERYTHING that exists in consciousness is generated by our brains through unconscious processes, every thought, feeling sensation etc. There's no way for conscious thoughts to play a causal role themselves.

It is not necessarily true that a simple association can be drawn between a subconscious conviction and a particular thought, action or conviction (or the will)
Stop saying subconscious

I am not talking about the subconscious. I have already explained this. I am talking about the UNCONSCIOUS. We cannot perceive the mental processes that give rise to thought. You do not know what you will think next, let alone be able to consciously control it. It is generated unconsciously.

Everything that ends up in conscious simply MUST be a result of unconscious processes.

1. Our convictions* are what you are referring to in our subconscious mind, and the idea of compelling is the idea of whether something inspires conviction. And this is affected by a number of factors, such as understanding, evidence, experiences, and even other convictions via logic/reasoning; things which we different degrees of control over or at least can be (the technical name for this is " indirect doxastic voluntarism").
None of this is conscious free will. These are examples of information existing in or impinging on your unconscious mind. Even if we could consciously control the initiation of reasoning, we are still simply subject to the product of the reasoning. If the way my brain reasons is not consistent with what somebody else claims, I will not believe it. I cannot "choose" to believe it. Either I find it compelling or not. None of this is voluntary.

To build on your bad example, a child for instance who has no knowledge or understanding that 1+1 = 3, could sincerely accept that.
(But what you did in your example is qualify it with 'if you understand arithmetic'; which assumes that some knowledge (external) was received, processed and remembered in the subconscious, which has shaped their disposition).
Remembered in the UNCONSCIOUS MIND.
But so what? Where is the control here? I understand arithmetic, so now I cannot believe 1 + 1 =3. I cannot choose to unlearn arithmetic, so nowhere is there any CHOICE in the matter. You specifically need to prove I can choose what I believe, and the fact that I have pre-existing knowledge on a topic that influence my belief is completely irrelevant to whether or not I have choice on the matter.

(However I would not personally classify 1+1 = 3, as a belief per say, because it is axiomatic that 1+1 = 2 because the definition of what '2' is depends on the axiom that 1+1 = 2. If we say in some theoretical system could define such that we relabelled 2 as 3, then 1+1=3 would be rational)
Substitute in any nonsense then. You cannot choose to believe that the easter bunny created the universe. Your unconscious mind either believes it or it doesn't. Your consciousness has no control over anything.

Beliefs and convictions may not necessarily be true or rational but are sincerely held.
I was addressing your insistence that it is out of your control, which does not mean you are physically unable to examine evidence(aka read) or material that could (but may not necessarily) inspire convictions. Of course the degree at which we can turn our attention to new/different evidence is something distinct to consider.
Whether or not somebody is inclined to do that is not in their control. They will either do it or they won't. You can tell them to, and their unconscious mind will decide whether they will or not. To consciously create a desire in oneself is logically incoherent, it's saying the fact you want to do something can be created by a desire to want to do it.
Oh dear. This opens a bit of a rabbit hole. Again I raise the point I made earlier. If you deny that we cannot possibly control our actions, then it is not pragmatic (liveable). You cannot outcry or hold accountable a terrorist for their actions, because it is not within their control. But yet you do, at least that's how it presents itself. That is inconsistent.
(Simply applying your moral standard consistently).
I have explained already that:
1. This is irrelevant to the truth value of what I am saying
2. I do not believe in punishment for punishment's sake. I believe that we can try and reform the behaviour of others or incapacitate their ability to harm others, and by publicly criticising their behaviour, other people are more likely to become convinced of the problems with said behaviour and so something to fix it . None of this requires the existence of free will. Vengeful, punitive punishment makes no sense rationally.

So please, PLEASE, stop this crap where you refuse to engage my argument and point out that it supposedly leads to a world of chaos. This is my most central argument. Free will is logically incoherent, which means punishing people for not believing something makes no sense.
 

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What they failed to understand is that a shift happened (in Genesis 3 to be exact) that caused God from being pleased with his creation to not being pleased. So it presents 2 things that seem inconsistent without actually engaging with the text and why they changed.
He knew this was going to happen when he created adam and eve. He could have created them in a way that they weren't vulnerable to demonic temptation. So he created a flaw in humans and knew that flaw was going to lead to the fall of man, and yet was still pleased with his creation?

Also, let's just step back and acknowledge the logical hoops one has to jump through to believe in evolution and somehow make adam and eve and the serpent all make sense in some non-literal way.
 

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Why would an infinitely powerful being need significant flawed creatures to feel good about himself? Why would something insignificant make him feel good?
He wouldn't. Giving something glory/recognition is more different to merely 'feeling good'. God does not need glory from humans to feel good; he deserves glory because of who he is, not because he is dependent on us.
The burden of proof is on theists. If they claim that belief/disbelief in god in a moral choice, then belief needs to be under conscious control, otherwise people are being punished for something outside of their control.
No, its ALL unconscious factors. It has to be. Consciousness cannot play a causal role...
The implication of what you're saying is that effects are being the causes of themselves, which is logically incoherent.
1. Incorrect, firstly, the issue with the notion of 'burden of proof' is it presumes a default position of unbelief as the perceived status quo, which is factually incorrect* You appeal to what is perceived status quo, but with regards to the matters we are discussing, there is no consensus or majority view. (* see above poll)

2. Again, your assertion that 'it has to be all unconscious (or what I refer to as subconscious) factors' is misleading because it oversimplifies the way the subconscious mind is formed; and for differences perhaps being children and adults, as it also depends on the age of the person as well (there is a reason why law does not hold to account those under a certain age whose faculties are not fully developed), which is why I made the charge of oversimplification.

There may be subconscious ideas can inhibit belief/acceptance of a proposition (called 'limiting beliefs' or 'bias' or more accurately our 'assumptions') but these are factors that genuinely can be overcome - and that is the assertion of theists or anyone who holds differently to you (this is also the status quo assumption of our education system, however misinformed in your view). Critical thinking suggests that we should challenge our assumptions and form better and more informed beliefs, by honest (and what is often called in laymans terms, 'open-minded') inquiry.

And no I am not implying that effects are being causes of themselves, that is an informal fallacy (possibly a compositional fallacy), I'm focusing that individual beliefs or ideas can be affected by factors such as conscious thoughts (not exclusively); e.g. if I dwelled on (a conscious process) some input (e.g. data presented to me or what someone is saying), it may indeed change or lead to a different belief how that affects the subconscious.
What I'm presented has a lot of nuances which I don't think you are picking up on.
 

dan964

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This is absolutely IRRELEVANT to whether what I am saying is true or not. This is just argumentum ad consequentiam. It's either true or its not, the fact you don't like the (supposed) implications is not relevant to whether it is true or not.

Of course, without free will, we are not compelled to accept any and all behaviour. If somebody harms others, we can punish them in an attempt to rehabilitate them so they don't harm other again, we can punish them as a deterrent to others, and we can simply remove them from society so they are unable to harm others again. None of this requires free will to exist.
In any case, a "world without justice" is infinitely better than the christian world. Punishing people for their actions after they die is completely barbaric, even if we accept the existence of conscious free will. What does it accomplish? If a murderer is tortured after death, what does this accomplish? What does it mean to say this is "justice"? This kind of punitive vengeance is bronze age thinking. Why is it good to punish them? Because it gives you and god and anyone else a good feeling to see someone you don't like suffer?
The only possible defence of such a system is to act as deterrent, which firstly is moronic because nobody really even knows if this punishment actually happens at all, and secondly, a deterrent is different to justice. And of course, this is all nonsense because everyone is just a product of their genes and their environment (and maybe random quantum effects). Someone who is genuinely psychopath is simply a victim of their genes and environment. It makes no sense to punish them for only the sake of making them suffer.
I have explained already that:
1. This is irrelevant to the truth value of what I am saying
2. I do not believe in punishment for punishment's sake. I believe that we can try and reform the behaviour of others or incapacitate their ability to harm others, and by publicly criticising their behaviour, other people are more likely to become convinced of the problems with said behaviour and so something to fix it . None of this requires the existence of free will. Vengeful, punitive punishment makes no sense rationally.
n.b. I won't have time to address all particulars going forward, so I'm going to be selective in what I respond to...

On the topic of punishment and judgement:
I agree that you don't believe in punishsment for punishment's sake either; and that is also not claiming you are. Not do Christians believe that God's judgement is merely vindictive or vengeful (see further below).
IT IS TOTALLY RELEVANT because your whole premise of your argument can be summed up that 'it is absurd/unfair/moronic for God to judge you (an individual SylviaB) for not believing because it is outside of your control'. Your whole argument is this, the rest is just rationalisation or your logical justification for why this statement is true.

Yet you have shown, argued, (even if it is by using a human example) that even if there we don't have free will (because I would think most people assume that), punishment can be still be justified even if we lack 'free will' or 'conscious control' over our behaviours or actions - which is the opposite of what you are saying about God's judgement or punishment.

No, I want muslims to change their actions, and their actions can be influenced by external forces like being told their actions are bad.
Glad you made that clarification as it is exactly part of the point I'm making (in the last post), actions and beliefs can (but not necessarily) be influenced by external forces.

Again, all this suggests is the need for a more nuanced view of the concept of judgement/punishment.

In the case of God's judgement there are a couple of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

(1) Belief is a broad concept that requires unpacking.
The concepts of 'knowing' or 'belief' can be quite broad; belief in an idea such as 'God exists' is not sufficient enough (since even demons and Satan believe in the existence of one God) and the fact that other religions believe that God exists. (Putting aside, that the concept of 'God' can understandably also be quite broad). Faith in a biblical perpsective involves trusting in God's promises, meaning listening and taking God at his word. So the real question is whether someone listens to the testimony* ('faith' comes by hearing)
*there may be barriers to this, in fact Jesus famously presented that there will 4 response to the word going out. One is that the message will be taken away from their hearts so that they cannot believe (which itself is a judgement), this may be you.
(2) Accepting beliefs or ideas
The process of forming or accepting a belief is complex, can vary from factors like circumstance, upbringing (exposure), age, experiences (e.g. a bad experience with religion can mean more likely to reject religious ideas). There is the language of 'conviction'

(3) The timing of judgment
God's judgment is not merely 'in the afterlife' punishment. God's judgment is also present reality, a giving over of people to do what they want. The language used is that of 'being condemned already'. If people do not want God and his promises, then the fullness of that consequences of that is what 'hell' actually is.

(4) Corporate vs. individual
There is also the idea of judgement corporate headship or representative. Judgement while also individual, is often described in corporate terms, whereby we are represented by an indiviudal (humanity by 'Adam', the new humanity by 'Christ'). Consider that for WW2, Australia was at war with Japan and Germany, even if on an individual granular level, an individual Aussie had not consciously declared war with an indiviudal Japanese.

And there are many other factors to consider which are important to understand, such as how Jesus' death deals with our punishment and condemnation (there are many ways it does).
 
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dan964

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On evolution:
I didn't SAY it necessitates the existence of humans. This articles says just because oxygen exists, that is not the only conditions that needs to be met for advanced life to evolve. It's literally analogous to the following: Bread is a flour based food. But just because there's a bunch of flour lying around in a certain place, it doesn't mean that bread will necessarily come into existence. There are other conditions that need to be met (like water, yeast, heat) in order for bread to form.
The second statement this is false. We could not have used nitrogen. Nitrogen is an inert gas and is incombustible under most conditions, which means it cannot be used in the combustion of glucose in our cells. Anaerobic life is the main alternative to oxygen (aerobic) life, not nitrogen breathing life.
Just because evolution occurs, doesn't mean it can overcome the laws of nature. If life forms existed which somehow used nitrogen to react with glucose to release energy, these life forms would necessarily be totally, incomprehensibly different to humans, and probably extremely primitive.
Of course and you don't find any disagreement on most of the science of nitrogen or natural laws and things like that.
When you said a couple of posts ago 'We evolved to adapt to the world being the way it happened to be' and your insistence on oxygen being present as to why we adapted to have oxygen.

We have both observed that the way it is, 'the world happening being the way it happened to be' is to deterministic of the existence of humans or the way in which humans exist, is not true; since there are (hypothetical) counter examples of anaerobic life and false counter-examples (which are false by correspondence).

Evolution as an explanation is a bit paradoxical.
Consider an initial state A and an final state B. Appealing to evolution or God in terms of causality are technically different categories of explanation (and those categories are not mutually exclusive).

My logic is as follows, there exists a state, A and B; and we can assume that there is a relation between A and B, where we say A 'evolves' into B.
A -> B

However this is a very weak relationship, as A does not necessitate the existence of B in fact we could have hypothetically: A -> B' or even A-> ~B. We can obviously eliminate possibilites that do not concur with other known facts. We must restrict our possible choices of B that can be considered as possibilities.

How do we justify that
A -> B and not A -> B'. Well simply B is the current reality, and B' is hypothetical. There are other rules of the game that restrict what B and B' can be, based on the assumption that our rules (physical laws) apply for A and B and are relatively constant*.

However the language of 'B' evolving from 'A' assumes a 2nd relationship, that of quality (or perfection/progress towards an 'ideal') which can be represent as A < B.
A < B

The most basic principle then of evolution basically can be presented as this very general assumption:
A -> B then A < B.

If we are dealing with God as an explanation, ontologically we cannot use '->' because the universe and God are ontologically different. So we cannot say 'G -> A' or 'G -> B' because the universe is not evolving from God.
Therefore the nature of the explanations are different. Lets say we use the relationship ':c:>' to indicate 'creates'.
We obviously have G :c:> A and G :c:> B but it could well be that we have: G :c:> A -> B

Using oxygen to combust glucose is the best possible way to generate large amounts of energy for living beings that could be created through natural selection. To the extent that humans came to exist as they do, it "had" to be like this because that's how the world happens to be. That's how the laws of physics happen to be, that's how elements happen to behave. We developed in the context of a particular environment. If the laws of physics were different, humans would be physiologically different. Or, more likely, humans wouldn't exist, some other species would, and maybe not on earth. This is all just natural selection acting on things in a particular environment that happens to exist.
With god however, there is no "particular environment" that happens to exist. He doesn't have to fit humans to match a given environment, he CREATES the environment, and even more than that, he could make humans exist in any environment whatsoever.
Correct, but you do realise built into the word 'happens' which simply means 'come about by chance' which assumes evolution and randomness (circular). As soon it we something 'happens to exist' we are presuming it has come about by chance; which again why does that have any explanatory power apart from being a rationalization?

Part of the reason why I don't accept evolution* on its entirely, the explanation 'because it is just the way it is' or 'it happens to be' is just a mere rationalization; because I reject the idea that the laws of physics just happen to be. I also reject the absolute certainty that atheist apologetics argue with.

If we can't understand god's intent, WE CAN'T FOLLOW RELIGION. That's the cop-out
Nope, we can only understand God's intention in what he has revealed to us. Science cannot reveal one's motives or intentions.
I was responding to questions of 'why did God make grass green?' which is a question of intent. But when it comes to understanding God's will/intent, he has revealed that in his word. His revealed will does the reveal the specifications of design. If we read his word then we can understand his intent.
*before asking whether I think biological scientists are wrong or lying, there are particulars and principles I might accept in this area, and some of which I reject that are based on faulty assumptions. There are a lot of assumptions and bias that are packed into science. I don't hold to a young earth creation, but I reject what you are suggestion that 'something happens to be' has more explanatory power when implicit to your very explanation is the assumption of physical laws.
If the laws of physics were different, humans would be physiologically different" - you say this with absolute certainty yet the particularities of the environment e.g. laws are not deterministic of the outcome.
Evolution really represents a limitation in knowledge that we won't ever be able to prove why A -> B as opposed to A-> B' apart from asserting that what exists now is B so therefore A -> B'. I don't have an issue with this, but you might.
 

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I would recommend watching this recent video from The Infographics Show, which is a secular Youtube channel:

The analysis is presented in a respectful, objective, and unbiased manner. I found it rather well-researched, and I think it's quite insightful, whether you're religious or not.
 

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He wouldn't. Giving something glory/recognition is more different to merely 'feeling good'. God does not need glory from humans to feel good; he deserves glory because of who he is, not because he is dependent on us.
This doesn't explain why god created humans or why our creation brings glory to him.

And why does an infinite being deserve glory? There's nothing admirable about god. He isn't all-powerful because of hard work or something. He just is all-powerful. He didn't make himself through hard work, he has never overcome adversity. It's all just effortless power. How is any of that admirable? How does something that takes no effort bring glory to him?

And even more bizarre still is the idea that god cares about the thoughts or feelings of these insignificant little creatures. Imagine having the power to create the universe in its entirety and then being angry that some tiny insignificant little animals don't worship you. It's like if I demanded that ants obeyed me and became furious when they didn't, except infinitely worse. God has the power to send everyone to heaven and punishing them forever for not believing in something without evidence is the most barbaric thing conceivable.

1. Incorrect, firstly, the issue with the notion of 'burden of proof' is it presumes a default position of unbelief as the perceived status quo, which is factually incorrect* You appeal to what is perceived status quo, but with regards to the matters we are discussing, there is no consensus or majority view. (* see above poll)
No, the default position HAS to be that god doesn't exist. The default position of ANYTHING is that is isn't real or doesn't exist, and we come to accept its existence/reality through evidence and reason. You're literally just making an argumentum ad populum fallacy. It has no place in a logical examination of reality. If you dismiss the use of logic to examine reality, then it's bizarre that you would care about such notions as 'burden of proof' in the first place. The widespread belief in god can be explained by how our brains are wired. It is obvious that religious belief is an evolved adaptation, which is to say, it can be perfectly explained without the existence of god. Therefore, it would simply be a coincidence if god actually does exist.

2. Again, your assertion that 'it has to be all unconscious (or what I refer to as subconscious) factors' is misleading because it oversimplifies the way the subconscious mind is formed; and for differences perhaps being children and adults, as it also depends on the age of the person as well (there is a reason why law does not hold to account those under a certain age whose faculties are not fully developed), which is why I made the charge of oversimplification.
No, its not an oversimplification at all. Everything that happens in our brain (including consciousness and conscious thoughts, feelings etc.) has to come from neural behaviour in the brain that is not and necessarily cannot be accessed or controlled by consciousness. If you think otherwise, you're literally claiming that consciousness is some mystical thing not subject to the laws of physics.

There may be subconscious ideas can inhibit belief/acceptance of a proposition (called 'limiting beliefs' or 'bias' or more accurately our 'assumptions') but these are factors that genuinely can be overcome - and that is the assertion of theists or anyone who holds differently to you (this is also the status quo assumption of our education system, however misinformed in your view). Critical thinking suggests that we should challenge our assumptions and form better and more informed beliefs, by honest (and what is often called in laymans terms, 'open-minded') inquiry.
Yeah, this is all bogus. Critical thinking leads me to believe that god doesn't exist.

You are unable to look at things objectively. You have it in your mind that god necessarily exists and then work backwards from there. There is no reason why I ought to want to believe in god. To suggest I should want to believe in god is to assume god is real and that I should therefore do what he wants, but I have no reason to do what "god wants" me to do unless I believe in god to begin with. It's an obvious petitio principii fallacy. What god supposedly "wants" is irrelevant to me unless I believe in him. But thinking about it critically means that I should not assume that he exists, critical thinking it precisely to be critical of claims people make and examine them objectively, which means to

And no I am not implying that effects are being causes of themselves, that is an informal fallacy (possibly a compositional fallacy), I'm focusing that individual beliefs or ideas can be affected by factors such as conscious thoughts (not exclusively); e.g. if I dwelled on (a conscious process) some input (e.g. data presented to me or what someone is saying), it may indeed change or lead to a different belief how that affects the subconscious.
What I'm presented has a lot of nuances which I don't think you are picking up on.
No, you're not making logically coherent claims.

Where does conscious thought come from? What causes it? When you "think" something, what is causing that thought? Literally, what is the physical process that happens in the world to bring that thought into existence?

The only rational answer is that it is generated by non-conscious neuronal activity. Which is to say, it is an EFFECT, not a cause. If you acknowledge that consciousness is generated by neuronal activity, it means conscious thought is generated by neuronal activity, and so when you claim that conscious thought is playing a causal role, this is ultimately reduced to neuronal activity affecting neuronal activity.

If you refuse to accept conscious thought being generated by neuronal activity, you believe that conscious thought is some mystical thing that is not subject to the laws of physics and which can exist without a prior cause.[/QUOTE]
 

SylviaB

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I agree that you don't believe in punishsment for punishment's sake either; and that is also not claiming you are. Not do Christians believe that God's judgement is merely vindictive or vengeful (see further below).
Of COURSE it is. It HAS to be. Punishing people after death, after they have a chance to reform their behaviour has to be vengeful. If you cannot reform somebody's behaviour with punishment, then there can be no prupose for it except punishment for punishment's sake, a truly barbaric thing.

IT IS TOTALLY RELEVANT because your whole premise of your argument can be summed up that 'it is absurd/unfair/moronic for God to judge you (an individual SylviaB) for not believing because it is outside of your control'. Your whole argument is this, the rest is just rationalisation or your logical justification for why this statement is true.
No, it's not relevant. You're saying that this being true would lead to bad outcomes. But something is either true or not.

Yet you have shown, argued, (even if it is by using a human example) that even if there we don't have free will (because I would think most people assume that), punishment can be still be justified even if we lack 'free will' or 'conscious control' over our behaviours or actions - which is the opposite of what you are saying about God's judgement or punishment.
Punishment can only be justified if it reforms behaviour (of the punished or prospective wrongdoers). This is the exact opposite to punishment after death when it is too late to reform behaviour. Literally, the exact opposite.

Glad you made that clarification as it is exactly part of the point I'm making (in the last post), actions and beliefs can (but not necessarily) be influenced by external forces.
But NONE of that leaves any room for conscious choice. External factors can (and do) affect our behaviour without free will existing. The same way external inputs to a computer affect what the computer does.

(1) Belief is a broad concept that requires unpacking.
The concepts of 'knowing' or 'belief' can be quite broad; belief in an idea such as 'God exists' is not sufficient enough (since even demons and Satan believe in the existence of one God) and the fact that other religions believe that God exists.
Other religions believe in a decidedly different god, which is literally idolatry.

(Putting aside, that the concept of 'God' can understandably also be quite broad). Faith in a biblical perpsective involves trusting in God's promises, meaning listening and taking God at his word.
A truly absurd notion, because I cannot "take god at his word" because I don't know if he exists so and have never, EVER witnessed the word of god.

(2) Accepting beliefs or ideas
The process of forming or accepting a belief is complex, can vary from factors like circumstance, upbringing (exposure), age, experiences (e.g. a bad experience with religion can mean more likely to reject religious ideas). There is the language of 'conviction'
Yes, these are all factors that are separate from conscious control over what we believe. We all all just the products of our genes and environment (and any random quantum effects). We cannot consciously control what we believe.

(3) The timing of judgment
God's judgment is not merely 'in the afterlife' punishment. God's judgment is also present reality, a giving over of people to do what they want. The language used is that of 'being condemned already'. If people do not want God and his promises, then the fullness of that consequences of that is what 'hell' actually is.
This absolutely nonsensical, unless you want to claim that children get cancer because they deserve it. There is no present reality of god's punishment. Whether somebody has a good life or not is completely random (with respect to the boundary conditions of the universe).

(4) Corporate vs. individual
There is also the idea of judgement corporate headship or representative. Judgement while also individual, is often described in corporate terms, whereby we are represented by an indiviudal (humanity by 'Adam', the new humanity by 'Christ'). Consider that for WW2, Australia was at war with Japan and Germany, even if on an individual granular level, an individual Aussie had not consciously declared war with an indiviudal Japanese.
The idea of adam being punished is absurd. God knew this would happen, which means god chose it to happen, which mean god chooses for us to commit punishable behavior then chooses to punish us for it. Omniscience is utterly incompatible with free will.
 

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We have both observed that the way it is, 'the world happening being the way it happened to be' is to deterministic of the existence of humans or the way in which humans exist, is not true; since there are (hypothetical) counter examples of anaerobic life and false counter-examples (which are false by correspondence).
There are no advanced anaerobic life forms. The use of oxygen was either the only way to achieve advanced life or it was significantly easier for natural selection to develop using oxygen than any other system.

In either case, you still have not explained why god made us breathe oxygen when it was completely unnecessary for him to do so.

However the language of 'B' evolving from 'A' assumes a 2nd relationship, that of quality (or perfection/progress towards an 'ideal') which can be represent as A < B.
A < B
No, this is complete nonsense. Nothing is evolving towards an "ideal". We evolve to be as fit as possible for a given time and location and given the constraints of natural selection. The world could conceivably change such that a pre-human ancestor of ours becomes more fit than extant humans are despite them being "less evolved". The idea of evolving towards a certain ideal is a strictly religious concept.

The most basic principle then of evolution basically can be presented as this very general assumption:
A -> B then A < B.
Greater than can only possibly mean 'more fit for a given environment at a given time and location', not greater than by some objective standard. But even in this sense, A<B isn't necessarily true because not all population genetic changes make a population more fit.

If we are dealing with God as an explanation, ontologically we cannot use '->' because the universe and God are ontologically different. So we cannot say 'G -> A' or 'G -> B' because the universe is not evolving from God.
Therefore the nature of the explanations are different. Lets say we use the relationship ':c:>' to indicate 'creates'.
We obviously have G :c:> A and G :c:> B but it could well be that we have: G :c:> A -> B
Okay, whoop de doo. The problem is that A->B can proceed without god, and god could have simply created B, therefore it would be a coincidence if god were involved at all. Furthermore, my point is more fundamentally that B is a bizarrely flawed and vulnerable thing for an all-powerful god to have created either directly or through evolution.

Correct, but you do realise built into the word 'happens' which simply means 'come about by chance' which assumes evolution and randomness (circular). As soon it we something 'happens to exist' we are presuming it has come about by chance; which again why does that have any explanatory power apart from being a rationalization?
The boundary conditions of the universe exist by chance. Evolution does not proceed by chance, it proceeds within the confines set by these boundary conditions.

You still have this irrational idea in your head that humans HAD to exist, that the point of the universe is for humans to have come about, and therefore it's bizarre that chance events would lead to humans existing. But there's no reasons humans had to exist. If physics had been different and oxygen were inert, humans wouldn't exist, maybe other advanced lifeforms would exist, maybe none would. But the fact that humans wouldn't exist mean that there is something inherently "wrong" with that state of existence unless you start with a religious view of reality.

Part of the reason why I don't accept evolution* on its entirely, the explanation 'because it is just the way it is' or 'it happens to be' is just a mere rationalization; because I reject the idea that the laws of physics just happen to be. I also reject the absolute certainty that atheist apologetics argue with.
Why oxygen has the chemistry is does has nothing to do with natural selection. It has to do with the fundamental laws of physics.

Oxygen happens to react in a certain way, therefore evolution proceeds on the basis of this fact. This isn't a rationalisation unless you ASSUME that the point of evolutions is to create humans, which it absolutely is not. If things had been different, life would have evolved differently, and humans may not have existed. This would have been perfectly reasonable unless you think the point of evolution is create humans, but its not.

Nope, we can only understand God's intention in what he has revealed to us.
God has never revealed a single thing to me. If god wanted me to believe in him it would be trivially simple for him to accomplish this, but he hasn't.

*before asking whether I think biological scientists are wrong or lying, there are particulars and principles I might accept in this area, and some of which I reject that are based on faulty assumptions.
If you think they are making "faulty assumptions" then you're claiming to hold greater insight than the entire community of the world's evolutionary biologists, a truly absurd thing to believe.

There are a lot of assumptions and bias that are packed into science. I don't hold to a young earth creation, but I reject what you are suggestion that 'something happens to be' has more explanatory power when implicit to your very explanation is the assumption of physical laws.
Again, there is nothing wrong with assuming the laws of physics unless you think the point of these laws is to bring humans into existence, when that isn't the point. They don't have a point. They're just fundamental facts of reality. If they had been different, that would be no more or less mysterious. It's just that some other life form might exist instead of humans which is perfectly reasonable unless you're religious and blindly believe that humans had to exist.

If the laws of physics were different, humans would be physiologically different" - you say this with absolute certainty yet the particularities of the environment e.g. laws are not deterministic of the outcome.
What?? Of course they are!

Why on earth would you expect life to evolve identically under sufficiently different physical constraints unless you think god is pulling all the strings? If oxygen's chemistry were sufficiently different, why would you possibly expect humans to have evolved identically? They CAN'T have.

Why did fish evolve to be fish and not humans? Because the environment in which fish evolved is different to the one that humans evolved in! I.e. the environment is determining the outcome.

Evolution really represents a limitation in knowledge that we won't ever be able to prove why A -> B as opposed to A-> B' apart from asserting that what exists now is B so therefore A -> B'. I don't have an issue with this, but you might.
We absolutely can prove this, at least in theory. We can look at the environmental conditions on earth, and we can construct a series of events of life gradually progressing from more simple forms to optimally make use of these environmental conditions. And we can explain why certain conditions lead to certain developments based on physical laws i.e. the chemistry of oxygen and carbon. There are random (or pseudo random) events that took place along the way, but none of this is mysterious unless you assume the point of evolution was to create humans, but it wasn't. Humans existing is no more mysterious than some alternate advanced lifeform existing if nitrogen were more reactive.

The hopelessly flawed and vulnerable nature of humans i.e. requiring a constant supply of oxygen in order to not die is much more consistent with a naturalistic process than omnipotent design. There's no reason this kind of weakness had to exist unless evolution was naturalistic and operating within certain physical constraints.
 

dan964

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This doesn't explain why god created humans or why our creation brings glory to him...
This doesn't explain why god created humans or why our creation brings glory to him.
No, because it might actually help if you understand what I'm addressing is not necessarily going to answer your questions directly. Often I'm addressing what was said. Sometimes to answer the question, I have to address what your objections are...

For example, you previously said: "Why would an infinitely powerful being need significant flawed creatures to feel good about himself? Why would something insignificant make him feel good?" which I argued is a faulty understanding of 'glory', because the glorifying and honouring something is recognise something rightly as it is; not 'feeling good'.

Secondly, there is glory, honour due to a king or prime minister, because of their position. It (positional glory) has nothing to do whether they deserve or earnt that position. Glory is due to someone not merely for works done with effort, there can be position reasons; there can be honour due to someone because their works are noble (or good). (* when you used this term I assumed you implied obviously a struggle or inability or hard work kind of ideas).

"It's all just effortless power".
The word "effort" means conscious exertion of power, meaning you cannot have the exertion of power with effort; so this is kind of a non-sensical or at very least ambiguous statement. Sure as you have done, make value judgements of whether effort should be recognised; e.g. the idea of strenuous effort or hard work which can be subjective.

Was it hard, difficult for God to create? No of course, he had the ability to carry out his will / exert his power. Obviously something being able to carry out what they want, when they want, does not necessitate God being glorified. For e.g. when a craftsman builds a piece of work with skill, we can consider other factors such as the degree of power required, the skill of the work, the immense scope of the work done, and even just their authorship of its design, of being worthy of recognition. It is a value judgement.

But (as revealed to us by Scripture) because God is truth, it is why truth matters; its why honesty matters; and its why failing to recognise and give honour to what is due to God whether it because of his position, his authorship and his governance; is a concern.
You said "It's like if I demanded that ants obeyed me and became furious when they didn't, except infinitely worse" - except that this example doesn't hold because we have not created/authored 'ants'.

Secondly, according to Scripture, God has given us our glory and honour:
"You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: [Ps 8:6-8]"
If God is able to give us glory and honour, he must be (in principle) more glorious than us. It is right to recognise this.

Thirdly, if as you recognise that God has the ability to carry out a sentence if he so pleased, is it not right to fear him? As Jesus taught:
" Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. [Matt 10:28-32]"

he has never overcome adversity
Even then, there is opposition* and adversity to God; to deny that those who reject the notion of God's existence are in opposition to God, is clearly and blatantly false. And Christian message expresses that death (amongst other things) is a enemy; that Christ (God's representative) has overcome:
"For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. [1 Cor 15:25-26]"

No, the default position HAS to be that god doesn't exist. The default position of ANYTHING is that is isn't real or doesn't exist, and we come to accept its existence/reality through evidence and reason...
No, the default position HAS to be that god doesn't exist.
This is a mere assertion with no justification. I'm not asserting that God exists because the majority of people believe in it which would be.
argumentum ad populum is invalid because I'm not making the claim that the majority believe that God exists.
I'm merely pointing that there is a lack of consensus of what the "default" position is on this topic.

Again, the argument of burden of proof only works if we establish an agreed status quo, which in the case of this debate has not been historically or currently established and may not be able to be established. I've not as hung up on the idea of proof as you are

So how we establish this supposed default position?
 

dan964

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It is obvious that religious belief is an evolved adaptation, which is to say, it can be perfectly explained without the existence of god. Therefore, it would simply be a coincidence if god actually does exist.
Religion and belief in God's existence are not synonymous. Since there are many who would believe in a higher power, but have nothing to do with religion; or many religions (e.g. Buddhism amongst many others) that don't believe in the existence of a higher power; or a moral code.

Just because I can explain something doesn't mean that the starting point or the methodology is correct. In fact if I start with wrong assumptions but continue logically, and yet am unable to arrive at a contradiction, I may be being consistent internally but doesn't make where I started as true.

Lets unpack the logic in your argument:
1. Naturalism implies evolution can explain all or most human behaviour*.
2. Religious belief is a human behaviour*.
3. Therefore religious belief is an evolved adaptation (union of 1 and 2)
4. The existence of God was not necessary for (1) or (2) to be true.
5. Therefore the existence of God is not necessary for (3).
*using the word behaviour loosely here.

The main contention is on points (1), (2) and (4). Of course if you hold that evolution explains everything about human behaviour (even if we don't know what that explanation is), and that religious/or 'God existence belief' is merely a human behaviour (that didn't exist previously).
(Did the prehistoric humans believe in God?)

There are no advanced anaerobic life forms. The use of oxygen was either the only way to achieve advanced life or it was significantly easier for natural selection to develop using oxygen than any other system.
In either case, you still have not explained why god made us breathe oxygen when it was completely unnecessary for him to do so.
"it was completely unnecessary for him to do so."
Only because we affirm the aseity and freedom of God can we assert that it was unnecessary.
We assert that God had the freedom to choose which element that humans would breathe (and that humans would breathe*).

But then we have to work backwards logically, God had the freedom to establish the elements and their properties in such a way that would result in a different configuration (or what we refer to as the boundary conditions). Ergo, we could say God established laws of physics that logically meant that for humans and other advanced lifeforms to breathe would necessitate that we breathe oxygen; but that is presumptuous assuming that God operated on consequentialist principles (that the ends justify the process).

The main difference between a purely naturalistic explanation and an explanation that may agree with principles of evolution; is whether the boundary conditions were determined or purely coincidental.

Scripture does reveal that God created in such a way to give form and to fill; aka. with order.
"The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep... and then God... [insert rest of chapter here]"

Scripture attests to God for e.g. setting out the limits/boundaries for the sea and a lot of ways in which God preserves the natural order of thing.
Through science, we understand and have formalize this natural order in terms of laws it is; and God has given us the wisdom to understand the world that has been made. Therefore we understand that God created such to have laws of physics.

Oxygen happens to react in a certain way, therefore evolution proceeds on the basis of this fact. This isn't a rationalisation unless you ASSUME that the point of evolutions is to create humans, which it absolutely is not. If things had been different, life would have evolved differently, and humans may not have existed. This would have been perfectly reasonable unless you think the point of evolution is create humans, but its not.
Sure, but things aren't different. God did not have to make humanity but we are here. Any configuration without the existence of humanity is while interesting hypothetically is not reality. So when we are asking about intent, we have to deal with what is reality not what could have been...
(aka. something broader than evolution)

God has never revealed a single thing to me. If god wanted me to believe in him it would be trivially simple for him to accomplish this, but he hasn't.
Because you reject his word or the man Christ; the means which he has chosen to reveal himself. Jesus himself said, speaking in parables:
Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
If one does not accept the word of God or word about Christ; then they will not be compelled/persuaded to believe.
 

dan964

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It is obvious that religious belief is an evolved adaptation, which is to say, it can be perfectly explained without the existence of god. Therefore, it would simply be a coincidence if god actually does exist.
Religion and belief in God's existence are not synonymous. Since there are many who would believe in a higher power, but have nothing to do with religion; or many religions (e.g. Buddhism amongst many others) that don't believe in the existence of a higher power; or a moral code.

Just because I can explain something doesn't mean that the starting point or the methodology is correct. In fact if I start with wrong assumptions but continue logically, and yet am unable to arrive at a contradiction, I may be being consistent internally but doesn't make where I started as true.

Lets unpack the logic in your argument:
1. Naturalism implies evolution can explain all or most human behaviour*.
2. Religious belief is a human behaviour*.
3. Therefore religious belief is an evolved adaptation (union of 1 and 2)
4. The existence of God was not necessary for (1) or (2) to be true.
5. Therefore the existence of God is not necessary for (3).
*using the word behaviour loosely here.

The main contention is on points (1), (2) and (4). Of course if you hold that evolution explains everything about human behaviour (even if we don't know what that explanation is), and that religious/or 'God existence belief' is merely a human behaviour (that didn't exist previously).
(Did the prehistoric humans believe in God?)

There are no advanced anaerobic life forms. The use of oxygen was either the only way to achieve advanced life or it was significantly easier for natural selection to develop using oxygen than any other system.
In either case, you still have not explained why god made us breathe oxygen when it was completely unnecessary for him to do so.
"it was completely unnecessary for him to do so."
Only because we affirm the aseity and freedom of God can we assert that it was unnecessary.
We assert that God had the freedom to choose which element that humans would breathe (and that humans would breathe*).

But then we have to work backwards logically, God had the freedom to establish the elements and their properties in such a way that would result in a different configuration (or what we refer to as the boundary conditions). Ergo, we could say God established laws of physics that logically meant that for humans and other advanced lifeforms to breathe would necessitate that we breathe oxygen; but that is presumptuous assuming that God operated on consequentialist principles (that the ends justify the process).

The main difference between a purely naturalistic explanation and an explanation that may agree with principles of evolution; is whether the boundary conditions were determined or purely coincidental.

Scripture does reveal that God created in such a way to give form and to fill; aka. with order.
"The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep... and then God... [insert rest of chapter here]"

Scripture attests to God for e.g. setting out the limits/boundaries for the sea and a lot of ways in which God preserves the natural order of thing.
Through science, we understand and have formalize this natural order in terms of laws it is; and God has given us the wisdom to understand the world that has been made. Therefore we understand that God created such to have laws of physics.

Oxygen happens to react in a certain way, therefore evolution proceeds on the basis of this fact. This isn't a rationalisation unless you ASSUME that the point of evolutions is to create humans, which it absolutely is not. If things had been different, life would have evolved differently, and humans may not have existed. This would have been perfectly reasonable unless you think the point of evolution is create humans, but its not.
Sure, but things aren't different. God did not have to make humanity but we are here. Any configuration without the existence of humanity is while interesting hypothetically is not reality. So when we are asking about intent, we have to deal with what is reality not what could have been...
(aka. something broader than evolution)

God has never revealed a single thing to me. If god wanted me to believe in him it would be trivially simple for him to accomplish this, but he hasn't.
Because you reject his word or the man Christ; the means which he has chosen to reveal himself. Jesus himself said, speaking in parables:
Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
If one does not accept the word of God or word about Christ; then they will not be compelled/persuaded to believe.
 

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