• YOU can help the next generation of students in the community!
    Share your trial papers and notes on our Notes & Resources page
  • Like us on facebook here

Does God exist? (1 Viewer)

do you believe in god?


  • Total voters
    1,507

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
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

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
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.
But this is different to what you've been saying though or talking about.
The neutral behaviour or physical processes in brain are different to the information content of the processes; which at least from my end is what I thought we were discussing.

And what laws of physics would those be; what laws of physics determines the information content of the brain, or whether a person believes that vaccines are harmful?
 

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
No, it's not relevant. You're saying that this being true would lead to bad outcomes. But something is either true or not.
No I am showing as other people would agree, that you don't even appear to act as if what you are saying is true.
Secondly, one of the criteria for accepting truth is whether it is liveable. If it not liveable, people will not accept it as true.
You may not see it as relevant but sure as for those reading, it kind of is.

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.
Punishment can only be justified if it reforms behaviour (of the punished or prospective wrongdoers).
Ok, I disagree that punishment/judgment is only justified if it reforms behaviour; because there is the concept of retributive justice.
(It is why we have redress schemes as well). Additionally it is just a condition or consequential experience of rejecting God (e.g. if you rejected getting vaccinated you may get sick).

But NONE of that leaves any room for conscious choice...
Im not as hung up on conscious choice as much as you make me out to be.
Your internal subsconscious is not some fixed immutable reality (which you have acknowledged 'it can be compelled'). I'm merely suggesting the nature of belief is more complex that you make it out to be.


Critical thinking leads me to believe that god doesn't exist.
Sure, but it also leads others to that God exists. I'll address this below...
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,
There is no reason why I ought to want to believe in god.
Well, if it is true that God exists then should believe in him. God already exists conceptually (however incorrect your notion of him is)...

To suggest I should want to believe in god...
I didn't suggest that in the post you quoted* and if I did you've misread what I've suggested.
I was merely suggesting that we all have assumptions/biases that should be healthily challenged. Your assumptions are what I've been pushed back on; and these are not merely "God doesn't exist" (*if I did I stand corrected)

My belief that God exists is not an assumption (it may have been when I was younger but I don't know) but yes there are assumptions in every worldview; that (God exists) has been established principally now, that I don't feel the need to re-establish his existence, certainly not on a daily basis. But I do healthily weigh up counter arguments otherwise I wouldn't bother engaging with you at all. I've had a lot of time to weigh up these things haha.

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

One BIG problem, is you are no any less 'objective' then me on this issue; you have as much bias as I do. Any person can see that.

In fact in this conversation, you've made a lot of claims (and perhaps so have I) that need healthy discussion and hopefully this has been good.

The fact that we can conceptualise the existence of God can be a grounds for some to presume God's existence (the most conceivable being); in fact practically for many people who are spiritual who believe in a higher power.

To start critical thinking about whether God exist; is to ask the question: could God exist? We could base our enquiry on that.[/quote]
 

SylviaB

sorry if i offended anyone
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
6,415
Location
Lidcombe
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
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).
God's work are NOT GOOD OR NOBLE. God knowingly condemns countless people to suffering. He knows that people are not going to follow the rules he created and will be punished for that, and yet creates them anyway. It would have been infinitely better for god to never have created anyone so that nobody has to suffer.

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'.
Yes, that's why I said its even worse for god. God created us KNOWING how we would turn out, everything humans do is his fault and yet he blames us for it. It's completely irrational. He knows how we are going to turn out before he creates us and its something he doesn't like, he proceeds to create us, and then acts surprised or angry even though he KNEW this is what would happen. This is one of the most obvious examples of christianity being total nonsense that is clearly the product of human minds.

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.
A little lower than angels? Do angels have a totally arbitrary weakness of dying if they cannot access a gas for mere seconds?

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]"


I'm saying that the sentences he carries out are absurd nonsense.

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]"


GOD is the reason people deny god. He knew how they would turn out before he created them and yet created them that way anyway. It would have been trivially easy for him to create humans to all believe in him and the morality of belief in god in such a state of affairs would have been no different to extant reality, which is to say, it isn't a moral act.

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.
No, it's really, really simple. If you make a claim that something exists, the burden of proof if on YOU to prove it exists. That's how things work. In no other area is the existence of something assumed and the burden on others to disprove it. It's totally irrelevant if most people believe in that thing. That's not how "critical thinking" works.

God cannot be directly observed, measured or communicated with. Your religion is based entirely on FAITH, explicitly. What kind of demented "critical thinking" is it where something that is based on faith is the default position?

I've not as hung up on the idea of proof as you are
Obviously, otherwise you wouldn't believe the most extraordinary claims about the nature of reality on the basis on the tall tales of bronze age lunatics written in a language you don't even speak.
 

SylviaB

sorry if i offended anyone
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
6,415
Location
Lidcombe
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
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.
I'm saying that belief in god can be perfectly explained without god existing, so the fact that people believe in god cannot be used as proof for god's existence.

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?)
Yes, there is evidence of belief in god in prehistoric humans. But the way you separate religion from belief in god is fallacious because they're not categorically distinct. It's all on the same spectrum. It all involves activation in the same brain regions. And all it can be explained without god existing.

People believed in gods before Christianity, these god beliefs are incompatible with Christianity, therefore we can be 100% certain that belief in god does not require god to exist.

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).
Again, you're assuming certain physical laws existing a certain way, but they didn't need to be that way. God made them that way. He could make oxygen atoms be physically identical but chemically inert if he wanted. And god isn't even bund by physical laws, and we know this because of MIRACLES i.e. suspensions of the laws of nature. He could have simply willed that we could miraculously survive without breathing even IF physical laws existed as they currently do. Of course, this is absurd, because he could have simply made us not not require breathing to begin with.
Again, your entire view of god is totally bizarre because you cannot escape this mindset of the world existing a certain way and god doing things that obeys these pre-existing conditions. But the indisputable fact for an omniscient omnipotent god is that everything exists the way it does because of the conscious decision of god to make it that way. EVERYTHING. Everything could have been different. There's no reason anything had to be the way it was. We need to breathe because god arbitrarily decided we need to breath, we need eyes to see because god arbitrarily chose to make us dependent on eyes, we need light for our eyes to work because god arbitrarily made our eyes work in this way, we need an immune system to fight infections because god arbitrarily decided to create pathogens. EVERYTHING was chosen by god, and there's some truly insane choices he made. And your only rationalisation is "well god chose it so it must make sense" which is obvious circular reasoning.

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.
What does this even mean?? "Preserves the natural order of things"?? There was no natural order of things until god made them. AGAIN, you're assuming the universe existing in a certain way and god having to go along with it. But all of reality exists as it does because god chose to make it that way. There is not "natural" that precedes god.

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)
No, its entirely relevant because you think there is something special about this particular outcome. You think god exists because it explains humans existing, as if there is something special about humans existing instead of other life forms. THERE'S NOT.

Your argument is that it's too big of a coincidence for the laws of nature to have happened to exist in a way that allowed for humans to evolve, but this is entirely dependant on a belief that humans are the ultimate goal of evolution, when they're not. There's absolutely nothing remarkable about the laws of physics by chance allowing humans to evolve unless you have a presupposition that humans have to exist. But they DON'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.
Lol, man is flawed and fallible and insignificant but you need to trust the word of other men you have never met and who don't even speak the same language as you and who existed thousands of years before you were born and base your entire understanding of the nature of reality on it? The only reason the word of god would be only revealed to a handful of people is because it's not actually real. This is EXACTLY what we would expect in a fake religion, because its the only possible way things can be. God cannot reveal himself to everyone directly in a fake religion because there is no god to do the revealing. But if god exists and did directly reveal himself to everyone individually, you wouldn't be surprised, you wouldn't be confused, you would think that this is a perfectly reasonable thing for god to do. BUt if he doesn't reveal himself, oh well obviously he's not going to reveal himself because X, Y and Z.

I mean, for fuck's sake. the only reason we "know" god/jesus even said any of this IS BECAUSE OF THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST TO BEGIN WITH. It's circular reasoning. We have to believe moses and the disciples because god/jesus said we do, but we only know jesus said this and him saying it makes it true....because of moses and the disciples saying its true. It's circular reasoning. Obviously, blatantly. I have ZERO reason to accept what moses is saying. I have no proof whatsoever that what he allegedly said has anything truth to it. And I'm supposed to believe what he allegedly said this because he told me god says I have to believe it? And I know god said it because Moses told me? It's absurd and is much more strongly aligned with what we should expect a man made religion to say.
 

SylviaB

sorry if i offended anyone
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
6,415
Location
Lidcombe
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
But this is different to what you've been saying though or talking about.
The neutral behaviour or physical processes in brain are different to the information content of the processes; which at least from my end is what I thought we were discussing.

And what laws of physics would those be; what laws of physics determines the information content of the brain, or whether a person believes that vaccines are harmful?
No, it's not different at all. Conscious thought has to come from non-conscious brain processes. The information content of consciousness has to come from non-conscious brain processes.

What you're saying makes no logical sense. You cannot possibly explain where consciousness comes from and how it could possibly play any causal role. In your view, conscious is this mystical thing that transcends usual cause and effect.

The laws I'm talking about are those that dictate that all effects must have causes (or be spontaneous and random). Your description of consciousness has no cause.

No I am showing as other people would agree, that you don't even appear to act as if what you are saying is true.
Except I've literally explained five times now why this is a load of shit.

Secondly, one of the criteria for accepting truth is whether it is liveable. If it not liveable, people will not accept it as true.
You may not see it as relevant but sure as for those reading, it kind of is.
Whether people accept something as being true is completely irrelevant to whether it is true. If everyone believes vaccines don't work, this doesn't make vaccines spontaneously stop working. The fact that I have to explain this is totally bizarre.

Ok, I disagree that punishment/judgment is only justified if it reforms behaviour; because there is the concept of retributive justice.
(It is why we have redress schemes as well). .
Okay, you literally just said that's god's punishment isn't just punishment for punishment's sake, but that's LITERALLY WHAT RETRIBUTION IS.

God's punishment is NOT redress. It does not help those who have been wronged the way financial compensation for crime victimisation is.

Additionally it is just a condition or consequential experience of rejecting God (e.g. if you rejected getting vaccinated you may get sick)
No, that's completely dumb. We get sick because pathogens exist and are subject to the laws of chemistry/physics.

There are no consequences that just happen to occur when it comes to god. If god punishes you, its because he chose to punish you. He could choose not to punish you. this is a total cop out. "You get punished because that's what happens when you disobey god".

Im not as hung up on conscious choice as much as you make me out to be.
You NEED TO BE though. Your religion makes no sense without conscious choice.

Your internal subsconscious is not some fixed immutable reality (which you have acknowledged 'it can be compelled').
I never said it was immutable. I'm saying its not under our conscious control. Completely different. The fact that we can be influenced by external stimuli says nothing about free will existing.

I'm merely suggesting the nature of belief is more complex that you make it out to be.
YOU'RE the one who doesn't recognise this. You just mindlessly assume that we can simply will thoughts and beliefs into existence, completely divorced from any kind of logical cause/effect relationships. The brain is a complex thing and we do not understand how thoughts and feelings are formed. I acknowledge that its complex. But you think none of that exists or at least, it doesn't matter, we can just consciously will beliefs into existence without any conceivable explanation for how this is logically possible (because it's not).

Sure, but it also leads others to that God exists. I'll address this below...
Yes dummy, but you're saying that not believing in god is my fault for not engaging in critical thinking. But I AM engaging in critical thinking.

Well, if it is true that God exists then should believe in him. God already exists conceptually (however incorrect your notion of him is)...
Again with the circular reasoning

I don't know if god exists, that's the whole point of this exercise. But your argument assumes he does exist. But if I don't know if he exists, I cannot possibly care what this possibly non-existent thing "wants" me to do. I can only start caring what he "wants" if I believe in him, which I don't (and can't).

I didn't suggest that in the post you quoted* and if I did you've misread what I've suggested.
I was merely suggesting that we all have assumptions/biases that should be healthily challenged. Your assumptions are what I've been pushed back on; and these are not merely "God doesn't exist" (*if I did I stand corrected)
Again, you cannot possibly give me a reason for why one should want to believe in god that doesn't depend on one believing in god to begin with.

And you indeed ARE saying I should want to believe in god. I said belief in god is not a moral choice because I don't have conscious control over what I believe in, and you specifically said that that is because I do not want to believe in god so it's my fault.

One BIG problem, is you are no any less 'objective' then me on this issue; you have as much bias as I do. Any person can see that.
No, I don't. I think all religions are false. You think all religions except one are false.

The fact that we can conceptualise the existence of God can be a grounds for some to presume God's existence (the most conceivable being)
Belief in the existence of god can be perfectly explained without god existing. It would simply be a coincidence if god were actually real.

To start critical thinking about whether God exist; is to ask the question: could God exist? We could base our enquiry on that.
The christian god cannot exist because Christianity is entirely based on the premise of humans having free will, but this is logically impossible.
 

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
No, it's not different at all. Conscious thought has to come from non-conscious brain processes. The information content of consciousness has to come from non-conscious brain processes.
It is different (and failing to distinguish), because initially when you say 'non-conscious brain processes' you have on the one have neurons and synapses firing; and on the other hand you have the information content of e.g. what you have been referring to as the 'non-conscious' beliefs that you apparently have no control over; because they are just synapses firing in your brain. So basically as I see it you have shifted gears or posts.

As I've explained before, while on an general/kind of oversimplified view of conscious, yes, neuron activity (which you call non-conscious) is the chemical/physical processes behind conscious (and also for that matter memory and our development of what I've been referring to as subconscious, or what you have until your last post)** (**yet ironically we only understand/comprehend as taking place through conscious thought, something to ponder there although that is tangential to the topic at hand)

It is a concession that we don't fully understand consciousness. You seem to act as if we understand everything about what it is, when we don't.
Purely physical causality might explain how you are able to think but not the specific content of your thoughts (such as beliefs). Your view suffers from extreme reductionalism and I've been trying to push back on that...

There may be an element of mystery or at the very least unknownness to it (as one of the possible things we may not fully know or prove about); or you might tap into areas of pyschology or sociology for example.



What you're saying makes no logical sense. You cannot possibly explain where consciousness comes from and how it could possibly play any causal role. In your view, conscious is this mystical thing that transcends usual cause and effect.

The laws I'm talking about are those that dictate that all effects must have causes (or be spontaneous and random). Your description of consciousness has no cause.


Except I've literally explained five times now why this is a load of shit. Whether people accept something as being true is completely irrelevant to whether it is true. If everyone believes vaccines don't work, this doesn't make vaccines spontaneously stop working. The fact that I have to explain this is totally bizarre.
Really? Because saying something is irrelevant doesn't count as an explaining something five times,, it just counts as being dismissive.
While yes, you are right to say that whether people accept something as being true does not determine that it is true or not. The point I'm making is more on relevance in the context of a broader discussion.

To use your vaccines example, yes if everyone believed that vaccines don't work, it doesn't mean that they don't actually work; (but there would be a very simple way to show that belief is wrong, by giving someone a vaccine). However even with your example is that scientists have conducted experiments to determine that they have worked (via scientific method, interpretation of statistics), so even then 'everyone' doesn't believe that vaccines don't work, otherwise you couldn't make the statement that the belief had no correspondence with the truth; or was a wrong belief.

But that is not the point I've been making. It not as you put completely irrelevant, because this discussion contextually is not purely just some high flying philosophical "objective" discussion, in the end it is completely irrelevant to discuss if it in the end has not bearing on acceptance or reality. And if you had the truth and refused to try to compel others, would that not be selfish? (rhetorical question, food for thought). Why else would one go to the effort; if not to try to compel someone or at least critical analysis what one is claiming to be true?

The particular example that I was originally referring to is referring to your own internal consistency. It is not just important from a perspective of whether people believe you (which is relevant in the context of Boredofstudies, people reading your posts; otherwise why bother posting); but it can show that you don't even hold consistency to what you are saying...

Now granted, you have now since clarified your position, and some of its nuances; hence why I haven't repeated the original matter again.
 

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
Okay, you literally just said that's god's punishment isn't just punishment for punishment's sake, but that's LITERALLY WHAT RETRIBUTION IS.
God's punishment is NOT redress. It does not help those who have been wronged the way financial compensation for crime victimisation is.
Ok, SylviaB, you clearly not picking up that I am someone very particular in how I word things.
Notice how I said "God's punishment isn't just X" implying that yes while there is an aspect of God's punishment that is for retribution sake, that there can be other aspects which I have appealed to; meaning it is not as 1D as you make it out to be.

No, that's completely dumb. We get sick because pathogens exist and are subject to the laws of chemistry/physics.
Are you serious? You do realise that these are not mutually exclusive explanations for things.
(Although, theologically any understanding of God's punishment should be understood from what God has said on the matter, which is implicit in some of the things I say)

You NEED TO BE though. Your religion makes no sense without conscious choice.
I never said it was immutable. I'm saying its not under our conscious control. Completely different. The fact that we can be influenced by external stimuli says nothing about free will existing.
YOU'RE the one who doesn't recognise this. You just mindlessly assume that we can simply will thoughts and beliefs into existence, completely divorced from any kind of logical cause/effect relationships. The brain is a complex thing and we do not understand how thoughts and feelings are formed. I acknowledge that its complex. But you think none of that exists or at least, it doesn't matter, we can just consciously will beliefs into existence without any conceivable explanation for how this is logically possible (because it's not).
Strawman, SylviaB, and you know it. I've just said that I'm not hung up on choice (aka. free will) and why you may fail to understand why or think that I need to be is a different matter. What I'm suggesting both in terms of a physical explanation (which we may have some agreement on) and in terms of theologically (if God exists kind of scenario) that the matter of belief (which we don't agree on what we mean on by this probably) and will are not as 1 dimensional or reductionist as you make it out to be. I do acknowledge there is a popular variant of Christian thinking that emphasises free will, particularly in the states, I'm not of the same mindset (I'm not a free will baptist for example).

Secondly the alternative of fatalistic / hard determinism has some logically implications of that in the end denies humans of any responsibility of acting rightly. It s not only what is consistent, coherent but also pragmatically useful (aka. utility), a more seasoned approach or middle position (one such view is compatibilism but that is a very particular view; but just to give an example).


Dan: Well, if it is true that God exists then should believe in him [that he exists]*. God already exists conceptually (however incorrect your notion of him is)...
Sylvia: Again with the circular reasoning
*correction in my wording: that he exists

The only thing that is circular about it is the good assumption that truth should be believed as true. This is an ethical/value principle NOT a logical one; (but it is based on a more primitive assumption that truth, by definition, is good)
Substitute God existing with any other truth, If vaccines are effective, then we should believe they are. If the world is round, we should believe it is...

Yes dummy, but you're saying that not believing in god is my fault for not engaging in critical thinking. But I AM engaging in critical thinking.
you specifically said that that is because I do not want to believe in god so it's my fault.
You will find I said something different. My main point I was making is that when you say "I am doing objective reasoning" and also say things like "I have no control over my beliefs."
No-one is capable of being fully objective in the truest sense of the word. You yourself have conceded that you need to be 'compelled' to believe by sufficient evidence. Yet as you have also conceded, you are very limited to what you consider personally (for yourself) to be 'valid' or at the very least useful evidence. That at the very least is the result of pre-existing beliefs and assumptions.
Not to mention the inherit assumptions and beliefs apparently when you discuss the notions of choice, decisions and determinism. So its not 'objective' or value-neutral.

The idea that you can approach an enquiry into a topic like 'does God exist'?

And you indeed ARE saying I should want to believe in god.
Well obviously a theist generally speaks see belief in God, a good thing, because if is true, it is good to believe the truth. But implicit is again there are obvious questions and objections that would need to be addressed first. Some of which are genuine concerns and questions.

No, I don't. I think all religions are false. You think all religions except one are false.
Point proven, there is your bias - you may not have a bias towards a religion but you have a bias towards atheism or naturalism.
(Mind you I presume you are defining religion and belief in God/spirituality as practically the same thing based on your comments)

Belief in the existence of god can be perfectly explained without god existing.
Firstly, the explanation is far from perfect and secondly there is a distinction between religion; and even then believing something exists, again does not necessarily mean he does or does not.
I think you missed the point, I was offering why some (others) might presume the existence of God. I know of attempts to explain why we have such a concept of God from naturalistic perspective but far from perfect explanations.

I don't know if god exists, that's the whole point of this exercise. But your argument assumes he does exist. But if I don't know if he exists, I cannot possibly care what this possibly non-existent thing "wants" me to do. I can only start caring what he "wants" if I believe in him, which I don't (and can't).
You seem to argue otherwise though as if you knew he didn't. At the point of the discussion, I wasn't appealing to what God 'wants' you to do (although that has come up). I was appealing to the obvious notion that if something exists then one should believe in it existing - this was to address a particular question of 'why should one believe in God?' - this is obvious a value/ethical statement.

It shifts the discussion which has been primarily focused on just your belief or lack there of; to more about think about the concept itself, perhaps; (which is still pragmatic because of implications of belief).
 
Last edited:

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
I'm saying that belief in god can be perfectly explained without god existing, so the fact that people believe in god cannot be used as proof for god's existence.

Yes, there is evidence of belief in god in prehistoric humans. But the way you separate religion from belief in god is fallacious because they're not categorically distinct. It's all on the same spectrum. It all involves activation in the same brain regions. And all it can be explained without god existing.

People believed in gods before Christianity, these god beliefs are incompatible with Christianity, therefore we can be 100% certain that belief in god does not require god to exist.
Firstly, religion is a lot broader concept (that can be tricky to define), there are not completely distinct as one informs the others, but there are different; religion is a lot broader than an individual premise/belief/proposition. (Again we don't necessarily agree on what a belief even is)

And of course, strawman, no of course belief in God doesn't prove God's existence; anymore than believing in Santa proves his existence. And that wasn't the point, I was addressing your particular point; which is that "we don't need God to explain belief in God".

The fact that religious and spiritual thinking occurs in a particular region of brain does not prove or disprove God's existence any more than unbelief in God disproves God's existence. Again you need to re-read my actual argument: https://community.boredofstudies.org/threads/does-god-exist.106355/post-7374817. One has to assess the foundations of the rationality behind the explanation.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with that the incompatibility of other religions because I don't think it makes.

Again, you're assuming certain physical laws existing a certain way, but they didn't need to be that way. God made them that way. He could make oxygen atoms be physically identical but chemically inert if he wanted.
And god isn't even bund by physical laws, and we know this because of MIRACLES i.e. suspensions of the laws of nature. He could have simply willed that we could miraculously survive without breathing even IF physical laws existed as they currently do. Of course, this is absurd, because he could have simply made us not not require breathing to begin with.
Again, your entire view of god is totally bizarre because you cannot escape this mindset of the world existing a certain way and god doing things that obeys these pre-existing conditions. But the indisputable fact for an omniscient omnipotent god is that everything exists the way it does because of the conscious decision of god to make it that way. EVERYTHING. Everything could have been different. There's no reason anything had to be the way it was. We need to breathe because god arbitrarily decided we need to breath, we need eyes to see because god arbitrarily chose to make us dependent on eyes, we need light for our eyes to work because god arbitrarily made our eyes work in this way, we need an immune system to fight infections because god arbitrarily decided to create pathogens. EVERYTHING was chosen by god, and there's some truly insane choices he made. And your only rationalisation is "well god chose it so it must make sense" which is obvious circular reasoning.
No, its entirely relevant because you think there is something special about this particular outcome. You think god exists because it explains humans existing, as if there is something special about humans existing instead of other life forms. THERE'S NOT.
Strawman again, really SylviaB, you really do presume what my view of God is (did you have some upbringing in Christianity or something). I don't think God exists because it explains human existence so that is inaccurate.

"You think there is something special about this particular outcome." -yes because this is reality in front of us. To that I say: Everything could have been different, but it isn't. So what? Sure again we can go on thoughts experiments, what if the laws of physics were X, or that; but in the end we need to bring it back to what is; since that is the only common ground we do have. There are infinite possibilities (one based on either unknown or what you called arbitrary choices of God; and the other arbitrary deterministic laws of nature); putting aside that you actually have no grounds to use the word 'arbitrary' for the former (if I do not know why someone chooses something it does not make it arbitrary).
I'm not assuming there could have been different laws of physics as I've suggested it could be a circumstances where laws of physics were such that nitrogen was necessary for humans to breathe (different boundary conditions). All things may have been possible b

And even then conceding you don't that God exists, and you don't know what he wants; how can you have any grounds for saying that you know his purposes in a particular matter? You wouldn't, as is self-evident.

Honestly, I don't have a full answer yet, there are number of different indicators in Scripture, perhaps most chiefly 2 things,
God "speaks" or "breathes" (now obviously this is a theological thing that needs unpacking, hence the " " )

(And you seem to have this idea that if I believe in God I'm not allowed to appeal to science which is strange).
What does this even mean?? "Preserves the natural order of things"?? There was no natural order of things until god made them. AGAIN, you're assuming the universe existing in a certain way and god having to go along with it. But all of reality exists as it does because god chose to make it that way. There is not "natural" that precedes god.
Correct there is no 'natural' that precedes God. If one believes in God and accepts his existence it involves how we understand answers to questions of why there are natural laws. It is a matter of rightly understanding what God has revealed about his purposes if we are to say anything about his intent...

Scripture makes it clear that God created with order (forming and filling), and the expression of that is laws.
Scriptures talks of God (and specifically Christ) upholding the universe by the word of his power.
Scriptures talk of God setting limits for the sea and other such things as thus.
Sure, God can do miraculous things but again in Scripture these are (even more clearly) purposeful and not just random (arbitrary) aberations.
From this we can build a picture, theologically, of the what is called 'creation'.

Your argument is that it's too big of a coincidence for the laws of nature to have happened to exist in a way that allowed for humans to evolve, but this is entirely dependant on a belief that humans are the ultimate goal of evolution, when they're not. There's absolutely nothing remarkable about the laws of physics by chance allowing humans to evolve unless you have a presupposition that humans have to exist. But they DON'T.
Strictly, I wouldn't go as far as saying humans are the goal of evolution, but otherwise you have identified a key difference in our perspectives.
Scripture, reveals that humans are tied up in God's purposes for this world - this for the theist determines necessity not some arbitrary unknown factor. Obviously one who does not believe in God does not have such necessity and hence the difference.

And what alternative explanation do you have that the laws of nature happen to exist? They just happen to exist because they happen to exist, is circular. (and no I don't really care that much for hypotheticals as much as you do)
 
Last edited:

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
Lol, man is flawed and fallible and insignificant but you need to trust the word of other men you have never met and who don't even speak the same language as you and who existed thousands of years before you were born and base your entire understanding of the nature of reality on it? The only reason the word of god would be only revealed to a handful of people is because it's not actually real. This is EXACTLY what we would expect in a fake religion, because its the only possible way things can be
You are rightly that man is flawed and insignificant, and the way that you can tell a fake religion is one that makes man the centre.

Scripture reveals that man in his wisdom did not God but it pleased God through the apparent foolishness of the gospel message preached to save those you believe. It is that message that we are trusting in, yes.

But if god exists and did directly reveal himself to everyone individually, you wouldn't be surprised, you wouldn't be confused,
I already addressed why this won't work...

GOD is the reason people deny god. He knew how they would turn out before he created them and yet created them that way anyway.
But you have just conceded that you didn't know God? So how can you then justify something like that without presuming what a God that you claim to not know is like???

We have to believe moses and the disciples because god/jesus said we do, but we only know jesus said this and him saying it makes it true....because of moses and the disciples saying its true.
Incorrect, Jesus is not saying believe the disciples because Jesus says we should, that is an error of chronology. The point is that one doesn't accept Scripture (which at the time of Christ - Moses and prophets) then they won't (necessarily)* accept God if he appeared right in front of them or if a dead person (ironically Christ) came back to life. Not the point you are making.

Obviously, otherwise you wouldn't believe the most extraordinary claims about the nature of reality on the basis on the tall tales of bronze age lunatics written in a language you don't even speak.
Nope, you cannot prove everything (due to incompleteness say in mathematics) and I'm ok to live with that. I don't need absolute certainty or answers on everything such as the hypotheticals you've put forward.

Secondly, there are 3 different types of knowledge, logic, empirical and personal/relational; and so again not everything we know to just science/DNA.

Regarding the gospels, do they honestly read like lunatics though? I think the reader can make that assessment for themselves by reading the account. But the one who has never actually bothered to read it, well then that is just hearsay.

Again I commend the video here for those bothered to read these posts haha, it tries to present both sides (it is not 100% neutral of course, but generally tries to weigh up respectfully all the key information)
 

SylviaB

sorry if i offended anyone
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
6,415
Location
Lidcombe
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
It is different (and failing to distinguish), because initially when you say 'non-conscious brain processes' you have on the one have neurons and synapses firing; and on the other hand you have the information content of e.g. what you have been referring to as the 'non-conscious' beliefs that you apparently have no control over; because they are just synapses firing in your brain. So basically as I see it you have shifted gears or posts.
No. The information content of our conscious experience is generated by non-conscious brain processes. We experience the product of neurons firing etc., the conscious experience cannot be controlling the neurons. Because that would be a cause without a prior cause.

As I've explained before, while on an general/kind of oversimplified view of conscious, yes, neuron activity (which you call non-conscious)
What do you mean "what you call non-conscious"? What else could it be? Do you experience the neurons firing in your brain? Are you aware of the neurophysiology that generates your conscious experience? Of course not! So how could it be anything other than non-conscious?

It is a concession that we don't fully understand consciousness. You seem to act as if we understand everything about what it is, when we don't.
Purely physical causality might explain how you are able to think but not the specific content of your thoughts (such as beliefs). Your view suffers from extreme reductionalism and I've been trying to push back on that...
We don't need to understand the neurophysiology of conscious to know that free will cannot be real. The issue with free will is more fundamental than biology, it is logically incoherent.

It doesn't make logical sense that "you", which is really "your conscious experience", can be the thing controlling your conscious experience. For you to consciously author a thought, that means you thought about it before you thought about it, but where did that prior thought come from? You get an infinite regress.

Really? Because saying something is irrelevant doesn't count as an explaining something five times,, it just counts as being dismissive.
For fuck's sake, you're literally not reading what I'm saying. I've literally explained how the world can work and we can have a legal system without free will. I've explained why it makes sense to punish people for their actions IF we can use this punishment (in the broadest sense of the word) to reform their behaviour and the behaviour of others, and failing that removing them from society to prevent them doing harm. You haven't even bothered to try explaining what is so damn "unworkable" about this.

To use your vaccines example, yes if everyone believed that vaccines don't work, it doesn't mean that they don't actually work; (but there would be a very simple way to show that belief is wrong, by giving someone a vaccine). However even with your example is that scientists have conducted experiments to determine that they have worked (via scientific method, interpretation of statistics), so even then 'everyone' doesn't believe that vaccines don't work, otherwise you couldn't make the statement that the belief had no correspondence with the truth; or was a wrong belief.
I mean if everyone spontaneously stopped believing in the efficacy of vaccines, the biochemistry of vaccines and the physical laws underpinning it are utterly unchanged.

Also, not everyone believes in free will, so not everyone has to believe in it for your view of society to work.

But that is not the point I've been making. It not as you put completely irrelevant, because this discussion contextually is not purely just some high flying philosophical "objective" discussion, in the end it is completely irrelevant to discuss if it in the end has not bearing on acceptance or reality. And if you had the truth and refused to try to compel others, would that not be selfish? (rhetorical question, food for thought). Why else would one go to the effort; if not to try to compel someone or at least critical analysis what one is claiming to be true?
It IS irrelevant

1. We are judging the truth value of the statement 'free will does not exist'
2. You acknowledge that the truth of something is unrelated to how many people, if any, recognise its truth value
3. You acknowledge the the outcomes of something being widely accepted as true having the potential to have a negative impact on society (according to you) is not related to the truth that of said thing
4. You proceed to tell me why free will exists because people think it does and that it would have a negative impact on society if this became widely accepted


The particular example that I was originally referring to is referring to your own internal consistency. It is not just important from a perspective of whether people believe you (which is relevant in the context of Boredofstudies, people reading your posts; otherwise why bother posting); but it can show that you don't even hold consistency to what you are saying...
As I have already said, a lack of free will does not mean an inability for our non-conscious minds to be influenced by external inputs.

Also, can we recognise that I'm saying free will doesn't exist, and you're essentially asking "Well then why did you choose to do XYZ..."
 

SylviaB

sorry if i offended anyone
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
6,415
Location
Lidcombe
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
Ok, SylviaB, you clearly not picking up that I am someone very particular in how I word things.
Notice how I said "God's punishment isn't just X" implying that yes while there is an aspect of God's punishment that is for retribution sake, that there can be other aspects which I have appealed to; meaning it is not as 1D as you make it out to be.
Yeah, and I'm saying there CAN'T be other aspects to it because the punishment is done after the fact. Therefore, it cannot be used to correct future behaviour.

Are you serious? You do realise that these are not mutually exclusive explanations for things.
(Although, theologically any understanding of God's punishment should be understood from what God has said on the matter, which is implicit in some of the things I say)
Sigh

Re-read what I said. You make an argument, then when I respond to it, you apparently forgot what argument it was I was responding to and argue against what I'm saying out of context.

My point is not that god can't cause disease because the laws of nature do it. I'm saying, you're drawing an analogy between god's punishment and the consequences of not getting a vaccine. Disease is something that just happens as a consequence of nature. This cannot be true for god's punishment in the after life, it doesn't "just happen", it's a conscious decision that god makes to punish people that he doesn't have to make.

Unless you think god is deliberately infecting people with a disease as a bizarre "punishment" for not getting a vaccine, which is a really weird thing to believe because we can explain the behaviour of viruses in purely naturalistic terms, and the otherwise moral randomness of who dies from them is better explained by a naturalistic explanation. Was god infecting and killing people with e.g. covid BEFORE the vaccine existed? Why? And why would he disproportionately go after the most vulnerable people in society?

Ive just said that I'm not hung up on choice (aka. free will) and why you may fail to understand why or think that I need to be is a different matter. What I'm suggesting both in terms of a physical explanation (which we may have some agreement on) and in terms of theologically (if God exists kind of scenario) that the matter of belief (which we don't agree on what we mean on by this probably) and will are not as 1 dimensional or reductionist as you make it out to be. I do acknowledge there is a popular variant of Christian thinking that emphasises free will, particularly in the states, I'm not of the same mindset (I'm not a free will baptist for example).
Christian morality makes no SENSE without free will. How can god punish people for what cannot possibly be their fault?

Secondly the alternative of fatalistic / hard determinism has some logically implications of that in the end denies humans of any responsibility of acting rightly.
THIS IS IRRELEVANT

It's either true or it's not. The fact you don't like the implications of it being true doesn't affect its truth value.

It s not only what is consistent, coherent but also pragmatically useful (aka. utility),

No, it's really not. We just went over this.



a more seasoned approach or middle position (one such view is compatibilism but that is a very particular view; but just to give an example).
This is a classic argumentum ad temperantiam.

The fact that a view is a "middle position" is not evidence of it's truth. It's a cop out for you to cling onto your concept of free will without explaining how it isn't logically incoherent.

And no, compatibilism is not "one such view", it's a number of different views. And they all work on the basis of redefining free will to make it something useless.

If we do not consciously control our actions and beliefs, we cannot be morally responsible for our actions and beliefs. And we cannot consciously control our actions and beliefs because this is logically incoherent.

To consciously decide what you do, you would have to think about it before you've thought about. There's no getting around this. You keep ignoring it, but it's a brutal fact of reality.

The only thing that is circular about it is the good assumption that truth should be believed as true. This is an ethical/value principle NOT a logical one; (but it is based on a more primitive assumption that truth, by definition, is good)
Whether god exists or not is the truth I'm trying to determine in the first place.

Substitute God existing with any other truth, If vaccines are effective, then we should believe they are. If the world is round, we should believe it is...
I don't know if god exists. That's the whole point. This is circular reasoning.

"If god exists, we should believe he does" Okay, but I don't know if god exists, that's the point. I don't know if I should believe in him because I don't know if he exists. You say "if he exists" then go ahead and assume he does.

No-one is capable of being fully objective in the truest sense of the word. You yourself have conceded that you need to be 'compelled' to believe by sufficient evidence.
That IS objective. Believing something because you want to believe it is the opposite of objectivity.

Yet as you have also conceded, you are very limited to what you consider personally (for yourself) to be 'valid' or at the very least useful evidence. That at the very least is the result of pre-existing beliefs and assumptions.
It would be trivially easy for god to prove to me that he exists. I could become a believer within the next minute if he wanted me to be.

Refusing to accept the testimony of people thousands of years ago in a language I don't speak whose supposed claims have a million explanations OTHER than god existing, is plainly NOT "very limited". You are believing the most extraordinary thing possible on the basis of the least reliable evidence possible. You are also rejecting the vast majority of testimony of bronze age people for all number of claims which aren't compatible with christianity. I'm doing the same thing, except I'm including ONE extra thing among that which I reject.

Not to mention the inherit assumptions and beliefs apparently when you discuss the notions of choice, decisions and determinism. So its not 'objective' or value-neutral.
Let's say this is true. It cannot possibly anybody's fault except god's.

You keep ignoring this point but it is absolutely CENTRAL to what I'm arguing.

God knew before I was created whether I would not believe in him.

He deliberately created me the way I was.

He created me anyway despite that the fact that he knew I was destined not to believe in him.

According to Christians, he now intends to punish me for my unbelief, which he is ultimately responsible for.

How could this POSSIBLY make sense?

Well obviously a theist generally speaks see belief in God, a good thing, because if is true, it is good to believe the truth.
This is not a valid argument. We can see this by flipping it around:

It is good to believe the truth

If god does not exist, the statement "god does not exist" is true

Therefore, it is a good thing to believe that "god does not exist"

Point proven, there is your bias - you may not have a bias towards a religion but you have a bias towards atheism or naturalism.
(Mind you I presume you are defining religion and belief in God/spirituality as practically the same thing based on your comments)
No, this does NOT prove I'm "biased". Thinking something is true doesn't mean I'm biased towards it, any more than you thinking vaccines are effective makes you "biased" towards vaccines.

Firstly, the explanation is far from perfect
It's is INFINITELY better than saying "People believe X, therefore X must be true" which is what you're doing.

I was appealing to the obvious notion that if something exists then one should believe in it existing - this was to address a particular question of 'why should one believe in God?' - this is obvious a value/ethical statement.
Is Islam is true, you should follow it. Therefore, why aren't you a muslim?

See how dumb your logic is? We can just say this about anything. If X is true we should believe in it, so why don't you believe in EVERYTHING that could possibly be true?
 

SylviaB

sorry if i offended anyone
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
6,415
Location
Lidcombe
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
Firstly, religion is a lot broader concept (that can be tricky to define), there are not completely distinct as one informs the others, but there are different; religion is a lot broader than an individual premise/belief/proposition. (Again we don't necessarily agree on what a belief even is)

The fact that religious and spiritual thinking occurs in a particular region of brain does not prove or disprove God's existence any more than unbelief in God disproves God's existence. Again you need to re-read my actual argument: https://community.boredofstudies.org/threads/does-god-exist.106355/post-7374817. One has to assess the foundations of the rationality behind the explanation.
Of course it supports god not existing. We can explain belief in god without god existing, therefore, that's one less argument in favour of god's existence.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with that the incompatibility of other religions because I don't think it makes.
You are using belief in god as evidence of god's existence. But bizarrely are limiting it to only your beliefs.

"You think there is something special about this particular outcome." -yes because this is reality in front of us. To that I say: Everything could have been different, but it isn't. So what? Sure again we can go on thoughts experiments, what if the laws of physics were X, or that; but in the end we need to bring it back to what is; since that is the only common ground we do have.
You think there is something special about humans existing as opposed to an alternative. You think the laws of nature existing the way they do is special. Neither of these things is true.

It's like rolling a die and it landing on six, and then you declaring the die must be loaded because what are the odds that it would just happen to land on six? Bu if it had landed on a two instead, that would be no more or less remarkable.

This is the reality we have in front of us.....so what? The only possible reality in which we can sit hear about ponder the amazingness of human's existence is the one in which humans happened to exist. The fact humans exist cannot be an argument for the existence of god unless you assume the point of the universe existing was for humans to come into existence, but there's no objective reason for thinking this.

And even then conceding you don't that God exists, and you don't know what he wants; how can you have any grounds for saying that you know his purposes in a particular matter? You wouldn't, as is self-evident.
I'm saying the need for humans to do things like breathe oxygen is categorically better explained by naturalistic evolution than god. Humans came to breathe oxygen because this is what the laws of nature allowed. If god created the universe, then he deliberately made us require oxygen. There's no inherent reason why humans would need to require oxygen, he deliberately created us this way. Any explanation for this is necessarily a rationalisation. You need to recognise that god making us require oxygen is absolutely comparable to if god made our feet extremely heavy without any benefit compared to how they are now, and therefore made walking around much more difficult. It is no different to requiring oxygen. In both cases, god is just limiting us, making us weaker and more vulnerable for no functional purpose (and it HAS to be for no functional purpose, because god could simply confer on us the function without the form). So what's more likely, god needlessly making us vulnerable, or natural selection fitting the world the way it happened to be.

And no, naturalistic evolution is not a rationalisation because there's no expectation that humans would necessarily turn out any particular way or come into existence at all. Only if you're a theist does this expectation exist.

Honestly, I don't have a full answer yet, there are number of different indicators in Scripture, perhaps most chiefly 2 things,
God "speaks" or "breathes" (now obviously this is a theological thing that needs unpacking, hence the " " )
God breathing is even MORE absurd? Why on earth would god breathe? Why would an all powerful being need a gas to metabolise molecules for energy? HE IS OMNIPOTENT.

And if you say "oh no it means something different" then what is the point of calling it breathing in this context?


(And you seem to have this idea that if I believe in God I'm not allowed to appeal to science which is strange).
If something that be explained in naturalistic terms, god is superfluous and so the existence of that thing cannot be used as evidence for god's existence.

Correct there is no 'natural' that precedes God. If one believes in God and accepts his existence it involves how we understand answers to questions of why there are natural laws. It is a matter of rightly understanding what God has revealed about his purposes if we are to say anything about his intent...

Scripture makes it clear that God created with order (forming and filling), and the expression of that is laws.
Scriptures talks of God (and specifically Christ) upholding the universe by the word of his power.
Scriptures talk of God setting limits for the sea and other such things as thus.
Sure, God can do miraculous things but again in Scripture these are (even more clearly) purposeful and not just random (arbitrary) aberations.
From this we can build a picture, theologically, of the what is called 'creation'.
The creation of the universe by god is necessarily a miracle. And creating the universe the way it is must be considered arbitrary because he could have achieved his goal in an infinite number of ways. You cannot for example say god put air on earth so humans could breathe, because he could have made us live without breathing. He is not bound by any laws, therefore he could have achieved his outcomes without things being so complex, so therefore the complexity is necessarily arbitrary.

Strictly, I wouldn't go as far as saying humans are the goal of evolution, but otherwise you have identified a key difference in our perspectives.
Scripture, reveals that humans are tied up in God's purposes for this world - this for the theist determines necessity not some arbitrary unknown factor. Obviously one who does not believe in God does not have such necessity and hence the difference.
Of course humans are a necessary outcome of evolution in your views. They have to be, literally they have to be, unless you think that somehow god set evolution in motion without knowing what the outcome would be and humans just happened to be the product without god knowing this would be the case. And yes, Christianity IS anthropocentric. Humans are the only animals which follow, and which can possibly follow, Christianity.

And what alternative explanation do you have that the laws of nature happen to exist? They just happen to exist because they happen to exist, is circular. (and no I don't really care that much for hypotheticals as much as you do)
No, it's not circular because I don't assume they have to exist in a certain way. We can't explain why they exist the way they do, but this is only a problem if you think them existing in the way they do is necessary. Which it's not, because human's coming into existence isn't necessary.

And "hypotheticals" are perfectly valid because when evaluating the truth value of something, we need to logically compare it with the alternatives.

You might say "I got a vaccine and therefore didn't die of covid", well, if we want to know if this is true we need to compare this to a counterfactual (i.e. "hypothetical") reality in which you didn't get the vaccine. If the probability of you contracting the virus was low without the vaccine, and your chance of dying from said infection was similarly low, then the vaccine probably didn't save your life.

If you say, "America helped defeat the nazis by invading nazi-occupied france", then the only way to evaluate the truth of this is by comparing it to a counterfactual history in which america didn't invade france.

All you want to do is say "well me getting the vaccine is the reality that exists, and I didn't die from covid so therefore the vaccine saved me from covid".
 

SylviaB

sorry if i offended anyone
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
6,415
Location
Lidcombe
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
You are rightly that man is flawed and insignificant, and the way that you can tell a fake religion is one that makes man the centre.
YOUR religion makes man centre, because the only possible way we can know about god is through men. He doesn't reveal himself to us directly.

I already addressed why this won't work...
God could MAKE me believe in him if he wanted. He could literally force me to. But for some reason we must come to this belief through reading a book, as if there is any moral value in that compared to him just making him believe.

Because for the tenth time now, I cannot control my beliefs, and even if I could, how could it possibly be "moral" or "immoral" to believe something you read in a bronze age book.

You cannot possibly answer the latter question without your circular reasoning where you say "because god wants us to", and yet again, you miss the fact that god existing is the whole debate to begin with and what he "wants" only has any meaning to it if we believe he exists. Circular reasoning.

But you have just conceded that you didn't know God? So how can you then justify something like that without presuming what a God that you claim to not know is like???
The christian god is described as being omniscient, therefore he has to know what we would turn out like.

Incorrect, Jesus is not saying believe the disciples because Jesus says we should, that is an error of chronology. The point is that one doesn't accept Scripture (which at the time of Christ - Moses and prophets) then they won't (necessarily)* accept God if he appeared right in front of them or if a dead person (ironically Christ) came back to life. Not the point you are making.
That's moronic. How are you comparing reading words in a book to witnessing god directly?

But again, god knew I would turn out like this so it's his fault I don't believe for creating me like this.

Nope, you cannot prove everything (due to incompleteness say in mathematics) and I'm ok to live with that. I don't need absolute certainty or answers on everything such as the hypotheticals you've put forward.

Secondly, there are 3 different types of knowledge, logic, empirical and personal/relational; and so again not everything we know to just science/DNA.

Regarding the gospels, do they honestly read like lunatics though? I think the reader can make that assessment for themselves by reading the account. But the one who has never actually bothered to read it, well then that is just hearsay.
If it's not true, then of course it's lunatic. Unless you think that all of the bronze age mythology you don't believe is somehow reasonable?
 

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
No. The information content of our conscious experience is generated by non-conscious brain processes.
We experience the product of neurons firing etc., the conscious experience cannot be controlling the neurons. Because that would be a cause without a prior cause.
What I mean is that you use the term 'non-conscious' too broadly without distinction; when often you are referring to unconscious mind. The two concepts are yes related but different,
Consciousness is a bit more complex that merely neurons firing, and we are certainly a long way from mapping particular brain signals to mental events/states.

The notion of 'control' is a bit elusive and probably has been well defined in this discussion.
As far as we can tell different thoughts correlate to different areas of the brain perhaps. However (by incompleteness), there is no way to show causality between say the content of particular "thought" (whether in the conscious or unconscious mind)
and say a particular physical property of say the neuron.

You're literally not reading what I'm saying. I've literally explained how the world can work and we can have a legal system without free will.
I've explained why it makes sense to punish people for their actions IF we can use this punishment
(in the broadest sense of the word) to reform their behaviour and the behaviour of others, and failing that removing them from society to prevent them doing harm.
You haven't even bothered to try explaining what is so damn "unworkable" about this.

I'm assuming that your working definition of 'free will' is a sort of unhinged unimpeded chosing mind (e.g. libetarian free will), and that is what you are objecting to.

Incorrect my argument is actually as follows:
1. We are judging the truth value of the statement 'free will does not exist' or more strictly the view called "absolute determinism"

2. You acknowledge that the truth of something is unrelated to how many people, if any, recognise its truth value.
Yes this is equivalent to saying that something is true irrespective of whether people believe it as such.

3. You acknowledge the the outcomes of something being widely accepted as true having the potential to have a negative impact on society (according to you) is not related to the truth that of said thing
Not quite, a bit more nuanced. The compellingness and criteria for accepting something as true (or establishing what you call 'value') is affected by its perceived potential negative impacts (whether it does harm) as one of many factors.
This is why I've stressed it is relevant to discuss implications not because part of assessing one's truth value critically is to assess acceptance criterion for truth; of which there are 4:
1. Coherence - is it logically consistent (in itself)
2. Correspondence - accordance with other facts about the state of things (for some it is just science, but it is also broader).
3. Pragmatic - does it actually work (for some this is akin to explanatory power, but it is broader)
4. Personal - obviously this is a postmodern thing mainly (e.g. relevance). This is probably the weakest criteria as it is subjective ('your truth'). So we'll discount it.

Consider your very own rationalisation about a legal system without free will. You assume implicitly concepts such as 'harm' or 'reform' - in the end your argument is that we accept behaviour is based on its affects on society (aka harm on other people).

4. You proceed to tell me why free will exists because people think it does and that it would have a negative impact on society if this became widely accepted
Strawman, I never said 'free will exists' and false dilemma fallacy; rather my view is that 'absolute determinism' in the absolute sense, is incoherent and impractical; and as far as brain science goes, is hardly established.

The reason why such a justice system fails is because of the other factors that play in the very assumption framework you offer.
For such a system to be effective, the whole idea of reforming behaviour and harm assumes certain agreed on moral standards that certain behaviour is harmful or bad (e.g. killing people).
It could be reduced to a utilitarian justice system, a system based entirely on consequences of social utility (another name for this view is reductivism).

If you claimed that God is unjust to judge you as guilty for not believing in something (because you have no free will)
Also because you have no free will, the person who is carrying out a crime. It is not right or just to call them guilty for only doing something which their programmed brain "forced" them to do.
(taking the extreme extrapolation of course...), meaning you really have no foundation for the legal system, as I see it. (Implicit to the notion of justice, is the idea of "justification")

Secondly the notion of absolute determinism really casts doubt on the effectiveness of reform (reform is insufficent as a justification for punishment as it may not always work).

Again the main problem is the end does not justify the means. It is logically consistent, you could punish an innocent person to attempt to reform the behaviour of others, but there has to be justification why that (deterrance) is wrong; without
appealing to some notion of innocence vs guilt (or honour vs shame) (I know you will qualify that you are against deterrance). IF it is absolutely determined how the brain is going to respond and that all behaviour is dictated out, then such attempts to reform would be ineffective, and therefore the need to 'detain' people so they cannot harm others.

Indeed it would be morally wrong to make an incorrect moral judgement.

Yeah, and I'm saying there CAN'T be other aspects to it because the punishment is done after the fact. Therefore, it cannot be used to correct future behaviour.
You are right to say that it cannot be used to correct future behaviour when referring to the last day. God's justice is not just limited to the judgement day. There are restorative aspects to his justice (which is what the Christian calls "salvation").
And secondly, I am not of the same view as you that punishment is only justified on the premise that it can (potentially) correct future behaviour.
Thirdly, punishment must be proportional to the offence, and there is a recognition in our legal system of the rights of both the plantiff and the accused in the court, to a fair trial and to due process.

I think if all you hear from theists is hell and brimstone, then you are only getting half the picture. And imho, believing just to escape punishment is not necessarily sincere belief anyways...
 

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
Re-read what I said. You make an argument, then when I respond to it, you apparently forgot what argument it was I was responding to and argue against what I'm saying out of context.
I did and you clearly missed the point I was addressing in my last reply. I am selective in what I reply.
I wasn't addressing your remarks on judgment. I was addressing a particular comment you made in response to something I said.

Dan: Additionally it is just a condition or consequential experience of rejecting God (e.g. if you rejected getting vaccinated you may get sick)
Sylvia: No, that's completely dumb. We get sick because pathogens exist and are subject to the laws of chemistry/physics. There are no consequences that just happen to occur when it comes to god.
Dan: Are you serious? You do realise that these are not mutually exclusive explanations for things.
Sigh, you did the same with my originally reply, imho.

The point is that (according to Scripture) what we experience as "punishment" is directly a consequence of the act of rejecting God.
If you reject the one who gives life, and death results; that should not be surprising (or as you would say it just happens...).
(this is from a wider Biblical theology of judgement and not just the last day)

Obviously the analogy wasn't the best one, but the analogous similarity, is if one rejects getting vaccinated and gets sick (context being sick with the disease that vaccine prevents),
then that should not be surprising. (Obviously this analogy is too simplistic).

There is the aspect of proportionality but this is more the consequential aspect of an action.

(PS: The other points you are making - I'm not making any of the other points)

Sylvia: it's a conscious decision that god makes to punish people that he doesn't have to make.
How do you know that, Sylvia? Where is your grounds to make that kind of statement, that God doesn't have to judge? Bizarre.

THIS IS IRRELEVANT. It's either true or it's not. The fact you don't like the implications of it being true doesn't affect its truth value.
The fact that a view is a "middle position" is not evidence of it's truth. It's a cop out for you to cling onto your concept of free will without explaining how it isn't logically incoherent.
Nope, because we are not just assessing whether something is true or not, but also whether we can accept it is as true. Because your whole point is about "not being compelled" meaning implicit to this
very discussion that there are criterion for establishing something as true. Obviously the pragmatic criterion when considered in isolation is not enough to establish truth, but it often lies behind the notion
of "compellingness". Criterion of truth.

Seriously, how do you establish it is true, without looking at the logical implications? It is not that I don't like the implications of it (which I don't obviously), it is that I am making a value judgement, and to do so
we assess based on some criterion other values such as justice or morality.

Again strawman argument, my view is that strong variant of absolute determinism as you are presenting it cannot be true without rejecting a whole bunch of other reasonable assumptions like the good of moral responsibility.
I'm not simply holding the middle view for the sake of holding the middle view, in fact I lean more away from free will.

I don't hold to a libertarian view of free will at all; as we are restricted to what is our nature as humans; and that also extends to what we are willing to do morally as well.
The nature of these limitations are sometimes can be directly linked to some physical causal explanation such as humans not having wings so therefore being incapable of flight, but some of the more mental limitations, we either do not have a full explanation

Consciousness is not something well understood - self evidently. There is some agency bound by some limitations both internal and external factors (such as environment and experience). If you scan a brain of electrical signals, can you determine the exact thought they are thinking
based purely on observing electrical signals in the brain, probably not. And what determines whether there is an electrical signal at this point rather than another? (Could this be related to quantum physics, not sure, need to do more reading)

The point is I don't think you've established as much as you think you have about consciousness and the nature of decision making.
Secondly the nature of morality is not merely based on decisions and actions made (that have be done consciously) so I am not convinced the objection stands (hence why I don't feel the need to reply to it).
 
Last edited:

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
Whether god exists or not is the truth I'm trying to determine in the first place.
I don't know if god exists. That's the whole point. This is circular reasoning.

"If god exists, we should believe he does" Okay, but I don't know if god exists, that's the point.
I don't know if I should believe in him because I don't know if he exists. You say "if he exists" then go ahead and assume he does.
Well, its not a proof of God's existence, it is simply the fundamental logic is that it is good to believe in true statements.

The reason why it is not circular because thats not how a hypothetical works. I'm not using statement (3) to prove statement (1).
If God exists, we should believe in him.

The fundamental logic is that it is good to believe in true statements.

Lets make it generic so you can understand the logic I'm using

1. A proposition e.g. God's existence
2. It is good to believe in true statements
3. If (1) is a true statement then by (2) it is good to believe in (1)

I'm not using (3) to prove (1). The statement (2) is basically an assumption that holding to truth is good;
which I assume you don't reject since you are concerned with the question of "what is true?"

I'm not saying as much as you think I am basically it is:
"If God exists, then it is good to believe in him."

(You can actually say that if one can establish the proposition with a certain degree of certainty as true, then the more certain it is, the better it is to believe in it).

This is again back to the question of what is criterion for truth. How does one assess what is true?

This is not a valid argument. We can see this by flipping it around:

It is good to believe the truth

If god does not exist, the statement "god does not exist" is true

Therefore, it is a good thing to believe that "god does not exist"
It is only invalid if you assume I reject that conclusion. Obviously if it was true that God didn't exist, then yes don't believe in him. But not knowing is different to something not being true.

Let's say this is true. It cannot possibly anybody's fault except god's.

You keep ignoring this point but it is absolutely CENTRAL to what I'm arguing.

1. God knew before I was created whether I would not believe in him.

2. He deliberately created me the way I was.

3. He created me anyway despite that the fact that he knew I was destined not to believe in him.

4. According to Christians, he now intends to punish me for my unbelief, which he is ultimately responsible for.

5. How could this POSSIBLY make sense?
Nope because (2) is not accurately true from a Christian perspective (if taken on face value).

(1) God knew before a person was created whether or not they would be saved.

(2) God created all people

(2A) All people (being in Adam) sinned, and therefore fall short of the glory of God. (Death entered the world through sin)

(3) The fact that sin was going to happen did not prevent God from creating a person.

(4*) God is not ultimately responsible for your unbelief because of (2A).

Obviously only Christians are convicted from Scripture of the truth of (2A).

""One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory..."
 
Last edited:

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
That IS objective. Believing something because you want to believe it is the opposite of objectivity.
What is the functional difference between 'compelled' and 'want'? Well obviously one flows from the other.
If you* are compelled by the evidence of truth statement it would lead to the 'want' to believe in the truth, because it is truth.
(*in a general sense referring to another person not just one person)

Refusing to accept the testimony of people thousands of years ago in a language I don't speak whose supposed claims have a million explanations OTHER than god existing,is plainly NOT "very limited".
Nope your limitation is you are limited by your assumptions and rationale and understanding of 'sense'. But just because something doesn't make sense doesn't mean it isn't true.
Again coherence on its own is not a sufficient criterion to establish truth.

Objective would be be rid of all biases. It is self evident to anyone reasonable person interacting with you on this forum, that on any particular topic, you have your perspective and point of view.

(for e.g. it would be a lot harder for me to accept say Hinduism over Islam, because of the fact that Hinduism is polytheistic - this a bit of a simplistic example)

You are believing the most extraordinary thing possible on the basis of the least reliable evidence possible.
The testimony of the gospel accounts is more reliable than the majority of other historical figures we take for granted like Caesar.
If we applied the same standard across all ancient texts, the texts that have been most reliability and accurately preserved (in a multitude of different languages), then we cannot establish anything about history.
History differs from the science in terms of method and subject matter so it requires different treatment when we talk about matters like reliability.

You are also rejecting the vast majority of testimony of bronze age people for all number of claims which aren't compatible with christianity.
If it's not true, then of course it's lunatic. Unless you think that all of the bronze age mythology you don't believe is somehow reasonable?
You do realise 5AD, Roman Empire is not Bronze Age.

Secondly, again the gospels read very differently to other texts. I would be interested to read other texts from the period if I had the time and access to them.
 
Last edited:

dan964

MOD
Moderator
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
3,318
Location
South of here
Gender
Male
HSC
2014
Uni Grad
2019
Of course it supports god not existing. We can explain belief in god without god existing, therefore, that's one less argument in favour of god's existence.
Your belief system (or may I call insistence) that everything of a human phenomena must be explained by evolution. The existence of belief doesn’t prove God’s existence anymore than the existence of non-belief (or denial) of God’s existence. But that was never an argument I was making.

You are using belief in god as evidence of god's existence. But bizarrely are limiting it to only your beliefs.
Nope I am not. You are misunderstanding the argument I am making

You think there is something special about humans existing as opposed to an alternative.
Nope I am a realist, even if there were parallel universe* (which I highly doubt it – I’m more inclined to different interpretations of quantum physics), it is irrelevant because I’m not living and discussing these things in such a universe.
(*to narrow it down, where the condition of humans existing was false)

The probability of a dice rolling is a bad example since each outcome is equally likely; compared with the probability of life existing to, are very different. Its more like being surprised of winning the jackpot when the probability of not.

Again the fact that humans exist doesn’t prove the existence of God, correct. But your insistence that somehow God doesn’t exist because if he did, he could create a world where the humans breathed oxygen (not if he created the world with the same laws as now).

I'm saying the need for humans to do things like breathe oxygen is categorically better explained by naturalistic evolution than god…
Ah but naturalistic evolution doesn’t explain why the laws of physics that necessitate life breathing oxygen.

If God created the universe, he created it with order. We now understand that order as laws, and the rest follows from there. (If you are going to say things about God’s intent for humans, it has to come from what God has said though – which is going to be a problem for you). The issue is you are making a hypothetical of something you do not know.



With regards to naturalistic evolution being a better explanation, it only explains how things are.


This is the reality we have in front of us.....so what? The only possible reality in which we can sit hear about ponder the amazingness of human's existence is the one in which humans happened to exist. The fact humans exist cannot be an argument for the existence of god unless you assume the point of the universe existing was for humans to come into existence, but there's no objective reason for thinking this.
If (and only if) God exists then his perspective is objective...

And even then conceding you don't that God exists, and you don't know what he wants; how can you have any grounds for saying that you know his purposes in a particular matter? You wouldn't, as is self-evident.
God has revealed his purposes in Scripture which you have rejected. So obviously if you reject the grounds for what he has said, that obviously you won’t know his purposes.

I don’t see such an issue with God creating things in such a way that humans need to breath the one element in the environment that based on the order that God made. The only real difference between your explanation and mine is the justification for why the laws of nature are the configuration they are.
I know you say but humans didn’t have to exist, but that this is not reality.
The reality is humans exist, and all of evolution is doing to seeking to explain how we got here. Sure it might suggest we could have developed differently if the environment was different.

Secondly your objection that we are weaker doesn’t fit with the assumed principle that we are evolving to the environment (to be as fit for the environment), so it is doesn’t make sense to call it a weakness, when (although not necessitated on the basis of evolutionary principles).

It is a case of false dilemma. I’m not forced to choose between a physical explanation of a mechanism of change of humans (or another animal) in an environment, and God did it. This is a false dilemma, and is fallacious – meaning your argument doesn’t quite establish what you think it does.

Apart from some of the specific conjectures (about humans in particular) and some assumptions, you’ll find I don’t actually disagree with the idea that cells mutate.

God breathing is even MORE absurd? Why on earth would god breathe? Why would an all powerful being need a gas to metabolise molecules for energy? HE IS OMNIPOTENT.
I used the language because it is the language that is Scripture, God revealed about himself. But obviously it is not referring to respiration. (God, Word and Spirit or “breath” of God). Its more of a theological thing.

And no, naturalistic evolution is not a rationalisation because there's no expectation that humans would necessarily turn out any particular way or come into existence at all. Only if you're a theist does this expectation exist.
Nope, incorrect, only if you are a realist does that “expectation” (don’t agree with this word) exist. Because if you forget we are studying things backwards in time. We are taking our present reality, and assuming the principles of evolution making inferences that this is what we evolved from and then doing possibilities.

If something that be explained in naturalistic terms, god is superfluous and so the existence of that thing cannot be used as evidence for god's existence.
Well it is because it is, is circular reasoning. Understanding how did human logic evolve presumes human logic (circular).

I would disagree with that logic, because the naturalistic explanation is not be a complete explanation. And again it is categorically different (not mutually exclusive either). And its starting point presumes the laws of physics (in order for it to be logically valid).

The creation of the universe by god is necessarily a miracle.
Yes, because he created ex nihilo, out of nothing.




And creating the universe the way it is must be considered arbitrary because he could have achieved his goal in an infinite number of ways. You cannot for example say god put air on earth so humans could breathe, because he could have made us live without breathing.
That is fallacious logic. We are not saying God put air on earth just for humans to breathe.

Of course humans are a necessary outcome of evolution in your views. They have to be, literally they have to be, unless you think that somehow god set evolution in motion without knowing what the outcome would be and humans just happened to be the product without god knowing this would be the case. And yes, Christianity IS anthropocentric. Humans are the only animals which follow, and which can possibly follow, Christianity.
There is a difference between something being a goal and a necessary outcome (or product).
Christianity is theocentric. Humans are the only beings made in the image of God; but there is a sense Scriptures talks of a relationship between animals and their creator.

No, it's not circular because I don't assume they have to exist in a certain way. We can't explain why they exist the way they do, but this is only a problem if you think them existing in the way they do is necessary. Which it's not, because human's coming into existence isn't necessary.
Again I’m a realist, it is necessary for your explanation to have any explanatory power. A particular environment is needed for the particular things you have been raising with me. Sure it could be have different, but it is isn’t.

Probabilistically, the difference between naturalistic evolution, is that the chance of this reality occurring is indeterminate (yes there are bounds), and for theistic ‘evolution’ it would be unity. Hence why the hypotheticals are invalid.

And "hypotheticals" are perfectly valid because when evaluating the truth value of something, we need to logically compare it with the alternatives.
Probabilistically, the difference between naturalistic evolution, is that the chance (expected value) of this reality occurring is indeterminate (yes there are bounds), and for theistic ‘evolution’ it would be unity. Hence why the hypotheticals are invalid. (Nothing to do with humans).

All you want to do is say "well me getting the vaccine is the reality that exists, and I didn't die from covid so therefore the vaccine saved me from covid".
These are different problem domains. See my comment above.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
43
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top